Advanced Yoga Study ( By Swami Dharmananda
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the universal laws of Dharma. She had attained great psychic power. Towards the end of the war when all her children had already died and her mother's heart was grieving badly she wanted to protect her eldest son from dying though she knew that her son was in the wrong. She asked the son to come in front of her naked. The son came with a piece of cloth wrapped around his waist. Gandhari opened her eyes for the first time in her life and looked at her son . Immediately the body of the son became as hard as iron but she regretted that her son did not obey her. The waist remained soft. The son was killed by being hit there. 

King Pandu had two wives, Kunti (sister of Vasudeva, Krishna's father) and Madri. For the accidental killing of a sage during a hunting expedition, Pandu had been cursed that if he embraced a woman he would die. It thus seemed that he and his two queens must remain childless. But Kunti then revealed that before her marriage to Pandu she had received the blessing of a miraculous power: Impressed by her piety and devotional service, sage Durvasa had granted her five mantras with which she could invoke and receive offspring from any deity she chose. When Kunti told Pandu of her mantras, he entreated her to use them. She bore three sons for Pandu. Yudhisthira, Bhima, and Arjuna from invoking respectively the deities Dharma (god of death, the deity who passes judgement when a soul dies), Vayu (the deity presiding over the element wind) and Indra (the deity who is the king of Heaven). As Pandu wished Madri also to have a child, he asked Kunti to give the remaining sacred mantra to her. Having obtained the mantra, Madri invoked the twin deities, the Ashvins (these twin deities act as physicians in Heaven) and from them received twin sons, Nakula and Sahadeva. We are now in a higher age, ‘Dwapara' ( refer to the article on Yuga )and as we move on in this age it will become more and more clear that higher astral beings or deities can be communicated with and can be invoked to receive a boon. These higher beings can beget a child through a human being. 

The five Pandava princes and the one hundred Kaurava offspring were raised and educated together, receiving the tutelage of their preceptor Dronacharya. Arjuna excelled all of them in the science of archery the best weapon at that time. None could match him in strength, courage and bravery. Arjuna was not only a brave warrior but he was also morally and ethically very sound. Jealousy and enmity grew among the Kauravas against the Pandavas. Duryodhana resented Yudhisthira's position as the heir to the throne, because according to him he was the rightful heir to the throne. His father was rejected because he was blind but why should he be rejected. So he conspired repeatedly but unsuccessfully to destroy the Pandavas. 

An elaborate ceremony called ‘Svayamvara' ( where a woman chooses her own husband or she marries the one who wins a special contest meant for the purpose ) was held by King Drupada to choose a husband for his daughter Draupadi. Drupada made the condition that the hand of his daughter would be given only to the prince who could bend a gigantic bow provided for the occasion, and with it hit the eye of a cleverly concealed and suspended target. The target was the eye of a rotating fish. Princes from far and near tried and failed even to lift the bow. Arjuna succeeded easily. When the five Pandavas returned home, their mother Kunti, hearing their approach from a distance and presuming they had won some wealth, but without seeing what the wealth was asked them to equally share their winnings. As the mother's word had to be honored, Draupadi became the wife of all five brothers. Draupadi was at one moment very happy to be married to Arjuna, but circumstances always 

 

   
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