Well - after Ganga took the baby boy and went to the heavens to bring him up under the best gurus, Shantanu lived a lonely life. He was missing not only his beloved wife, but also his child.
After 16 years, Shantanu came across a divine boy who was shooting arrows so fast into the flowing waters of the Ganges that the flow had stopped! There are many side stories about Devavrata. He was 16 year old when he met his dad, but some sources say that he trained under Parashuram for thousands of years!!
Shantanu was then told by Ganga, who appeared there, that this was is own son whom she had taken away 16 years ago. Then she left the youth in his fathers custody, and returned to her heavenly abode. From time to time, the boy would go to the banks of Ganges and it is believed that his mother would appear in person and talk to him.
The boy grew into a valiant young hero, who was feared all over for his prowess as a "maharathi" and it is believed that no-one - but no-one cold defeat him against his own will!
Some years later, Shantanu met the second great love of his life - Satyavati. She was also called "matsyagandha" (being the adopted daughter of a fisherman - she would smell of fish) ; Kasturi-gandhi (by the blessing of rishi Parashara - she became fragrant like musk) ; Gandhavati (the fragrant one) and Yojanagandha (whose fragrance can be perceived at a distance of about 8-9 miles) Though she was brought up as a commoner, she was actually (believed to be) the daughter of cheti king Vasu. Like Ganga, she too is believed to be a cursed resident of superior planets, an Apsara - sent down to earth for some punishment !!
Satyavati had previously had a son from Rishi parashar - who had blessed her with keeping her virginity intact, even after having coitus with him and bearing his child. The Rishi left her immediately afterwards, and she gave birth to a baby boy on the same day on an island in river Yamuna. The boy immediately grew up, and promising his mother to be with her whenever she needed him, he went for penance to the forest. He was called Krishna (the dark one) Dwaipayan ( one born on a dweepa - island) , and more commonly as sage Vyasa - the compiler of the vedas, mahabharata, and bhagwat mahapurana.
Well , Shantanu fell in love with Satyavati, and met her (adoptive) father Dasaraj asking for her hand in marriage. While Dasaraj was not averse to the idea, he had a condition. He had been previosly told by some seer that Satyavati would be married to a great king and her son would be named as the emperor on growing up. As Shantanu had already declared Devavrata as the yuvaraja (next king) he couldnt promise this, and thus there was an impasse ..... Contd....