King Shatanu, lover of the hunt and GOOD Times, happened to go walking near the river Ganges one day...
He spied a beautiful maiden dipping her toes into the cooling waters.
She raised her head, looked into his eyes, and Shatanu was struck by the THUNDERBOLT of love.
He rushed to her side and made great exclamations of Passion, only to be cooly rebuffed.
Passion was NOT what she wanted in her life, but she would consent to MARRY him, under certain conditions.
She could NEVER, EVER question her actions. If he did so, she would leave him at once, possibly never to return. Of course, love-lost King Shatanu agreed. The two were immediately wed.
Ganga made Shatanu perfectly happy.
They had a SON.
Ganga immediately took the son to the river Ganges and DROWNED him.
Shatanu was shocked, but said nothing, for he was young, and in LOVE.
The couple had 6 more sons, Ganga drowned them all immediately after birth.
Shatanu was besides himself with sorry, pain, shame and bewilderment, but he dared not question her.
They had another son, their EIGHTH.
Ganga scooped him up and headed for the river, but this time Shatanu protested most vociferously.
Ganga smiled and LEFT Shatanu, taking along her child, DEVRAVRATA....
So NOW you know the fate of the EIGHT VASUS that stole the Wish-Giving COW and were condemned to LIFE on EARTH, as I mentioned in "The Mahabharata".
SEVEN were allowed to return to the HEAVENS.
The EIGHTH, the one that actually committed the theft, was forced to live out his life on earth.
PRABHASA in HEAVEN was born the gifted child DEVRAVRATA on Earth and became known as "BHISHMA" after taking a vow of eternal CELIBACY....
So begins "The Mahabharata".....