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"After praying to Naaraayana, Nara, Sarasvathi and Vyaasa, then one should read the Jayam."



( The last s in all the three names indicates plural number. The N in the first two names is pronounced like 'n' in 'down'. The TH in the second name is pronounced like 'th'in 'with', The Y in the second name is a consonant and is pronounced like 'y' in 'you'. The TH in the third name is pronounced like 'th'in 'thumb'.)

Yudhishthira , Bheema , Arjuna , Nakula and Sahadeva were called Paandavas . Nakula and Sahadeva were twins .

These five princes bore secret code names during their exile as Jaya, Jayantha, Vijaya,Jayathsena and Jayadbala .

Sometimes, especially in war references, the word paandavas means the entire side of the paandavas army too. (This document uses the words kouravas and Paandavas in the sense of adjective too, like the Kouravas army and Paandavas army.)

Paandavas means the sons of Paandu . King Paandu had two wives, Kunthi and Maadri. Kunthi gave birth to three sons,Yudhishthira from god Yama,Bheema from god Vaayu and Arjuna from god Indra. Maadri gave birth to twin sons Nakula and Sahadeva from the gods Asvinis. All the five were collectively called the Paandavas. Though their mothers were different, all were brought up by Kunthi since Maadri died with her dead husband through performing Sahagamanam. Kunthi was impartial to all of them. That made them all known as Kountheyas ( = sons of Kunthi) too. Also, they were also referred to as "Paarthas', meaning 'sons of Pritha'. Pritha is original name of Kunthi. Their common queen was Droupadi. Each of the five Paandavas had one son each from her,viz.Prathivindhya, Shruthasoma, Shruthakeerthi,Shathaaneeka and Shruthasena .These five were called Upapaandavas (=junior paandavas). These five were attacked while in sleep by Asvaththaama in the night of the eighteenth day, after the war was practically over and were killed along with the rest of the camp.

Besides these five sons from Droupadi, the paandavas have other sons from their other wives(not common as Droupadi). They were: Yudhishthira's son Youdheya from Devika; Bheema,s son Ghatothkacha from Hidimba, Bheema's son Sarvaga from Jalandhara; Arjuna's son Abhimanyu from Subhadra,Arjuna's son Babhruvaahana from Chithraangada,Arjuna's son Iraavaan from Uloochi (or Uloopi);Nakula's son Niramithra from Karenumathi; Sahadeva's son Suhothra from Vijaya. No details about them were given in the book.

Yudhishthira was known for his wisdom and patience. He was a clever startegist too. His disreputable interest in the game of dice and commitment to principles of life created them all sorts of problems. All his brothers were very obedient to him. He loved his own brothers and half-brothers alike.

The second one, Bheema was known for his physical strength and courage. His strength and valour saved his side more than often.

The third of them, Arjuna, was regarded as the best archer of those days. His achivements were super-human. He was the principal fighter in the war.

The twins, Nakula and Sahadeva were not that prominent as their half-brothers but Nakula was the most handsome and Sahadeva was considered the wisest.

After the death of their father in the forests, the Paandavas reached their home town Hasthipura and lived under the care of their uncle Dhritharaashtra , alongwith his sons , the Kouravas.

Their cousins Kouravas developed jealousy over them and tried to devitalise them by killing Bheema , the strongest of them . After their attempts foiled , they won over their father's mind to send the Paandavas away to another city Vaaranaavatha . There, the Paandavas escaped an attempt on them and reached Paanchaalam where they all married Droupadi . This marriage made them stronger by relation with the king Drupada .

Dhritharaashtra called them back and gave them half the kingdom which they ruled from the city of Indraprastham . After a rule of 23 years, the Paandavas lost their kingdom to the Kouravas in a dice game and went on an exile to live for twelve years in the forests and one year in a town anonymously and unidentified . They spent their thirteenth year in the city of Viraata , bearing pseudo names Jaya, Jayantha, Vijaya , Jayathsena and Jayadbala respectively . Returning from a successful exile , they demanded their kingdom back but the Kouravas did not agree. A war followed and almost both the sides perished to the roots . Krishna was the king pin in their victory .

The Paandavas ruled for 36 years after the war. Learning that their dearest associate Krishna had passed away , they renounced the world and all together , alongwith Droupadi, went on to the Himaalayas,strangely followed by a dog. Starting with Droupadi, all except the dog and Yudhishthira fell dying midway. Yudhishthira then learnt from the Gods that the dog was the God Yama himself and followed him to the heaven.

The fraternity exhibited by the Paandavas was exemplary. They respected and loved one another, all bound by the eldest one's orders. Their decent conduct and obedience to elders won the hearts of public as against their counterparts, the Kouravas. Present day family relations can greatly be improved if the society can adopt the way they loved each other through pleasures and plights.

"After praying to Naaraayana, Nara, Sarasvathi and Vyaasa, then one should read the Jayam."