Cloning and Test Tube Babies in Ancient India – Legend of Kauravas

Mahabharata is full of interesting stories. There is a very interesting story related to Kauravas, the 100 sons of King Dhritarashtra and his wife Gandhari.


If we think of this just as a mere fiction, then we would just be like any other who just does things for the sake of doing it. There are many thought-provoking questions related to the story. How can someone like Gandhari give birth to 100 children on the same day? Why were they taken out of the jar at once?


This incident dates more than 7000 years back during the ancient India and is unusual for that era. The question now is: Were they familiar with concepts like cloning or test-tube babies? Perhaps, it is something that has been there right in front of us for all these years and has been neglected to say the least.

The Story

Once upon a time, during the ancient Indian era, a sage came to visit Gandhari in Hastinapur, which is currently the town in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Since people were very cultural back then and had always kept guests at high priority, she did her best to make the visit of the great sage a pleasant one. The saint was very pleased with the hospitality shown by Gandhari and thus granted her a favor. She said that she wanted to have 100 sons who would then go on to be as powerful as her husband. That saint was Vyasa, the author of Mahabharata, and he granted her the boon and after some time, Gandhari was found to be pregnant.


Time passed by. It had been two years. But she had not delivered the baby. Instead, after some time, she gave birth to a hard piece of lifeless flesh. She got disappointed that her wish was not fulfilled. It was then Rishi Vyasa arrived and took the flesh, cut it into pieces, and placed each piece in jars and filled it with some substance (some consider it to be oil, some consider it to be butter, depending on different versions of the scriptures). Upon request, the single piece was cut into 101 pieces.

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After nine months, an unspeakable happened. From the first jar, Duryodhana was born. He is the unconquerable one, or the one the most difficult to fight with. Right after that, all the other jars exploded and gave birth to 100 babies at once. So then, Gandhari had 100 sons and 1 daughter who was named Duhsala. Everyone grew up to be very strong and powerful.


B.G. Matapurkar, a surgeon at Maulana Azad Medical College in New Delhi, says, “There is no way a woman can give birth to 100 children in her lifetime, that to all mates, and of the same age.”

He is a patent holder of organ regeneration technique that he developed a decade back, and he says that he got astonished by the verse that talks about how Kauravas were created from a single embryo from Gandhari.

If that is true, then India was very familiar with the modern advanced science such as cloning and test-tube baby since very ancient times.


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