Mahabharath !! Life of Amba, Ambika & Ambalika !!

Jai Sriman Narayana !!

The great epic Mahabharath was composed by Maharishi Veda Vyasa/Krishna Dwaipayana, son of Sage Parasara and Sathyavati, a woman from fishermen clan.  Mahabharath describes the legend of Bharatha Dynasty.     It was written in 18 Parva such as Adhi Parva, Sabha Parva, Vana Parva, Virada Parva, Udhyoga Parva, Bhishma Parva, Drona Parva, Karna Parva, Shalya Parva, Soupthika Parva, Stri Parva, Shanthi Parva, Anushasana Parva, Ashwamedha Parva, Ashramavasika Parva, Musala Parva, Mahaprasthanika Parva and Swargarohana Parva and each Parva has divided into many Upaparva and has chapters in detail.    Adhi Parva depicts the life of King Dushyantha and his wife Shakunthala and their son Sarvadhamanan, who was famously known as Bharatha, a righteous ruler of Bharatha Empior.


Lord Brahma created deities, Sages and Prajapathis.  It was the beginning of the growth of human race from the sixty daughters of Daksha Prajapathi.  Pururavass,  Yayathi, Puru,  Dushyantha,  Bharatha, Shanthanu were born in the family of Dithi, one of the daughters of Daksha Prajapathi. 


Life of Amba, Ambika & Ambalika :


King Shanthanu married to Sathyavathi with a promise that the child born to the couple would be the heir to the throne of Hasthinapur.  This couple had two sons Chithrangadha and Vichithraveerya.  King Shanthanu lived happily with Sathyavati for quite some time and passed away.   Chithrangadha was killed in a battle with a celestial Gandharva.  Vichithraveerya was declared as the King of Hasthinapur by Bhishma.  According to Sastra, legal heir to the throne should be married to pronounce him as a King.  During this period of time, the King of Kasi announced the Swayamvaram of his three daughters Amba, Ambika and Ambalika.    The elder daughter Amba was already in love with the King Swalya of neighboring country and was keenly waiting for the opportunity to get married to him.  Bhishma was assigned to meet the King of Kasi with the marriage proposal of Vichithraveerya.  Bhishma arrived at the glorious assembly of the King of Kasi and declared his purpose of visit to Kasi, moreover his intention to take three daughters with him to Hasthinapur.  It created a huge chaos in the assembly, King Swalya was furious at the declaration of Bhishma, eventually they both had huge fight.  King Swalya was defeated by Bhishma, the Kings assembled were anxiously left without the courage to fight against Bhishma.   The three daughters of King of Kasi were brought in a chariot to Hasthinapur.  Ambika and Ambalika had no objection to marry Vichithraveerya but Amba who was already in love with the King Swalya was opposed to the marriage with Vichithraveerya.  Bhishma advised her to return to King Swalya.  King Swalya was in utter shame and guilt refused to accept Amba, he turned down Amba due to the abuse he had to undergo in the Assembly.  Amba was crestfallen at the decision of King Swalya, returned to Hasthinapur with all the vengeance towards Bhishma.   She blamed Bhishma as the reason for her distress and insisted to marry her.  Bhishma revealed his inability to marry her as he was promised to remain unmarried all his life.


Amba was totally distressed and wandered through the wood land.  Amba underwent severe penance for 16 years and worshipped Sage Parasurama, Acharya of Bhishma to get fair judgment in her pathetic life.  Finally, Sage Parasurama appeared before her with a decision to find solution for her wretched life, advised her to approach Bhishma who is blameless, honorable and upright could help her to wave off her agonies.  Amba retaliated that Bhishma was the reason for her distress; she narrated her pitiable state to Sage Parasurama with a request to kill Bhishma.  A war was conducted between Sage Parasurama and Bhishma and it continued for several years.  There was no sign of the end of the war, Lord Shiva appeared before them and brought peace in them.   Lord Shiva offered a boon to Amba that she would be capable to kill Bhishma on her next birth as Shingandi.   Amba sorrowfully moved to the Kingdom of King Durpada,  a garland she had already received from Lord Subramanya with a promise that the Kshatriya who wore the garland would be competent to kill Bhishma was hanged on a tree in the palace of King Drupada.  Soon, Amba sacrificed her life into Yoga Agni.


Amba was born as Shigandini to King Drupadha.  Shigandini has the memories of her previous life, wore the garland she had already preserved on the tree in the palace.  King Drupadha worried about her malicious act and exiled her from the Kingdom.  Shingandini wandered through the wood land and met celestial Gandharvas, with their help she transformed herself into Shigandi.  Shigandi had to wait for several years until the great war of Mahabharath on the righteous of land Kurushetra to encounter with  Bhishma.


In the Great War of Mahabharath, Arjuna enquires Lord Krishna about the technique to defeat Bhishma.  Lord Krishna narrates that Shingandi’s arrow would be capable to conquer Bhishma.  Later, Shigandi appeared before Bhishma with the arrow,  Bhishma remained weaponless the moment he saw Shigandi, refused to hold bow and arrow against Shigandi, with a thought that it would bring disgrace to him to fight against neither  a man nor a woman.  At this point of time, Arjuna showered the arrows against Bhishma and defeated him.  Although Bhishma was plunged upon the bed of arrows, it was his determination to decide the time of death.  Bhishma waited for the arrival of Utharanaya Punyakala and breathed for last.  It was this period of time; Bhishma narrated the glorious verses of Sri Vishnu Sahasranama to Yudhishtira. 

Jai Sriman Narayana !!

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