Bhaagvat Puraan | Biographies
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Ambaa was the daughter of Kaashee Naresh. She had two sisters also - Ambikaa and Ambaalikaa. They were married to Vichitraveerya of Hastinaapur. Their father was angry from Shaantanu, the Hastinaapur King, because he ignored the offer of his sister's marriage to Bheeshm, that is why when he arranged the Swayamvar of his three daughters, he did not invite Hastinaapur King. His Kul Guru tried to convince him several times but he didn't listen to him and arranged the Swayamvar without inviting Hastinaapur princes. Bheeshm wanted to marry all three girls to his brother Vichitraveerya. When he did not get invitation from Kaashee for the marriage, he himself went to Kaashee and kidnapped them declaring that he was taking them for his brother.
But Ambaa loved Shaalv Kumaar, so as they entered the palace and Satyavatee came to welcome them, she requested the Raaj Maataa (royal mother) that she loved Shaalv Kumaar and thus couldn't marry her son. Both Satyavatee and Bheeshm readily agreed to send her back to Shaalv, and so they did. But Shaalv did not accept her, so she came back to the King of Hastinaapur (Vichitraveerya) and asked for justice that since she was kidnapped at the time when she had Var Maalaa in her hands and she had the right to choose her husband, she should be given the opportunity to do so again. Bheeshm asked her that "she told us that she loved Shaalv so we sent her back to Shaalv, now what?" Ambaa told that Shaalv did not accept her because he felt insulted and now she wanted to marry Bheeshm.
Bheeshm told that he had already declared in the Swayamvar that he did not ask those princesses for himself, but for his brother, so there was no case to marry her. Otherwise also he could not marry her because he had vowed to remain lifelong Brahmchaaree. At this Ambaa got severely angry and vowed that whether she had to take several births, but she would take her revenge from Bheeshm. [This was the foundation of Bheeshm's death.] Since Bheeshm did not do anything wrong, he got silent on this. To take her revenge she went to a saint to help her. She did Tap also and pleased Shiv Jee who gave her the Var she wanted.
Later she was born as Shikhandee in Raajaa Drupad's house. She remembered everything of her previous life because of the Var bestowed by Shiv Jee. So she looked forward for an opportunity to be the cause of death of Bheeshm in Mahaabhaarat war. Bheeshm also knew this that he is going to be killed by Shikhandee. So when he did not die till 9 days (he had the Var of Ichchha Mrityu - he could die whenever he wanted), Paandav came to ask him as how could they win the war, because they could not win the war until Bheeshm was alive. Then Bheeshm told them the way, that Arjun could bring Shikhandee on his chariot and keep him in front and ask him to shoot his arrows on Bheeshm. Bheeshm will not counterpart him because he does not fight with women. (Bheeshm saw Ambaa in Shikhandee). Next day the same thing happened. Shikhandee aimed his arrows towards Bheeshm, although Bheeshm did not counterpart him still he could not fell him, so Arjun had to shoot his arrows at him. He had so many arrows on his body that when he fell on the ground being wounded, he did not touch the ground, he lay down on arrows only. Thus Ambaa took her revenge of her insult from Bheeshm.
Created by Sushma Gupta on 5/27/03
Updated on 12/05/12