Bahlika Kingdom - References in Mahabharata - Kings of Bahlika - Bahlika The Son of Pratipa

Bahlika The Son of Pratipa

Bahlika the son of Pratipa is mentioned in the following passages in Mahabharata:-

Kuru king Dhritarashtra's words to his son Duryodhana:- Even the eldest son may be passed over and deprived of the kingdom, and younger sons may, in consequence of their respectful behaviour to the aged, obtain the kingdom. So also, conversant with every virtue there was my father’s grandfather, king Pratipa', who was celebrated over the three worlds. Unto him, were born three sons, Of them, Devapi was the eldest, Vahlika the next and Santanu of great intelligence, who was my grandfather, was the youngest. Devapi, endued with great energy, was virtuous, truthful in speech, and ever engaged in waiting upon his father. But that best of kings had a skin-disease. Popular with both the citizens and the subjects of the provinces, respected by the good, and dearly loved by the young and the old, Devapi was liberal firmly adhering to truth, engaged in the good of all creatures, and obedient to the instructions of his father as also of the Brahmanas. He was dearly loved by his brother Vahlika as also the high-souled Santanu. Great, indeed, was the brotherly love that prevailed between him and his high-souled brothers. In course of time, the old and best of kings, Pratipa, caused all preparations to be made according to the scriptures for the installation of Devapi (on the throne). Indeed, the lord Pratipa caused every auspicious preparation. The installation of Devapi, however, was forbidden by the Brahmanas and all aged persons amongst the citizens and the inhabitants of the provinces. Hearing that the installation of his son was forbidden, the voice of the old king became choked with tears and he began to grieve for his son. Thus, though Devapi was liberal, virtuous, devoted to truth, and loved by the subjects, yet in consequence of his skin-disease, he was excluded from his inheritance. The gods do not approve of a king that is defective of a limb. Thinking of this, those bulls among Brahmanas forbade king Pratipa to install his eldest son. Devapi then, who was defective of one limb, beholding the king (his father) prevented (from installing him on the throne) and filled with sorrow on his account, retired into the woods. As regards Vahlika, abandoning his (paternal) kingdom he dwelt with his maternal uncle. Abandoning his father and brother, he obtained the highly wealthy kingdom of his maternal grandfather. With Vahlika’s permission, Santanu of worldwide fame, on the death of his father (Pratipa), became king of Kuru Kingdom. (5,149)

  • Kuru King Pratipa had three sons, viz Devapi, Valhika and Santanu. (1,95)
  • Bhishma consulted his uncle Valhika to clear doubts about giving in marriage, the tree maidens that he brought from Kasi Kingdom to his stepbrother Vichitravirya (13,44).
  • Yudhisthira addressed Bahlika as son of Pratipa, in a message sent to Kauravas.(5,23)
  • Yudhisthira also addressed the Kurus of the Pratipa dynasty viz the Vahlikas(5,57)

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