Reading Guide. In this episode, you will see how Pandu gets sons, despite having been cursed by the sage whom he killed while the sage was in the form of a deer, and also how that curse will bring about Pandu's death.
Image: The practice of a widow burning herself on her husband's funeral pyre is called sati ("suttee" in English). This practice is now illegal in India, but it was still practiced in modern times; the illustration of a sati ceremony below dates to around 1800. You can read more at Wikipedia: Suttee.
Source. Indian Myth and Legend by Donald A. Mackenzie (1913). [300 words]
Some have told that Pandu never had children of his own, and that the gods were the fathers of his wives' great sons.
Kunti was mother of Yudhishthira, son of Dharma, god of justice, and of Bhima, son of Vayu, the wind god, and also of Arjuna, son of mighty Indra, monarch of heaven.
Madri received from Kunti the charm which Durvasas had given her, and she became the mother of Nakula and Sahadeva, whose sires were the twin Ashwins, sons of Surya, the sun god.
These five princes were known as the Pandava brothers.
King Pandu was followed by his doom. One day, as it chanced, he met with Madri, his favorite wife; they wandered together in a forest, and when he clasped her in his arms, he immediately fell dead as the brahmin had foretold.
His sons, the Pandava brothers, built his funeral pyre so that his soul might pass to heaven. Both Kunti and Madri desired to be burned with him, and they debated together which of them should follow her lord to the region of the dead.
Said Kunti, "I must go hence with my lord. I was his first wife and chief rani. O Madri, yield me his body and rear our children together. O let me achieve what must be achieved."
Madri said, "Speak not so, for I should be the chosen one. I was King Pandu's favorite wife, and he died because that he loved me. O sister, if I survived thee I should not be able to rear our children as thou canst rear them. Do not refuse thy sanction to this which is dear unto my heart."
So they held dispute, nor could agree, but the brahmins, who heard them, said that Madri must be burned with King Pandu, having been his favorite wife. And so it came to pass that Madri laid herself on the pyre, and she passed in flames with her beloved lord, that bull among men.