….Sri Vishnusahsranama ..………a divine gift from Bhishmacharya ………………..
After the great Mahabharata war, as per destiny , Bhismacharya was lying on the bed of arrows . He was letting the world know that he was waiting for the auspicious time [punya kala] for the sun orienting its direction northwards [Uttarayan] for leaving his mortal body.
Deep inside his heart he was praying Lord Krishna to bless him with his darshan during his last moments of his life .
Bhismacharya was patiently bearing the pain and being a nice devotee had the firmness not to ask the lord for relief and instead waited for the Lord to grace him .The lord also acted in the same way as his devotee. Since Bhismacharya did not directly call upon Lord , the Lord also decided that he will not use that as a direct reason for giving him his darshan.
It is also revealed , before the onset of the war, Arjuna was perplexed and hence Lord Sri Krishna gave the Holy epic Srimad Bhagavat Gita to clarify all the doubts of Arjuna and indirectly to the humankind.
Meanwhile after the war , the whole of Dwaraka was eagerly waiting for the Lord’s arrival Lord Krishna was getting ready to depart to Dwaraka
. Yudishtira somehow wanted to delay the lord’s departure for some reason. He submits to Lord humbly and pleads , Oh Lord Krishna! I cannot sit on the throne which is stained by the blood of all my relatives and all my grandsir’s.
I am not sure about the righteous path and am confused over the path of dharma.” Please help me ..
Lord thought that probably he had to bestow Yudhistira with another sermon of Bhagavat Gita but decided not to do so. He thought of a better option. He told Yudistira that the best person to seek knowledge on dharma was none other than Bhismacharya . The lord said “When Arjuna was confused; I thought that my discourse would make his mind light and devoid of any doubts. But I later realized that he was all the more confused and worried.”
He advised , Yudishtira that he was going to lead him to a satsang which was a divine communion with a great devotee Bhismacharya. So the entire retinue now proceeded towards Bhismacharya in the war field .Bhishma was lying on a bed of arrows with no food, water and was sustaining his life only by uttering the Lords holy names silently and living with sheer divine grace.
The moment Bhisma looks at Lord Krishna along with Yudhistira, his face brightens up with a smile. He is overjoyed with Lord Krishna darshan. Lord walks near him and with a bewitching smile requests Bhisma to clarify Yudhishtira’s doubt’s . Lord thus created a situation and used this as a pretext to grace Bhisma.
(He wanted to show the greatness of Bhisma).
Lord looks at Yudishtira and says , Yudhishtra !!! when people are about to depart this world, they would disclose the supreme of all secrets which they have been guarding all their lives. This is akin to the father giving all his wealth to his son only during his last moments. The lord advises him to clarify all his questions related to the highest dharma from Bhisma who was considered the man for his strength, honesty , values and benevolence .
All the Pandavas and Draupathi arrive at the Kurukshetra battle field where Bhisma was lying on the bed of arrows. Bhisma looks at the them and becomes very emotional..
Bhisma recollects all the misfortune that happened one by one
. He concludes with tears even for wise people some things are apprehensive ..“Sarvam kala krutham manyae” It is all the play of time [kala] and none other than Lord Krishna can comprehend this.
Time is no different from Krishna as the lord appears as time outside. Yudishtira moves close to Bhishma to voice his concerns on dharma and requests to expound on Dharma.
Hearing his question, Bhisma replies ..
My child listen ….
Dharma can be classified as follows
Raja dharma – The dharma for politics
Moksha dharma – The dharma for different stages of one’s life as a student, as a house-holder
Varma Dharma – The dharma that one needs to adhere by someone who is ready for renunciation
Ashrama dharma – The dharma for a renunciant
Bhisma elucidates on the prayachitha dharma [pavana dharma ) set of guidelines that one needs to follow if one commits a mistake.
After patiently listening to the discourse on dharma , Yudishtira pleads Bhisma to expound on the supreme of all dharmas.
Bhishma smiles and says My child !!! Can any one compare between dharmas. Every dharma is unique in its own way.
However ..listen the supreme of all dharmas is verily chanting the divine names of Lord Vishnu.<!– /wp:paragraph –>