When The time came for Bharata to announce the Yuvaraja , i.e the person who would be throned as the king when he himself would either step down or be no longer around, Bharata found none of his own sons suitable. He decided to adopt a deserving candidate as the future king, saying that, all citizens are the sons of the king and if the king’s son is unsuitable, then it is his duty to give a good king to the kingdom even at the cost of his personal emotions. Now , if his descendent Dhritrashtra had seen and understood this, a lot of trouble would have been avoided.

Now we jump a long period of time and reach the stage when king Shantanu was the ruler at Hastinapur.

He was a great king, and his subjects loved him. At this time, it is said, the whole story of the mahabharata had been written to the end by Saint Vedavyasa (the son of saint Parashar and Satyavati, who later went on to become the wife of shantanu himself) The actual happenings occured later, but the book had been written in advance




One day, while Shantanu was at the banks of the ganges, he saw a divine beauty rising from the waters. He fell in love with her, and asked for her hand in marriage. The lady introduced herself as Ganga, and accepted the proposal with a condition, that shantanu would never question her acts, whatever she did. Shantanu, blinded by his attraction, accepted the condition … thus sowing the seeds of the tragedy which came generations later. Now, I ask you friends, while it may be ok for a normal person to make such reckless promises, is it acceptable for a king, who is responsible for all the decisions of the wmpire, to make such a promise to fulfill his personal desire for a beautiful woman? Did he not realize the possibilities that the promise circumvened? Remember, he was from the bharata vamsha, and had great example of the great bharata to guide him……………………Nevertheless, what happened – happened, and they got married. Fortunately Ganga was Ganga, but remember – it could have been any type of a woman for all shantanu knew at that time……

Now , it so happened that eight vasus – the immortal sons of the manu, had been cursed to a life as mortals on earth. They  had a friend Jitavati, and to give her a long life, they had stolen sage vashishtha’s cow (the same nandini – the cause of the friction between vishwamitra nad vashishtha) believing that by drinking her milk, her life would be extended. but the vasus were caught steeling, and they were condemned to themselves be born as mortals. Now, they approached Ganga to become their mother and kill them immediately after birth – to save them the trouble of living a human life. Ganga , who was herself supposed to spend a part of her lifetime on earth to atone for her sin, which she and shantanu were supposed to have committed by falling for each other in the higher planets. So She agreed to bear them as her sons, and immediately drown them in her own waters to save them the apin of suffering  a whole lifetime on earth…

Till next time then … cheers