Posted in Mahabaratham

Mahabaratham Part-4 .


Shantanu continued to rule the kingdom after Ganga left him. Years rolled by.

One day when the king was taking a stroll along the river side , he saw the river water level suddenly being very  low. Wondering about this low level of river water, he continued to walk.  There in the river he saw a row of arrows tied so closely to each other , that the water was not able to run through.  When he was admiring  at the archery talent , there appeared  Ganga and walked towards the king. Along with her , a young lad  was walking. As she reached the king, she turned towards the king and said,” Here is our son,Devavirathan.”


She asked Devavirathan to pay his respects to his father. Devavirathan obediently  bowed before the king, his father.

Ganga continued,” O, King, as I had promised to you , I had brought up our son  as a boy who excels in archery. He had his education, from none other than, the great sage  Parasuraman. You can now take him with you. ”

She hugged her beloved son Devavirathan, and also promised him that she would appear before him, whenever he feels like meeting his mother.

With these words , she left.

King Shanthanu  overwhelming with joy, hugged his son and took him to the palace. News spread of the arrival of the prince and the kingdom rejoiced with happiness.

Prince Devavirathan actively particicpitated  on matters of governance. King found him perfectly fit to succeed him.

After  some days……….

King Shantanu  was travelling in his chariot. On the bank of a river, King Shantanu saw a beautiful woman and he lost his heart for her.

She is  a fisherwoman and she was earning her livelihood by helping people to cross the river with her boat. She oars them up and down the river.Her name is Sathyavati  and her dad is the head of fishermen.

When King Shantanu asked for her hand in marriage, she said politely,” You have to get permission form my dad.  If my father accepts for this marriage , I shall marry you.” ,

The next day the king  went to meet the fishermen head asking for his daughter Sathyati’s hand in marriage.

On hearing this, Sathyavati’s father was very happy as his  daughter will become  the queen of Hastinapuram. But he laid a condition,” I want a promise from you, that the son born to Sathyavati, should succeed you as the next king. If you can give me that promise, I find no reason to stop you from marrying my daughter to you.”

King Shantanu was taken aback by this. condition . He did not give the promise and left the place in vain. He tried to forget Sathyavati. But he was not able to  forget and his mindset  started to tell on his health.

Seeing his father’s bad health, prince Devavirathan was worried a lot. He tried to find out the reason from his dad , but could not. With the help of the king’s subjects, he finally found out the reason. He thought it is his duty to make his father happy .

Straight he went to meet Sathyavati’s father , and told him that he shall promise to denounce the throne. At this the tribal king said,” Iam happy that you promise not to suceed the throne. But after your marriage, your children might  claim their right for the throne.That will affect my daughter and my grandchildren’s respects in the kingdom. Again that  bothers me.”

For this Devavirathan looking up to the heaven and  took a vow.

” As the heaven and the gods  stand as a witness, I hereby vow that I shall sacrifice my crown-prince title  and will not marry . But remain in the kingdom and take care of Hastinapuram and its king  till I die.”

The gods  were happy and there were  utterances from every where ” Bhishma …Bhishma…..Bhishma…”

His father king Shantanu also gave him  the boon of Ichcha Mrityu (control over his own death — he could choose the time of his death, but he was not immortal.).

(Bhishma means He of the terrible oath, referring to his vow of lifelong celibacy. Originally named Devavratha, he became known as Bhishma after he took the bhishma pratigya (‘terrible oath’) — the vow of lifelong celibacy and of service to whoever sat on the throne  of Hastinapur*)

King Shantanu married Sathyavati. They had two sons, Vichitraveeryan, Chitrangadhan.



–to be continued……..


image courtesy–google.                                                                                   *

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