Bhishma Amba Story

Mahabharata>Adi Parva>Sambhava Parva

Bhishma Amba episode is one of the major set up of the next books of Mahabharata. The chapter narrates a historical story, but with the story many other things are also narrated. This chapter has been divided into three phases. The first phase narrates the background of Bhishma Amba episode. The second phase narrates the different incidents of the episode and the third phase draws the lessons from this historical incidence. Bhishma Amba relation started from the Adi Parva book and it continues till the end of Bhishma Parva and this episode will remind the readers – Why Krishna blamed the Vow of Bhishma to be the reason of Mahabharata war. 

Background of Bhishma Amba Story

Eldest son of Satyavati and Shantanu, Chitrangad expired early in Sambhava Parva. Hence Vichitravirya was decided to be made king, as he becomes of that age. Vichitravirya being weaker, he was not sent for Sawayamvar of Kashi’s daughters. Bhishma represents Hastinapura in Mahabharata and brings out three daughters, Amba, Ambika and Ambalika, with an intention to marry them to his brother, Vichitravirya. Amba, the eldest of sisters, declared that she loves Salva and will marry Salva and hence leaves Bhishma. Hence Bhishma returns with Ambika and Ambalika for Vichitravirya.

Vichitravirya marriage Adi Parva
Vichitravirya marriage Adi Parva - Edtd by S.Param

Bhishma Amba story picks up pace

Bhishma Parshuram fight
Bhishma Parshuram fight - Img Edtd by S.Param

Initially when Bhishma carried with him the three princess of Kasi, Amba the eldest among the sisters, said Bhishma that Salva was her lover and she will marry him only. Listening to that, Bhishma allowed Amba to go, but she was denied by Salva. When She came back, she wished to marry Bhishma, but Bhishma, for his vow, denied her. Seeing that her life is going to be endangered without Bhishma marrying her, she went to Parashuram, the preceptor of Bhishma. Listening to the entire Bhishma Amba story, the Guru agreed to fight with Bhishma, who according to him, was making wrong to woman and womanhood.

From that, a fierce battle of 23 days was held between Parashuram and Bhishma at Kurukshetra battle field, which seemed to be never ending. At the end, Bhishma was provided the Prashwapastra by Vasus and Parushuram was said that that weapon cannot be beheld by him, hence he must renounce. Thus the war came to an end. After the battle ended with no result, Bhishma Amba story found the final touch in it. Amba made penances of Lord Shiva and gets a boon that she will be the reason of death of Bhishma, in her next birth. Amba, sacrifices are that life and Bhishma also remained waiting for her rebirth, since that is the only way to kill him, who was aided with iccha mrityu vardan.

Lessons from this Bhishma Amba Story

Marriage is something that is predestined. Destiny only allows those to keep away from marriage, who accepts Sannyas or renunciation. Bhishma took such a vow at such a young age and added to leave the thrown too, along with that vow. His next part of life showed how much wrong a person is when he takes decision out of emotion. The entire history of Mahabharata showed how virtue had to suffer from sin, and the entire blame of thus suffering was of Bhishma. Moreover, the suffering Amba had to face in Bhishma Amba episode is also a result of that vow. This shows that, taking a vow is something and even sticking to that is also challenging, but its not a big deal. But, such vows can damage life of many, who surrounds the person. Krishna puts Bhishma on the wrong side and proves that taking vow and sticking to it is not only Kshatriya Dharma. Kshatriya Dharma is to do anything for the protection of righteous. 

Leave a comment