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Shaantanu, Raajaa-1

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Shaantanu, Raajaa-1

1. Who is Shaantanu? and Shaantanu and Gangaa
2. Shaantanu and Satyavatee

Shaantanu is a Mahaabhaarat character.

Who was Shaantanu?
In his previous birth Shaantanu was King Mahaabhish. He was a very good person and had a good friendship with Indra so he often used to go to Indra's court to see Apsaraa's dance. Once Mahaabhish was sitting there, that Gangaa also came with her father in that court. Mahaabhish could not remove his eyes from her. Gangaa also continued to look at him.

In the meantime a blow of wind came and it removed the cloth from Gangaa's body. Seeing this all others lowered their eyes, but Mahaabhish continued to look at her. At this Brahmaa Jee got angry and gave Shaap to Mahaabhish to be born on Prithvi along with Gangaa, and to Gangaa to take birth on Prithvi and live with Mahaabhish.

At that time King Prateep of Kuru family was ruling the Prithvi, so Mahaabhish decided to be his son. Thus he was born as Prateep's son. Prateep named him Shaantanu. In fact Prateep had three sons - Devaapi, Shaantanu and Baalheek. Shaantanu was very intelligent and religious. Whoever he touched he became young from old and he becae peaceful, that is why he was called Shaantanu (Shaant = peaceful, Tanu = body; means whose body is peaceful). He reflected immense peace also. He became clever in all respects, so Prateep handed over his kingdom to him and went to forest to do Tap. But he told him that a celestial girl wanted to marry him before going to Van.

Once Indra did not rain in his kingdom for 12 years. He got very worried and asked Braahman about its reason. They said - "Because you accepted the kingdom before your older brother that is why you will not have rains in your kingdom. So if you want your kingdom to be prosperous and green, you return your kingdom to your elder brother as soon as possible."

When Braahman said thus he immediately went to his elder brother Devaapi and request to accept his kingdom. But his ministers had already sent their people to his elder brother Devaapi to make him lose Ved Maarg (path according to Ved), so this made Shaantanu naturally eligible for the kingship and he had rains in his kingdom.

Devaapi is still doing Yog Saadhanaa in Kalaap Graam. When in Kali Yug Chandra Vansh will end, then in Sat Yug, he will start it again.

Shaantanu and Gangaa
Thus King Shaantanu starting ruling. Once he was taking a stroll on Gangaa River, that he saw Gangaa wandering around in person. He got attracted to her and said to her - "I want to marry you." Gangaa said - "I am ready to marry you but there is a condition." "What" "That whatever I will do, you will never ask me any question about it, otherwise I will answer your first question and go away from here." Raajaa was so much in love with her that he had lost his wisdom and said "Yes, fine." and they got married.

Birth of Devavrat
Now Gangaa started living with Shaantanu and Shaantanu's time was passing happily. After some time Gangaa had a son. The whole palace echoed with the cries of happiness. But soon these happy cries changed into sorrowful cries. People of the palace saw Gangaa taking the child towards Gangaa River. They reported to Shaantanu also, but Shaantanu was tied with his vow. He could not say anything. He just followed her and he saw that she flowed that child in Gangaa River. The child drowned immediately. Raajaa got very sad with this episode.

After sometime Gangaa had another son. Once again the palace echoed with cries of happiness. Raajaa was told that he was going to have another son. But again the same thing happened, Gangaa took the child to Gangaa River and flowed him in it. The child drowned immediately and nobody could do anything. The palace again plunged into the sea of grief.  Raajaa also couldn't ask anything otherwise Gangaa would go back. Thus she flowed Shaantanu's seven sons in Gangaa River.

Now Gangaa was again pregnant. She again gave birth to a son, but the whole palace was completely quiet. All were whispering - "What type of mother she is? She has already killed her own seven sons. Now she will do the same with this child also." But this time Raajaa couldn't remain silent. As she was flowing him in the river, Raajaa held her hand and stopped her flowing this child in the river and asked - "Why are you doing this with this innocent child? You have already flowed my seven sons, this time I will not allow you to do so. Tell me the secret of this."

Gangaa said - "Mahaaraaj, These eight sons were eight Vasu. They had the Shaap of Vashishth to live on Prithvi, so I offered them to bear them on Prithvi and gave them Mukti from this Shaap. That is why I came to you, I put such condition and I married you. In fact you and me are also here together because of the Shaap of my father." Then she told him his previous life's story.

"In the previous life, you were Mahaabhish. You had a  good friendship with Indra, so sometimes you used to come there to see Apsaraa's dances. One day when you were sitting there, I also came there with my father Brahmaa Jee. we both started looking at each other. In the meantime wind flew away my cloth from my body. Seeing this all other Devtaa lowered their eyes but you kept looking at me. At this my father Brahmaa Jee gave Shaap to me that I should born on Prithvi and gave Shaap to you that since you have behaved with indecency, you should also born on Prithvi with me. That is why I am living with you and you are living with me here."

Gangaa further said - "When I was returning to Brahm Lok, I saw eight Vasu descending from Heaven. She was amazed to see them together descending like this, so she asked them the reason of this. The Vasu told that they got a Shaap from Vashishth Jee to take birth on Prithvi. Then they requested me to bear them as my sons and drown them in waters so that Vashishth's Shaap is also fulfilled and they also get Mukti soon.

I said - "All right, I will do as you say, but one of you will have to stay alive, because at least once the Raajaa will ask me why I was doing to his sons, and as soon as he will ask me, that boy had to live." Vasu agreed at this. They further said - "Then we will each bestow a part of our glory to the 8th Vasu Dhyaanumaa who will be alive on Prithvi. He will be a great warrior, but his lineage will not continue after his death and to return to us he will have to die in Uttaraayan period."

So I agreed to be their mother to give them Mukti from this Shaap. All these sons whom I have flowed in river, were those eight Vasu. Therefore by flowing them in river I have not killed them but have given them Mukti from that Shaap. Since this 8th Vasu has to live on Prithvi that is why you asked this question. According to my condition I have answered your one question and now I am going to my Lok. I am free from my Shaap." She told him that she had named him as Devavrat and she was taking him with her and when he would grow up then she would return him to Shaantanu.

She further said - "Since I told you that anytime you would ask me any question, I will answer your question and will go away, so I have answered your question and now I am going away. Since you cannot bring this child up properly I am taking him with me. I will educate him and when his education will be complete, I will bring him to you." And Gangaa went away with the child. (read also "Birth of Devavrat")

Shaantanu Gets His Son Back
Shaantanu remained standing on the river bank stunned hearing all this. He came back to his palace very sad, but he often used to go to Gangaa River for a stroll. After 16 years, once he heard that some young man had stopped the water flow of Gangaa with a wall of arrows, and because of that farmers were not getting water for their farms. He himself went there and tried to look for that young man. He found him and asked him as why he was doing so.

In the meantime he saw Gangaa coming towards him. He got surprised to see her after a long time. Then Gangaa introduced that young boy as his son. She told him that she had named him Devavrat. Raajaa got very happy to see his grownup son. Devavrat got the education from Dev-Guru Brihaspati Jee and learned warfare from Parashuraam Jee.

Raajaa brought him to his palace. People were very happy to get the prince back. After some time Raajaa declared him the Crown Prince of Hastinaapur.



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Created by Sushma Gupta On 5/27/04
Modified on 03/28/13