Kunti: Is personal shame more important than our own children's welfare?

Updated: Jul 31

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Blog #1:

  • Is personal pride and modesty more important than doing the right thing?

  • Do we put our interests ahead of our children's interests?

  • What is the right balance between loving ourselves and loving our children?

  • Should we sacrifice our children's welfare and future in order to protect our own?

  • How do we differentiate between self-preservation and love for our kids?


Mahabharata Context: The Pandava matriarch, Kunti floated her illegitimate divine son, Prince Karna down the Yamuna river rather than be seen as an unmarried princess with a child born out of wedlock, even though he was the progeny of the sun god, Surya. This action by the young princess creates a vicious karmic cycle that led to a devastating war with her son Karna as one of the top leaders in opposition to her other sons, the Pandavas.


Kunti's greatness lies in her unselfish behavior and love for her step-sister, Queen Gandhari. Kunti saw the death of her queen sister Gandhari's children as that of her own children. Kunti saw no joy in the victory of her biological children over Gandhari's children. Kunti eventually forsakes the role of the victorious Royal Matriarch to join her sister Gandhari in the final journey into the forest. She did this in order to make a point that no one won in this terrible war. The human tragedy and cost had been simply too high in her eyes and this pyrrhic victory was too much for her to claim as her own.


Our Null Hypothesis of the Kunti Persona


Kunti personifies a quiet dignity and objective love. She was devoted and faithful to her stepchildren and treated them as her own. She stood by the imperfections of her kingdom only up to a point and joined her children into the forests during their exile. While she has many other virtues, we suggest that her character's main flaw is that she chose her own dignity and status over that of her child, Karna.


The root cause for this behavior was her one imperfection- Lack of faith.She had great devotion and faith in God but lacked 100% faith in the divine gifts that were bestowed to her. Sadly, she tested the divine gift of progeny from Sage Durvasa that she could chant a mantra and have a child with any god of her choice. This is not to baselessly criticize Kunti but to acknowledge this critical behavior as perhaps the main attribute that leads to her teary, unhappy life.


Lesson learned:

  • Are we constantly dissatisfied with our gifts in life?

  • Do we often question the value of these gifts or demonstrate skepticism about the intrinsic value of the gifts?

  • Can we be happy with the trust that we will be taken care of by the cosmic powers above us ?We should acknowledge that that no one of us is perfect.

  • Even the smallest imperfections in us can lead to actions of much larger consequence that are flawed; We then risk acting out in ways that can hurt the society around us

  • What % of Kunti do you have in you?


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