Gandhari (character)

Alternate meanings: see Gandhari


Gāndhārī (Sanskrit:गांधारी) is a character in the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata. In the epic, she was the daughter of Subala, the king of Gandhara (modern day Kandhahar), a region spanning northwestern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan, from which her name is derived. Gandhari's marriage was arranged to Dhritarashtra, the eldest prince of the Kuru kingdom.

Gandhari voluntarily blindfolded herself throughout her married life. Her husband Dhritarashtra was born blind, and on meeting him and realizing this, she decided to deny herself the pleasure of sight that her husband could never relish.

Gandhari bore a hundred sons, (collectively known as the Kauravas), and one daughter Dushala who married Jayadratha. The Kaurava, principally Duryodhana and Dushasana, were the villains of the Mahabharata, and were all killed in their war against their cousins, the Pandava, at Kurukshetra.

Although Gandhari's sons were portrayed as villains, the Mahabharata attributes high moral standards to Gandhari. She repeatedly exhorted her sons to follow dharma and make peace with the Pandavas. Gandhari was especially close to Kunti who respected her like an elder sister.

Gandhari made a single exception to her blindfolded state, when she removed her blindfold to see Duryodhana rendering his entire body except his loins invulnerable to any foe. This was however to prove fruitless as Bhima smashed Duryodhana's thighs in their decisive encounter on the eighteenth day of the Kurukshetra battle, a move both literally and figuratively below the belt.

Gandhari was also devout; in particular an ardent worshipper of Lord Shiva. Gandhari's sacrifice of her eyesight and her austere life was to grant her great spiritual power. Gandhari's anguish in the loss of her hundred sons resulted in her cursing Krishna in effect ensuring the destruction of the Yadavas. It is also said that through a small gap in the napkin in which her eyes were blindfolded, her gaze fell on Yudhisthira's toe. The toe was charred black due to her wrath and power. Gandhari ended her life with her husband and her sister-in-law Kunti in the Himalayas, where they died in a forest fire.

The Mahabharata
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Pandava | Kaurava | Hastinapura | Indraprastha | Kingdoms | Kurukshetra war | Bhagavad Gita



Hinduism | Hindu mythology
Deities: Brahma | Vishnu | Shiva | Rama | Krishna | Ganesha | Indra | Gayatri | Lakshmi | Sarasvati | Durga | Hanuman
Texts: Vedas | Ramayana | Mahabharata
Sanskrit}}}  | style="padding-left: 0.5em;" | Writing system: | colspan="2" style="padding-left: 0.5em;" | Devanāgarī and several other Brāhmī-based scripts  ! colspan="3" style="text-align: center; color: black; background-color: lawngreen;"|Official
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Hindu ( pronunciation  , Devanagari: हिन्दु), as per modern definition, is an adherent of the philosophies and scriptures of Hinduism, and the
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Gandhāra (Sanskrit: गन्धार Urdu: گندھارا Gandḥārā; literally meaning "perfumed"; also known as Waihind in Persian)[1]
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Motto
اتحاد، تنظيم، يقين محکم
Ittehad, Tanzim, Yaqeen-e-Muhkam   (Urdu)
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Dhritarashtra (Sanskrit: धृतराष्ट्र, dhritarāshtra) was the son born to Vichitravirya's first wife Ambika. He was fathered by Vyasa.
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Kuru or Kurus may be:
  • Kuru (kingdom), a powerful Indian kingdom during the Vedic period and later a republic during the Mahajanapada period

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Dhritarashtra (Sanskrit: धृतराष्ट्र, dhritarāshtra) was the son born to Vichitravirya's first wife Ambika. He was fathered by Vyasa.
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The term Kaurava (Sanskrit:कौरव) is a Sanskrit term, that means a descendant of Kuru, a legendary king who is the ancestor of many of the characters of the Mahabharata.
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Duhsala (alias Dushala, Dussala etc) was the sister of Duryodhana in the Indian epic Mahabharata. She was married to Jayadratha the king of Sindhu and Sauvira. Jayadratha was slain by Arjuna in the Kurukshetra War. Dussala had a son named Suratha.
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In the epic Mahabharata, Jayadratha (Sanskrit: जयद्रथ) is the king of Sindhu. He is married to Dushala, the sister of the Kaurava brothers.
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The term Kaurava (Sanskrit:कौरव) is a Sanskrit term, that means a descendant of Kuru, a legendary king who is the ancestor of many of the characters of the Mahabharata.
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Duryodhana (दुर्योधन) is the eldest son of the blind king Dhritarashtra by Queen Gandhari, the eldest of the one hundred Kaurava brothers, and the chief antagonist of the Pandavas.
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Dushasana (Duśśāsana in IAST transliteration, and sometimes written Duhshasana and Dushyasana) was the second son of the blind king Dhritarashtra and Gandhari in the epic Mahabharata, and the younger brother of Duryodhana.
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Pandava (or Pandawa) brothers (Sanskrit: पाण्‍डव pāṇḍavaḥ) are the five acknowledged sons of Pandu, by his two wives Kunti and Madri.
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Kurukshetra  (Hindi: कुरुक्षेत्र) is the name of a city in the present-day Indian state of Haryana
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the Way of the Higher Truths. What is in the West called religion in India comes within the general purview of dharma. Thus the various Indian religions and Dharmic Traditions are so many versions of Dharma (versions of what is considered to be 'right' or in truest accord with the
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Kunti (Sanskrit: कुंती) is the mother of the eldest three of the Pandava brothers from the Indian epic Mahabharata. Her story is also told within the Srimad Bhagavatam, wherein she speaks on the philosophy of devotion of Krishna, known as Bhakti yoga.
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Duryodhana (दुर्योधन) is the eldest son of the blind king Dhritarashtra by Queen Gandhari, the eldest of the one hundred Kaurava brothers, and the chief antagonist of the Pandavas.
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Shiva (IAST: Śiva
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Krishna (कृष्ण in Devanagari, kṛṣṇa
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Kunti (Sanskrit: कुंती) is the mother of the eldest three of the Pandava brothers from the Indian epic Mahabharata. Her story is also told within the Srimad Bhagavatam, wherein she speaks on the philosophy of devotion of Krishna, known as Bhakti yoga.
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Kuru kingdom was ruled by the Kuru clan of kings. The Pandavas and Kauravas were Kurus. Other than these Kurus of India, there was another kingdom called Uttara Kurus to the north of Himalayas. The Kuru kingdom of India lay between Saraswati River and river Ganga.
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Shantanu (Sanskrit: शंतनु) is a king of Hastinapura in the great epic of the Mahabharata. He is a descendant of the Bharata race, of the lunar dynasty and the ancestor of the Pandavas and the Kauravas. The Rigveda hymn 10.98 mentions Santanu.
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Hinduism

History · Deities
Denominations · Hindu Literature
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Dharma · Artha
Kama · Moksha
Karma · Samsara
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Maya · Puja · Mandir
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Bhishma (Sanskrit: भीष्म, bhīshma) born as Devavrata (देवव्रत, dévavrata), is one of the major characters of the Mahabharata.
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Satyavati (Sanskrit: सत्यवती) is the great-grandmother of the Pandava and Kaurava princes, principal characters of the Mahabharata, one of the principal texts in Hindu mythology.
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Vichitravirya (Sanskrit: विचित्रवीर्य, vichitravīrya
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Ambika (अम्‍बिका) was the daughter of King of Kashi and wife of Vichitravirya, King of Hastinapur.
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