Bhishma's Justification – III

Swami Chinmayananda

Swami Chinmayananda

Continued from previous issue....

Swamiji: Bhishma had to become a protector, a regent in the name of his two brothers. The two boys grew up, but they were so weak that they required continual protection from Bhishma.

Then he thought he could leave when they begot children. But Bhishma's two brothers died soon after. Their children were Dhritarashtra and Pandu. When the elder one came of age, being blind he could not rule the kingdom. So Bhishma had to wait until the younger one grew up. And again he was packing when the younger boy went to the forest for hunting and killed a brahmin by mistake and then came back to his grand uncle and said ‘I am going for tapas’ (penance). Bhishma could not stop him. So, he continued to look after the kingdom. The two princes had no children. The blind man was not well. So Krishna advised them to organise a ritual as a result of which one got a hundred children and the other got five children. The blind man could not rule and the other brother had gone to the jungle for tapas. The hundred and five children were all with Bhishma, and he had to look after them. Then only he understood: ‘Five times I had packed in order to see you in the Himalayas. I took a lifetime vow of celibacy. I had nothing to do with the kingdom, but five times something or the other happened. 0 Lord! I understood that you wanted me to be on their side, and to stay here. Knowing full well that I am such a devotee of yours, you wanted me here. All right, I also decided that I would be with them, whatever may happen, through thick and thin. War started; you promised that you would not lift a weapon, and I vowed publicly that I will make you take up a weapon. Now it is a war, 0 Lord! How kind you are; In order to make my vow truthful, you ultimately took a weapon and with the Chakra (discus) killed me. What more do I want?’

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Chinmaya Udghosh