Faith

Bhishma, warrior & devotee

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Bhishma as the commander in chief of the Kaurava army is a warrior par excellence who is committed to dharma, duty and righteousness and he treads the limits of these sensitive issues with remarkable insight. But he scores as a devotee par excellence as well and this is revealed in his famous hymn Bhishma Stuti that he offers to Krishna on seeing Him in person during his dying moments, pointed out Sri B. Sundarkumar in a discourse.

Overwhelmed on seeing Krishna, Bhishma recalls the war and of his fight with Arjuna and Krishna on the second day and confesses how he had rained the most powerful arrows incessantly on them. Krishna knew only too well of Bhishma’s intent which was to make Him take up arms so that his pledge would be fulfilled. So, under the pretext of shielding Arjuna from danger, He had descended from the chariot, and, holding the Sudarshana chakra in His hand, He had rushed at Bhishma. Notwithstanding the upper garment that had slipped from His body, with His chest pierced with arrows and flowing with blood, with sweat and dust all over His body and his forehead covered by lovely locks of hair, with strides causing tremors, He had rushed towards Bhishma like a lion attacking an elephant. None but the Lord could be so magnanimous towards His devotee, says Bhishma with heartfelt emotions.

For, the Lord knew that it was Bhishma’s Kshatriya dharma to confront Him in battle and graciously had accepted it as his prayer. He also knew that Bhishma had meditated only on Krishna Nama when he aimed the powerful astras and accepted these as flowers offered in worship. Bhishma fought with the sole desire to be granted entry into Vaikunta which could happen only with God’s grace.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2019 10:30:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/bhishma-warrior-devotee/article29872094.ece

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