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Shaantanu Meets Devavrat

[1-100] Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Shaantanu was a very qualitative king. He was known for his wisdom, virtue, truthfulness, self-control, modesty, patience, kindness etc qualities. He ruled the whole Earth from his capital Hastinaapur. He was handsome like Som, Sun in splendor, Yam in wrath, and patient like Earth. He enjoyed domestic felicity for 36 years and then retired to forest. And the Vasu born from Gangaa, Devavrat was like his father. He was very learned in all branches of learning, his spiritual development was also very high. One day when Shaantanu was on a hunting trip, he shot an arrow at a deer. The King noticed that Gangaa had become shallow. He was thinking why it had become so, that he saw a youth who looked like Indra himself. He was standing there had checked the flow of the river. Shaantanu got very surprised seeing this. He was his own son, but he cold not recognize him as he had not seen him. The youth had recognized him, but instead of disclosing his own identity, he clouded his father's perception by his celestial powers of illusion and disappeared from his sight..

Imagining him as his own child, he asked Gangaa River "to show the child" again. Then Gangaa came in her finest clothes, holding the boy in her right arm, but Shaantanu could not recognize her although he knew her before. and introduced him to Shaantanu - "This is your eighth son you had from me. Take this child of yours, I have brought him up with great care. He has studied Ved from Vashishth, he is skilled in all kinds of weapons like Indra himself, whatever Shukra and Brihaspati know he knows that all. He is a mighty archer and knows all duties of a king." Shaantanu took him to his capital and lived happily with him.

Shaantanu and Satyavatee

After four years, once the King went to Yamunaa River and caught up a sweet scent in the air. To know its source he wandered here and there, and came to a spot where a beautiful woman was sitting. He asked her - "Who are you? Whose daughter are you? What do you do here?" She said - "I am the daughter of chief fisherman and by his order I carry the passengers across Yamunaa." Shaantanu expressed his desire to marry him, and she said that her father would decide it. Then he approached her father and asked him if he could marry her. The fisherman sad - "O King, The day my daughter was born, I knew that I have to give her to her husband, but I have long cherished a desire in my heart, listen, if you want to marry her then you have to take the vow, if you will take it, I will marry her to you, because I can never get a husband for her better than you." Shaantanu said - "Let me first hear the vow, if it is grantable, I will grant it, otherwise how can I...?" The fisherman said - "When the son will be born to her, you will install him on your throne and none else."

Vaishampaaayan Jee said - "Although the King wanted to marry her, still he could not take this vow. So with a heavy heart he went back to Hastinaapur and started passing his time in solidarity. When Devavrat noticed this he went to his father and asked him - "All is well with you, everything is under control, then why do you pass time like this, that you don't speak to me even? Please tell me the reason so that I can do something for you."

The King replied - "You are right that I am sad and I will tell you also that why I am so. You are the only hope of our race and you are always busy in sports of arms. If something happens to you then our race is lost. You are equal to my 100 sons, that is why I do not wish to marry again, but still I wish that God should be kind to you too so that our race should flourish. Wise say that who has one son has no son. Sacrifices and knowledge earn the religious merits, but all of them combined are not even 1/16th part of the religious attained by a birth of a son. Indeed, in this respect, there is hardly any difference between men and the lower animals. I do not entertain a shadow of doubt that one attains to heaven in consequence of his having begotten a son. The Vedas which constitute the root of the Puranas and are regarded as authoritative even by the gods, contain numerous proof of this. You are always engaged in fights, maybe you are slain one day, then what will be the fate of Bharat dynasty? This is the main cause of my sorrow."

Devavrat's Vows

Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Devavrat thought for a while on his father's statement and ascertaining the reason of his father's worry and went to his father's minister and asked him the cause of his grief. The minister told him about the vow, Gandhvatee's father wanted him to take before he married his daughter to the King. So Devavrat went there along with many chiefs and asked the fisherman his daughter's hand for his father. The fisherman welcomed him with great respect and said - "You are the only son of Shaantanu. Your power is great, but I have to tell you that if this maiden Satyavatee's father was Indra himself, even then he had to repent himself to reject your father's offer. This maiden Satyavatee is also equal to you in virtue. Her father has spoken to me about the virtues of your father on many occasions that he alone is worthy husband for Satyavayee. But, you know, that I have rejected even the proposal of the celestial Rishi Asit who has often asked her hand for marriage. There is only one obstacle in her marriage and that is co-wife's son. This is my only objection." (read the variation of MBH Serial-1 on TV)

Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Devavrat pondered a little and said to the fisherman in front of his chiefs - "O All truthful Men, Listen to my vow now, nobody has been born, nor will be born in future who can take such a vow. I will do whatever you say. The son born to this woman will be our king." Still the fisherman asked the impossible - "You have come here as the sole representative of your father, then be the sole representative of on my behalf also, because those who have daughters do say like this. There is something else also to be said. You have taken this vow from your side, this is worthy of you. I have no doubts from your side, but I have the doubts from the side of your children you will have."

