Princess Pritha, as a young mother, feels compelled by circumstance and destiny to abandon her newborn child. She is filled with fear for his future life.
With a heavy heart she appeals to the gods for his safety and tearfully blesses him as she sets him afloat down the river in a basket.
(Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Book 3: Vana Parva, translation by K.M. Ganguli) Section CCCVI:
|samutsṛjantī mañjūṣām aśvanadyās tadā jale
uvāca rudatī kuntī yāni vākyāni tac chṛṇu
|Do thou listen to the words Kunti weepingly uttered,
while consigning the box to the waters of the river Aswa
|svasti te ‘stv āntarikṣebhyaḥ pārthivebhyaś ca putraka
divyebhyaś caiva bhūtebhyas tathā toyacarāś ca ye
|O child, may good betide thee at the hands of all that inhabit the land, the water, the sky, and the celestial regions.|
|śivās te santu panthāno mā ca te paripanthinaḥ
āgamāś ca tathā putra bhavantv adroha cetasaḥ
|May all thy paths be auspicious! May no one obstruct thy way! And, O son, may all that come across thee have their hearts divested of hostility towards thee:|
|pitā tvāṃ pātu sarvatra tapanas tapatāṃ varaḥ
yena datto ‘si me putra divyena vidhinā kila
|And may, O son, that best of those that impart heat, viz., Surya, thy father, and from whom I have obtained thee as ordained by Destiny, protect thee everywhere!|