Apr 02, 2012 CALIFORNIA, USA (SUN) In reply to Buddhimanta das' article "Who Begotten?", he brings up a good point about King Pandu and the Asvini Kumaras. We have to find out who the father is and who the seed giver is.
As one looks in the Mahabharata, the encyclopedia of Vaishnava history and the history of ancient Bharata, the history of King Pandu is revealed. In Adi Parva (Ganguli version) starting with Section 118, the story of King Pandu unfolds. While hunting he killed a rishi in the guise of a deer, who was enjoying with his wife. After the curse was put upon him by the rishi, he had gone to the woods with his two wives, Kunti and Madri. At this stage of events he had no offspring. Section 122 explains how Kunti was told by Pandu to raise offspring at his command which is not inconsistent with virtue. Through some brahmana of high ascetic merit, Pandu could go to heaven by having a son.
Kunti narrates how another queen whose husband had died young and both were sonless at the time was able to achieve having children. Kunti then reveals to Pandu how she obtained mantras in her youth to call any demigod to do her bidding whether the demigod liked it or not. Then at Pandu's bidding, Kunti called the celestials and she gave birth to the three Pandavas: Yudhisthira, Bhima, and Arjuna. After their birth, they were addressed as the children of Pandu.
In section 124, Pandu then asked Kunti to give the mantra to call any demigod to Madri so she could have children. Madri called the Asvini Kumaras, who begot upon her Nakula and Sahadeva. Nakula was born first then Sahadeva. And all the Pandavas were born at an interval of one year after one another and in a period of five years (five sons in five years).
Then it states in section 124, "And King Pandu, beholding his children" and "Thus, oh king, were born unto Pandu five sons who were begotten by celestials." Section 125 states "Beholding his five handsome sons growing up before him in that great forest on the charming mountain slope, Pandu felt the last might of his arms revive once more."
One can understand from the above narrations that even though other personalities had made Kunti and Madri pregnant, all the sons were still called the sons of Pandu. This was part of the ancient custom for kings to continue their line, through others and through different means, if they could not impregnate.
Also another point is that in the Garbhadhana samskara, both husband and wife are meditating to bring forth good children, because it is not just the wife who is calling a jiva to come forth. The Garbhadhana samskara is not just about putting semen within a womb. Conscious meditation is also involved. And Pandu, requesting a personality to come forth higher than himself, of high ascetic merit and consciousness, shows just that. So in this way, Pandu was also involved with the pregnancy of the queens and also by his command, which was stated to be according to virtue of old.
Since King Pandu was responsible for planting the mental seed by meditating on inviting high souls into the wombs of his wives and by giving his royal command to Kunti and Madri to have children, he was also the father.