Now Prince Vichitravirya had reached of age for marriage
and his mother Satyavati had to focus her attention on
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
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 grew up with the fires of revenge burning in
his heart,waiting for the day when death would come to
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.