Long ago in Dwapara Yuga there ruled a famous dynasty of kings of the Lunar Race, that
is, the race of Moon. King Shantanu was the most famous amongst them. He ruled a big
empire with his capital at Hastinavati. He married Gangadevi; no one in Devaloka (or the
World of the Gods) could equal her in beauty. She gave birth to a son called Devavrata.
She had to go back, leaving the child in the care of Shantanu; she did not come back to
So Shantanu took up the entire burden of bringing up the little son with care and
affection. He was both father and mother to him. He engaged very learned scholars to teach
him the Vedas and the Puranas. Devavrata was taught archery by the greatest archer of the
times, Parashurama. Shantanu himself was a good and just king. Devavrata learnt from his
father how to rule the kingdom following the ideals of Truth and Justice. Thus Devavrata
was well trained in every way to take up the reins of kingship, when he came of age.
Devavrata was happy in every way, except for the absence of his mother. His father had
taken care to provide him with everything else he needed; there was nothing wanting.
Devavrata looked upon Shantanu as a god comes down to the earth to look after him.
Devavrata had all the qualities of a good king. In course of time, Shantanu enthroned
Devavrata as the Yuvaraja, as his worthy successor. Devavrata, like his father, looked
after his subjects with love and kindness. They felt very happy under his kind rule.
Shantanu was happy to be relieved of his duties as a king. He now had plenty of leisure