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1-Aadi Parv, 103-108  of 236
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Suggestion of Bheeshm

[1-103] Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Unfortunate Satyavatee plunged into grief on the death of her both the sons who died childless. She consoled her daughters-in-law and Bheeshm and said to Bheeshm - "Now Kuru line depends upon you. You are virtuous, you know all Ved, in detail and in abstract, that is why I tell you something which you should obey. Your brother has died in his very young age, these beautiful widows desire for children. Therefore, by my order, you produce children from them. It is your duty to guard virtue against loss. Install yourself as a king on the throne, rule the kingdom, marry a wife, so that your ancestors do not fall in Hell."

Bheeshm said - "Whatever your are saying is according to virtue, but you know about my vow having children in connection with the conversation with your father. You already know what had happened between your father and me. I can repeat my vow - "I would renounce three worlds, the empire of heaven, anything that may be greater than that, but truth I would never renounce. The earth may leave its scent, the water may renounce its moisture, light may renounce exhibiting things, air may renounce its attribute touch, Yam his impartiality, but I cannot renounce truth." Satyavatee said -  "I know you and your vow taken on account of me, but consider this emergency, so that the link is not broken." Bheeshm said - "Please do not induce me to lie. Let me think about this matter, I shall soon tell you the way to prevent Shaantanu line to be extinct in this emergency situation. Then with the consultation of priests, you may decide what you should do."

Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Bheeshm further said to Satyavatee - "In olden days Parashuraam Jee killed Kshatriya on the face of the earth 21 times in the fury of the killing of his father Jamadagni. Many Kshatriya women became widow and they had the children from Braahman. The son belongs to whom that had married the mother. In fact those women went to Braahman not because of lust, but for virtue, and that is how this Kshatriya race has been revived. In this connection there is a story which I tell you now. (Read Deerghtamaa's Story Here) After telling the story, Bheeshm said - "Now you may decide yourself what has to be done."

Satyavatee Invites Ved Vyaas

[1-105] Bheeshm continued - "In my opinion, a virtuous Braahman should be called and asked to raise the children upon them."
Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Satyavatee smiled softly and said - "Bheeshm, Whatever you say is right. In our family you are virtue, you are Truth, and you are our sole refuge. Now listen to what I say. My father was a very virtuous man that is why he has kept a ferry to carry the passengers across Yamunaa. As. one day, I was carrying a Rishi across the river, he with desire to have me asked me to embrace him. I was a maiden so I was afraid of the society. But because of the fear of the curse of the Rishi, I came under his complete control. He created a fog around us and I gratified his desire. He asked me to give birth on an island. Before that I had a fowl smell of fish emanating from my body, but he gave me a fragrant smell. The son from that Muni Paraashar has now become a great Muni named Dwaipaayan (island born). He has divided Ved in four parts and thus is known as Vyaas (the divider), and for his dark complexion is called Krishn. He went away with his father immediately after his birth. If we invite him, he can do this job. When he went, he told me, "When you are in need of me, think about me." I can call him now if you agree with me. I am sure that he will beget children from these widows."

Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Bheeshm said - "He is a great ascetic. He is the man of a great virtue who acts in such a way that leads to future virtue, profit to future profit, and pleasure to futures pleasure. It is certainly the best advice and I have my full approval for him." Then Kaalee (Satyavatee) thought about the Muni, and Muni came there instantly in spite of being busy interpreting Ved without being known to anybody.

Satyavatee greeted her son. She wept bitterly embracing him as she had seen him after a long time. Vyaas Jee comsoled her and said - "Mother, I have come now to fulfill your wish. Tell me what should I do for you." The family priest worshipped him duly. After he was comfortably seated, Satyavatee said to him - "Children are common property of both the parents, but there is no doubt that a mother has much more power on them than their father. As you are my eldest son, Vichitraveerya was my youngest son. And as Bheeshm is his brother from his father's side, you are also his brother from his mother's side. I do not know what you think, but I am telling you what I think. Bheeshm does not have the desire to have children or rule the kingdom because of his vow. Because of the affection to your brother Vichitraveerya, to continue the family line of Vichitraveerya, for Bheeshm's request and at my command, do as I say to you. Your younger brother has left two widows without any child. They want children for the sake of virtue, and religion. So please beget the children from them to continue our family line."

Vyaas Jee said - "Mother, You know about virtue of this life and the other life, therefore at your command I will obey you. I will give children to my brother like Mitra and Varun. Let the ladies observe vows which I will tell, for one full year. Then they will be purified. No woman should come to me without observing those vows." Satyavatee said - "It should be as you say, but do it that way that they can conceive immediately. In a kingdom where there is no king, people perish soon and the Devtaa also go away from there. So please be sure that those women can conceive immediately. Bheeshm will watch over the children till they are born."

Vyaas said - "If the women have to conceive unseasonably, then they have to bear my ugliness. This shall also be a penance for them. If the princess of Koshal can bear my ugliness, my strong odor, my attire, my body, she should conceive excellent child." Vaishampaayan Jee said - "After saying this he said to Satyavatee again - "Let the Princess of Koshal clad in her clean beautiful clothes and ornaments wait for me in her chamber." And Rishi disappeared then and there.

