Chapter 4 Amba Met Bhisma
The son of Satyavati, Chitraganda, was slain fighting a Gandharva. As he passed away without having children, his brother Vichitravirya was declared the legitimate successor and was formally anointed king. Since he was still a minor, Bhishma presided over the realm until he reached adulthood.
As Vichitravirya grew older, Bhishma began looking for a spouse for him. He went there to get the girls for his brother after learning that they would select their spouses in accordance with an old Kshatriya custom.
In their finest apparel, the kings of Kosla, Vanga, Pundra, Kalinga, and other princes and potentates had also travelled to Kasi for the swayamvara. There was intense rivalry to become one of the princesses since they were so well-known for their achievements and attractiveness.
The Kshatriyas knew Bhishma as a powerful man-at-arms. Everyone first believed that the illustrious hero had come only to take in the swayamvara celebrations. The young princes were disappointed and filled with resentment when they learned that he was also a suitor. They were unaware of his true motivation for travelling: to help his brother Vichitravirya.
The princes then started insulting Bhishma, saying things like, “This most great and knowledgeable descendant of the Bharata race forgets that he is too old and also forgets his vow of chastity. What connection does this old man have to this swayamvara? Punish him! The princesses who would select their spouses gave the elderly man a fleeting glance before turning their heads.
Bhishma became furious. He put the gathering princes through a test of their masculinity, which he won. And he headed for Hastinapura while transporting the three princesses on his chariot.
Salva, the king of the Saubala nation, who was allied with Amba, intercepted and fought against him before he could go very far. For that princess had already made up her mind to marry Salva. Salva lost a fierce battle, which was to be expected given how skilled Bhishma was with a bow. But Bhishma spared his life at the princesses’ pleas.
Bhishma made plans for the princesses’ marriage to Vichitravirya after they arrived in Hastinapura. When everyone had gathered for the wedding, Amba grinned sarcastically and said to Bhishma, “O son of Ganga, you are aware of what is prescribed in the scriptures. Salva, the Saubala monarch, has been mentally selected as my future spouse. I was coerced into coming here by you. Knowing this, carry out the advice you received from the scripts.
Bhishma acknowledged the weight of her protest and dispatched her to Salva with the appropriate escort. The marriage between the two younger sisters, Ambika and Ambalika, and Vichitravirya was legally ordained.
Salva was informed of the event by Amba, who ran to him in joy and said, “I have mentally selected you as my spouse from the very beginning. I’ve been sent to you by Bhishma. Wed me in accordance with the sastras.
Salva said, “Bhishma dragged you off after defeating me in front of everyone. I’ve been humiliated. So I can’t accept you as my wife right now. Go back to him and follow his instructions. Salva then sent her back to Bhishma with such remarks.
After leaving, she went back to Hastinapura and informed Bhishma of what had happened. The grandsire made an effort to persuade Vichitravirya to wed her. However, Vichitravirya categorically declined to wed a woman whose heart had already been given to someone else.
As there was no other option, Amba turned to Bhishma and asked him to marry her by himself. Despite his regret for Amba, Bhishma was unable to violate his pledge. After multiple fruitless tries to get Vichitravirya to alter his decision, he advised her that her only option was to visit Salva once more and try to convince him. She was first too proud to do this, so she lived in Hastinapura for a very long time. Finally, she went to Salva out of pure desperation and was met with his strong denial.
The six terrible years of sadness and lost hope were endured by the lotus-eyed Amba. And as a result of her suffering, all of her sweetness turned to bile and a ferocious hate for Bhishma, whom she blamed for her miserable existence.
Even the most renowned warriors were scared of Bhishma and paid no attention to her request. She searched in vain for a champion among the kings to battle and kill Bhishma and revenge her wrongs.
In the end, she turned to severe penance in order to win Bhagwan Subrahmanya’s favour. He kindly came in front of her and presented her a garland made of perpetually fresh lotuses, warning that the wearer would turn against Bhishma.
Amba received the wreath and asked every Kshatriya to support her cause by accepting the wreath that the six-faced Bhagwan had sent as a gift. However, no one had the courage to disagree with Bhishma.
She eventually went to King Drupada, who likewise turned down her petition. She then left towards the wilderness after hanging the wreath at Drupada’s palace gate. She met several ascetics there, and after sharing her tragic past with them, they encouraged her to visit Parasurama as a suppliant. She adopted their suggestions.
When Parasurama learned of her tragic tale, he was touched by compassion and asked: “Dear child, what do you desire? If you like, I may propose to Salva as your spouse.
“No, I do not desire it,” Amba said. I no longer want a husband, a house, or happiness. I just have one goal left in life, which is to exact justice on Bhishma. The death of Bhishma is the only blessing I desire.
Inflamed by her suffering as well as by his steadfast animosity for the Kshatriya race, Parasurama championed her cause and engaged in combat with Bhishma. The two greatest men-at-arms of the day engaged in a protracted battle on an even footing. However, Parasurama ultimately forced to admit defeat. “I have done everything I could, but I have failed,” he said to Amba. Put yourself at Bhishma’s mercy. There is no other option for you but that.
Amba went to the Himalayas and engaged in strict penance to obtain Siva’s grace because all human assistance had failed her. She was consumed with grief and rage and was only kept alive by her desire for retribution. Siva appeared in front of her and promised her a boon: in her subsequent reincarnation, she would kill Bhishma.
Amba couldn’t wait for the rebirth that would grant her every want. She built a pyre and dove into the flames, pouring the flame from her heart into the pyre’s hardly any hotter blaze.
Amba was born as the princess of King Drupada by the grace of Bhagwan Siva. A few years after her birth, she came across the never-fading flower garland that was still hanging at the palace entrance and had been left unattended due to fear.
It was wrapped around her neck. Her boldness alarmed her father Drupada, who was worried that Bhishma’s anger might fall upon him.
He exiled his daughter to the wilderness outside of the city. She engaged in penance in the wilderness, where she eventually changed into a man and took on the name Sikhandin, a warrior.
On the Kurukshetra battlefield, Arjuna assaulted Bhishma while Sikhandin served as his charioteer. Sikhandin was born a woman, and Bhishma was aware of it. However, he would never attack Sikhandin out of chivalry.
Because Bhishma realised that his arduous trial on earth was up and agreed to be defeated, it was therefore possible for Arjuna to defeat him while being screened by Sikhandi (Shikhandin).
In his final battle, Bhishma selected out the arrows that had penetrated him the deepest and declared: “This is Arjuna’s arrow and not Sikhandin’s.” So this mighty warrior was defeated.
Keep Mahabharat Book at Home and Read Daily – DO NOT FALL TO FAKE PROPAGANDA and Allow Enemies to Weaken our Dharma and Bharat
This historical epic Mahabharat is known as fifth Veda. It is a common misconception spread by mlecchas; muslims and christian missionaries, and secular Hindus that reading Mahabharat or keeping it at home will likely lead to arguments and fighting. All of this misinformation was spread by illiterate mlecchas and anti-Hindus, and it is completely incorrect. It is done to mentally weaken Hindus so that they avoid reading Mahabharat. Because Mahabharat invokes bravery, pride and sense of confidence in Hindus.
Keep a copy of Mahabharat at home and read it online at the HariBhakt website. Mahabharat is rightly called the fifth Veda for Kaliyuga people because it is a tool and guidance to invoke confidence and bravery in Sanatan Dharmi Hindus.
You can read complete Mahabharat by following Chapter links given below. You can check Glossary of Mahabharat here.