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Vidura is born

The Queen Mother still had doubts lingering in her mind. What if some harm befell both the grandsons? She thought that one more son eligible for succession would be playing it safe. She asked for Vyasa’s help for a third time. Ambika was chosen for the purpose.
After her earlier experience with Vyasa, Ambika was keen to avoid another similar encounter. She called her maid attendant and instructed her to wait for Vyasa in the bedchamber.
When Vyasa entered Ambica’s bedchamber, the maid received him with great reverence. She was about to leave when Vyasa stopped her.
Vyasa told the maid, “I am pleased with your behaviour. I would therefore bless you with a child who would one day become the wisest man in the kingdom.”
As a result of Vyasa’s liaison with the maid, Vidhura was born.
The story of Mandavya
An interesting story surrounds Vidura’s antecedent. There was a sage by the name of Mandavya. He was in deep meditation in the forest one day when soldiers of a nearby kingdom intruded into his hermitage and asked if he had seen some thieves who were running away with loot. His eyes closed, the sage made no reply. When the soldiers searched the woods nearby, they were able to catch the thieves red handed with the loot. They suspected that the sage had given the thieves asylum in his hermitage and was therefore their accomplice. Arresting him along with the thieves, they handed him over to the king. In the inquiry, Mandavya was not given an opportunity to defend himself. The rash king gave the unfortunate sage the same punishment that he gave the thieves. He was impaled.
While the other thieves died when they were impaled, Mandavya languished, all the time performing penance. A few Rishis came to know about the sufferings of Mandavya. They approached him and asked what offence he had committed to be so condemned. The sage was unable to recollect having done anything to deserve this punishment. The king soon came to know that even after several days in the stake the sage had not died. He realized that the sage had mystic powers and he had erred in his dispensation of justice. Rushing to Mandavya, the king begged forgiveness. Mandavya generously forgave him.
After his term of life in the world was over, Mandavya was rewarded with heaven. There he encountered the God of Justice (Dharma) from whom he demanded to know what sin he had committed to be punished on earth with impalement. Dharma said that as a boy, the sage once tortured a fly by piercing it with a wire. As a consequence, he also had to be similarly punished.
Mandavya pointed out to Dharma that, according to the scriptures, no punishment was to be given if a child of less than twelve years committed a sin. Hence, Dharma had erred and he should pay for it. The sage condemned Dharma to be born on earth to a woman of the working class (Sudra). As a result Dharma came to be born as Vidura.
When Vidura grew up, he mastered law and justice and his fame spread far and wide. He became the conscience keeper of the Kauravas and a storehouse of virtue.


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