Mahaabhaarat | Kathaa-G | 6-War

6-Bheeshm Parv, 109-123
Kathaa-G - 6-War - page 13

Home | Mahaabhaarat | Kathaa | 6-War

6-Bheeshm Parv-page 13

Previous | Next

War Day 10: Bheeshm as Commander-in-Chief-Day-10
10th day of War - The 10th day under the leadership of Bheeshm.

Fall of Bheeshm

Sanjaya continued - "O Raajan, On 10th day, Paandav organized their army in Dev Vyooh. Shikhandee was in the forefront of their army flanked by Bheem and Arjun. Behind him were Draupadee's five sons and Abhimanyu, behind them were Saatyaki and Chekitaan, and behind them was Dhrishtdyumn. Next to Dhrishtdyumn was Yudhishthir with twins (Nakul and Sahadev). Next to him was Viraat, and next to Viraat was Drupad. Kaurav army was organized in Asur Vyooh, but sometimes it was organized in Pishaach or Raakshas manner too, Bheeshm was in the front as always. He was protected by your sons. Drone, Kripaa, Bhagadatt, Ashwatthaamaa, Kritvarmaa etc were with him.

The war started. Bheeshm was fighting with his greatest enthusiasm. Shikhandee came in front of him and challenged him, but Bheeshm refused to accept his challenge saying that "you are not a man, and I don't fight with women, that is my dignity". Shikhandee said - "I have heard a lot about you and I have prayed for this fight for long, I have decided to kill you and I will kill you." And he aimed five arrows at Bheeshm. Arjun said to Shikhandee - "You stay with him, I will protect you. Pitaamaha will not hit you, so you are safe. keep harassing him, I will see to all other great warriors who might come near us. You keep fighting with Pitaamaha." Pitaamaha was invincible in the battle field. Arjun came and he scattered all your army in a short time.

Seeing this Duryodhan got worried, he came to Bheeshm and said - "This Arjun is killing my army like anything. I don't see any other person who can save me from them." Bheeshm said - "Listen calmly what I say to you. I have fulfilled my promise made to you that I would kill 10,000 warriors a day. Today I am going to achieve greater objective. Today either I will slay Paandav or be slain by them. Today I will free myself from your debt arising from the food you gave me." And he started attacking Paandav army. He indeed killed hundreds and thousands of Paandav troops.

Arjun seeing Bheeshm killing his army like this said to Shikhandee - "Proceed towards Bheeshm without any fear. Today I will throw him down." Shikhandee, Dhristdyumn and Abhimanyu rushed towards Bheeshm. Saatyaki was fighting very bravely. Seeing him fighting like this, Duryodhan said to his troops - "Today let not Saatyaki escape with this life." Seeing all signs Drone said to his son - "Today is the day when Arjun will try to kill Bheeshm. My weapons are not obeying me and my heart is also cheerless. My heart is depressed. This Shikhandee, who himself is an inauspicious man, is proceeding towards him. His standard, armor etc will be cut off by Arjun today. This is not the time to save our lives, so you go to Bheeshm and fight Shikhandee for him. I will see other warriors." Ashwatthaamaa rushed towards Bheeshm. In fact this war became for the victory of Bheeshm or victory over Bheeshm between Kaurav and Paandav.

Dhritraashtra asked Sanjaya - "How did Bheeshm fight with Paandav on this day?" Sanjaya said - "For all these days Arjun had been killing many troops and so was Bheeshm according to his promise. But on 10th day they encountered each other. Bheeshm killed thousands and thousand of warriors on that day too. After fighting for 10 days Bheeshm lost the interest in his own life, he thought in his mind that he would no more slaughter the large number of soldiers. So seeing Yudhishthir near him, he said to him - "You are conversant with every branch of knowledge, I no longer want to protect my life, so if you wish to do something for me, then slay me by placing Arjun with Paanchaal and Srinjaya as your army." Yudhishthir asked his Srinjaya troops to advance and fight with Bheeshm saying "You will be protected by Arjun".

Shikhandee was shooting arrows on Bheeshm. Deprived of their chariots by Arjun, Kripaa, Shalya, Dushaasan, Vikarn and Vivingshati all fled away from the field. Then Bheeshm invoked a celestial weapon and rushed towards Arjun, that Shikhandee came in front of him so he withdrew his weapon. Arjun, who knew what he should do when, killed all that followed Bheeshm and he himself rushed towards Bheeshm. Many other warriors also rushed towards Bheeshm along with Paarth. Bheeshm was frequently looking for Shikhandee but was not aiming any arrow at him.

Arjun keeping Shikhandee before him started aiming arrows at Bheeshm. Others also aimed their arrows and many other weapons at him. In this process Bheeshm's armor was pierced everywhere, but he was not feeling any pain. Then he aimed a dart at Arjun but Arjun cut it. Seeing this Bheeshm thought - "I could kill all Paandav if Vishnu Himself had not been protecting them. Besides this Shikhandee is another problem. When my father married Kali, he gave me two Var - one, that I should be incapable of being slain in battle, and two, that my death time will depend on my choice. Now I should wish my own death because this is now the proper time." Rishi and Vasu also approved it saying "act now as per your resolution, withdraw your heart from the battle". As soon as they said this a breeze with water started blowing. Flowers showered on Bheeshm. Nobody else heard the words of Rishi and Vasu except Bheeshm and me.

After this Bheeshm rushed towards Arjun. Shikhandee shot nine arrows at Bheeshm. Then Arjun shot hundreds of arrows at him and cut his bow. Bheeshm took bows after bows but Arjun cut all his bows. After this Bheeshm didn't desire of battle with Arjun. Then Arjun shot 25 arrows at him. Bheeshm said to Dushaasan - "See, Arjun has shot many thousand of arrows at me. He is invincible. I am also invincible by all Devtaa, Raakshas etc then what are these men? These arrows are shot by Arjun not Shikhandee. These are affecting my vital forces. These are not Shikhandee's. Except Arjun, even all the kings united together cannot cause me such pain." But then he aimed a dart at Arjun, but Arjun cut it into three pieces, Then Bheeshm picked up a sword and a shield and wanted to come down of his chariot that Arjun cut his that sword and shield too.

After Bheeshm's Fall

A fierce battle then took place between your troops and Paandav's. Having slain in the battle, there was not even two finger space on Bheeshm's body which was not pierced by arrow. Then he fell down on the ground with the head to the east a little before sunset in the very sight of your sons.

According to Mahabharata Serial on TV

There was a moment when Bheeshm was alone, so Arjun and Shikhandee rushed towards him. Bheeshm was in himself thinking about Paandav, Draupadee (in Hastinaapur court), Kuntee. He thought of the day when he brought Satyavatee to his father and his father gave him the Var of Ichchhaa Mrityu. He turned his eyes to Ambaa. He thought of the day when Ambaa looked at him and said, "You brought me by holding my right hand and made me sit in your chariot, you are, therefore, my husband. Marry me."

Krishn was watching Bheeshm, He said to Arjun - "Now is the time, shoot at him." Shikhandee started shooting his arrows at Bheeshm. Bheeshm did not fight back. Arjun, with a very heart, shot arrow after arrow at him who was standing without his bow. Arjun continued to shoot arrows at him. Dushaasan was by the side of him. He said to him - "These arrows are of Arjun, because he is the only one who can kill me. He is more powerful than me." After a few moments Bheeshm fell down the chariot stricken with numerous arrows. His eyes were rested on Krishn. All great warriors were heard wailing for him.

When he fell, he did not fall on ground, but he was lying on arrows. Clouds rained cool shower on him. While falling he noticed that the Sun was in Southern solistic so he didn't allow his soul to come out of his body thinking it an inauspicious moment for his death. (see note on Bheeshm's Death). At the time of falling, Bheeshm heard a Divine voice all around him - "Why should Bheeshm pass out when the Sun is proceeding towards the south in his path along the ecliptic ? It is Dakshinaayan, and it is not a good time to die." Bheeshm said to himself - "I have only fallen, but I am not dead. I will keep me alive until the Sun's chariot is turned towards north. I am not going to die till then."

Gangaa sent Rishi in the form of swans inhabiting the Maansarovar. They came and circumambulated him and said "being a high-soled person why he should die at this time?" and then flew away towards south. Bheeshm thought for a moment and said to them "I will never die as long as the Sun in southern solstice. I will proceed to my ancient place when the Sun will be in northern solstice".

When Bheeshm fell down, your sons did not know what to do. The fall of Bheeshm paralyzed everyone. Sons of Dhritraashtra wept like children. Bheeshm was now something they could never imagine. Both Kaurav and Paandav were standing surrounding him. It was pathetic to see Duryodhan, he continued to look at him. Bheeshm practicing Yog got quiet and waited for his hour."

Dhritraashtra said to Sanjaya - "Oh, What was the state of my warriors? What did my sons do after Bheeshm fall down? I feel so unfortunate that I am hearing about the fall of my great uncle. He who was not slain by Raam himself, but he was slain by Shikhandee." Sanjaya further said - "Your sons were very sad and Paandav were happy at the fall of Bheeshm. Both Kaurav and Paandav were sad seeing his condition. Dushaasan who was appointed to guard Bheeshm went to the back of the army as soon as he fell. He went to call Drone. Drone was coming in front, in fact to protect him. As Dushaasan broke the news, Drone was not prepared for it, he fainted in his chariot. He was to be revived. When he regained his consciousness, first thing he did was to recall his troops from the field. Paandav also did the same.

The warriors started gathering near Bheeshm barefoot from either side. Bheeshm welcomed them and wanted to say something, but before he could say anything he said - "My head is hurting me, I want a pillow" The people surrounding him rushed to bring a pillow for him. Some were brought of silk, some were embroidered, some were very delicate. But Bheeshm didn't want them, he said - "They are good for sleeping at home, but not fit for a person fallen in a battlefield. Arjun, You give me a pillow which you consider to be fit."

Arjun came forward and saluting him said - "Command me, I am your slave. What can I do for you?" Bheeshm said - "My head is hanging down, give me a pillow which is fit for me quickly." "So be it" And he shot three powerful arrows in the ground invoked by Mantra near the head of Bheeshm. They provided a place for Bheeshm to keep his head on them. Bheeshm said - "Now my pillow is according to my bed. If you have acted otherwise I would have given you Shaap. It is the rule that a Kshatriya should have a pillow of arrows and nothing else." He looked at other kings standing there and said - "See the pillow Arjun has given to me. Now I will sleep on this till the Sun comes to north solstice. Make a ditch around me, so that I can worship the Sun undisturbed."

Several physicians came at the request of Duryodhan to remove arrows and apply ointment to his body but Bheeshm asked Duryodhan to send all of them back after rewarding them properly. He further said - "I am a Kshatriya, so these arrows should remain with my body when I am burned." After they circumambulated him thrice and appointed some guards all around him for his protection, all retired to their tents one by one. Night had fallen, all had gone."

Krishn came to Yudhishthir and said - "By good luck now victory is yours. Since now who was incapable of slain by anybody, is slain." Yudhishthir said - "O Krishn, Through your grace is victory, and through your wrath is defeat. It is not a wonder that to who you protect wins." Krishn said - "These words can come from you alone."

After the night had passed away, Kaurav, Pandav and all the kings came to see Bheeshm. Thousands of maidens came to shower sandalwood powder, flower garlands on him. Paandav and Kaurav were behaving like old days cheerfully. Bheeshm's body was burning from arrows, so he felt thirsty. He looked at kings and asked for water. Those kings brought many vessels of cold water. Seeing them he said - "I cannot enjoy any of article of human enjoyment. I am lying on the bed of arrows. I am expecting here only the return of the Moon and the Sun. I wish to see Arjun."

Arjun came there, saluted him and asked - "What can I do for you?" He said - "My mouth is dry, give me some water. Arjun, You are a good archer, only you can give me water." Arjun took his Gaandeev, invoked Paranjaya Astra in the very sight of the whole army, and shot an arrow in the ground a little south to the head of Bheeshm. A fountain of sweet water of came out from the ground. It had the sweetness and the perfume of Amrit. Seeing superhuman powers of Arjun Kuru trembled. Other kings waved their cloth with wonder.

When Bheeshm quenched his thirst he looked at Arjun and said - "It is not a wonder for you, Arjun. Even Naarad spoke of you as a Rishi. With Vaasudev as your ally you will achieve many things which are even difficult for celestials. Duryodhan did not listen to anybody. Like an idiot he did not rely on any of us. He will certainly be killed by Bheem." Hearing this Duryodhan got very sad. Bheeshm said to him - "Abandon your anger. See, How Arjun took out the sweet water from ground. There is none else in this world capable of achieving such feat. The weapons of Agni, Varun, Som, Vaayu, Vishnu, Indra, Pashupati (Shiv) and Prajaapati, Dhaatri, Tashtri, Saavitree and Vivaswat all are known to Arjun alone in this world of men. Duryodhan, now you make peace with them. This is good for both of you. Let the remaining warriors live. Do as I say. Stop this war." Having said this Bheeshm got silent." Sanjaya further said - "Hey Raajan, But Duryodhan did not listen to his words. Later all left."



Home | Mahaabhaarat | Kathaa | 6-War

Previous | Next

Created by Sushma Gupta On 05/27/04
Modified on 12/05/12