This story is from the epic Mahābhārata. The Mahābhārata is a legendary narrative of the Kurukṣetra War and describes the heroic lives of the Kaurava and the Pāṇḍava princes. It also contains immense philosophical and devotional wisdom. Biggest treasure in Mahābhārata is Bhagawad Gitā, which is a dialog between Lord Shri Krishna and Arjuna on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Gitā is a 700 shloka (verse) scripture in which Lord Sri Krishna teaches about selfless action, dharma, bhakti (devotion) and ways of achieving moksha (liberation from the cycle of birth and death).
Pāṇḍavas were born around 3,200 BCE. They were the five sons of King Pāṇḍu, hence they were known as the Pāṇḍavas. One day while hunting in the forest, Pāṇḍu shot arrows and killed two deer embracing each other. Those deer were actually a sage and his wife who had transformed their body. They cursed Pāṇḍu that he will die if he ever embraces a woman. Hence, he could never have a child.
Fortunately, Kunti, the older wife of Pāṇḍu, received a boon from Sage Durvasa. The boon was that by chanting a specific mantra, she could invoke any God and immediately give birth to a child. Pāṇḍu asked her to invoke the mantra. Kunti did so 3 times and as a result conceived three sons. She first invoked Yama, God of Dharma and conceived Yudhishthir as a result. Yudhishthir was known as Dharma-rāj. He was the most righteous and truthful person alive. Then Kunti invoked Vāyu, God of wind and gave birth to Bhimasena. Bhimasena or Bhima for short was thus known as Vāyu-putra (son of wind). He was mighty powerful like the wind. Lastly Kunti invoked Indra, the King of Gods and conceived Arjuna. Thus, Pāṇḍu and Kunti had three sons: Yudhishthir, Bhima and Arjuna. Pāṇḍu also had another wife, Madri. Madri also used Kunti’s mantra and conceived two sons of her own – Nakul and Sahadev. They were twins and were the sons of the Gods Ashwini Kumars, the Divine Physicians. This is how the five Pāṇḍavas came into being.
Birth of Pāṇḍavas in English: