The abduction...

Mahabharata...
an introduction
1.The descent of Bharata
2.In the Beginning
3.Satyavati
4.The abduction of
Amba,Ambika and Ambalika
5.The birth of Pandu,Dhritarashtra and Vidura
6.Karna
7.Kunti weds Pandu
8.The death of Pandu
9.The selection of Gurus
10.Ekalavya
11.A curse imprecated on Karna
12.End of their education
13.Drona's Guru Dakshina
14.Yudhishtira's coronation
15.Tthe Pandavas goes to Varnavata
16.The house of wax
17.Bhima's marriage
18.The slaying of Bakasura
19.Draupadi
20.The Pandavas are alive
Now Prince Vichitravirya had reached of age for marriage and his mother Satyavati had to focus her attention on this matter. The King of Kashi had three daughters.Their names were Amba,Ambika and Ambalika.The King held a Swyamvar ceremony where suitable husbands would be selected for his daughters.

Bhishma went to the Swayamvar ceremony and abducted the three princesses and challenged the princes assembled there to stop him if they can.They all failed in their attempts to do so.

Bhishma then took the princesses on his chairot and rode of to Hastinapura where he presented them before Satyavati.Satyavati welcomed the princesses and offered them in marriage to her son Vichitravirya.

Amba the eldest of the three sisters said that she could not marry the Prince because before Bhishma took them away,she had already garlanded Prince Salva and has accepted him as her husband.Bhishma had her escorted to Salva who refused to accept her.He said that based on the Shastric principles,she had to marry the one who won her in the fight at the Swyamvar.

So she returned to Hastinapura all disappointed and accused Bhishma of placing her in this situation.Bhishma on the other hand said that he was unaware of her situation at the Swyamvar and had he known about her and Salva,he would not have taken her away.He concluded that fate had dealt her a terrible blow.

She then asked Bhishma to marry her since,he was the one who won her in the fight at the Swyamvar.Bhishma then explained to her his vow of celibacy which he made prior to his father marrying Satyavati.Amba deeply hurt by all this left for the forest.

While there she told her story to many of the Rishis one of whom was Parashurama,a Guru of Bhishma.The sage pleaded with Bhishma to accept Amba as his wife but to no avail.Seeing that her efforts were futile,Amba then resorted to the life of an ascetic and performed severe penance for a very long time.

Pleased with her,one day Lord Shiva appeared before her and told her to ask for anything she desired.She asked for the death of Bhishma.The great Lord Shiva then said to her that in her next life she would be born in the home of Drupada and then her wish will be fulfilled.

Thirsty for revenge,she kindled a fire and stepped inside shelling her mortal coil.She was eventually reborn as a daughter to Drupada just as Lord Shiva said but she received the blessing of a Yaksha (a class of demi gods)and she became a man by the name Shikhandi. Shikhandi grew up with the fires of revenge burning in his heart,waiting for the day when death would come to Bhishma.

The marriage of Prince Vichitravirya to the other princesses Ambika and Ambalika took place in grand style.There was lots of happiness in the kingdom but alas,it was to come to an end.Vichitravirya fell victim to a deadly disease which even the best of medicines could not cure.He died at a very young age leaving his wives without any progeny.

Satyavati was in extreame grief.First she lost her husband,then a son and now her other son was lost too. In addition there was no heir to the throne.Bhishma had to continue running the administration.Extremely worried by this situation,she summoned Bhishma and suggested that he take his brother's wives as his own so that the lineage could continue.

Bhishma reminded her of his vow of celebacy and as such could not act on her recomendation.Having explored all possible avenues for resolve then they finally considered the recomendation by the Shastras for dealing with such a unique situation.

The Shastras recomends that in such a situation,the queens can obtain sons by a Brahmin of noble character. Satyavati then told Bhishma that before she married his father Shantanu,she had a son for the sage Parasara.

She then narated her encounters with the sage Parasara. Parasara was a very learned person,a Gyani who was well versed in astrology.He knew that if a child was concieved in a certain muhurtha or auspicious moment in time,that child will possess the qualities like Lord Vishnu himself.

She told Bhishma that on the day of that muhurtha the sage was travelling on a boat with her father.Parasara related the secret to her father who in turn told the sage about her,since she was of marriageable age.

Taking a liking for the Rishi,her father offered her in marriage to the Rishi.It is from this union that a son was born.

Vyasa was his name and at an early age he had decided to go to the forest and perform Akhanda tapasya. Satyavati told Bhishma of her hesitation to let Vyasa do so but how she had eventually submitted on the condition that he appears before her whenever she should summon him.

Pandit Bhadase Maharaj.

Copyrighted

Aadi Parva
Sabha Parva
Vana Parva
Virata Parva
Udyoga Parva
Bhishma Parva
Drona Parva
Salya Parva
Mahaprasthanik Parva