Shantanu & Ganga

In Ancient times in India, there was a king called Shantanu with his capital named as Hastinapura which is located near the Ganga River (Ganges).This king was hunting one day when he saw a beautiful woman near the banks of the river. He was so overwhelmed by the woman’s beauty that he asked her to be his wife or queen.

The woman replied, “Iam Ganga ( a Goddess) and from the moment I saw you;I knew I had to marry you.”

King Shantanu was filled with joy and they soon got married. The king was very pleased with Ganga since she was loving and caring.

For seven years in a row they had seven children and all of them were drowned by their mother in front of their father, who remembered the promise he had given her about not questioning her about anything she does. But when the eighth son was about to be drowned, King Shantanu asked Ganga how she could drown her own children. And he asked her to leave the eighth son to him.

A sad smile was on Ganga’s face and she told him that he had broken his promise. Then she promised him that the eighth child would be called Devarata and that would live for a long time.

Finally, Ganga explained to King Shantanu that she fell in love with him in the courts of Indira(King of the Gods.) The other gods didn’t approve so she was sent to earth to marry him. Then she told him that their eight children were Eight Vasus (gods) who were cursed to be born on earth.

So she released them from this life by drowning them all. She told him that the eighth Vasu will live a long life and that she will take him to the heavens to train him properly for the King’s throne and status.

With these words she disappeared while King Shantanu was struck with grief thinking about spending rest of his life without her.