Once, king Shantanu of Hastinapur fell in love with a beautiful maiden and wanted to marry her. She agreed, but on a condition that Shantanu would never question her. If he did, she would leave him. Shantanu agreed and they were married. Year after year, seven sons were born to them, but the queen drowned them all in the ganga river. Bound by his promise, Shantanu could not question her. When she delivered eighth son, Shantanu could not hold back and shouted,” who are you cruel woman?” “I am ganga, the river goddess, ” said the queen, “and our sons were the celestial beings,  called the vasus, who were cursed to be born on Earth. By killing them, I have liberated them from the curse.  The eighth vasu is destined to live a long and prosperous life. We could have been together, if only you could keep your promise!” Shantanu asked her forgiveness,  but Ganga disappeared with the child, promising to return him at an appropriate time. 

Shantanu and ganga 2

The eighth child was none other than Bhishma of mahabharath who lived for many years.  Ganga returned him back to Shantanu after training him in everything. 

Shantanu and ganga 3

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