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Kunti in Mahabharata – Mother of Karna and Pandavas

In the Mahabharata, Kunti is the mother of Karna and Yudhishtira, Bhim and Arjuna among the Pandavas. Kunti was also the sister of Vasudeva, father of Sri Krishna.

Kunti was the daughter of King Shurasena and her original name was Pritha. But she was adopted by King Kuntibhoja, cousin of Shurasena. Thus she got the name Kunti.

Kunti in Mahabharata – Mother of Karna and Pandavas

Legend has it that she had once taken care of Sage Durvasa. Impressed by her devotion and service, the sage had given her a secret mantra with which she could invoke any of the Devas.

Young Kunti was impatient and wanted to test the mantra. So before her marriage she invoked Surya, the sun god, and Karna was born. Fearing shame and social ostracisation, she floated the baby in a basket on the river.

Later, she married Pandu, the King of Hastinapura. Due to a curse, Pandu could not have children of his own and therefore she used the mantra to give birth to Yudhishtira (through Dharma or Yama), Bhim (through Vayu) and Arjuna (through Indra).

She also gave the mantra to Madri, the second wife of Pandu, and Nakula and Sahadeva was born to her through Ashwini Kumars.

After Pandu’s death, Kunti looked after the Pandavas.

When Arjuna married Draupadi, it was Kunti who insisted that she become the wife of the Pandavas.

She had also informed Karna before the beginning of the Great War in the Mahabharata that she was his mother.

After the Mahabharata war, Kunti accompanied Dhritarashtra and Gandhari to the forest and there she died in a forest fire.