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Raajaa Shantanu was born in Bharat's lineage >> Dileep and Dileep's son was Prateep and Prateep had three sons - Devaapi, Shaantanu and Bahleek. He was called Shaantanu because whoever touched him he became young and besides he radiated immense peace also. His elder brother Devaapi did not accept the kingdom so Shaantanu became the King of Hastinaapur. In fact Devaapi went to do Tapasyaa and he is still doing Tapasyaa in Kalaap Graam. When Chandra Vansh will end in the end of Kali Yug, he will come to spread Dharm in Sat Yug.

Once Shaantanu did not have rains in his kingdom for 12 years. Rishi told him that because he had accepted kingdom before his elder brother that is why he was not getting rains. So he should return this kingdom to him as soon as possible. Shaantanu went to return his kingdom to his brother, but his minister had already sent his man to mislead Devaapi from Ved Maarg. So as Shantanu reached there Devaapi insulted Ved, and that made him ineligible to rule the kingdom.  Then only Shaantanu had the rains in his kingdom.

Shaantanu and Gangaa
Once Shaantanu went for hunting in a forest, there he saw Gangaa and got attracted to her. He wanted to marry her. Gangaa agreed on a condition that Shaantanu will never ask anything about "what she was doing and why she was doing" and the day he would ask this question she would leave him after replying his first question. Shaantanu was so much in love with her that he agreed on her all conditions. When they had their first son, she flowed it in Gangaa River. Shaantanu did not like it but could not do anything. The same thing happened to their second son too. Shaantanu got very sad, but was helpless. Thus she flowed their seven sons in Gangaa River. 

When their eighth son was born, and Gangaa took him to flow in Gangaa River, as she took his other sons, Shaantanu couldn't hold himself any more and asked her why she was doing this to his sons. Then she told him that she was Gangaa and she was living on Prithvi as a result of a Shaap. And even Shaantanu was also living with her as a result of a Shaap. 

Why Shaantanu and Gangaa Came to Live on Prithvi?
She told him everything that in the previous life, Shaantanu was King Mahaabhish. He had a  good friendship with Indra, so sometimes he used to come there to see Apsaraa's dances. One day when he was sitting there, Gangaa also came there with her father Brahmaa Jee. Both started looking at each other. In the meantime wind flew away her cloth from her body. Seeing this all other Devtaa lowered their eyes but Shaantanu kept looking at her. At this Brahmaa Jee gave Shaap to Gangaa that she should born on Prithvi and to Shaantanu that since he had behaved with indecency, so he should also born on Prithvi with her.

At another time the eight Vasu got a Shaap from Vashishth Jee to take birth on Prithvi then Gangaa got ready to be their mother to give them Mukti from his Shaap. So all these sons were those eight Vasu. Therefore by flowing them in Gangaa River she had not killed them but had given them Mukti from that Shaap, but it seemed that this child had a different fate as she could not flow him in the river. She told him that she had named him Devavrat and according to her condition she was leaving him. She was taking the child with her and when he would grow up then she would return him to Shaantanu.

Shaantanu Meets His Son
After 16 years, a youth was found stopping the water flow of Gangaa River. People complained about this to Shaantanu. Shantanu himself went to see that. He found a young boy doing this, then he got ready to have a fight with him, then Gangaa came and handed over the young son to Shaantanu. Shaantanu brought him home. Devavrat learned from Guru like Parashuraam Jee, and Brihaspati Jee. Later he was declared as the Crown Prince. 

One day, on a hunting trip, Devavrat found that his father was in love with Daash Raaj's daughter Satyavatee and Satyavatee's father was not ready to marry her to his father because his astrologer had said that Satyavatee's child would rule the kingdom, and since Shaantanu had already declared Devavrat as his Crown Prince how this prediction would be true. Then Devavrat vowed that he will never ask for the kingdom. At this Daashraaj told that, what would happen if his children would claim the kingdom later. Then he again vowed that he wouldn't marry lifelong so that he would not have even children. He would live childless and die childless. And since then, because of taking such a great and difficult vow, he was called Bheeshm (Bheeshm=difficult) and got known as Bheeshm instead of Devavrat. Seeing his dedication to himself his father Shantanu gave him the Var of Ichchhaa Mrityu. (Bheeshm would die only whenever he wanted to die, and the Death will not come to him without his wish.)

Shaantanu had two sons from Satyavatee - Chitraangad and Vichitraveerya. But he himself died soon leaving his children very young. Later Bheeshm took care of them.


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/9/02
Updated on 06/09/11