Friday, May 02, 2003
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It was His benevolent grace, which Bhishma sought when he lay awaiting his end on a bed of arrows and when Lord Krishna appeared by His side, this great man of wisdom recalled every instance of His grace in the prayer he addressed to Him. In particular he remembered the Lord breaking His vow of not to take up arms during the Mahabharata war, on the third day of the fight. Duryodana had provoked Bhishma the previous night as the war was not progressing to his advantage. Even though he clearly told him that the Pandavas were invincible as the Lord was on their side and he should give consideration to his age, the elder fought like one charged the next day. It stunned Arjuna and Lord Krishna's act shook him out of his complacency, said Sri B. Sundar Kumar in his discourse.
Seeing that Arjuna was not putting up a spirited fight, the Lord greatly angered jumped down from the chariot and rushed towards Bhishma branding His discus, His upper garment dropping behind Him. Beholding His wrathful form assumed with the intention of protecting Arjuna to the extent of breaking His vow, Bhishma prayed with folded hands, "I bow down to You. I have been honoured by this appearance of Yours. Please grant me release from this human bondage. Please kill me. There will be no glory greater than death at Your hands." And in his prayer Bhishma recalled the Lord's graciousness of violating His vow in order to exalt his wish of compelling Him to take up arms.
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