Elder son of Vichitravirya and Ambika, born blind, father of Duryodhana. In the Mahabharata, Dhritarashtra (Sanskrit: dhṛtarāshtra) is the King of Hastinapur at the time of the Kurukshetra War, the epic's climactic event. He was born the son of Vichitravirya's first wife Ambika, and was fathered by Ved Vyas. He was blind from birth, and became father to a hundred and one sons (and one daughter) by his wife Gandhari (Gāndhārī). These children, including the eldest son Duryodhana, came to be known as the Kauravas. Dhritarashtra was half-brother of Pandu and Vidura, and was uncle to the five Pandavas, with whom his sons fought the Kurukshetra War. Throughout his reign as King of Hastinapur, Dhritarashtra was torn between the principles of dharma and his love for his son Duryodhana, and often ended up endorsing his son's actions merely out of fatherly love. Thus Dhritarashtra essentially presided over the fall of Hastinapur's kingdom. All of his sons perished in the war, with the exception of Yuyutsu, his son with Gandhari's lady-in-waiting Sughada, who fought on the Pandava side. Dhritarashtra appears in Mahābhārata sections that have been circulated as separate scriptures, most notably the Bhagavad Gita, whose dialogue was narrated to him.
Versions of the story generally portray Dhritarashtra across a spectrum. On one end he is being a good king whose only flaw is his blind love for his son, while the other end him being a cruel and adharmic king who, while saying that he only supports Duryodhana because he is too weak to reject him, actually desires for his line to have power at the expense of the Pandavas. Dhritarashtra is also portrayed as a hypocrite who says that he wants his nephews to win, but at heart, wants his children to win.