Before we get into the strange marriage ways of the Pandava Brothers, let’s first talk about how they were born when their father was cursed to die if he tried to bed a woman.
His name was King Pandu, and he was initially cursed by a guy named Sage Kindamba. You see, the King of Hastinapur had two wives; Kunti and Madri. Luckily, Kunti had attained a boon from another dude named Sage Durvasa, who then called in that boon to enable Madri to have a nice, healthy childbirth.
Due to this boon given by the godly figure, the true fatherhood of the five boys was credited to the Gods. They were named the Pandavas after their biological father.
By which I mean each of the five children, despite having the same mother, had a different godly father. Each of said children also inherited a trait from those respective fathers, which helped them all win the wars written in Hindu Mythology history, most notably noted in the epic Mahabharata.
Don’t worry, it’s not too complicated.
First out of the womb was Yudhisththira, who was the son of Lord Yama, god of death. He strongly believed that order and customs were the right way to live life. He’s also known for not having told a lie. For this reason, he’s known for his sense of duty. It should be worth noting that not lying does not equal being smart. He got tricked into gambling away his wife, Draupadi. AND LOST HER.
The second Pandava brother is named Bhima, who was the son of Lord Vayu. Since Lord Vayu was the God of the Wind, Bhima also inherited quite a bit of the brute force and bravery his dear old papa gave him. He was the strongest of all his brothers as well. The guy also enjoyed cooking.
So remember when his older brother Yudhishthira lost not only his wife, but the three other brother’s wives as well? Due to what said wife went through during that time, Bhima swore an oath to kill a hundred Kauravas, who were related to the people that held his wife hostage. The difference between these two is evident, isn’t it?
The middle child is Arjuna. Those memes where the middle child is always forgotten? They don’t apply here. If anything, Arjuna was the favorite. Not only was his godly father Lord Indra, King of the Gods, he was also the best at war. And since war is a reoccuring theme in Hindu history, this made him famous. He was the most skilled warrior in all of history.
Arjuna’s epic skill isn’t the only thing that helped him win the war, though. He had Lord Krishna, god of protection, compassion, and love, as his advisor and charioteer. Because of some things he did during a time when he and his brothers were exiled, forced to live incognito, he also received some extremely powerful godly weapons from Lord Shiva, known as the Supreme Lord in the Universe.
Interpret that as you will.
Lastly, we have Nakula and Sahadeva. The youngest of the Pandavas, also a pair of twins. Nakula was known for his expertise in the health field, and his skill for communication with animals. He also studied science, as the healer of all his brothers. Sahadeva, despite being the youngest Pandava, was known for his wisdom. In his free time, he enjoyed fighting, taming wild bulls, and being a cowherd. He was quite possibly the greatest cowherd to exist, the Arjuna in cattle. Did your cattle have a disease? Won’t produce milk? Unsure why your cow isn’t granting wishes like Kamadhenu, the urban legend? No worries, Sadaheva’s got you covered.
Draupadi was either a very lucky woman or unlucky woman, being married to all five of these brothers. She kind of asked for it from Lord Shiva. Her request was that her husband would have the qualities of being noble, strong, wise, handsome, and being a good shot. Apparently, back in the Ancient Days, no man possessed all five traits, so Shiva decided Well, it’s your lucky day! You get five husbands who possess each of the five qualities!
Long story short, each of the brothers rotates… being with Draupadi. So Yudhishthira would live with Draupadi for a year, then Bhima, then so on.
Surprise, her favorite husband was actually Arjuna, mightiest warrior of them all.
This eventually becomes the death of her, when the five Pandavas and Draupadi decide to leave the Earth and let another conquer it.
They climbed Mount Kailash, the road to Heaven.
Everyone slipped off the mountain at some point except for Yudhisthira, the reason being that the four other brothers had fallen off due to a vice of pride, vanity, or something along those lines. Draupadi slipped off because of her partialness, also known as not loving all her husbands equally. Yudhishthira didn’t even realize everyone else had already died, sent to hell, before he reached the top of Mount Kailash with a dog disguised as Lord Yama, god of death and justice.
And heaven was filled with Yudhishthira’s worst enemies.
The best part is, it was just another illusion to test Yudhishthira, given by the gods. Imagine trying to find liberation, to renounce the world, only to find that the gods won’t even let you.
That’s the definition of having the gods against you.