The Mahabharata, Book 6: Bhishma Parva: Bhagavat-Gita Parva: Section CXXIV
Dec 19, Karna had heated argument with Bhishma. Karna decided at the end of it, that he will not take part in the battle of Kurukshetra until bhishma. Karna was Suryaputra. Bhishma was Gangaputra. Surya is the source of light that is knowledge. Karna used to see a Sun when he closed his eyes. He was. In the epic Mahabharata, Bhishma (Sanskrit: भीष्म) was well known for his pledge of .. Adi · Sabha · Vana · Virata · Udyoga · Bhishma · Drona · Karna · Shalya · Sauptika · Stri · Shanti · Anushasana · Ashvamedhika · Ashramavasika.
Out of the four characters, Arjuna is the character who stands out as the hero who future generations of Hindus admire the most. The other three are remembered as tragic heroes. Their names are not associated with the same awe and respect as that of Arjuna. They all met sad deaths on the battlefield, fighting on the side of evil despite knowing in their hearts that they were doing wrong There is a fundamental difference in the outlook and character of these four great men that was responsible for their different outcomes.
Karna Karna was a great warrior, in many ways greater than Arjuna. They may have been equal as archers, but physically, Karna was by far the stronger of the two. He made his friendship and loyalty to Duryodhan higher than anything else, even higher than right and wrong, and even higher than God. While loyalty is a great value in such cases when it overrides a sense of dharma and even the direct calling of the Divine in the form of Shri Krishna, such loyalty leads one to a tragic end.
Karna used all his strength to serve his friend Duryodhan, without even one selfish thought for himself. However, his loyalty was so blind that he would even follow his friend when he was doing something totally wrong, selfish and harmful to others. This shows that loyalty to another person can lead even a great man to a tragic end. Dharma, and the call of God, must always be greater than loyalty to another.
Karna knew what he was doing was wrong and paid the price for it. Karna put loyalty to Duryodhan as his highest loyalty. His tragic story warns us to choose loyalties wisely. Only Krishna deserves such unflinching loyalty. Bhishma Bhishma was another person who never performed a selfish action in his whole life. He was mighty, learned and respected. But he too ended up fighting on the side of adharma, and came to a tragic end.
He was actually an impediment to the establishment of a righteous kingdom. Because he put his personal oath on a pedestal and made it the focus and obsession of his life.
That oath was that he would unquestioningly follow and do the bidding of whoever was the king of Hastinapur Delhi.
This vow, he would never break as long as he lived, even when it involved fighting his own beloved nephews who he knew had done nothing wrong. Sticking to a vow is important, especially today when people make promises and break them the very next day or even the very next second. But the Mahabharata demonstrates that if your attachment to a personal vow stops you from doing what is blatantly right, and ends up making you serve evil, such a vow should be discarded and set aside.
Bhishma put his personal vow above anything else, even when that vow became an instrument of evil. The son of Bhrigu and the preceptor of the Asuras also taught Devavrata in political science and other branches of knowledge.
The eldest son of Lord Brahma taught Devavrata the mental and spiritual sciences. The immortal son of Mrikandu of Bhrigu's race who acquired everlasting youth from Lord Shiva taught Devavrata in the duties of the Yatis.
Bhishma - Wikipedia
The son of Jamadagni of Bhrigu's race. Parashurama trained Bhishma in warfare. The king of the Devas.
He bestowed celestial weapons on Bhishma. Vow of Bhishma[ edit ] Bhishma taking his bhishama pratigya Originally named Devavratha, he became known as Bhishma after he took the bhishamna pratignya 'terrible oath' — the vow of lifelong Brahmacharya and of service to whoever sat on the throne of his father.
Having joined his father's court, Bhishma was easily confirmed as the heir apparent. Having undergone a successful military campaign, and being the child of a goddess himself, he was easily confirmed as the heir apparent and was loved by all in the city.
Shantanu was proud of his son and content that the future was secure. However, Shantanu had slowly been falling in love with a fisherwoman, Satyavatiwho operated the boats crossing one of Hastinapur's rivers.
When Shantanu approached for her hand in marriage, Satyavati's father refused to give his daughter's hand to Shantanu unless Shantanu would proclaim her children as his heirs. However, doing so would be against the merit-based hereditary rules of Bharat, and Shantanu had already promised the throne to Bhishma.
So, Shantanu sorrowfully had to reject the offer. This made Shantanu despondent, and upon discovering the reason for his father's despondency,  Devavratha sought out the girl's father and ceded his claim to the throne.
At this, Satyavati's father retorted that even if Devavratha gave up his claim to the throne, Devavratha's children would still claim the throne. Devavratha then took the vow of lifelong celibacy, thus sacrificing his 'crown-prince' title and denying himself the pleasures of conjugal love.
This gave him immediate recognition among the gods. His father granted him the boon of Ichcha Mrityu control over his own death — he could choose the time of his death, making him immortal till his chosen time of death. Criticism of King Shantanu from his subjects as to why he removed Bhishma from the title of the crown prince, as he was so capable, abounded. There was worry about the nobility of Shantanu's unborn children, now promised the throne. Hearing this, Bhishma said it was his decision and his father should not be blamed as Shantanu had never promised anything to Satyavati's father.
