Episode # 108 – Bhishmacharya defeats Parashurama – Amba takes rebirth as “Shikandi”!!!

In the previous episode, we had witnessed a landmark event in the entire Mahabharata text, wherein one of the “lethal weapons” to kill the invincible Bhishmaachaarya comes into existence. Of course, this is not going to be used right away, but we should remember that this “lethal weapon” exists, when the time comes much later. This “lethal weapon” is nothing but the divine garland which Bhagawan Muruga (Skandha) gives to Amba to fight over Bhishmaachaarya for the insult that he had given to her. We should remember here that Amba, Ambika and Ambaalika were the three daughters of the king of “Kaashi Desha”. In the Svayamvara event conducted by the Kaashi King, Bhishmaachaarya emerged victorious and was on the way to Hastinapura with the three girls, whom were planned to be married to King Vichitraveerya. However, on the way, Amba expressed her inability to marry Vichitraveerya as she was already in love with the king of “Shaalva Desha”. Upon knowing this, Bhishmaachaarya immediately granted permission for her to leave. However, the king of Shaalva Desha was reluctant to accept Amba as his wife as he was scared of Bhishmaachaarya and his invincible powers. Rejected thus, Amba comes back to Bhishmaachaarya but now, Bhishmaachaarya started to behave in a “bossy” way! He made Amba go back and forth in between himself and the king of Shaalva Desha. Frustrated by this, Amba prayed to Bhagawan Muruga to teach a befitting lesson to Bhishmaachaarya’s behavior, and thus obtained this divine garland.

With this garland, Amba wanted someone to fight against Bhishmaachaarya but nobody came forward. Finally she requested King Drupada to do it, but even he wasn’t ready to have warfares with Bhishmaachaarya. With this, Amba was completely dejected and she hung the garland at the entrance of the Drupada Desha. With this, we complete one part of the story. Meanwhile, the frustrated Amba again undertook a severe penance to invoke Parashurama into the show! Accordingly, Parashurama also agreed to fight Bhishmaachaarya after a lot of convincing from Amba. All of us know who Parashurama is – He is considered to be one of Bhagawan Vishnu’s incarnations and it is he who has the distinction of destroying innumerable generations of Kshatriya princes who walked the path of “Adharma” and drank all of their blood at the same time. It is the same Parashurama who comes to Amba’s rescue here. 

Buoyed by the idea of taking on Bhishmaachaarya head on, Parashurama gets ready. An intense and a fierce battle takes place between the two of them. Both of them were equally qualified with regards to warfare techniques, mental astuteness, smartness and in the usage of various weapons. Parashurama was giving more than his 100% in the war and so was Bhishmaachaarya. The war was going into a stalemate every time one attacked the other. There was no end in progress as both of them were equally powerful. However as time progressed, Parashurama realized that there was no way in which he could defeat Bhishmaachaarya convincingly and thus, at one stage, Parashurama accepted defeat under the hands of Bhishmaachaarya! 

With this, Parashurama bows down to Bhishmaachaarya’s prowess and straightaway goes to Amba. Parashurama explains to Amba thus, “Oh Amba! I tried my level best to defeat Bhishmaachaarya, but it wasn’t possible, because Bhishmaachaarya is an embodiment of “Dharma” and has great expertise in warfare techniques. If I cannot take down Bhishmaachaarya, nobody in this world is capable of doing so. Hence, please leave this vengeful attitude with Bhishmaachaarya, forget what had happened in the past and move on with your life!” As Parashurama advises thus, Amba gets extremely furious. She couldn’t believe the fact that even Parashurama couldn’t take down Bhishmaachaarya. She thinks of other ideas and approaches equally powerful people for help. However, nobody was ready to take on Bhishmaachaarya’s might, after realizing that he had given Parashurama a run for his money! Annoyed beyond a point thus, Amba decides to take an extreme step here – She decides to commit suicide and kill herself, but not without taking a pledge! 

As Amba decides thus, she makes a huge fire in front of her and takes a thunderous pledge in front of Agni Bhagawan thus, “Oh Agni Bhagawan and the entire world! With the insult that I had obtained from this Bhishmaachaarya, I hereby take a pledge that I would take a rebirth after today, and since nobody had come forward to help my cause, I myself would take down Bhishmaachaarya single handedly in my next birth! I shall take all measures possible in this world to defeat Bhishmaachaarya and only with this, I would be satisfied!” With this pledge thus, Amba jumps into the fire and kills herself! Now according to the pledge, Amba takes a re-birth after a few years, and this person is none other than “Shikandi”. Many of us might be knowing this Shikandi very well as he is one of the very famous characters in the Mahabharata. We shall witness Shikandi’s Charitra later after a few episodes, but for today, let us understand how Shikandi took birth. It is to be remembered by readers here that this same Shikandi is going to be the root cause of Bhishmaachaarya’s downfall later. We shall continue this discussion forward in the next episode as well! Stay tuned! 🙂 

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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