Vaishampaayan Jee said - "At this Devavrat said - "Listen to me in front of all these wise men, what I say, I have already left my right on the throne, I settle the matter of my children also. From this day I take the vow of Brahmcharya also. If I die sonless, I shall still attain the regions of bliss."

Vaishampaayan Jee said - "This vow of Devavrat raised the hairs of the fisherman's body. He immediately said - "I bestow my daughter." Devtaa and Rishi rained flowers from the sky and Devtaa said, "This one is Bheeshm (terrible)." And Devavrat asked Satyavatee - "Mother, Come and ride the chariot. Let us to to go to the palace."

Vaishampaayan jee said - "Devavrat then helped the maiden ot ride on the chariot.  On arriving in Hastinaapur Devavrat told everything to his father whatever had happened there. The present kings applauded him saying - "He is really Bheeshm." Seeing this difficult vow, Shaantanu also gave him a boon that the death will not come to him without his will. Death will have to have his permission before coming to him."

[1-101] Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Shaantanu married her ceremoniously and established her in his palace. They soon had two sons - Chitraangad and Vichitraveerya. Both were great warriors. Shaantanu died before his children attained the maturity. Devavrat, with the permission of Satyavatee, installed Chitraangad as the king of Hastinaapur. He defeated many kings, so a Gandharv of his name (Chitraangad) came to challenge him. They fought very fiercely for three years on the banks of Saraswatee River. In the end the Gandharv  killed the Kuru king. After the death of Chitraangad, Bheeshm installed Vichitraveerya as the king who was still in his minority. Vichitraveerya started ruling the kingdom under the guidance of Bheeshm, and Bheeshm also guided him in ruling the kingdom.

Here there is no evidence of any vow taken by Bheeshm for Shaanatanu, that he would not leave this Lok without making sure the Hastinaapur kingdom is secured from all sides, as it is shown in MBH Serial-2. The whole serial is echoed with this vow of Bheeshm and his death depends on this point only. Where this idea came from?

Bheeshm Marries Vichitraveerya

[1-102] After the death of Chitraangad, Bheeshm installed Vichitraveerya, though a minor and started ruling it under the guidance of Satyavatee. Later he planned to marry him. He heard that the King of Kaashee was organizing the Swayamvar of his three daughters who were like Apsaraa. With the permission of his mother, he went there alone. When he reached there, those three girls were getting introduced to the kings present there. He got there, and brought them, on behalf of his brother, saying - "The wise have said that (1) when a more qualitative person is invited, the girl should be given to him adorned with ornaments and along with many presents. (2) Others may also give their daughters by accepting a couple of cows; (3) some may give by accepting a fixed sum; (4) some may take them by force; (5) some wed with the consent of the maidens; (6) some by drugging them into consent; (7) some approach their parents and ask their daughters from them; (8) some get them as a present by assisting at a sacrifice. The learned have applauded, however, the 8th form of marriage but kings can go for the 5th type of marriage and wed themselves to her. But the sages have said that "that wife who is taken away by force from a Swayamvar is to be greatly prized. I am taking away these maidens by force. Defeat me or be defeated. I stand here to fight." And he took them away on his chariot challenging all the kings to fight.

Many kings rose from their seats hearing the challenge of Bheeshm, and stated wearing their armors to fight with him. They took off their ornaments, wore their armors and brought their chariots to fight with Bheeshm. They fought with lone Bheeshm. The fight was fierce and the kings who did not dare to face him, stood in fear. After defeating all Bheeshm proceeded towards Hastinaapur. That King Shaalv  challenged Bheeshm from behind - "Stay, Stay." Bheeshm asked his Saarathee to take his chariot to Shaalv so that he could slay him instantly. All other kings just stood to see the combat. He first afflicted Shaalv's horse with Varun Astra, then killed his charioteer and then killed his horse by Aindra weapon. He defeated him, and left him with life only and went away to Hastinaapur. Shalya came back to his kingdom and started ruling it virtuously. Other kings also went back to their kingdoms.

He defeated all of them without a scratch on his own body and brought the girls to Hastinaapur where his brother was ruling the kingdom virtuously. He came to the kingdom very soon. he brought those maidens as tenderly as if they were his own daughters, or daughters-in-law or younger sisters. He handed them over to Vichitraveerya. Bheeshm then made the arrangement for their marriage. When everything was settled, the eldest daughter of Kaashee, Ambaa, said to Bheeshm - "I loved the King of Saubh, Shaalv, he also loved me, and my parents were also agreed for this. I was to select him in the Swayamvar. After knowing this, do as you think best." Hearing this Bheeshm thought a while, consulted Braahman and permitted her whatever she wanted to do. He married the other two girls, Ambikaa and Ambaalikaa, to his brother Vichitraveerya. Both sisters considered themselves very fortunate to get such a good husband. Both girls were very beautiful like Apsaraa, and Vichitraveerya was also very handsome like Ashwinee Kumaar. He enjoyed with his wives for seven years, then he was attacked by tuberculosis. Every remedy was tried but he died soon."


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Created by Sushma Gupta On 05/27/04
Modified on 05/14/12