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Already in the Vedic Period bands of enterprising colonists had crossed those rivers and explored the distant shores of the Jumna and the Ganges, and those noble streams, though alluded to in the hymns as on the very horizon of the Hindu world, were not unknown. In course of time the emigrants to the fertile banks of the two rivers must have increased in number, until they founded a powerful kingdom of their own. These colonists were no others than the Bharatas renowned in the wars of Sudas, but their kings belonged to the house of Kuru, and hence the tribe went by both names, Bharatas and Kurus.

From what part of the Panjab the Kurus came, is a question still involved in obscurity.

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In the Aitareya Brahmana it is stated that the Uttara Kurus and the Uttara Madras lived beyond the Himalaya, perhaps in Kashmir, but in the epics of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, the land of the Uttara Kurus became a mythical country, although it is identified with the Ottorakorrha of Ptolemy and placed somewhere east of the modern Kashgar; but we would place the Uttara Kuru alluded to in the Aitareya Brahmana somewhere north of the Sub-Himalayan range, i.

We assume that the colony of the Kurus on the Ganges rose to prowess and fame about B. When the Hindus had once begun to settle on the fertile banks of the Jumna and the Ganges, other colonists descended these streams and soon occupied the whole of the Doab, the tract of country between the two rivers. While we find the Kurus or Bharatas occupying the country near the modern Delhi, another adventurous tribe, the Panchalas, seized the tract of country near the modern Kanouj. The original seat of the Panchalas is still less known than that of the Kurus, and it has been supposed that they also came from the northern hills, like the Kurus.

The Panchala kingdom probably rose to distinction about the same time as the kingdom of the Kurus, and the Brahmana literature frequently refers to these allied tribes as forming the very centre of the Hindu world and as renowned by their valour, their learning, and their civilization. Centuries had elapsed since the Aryans had first settled on the banks of the Indus, and the centuries had done their work in progress and civilization.

Mahabharata | Definition, Story, History, & Facts |

Manners had changed, society had become more refined and polished, learning and art had made considerable progress. Kings invited wise men to their courts, held learned controversies with their priests, performed elaborate sacrifices according to the rules of the age, led trained armies to the field, appointed qualified men to collect taxes and to administer justice, and performed all the duties of civilized administrators. The relations and friends of the king and the warriors of the nation practised archery and driving the war-chariot from their early youth, and also learned the Vedas and all the sacred lore that was handed down from generation to generation.

The priests multiplied religious rites and observances, preserved the traditional learning of the land, and instructed and helped the people in their religious duties. And the people lived in their towns and villages, cherished the sacrificial fire in their houses, cultivated the arts of peace, trained their boys from early youth in the Vedas and in their social and religious duties, and gradually developed those social customs which in India have the force of laws. Women had their legitimate. Civilization, however, does not necessarily put a stop to wars and dissensions; and the only reminiscences we possess of the political history of the Kurus and the Panchalas are those of a sanguinary war in which many neighbouring tribes took part, and which forms the subject of one of the two great epics of India.

The incidents of the war described in the Mahabharata are undoubtedly legendary, but nevertheless the great epic is based on the recollections of an actual war of the great Bharatas and faithfully describes the manners and customs of the ancient Hindus in the Brahmanic and Epic Period, as the Iliad describes the manners of the ancient Greeks. The capital of the Kurus at the time of which we are speaking was the city of Hastinapura, the supposed ruins of which have been discovered on the upper course of the Ganges, about sixty-five miles to the northeast of Delhi.

Santanu, the aged King of Hastinapura, died, leaving two sons, Bhishma, who had taken a vow of celibacy, and a younger prince, who became king. This young prince died in his turn, leaving two sons, Dhritarashtra, who was blind, and Pandu, who ascended the throne.

The Mahabharata: Unforgettable Lessons in An Indian Epic of Family Fighting

Pandu died, leaving five sons who are the heroes of the epic. The account of the martial training of the young Pandavas and the sons of Dhritarashtra throws much light on the manners of royal houses.

Chapter 9 – The Epic Age – The Mahabharata

Drona was a Brahman and a renowned warrior, for caste had not yet completely formed itself, Kshatriyas had not yet obtained the monopoly of the use of arms, nor Brahmans of religious learning. He had been insulted by his former friend, the King of the Panchalas, and had retired in disgust to the court of the Kurus, where he educated the princes in the art of war. Yudhisthira, the eldest of the Pandavas, never became much of a warrior, but was versed in the religious learning of the age, and is the most righteous character in the epic.

Bhima, the second, learned to use the club, was renowned for his gigantic size and giant strength, and is indeed the Ajax of the poem.

Ancient Origins of the Mahabharata

The third, Arjuna, excelled all other princes in the skill of arms and aroused the jealousy and hatred of the sons of. Dhritarashtra, even in their boyhood, Nakula, the fourth, learned to tame horses, and Sahadeva, the fifth, became proficient in astronomy.

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  6. Duryodhana, the eldest son of Dhritarashtra, was proficient in the use of the club and was a rival to Bhima. At last the day came for a public exhibition of the proficiency which the princes had acquired in the use of arms. A spacious area was enclosed. Seats were arranged all round for warriors and aged chieftains, for ladies and courtiers, while the whole population of Kuru-land flocked to see the skill of their young princes.

    True to his vow Bhishma did not accept the throne after the death of his father and remained a bachelor for life.

    The Story of the Mahabharata, India's Longest Epic Poem

    The kingdom, therefore, was ruled by Bichitrabirya. This king had two sons named Dhrutarastra and Pandu. Since the elder Dhrutarastra was blind from his birth, his younger brother Pandu ascended the throne after the death of his father. They were known as the Pandavas. On the other hand, the hundred sons of Dhrutarastra were known as the Kauravas as the descendants of the former king of the dynasty named Kuru. Duryodhan was the first among the sons of Dhrutarastra.

    After the death of king Pandu his five sons were given one portion of the kingdom to rule. Inside a forest called Khandava, the Pandava brothers built their capital and named it as Indraprastha. This caused envy in the mind of the Kaurava brothers. They therefore invited the Pandava brothers to play the game of Dice with them with bet over victory or defeat. Playing with trick, the Kauravas defeated the Pandava king Yudhisthira again and again. According to the bet the defeated brothers agreed to live the life of exiles in forests for twelve years, and thereafter to spend one more year in disguise to escape detection. At the end of their ordeal for thirteen years the Pandava brothers returned and asked the Kauravas their kingdom. But the Kaurava king Duryodhan refused to give back their territory saying that he would not give even a particle of earth without battle.

    Because of this injustice a fierce battle was fought between the Pandavas and Kauravas in the field of Kurukshetra. Many kings of India joined either the Kauravas or the Pandavas to take part in the war. The field of Kurukshetra was also described as the Dharmakshetra because it saw the eternal conflict between virtue and vice, righteousness and wrong-doing, between the just and the unjust.

    At the end of the battle it was seen that all the Kaurava brothers were dead along with most of their supporters. The Pandava side also lost many relations, including Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna, the greatest warrior of the battle. Bhagavadgita Wisdom.

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      Pandavas Complete Family Tree - Mahabharata Facts

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