Ambika (Mahabharata)

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Mahabharata Edit this on Wikidata character
Bhisma fight in Swayamvara.jpg
Bhishma abducting princesses Amba, Ambika and Ambalika from the assemblage of suitors at their swayamvara
Spouse(s) Vichitravirya Edit this on Wikidata
Children Dhritarashtra Edit this on Wikidata

In the epic Mahabharata, Ambika (Sanskrit: अम्बिका, ambikā) is the daughter of Kashya, the King of Kashi, and wife of Vichitravirya, the king of Hastinapura.[1]

Along with her sisters Amba and Ambalika, she was taken by force by Bhishma from their Swayamvara. Bhishma challenged the assembled Kings and Princes and defeated them. He presented them to Satyavati for marriage to Vichitravirya. Vichitravirya married only Ambika and Ambalika, and refused to marry Amba since she had already given her heart to another.

After Vichitravirya's death, his mother Satyavati sent for her first born, Rishi Veda Vyasa. According to his mother's wishes, he visited both the wives of Vichitravirya to grant them each a son under the Niyoga system. When Vyasa visited Ambika, she saw his dreadful, forbidding appearance and burning eyes. In her frightened state, she closed her eyes. Hence her son, Dhritarashtra, the father of the Kauravas, was born blind.

In a few versions of the Mahabharatha, Ambika is shown to have no strong motherly feelings towards her blind son Dhritarashtra, as he was a son unwanted to her.

After Dhritarashtra's birth, when Satyavati requested that Vyasa visit Ambika for the second time, she dared not go and sent her maid instead. The maid also bore a son, Vidura, who was raised as a brother to Dhritarashtra and Pandu. Much later, Ambika accompanied Satyavati and Ambalika to the forest and ended her life in austerity.hi


  1. ^ Law, B.C. (1973). Tribes in Ancient India, Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, p.105

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