Bhishma and went to Salva. Defeat on the battlefield had made him weary of life. When he
saw Amba he bent down his head in shame. He said, "Bhishma has defeated me. You now
belong to him."
Back she went to Bhishma. She fell at his feet and told him what Salvaraja had said;
she added, "You are a kind man. Salvaraja has forsaken me. My father will not take me
back. You alone can help me. Do not disappoint me."
Bhishma was helpless. He could not break his vow. He felt sorry for Amba. He tried to
console her. He said, "You have always thought of Salvaraja as your husband. So he
should marry you. I shall ever be a bachelor. You cannot marry Vichitravirya. None of us
can change your fate."
Amba was miserable. She wanted to bring pressure on Bhishma to accept her. She thought
of a plan. She approached Parashurama, Bhishmas Guru. She begged him to save her.
Parashurama took pity on the poor girl. He went with her to Bhishma.
Bhishma was very happy to see his Guru. But he was worried when he saw Amba with him.
He saw there was trouble in store for him. He bowed to his master and touched his feet.
Parashurama explained to Bhishma why he had come. "My son, you are my dearest
disciple. I am sure you will obey me. You captured Amba and so it is right that you should
With folded hands Bhishma said: "My master, I am a bachelor. You know I have taken
an oath never to marry. I beg of you, do not ask me break to break my oath."
Parashurama was very angry. His eyes were like fire. In a thundering voice he said,
"Bhishma, do not forget; no one has opposed me and lived. I am Parashurama who wiped
"My master, I know that very well indeed. But Bhishma, the great warrior, had not
been born then. You know this, dont you?"
Parashurama could not check his anger. Master and disciple fought with bows and arrows.
I shall be disgraced if my master is defeated-so thought Bhishma.
I shall be disgraced if my disciple is defeated-so thought Parashurama.
Parashurama was overjoyed that Bhishma had mastered archery so well. Defeat at
the hands of a disciple like Bhishma makes a master proud, he said to himself. Just then
one of Bhishma's arrows struck him, and he fell down unconscious.
Bhishma threw away his bow and arrows. 'Oh, I have been a traitor to my master, he said
to himself and ran towards Parashurama. 'What a sinner I am! My death takes me!' So he
Parashurama regained consciousness. He embraced his disciple and praised him with great
pride : "My beloved disciple, my Bhishma, I am not angry that I have been defeated.
Defeat at the hands of a disciple like you thrill the master. No warrior can equal you.
You have kept your vow."
Bhishma bowed to the master. Master blessed him.
But unhappy Amba was not there.
Where had she gone?
The marriage of Vichitravirya was celebrated with great pomp.