King Shantanu was the forty-seventh descendant of the noble lineage of Kshatriyas who came from Brahma through the moon Deva, Chandra. His father was called Pratipa, and he had been a great king, loved by his subjects for his wisdom and righteousness. Shantanu always remembered an episode his father told him when he was still very young.
“One day, while I was meditating on Vivasvan,” Pratipa had told him, “a girl rose from the waters of the Ganges and, with the evident desire to have me as her husband, sat on my right thigh. I asked her:
“Do you know that a woman should not approach a man while he is meditating? Besides, you sat on my right thigh, as daughters or daughters-in-law usually do. So, I cannot accept you as a wife, but if you wish you can become my daughter in law.”
Then Pratipa told his son Shantanu:
“I know that girl will come back and will ask you to marry her. Don’t refuse her, but if you want to achieve great merit, never ask her who she is or what she really wants from you.”
This is a section of the book “Maha-bharata, Vol. 1”.
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