1Enakshi Ganguly = ""In his previous birth, Shantanu was Mahabhisha, a king of the Ikshvaku dynasty. Due to his meritorious deeds he attained heaven after his death. Once he got an opportunity to visit the court of Brahma where all the Devas and Ganga were also present. While the celestials were worshipping Brahma, a wind blew and displaced Ganga's clothes revealing her body. Everybody present there bashfully bent their heads except Mahabhisha who kept on gazing at her body. Upon seeing this act, Brahma lost his temper and cursed him and Ganga to be born as mortals and that Ganga will cause much emotional pain to him. He also said that he will be only freed from this curse when he becomes angry upon Ganga's deeds. Mahabhisha then requested Brahma to be born as the son of the Kuru king Pratipa and his wish was granted by Brahma. The eight Vasus who had been cursed by the sage Vashistha to born as mortals on earth as a punishment for crossing him approached Ganga.Vasus who had been cursed by the sage Vashistha to born as mortals on earth as a punishment for crossing him approached Ganga. They requested to be born as her and Shantanu's sons and also requested her to kill them. Ganga agreed upon the condition that at least one child might live. They accepted her condition and told her that they will all contribute an eighth part of their energies to that child and he will be remain childless for his whole life."Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shantanu"
2Enakshi Ganguly = ""Ashta Vasus are the eight demigods - deities of material elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Sky, Sun, Stars, Moon) who, while frolicking in the woods with their wives, came upon the hermitage of rishi Vasishtha, and one of the ladies saw the beautiful cow, Nandini, at the hermitage, and started making entreaties of her husband to fetch the cow. The husband was reluctant at first, saying, "what need have we, the devas (demigods), for the milk of cows? We are immortals already; it is for men to drink its milk to become immortal (in India, everything about cows is considered sacred). She lied saying that she had a dear mortal friend on earth whom she wanted to become immortal and that is why she needed to have the cow. Finally, all the eight were persuaded into committing thievery while the rishi was away.Upon returning to find Nandini missing, the sage, through his yogic powers of meditation came to learn as to whose handiwork this was, and laid a curse upon the Vasus to take birth as mortals. At this, the Vasus prostrated themselves before the rishi for forgiveness. Vasishtha said: "The curse must take its course. My words cannot prove ineffective, but I will soften the curse to the extent that Prabhasa (meaning light, that is, the Sun), the one who seized the cow, will have to spend an entire lifetime on earth, glorious as it will be, while others, as his accomplice, will live only a few hours before they come back".We must understand the allegorical significance here: Such was the fate of Bhishma, just as the Sun burns all its life of four billion years, in utter agony, giving all, desiring nothing – the immortalised teaching in karma yoga, ie, work in selflessness without any expectation of reward -- to bring the light of life to the earth. Working thus, liberation is attained. This is the message as propounded in the Bhagavad Gita. Incidentally, the eighteen chapters of the Gita are just a part of the Mahabharata...The Vasus then approached the goddess Ganga and beseeched her to descend to the earth and become their mother for their sake, marrying a worthy man. Throw us into the water as soon as we are born and liberate us from the curse, and the goddess granted their prayer."Source: http://creative.sulekha.com/the-story-of-bhishma-and-eight-vasus-as-children-of-ganga_601155_blog"
3Enakshi Ganguly = ""After the disappearance of his queen with their eighth child, King Santanu gave up all sensual pleasures and ruled the kingdom in a spirit of asceticism. One day as the winds blew hard and the waters of the Ganges rose in great waves, Santanu, walking along its banks saw a small boy with the beauty and form of Devendra (the king of gods), amusing himself by building a dam across the flooding Ganges with his arrows. He watched stupefied as each arrow cast, turned into a thousand others creating a barrier in the mighty river. The scene of fury and jollity appeared to his eyes to be that of an indulgent mother playing with her child.Indeed it was so, because as the king stood transfixed with amazement at the sight, the goddess Ganga revealed herself and presented the child as Santanu’s own, saying: "O king, here is the eighth child I bore you, known by the name of Devavrata. He has mastered the art of arms, and is unparalleled on earth equalling sage Parasurama’s skills, adept also, as he is, with the knowledge of the Vedas and the Vedanta, tutored by Vasishtha, and in arts and sciences, no less than Sukra himself. Take back your child, the finest archer and master statecraft, for he will bring immortal fame to his father’s name, and will be a great boon to posterity". With these words, she entrusted the child to his father, blessed the boy, before disappearing into the river.And here the story does not end, but begins."Source: http://creative.sulekha.com/the-story-of-bhishma-and-eight-vasus-as-children-of-ganga_601155_blog"
5Enakshi Ganguly = "Bhishma was first known as Devavrata because he accepted the curse of living on Earth with no descendant. He eventually became known as Bhishma because he took the great oath of not producing an heir for the sake of his father's happiness. He is also the grand-uncle of the Pandavas and Kauravas (the two rivaling families). "
6Enakshi Ganguly = "The subtitles are off:Shantanu said that he will make the man a Kshatriya, a ruler of 25 villages. "