Showing posts with label Bhishma. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bhishma. Show all posts

Hinduism - Who Is Bhishma?


Bhishma is the son of King Shantanu and an uncle and advisor to both the Pandavas and the Kauravas in the Mahabharata, the later of the two major Hindu epics. 

As a kid, he is known as Devavrata; as an acknowledgement of his very onerous vow, he is given the name Bhishma ("awful"). 

  • King Shantanu has fallen in love with the maiden Satyavati, who agrees to marry him on the condition that her sons reign instead of Devavrata, the heir apparent. 
  • Bhishma not only agrees to relinquish the kingdom, but also swears that he would never marry, ensuring that no contenders from his family will vie for the crown. 

Bhishma is given the choice of selecting the moment of his death when he makes his terrible vow. 

  • This promise is rigorously kept by Bhishma, and his devotion to it costs him his life. 
  • Bhishma kidnaps the king of Kashi's daughters, Amba, Ambika, and Ambalika, and has them married to his stepbrother Vichitravirya. 
  • Ambika and Ambalika marry Vichitravirya joyfully, but when Amba confesses to Bhishma that she has already committed her heart to King Salva, he allows her to go to him. 
  • Salva rejects Amba because her virginity is questioned since she was kidnapped by another guy. 
  • Amba comes to Bhishma and insists that he marry her since he is the one who put her in this situation, and when Bhishma refuses to break his promise, Amba vows to exact vengeance. 
  • She is reincarnated as Shikhandi, a man-woman who the Pandava prince Arjuna hides behind to fire the arrows that kill Bhishma. 

Bhishma is a wonderful grand sire who is well-liked and revered by everyone. 

  • He is known for being a smart and generous advisor to both the Pandavas and the Kauravas. 
  • His proficiency with weapons makes him one of the best fighters of his day, but he is best known as a thoughtful and generous counselor to both the Pandavas and the Kauravas. 
  • Despite the fact that he eventually stands with the Kaurava prince Duryodhana in the battle between the two factions, Bhishma constantly urges Duryodhana to make peace with the Pandavas and divide the kingdom with them before the conflict begins. 
  • In the Mahabharata battle, he fights bravely and kills a significant portion of the Pandava army, but he is eventually struck by so many of Arjuna's arrows that he lies on them like a bed. 

Despite the fact that Bhishma is fatally wounded by Arjuna, he lives till the sun resumes its more favorable northern course (thanks to the boon bestowed by his promise) (uttarayana). 

  • During this period, he provides extensive training on state politics and related subjects to the triumphant Pandavas. 
  • Bhishma is a lonely, sad character because of his unwavering devotion to a promise that deprives him of the pleasures of family life, and his helplessness to prevent the fratricidal fight between his nephews, which eventually destroys the family.

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