Kashiraja had three beautiful
daughters. He wished to choose worthy husbands for his daughters after testing the
strength and the skill at arms of the young men who came to the Swayamvara.
Bhishma entered the court. He had taken a vow not to marry, but had come, all the same,
to the Swayamvara. So the assembled princes were filled with wonder.
The three princesses, Amba, Ambika and Ambalika, entered with garlands in their hands.
The courtiers who were with them introduced each prince and sang his praises. And so they
came to Bhishma. The princes began to whisper to one another. 'Bhishma had sworn that he
would never marry, hadn't he? And here he is! How shameful!'
Bhishma's anger burst like a thunder. His eyes were aflame with anger. He roared like a
lion and said, "Oh princes, listen. I have vowed never to marry, and I shall never
marry. But I have a brother, Vichitravirya, dear to me like my own life. I came here to
win brides for him. He is a virtuous king. He is young, strong and handsome. But it is
beneath his dignity to come here. So I have come on his behalf. I am now taking these
princesses to Hastinavati. They will marry Vichitravirya. Let him who is brave enough
among you fight with me and win these princesses."
None of the princes except Salvaraja had the courage to meet Bhishma in combat. He
stood up and bellowed, ' ' 'YouBhishma are not the only fighter here. Come, let us fight,
and decide who is Stronger."
Bhishma defeated not only Salva but also all the other princes who supported him.
Salvaraja ran away, and so did the other princes. Kashiraja gladly offered to Bhishma all
his three daughters, Amba, Ambika and Ambalika. But Amba said to Bhishma, "You are a
just man. Show me the way. I love Salva and I want to marry him. Tell me what I should
Bhishma was full of kindness. He said, I grant you freedom. Marry Salvaraja and be
happy. May you prosper!"