Raja Ravi Varma Painting Themes – Mathsyagandha


Satyavati is an important character in Mahabharata. Her son Vyasa wrote Mahabharata. She was the great grandmother of Kauravas and Pandavas. Satyavati was the adopted daughter of a fisherman on the banks of Yamuna.  Due to the smell emanating from her body she was called Matsyagandha (One who has the smell of fish)

She met Rishi Parashara and out of their wedlock she delivered a son, who later became Rishi Vyasa. Parashara  gave her a musky fragrance and thereafter she was also called Gandhavati (fragrant one)

Later King Shantanu fell in love with her and they got married on condition that only her son would inherit the throne. Bhishma who was Shantanu’s first son, through his earlier marriage with Ganga assured Satyavati that he would not stake claim to the throne and he would never get married.

Shantanu and Satyavati had two sons Chitrangada and Vichitravirya. As both of them died without a heir to the throne, she arranged for Vyasa to father the children of the two widows of Vichitravirya through niyoga. These two children were Dhirtarashtra born to Ambika and Pandu born to Ambalika.    Kauravas are the sons of Dhirtarashtra and Pandavas are the sons of Pandu. 


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