It is the common knowledge that, it was Prabhas (Dyaus), one of the Vasus, incarnated as Bhishma due to curse. Following passage from the Mahabharata supports it.

From this chapter of Sambhava Parva:

But he for whose deed ye have been cursed by me he, viz., Dyu, shall for his sinful act, have to dwell on earth for a length of time. I shall not make futile the words I have uttered in wrath.

But in one of the later chapters, the Vasus make another statement that, 1/8th of all eight Vasus become Bhishma:

We shall each contribute an eighth part of our respective energies With the sum thereof, thou shall have one son according to thy and his wishes. But this son shall not begat any children on earth. Therefore, that son of thine endued with great energy, shall be childless.

Also in another occasion , during birth of Arjuna , Mahabharata explicitely mentions that , all 8 Vasus were there

And the twin Aswins, the eight Vasus, the mighty Maruts, the Viswedevas, and the Sadhyas, also came there.

So which one is right?

  • he was one of the 8 vasus. All of them committed a sin, but Prabhas was the chief offender who did it by the bidding of his wife. So all others got a quick release from the curse by being drowned by Ganga devi as soon as they were born, but the 8th son, