Bhishma Pancaka, as well as many of the historical and philosophical themes of the Vedic / Vaishnava tradition, would require much more time. Here I will summarize, touching only the main topics.
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And now let’s go back to Bhishma Pancaka.
Bhishma Pancaka means the last five (panca) days of Bhishmadeva’s life in this world. We learn from various scriptures, including the Srimad-Bhagavatam, that Pitamaha Bhishma remains in his bed of arrows that pierced his body, thrown mainly by Arjuna and Sikhandin.
Then he awaits the end of the battle of Kuruksetra.
Then Yudhisthira asks him to instruct him and Bhishmadeva speaks the Santi Parva, who is the seventh of the eighteen Parva of Maha-bharata and is made up of 339 sections and 14,732 sloka. We have an idea of the number of Bhishmadeva’s instructions if we consider that the Bhagavad-gita is composed of 700 verses and the Srimad-Bhagavtam of 18,000.
It is therefore a real encyclopedia on Varnasrama-dharma. If you want to understand what is Varnasrama-dharma you should study Santi Parva.
Pitamaha Bhishma fasted in the last 5 days of his life, which correspond to the last five days of the month of Kartika. The last day corresponds with Purnima, full moon.
Those observing Kartika Vrata should intensify it during Bhishma Pancaka. The vow during these days give the same benefit of having observed all the other days of the year and free from any sin, even the most hateful ones and one gets all his material and spiritual desires.
I mention only two verses.
Srila Rupa Gosvami’s Sri Mathura Mahatmya:
durlabho bhakti-yogo me
karttike mathurayam ca
“Pure devotional service to Me which, because it places Me under My devotee’s dominion, is very difficult to attain, is easily attained by following this vow in Mathura (mandala) during Karttika.”
“Following the vow of Bhisma-pancaka in Mathura is said to fulfill all desires.”
The Scriptures give very precise indications on how to observe Bhishma Pancaka Vrata, day by day.
– Manonatha Dasa (ACBSP)
22 Nov 18
# bhisma pancaka
# bhishma panchaka
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