Jai Sriman Narayana !!
Rishi Vaishampayana narrates the pathetic state of King Panu inflicted with the curse of Sage Kindhma. King Pandu returned to the palace and sorrowfully explained the tragic incidents happened in the woodlands. Pandu gravely described the happenings in the forest to Kunthi & Madhri and the enlightened members of the assembly of Kingdom of Hasthinapur, he felt ashamed of his dishonorable act and cried his heart out upon the ill fate of Hasthinapur without a successor to rule. He mournfully thought of his father Vichithraveerya who was born to the righteous King Shanthanu, but King Vichithraveerya utterly failed to keep up the ethics of an ideal King, he was obsessed with the physical relationship, he was not an ideal husband for Ambika and Ambalika and remained unsuccessful in providing a progeny, a legal heir to the throne of Hasthinapur. King Pandu lamented over his callousness, though he was born to the blameless Sage Maharishi Veda Vyasa/Krishna Dwaipayana and Ambalika. King Pandu was extremely disappointed on his appalling fate, decided to seek the path of salvation, he was well aware of the fact that the worldly desires and offspring’s are the major hindrances for penance, accept Sanyasa. He firmly trusted on his will power and decided to undergo severe austerities and remain ascetic in all his life. King Pandu decided to leave his dearest wives, relatives and the people of Kingdom of Hasthinapur forever and move to woodland to lead a life of an ascetic. King Pandu promised to reject all kinds’ emotions like affection and hatred, live a life of austere without paying attention to basic requirements, live under the shade of tree or in any deserted homes. He was determined to lead a plain life, with no desires, no interest to add fame, wanted to lead a contended and happy life, kind to all animals and never hurt anyone and treat every creatures in the world as his offspring. He decided to leave comforts of the palace and ego, approach people and beg for food; whatever food collected would be utilized as the meal of the day, if there was none available, he prepared to remain without it. He decided to consider enemies and friends with no difference, never think of evil to anyone, will not be sacred of death, will wash of the sins committed and be righteous, perform duties and responsibilities without its fruitful outcome, live a life of wind free from attachments, will not be anxious about the respect or disrespect.
Rishi Vaishampayana continued, King Pandu was unhappy to see Kunthi & Madhri in a state of desolation, he shed tears with them. Shortly the news of acceptance of Vanaprasthashrama of King Pandu was informed to Ambalika mother of Pandu, Vidur, friend and dearest elder brother Drutharashtra, highly revered Sathyavati and Bhishma Pithamaha, Kripacharya Acharya of Kurus , Brahmin intellectuals & Vedic Scholars and the peoples of Hasthinapur. Kunthi and Madhri approached Pandu and revealed their promise to follow him as his chaste wives, assisting him in living a life of an ascetic, took a vow to control their emotions and desires, leaving the comforts and luxuries of palace, undergo severe austerities with their husband to obtain the devoutness. They sorrowfully stated that if Pandu was not willing to take them to woodland, they will sacrifice their life right away. Pandu narrated to his dearest wives about his responsibilities involved in the living life of an ascetic; he will be living in the dense forests, undergo severe penance and perform fire sacrifices to please the deities, wearing the attire made of leaves, consuming fruits and vegetables to wave off hunger and the food consumed will be minimal to stay alive and habituated with the extreme heat and cold conditions, ignore the thirst and hunger, live in solitude and absorb in meditation, he will satisfy Pitrus and deities by performing daily rituals and live in extreme isolation. Further, Pandu took a vow to accept all the duties and responsibilities involved in Vanaprasthashrama.
As an initiation of Vanaprathashrama, King Pandu removed his glorious crown, precious jewels, earrings and magnificent royal attires and offered them to Brahmins. Kunthi and Madhri dutifully followed their husband. Pandu advised the servants to inform everyone about his Vanaprasthashrama with his wives and their decision to discard all the glories, comforts, and fame. The people of Hasthinapur were distraught at the decision of their beloved King Pandu.
Drutharashtra cried his heart out for his beloved brother after listening to the dismal fate of Pandu. He too decided to discard the comforts of royal life and practiced austerities for quite some time. In the meantime, Pandu and his wives proceeded through the woodlands of Pramankodi, Narakashadham and Chitraradham, Chathurshrungi and Kalakoodam. Pandu underwent severe austerities, performed Yagnas and Yagas and he was always surrounded by Sages and holy men throughout his journey.
Jai Sriman Narayana !!