Satoha village, 2018.05.23 (VT): One of Braj’s lesser known kunds is Shantanu kund. The kund is situated a few kilometres from Mathura on the Mathura-Govardhan road. For centuries, women have bathed here in the hope of begetting children, but, these days, the kund has been neglected and sewage and alcohol bottles have made their way into the kund.
Locals are angry that even temples are diverting sewage into the kund and some villagers are using the kund as a place to drink and throw bottles. In the mornings, women can be seen washing clothes in the kund. The devotional atmosphere of the kund is being covered by these activities and people are wondering why Satoha has not be declared a pilgrimage site, along with Barsana, Vrindavan, Gokul, Govardhan, Radhakund, Nandagaon and Baldev.
The abuse of this glorious kund seems even more tragic when we remember that the kund and its temple is a monument to filial piety and the spirit of doing ones duty even though this may be difficult.
Maharaj Shantanu came to this place to perform penance in the hope of having a son. Shantanu then married Ganga Devi and had eight sons but only one of them remained on this earth – the great Bhisma Pitamah. Ganga Devi’s eighth son was named Devavrata and later became known as Bhisma Pitamah.
After Ganga Devi left Maharaj Shantanu, Maharaj wanted to marry Matsyagandha, who he met on the banks of the Yamuna in Mathura, but, he was unable to marry her because he could not fulfill her father’s condition to make Matsyagandha’s son the king of Hastinapur. Devavrata was next in line for the thrown of Hastinapur, but, when he found out that his father had given up his desire to remarry, he visited Matsyagandha’s house and assured her father that he would remain celibate and would never marry or have children, so Matsyagandha’s son could become king.
It is believed that Maharaj Shantanu kept a residence at Shantanu Kund. Even today, there is a temple in the middle of the kund, but, these days, people cant sit by the kund and meditate and there are no drinking water facilities for people or animals. It is a matter of shame that this holy place, which, in ancient times, was fit for a king, has now become covered over and neglected.