The prime minister then asked who would be held responsible if the future crown prince isn't capable enough. Bhishma then took another vow that he would always see his father's image in whomever sat on the King's throne, and would thus serve him faithfully.
797. Karna and Bhishma
Salwathe ruler of Saubalaand Amba the eldest princess were in love; Salwa attempted to stop the abduction but was soundly beaten. Upon reaching HastinapuraAmba confided in Bhishma that she wished to wed Salwa. Bhishma then sent her back to Salwa, who, bitter from his humiliating defeat at Bhishma's hands, turned her down.
She retired to Vichitravirya who refused to accept citing the rules that what once given cannot be taken back. Disgraced, she approached Bhishma for marriage. He refused her, citing his oath. Enraged beyond measure, Amba vowed to avenge herself against Bhishma even if it meant being reborn over and over again.
Amba sought refuge with Parasuramawho ordered Bhishma to marry Amba, telling Bhishma it was his duty.
- Five Arrows of Bhisma
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Bhishma politely refused, saying that he was ready to give up his life at the command of his teacher but not the promise that he had made. Upon the refusal, Parasurama called him for a fight at Kurukshetra. At the battlegrounds, while Bhishma was on a chariot, Parasurama was on foot.
Bhishma requested Parasurama to also take a chariot and armor so that Bhishma would not have an unfair advantage. Parasurama blessed Bhishma with the power of divine vision and asked him to look again. When Bhishma looked at his guru with the divine eyesight, he saw the Earth as Parasurama's chariot, the four Vedas as the horses, the Upanishads as the reins, Vayu wind as the Charioteer and the Vedic goddesses GayatriSavitriand Saraswati as his armor.
Bhishma got down from the chariot and sought the blessings of Parashurama to protect his dharma, along with permission to battle against his teacher. Pleased, Parashurama blessed him and advised him to protect his vow as Parasurama himself had to fight to uphold his word as given to Amba.
They fought for 23 days without conclusion, each too powerful to defeat the other. In one version of the epic, on the 23rd day of battle, Bhishma attempted to use the Praswapastra against Parashurama.
This weapon was not known to Parasurama and would put the afflicted to sleep in the battlefield. Before Bhishma could release it, however, a voice from the sky warned him that "if he uses this weapon it would be a great insult towards his Guru.
At the behest of the divine sage Narada and the gods, Parashurama ended the conflict and the battle was declared a draw by Gods.
Parashurama narrated the events to Amba and told her to seek Bhishma's protection. However, Amba refused to listen to Parashurama's advice and left angrily declaring that she would achieve her objective by asceticism. Her predicament unchanged, she did severe penance to please Shiva. Lord Shiva assured her that she would be born as a man named Shikhandi in her next birth and still she would recall her past and could be instrumental in Bhishma's death, thus satisfying her vow.
Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. December Learn how and when to remove this template message Arjuna fight Bhishma In the great battle at KurukshetraBhishma was the supreme commander of the Kaurava forces for ten days.
He fought reluctantly on the side of the Kauravas. Bhishma was one of the most powerful warriors of his time and in history. He acquired his prowess and invincibility from being the son of the sacred Ganga and by being a student of renowned Gurus. Despite being about five generations old, Bhishma was too powerful to be defeated by any warrior alive at that time. Every day, he slew at least 10, soldiers and about a 1, rathas.
At the beginning of the war, Bhishma vowed not to kill any of the Pandavas, as he loved them, being their grand-uncle. Duryodhana often confronted Bhishma alleging that he was not actually fighting for the Kaurava camp as he wouldn't kill any of the pandavas. He also did not allow any of the Kauravas to be killed in the war, as he loved all his grand-nephews and wanted a peace negotiation. Duryodhana approached Bhishma one night and accused him of not fighting the battle to his full strength because of his affection for the Pandavas.
The angry Bhishma took a vow that either he will kill Arjuna or will make Lord Krishna break his promise of not picking up any weapons during the war. On the next day there was an intense battle between Bhishma and Arjuna. Although Arjuna was very powerful, he was no match for Bhishma. Bhishma soon shot arrows which cut Arjuna's armour and then also his Gandiva bow's string.
Arjuna was helpless before the wrath of his grand-uncle. As Bhishma was about to kill Arjuna with his arrows, Sri Krishna who took vow of not raising a weapon in the war, lifted a chariot wheel and threatened Bhishma. Arjuna stopped Lord Krishna. Arjuna convinced Krishna to return to the chariot and put down the wheel, promising to redouble his determination in the fight.
Thus Bhishma fulfilled his vow. The war was thus locked in a stalemate. As the Pandavas mulled over this situation, Krishna advised them to visit Bhishma himself and request him to suggest a way out of this stalemate. Bhishma loved the Pandavas and knew that he stood as the greatest obstacle in their path to victory and so when they visited Bhishma, he gave them a hint as to how they could defeat him.
He told them that if faced by one who had once been of the opposite gender, he would lay down his arms and fight no longer.