Jai Sriman Narayana !!
Rishi Vaishampayana narrates the Vanaprasthashrama life of Pandu, dedicated for severe penance and austerities. Within a short span of time, Pandu gained huge admiration from the holy men and saints lived in the woodland. He relentlessly served them and washed off his egos, he sincerely underwent austerities and had a great control over his senses, the sages and holy praised Pandu for his determination. They treated Pandu as their own relative/friend/son/brother. Several years of continuous austerities and penance raised Pandu to the state of Brahmarishi.
On an Amavasya day, all the Rishis and Sages assembled in a place to conduct a journey to Brahma Loka. Pandu arrived on the spot and earnestly enquired about their journey. They informed Pandu that it was the day all the deities, Pitrus and Rishis assemble in Brahma Loka/Sthya Loka and they are proceeding to the world of self-manifested Lord Brahma. Pandu informed Kunthi &Madhri and prepared to leave with the holy men through the complicated path of hills. The holy men narrated the difficulties involved in the journey to Sathya Loka. The King of hills should be climbed up with utmost dedication, crossing the uneven paths of Garden of Lord Kubera and crossing the places where the affluence of deities, Apsaras and Gandharvas safeguarded in the magnificent palaces, while crossing vast rivers of enormous depth requires extreme care, it is not possible for an ordinary human to conduct journey through the dangerous hills. Some of the areas in the hills are covered with thick snow and uninhabitable, in some places there is no vegetation or animals, in some areas are flooded with uninterrupted downpour, some of the areas are filled with dangerous species of animals where only air and some of the holy men can enter into those places. The holy men revealed their deepest concern about Kunthi & Madhri’s trip through the most dangerous hills and discouraged Pandu to follow them.
Pandu was crestfallen, he gloomily answered them that it was his ill fate to remain childless and a childless person cannot go to Sathyaloka. Pandu cursed his destiny and revealed his anxiousness about his inability to perform homage to ancestors. All human on Earth born with four types of debt such as Deva Runa, Rishi Runa, Pitru Runa and Manushya Runa and each individual has the responsibility to pay off the debt at the right time of their life time; otherwise they will not attain salvation. The deities can be pleased with the performance of Yagna &Yaga, visiting pilgrim places on Earth etc.. in this way the Deva Runa can be paid off. Rishi’s can be pleased with the Supreme knowledge, ultimate wisdom & intelligence, knowledge in Sastra & Puranas, etc… in this way Rishi Runa can be paid off. Pitrus can be satisfied with the virtuous progeny and performing homage to ancestors, in this way Pitru Runa can be paid off. The humans can be pleased with the good character, without harming or hurting anyone by action, word or deed, in this way Manushya Runa can be paid off. Pandu miserably stated that he had paid off Deva Runa, Rishi Runa and Manushya Runa, but he was unsuccessful in pleasing his Pitrus. He earnestly prayed to the holy men to suggest how to obtain a virtuous offspring as the way his father Vichithraveerya attained progeny from the blameless Maharishi Veda Vyasa.
The holy men assembled were advised Pandu, the irreproachable will have virtuous, sinless and devoted children like deities. They advised him that they could foresee the birth of righteous offspring’s to him, and comforted him to be patient to receive the fruit of his action. Pandu once again became gloomy after receiving the joyful news from the holy men; he remembered the curse of Sage Kindhma. Pandu approached Kunthi in a secluded place and advised her to think for an offspring to get over from the miseries. Pandu narrated the disgrace of a childless, performing Yagna and Yagas, charities, attaining spiritual growth and performing austerities would never bring any devoutness, unless and until there is no offspring to perform homage to ancestors. Pandu lamented over his powerlessness to have offspring’s with his chaste wives due to the curse of Sage Kindhma.
Pandu describes Prudha/Kunthi about the categories of perfect and imperfect progeny according to Dharma Sastra, six categories of progeny are accepted as perfect for the family and for the performance of duties and responsibilities involved in the Sastra and another six categories are treated as members of the family not as a perfect progeny.
(a) Child born to a married couple is treated as perfect
(b) Child born to a married woman from a proficient man through illicit relationship is
treated as second category.
(c) Child born to a married woman from a rich man through illicit relationship is treated as third category.
(d) Child born to a woman after the death of her husband is treated as fourth category
(e) Child born to a woman before marriage is treated as sixth category
(f) Child born to a woman of immoral character is seventh category
(g) An adopted child is eighth category
(h) A child attained through wealth is ninth category
(i) A child come forward and accepts a couple as his/her parents is tenth category
(j) A child born to a married woman who was already conceived the child before marriage but gave birth after the marriage is treated as tenth category.
(k) Son of brother is treated as eleventh category.
(l) A child born to a low caste woman is treated as twelfth category.
It was prescribed in the Sastra that if a family lack virtuous offspring due to ill fortune, the woman should desire for a child from a superior family. It was suggested by Swayambu Manu that a childless couple can have a child from the source of Niyoga. Pandu advised Kunthi that as he was unsuccessful to give a child, she can have child from a person equivalent to him or somebody superior to him. He described the courage of the daughter of Sharadhanthaya to receive children from a Brahmin, eventually she had three offspring from the Brahmin and Durjayan was the first child born to this couple. He advised Kunthi to have child from a righteous Brahmin as Niyoga.
Jai Sriman Narayana !!