By Swami Harshananda
Nakula and Sahadeva were the twins both to queen Mādrī by the grace of the twin deities, the Aśvins. Nakula, considered as the fourth of the Pāṇḍava brothers was extremely handsome. He was an expert in the art of training and management of horses. Reṇumati was his wife and Niramitra his son from her. Śatānīka was his son born to Draupadi, the common wife of the five Pāṇḍavas.
Before Yudhiṣṭhira began the Rājastīya sacrifice, Nakula was the first to start on the victory mission to collect enough wealth for the same. During the ajñātavāsa at Virāṭanagarī he had assumed the name Dāmagranthi and was taking care of the royal horses and the stable. In the Kurukṣetra war, he defeated Śakuni on the 14th day and Duryodhana on the 15th day. But then he was defeated by Karṇa, the next day. During the mahāprasthāna he was the third to fall dead, the reason, according to Yudhiṣṭhira, being his pride about his handsome appearance.
- Mādrī was the second wife of Pāṇḍu.
- Ajñātavāsa means living incognito for one year.
- Virāṭanagarī was the capital of the king Virāṭa.
- Mahāprasthāna means the final journey to heaven.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore