One day Shantanu went out
with his men to hunt. At the end of the day, his men camped on the banks of the river
Jamuna. While his men rested, Shantanu went all-alone into the heart of the jungle. A cool
and fragrant breeze blew from a distance. Ah! What a sweet smell!' said the
delighted king to himself.
But where did it come from?
The king was curious and followed the scent. And another surprise awaited him.
King Shantanu saw a very lovely girl. No one even in heaven could have been so lovely.
And - she was a strange girl in yet another way.
It was her body, which sent forth the sweet smell. It filled the air all round over a
distance of a yojana (nine miles). So she was better known as Yojanagandhi, though her
parents had named her Satyavati.
The girl's beauty and the sweet smell thrilled the king. He asked her, "Who are
you? Are you a human being or do you come from Devaloka?" The girl replied,
"Sir, I do not come from Devaloka. I am an ordinary human being. I am the daughter of
Dasharaja, the fishermen-chieftain. I am called Satyavati and also Yojanagandhi."
Shantanu fell in love with her. He said, "Lovely girl, will you marry me? I am
Shantanu, King of Hastinavati. If you marry me you will be a queen - the Queen of my
The girl grew shy at his words. She bent down her head and said, "Your Highness, I
have a father. If he agrees, you can marry me." And before the king could say a word,
she went away.