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For other uses, see Kunti (disambiguation).
Raja Pandu and Matakunti LACMA M.69.13.6.jpg
Kunti along with her husband Pandu
Spouse(s) Pandu
Children Karna, Yudhisthira, Bhima, Arjuna
Shurasena (biological father)
Kunti-Bhoja (adoptive father)

In Hindu mythology, Kunti (Sanskrit: कुंती Kuntī) also called Pritha, was the biological daughter of Shurasena, a Yadava,[1] the sister of Vasudeva, the foster daughter of her cousin King Kunti-Bhoja,[2] the wife of King Pandu[3] of Hastinapur and the mother of King Karna of Anga and King Yudhisthira of Indraprastha.[4]

Before Kunti married Pandu,[5] she bore Karna to Surya, the solar deity. She later married Pandu and bore Yudhisthira,[6] Bhima[7] and Arjuna.

Her story is told within the Bhagavata Purana, wherein she speaks on the philosophy of devotion to her nephew Krishna,[8] known as Bhakti yoga.

After the death of her husband, Kunti did not commit sati, but his other wife Madri did. Kunti took care of Nakula and Sahadeva, the sons of Madri and loved them more than her own sons.

Kunti also went into hiding with her sons after Duryodhana tried to kill them all by burning them in Lakshagrih. Kunti prevented Bhima from killing the demoness Hidimba and advises him to marry her and beget Ghatotkacha. She instructed her children to take care of the common people and ordered Bhima to kill the demon Bakasura.

During the time of Pandavas exile for 13 years, Kunti stayed in the house of Vidura in Hastinapur.

Kunti perished in a forest fire in the Himalayas with her half-brother-in-law King Dhritarashtra and his wife Gandhari and attained heaven.[9][10]

After the battle of Kurukshetra, Yudhisthira performed the funeral rites for all loved ones. Then Kunti revealed a secret that Karna (Radheya) was her son. Yudhishthira got deeply hurt that Kunti did not reveal to him earlier that Karna was his brother. The depressed prince, in turn, cursed that no woman, henceforth, would be able to keep any secrets.


  1. ^ Studies of Mahabharata
  2. ^ KUNTI (also called Pritha and Parshni)
  3. ^ A classical dictionary of Hindu mythology and religion, geography, history, and literature by Dowson, John (1820-1881)
  4. ^ Mahabharata
  5. ^ Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Purāṇas by Swami Parmeshwaranand
  6. ^ A story showing the greatness of Kunti
  7. ^ Kapoor, edited by Subodh (2002). The Indian encyclopaedia: biographical, historical, religious, administrative, ethnological, commercial and scientific (1st ed. ed.). New Delhi: Cosmo Publications. Page 7535.
  8. ^ Krishna, the ultimate idol: [a provocative analysis of Krishna's life and mission] by Girīśa Pa Jākhoṭiyā
  9. ^ "Kunti" (pdf). Manushi India Organization. Retrieved 10 January 2013. 
  10. ^ Mani pp.442-3

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