Penance In The Story Of Bhishma

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Insulted, Amba goes back to Bhishma and pleads with him to marry her only to be snubbed by him. She takes offence and with the burning desire of taking revenge on Bhishma, she goes to the forest to perform penance. Lord Siva pleased with her penance touched her garland and promised her that whoever wore it and fought Bhishma in the battle would be able to kill him. Amba then searches for a king who would wear it but finds none. Dejected, she throws the garland over a pillar in the court of Drupada, goes to the forest and burns herself. But the hatred still lived on and she was reborn as Shikhandi to Drupada. When the Kurukshetra war broke out he strode confidentially forward along the war-field to taste a long awaited victory born of penance. The story of Amba, “made a deep impression on me, like an irresistible horror-film; and I daydreamed more and more about female avengers” (Hariharan, TFN 40). These lessons of womanhood indelibly imprint themselves on Devi’s mind. She confesses to herself “I lived a sacred life of my own; I became a woman warrior, a heroine. I was Devi. I rode a tiger and cut off evil, magical demon’s heads” (Hariharan, TFN 41). Hariharan has skillfully done the orchestration of innumerable stories of Sita and Devi. Ever since her childhood, Devi has been fed on these myths. Later on she begins to find parallels in myths and the life of those around her. Devi tries to relate herself with all the stories she can remember. All the stories and lessons

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