Pandu: Should how we look affect our self-esteem?
Updated: Jul 31, 2022
How important are our looks to our self-esteem?
Is external beauty more important than internal beauty of our soul?
Do you feel discriminated against due to your looks?
Do you feel more lonely and threatened due to your looks?
do you consider yourself better looking than others?
Are you willing to admit your lack of empathy for those not as fortunate as you?
Do you consider yourself a below average looker? Does it really matter how you look?
The Mahabharata Context:
King Pandu is the father of the five Pandavas and the son of King Vichitravirya. His birth was through surrogate fatherhood (Niyoga) born to his mother and as the son of sage Vyasa. During the conception his mother was so scared to see sage Vyasa that she turned pale and shrivelled in the presence of the sage. The result was that King Pandu was born with dull, lifeless yellow skin which made him unattractive. Pandu was strong, brave and a highly skilled warrior trained by the invincible Bhishma himself. Pandu conquered and annexed many neighbouring kingdoms growing the empire. He was was married to two beautiful princesses, Kunti and Madri from a neighbouring kingdom. However the pale Pandu probably struggled to attract amorous attention from these two queens. He was resentful and killed two mating deers in the forest by deliberately shooting arrows at them. One of the deer was Sage Kindama who was shocked at this cruel act. When unrepentant Pandu defiantly justified his right as a hunter to hunt any animal of his choice Kindama cursed him that if he ever approached his wives with any intentions of making love to them he would instantly die. In the Mahabharata, King Pandu died in the forest after approaching his queen Madri. This then leaves Queen Kunti as the single mother to her five children, the Pandavas.
Our null hypothesis of the King Pandu persona
The king Pandu represents our lack of self-esteem due to poor body image. We all struggle with our self-created image of physical perfection that we don't match up to. Curly hair, straight hair, long hair, blue eyes, brown eyes, hazel eyes, thin waist, six pack abs, shapely eyebrows, good teeth, long legs, nice lips, cute smile, being tall, being white, getting a tan, etc. etc. I sometimes wish I looked like Tom Cruise but lord knows he himself has Brad Pitt envy. We are surrounded by advertising and promotions of what we need to look like. We exercise, diet, groom and yet beat ourselves up since we never measure up to our own standards. This is of course mere mortals like us.
The few of us who are anointed as "most beautiful" or somehow told we are physically perfect have a fair share of mental issues to deal with when age catches up. But even before they age, these perfect specimens struggle with eating disorders, depression and other worries to maintain their perfect image and to retain the adulation of their many fans.
Lesson learned: We are all beautiful and built in the divine image of how the Lord wanted us to be. What makes each of us beautiful is uniquely is our smile, the best window into our soul. Let us focus on saying thank you for this chance at life rather than bemoan the lack of a Jason Momoa look.