Mahabharata Beginning (Part 1)

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If we see the history of ancient India, we will see, Indian main sub-continent was sub-divided into many small and large kingdoms in the era of Great India. Out of that the most prosperous kingdom was Hastinapur. Hastinapur was financially strong. Its law and order system was one of the best systems. It had strong army. The common people of Hastinapur lead much advanced and developed lifestyle as compared to that of other Kingdom in the sub continent of ‘Bharat’ (i.e. India). 

Shantanu became the king of Hastinapur.

The throne of Hastinapur was succeeded by King Shantanu from his father King Janamejaya.

King Shantanu was good looking and posses virtuous qualities. He went outside with his body guards and Ministers to relax and enjoy the sweet river’s breeze in an airy day. With the atmosphere he was quite delighted, became more delighted after seeing that natural beauty. That girl! The girl was Ganga. He married Ganga but their marriage was based upon a contract. The contact was – Shantanu will not be able to restrain any task performed by Ganga and ask question for any of her actions, otherwise she would leave him and go forever. After their marriage they had a son. But as soon as Ganga gave birth to the son, she threw her son in the water of river Ganga. She gave birth to seven sons and every time she repeated the same task. Then she gave birth to her eighth son, and wanted to throw him as well, but Shantanu restrained her from drowning that son. Shantanu broke the contract and Ganga left him and went away. On one side Shantanu was sad as Ganga left him and on the other side he was happy to see his own son crying in his arms. Being a single father, he brought up his son. He named him Devavrata. Devavrata slowly grew up and then turned into a young adult…

‘There is no age to fall in love’. One day Shantanu was passing through a forest, while returning back after hunting. He saw the most beautiful lady named Satyavati. Her beauty was soothing his eyes. He apparently fell in love. He gave her the proposal to marry him. Her father also gave consent at the beginning but after knowing everything he refused. Her father gave him a condition that the son who will be born from their marriage will become the king and not his elder son Devavrata. As per the prevailing custom the elder son should succeed the throne. King Shantanu had to reject the proposal for shake of his son and went back. But Satyavati’s beauty still remained fresh within his heart and his heart wanted to tie up with her, but he was unable to deprive his own son. He became tensed and depressed. His depression brought anxiety and he was unable to concentrate in the works of his kingdom. Devavrata was confused with sudden change in his father’s behavior. He asked him directly. Initially his father was shy and refused him to give the true answer.

But Devavrata did not leave him and he started forcing his father to give the answer.  At last his father was forced to tell him the truth. Devavrata without wasting time went to Satyavati’s father and asked him to arrange his daughter’s marriage with his father. He gave the assurance that he will not be the king in his entire life rather Satyavati’s son will be the king in future. But his father was not satisfied with a mere assurance and asked – “What about your son…. when you will marry your son may demand to become a king”. Then, Devavrata assured him that he would not marry in his entire life and would practice celibacy. That was his oath. Thereafter with his new oath he changed his name and adopted a new name Bhishma. Shantanu blessed Bhishma for his sacrifice.

After their marriage king Shantanu and Satyavati had two sons – Chitrangad and Vichitravirya. When their sons were very young, Shantanu left this earth forever as per the rule of nature. Later Chitrangad grew up and became the king, but he had to fight a battle with another kingdom. In that battle king Gandarva killed him.

Then thereafter, Vichitravirya became the king. But he needs a queen as well. In search of his queen Bhishma travelled different palaces and at last he went to kashi where the king of kashi had arranged a Swayamvar (it is kind of ceremony where girls were given full liberty to choose their own husband as per their own choice from the guests who are invited as bride groom. Indian traditions were quite liberal and had given full liberty to girls during marriage). He has arranged Swayamvar for his three daughters – Amba, Ambika and Ambalika. Bhishma went there uninvited and abducted his three daughters and came back to Hastinapur. Bhishma asked Amba, Ambika and Ambalika to marry Vichitravirya. Amba informed Bhishma that she is already engaged with king Shalva and wanted to return to him. But Shalva refused her to marry as she was abducted, so she returned to Bhishma and asked him to marry.  But Bhishma refused her because of his vow of celibacy.  He told he will be unable to marry. Amba cursed Bhishma for his refusal and jumped into a fire pit and attempted suicide. Before dying she said, “I will take birth as eunuch, with my name Srikhandi and I will be the cause of your death.” Click here to Read more

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William Dawson

Wednesday 26th of August 2020 02:54:09 AM

The story is truly devotional.


Swapnil Mukherjee

Writer and Reader user