Mahabharata Stories – King Shantanu Love & the beginning

King Shantanu of Mahabharata was a king of the Kuru dynasty. Shantanu’s father was King Pratipa. Pratipa had three sons: Devapi, Shantanu, and Bahlika. Devapi was considered the oldest and was supposed to be the next king, but he left the kingdom to become a hermit and renounced his claim to the throne. Shantanu became the next in line for the throne and eventually succeeded his father as the king of Hastinapura.

Story in video:
The story of Shantanu starts after 10 minutes (full Table of Contents of the stories in the video is posted at the end of this post)

King Pratipa was a very peaceful (Shanta) person. Being the son of Shanta king, Shantanu was so named. He was a just and wise ruler, known for his fairness and good governance. Shantanu fell in love with Ganga, a river goddess, and married her on the condition that he would not ask her any questions about her actions. Shantanu agreed on the conditions set by Ganga and married. She was a good and loving wife. Shantanu had nothing to complain until she gave birth to their first son. Right after giving birth to the son Ganga took the newborn boy and drowned in Ganga River. Bound by the promise Shantanu couldn’t ask her any question. She did the same to the second son, the third son and so on. When she drowned 7 sons and when it was the time of 8th,
Shantanu could not hold back his curiosity and asked her why she had become so cruel and done all that.

Ganga revealed that the children were actually gods in human form, and that they had to return to the heavens. The eighth son was saved but, she took him with her, and left Shantanu alone as promised. Devastated by the loss of his children and the wife, Shantanu became sad and lonely. The son was name Devbrata. He was later named Bhishma, one of the central figures in the Mahabharata epic.

Bhisma helped Shantanu to marry his second wife, Satyawati. Satyawati was a daughter of a fisherman who was rowing a boat Shantanu was riding to cross river. He was attracted by the beauty of Satyawati. Satywati was not willing to get married to the king until her father would approve her marriage. He father however bargained about the throne to Satyawati’s son instead of Devbrata. When Shantanu couldn’t decide on the deal, Devbrata himself went to Satyawati’s father’s home and promised not to get married and never try to become the king.

Very interesting ten initial stories of Mahabharata: Angel of heaven, Menaka met Vishwamitra and gave birth to Shankutala. Shakuntala met king Dushyanta and gave birth to Bharat. That is the Bharat in the name Mahabharata. Vyas, the writer has seen everything in his lifetime. He was a son of Satyavati before she married King Shantanu.

About Mahabharata: This is a thousand of years old text written by Vyas. Vyas had asked Ganesh to write it down. That is the first story in the video attached above. Another interesting aspect of the story is that Vyas is also one of the characters of the story. He had fathered the central characters.

Time stamp of the video
0:00 – Introduction of Mahabharata epic
01:21 – Ganesh & Vyas agreement of writing the epic
10:40 – Ganga-Shantanu Love Story, Bhisma birth
20:07 – Asta Basu story (past life of Bhisma)
27:28 – Satyavati – Shantanu Love Story – Bhisma Pratigya
37:34 – Amba – Bhisma Love/hate story. Sisters Ambika & Ambalika are married to Vichitravirya
50:50 – Devyani and Kach love story
01:03:48 – Devyani- Yayati marriage, Sharmistha affair
01:18:13 – Yayati Old age curse & sons
01:23:00 – Shakuntala and Dushyanta love story – Bharata birth
01:36:16 – Menaka – Vishwamitra love story, Shakuntala birth

In the next part of Mahabharata, the birth of Dhritarastra, Pandu and Vidura are presented. A definition of what Mahabharata is:

The Mahabharata is an ancient Indian epic that tells the story of a great war between the Pandavas and the Kauravas, two branches of the same royal family. The Mahabharata epic is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the Ramayana. It is considered one of the greatest works of Hindu literature and is revered as a sacred text by Hindus all over the world. It is a long and complex narrative that covers a wide range of topics, including religion, ethics, politics, and human emotion. In total, it consists of more than 100,000 verses and is traditionally divided into 18 books, or parvas. The Mahabharata is known for its intricate plot, well-developed characters, and the lessons it teaches about dharma, or the moral and ethical code of conduct that guides the lives of Hindus. Another greatest books of all time, Shreemad Vagawat Geet is a part of Mahabharata – a teaching of Krishna to Arjuna, one of the Pandavas.

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