Parashurama - 8

Amba reached the court of king Salva and expressed her desire to him, but he refused to accept her because she was wonby someone else and the king thought he had no claim on her. Furtheer he was not ready to make the great warrior Bhishmahis enemy. Now Amba position became very precarious like that of Trishanku. She begged Salva to accept her, but he refusedto accept her. She did not want to go to her father as an orphan. She was steeped in great sorrow. She did not knowwhat to do. Finally she decided to go to the forest and seek refuge in ashrams of sages, get their advice and decidethe next course of action. She discussed her problems with a number of sages, but she failed to get solutions to herproblems. She met a great Brahmarshi by name Akritamra. He was a great friend of Parashurama. He realised that onlyParashurama could solve her problems and directed her to Parashurama. At that very moment Parashurama happened to appear on the scene along with his diciples. Amba narrated her tale of misery to Parashurama. Parashurama's heart meltedand he said,"Dear Amba take heart I am going to speak to Bhishma and make him accept you. If he refused to accept I will fight with him, defeat him and force him to marry you."
Parashurama spent that day in the ashram and the next morning he started for Bhishma's palace along with a number of sages and Amba. He encamped on the outskirts of Hastinapura and sent word to Bhishma,"Bhishma, I have come to you witha mission conduct yourself in a way which would please me."
As soon as Bhishma received the message he came to the place and received his teacher with royal honour. After theusual exchange of courteries Parashurama began."Bhishma , why have you forcibly brought Amba, the daughter of Kashirajamuch against her desire and then abandoned her. I would like to know why you have done that.You have thrown her intothe streets and denied her a chance to lead a dignified life as a princess. You have touched her and no one will receiveher. King Salva loved her but as you have won her, he has also refused her. Now I order you as my disciple to acceptAmba and marry her or marry her to your brother. You are chivalrous and it is your duty to create a situation in which she can live honourably. It is not proper on your part to put her to shame as you have done."
"O great sage, the best among brahmins, I cannot marry her to my brother because she had told me that she had married king Salva mentally. She took my permission and went to meet him. I have taken an oath never to marry and I cannotput my oath at stake either. In this respect neither fear nor promise of wealth will change my resolve. I am a kshatriya,"said Bhishma in a firm voice.
Parashurama flew into a fit of rage and shouted at Bhishma saying saying that he was going to destroy him along with his entourage. Bhishma tried to pacify him but in vain. He begged the sage to cool down and see reaon. He continued."O revered one, why do you desire to fight with me? As a boy I learnt the art of war from you. I am your disciple.Why are you so angry with me.?"
"Bhishma you called me your teacher, still you do not listen to me. You do not accept Amba. I would be really happyif you accept her."
"O great sage,however much you persuade me, I cannot do it. As you are my preceptor I am requesting you not to press for it. She has loved another man and therefore she is as dangerous as a snake. Know what she is.I do not think anyonewill give her shelter in one's house. Women who loved other men are dangerous. There is no use talking about it much.This is my final decision. Even if Devendra , the cheif of gods comes and asks me to accept her, I am not going totake her."said Bhishma.
The two had to settle the issue by fighting a duel. At first Bhishma got out of his chariot came to Parashurama, madeoblations to him with repect due to a perceptor and said, " O revered guruji, now I am forced to fight with one who isstronger than I am. You taught me, you are righteous, bless me so that I come out successful.
"Greatest among the Kurus, you have conducted yourself admirably indeed. Whatever be the situation, if one is talking to a highly respectable man he has to speak in this way.It is a good way of conducting oneself. If you had not touchedmy feet and asked me to bless you I would have cursed you. Collect all your energy and skill and get ready to fightwith me. Fight in the noblest possible way. The way you have conducted yourself has made me very happy."

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