Okay, so I understand that Bhishma was bound by his (pretty daft) vow, but why did Dhritarashtra take so long to begin his Vanaprastha Ashrama? Was it because, like in Ugrasena's case, there was no ideal ruler (like Duryodhana was unfit so he had no choice?) But why did he divide the kingdom if he had no intention to pass on his half to Duryodhana?

  • For the record, I think Bhishma's vow was noble, not daft :-) I'm not sure whether there's a set time when you're supposed to have Vanasprastha; the Manu Smriti just gives the general guideline that when you notice your hair is white and your son has sons, that's a good indication that it's time to move on. But yeah, he may have wanted to delay Duryodhana taking the throne as long as possible. Duryodhana would obviously have strenuously objected if Dhritarashtra had given the entire kingdom to Yudhisthira. – Keshav Srinivasan Oct 10 '15 at 0:41
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    By that logic, Dhritarashtra should have given up his throne a long time ago... since he was obviously grey haired, and his son Duryodhana had another son Lakshmana. P.S. Bhishma's vow.... I call it daft because he encouraged his father to be materialistic, instead of telling him to retire... but can't blame him, it was Prabhasa's curse. – Surya Oct 10 '15 at 7:28
  • Well, it's just a general guideline, not a firm rule. And it says white hair, not gray-hair. And anyway in the Dwapara Yuga people lived longer; the Pandavas were in their 90's at the time of the war and I think they were still black-haired. As far as Bhishma goes, the duty of a son is to make his father happy, not make his father less materialistic. The father imparts morals to the son, not the other way around. And I think Shantanu was genuinely in love, it wasn't just desire. – Keshav Srinivasan Oct 10 '15 at 7:46
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    I'd go with that the vow was daft, taken in a moment's passion – Amit Saxena May 9 '16 at 11:20
  • @Surya Um, because Dhritarashtra was greedy? – Amit Saxena May 9 '16 at 11:22

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