During the times when Bhishma ruled the kingdom of Hastinapur as the regent, the kingdom was made up of Kurujangala and Kurukshetra.
After the birth of the three children, the kingdom of Hastinapur knew some genuine peace.
The crops grew well and trade flourished. Nature was extremely magnanimous towards the kingdom and everything was perfect. The kingdom prospered to almost unprecedented heights. It was said that during this time, the kingdom was so rich and prosperous that there were no robbers anywhere in the kingdom.
It was in these happy circumstances that Dhirdarashtra, Pandu and Vidura grew under the guidance of Bhishma.
Losing his two brothers – Chitrangada and Vichitraviryan, had made Bhishma love the children even more and he brought them up like his own sons. Bhishma taught them everything, right from the Vedas to the use of weapons.
It is said that Pandu excelled in archery like no other person. As predicted by his father, Dhirdarashtra was phenomenally strong.
The quiet Vidura possessing neither the brute strength of Dhirdarashtra, nor the prowess in weapons like Pandu, immersed himself in the studies of Vedas and the Puranas. Vidura became the wisest among people, even at a young age.
As the princes came of age, Bhishma and Satyavathi had a discussion.
'Mother! There is a matter regarding the kingdom! I want your advice on it!' Bhishma said frowning.
The aging Satyavathi nodded her head as Bhishma started. 'I have been ruling this kingdom for the past few years! I have been doing so as the regent of Hastinapur! Because Pandu and Dhirdarashtra were young minors! However now the time has come for me to shed this responsibility! Both the princes have come to age!' Bhishma smiled tightly as he looked at Satyavathi. 'In fact, that is what I wanted your advice about...'
Satyavathi frowned as Bhishma continued. He was never a man who minced words. And with Satyavathi, he knew that he could speak his mind freely. She would understand..
Bhishma took a deep breath as he continued. 'Dhirdarashtra was born a day before Pandu! That makes him the elder prince. Customs demands that he be given the throne! But.....' Bhishma hesitated for a second and then continued. 'I do not think that is a good idea! Though I was the one who trained Dhiradarashtra and I know that he is a very good warrior and a good student of the Vedas, I do not think he should be the king!'
'Because of his blindness?' Satyavathi asked as a quiet wind blew into the room.
Bhishma smiled sadly nodding his head. 'We cannot have a blind man as the king! One of the many duties of a king is to lead his armies to battle at the time of war! Unfortunately, Dhirdarashtra may not be able to carry out that duty!'
Satyavathi thought for a long time. Finally she nodded her head. 'Considering that Dhirdarashtra is blind and Vidura is not from the royal line, I suggest that Pandu, though he is second born...he be crowned as the king of Hastinapur!'
Bhishma smiled as he looked at Satyavathi.
So that was another decisive moment in the Mahabharatha story. The throne which belonged rightfully to Bhishma was taken from him. And bound by his vow, Bhishma, ignoring custom, decided to hand over the throne to the pale Pandu, though he was not the eldest of the family. All because Dhiradarashtra was born blind...
The coronation took place is great pomp and the people were happy - for now the kingdom had a real king. Pandu also relied heavily on Bhishma for ruling the kingdom.
It is said that Pandu was an excellent military general and during his times he fought plenty of successful battles and increased the borders of the Hastinapur to great lengths. Bhishma continued to rule the kingdom and peace and prosperity flourished in the vast kingdom.....