Sanskrit: विचित्रवीर्य, "vichitravīrya") in the Hinduepic Mahabharatais the younger son of queen Satyavatiand king Santanu. His elder brother, Chitrangada, succeeded king Santanuto the throne of Hastinapura. But when he died childless, Vichitravirya became a king.
Vichitravirya was still a child when he was crowned king, thus
Bheeshmaruled as his regent. When the young king became at proper age to marry, Bhishmasearched for him for a suitable bride. And he heard the king of Kasiwas holding a swayamvarafor his three daughters. Since Vichitravirya himself was yet too young to stand any chance of being chosen by the young women, Bhishmahimself went to the swayamvara. Bhishmawon the swayamvaraand brought the Princesses Amba, Ambikaand Ambalikato marry Vichitravirya. But Amba had already given her heart to another, therefore Ambika and Ambalika were married to Vichitravirya.
Unfortunately, shortly after his marriage, Vichitravirya died of consumption
tuberculosis. As he died heirless, Bhishmawas asked by Satyawati to produce next generation by the two queens.But Bhishmadenied to this as he already woed to remain celebate for life. Then Vyasawas summoned to subsequently father Pandu, Dhritarashtraand Vidura.
Satyvati requests Bheeshma to have children with Ambika and Ambalika but Bheeshma reminds Satyavati of his vow of chastity.He says that fire would lose its heat and gods their glory before he breaks his vow. He instructs Satyavati to summon Vyasa who might help her to have children.
Satyavati mentally summons her son Vyasa and commands him to bear her children so that a heir to the throne is born. Vyasa instructs Satyavati certain Fasts and Vows have to be held by Ambika and Ambalika but Satyavati refuses as she believes a Kingdom without a heir will waste away. Vyasa upon being insisted by Satyavati accepts but lays down a condition that he will spend the night with Ambika And Ambalika in the form of a self mortifying ascetic. During the Yogic Process, Ambika, closes her eyes unable to bear Vyasa's gruesome form and Vyasa informs Satyavati because this the child will be born blind. Satyvati begs Vyasa another grandson as a blind king cannot rule. The blind son is named Dhritarashtra. Though he is visually handicapped, he is born with immense strength and stature. Satyawati sends Ambalika and instructs her husbands brother will sleep with her that night and his seed will enter her womb. During intercourse Ambalika's face becomes pale due to fear and because of this Vyasa foretells a pale child will be born to Ambalika. Later this child was known as
Pandu. Satyavati is unsatisfied with a pale grandson and asks Vyasa for another grandson. Vyasa told Satyavati to send one of them again so that a healthy child can be born. This time Ambika and Ambalika send their maid in the place of themselves. The maid remains quite calm and composed during the Yogic process, and so she gets a healthy child later named as Vidura.
* [http://www.mahabharataonline.com/ Persons and Stories from Mahabharata]
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