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[From    Mahaabhaarat]
Read about Ambaa before reading this. For fuller details read  G-5-Pre-War/24)

Ambaa is Born as Shikhandinee
After Ambaa immolated herself, she was born in Drupad's house as Shikhandinee. (Ambaa had already hung a flower garland on Drupad's palace gate) In this birth she remembered her previous life. The king Drupad declared that the queen had given birth to a son and named her Shikhandee. The girl was brought up as a boy in all respects. One day while playing Shikhandee saw a garland of ever-fresh lotuses hung at the gate of the palace. This was the garland she had left in her previous birth as Ambaa. Shikhandee put the garland in her neck. It was in accordance to the Var given to Ambaa that whoever will wear the garland will be the killer of Bheeshm.

Although Shikhandinee was born as a girl, Drupad had faith in Shiv Jee's prophecy that "although the child would be born as a female but eventually she would be male". That is why he brought her up as a boy. Later he arranged her marriage to the daughter of Hiranyavarmaa, the king of Dasharnaa. However, eventually the girl found out that she was married to a girl. She went back to her father's house saying that she could not live with a girl. She was cheated.

The king Hiranyavarmaa got very angry and felt insulted at this and got ready to kill Drupad. Since Drupad had full faith in Shiv Jee's words, he asked Hiranyavarmaa to send his courtesans to spend a night with Shikhandinee and find out the truth themselves.

Shikhandinee found herself the cause of all this trouble so she went to forest and there she met a Yaksh named Sthoonkarn. This Yaksh was from among Kuber's Yaksh. He offered Shikhandinee his manhood for a certain period and after that she had to return his manhood to him. Shikhandinee got ready for that. so now Shikhandinee was transformed into a vigorous and strong man and returned to palace to face the test. The courtesans were satisfied with Shikhandinee and reported Hiranyavarmaa that his son-in-law was a perfect man.

When Kuber learned that Sthoonkarn had used his powers to change the sex without his permission, he punished him to live like a woman throughout his life. It meant that then Shikhandinee did not have to return his manhood to that Yaksh after that certain period and she could live as a man forever. But later Kuber lessened his punishment that he had to be a woman until Shikhandee's death.

Shikhandee learned the art of warfare from Dronaachaarya and became a skilled warrior. In Mahaabhaarat war Shikhandee became one of the seven commanders of the Paandav army.

Shikhandee and Bheeshm
After the 9th day battle, Bheeshm proclaimed that next day either he will kill a Paandav or die himself. This was the cue to the Paandav to ask him as how his death would be. When Paandav asked him about it, he told that he would not fight against a woman. Yudhishthir said - "But Pitaamaha, There is no woman in the battlefield." Then he asked him to talk to Krishn about it.

Next day Krishn asked Shikhandee to confront Bheeshm. Bheeshm saw Ambaa in Shikhandee, so he stopped fighting with him, he kept his weapons, but still Shikhandee was unable to pierce Bheeshm'a armor. Krishn then asked Shikhandee to come on Arjun's chariot and asked Arjun to shoot arrows at Bheeshm from behind Shikhandee. Bheeshm still didn't fight with these two, and Arjun was able to fell Bheeshm down.



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Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 03/29/13