History of Bhishma Pitamah’s life and Bhishma Ashtami

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Bhishma Pitamah
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(Image Credit: Patrika)

The most famous characters of Mahabharata Maha Kavya which we know by the name of Bhishma Pitamah. In fact his name was Devavrata and he was the son of Maharaj Shantanu and Mata Ganga. Ganga had vowed to Shantanu that never do anything, they should not be disturbed, otherwise she will leave. Shantanu gives them the promise. After marriage, Ganga would shed her sons in the Ganges after birth, which Shantanu finds very painful, but they are unable to do anything. In this way, Ganga would shed her seven sons in the Ganges, when she has an eighth son, Shantanu is no longer there and they interrupt Ganga. When Ganga tells that she is the Goddess Ganga and all her seven sons were cursed, she drains them into the river to release the curse, but now she is taking her eighth son, as Shantanu has broken his word.

Bhishma Pitamah

Many years pass, Shantanu sadly used to come to the banks of the Ganges every day, one day he saw a strong young man there, seeing Shantanu stopped, then Goddess Ganga appeared and he told Shantanu, that this mighty hero is your eighth It is the son, it has knowledge of all the Vedas, Puranas and weapons, its guru is Lord Parashurama and its name is Devavrata to whom I am giving you. On hearing this Shantanu is delighted and excitedly takes Devavrata to Hastinapur and announces his successor, but the destiny was quite the opposite. One of his words changed the direction of both his name and karma.

What was Bhishma vows (Bhishma pitamah)

His father was given his name by Bhishma, as he had pledged to his step-mother Satyavati, that he would remain unmarried for a lifetime and would never sit on the throne of Hastinapur. At the same time, he also promised his father that he would remain faithful to the throne of Hastinapur for a lifetime, and would serve him. Due to his “Bhishma vows”, he was named Bhishma. And for this reason, Maharaj Shantanu gave Bhishma the boon of willful death, according to which he cannot embrace death until he hands over the throne of Hastinapur in safe hands.

Bhishma and Amba story

Bhishma Pitamah was so powerful, that it was impossible to beat him and the victory of Pandavas was impossible, but death is an absolute truth. The cause of the death of Bhishma Pitamah was also decided by the creator, who was related to Amba, the daughter of the king of Kashi, to know in detail:Bhishma had pledged to his mother Satyavati that he would never sit on the throne of Hastinapur and would remain loyal to the throne for a lifetime. Satyavati took this promise to seat her son on the throne. Satyavati and Shantanu had two sons, Chitrangad and Vichitravirya. Shortly after the birth of sons, Shantanu died and the throne became vacant. Both the princes were small, so Bhishma took over the kingdom without becoming a king. Later Chitrangad was made the king of Hastinapur, but he was killed by another king Chitrangad. Vichitravirya had no qualities to become a king, he was always drunk with alcohol, but no king could become a king except him, so he was placed on the throne. At the same time, the king of Kashi organized a self-timer for his three daughters, but the message was not sent to Hastinapur, as everyone was familiar with the nature of Vichitravirya. Bhishma found this thing humiliating and made a ruckus by going to Kashi and kidnapping the three princesses and deciding their marriage to Vichitravirya. Princess Amba opposed this and said that I had chosen Maharaj Shalva as my life partner, but your act has taken away my right from me, so I will marry you only now, because you kidnapped me. Then Bhishma apologized to him and said that, O Goddess, I am Brahmachari and cannot break my word. I defeated you for my brother Vichitravirya. Angry on this matter, Amba does penance of Lord Shiva and asks for justice for herself. Then Lord Shiva promises him that in his next birth you will cause Bhishma’s death. After this, Amba renounces her Amba form and takes birth as Shikhandi at Maharaj Drupada, which is half male and half female.

How did Bhishma die ?

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(Image Credit : Rapidleak.com)

When the war broke out between the Kauravas and the Pandavas after a period of time, it was very difficult for the Pandava army to stand in front of the father Bhishma, he was obliged to make his victory, then Lord Krishna suggests a solution to this problem and On the chariot of Arjuna, Amba means Shikhandi, because Shikhandi was half male, so the war could come in the land and it was a woman too, so Bhishma had said that he cannot attack a woman. In this way, Shikhandi becomes Arjuna’s shield and Arjun puts his grandfather on the bed of arrows under his guise and such Amba’s revenge is complete.

Bhishma Pitamah stays on the bed of arrows till the end of the war. He could not wish for death until the throne of Hastinapur was handed over to him safely. Therefore, they invoke their death only at the end of the war.

Bhishma’s miraculous weapons

Bhishma’s weapon is very important because Arjuna used the promise given by Duryodhana for these. Before the Mahabharata war, the Pandavas have been spending their exile in the forest, Duryodhana reaches the forest to harass the Pandavas, he also builds his camp near the Pandavas, Duryodhana is very ridiculous of the Pandavas. One day Duryodhana and all his companions go to the nearby lake for a bath, at the same time King Chitrasen of Gandharvas comes there. King Chitrasen tells Duryodhana to leave from there, he says that he has right over this lake. Duryodhana laughs on hearing this and says that he is the son of Dhritarashtra, the great king of Hastinapur, no one can deny him. Then King Chitrasen challenges Duryodhana to battle.

King Chitrasen had a very large army, while Duryodhana went to the forest with few people. Many of Duryodhana’s guards are killed by King Chitrasen’s army. Then King Chitrasen himself battles with Duryodhana. They are about to use their hypnosis weapon, that is when Duryodhana’s soldiers come to Yudhishthir and request to help him. Yudhishthira sends Arjuna to save Duryodhana, Arjun meets Chitrasen, Chitrasen and Yudhishthira are good friends. Arjun tells them that he is the younger brother of Yudhishthira and Duryodhana is our cousin. Arjun urges Chitrasen to forgive Duryodhana and let him go. Chitrasen agrees to Arjuna due to his friendship with Yudhishthira and lets Duryodhana go. Duryodhana is very ashamed to see that his biggest enemy (Pandava) has protected him. Duryodhana then pledges to the Pandavas that the Pandavas can ask for whatever they want and he will not refuse them.

It is said that the king gives up his life for his word, a Kshatriya king always fulfills his word, this is what Duryodhana also did. During the Mahabharata war, Duryodhana calls Bhishma to his chamber and says that he is fighting on behalf of the Pandavas, not him, in the war. Duryodhana says that Bhishma has more attachment to Pandavas and is betraying him. Hearing this, Bhishma gets angry and says that he will kill the Pandavas of tomorrow, Bhishma promises to Duryodhana that he will cut the heads of 5 Pandavas with his 5 miraculous arrows and present it to Duryodhana. Hearing this, Duryodhana does not believe in Bhishma and he asks him to keep those 5 arrows with him. Duryodhana feels that Bhishma should not change his mind.

Krishna comes to know of this and he calls Arjuna and reminds him of the promise made by Duryodhana and asks Arjuna that he go to Duryodhana and ask for Bhishma’s miraculous 5 arrows. Arjun agrees to Krishna and goes to Duryodhana and asks for that arrow. Being a Kshatriya, Duryodhana does not break his word and gives 5 arrows to Arjuna. After this, Duryodhana again asks Bhishma to give him 5 arrows. Bhishma starts laughing after hearing this and says that those arrows were found after meditating for a long time, and it is impossible to get that arrow again. Bhishma then gives a promise to Duryodhana that the next day he will definitely kill Arjun, if he does not kill, he will kill himself.

When is Bhishma Ashtami in 2021? (Bhishma Ashtami 2021 Date)

Bhishma father’s death anniversary is called Bhishma Ashtami. Which will be celebrated on 2 February this year.

Thank you.

History of Bhishma Pitamah’s life and Bhishma Ashtami
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