In Buddhimanta das prabhu’s article: http://www.hareKrishna.com/sun/editorials/03-12/editorials8369.htm He is confused by apparent contradictions he points out:
“I have always understood that the two Pandava twins, Nakula and Sahadeva were conceived in the womb of Madri, wife of Maharaj Pandu, from the Ashvini-Kumara twins as a result of her using the mantra(s) given to Kunti devi from Durvasa Muni, and that King Pandu could not impregnate either of his wives due to a curse he received while hunting (see translation to Srimad Bhagavatam 9.22.27-28 given below).
However, I read this morning in Srimad Bhagavatam 1.13.3-4 what seems like a contradiction to this. In the purport, Srila Prabhupada clearly indicates that Nakula and Sahadeva were fathered by King Pandu in the womb of Madri. There is no mention of the Ashvini-Kumara twins. Could anyone please shed some light on this seemingly differing account by Srila Prabhupada on the subject of the impregnating of Madri?
Following are the references, the seemingly contradictory statements are in bold italics.
Srimad Bhagavatam 1.13.3-4 Purport:
"Maharaja Pandu later wanted to retire from family life and adopt the renounced order of life. Kunti refused to allow her husband to adopt such life, but at last Maharaja Pandu gave her permission to become a mother of sons by calling some other suitable personalities. Kunti did not accept this proposal at first, but when vivid examples were set by Pandu she agreed. Thus by dint of the mantra awarded by Durvasa Muni she called for Dharmaraja, and thus Yudhisthira was born. She called for the demigod Vayu (air), and thus Bhima was born. She called for Indra, the King of heaven, and thus Arjuna was born. The other two sons, namely Nakula and Sahadeva, were begotten by Pandu himself in the womb of Madri. Later on, Maharaja Pandu died at an early age, for which Kunti was so aggrieved that she fainted. Two co-wives, namely Kunti and Madri, decided that Kunti should live for the maintenance of the five minor children, the Pandavas, and Madri should accept the sati rituals by meeting voluntary death along with her husband. This agreement was endorsed by great sages like Satasringa and others present on the occasion."
Srimad Bhagavatam 9.2227-28, Translation:
"Pandu was restrained from sexual life because of having been cursed by a sage, and therefore his three sons Yudhisthira, Bhima and Arjuna were begotten through the womb of his wife, Kunti, by Dharmaraja, by the demigod controlling the wind, and by the demigod controlling the rain. Pandu's second wife, Madri, gave birth to Nakula and Sahadeva, who were begotten by the two Asvini-kumaras. The five brothers, headed by Yudhisthira, begot five sons through the womb of Draupadi. These five sons were your uncles."
The following is to clear up the issue:
Srimad Bhagavatam is a compilation of various accounts of history of different planets BUT the accounts in Srimad Bhagavatam CAN vary from MILLENNIUM to MILLENNIUM (basically MILLIONS of years APART) so although in one millennium the character NAMES may be the same, the historical accounts CAN be actually different. In a SINGLE Brahma’s DAY there are many many many many Sahadeva and Nakulas that come and go, so there can be a slight change of characters and history. The history account of one MILLENNIUM does NOT NECESSARILY have to tally with others EXACTLY. In the accounts that follow, one can see that there have been different accounts of Lord Buddha’s history, the Boar incarnations have been different, also the Hiranyakashipu, Ravana and Shishupala are not necessarily the same Jaya and Vijaya every single time – they CAN be different characters. So it is NOT a contradiction that the above two accounts regards Nakula and Sahadeva are different – they may be from historical different MILLENNIUMS.
Bhagavad-gita 8.17 Attaining the Supreme
ahar yad brahmano viduh
te 'ho-ratra-vido janah
By human calculation, a thousand ages taken together is the duration of Brahma's one day. And such also is the duration of his night.
The duration of the material universe is limited. It is manifested in cycles of kalpas. A kalpa is a day of Brahma, and one day of Brahma consists of a thousand cycles of four yugas or ages: Satya, Treta, Dvapara, and Kali. The cycle of Satya is characterized by virtue, wisdom and religion, there being practically no ignorance and vice, and the yuga lasts 1,728,000 years. In the Treta-yuga vice is introduced, and this yuga lasts 1,296,000 years. In the Dvapara-yuga there is an even greater decline in virtue and religion, vice increasing, and this yuga lasts 864,000 years. And finally in Kali-yuga (the yuga that we have now been experiencing over the past 5,000 years) there is an abundance of strife, ignorance, irreligion and vice, true virtue being practically nonexistent, and this yuga lasts 432,000 years. In Kali-yuga vice increases to such a point that at the termination of the yuga the Supreme Lord Himself appears as the Kalki avatara, vanquishes the demons, saves His devotees, and commences another Satya-yuga. Then the process is set rolling again. These four yugas, rotating a thousand times, comprise one day of Brahma, the creator god, and the same number comprise one night. Brahma lives one hundred of such "years" and then dies. These "hundred years" by earth calculations total to 311 trillion and 40 million earth years. By these calculations the life of Brahma seems fantastic and interminable, but from the viewpoint of eternity it is as brief as a lightning flash. In the Causal Ocean there are innumerable Brahmas rising and disappearing like bubbles in the Atlantic. Brahma and his creation are all part of the material universe, and therefore they are in constant flux.
