One day king Shantanu was hunting at the bank of river Ganga. He saw Ganga the Divine River and the Goddess Ganga. Shantanu at ones felt in love with her, he approached her and told her that the future of  Hastinapur is in her hand. he proposed her to marry him and to be the Queen of Hatinapur. Ganga asked him to come on next day .

Ganga in Mahabharat story

The very next day King Shantanu again  proposed Ganga. She agreed But kept a condition that King will never Question her . Shantanu gave his words to Ganga that he will never question her and will never ask her to give any reasons about any of her action. Ganga also warned King that if in future he question her , then she will leave him after giving the answer.

Shantanu and Ganga

King Shantnu Married Ganga and the whole kingdom welcomed their new Queen. Months passed by and the kingdom was waiting for the birth of the prince and as the time passed Ganga gave birth to her first son. Hasthinapur was filled with joy.

kingdom of Shantanu welcoming  Ganga

The next morning ,King Saw Ganga going towards the river, with their son. King was confused so  he followed her and he was shocked to see that Ganga drowned their son . King was bounded by his words that he will never Question her. the same thing happened when Ganga gave birth to her Second , third, fourth, fifth, sixth and Seventh  Son. King was stuck with grief. The ministers stated questioning the silence of the King. The whole kingdom was talking about Ganga and her stubbornness.

It was the day when the eighth son was born but the palace was beaming with lantern in shadow as they crying in sorrow and fear. The maids wishpering talking that Ganga will do the same to this eight child. This time king followed Ganga till the river and stopped her from drowning the child and asked her for the reason to drown their children.

She reminded  King of his promises  before their marriage.

but being a Father and he can no more see his sons Drowning in front of his eyes.

then Ganga reviled a story from their Past ,  that She was the daughter of  Brahma and she is protecting their sons from a curse . Ganga and Shantanu both are suffering from the same curse . Ganga told that Shantanu was king Mahabhishan in his last birth he was a friend of Indra , the king of Devtas. one day Mahabheshan came to Swarg (haven) to see dance of Nymphs , by that time Ganga also came to Swarg with his father Brahma. Mahabhishan was constantly looking at Ganga , a soft breeze blown off the cloth from Ganga’s shoulder everyone in the court put their eyes on the floor except Mahabhishan , Ganga was also lookig at him. Brahma enraged at this and he cursed them to take birth on earth.  All the eight sons were also cured by Rishie Vashisht to take birth on earth , Ganga promised them to give birth and she will drown them to release them from the curse. Ganga is now released from curse when King Shantanu questioned her. She took the eight son with her and promised to return him to the king at right time she named him Devrat.

Whenever Shantanu missed Ganga and his son he would go

Kirpa and Kirpi

to the bank of river Ganga and try to find her in the streams of water. One day King Shantanu was at the bank of Ganga.  Saarthi( the chariot driver) asked him where should he drive the chariot Shantanu asked him to take in any direction he likes by that time the heard the cry of  2 children they followed the voice and reached those two children. It seems as if they were children of a Rishie but no one was around King told that they may not know the motto of Rishie to leave these children behind and decided to take them with him to the palace he name the boy as Kirpa and the Girl as kirpi , because he found them from kripa(compassion) of Rishie. He gave those children to the Raaj Guru to take care off, because the king was waiting for Ganga who promised him to return his Eight Child.

16 years passed away and king was waiting For his eighth son. One day king was peeping out off his window at Ganga , he saw that the flow of Ganga was stopped by a bridge of arrows he reached the bank and pulled an arrow to break the bridge but was stopped by a soft voice and the voice was of Ganga . Ganga same to return Devrat their eight son to Shantanu as she promised She pointed towards a teenage boy who build that Bridge of arrows and in the next arrow he broke it himself. The king hugged his son Devrat and asked him from where he learned to shoot Arrows, Devrat answered Rishie Bhargav. Ganga told that Devrat learned Vedas from Rishie Vashist , Yudh kala (war rules) from Parshuram and Rajneeti From Guru Bhraspati , because she knew that hastinapur should be ruled by a deserving Prince and Now Devrat is capable in true sense.  Ganga asked Devrat to go with his father and she is bound to her duty just like them and now Devrat should also do his duty towards his father.

Ganga returning Devrat to Shantanu

The Kingdom Welcomed Devrat, Devrat was none other than Bhishma Pitamaha.