|True to his word, Bhishma, as he shall henceforth be called, renounced his claim to the throne of Hastinapura. He neither married, nor had children. Upon Shantanu's death, he crowned Chitrangada, the elder son of Satyawati as the king of Hastinapura.|
Chitrangada did not rule long, for he met with an early death. When he died, his young brother Vichitraveerya succeeded him. Bhishma himself remained at the royal court, loyal and faithful to his younger brother, the king.
One-day news came to the royal court of Hastinapura that the daughters of the ruler of Kashi were to be given away in marriage to whoever won them in battle. When Bhishma heard this, he decided to compete, for he thought the girls were suitable brides for his younger brother. However, when he reached there, the other princes taunted him thinking that had broken his vow of celibacy
Bhishma came forward and lifting the three princesses of Kashi onto his chariot rode away with them towards Hastinapura. One the way back he was attacked by Salva, king of Saubala, who wanted to marry the eldest princess Amba. A great fight followed. Salva was defeated and forced to flee.
On reaching Hastinapura the younger princesses. Ambika and Ambalika were married off to Vichitraveerya. But Amba told Bhishma. "I cannot marry Vichitraveerya. Salva was chosen to be my husband. How can I marry another? You are known for your righteousness and yet you keep a defenceless woman here against her will."
"What do you wish me to do, child? Bhishma asked her gently, for he wanted to help her. "Send me back to Salva, for I was promised to him," she answered without hesitation.
Bhishma sent her with honor to Salva's kingdom. But when Salva saw her, remembered his disgrace and he told her he would never marry a girl who had been captured by a rival.
Amba then returned to Hastinapura. Bhishma asked Vichitraveeraya to marry her, but he firmly refused to marry a woman who loved another. Amba told Bhishma that he must marry her to save her honour, but Bhishma refused, saying that he was sworn to life of celibacy. Rejected by everyone, Amba was lonely and sad. She was livid with them all. She would never forgive Bhishma.