Alternately spelled as Dhritarashtra.

In the Mahabharata, Dhritarastra is the son of King Vicitravirya, ruler of Kurujangala.

But really, he is the son of Vicitravirya's wife Ambika and the sage Vyasa, the King's half-brother. When Ambika had sex with Vyasa, she closed her eyes. Thus her son was born blind.

Since Dhritarastra was blind, his half-brother Pandu inherited the kingdom. After Pandu abdicated and went to live in the forest as an ascetic, the kingdom passed to Dhritarashtra.<\p>

With his wife Gandhari he had one hundred sons, including Duryodhana and Dushasana, and one daughter. He also had a son named Yuyutsu, by a maidservant.

Dhritarastra seems to want to be fair to his nephews the Pandavas. But he is frequently overriden or persuaded by his advisers and sons. His irresolution does not help the situation as the jealousy and ambitionof his sons lead inevitably to war.