KRISHNA STORY 89 Sept 29, 2013 20:21:27 GMT 5.5
Post by jksivan on Sept 29, 2013 20:21:27 GMT 5.5
89 ‘’A PEEP INTO THE PAST''
When you read about the great unconquerable warrior Bheeshma, you would have imagined how much he would have been respected by every one for his steadfast principles in life. In fact bheeshma was liked by every one and addressed him as Pithamaga (grand pa).
Bheeshma was originally named Deva Vratha, and was the son of Kaurava King Santhanu as his eighth child through Ganga, the goddess. Ganga killed the first 7 children born to her through Santhanu and took a promise from Santhanu she would never be questioned for any of her actions.
Unable to bear her killing 8th child when born, Santhanu questions her strange action and Ganga leaves him as per her condition leaving the child Deva Vratha with him. The boy grew up to be recognised as the greatest hero of all martial arts and crafts and an invincible warrior. His father Santhanu falls in love with a fisherwoman and wants to marry her. She puts a condition that if she bears a son, he alone would be the next crown prince in lieu of Deva Vratha otherwise she would not marry him. When Devavratha found out the reason for his father being sorrowful he goes to the fiserwoman’s father and agrees to her condition that he would not stand in the way. To be extra careful, the fisherman also puts a condition that Deva vrathan should not marry so that in future there would not be any future claimant to the throne. Devavrathan immediately agrees to that condition also and vows to be a celibate through his life and not to be a king. The celestial world appreciates his determination and adore him as “”Bhishma’’ the steadyminded sacrificer, and blesses him with the option to select his time of death. He fights for his nephew and wins in a swayamvara three princess Amba, Ambika, Ambalika of whom Amba refuses to marry the nephew and is also rejected by her former lover. She wants Bhishma to marry her as the rightful husband who won the contest and owned her. He refuses as he had vowed to be a life long celibate. Because her life had been spoiled by Bheeshma, she vows to revenge and penances and obtains the boon to kill him as Sikandi, the transgender.
This is what we learnt in the previous story about Bheeshma. Bheeshma was earlier Prabhasa, one of the eight Vasus (demi gods) and because he tried to steal sage Vasishta’s wish giving cow Kamadhenu along with the other seven Vasus, at the instance of his wife, they all received the curse of sage Vasishta to be born in earth. Ganga who had a curse to be born in the earth, becomes their mother and redeems the seven Vasus the moment they were born, to die and return to heaven.
Since Santhanu prevented Ganga from arranging Prabhasan, the last of the Ashta Vasu, to be born, die and return to heaven, he remained in the world as son of king Santhanu, named as Deva Vratha, later well known as Bheeshma Pithamaga.
Bheeshma knew Krishna was an avathar of Lord Narayan and always had a great respect for him and loved him also. He wished to spend more time with Krishna but never had the opportunity as he was destined to be with his nephews off springs the Kauravas accorfding to his vow.
It was at Krishna’s instance, Bheeshma teaches Yudhishtra the sasthras, and Dharmas, till he was ready to leave the world when northward sojourn of Sun commenced. It is holy to die at that time according to belief and sasthras. So Bheeshma decides to teach what all he learnt in life to Yudhishtra, and exhorts Vishnu’s one thousand dhivya naamas well known as VISHNU SAHASRA NAMAM. Krishna identifies of all the people, Yudhishtra to be the fittest to be taught the above by Bheeshma which the latter agreed.
"Krishna, it is my greatest fortune to follow what you instructed, Bless me’’ says Bheeshma.
Bheeshma looks steadily at Krishna’s face then.
"Bheeshma grand pa, what are you looking at my face?’’ asked Krishna, smilingly
‘’ I was thinking of your rushing towards me to kill me with lyour hands, do you remember?’’
Krishna smilingly nodded his head in the affirmative. The scene was rewinding in his mind.
It was the 10th day of the Kurukshethra war between Pandavas and Kauravas. Krishna observed that Bheeshma the Supreme Commander of the large army of Kauravas was causic havoc wherever he turned destroying a big chunk of the Pandavas forces and Arjuna was unable to contain the Bhishma Pithamaga. Was it out of respect and love for the grand pa, or is he matchless before the great warrior? Bheeshma’s arrows aimed at Arjuna were forceful and capable of killing him. Krishna decided to receive them on his body to save Arjuna. As a result at one time there was no more space for the arrows of Bheeshma to pierce Krishna. He lost his cool. Stopped the chariot and rushed towards Bheeshma in order to kill him. He knew he had vowed not to participate in the battle or use any weapon against any one. As there was no alternative to save Arjuna, the only choice open was to kill Bheeshma by his own hands. He therefore picked up the whel of a broken chariot and neared Bheeshma. What is this? Bheeshma is not at all angry or inimical. He just put down his great bow and weapons on him and folded his hands at Krishna. ‘’Krishna, I am honoured to die from your hands. I am glad I provocated you to breech your vow and participate in the war and won in my challenge. Please come and kill me’’
‘’Krishna Krishnaa’’ cried Arjuna who came after him and pacified him. Kindly be p patient. I shall fight myself and win this war. Krishna pushed Arjuna but Arjuna fell at his feet and begged ‘’Please Krishna, for my sake kindly return to the chariot and don’t breech your vow”
Later Krishna recalled Bheeshma’s end was not through any warrior of that time and only the disappointed princess Amba, who turned Sikandi in her next birth was destined to kill Bheeshma. Krishna placed Sikandi before Arjuna as the shield because Bheeshma vowed not to fight at any time with any one who is a female. Sikandi was a transgender. Sikandi was also a good fighter and vowed to avenge Bheeshma for the injustice done to her.
Krishna also recalled the bed of arrows made for Bheeshma at his request by Arjuna and advised Bheeshma to spend his time until the beginning of Uththarayanam (northward movement of Sun) which was auspicious for dying. Bheeshma had obtained a boon to select the time of his death which he exercised by opting to die in Uththarayanam and till them followed Krishna’s advice to teach Yudhishtra the Dharma Nyaya principles besides the Vishnu Sahasra Namam. Sanjayan who was given a special vision to see the happenings at Kurukshethra was narrating all these to the blind King Dhritharashtra at Hasthinapura. Sage Vyasa had thus written a very great epic Mahabharatha for us to read, enjoy and worship Lord Krishna.