So, we talked about Vishwamitra and Vashishtha and their tug of war over the holy cow Nandini in the previous post. Well, Both of them have important roles in the story of Mahabharata.
Vashishtha sired Shakti muni,
who in turn fathered Parashara muni,
who was the father of Ved Vyasa born to Satyavati.
Satyavati went on to become the wife of bheeshma’s father Shantanu (and it was for enabling their marriage, after seeing his father lovesick for her, that shantanu’s son devavrata took the oath to never become a king and forever remain a bacheler – thereby terming him as bheeshma)
Later Satyavati’s first son from parashar muni, Sri Vedavyasa fathered dhritrashtra, pandu, and vidura, because her sons from king shantanu could not extend the family and bheeshma refused to give up his pratignya and get married. Therefore, both the parties fighting the mahabharata are the descendents of Vashishtha. (Vedvyasa is also the father of Shuka deva, who recited the Bhagawatam to Parikshit who was Abhimanu’s and Uttara’s son and Arjuna’s and Subhadra’s grandson… Subhadra was the sister of Krishna, and Arjuna’s cousin. Thus we see that marriage among cousins was also well accepted in our history, and is very prevalant in karnataka where I am staying today, where it is more or less a norm for first cousins (that is the children of brother and sister) to get married. Here, the title for mom and dad in law is Atte – Mama – that is , bua and mama in hindi.
On the other hand, Vishwamitra started tapasya, and underwent severe penance. The king of the devas, Indra felt afraid that Vishwamitra would take over his kingdom by the power of his tapasya.Thereby, fearing for his simhasana, and sent Menaka to disturb Vishwamitra’s tapasya. Vishwamtra became attached to her and married her, and she gave birth to Shakuntala .
After her birth, Indra summoned Menaka back to swarga, and Vishwamitra, learning of the deception, got infuriated and gave up the daughter. Shakuntala was brought up bu rishi Kanva, and later she fell in love with Dushyanta, The Paurava king. They secretly got married…. After he returned to his kingdom, she missed him terribly and forgot to cater to rishi Durvasa who cursed her that her lover would forget her. On her friends’ behest, he said he would remember her if she could show him some gift given buy him to her. Later Shakuntala realised that she was pregnant, and was sent to her husband, who did not recognise her due to the curse. She was unable to return to her father’s ashrama in her condition, and she went on to the forest where she gave birth to Bharata, who was later seen by his father playing with tiger cubs in the jungle.
As the curse broke (on seeing a ring he had gifted her) dushyanta recognised shakuntala and took back both mother and child to his palace. This boy Bharata was the forefather of the Bharata vamsha, to which Kauravas and Pandavas belong.
Thus, ther is a deep linkage between both the great sages Vashishtha and Vishwamitra, and the bharatvamsha dynasty. We also see a historical linkage between the ramayana and the mahabharata epics.
PS : Hi – it is difficult to maintain caps and small letters and proper punctuations during the flow of writing. Please bear with me……
Have a nice day friends. Cheers. Keep visiting, and please post your comments to the posts…….