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Actually, the kingdom belonged to Bhisma, but he remained a brahmacari, he did not marry. There was no issue of Bhismadeva. Therefore his nephews, Dhrtarastra and Pandu, they were inheritor

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Expressions researched:
"Actually, the kingdom belonged to Bhisma, but he remained a brahmacari, he did not marry. There was no issue of Bhismadeva. Therefore his nephews, Dhrtarastra and Pandu, they were inheritor"

Lectures

Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures

Bhīṣma was elder brother of Dhṛtarāṣṭra's father. He was so old. But he was... Actually, the kingdom belonged to Bhīṣma, but he remained a brahmacārī, he did not marry. There was no issue of Bhīṣmadeva. Therefore his nephews, Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Pāṇḍu, they were inheritor.
Lecture on BG 1.1 -- London, July 7, 1973:

Pradyumna (leads chanting, etc.):

dhṛtarāṣṭra uvāca
dharma-kṣetre kuru-kṣetre
samavetā yuyutsavaḥ
māmakāḥ pāṇḍavāś caiva
kim akurvata sañjaya
(BG 1.1)

Prabhupāda: (during chanting of śloka) Now, in your leisure hour you will try to repeat and get by heart some of the ślokas. That will be very nice. Go on.

Pradyumna: (after synonyms) "Translation: Dhṛtarāṣṭra said: O Sañjaya, after assembling in the place of pilgrimage at Kurukṣetra, what did my sons and the sons of Pāṇḍu do, being desirous to fight?"

Prabhupāda: So the history is that same family, there was dispute who would occupy the throne. Dhṛtarāṣṭra and, actually he was the eldest son of the king, and next was Pāṇḍu. So every country the law of primogeniture, what is called? The eldest child... In your country even the eldest child is a girl, she also occupies the throne. Just like present Queen Elizabeth. Formerly there was Queen Victoria; before that, another Elizabeth. But in India woman has no such right. Woman is never given any responsible post. That is the opinion of the greatest politician in the history of the world, Cāṇakya Paṇḍita. According to his opinion, viśvāso naiva kartavyaḥ strīṣu rāja-kuleṣu ca. He has given his explicit opinion that "You cannot trust with any responsible post or any responsibility with a woman and politician." Those who are diplomat, politician, you cannot trust them.

So the general regulation is that woman should remain under the protection of husband, er, father, husband and children. Just like these Pāṇḍus, their mother, Kuntī, she was very, very qualified lady. But still, after the death of her husband, she always remained with the sons. The sons are going to the forest; the mother is also going. Also the wife is also going, Draupadī. This was the... So two parties... Dhṛtarāṣṭra was the eldest son, but he was blind, bodily defect. Therefore he was not awarded the throne. His next brother, Pāṇḍu, he was offered the throne, but he died very early age, a young man. When these Pāṇḍus, the five sons, Yudhiṣṭhira Mahārāja, at at that time not Mahārāja, Yudhiṣṭhira, Bhīma, Arjuna, Nakula, Sahadeva, they were very small children, so they were taken care of by Dhṛtarāṣṭra and other elderly family... Bhīṣmadeva. He was the grandfather of the Pāṇḍavas. He was the elder uncle of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. Bhīṣma was elder brother of Dhṛtarāṣṭra's father. He was so old. But he was... Actually, the kingdom belonged to Bhīṣma, but he remained a brahmacārī, he did not marry. There was no issue of Bhīṣmadeva. Therefore his nephews, Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Pāṇḍu, they were inheritor.

Now, after the death of Pāṇḍu, there was conspiracy. Dhṛtarāṣṭra wanted that "Actually, this is my kingdom. Now, somehow or other, I could not get it. Now my brother is dead. So if I do not inherit, why not my sons.?" This was the politics. Politics are always there, and enviousness, jealousy. This is the nature of this material world. You cannot avoid it. Spiritual world means just the opposite. There is no politics. There is no jealousy. There is no enviousness. That is spiritual world. And material world means politics, jealousy, diplomacy, enviousness, so many things. This is material world. So even in the heavenly planets, these things are there, politics. Even in animal kingdom, these politics are there. This is the nature. Matsaratā. Matsaratā means enviousness. One man is envious of another man. It doesn't matter, even they are brothers or family members. Here the family members, Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Pāṇḍu, two brothers, their sons, they were family members, but the enviousness...

So the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is not for the persons who are envious. Envious. It is a movement to train people how to become not envious. It is very first-class scientific movement, yes. Not to become envious. Therefore Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam in the beginning introduces, dharmaḥ projjhita-kaitavo atra (SB 1.1.2). In this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, dharma, religious principles, cheating type of religious principle is completely eradicated, thrown away, projjhita. They are kicked out, projjhita. Just like you collect all the dirty things from the room, sweeping and then kick out, don't keep it within the room. Similarly, cheating type of religious system—kicked out. It is not such religion, "this religion," "that religion." Any religion system, if there is jealousy, that is not religion. Jealousy means... We should understand jealousy, what is jealousy. Jealousy means that you are rightful owner of something; I won't allow you to take it. This is jealousy. This is jealousy. Jealousy, try to understand. Suppose you are rightful owner of something, and I am trying that "You don't own it. I shall own it. Or somebody own it. I shall not allow it." This is jealousy.

So what is the rightful ownership of the living entity? That is to be understood. Birthright, what is called birthright. Just like everyone has got right to live under the protection of the government, everyone. That is good government. Government should give security of life and property. That is government. Not only for the human being, but even for the ant. This is government. Not that I give protection to my brother, and not to others. That is not... Just like Parīkṣit Mahārāja, he was giving protection to the animals also. When he was on his tour, as soon as he saw that a black man was trying to kill one cow, oh, immediately he took his sword, "Who are you? You are trying to kill?"

So this is good government. Unless the government is equal to everyone... Just like God is equal to everyone. The king or the government must be representative of God. Therefore, according to Vedic civilization, king is offered as good respect as to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. King is called nara-deva, nara-deva. That means "God in human form." King is given... Why? Because he acts as the representative of God. He cannot be jealous to any living entity, at least, born in his kingdom. That is called praja. Praja means one who has taken birth, or, in other words, national, national. So that was the duty.