- So, Shantanu asked for Ganga to marry him -and she accepted his proposal with a starnge condition – that he would never question her – whatever she chose to do . Ganaga was Ganga, she knew what she was going to do – ther is nothing wrong with her putting a condition like that (more so because she must have been sure that shantanu would never allow her to kill their offspring if he wasn’t tied down by his own promise) – but what about a king – who is supposed to be pious and on the path of a king’s dharma – accepting to make such a promise? Just to satisfy his own blind love – didn’t he himself play a much riskier gamble than his descendent yudhishthira did years later? After all he didn’t know anything about Ganga and she could have asked for anything after such a blind promise and marriage – when she would officially be the queen of the empire!!! This also goes to show that while Shantanu was blind in his love – Ganga wasn’t ! After all when she promised the Vasus that she would bear them as her children and kill them on birth – she knew that shantanu would be the father, and he would suffer – and she never thought to ask him or to take his agreement to the sin of being a mute watcher to the killing of his sons (in his eyes – it was definitely a sin – though it wasnt a sin in ganga’s eyes – – in normal viewing – you decide – is it not a sin to kill? if you feel she was killing the vasus’ withtheir own permission – then i ask you – do you think suicide is not a sin? Then is mercy killing wrong? Why did the supreme court not allow active mercy killing of the long suffering Aruna Shanbaug ? while it is right for ganga to kill the vasus on birth because they wanted it – how is it wrong to kill Hritick Roshan in the movie guzarish???
- Well – let us leave the decision making to the individual readers, and proceed with the story… Ganga agreed to Shantanu’s marriage proposal – and they were married. Soon Ganga was expecting the first baby – and the whole kingdm was in a celebration mode – waiting for the new yuvaraja – please note two things – It was assumed that the child would be a male and also that he would be named yuvaraja – the next king without any reference to whether he she would be fit to be a good king!! Here are the first steps – from Bharata’s methods – who – despite having own sons – chose a deserving yuvaraja from outside – to the time of shantanu – when – even before birth – the child was assumed to be the next yuvaraja.
- Well – finally the wait was over – and Ganga delievered a baby boy – and ther was a wave of joy throughout the capital city. But even before the joy could be celebrated – the population was shocked to know that – the new beautiful queen – the goddess likwe ganga – had taken her own child to the waters of the ganges and smilingly drowned it!!!! People were bewildered – and there was a wave of disgust at the cruel mother who could do this to a new born child. But the king – did not question his lovely wife because he was too attached to her to risk losing her in wake of his breaking his promise!!! Now – please remember – he had not promised her not to ask wuestions – just that if he asked she would leave him and go . Therefore – if he did question her act – he would not have been guilty of breaking his vachana – just lose her !!!! Would that be such a great loss ?? I mean losing a wife who murders your son is a worse loss than being a silent accessory to further such murders??
- And – this went on – for the next children too – till the last child – Devavrata – was born. After so many incidences did Shantanu come out of his blind attachment – and questioned Ganga – just as she was about to drown the baby. She then told him the whole sad story – and then left him. Doesn’t it go to show the depth of her love to him? While she was not cursed to live a fully human life on earth – as sahantanu was – she had the rememberance of her actual self – while he did not – but – if she had truly loved him – would she have taken advantage of the escape clause to leave him and return to heaven – where they both belonged – leaving him to suffer the life alone?
- But, while Ganga went – she did not leave the baby with shantanu – she took him with her – to be trained by divine gurus , so that he would be capable and fit to take over the dynasty of the great Bharata. Remember – she was a goddess – and knew what was the tradition of the family – that birth alone should not guarantee on to be entitled to be the yuvaraja – one had to prove one’s worth too!! And she also had at least an inkling of what the future held – for her husband and their son….
- Till next time – cheers ….