Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Chapter 5 - Bhishma and the sons of Satyavati

Shantanu was shocked! He could not believe that his son....his Devavratha....had given up his right to the throne so easily....Just to keep him happy....

On one side Shantanu was overwhelmed...Satyavati was his...That is what he had wanted...On the other hand, Shantanu was filled with guilt...Devavratha...his son had given up everything for him! Devavratha was now Bhishma... His son would never become a father, because of him...

Even now Bhishma did not look like he had sacrificed everything in life for his father. He looked regal and powerful. It was clear to Shantanu that Bhishma would never be tempted to break his vow ….ever. He would keep his vow till the last day he was alive.

Shantanu embraced his son with love and affection. He looked at Bhishma and said, 'Son! I do not know whether I am even the right person to bless you!' Bhishma shook his head to speak when Shantanu held up his hands, 'No! Please let me finish! I, Shantanu bless you that you can choose the manner and the time of your death...You will die only when you want to die and in the manner that you wish to die...'

Bhishma nodded his head and fell at his father's feet. Satyavati watched the whole scene from behind. She had no doubt in her mind about Bhishma. Bhishma was the pillar on which her family leaned on....Though Bhishma would never rule the throne, without him, the kingdom would be nothing...

The people in the kingdom of Hastinapur were however very unhappy....Most of them wanted to be ruled by Bhishma....Besides deep down they always felt that Satyavati was only a fisherwoman and not a queen....However as time went by, the people realized that though Bhishma would never rule them, he was the real power behind the throne....He made the decisions in the name of the King. Soon the people also realized Satyavati's true potential and she also won the people's respect....

Shantanu and Satyavati had two sons – Chitrangada and Vichitraviryan. Bhishma loved and adored his two brothers and in turn the two of them worshiped the ground on which Bhishma walked. Shantanu was too old to look after his two sons. Bhishma with the help of Satyavati, raised his two brothers as his sons. Bhishma raised Chitrangada to be the king after his father. Under Satyavati's request, Bhishma even crowned him as the crown prince when Shantanu was alive.

Chitrangada was a good warrior and he learnt the art of administering the kingdom and diplomacy from his brother. Shantanu passed away a few years later and Chitrangada was crowned as the King of Hastinapur. Chitrangada however heavily relied on his elder brother and the real management of the kingdom was in Bhishma's hands.

Chitrangada fought many wars and was a brilliant warrior. He expanded the kingdom and defeated all the nearby kings. One day, Bhishma wanted to go to the outskirts of the kingdom to look into the affairs of the people there, of the newly acquired kingdoms. Chitrangada made arrangements for his brother's departure. Bhishma left the very next day.

As Chitrangada was going to attend court, he heard a loud roar outside the palace walls! He ran outside and saw a huge Gandharva standing there! The Gandharva looked handsome and ferocious at the same time. The Gandharva now spoke angrily, 'Who is it that has my name?'

Chitrangada looked angrily at the Gandharva, 'Stop scaring my people, Gandharva! Tell me who you are and then we will see...'

The Gandharva opened his mouth to speak in a melodious voice, 'I am Chitrangada, the King of the Gandharvas!'

Without missing a step, Chitrangad pulled out his sword. 'I am King Chitrangada, the Kuru King of Hastinapur! What do you want?'

The Gandharva with wide angry eyes pulled out his sword, 'There cannot be two kings with the name Chitrangada! I am the only true king. You are nothing but a weak pathetic human, whereas I am a Gandharva! You have made me very angry by keeping my name for yourself! Get ready to meet your death for that...'

Chitrangada, the Kuru King said, 'I do not want my good soldiers to be killed for such a silly battle. I will meet your challenge one on one....' The Gandharva nodded his head contemptuously.

Both of them had a fierce battle in the banks of the river Hiranyavati. Gandharva were heavenly musicians. However they were physically very powerful and strong. They were also masters of military tactics. Though Chitrangada, the Kuru prince was a brilliant strategist, he could not keep up with the superior strength of the gandharva.

Much to the dismay of the whole kingdom, Chitrangada, the Kuru King was killed by the Gandharva. The whole kingdom watched in horror as Chitrangada breathed his last! The Gandharva disappeared from there laughing like a maniac....

Bhishma returned a few days later and listened as an inconsolable Satyavati told him everything, 'The...Gandharva killed my son Bhishma! He killed your brother in cold blood...' She broke out in sobs as Bhishma heard the whole story. Bhishma was broken hearted. He could not believe that his brother....a brother whom he had loved like his own son was no more....a gandharva had come and just taken away his brother....

Bhishma sat down clutching his head. Satyavati looked at Bhishma and said, 'Bhishma! The throne of Hastinapur cannot be without a King...'

Bhishma looked at Satyvati and realized that despite her upbringing as a fisherwoman, Satyavati was made up of sterner stuff...She was born to be a queen...She was someone who could plan ahead and set her own grief aside...Bhishma slowly nodded his head.

Chitrangada did not have any children...So as per the laws of those days, the younger brother Vichitraviryan had the right to rule the kingdom...
Both Bhishma and Satyavati chose an auspicious day and crowned Vichitraviryan, the younger son as the King...Bhishma pulled himself together and once again started teaching Vichitraviryan the ways of the King...Under the request of Satyavati, Bheeshma ruled the vast Kingdom as a representative of the young Vichitraviryan.

Under his brother's guidance, Vichitraviryan learnt the ways of administering the kingdom and became a good diplomat and learnt the art of warfare....


  1. from where did you get this story. can you give some references.

  2. Thanks for the writing.. Please link me to complete story from "chapter 7 of The Mahabharat". I cant access it.

    1. Dear Sir,
      I am still working on Chapter 7. I will post it as soon as I can.

  3. Hi, could you please give tell us the source of this story, its quite an interesting one and well written at that.


    P.S. Please visit my blog: www.mythotsaloud.blogspot.in

    1. Hello Madam,
      This story is taken from Veda Vyasa s Mahabharata. This can be found in Adi Parva.

  4. Didn't Bhishma took revenge to that Gandharva Chitrangada??

    1. Yes. It is believed he killed that gandharva.