Episode # 84 – The “CHANDRA-VAMSA” – King Shantanu marries Satyavati!!!

The previous episode marked an important event in the entire Mahabharata text – The divine incarnation of Sage Veda-Vyaasa. As we’ve witnessed yesterday, Sage Veda-Vyaasa was born to Sage Paraashara and Satyavati in an unconventional manner, wherein Sage Paraashara involved in a union with Satyavati with the help of his divine power of penance. With this, Satyavati too did not lose her virginity, even though she gave birth to a child. This child that was born out of this union was a great person with an extreme involvement in the pursuit of Brahman. Immediately after Sage Vyaasa was born, he left his mother with an assurance that he would appear in front of her at any time whenever she wanted his help or intervention. Sage Paraashara on his part blessed Satyavati with virginity again and made her ready to get married to someone before he left. Now since this child was black in color (“Krishna”) and was born in an island (“Dveepa”), he obtained the name “Krishna-Dvaipaayana”. Sage Veda-Vyaasa grew up and he was the only person who was instrumental in segregating the complex Vedas text into the four different categories – Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharvana. Also, Sage Veda-Vyaasa was solely instrumental for the Mahabharata text to come up, which is even today revered and respected to be the “Fifth Veda” along with the four others. Thus, the contribution of Sage Vyaasa to our Sanaatana Dharma is enormous and he is easily regarded as one of the great “stalwarts”! 

Now coming back to the events that conspired after Satyavati was left alone by Sage Paraashara and Sage Veda-Vyaasa – As per Sage Paraashara’s blessing, Satyavati again gets married. She gets married to King Shantanu. Now the question would arise – Who is this King Shantanu? The answer was that, he was born as part of the “Chandra-Vamsa”, amidst great kings who came as part of that lineage. Now the next question arises – What is this “Chandra-Vamsa”? There is a huge narration of the “Chandra-Vamsa ” here, wherein it all begins from Sage Shukraachaarya. Subsequent to Sage Shukraachaarya came Yayaati. This Yayaati has two wives by names Devayani and Sharmishta. Subsequently, Dushyanata was born as part of the “Chandra-Vamsa”. Bharata was born as a son to Dushyanta. Bharata in turn had a son by name Kuru. Kuru had a son in turn by name Deva. It is to this Deva that Shantanu was born. King Shantanu in turn had a son by name Bhisha. It is to this same Shantanu did Vichitraveerya and Chitraangatha take birth. These people in turn had sons by name Paandu and Dhirdiraashtra. It is to this Dhirdirasshtra that Duryodhana and his hundred brothers were born. Subsequently Paandu had five sons inclusive of Yudishtra and Co. This is how the “Chandra-Vamsa” took shape. 

Thus, we’re witnessing Satyavati getting married to King Shantanu, who is part of this “Chandra-Vamsa”. But we’ve witnessed that King Shantanu’s son is Bhishmaachaarya. But did Bhishmaachaarya take birth out of this marriage? The answer is “No”! King Shantanu’s other wife is none other than Mother Ganga Devi (River Ganges). It is to King Shantanu and Mother Ganga Devi did Bhishmaachaarya take birth. This is why Bhishmaachaarya is also referred to as “Gaangeya”. This means, “Son of Mother Ganga Devi”. Satyavati’s marriage with King Shantanu produced the two sons of Vichitraveerya and Chitraangata. Readers should be very careful in remembering this family lineage here. It is to be remembered that it is to this same Satyavati, Sage Vyaasa was born. That was one side of the story which we witnessed yesterday. Now, after Sage Paraashara blesses Satyavati with virginity again, she gets married to King Shantanu and in turn has two sons namely Vichitraveerya and Chitraangata. 

As this goes on in one end, there is another sub-story to this – There was a great Sage by name “Aani-Maandavya”. Once upon a time Yama-Dharma-Raja commits a mistake to Sage Aani-Maandavaya and gets cursed that he would go and take birth in the world and experience all the trials and tribulations that a human being would experience in the “Manushya Lokha”. This person who took birth because of Sage Aani-Maandavya’s curse is none other than the great Vidura. Thus, we can see here that Vidura is a direct incarnation of “Yama-Dharma-Raja” and is a complete embodiment of “Dharma”. We’re going to witness in due course how Vidura is going to play a very important role in the life of the Paandavas and how he is going to be their “savior” at critical junctures. 

So for today, let us understand till this point, and we shall witness in the next episode as to who else was born in this world as whom! Stay tuned for the important discussion! 🙂 


Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Bharatidhasan Institute of Management (BIM) Trichy, India A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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