Dasharaja welcomed Devavrata
and treated him with great respect. Then Devavrata said, "Dasharaja, I know
everything. I have thought over what has happened. I have taken a decision. My name is
Devavrata; that means one who is loyal to God. My father is my God. So, for my father I
shall give up the throne. This is my vow - and I shall be true to it."
When Dasharaja heard this firm oath he was filled with wonder and joy. But he still had
his fears. He said, "you are a great man. You will keep your oath. But your son will
fight with my daughter's son for the throne. What will happen then?"
Devavrata burst into laughter. He set Dasharaja's mind at rest. "For the sake of
my father I have vowed to give up the throne. Now, for my mother - and she, too, is like
God to me - I take another oath. Listen to my oath, Mother Earth and the Sun and the Moon
are my witnesses; I swear in the name of my parents - I shall never marry. All women are
my mothers. This is my firm vow."
Dasharaja gladly agreed t daughter's marriage with the king.
King Shantanu was amazed when he heard about his son's vows. He was full of praise for
him. He admired his great sacrifice and said, "My son, what vows you have taken! It
is a 'Bhishma Pratijna' - a vow of matchless firmness. May you be known as Bhishma
hereafter!" And he granted him a boon: "May death come to you only when you wish
so! Death will wait upon your wishes."
And so Bhishma became famous all over the world.