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1. Who was Satyavatee; and Satyavatee and Paraashar and Shaantanu
2. Satyavatee and Vyaas Jee

There are two Satyavatee in Hindu religious literature.
(1) One Satyavatee was Kushik's daughter, Muni Richeek's wife and Vishwaamaitra's sister. To read about her read about Parashuraam also.

(2) The other Satyavatee was the daughter of the King Uparichar Vasu, wife of Raajaa Shaantanu, mother of Chitraangad and Vichitraveerya, and grandmother of Dhritraashtra, and Paandu. Here we will talk about the second Satyavatee.

Who was Satyavatee?
Satyavatee was the daughter of King Uparicher Vasu and a fish. She was brought up by Daash people (who row boats) therefore she was called Daash Kanyaa. She was later named Satyavatee. First she smelled like a fish, that is why her name was Matsyagandhaa, but later on by the Var of Maharshi Paraashar she used to smell sweetly. Her smell used to spread up to 10 Kos (approximately 20 miles) around, that is why she was called "Yojangandhaa". Bheeshm has called her with the names "Kaalee" or "Gandhvatee" also in Mahaabhaarat, "Udyog Parv, Chap 176".

Birth of Satyavatee According to MBH
Read the story of her birth here - Birth of Satyavatee.

Birth of Satyavatee-Another Version
Once King Vasu went for hunting. There he felt the need to have his wife, so he asked an eagle to transport his semen to his wife. The eagle dropped the same in the Yamunaa river by mistake. The semen was consumed by a fish which was actually an Apsaraa by the name of Adrikaa. Adrika was the wife of a Vasu by name Amaa. The fish was caught by some fishermen who realized that the fish was actually carrying and therefore took care of it (instead of killing it). The fish delivered a twins. The fishermen took the children to the King. The King, recognizing them as his own children, kept the male child with him and appointed him as the Army General of his army. He asked the fisherman to keep the girl child with him. The girl child thus raised by the leader of the fishermen was Satyavatee.

Satyavatee and Maharshi Paraashar
Once Maharshi Paraashar was crossing Gangaa in Satyavatee's boat. Satyavatee did not recognize him, so Paraashar said - "I am Rishi Paraashar." Satyavatee said - "I am sorry, I could not recognize you." Paraashar said - "When a human being does not recognize himself, how he can recognize others. Well, you have not been born only to carry passenger across Yamunaa. You have a very great responsibility for Bhaarat's future. But first you will have to have a knowledgeable son, so I want to give you a son." Satyavatee got scared hearing this, she said - "Mahaaraaj, I am unmarried and so scared of the society."

Then Paraashar lured her with four boons -
(1) The first boon he offered her was a miraculous ointment or perfume that would emit a smell of flowers. The little innocent beauty always wished that her body smelt of a perfume of sweet flowers.

Let us record that this is the first reference of perfume in the history of mankind.

(2) He further promised her that she would not lose her virginity. With his Yaugik powers, she would remain a virgin and she might even marry a king. This is long before the Catholic faith acclaimed the virgin Mary as mother of Jesus.

(3) He also promised her that no one would be able to see them in the middle of the river. With his yogic powers, he would invoke a thick fog to envelope the river and thus hide total assent of herself in love and worship.

(4) She would give birth to a son without anyone becoming aware of it. Her son would achieve fame in near and far lands for a long time to come and she would also attain glory.

Thus Paraashar created a dense smoke around them and gave her a son. He was born on an island in the river.  As he was genetically gifted with powers, an austere nature, and was of a spiritual prodigy he immediately turned to the practice of Yog. He was picked up by a great Yogee of that time, sage Sharadwaan. In due course, he was named as Krishn Dwaipaayan. Krishn because he was dark in complexion; Dwaipaayan because he was born on a Dweep (island). He lived the strict life of an ascetic. Later he was known as  Ved Vyaas  because he divided Ved. Vyaas means "who divides".

Satyavatee and Raajaa Shaantanu
There was a Raajaa Shaantanu of Hastinaapur. Once he came towards Gangaa RIver for hunting, that he came to Satyavatee side smelling her body smell and got attracted to her. He proposed to her for his marriage. Satyavatee said - "Talk to my father, only he will decide about it." Shaantanu went to her house and talked to her father about this. Daash Raaj said - "This is very good proposal. In fact I was waiting for you." Shaantanu got surprised to hear this, he asked - "How?" Daash Raaj said - "Mahaaraaj, Satyavatee's birth chart says that her child will rule the kingdom, so who can be a better King than you today? You are a King, you love her, you have a noble lineage, but there is a hurdle in it." "What?" Daash Raaj said - "Satyavatee's birth chart says that her children will rule the kingdom, but you have already declared Devavrat (Bheeshm) as the Crown Prince, then how that will be possible?"

Raajaa couldn't answer this question, because he could not do injustice with his eldest able son, so he came back. Now he didn't feel good, he used to be sad and eventually became sick. Devavrat noticed his father's sickness and asked him about it, but couldn't find satisfactory answer, so he asked his ministers and came to know about Satyavatee. Devavrat immediately went to Satyavatee's house and talked to Daash Raaj about the marriage of Satyavatee to her father. Daash Raaj said the same thing to Devavrat also.

Devavrat didn't take a moment to think even and said - "This is not a big thing. In fact you asked the wrong person to do it. He could not have made promise on my behalf. He has give the Hastinaapur throne to me, so I make this promise to you that I step down from my Crown Prince status and I vow that I will not claim the kingdom at any time from now." Daash Raaj said - "I trust you, but as your father had no right to make any promise on behalf of you, in the same way you also cannot make any promise on behalf of your children. What if your children claim it in future?"

At this Devavrat said - "I block that path also. I take a vow that I will never marry and I will remain Brahmchaaree for my whole life so that I will never have any children and thus nobody will be able to claim kingdom from Satyavatee's children. I will live childless and I will die childless." Hearing this Bheeshm (difficult) vow Devtaa showered flowers from sky and said - "Who else can take such a difficult vow? Only you can take such a Bheeshm vow. From today you will be known as Bheeshm in Tri-Lok ." And after that nobody knows his real name, he is well known by the name Bheeshm only.

Now Daash Raaj got ready to marry his daughter with Shaantanu so Bheeshm brought Satyavatee along with him and Raajaa and Satyavatee got married. But Raajaa got very sad about this whole affair. Still pleased with his son, he gave a Var of Ichchhaa Mrityu to Bheeshm. In the course of time they had two sons - Chitraangad and Vichitraveerya. Raajaa died after a brief illness leaving children very young. Then Bheeshm took care of them.

As they grew up, they were educated, and Chitraangad sat on the throne. Unfortunately he was killed in a fight with a Gandharv of the same name as his (Chitraangad) on a trivial issue "why do you bear my name?" The fight lasted for three years. After the death of Chitraangad, Vicitraveerya got the throne. Bheeshm got Kaashee Raaj's two princesses, Ambikaa and Ambaalikaa, for him. Vichitraveerya got indulged in his wives. Unfortunately he caught tuberculosis and died early without having any child. So Hastinaapur throne was left without any heir.

Satyavatee requested Bheeshm to produce an heir from Chitraangad's childless widows, but Bheeshm clearly refused her request reminding her about his promise and vow made to Daash Raaj. Satyavatee got very desperate to get an heir for Hastinaapur.



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Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 04/22/13