Bhishma, one of the pivotal characters in the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata, was the eighth son of King Shantanu and Goddess Ganga. He was originally named ‘Devavrata’. When he became aware of his father’s grief for not being able to marry Satyavati, Devavrata promised Satyavati’s father, Dasharaj, that he would never succeed Shantanu as the King of Hastinapur. He became Bhishma after he took the ‘Bhishma Pratigya’ (‘fierce oath’) – the vow of lifelong Brahmacharya (celibacy) and to serve whosoever sat on the throne of his father. He went on to become the most virtuous being, unparalleled warrior and learned scholar of his era.