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Why Pandu was born ashen – weak and pale in the Mahabharata?

Pandu, the father of Pandavas, was weak, pale and ashen. He was the son of Sage Vyasa and Ambalika, the widow of Vichtravirya. Here is the reason as to why Pandu was born weak and pale.

Without fathering a child, Vichitravirya, the son of Queen Satyavati died. The Kuru lineage was in danger of going extinct.

Queen Satyavati asked Bhishma to break is vow and save the Kuru dynasty. But he was not ready to break the vow.

Desperate to save the Kuru dynasty, Satyavati thought of her first son, Krishna Dwaipayana (Sage Vyasa).

He was immediately summoned.

As per law of niyoga, any children that are born of a woman will belong to the husband. Thus if the widows of Vichtravirya, Ambika and Ambalika, were to have children they would belong to the lineage of Vichtravirya.

Based on this law Queen Satyavati asked Sage Vyasa to have children in Ambika and Ambalika.
Vyasa was an ascetic not used to the ways of the society. His hair was dry and matted. His skin was coarse and rough.

When Vyasa approached Ambalika, his ghastly appearance evoked fear and aversion in her. She turned ashen – anemic looking from fear.

The child conceived from this union was Pandu, who was pale and weak.

Did you know - Shantanu, father of Bhishma, in the Mahabharata had an elder brother. Read more about Devapi – Elder Brother of Shantanu