In the epic Mahābhārata, Kindama was a rishi who lived in the woods, and could transform himself into an animal form. His curse on Pandu was a major factor in the epic's plot.

Kindama cursed Pandu and thus changed the development of the events in the epic Mahābhārata. Kindama, while making love with his female companion being transformed into form of the deer, became a Pandu's shooting target when Pandu was roaming about in the woods. As a consequence of this, the mating deer couple was seriously hurt and they transformed themselves back to human form. The male part, Kindama, said that only a man devoid of intelligence could kill animals copulating in nature. Kindama, before he died, cursed Pandu stating that if he ever wished to enjoy pleasures of sexual association with a woman, it would be a pathway to his death right away.

After the Kindama's curse, Pandu renounced everything and became a hermit. King of Hastinapura became Dhritarashtra. Once, after a longer time, Pandu was so enthralled by his second wife's womanly manners that he could not defend himself against them. As soon as he touched Madri, he died.

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