Srimad Bhagavatam 3.14.2 Pregnancy of Diti in the Evening
As referred to previously, the boar incarnation was manifested in two millenniums--namely Svayambhuva and Chaksusa. In both millenniums there was a boar incarnation of the Lord, but in the Svayambhuva millennium He lifted the earth from within the water of the universe, whereas in the Chaksusa millennium He killed the first demon, Hiranyaksha. In the Svayambhuva millennium He assumed the color white, and in the Chaksusa millennium He assumed the color red. Vidura had already heard about one of them, and he proposed to hear about the other. The two different boar incarnations described are the one Supreme Personality of Godhead.
Srimad Bhagavatam 2.7.37 Scheduled Incarnations with Specific Functions
When the atheists, after being well versed in the Vedic scientific knowledge, annihilate inhabitants of different planets, flying unseen in the sky on well-built rockets prepared by the great scientist Maya, the Lord will bewilder their minds by dressing Himself attractively as Buddha and will preach on sub-religious principles.
This incarnation of Lord Buddha is not the same Buddha incarnation we have in the present history of mankind. According to Srila Jiva Gosvami, the Buddha incarnation mentioned in this verse appeared in a different Kali age. In the duration of life of one Manu there are more than seventy-two Kali-yugas, and in one of them the particular type of Buddha mentioned here would appear. Lord Buddha incarnates at a time when the people are most materialistic and preaches common-sense religious principles. Such ahimsa is not a religious principle itself, but it is an important quality for persons who are actually religious. It is a common-sense religion because one is advised to do no harm to any other animal or living being because such harmful actions are equally harmful to he who does the harm. But before learning these principles of nonviolence one has to learn two other principles, namely to be humble and to be prideless. Unless one is humble and prideless, one cannot be harmless and nonviolent. And after being nonviolent one has to learn tolerance and simplicity of living. One must offer respects to the great religious preachers and spiritual leaders and also train the senses for controlled action, learning to be unattached to family and home, and enacting devotional service to the Lord, etc. At the ultimate stage one has to accept the Lord and become His devotee; otherwise there is no religion. In religious principles there must be God in the center; otherwise simple moral instructions are merely sub-religious principles, generally known as upadharma, or nearness to religious principles.
Adi 5.36 The Glories of Lord Nityananda Balarama
This discussion between Maitreya Muni and Parashara Muni centered on whether devotees come down into the material world in every millennium like Jaya and Vijaya, who were cursed by the Kumaras to that effect. In the course of these instructions to Maitreya about Hiranyakashipu, Ravana and Shishupala, Parashara did not say that these demons were formerly Jaya and Vijaya. He simply described the transmigration through three lives. It is not necessary for the Vaikuntha associates of the Supreme Personality of Godhead to come to take the roles of His enemies in all the millenniums in which He appears. The "fall down" of Jaya and Vijaya occurred in a particular millennium; Jaya and Vijaya do not come down in every millennium to act as demons. To think that some associates of the Lord fall down from Vaikuntha in every millennium to become demons is totally incorrect.
Lectures, Srimad Bhagavatam, March 31, 1976, Vrindavan
That shravana, hearing also, should be accepted from devotee, from real devotee. Sri Svarupa Damodara Gosvami recommended that a brahmana... He wrote something about Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and there were so many discrepancies. So Svarupa Damodara Gosvami was not at all satisfied with such writings. He chastised the brahmana that "You cannot write." So unless one is self-realized, there is practically no use writing about Krishna. This transcendental writing does not depend on material education. It depends on the spiritual realization. You'll find, therefore, in the comments of Bhagavatam by different acharyas, even there are some discrepancies, they are accepted as asat-patha. It should remain as it is.
So Sanatana Gosvami therefore said, avaisnava-mukhodgirnam putam hari-kathamrtam, sravanam naiva kartavyam: "One who is not Vaishnava, from him one should not hear hari-kathamrtam." Hari-katha Srimad-Bhagavatam is hari-katha, and it is amrita, nectarine. But if it is recited or explained by some avaisnava, one should not hear. It is forbidden. The example is given, sarpocchistam payo yatha. So professional reciters or one who speaks and writes for living means it is strictly prohibited. Na vyakhyam upayunjitah. One should not make Bhagavata recitation as a means of livelihood. That is, the process is not accepted. So sravanam kirtanam visnoh. You should hear from Vaishnava, at least one who is trying to become Vaishnava, not professional man. Bhaktih paresanubhavo viraktir anyatra syat.
Letter: Mandali Bhadra, January 20, 1972
So far your telling me that some devotees consider that because there may be some grammatical discrepancies in my Srimad-Bhagavatam, first canto, then they may also be allowed to translate with errors accepted, that is just like imitating Raslila. When you do all other things like Krishna, they you can do Raslila. So if these other writers can do like me and spread Krishna Consciousness all over the world by becoming big Vedic scholars, then they can do. If one is too big, there is no mistake. Arsapreyaya means there may be discrepancies but it is all right. Just like Shakespeare, sometimes there are odd usages of language, but he is accepted as authority. I have explained all these things in my Preface to First Canto.
Room Conversation, February 27, 1977, Mayapur
Prabhupada: The system is: whatever authority has done, even there is mistake, it should be accepted.
Prabhupada: Asa-praya(?) That is ha... He should not become more learned than the authority. That is very bad habit