Mahaabhaarat | Kathaa-G | 5-Pre-War
|Kathaa-G - 5 Pre-War - page 24|
Story of Shikhandee-1
Bheeshm and Ambaa
At this Duryodhan asked - "Tell me O Pitaamaha, Why will you not kill Shikhandee even if he will come to you with weapons?" Bheeshm said - "Listen to this story. My father Shaantanu was a great king. After his death I installed Chitraangad on the throne, but he soon died. After his death, I installed Vichitraveerya on the throne. He was very young in age so he always looked up to me in everything. I planned to marry him the three daughters of the king of Kaashee - Ambaa, Ambikaa and Ambaalikaa. I heard about their Swayamvar so I went there on a single chariot, I took them and came back saying to all the kings present there - "Bheeshm is taking them away, if anybody wants to challenge me?" Then many kings sprang up with their weapons and surrounded me with their chariots and attacked me. But I defeated all of them and came back to Hastinaapur. I handed over them to Satyavatee for my brother.
But then the eldest daughter Ambaa said - "O Bheeshm, You are well conversed in morality, so first hear me and then do accordingly. I have already mentally chosen the king of Shaalv as my husband (without father's knowledge). Then how do you think it is right for me to live in your house? Shaalv king must be waiting for me. Please permit me to go to him." I told all this to my mother Kaalee (or Gandhvatee). She was permitted and she went to the king of Shaalv. She said to him - "I have come to you." He said laughingly - "I won't make you my wife as you have been wedded to other person. So you go back to Bheeshm, or go anywhere wherever you like. Don't waste my time." She said to Shaalv - "Plrease accept me. I was not happy when he took me away. He took me by force. Bheshm does not want me, he took me for his brother. My two younger sisters who were taken by Bheeshm at the same time have been married to Vichitraveerya. I swear on my head that I am maiden and I have come to you."
Although she requested him to accept her, but he did not. He said "Go, go." Ambaa came out from there and said to herself - "Shaalv has not accepted me and I cannot go back to elephant's city because Bheeshm has already permitted me to leave. Then who to blame? Still the cause of this is Bheeshm." She came to a place where sages lived. She told her story to them. There lived a sage named Saikhaavatya who was the preceptor of scriptures and Aranyak. He said if it had been so then what we are doing here?" She said - "Have mercy on me, I wish to spend my life in woods. I do not want to go anywhere." Then Braahamn consoled her and told that he would do his best.
Braahman thought for a while on all alternatives then suggested her not to live in woods and not to engage in severe penance. They said - "You have no protector except you father, because your husband has not accepted you." Ambaa said - "I cannot go back to my father's house. I will do severe Tap and pass my life to get good fruits in my next life."
When this was going on then came there the king Hotravaahan. He was Ambaa's maternal grandfather. He got pity on her. He said - "Do not go to your father's house. I am your mother's father. I will dispel your grief. At my advice you go to Parashuraam, he will surely help you." Ambaa asked - "I will go, but where I will find him and how he will dispel my grief? I wish to know all this." Hotravaahan said - "He lives on Mahendra Parvat. Go there and tell my words to him. If you will take my name, he will do everything to you." At the same time a person named Akritvran who was very dear to Parashuraam, came there and told them that Raam would be there next day. Then he asked about the girl.
Hotravaahan said - "This is my daughter's eldest daughter Ambaa. She and her two sisters were in the process of Swayamvar, that Shantanu's son Bheeshm came and disregarding all kings present there abducted all three girls. There he arranged their marriage to Vichitraveerya. Then Ambaa said - "I have chosen Shaalv as my husband so I cannot marry your brother." Bheeshm permitted her to leave Hastinaapur. But Shaalv also did not accept her. Bheeshm seems to be the root of all this." Then Ambaa said - "I do not want to go to my father's house for the fear of shame and disgrace. This is my determination at present, but what should I do, Parashuraam may tell me."
Akritvran asked Ambaa - "Of these two affliction, for which one you are seeking the remedy? Do you want Shaalv to marry you? or do you wish Raam to defeat Bheeshm in battle?" Ambaa said - "Bheeshm abducted me in ignorance because he did not know that I had chosen Shaalv as my husband, thinking this you tell me what should I do? I have told the root of my grief, advise me according to reason." At this Akritvran said - "You have said very reasonable statement. Now listen, If Bheeshm had not taken you to Hastinaapur, Shaalv should have married you. It is because Bheeshm took you away that is why you could not marry Shaalv. Bheeshm is very proud of his manliness and is crowned with success, your anger should be on Bheeshm." Ambaa said - "Then it is my desire that Bheeshm should be slain by me in battle. Be it Bheeshm or be it Shaalv, punish the man because of whom I am in this miserable situation." That day and night passed.
Next day Raam came there. Everybody greeted him and honored him. At a very appropriate time Hotravaahan said to Raam - "This is my daughter's daughter, being the daughter of king of Kaashee. She wants something to be done to her. Please listen to her." Ambaa worshipped Raam with a couple of lotus flowers and stood before him weeping loudly. Raam asked - "What is your grief, tell me? I will do accordingly."
Bheeshm continued - "Looking at her beautiful slender body Raam began to think, "What will she say?" Ambaa told him her saga. Thinking about her, he said to her - "I will send a word to Bheeshm, he will certainly obey me, and he does not then I will kill him in battle. Or if you desire I can approach Shaalv too." Ambaa said - "Bheeshm had already sent me to Shaalv, but doubting on my character Shaalv did not accept me. Advise me what should be done in these circumstances. Of course Bheeshm is the root of all this, so kill Bheeshm who has put me in this condition. He is mean and proud of his victory. He must bear the consequences. This is my desire that I should be the cause of his death, so kill him in battle."
When Ambaa said this repeatedly, Raam said - "I do not take the arms except for the sake of those ho know Ved, so tell me what else can I do for you? Both Bheeshm and Shaalv are obedient to me. I will not take up the arms except at the command of Braahman, this is my rule of conduct." Ambaa said - "Only you can dispel my misery, please kill Bheeshm as soon as possible." Raam said - "Just tell me, and Bheeshm will take your feet at his head." But Ambaa stuck to her statement that Bheeshm should be killed.
Akritvran said - "It is not good to desert this girl who seeks your protection. If Bheeshm says "I am defeated" in the battle or obeys you, this girl's desire is fulfilled and your promise is also kept. You vowed before Braahman, after killing all Kshatriya, that you had defeated all Kshatriya and you will take up the arms against only those people who are against Braahaman. Then you made this promise also that you wouldn't leave those who would come in your shelter, and you would slay all the proud warriors who have defeated all Kshatriya, so Bheeshm has done that, so you may encounter him."
Raam said - "I remember everything. I have to help this girl too. I will take her to Bheeshm. Then either he should obey me or face me in battle to be slain. My arrows do not stick to the bodies, they pass they pass through." They all passed night there and started towards me in the morning with the intention to kill me. They came to Kurukshetra near the River Saraswatee and camped there.
Created by Sushma Gupta On 03/09/02
Modified on 11/23/12