In the epic Mahabharata, Vichitravirya (Sanskrit: विचित्रवीर्य, vicitravīrya) is the younger son of queen Satyavatī and king Śaṅtanu and grandfather of the Pandavas and Kaurava. His elder brother, Chitrāngada, had initially succeeded their father to the throne of Hastinapura, but when he died childless, Vichitravirya succeeded him.
Vichitravirya was still a child when he was crowned king, hence Bhishma ruled as his regent. When the young king reached the proper age to marry, Bhishma searched for a suitable bride for him. He heard that the king of Kasi was holding a swayamvara for his three daughters. Since Vichitravirya himself was yet too young to stand any chance of being chosen by the young women, Bhishma himself went to the swayamvara.
Bhishma won the swayamvara and brought the Princesses Amba, Ambika and Ambalika to marry Vichitravirya. But Amba had already given her heart to Salva, therefore Ambika and Ambalika were married to Vichitravirya.
Shortly after his marriage, Vichitravirya died of tuberculosis. As he had died without an heir, Bhishma was asked by Satyavatī to produce the next generation of Kurus through Vichitravirya's wives, Ambika and Ambalika. But Bhishma declined this as he had already vowed to remain celibate for life. He instructed Satyavatī to instead summon Satyavatī's other son Vyasa to father grandchildren for her through niyoga dharma. Ambika subsequently gave birth to Dhritarashtra, while Ambalika bore Pandu.
Even though Vyasa fathered the children, he used his yogic powers to make the children sons of Vichitravirya.
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