Namaskaram. I have a humble doubt regarding the relationship between Karna and Yuddhistra and Kunti and Surya and Yama. Surya and Yama are father and son respectively. So their sons through Kunti would be uncle and nephew respectively.

The core question is whether Kunti was right when she begotten Yuddhistra through Dharmaraja when she already had a son through Surya. Wouldn't it be like a woman having a relationship with both the father and son?

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    1. these relationships are not the sexual union that you think of between men and women. they are divine avataras that are born without sex. read the original sanskrit verse for proof. so no concept of impurity here. 2. devas/apsaras relationship are not like manushya relations. for e.g. varuna deva (water) - we use for drinking, but also for cleaning bathroom. won't varuna feel offended? we burn agarbatti but also garbage - won't agni deva feel offended? Devas are bound by mantras, that's it. Even if a guy or bird or ant chanted that mantra, devas might have to give them a son..
    – ram
    Commented Aug 19, 2020 at 8:57
  • Mahabharata occurred long back, say around 3102 BC (according to a research), but was composed in Classical Sanskrit around 600 BC. So there was a time gap between occurrence of incidents to narration of incidents . What actually happened might not have been transmitted from one generation to the other. According to my understanding, it might be a case of advanced genetic experiment, may be a test tube baby concept. Hence, physical sex might not have occurred Commented Aug 20, 2020 at 7:35
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    @SrimannarayanaKV's claim that Mahabharat was written in 600 B.C has no scriptural evidence. Modern historians & scientists like to interject their theories now and then to gain prominence. There is scriptural verses proof that there was no physical union. Neither us nor the scientists were alive (or we don't remember it) during Mahabharat time. All we have are the words of scriptures and our acharyas. If they say it happened like this, we can either believe it or disbelieve it. But choosing to believe part of it based on faith, and disbelieve part of it based on intellect is unscientific
    – ram
    Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 6:04
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    @SrimannarayanaKV, btw, I don't think it's written anywhere that the babies were born 'instantly'. I remember hearing in upanyasa that they were pregnant just like usual women are. but they get pregnant without physical union. if 'instant' was the case, there is no need for Kunti to wait for one year between each pandava's birth, and it is well known that there is a gap of 1 year between each of the pandavas.
    – ram
    Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 19:48
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    @SrimannarayanaKV, and who exactly dated mahabharat to 600 BC, one richard gombrich? so you're ok with accepting a random westerner stranger's opinion, but if someone else does the same (accepting what's written by our own acharyas in scriptures), that is not ok ? Mahabharat was composed by Ved Vyasa at the end of Dwapar Yug, around the same time when the war happened. Rig Veda consists of Veda mantras. There is no need for the chandas/meter/grammar used in Vedas (poetry) to be same as that used in regular speech. That doesn't mean sanskrit 'developed' later.
    – ram
    Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 21:18

1 Answer 1


Pandu replied, 'O handsome one, strive duly this very day to gratify our wishes. Fortunate one, summon thou the god of justice. He is the most virtuous of the celestials. The god of justice and virtue will never be able to pollute us with sin. The world also, O beautiful princess, will then think that what we do can never be unholy. The son also that we shall obtain from him shall in virtue be certainly the foremost among the Kurus. Begotten by the god of justice and morality, he would never set his heart upon anything that is sinful or unholy. Therefore, O thou of sweet smiles, steadily keeping virtue before thy eyes, and duly observing holy vows, summon thou the god of justice and virtue by the help of thy solicitations and incantations.'


Pandu requested Kunti to get an offspring from Yama so that a virtuous person can be born in the lineage of the Kurus which is not wrong.

As for Kunti getting Karna from Surya, she did it to test the boon given by Durvasa.

Once she gratified by her attentions the terrible Brahmana of rigid vows, who was known by the name of Durvasa and was well-acquainted with the hidden truths of morality. Gratified with her respectful attentions, the sage, anticipating by his spiritual power the future (season of) distress (consequent upon the curse to be pronounced upon Pandu for his unrighteous act of slaying a deer while serving its mate) imparted to her a formula of invocation for summoning any of the celestials she liked to give her children. And the Rishi said, 'Those celestials that thou shall summon by this Mantra shall certainly approach thee and give thee children.' 'Thus addressed by the Brahmana, the amiable Kunti (Pritha) became curious, and in her maidenhood summoned the god Arka (Sun). And as soon as he pronounced the Mantra, she beheld that effulgent deity--that beholder of everything in the world--approaching her. And beholding that extraordinary sight, the maiden of faultless features was overcome with surprise. But the god Vivaswat (Sun) approaching her, said, 'Here I am, O black-eyed girl! Tell me what I am to do for thee.' "Hearing this, Kunti said, 'O slayer of foes, a certain Brahamana gave me this formula of invocation as a boon, and, O lord, I have summoned thee only to test its efficacy. For this offence I bow to thee. A woman, whatever be her offence, always deserveth pardon.' Surya (Sun) replied, 'I know that Durvasa hath granted this boon. But cast off thy fears, timid maiden, and grant me thy embraces. Amiable one, my approach cannot be futile; it must bear fruit. Thou hast summoned me, and if it be for nothing, it shall certainly be regarded as thy transgression.'

So Kunti did it out of curiosity. In my opinion, Kunti should not have done that but Karna and Yudhisthira are not uncle and nephews. Pandavas and Karna are spiritual sons of gods. They are like gods on earth but at the same time, Pandavas were biological sons of Pandu.

Pandu wanted a virtuous son in the line of Kurus whereas Karna was born for a divine purpose. Narada told to Yudhisthira about Karna.

This, O sinless one, that I am about to tell thee is unknown to the very gods. Listen to me, O mighty-armed one, as it befell in former days. How all the Kshatriyas, cleansed by weapons should attain to regions of bliss, was the question. For this, a child was conceived by Kunti in her maidenhood, capable of provoking a general war.

Bhishma, Ashwathama, Karna, Pandavas and Krishna were portions of gods born for a divine purpose which was to slay demons born in world of men such as Duryodhana, his 99 brothers, Jarasandha and others.

Karna was born to provoke a war in which demons born on men could be in the battlefield and get slain to relieve earth from her burden.

Kunti should have known that Durvasa was a powerful sage and his boons and curses have a true meaning but there was nothing wrong in having child of Surya and Yama. Karna was born for provoking a war as ordained by gods, Pandu wanted a virtuous son so Kunti called Yama and had Yudhisthira, Pandu wanted a strong kid so she called Vayu and had Bhima, and Pandu wanted a famous and incredible warrior invincible in battle so Kunti called Indra and had Arjuna. Madri called on Asvins for beautiful kids and has Nakula and Sahadeva.

There is nothing wrong. Kunti and Madri called gods for children based on the characteristics such as virtuous, being strong, etc.

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