Satyavatee went to her daughter-in-law and spoke to her - "Listen O Princess of Koshal, what I say to you. It is according to virtue. To save the family line of Kuru which is now extinct because my misfortune, Bheeshm has made a suggestion to me whose success depends upon you. You make it a success and restore the Kuru line. Bring forth a child who is like celestials and will rule the kingdom." Convincing her for her proposal with great difficulty, she then fed many Braahman and numberless guests who came there on the death of Vichitraveerya.

Vyaas Produces Children

[1-106] Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Soon after the monthly bath, after purifying, Satyavatee took the Princess of Koshal to her bedroom and said - "Your husband has an elder brother who will come to you tonight to give you a child. Wait for him without going for sleep." Hearing this Koshal Princess thought about Bheeshm and some other Kuru elders while the lamp was burning. Then Rishi Vyaas of truthful speech entered the chamber of Ambikaa. Seeing his dark complexion, grown beard, matted locks, Ambikaa closed her eyes in fear. Rishi had to fulfill his mother's wishes, so he knew her. She did not open her eyes even once to look at him. Vyaas met his mother after coming out of the chamber. The mother asked him - "Will she have a good son?" Vyaas replied - "She will have a son of 10,000 elephants might. He will be very learned and intelligent and will have 100 sons. But because his mother's fault he will be blind." At this Satyavatee said - "O Son, How can a blind man be a worthy king? You will have to give another king to Kuru family?" "So be it." and Vyaas Jee went away. And in due course of time Ambikaa gave birth to a blind son.

Soon after this Satyavatee called Vyaas again, he came as he promised, and approached his younger brother's second wife. Ambaalikaa went pale with fear seeing the Rishi. Seeing her so pale, Vyaas said to her - "Since you have gone pale with fear seeing me, your son will be yellow in complexion and his name will be Paandu (pale)." As he came out of the chamber, his mother asked about the child. He said to her - Since she became pale seeing me, so her child will be yellow in complexion and his name will be Paandu. Satyavatee again begged him for another child. He again said, "So be it." After due course of time Ambaalkaa gave birth to a yellow complexioned child who was named Paandu. It was this child who fathered Paandav.

Sometime after when Ambikaa again took her monthly bath, Satyavatee sent her to Vyaas again, but this time she could not go to him. She remembered his look and odor. She sent her maid to him. She was also beautiful and she had worn Ambikaa's ornaments. When Vyaas jee came, she rose and welcomed him warmly and waited upon him respectfully. Vyaas Jee was very pleased with her behavior. When he rose to go he said to her - "Now you will no longer be a slave. You will have a very fortunate and virtuous son on the earth." This son was known as Vidur. Thus he was the brother of Dhritraashtra and Paandu. He was free from desires and passions. He was the god of justice (Dharm Raaj) himself born under the Shaap of Rishi Maandavya. When he came out of the chamber he told his mother that how Ambikaa deceived him, and sent her maid to him and he has begotten a son on a Shoodra woman. But this maid will have the most illustrious son. Saying this Vyaas Jee disappeared then and there. Thus these two children propagated Kuru's family.

Story of Maandavya Rishi

[1-107] Janamejaya asked - "I wish to know what Dharm Raaj did for which he was cursed; and who was that who cursed him to be born in Shoodra caste?" Vaishampaayan Jee said - "There was a Rishi named Maandavya. He was great ascetic and used to sit at the door of his hermitage under a tree. He had taken the vow of silence. Once there came some robbers with stolen things. They hid the stolen things in his Aashram and hid themselves also nearby. When the guards came searching them, they saw the Rishi sitting there and asked him - "Where the thieves have gone? You may just point out, so that we can search them immediately." But he did not reply anything so they started searching and discovered the stolen things in his Aashram. The guards arrested him, and brought him to the king. King said that the Rishi should be impaled. They impaled him and went to the king again with the stolen things. But because of the virtues of the Muni, he stayed there in that situation for a long time and did not die. Rather he invited some other Muni also there. They came in the night in the form of birds. Seeing him like this they plunged into the grief and wanted to know what was his sin, so that he had to suffer like this.

[1-108] Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Muni said - "I don't know to whom to blame?" When the guards saw him alive, they reported to the King. The King came and pacified the Muni fixed on stake saying - "I have offended you in ignorance. Please do not be angry with me, I ask your forgiveness." Muni forgave him. The King tried to take his body off the stake but could not take it off, so he cut the stake which was outside of his body. From that day he was called Ani-Maandavya (Maandavya with the stake within).

One day that Rishi went to Yam Lok and asked Dharm Raaj - "What was my sin for which I suffered so much pain? Tell me soon or see the power of my Tap." He replied - "You pierced a little insect with the blade of grass. This affliction was because of that act." Maandavya asked him - "Tell me when did I commit this sin?" He replied, "When you were a child." Maandavya said - "All sins committed before the age of 12 are no sins. This punishment is disproportionate in severity. That is why you will be born as a Shoodra. And from this day I make a law that a sin committed under the age of 14 will not called a sin."

Vaishampaayan Jee said - "That is why Dharm Raaj was born as Vidur. He was well versed in morality, politics and worldly profit. He was free from jealousy and anger. He had a good foresight and tranquility of mind."


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Created by Sushma Gupta On 03/09/02
Modified on 03/21/12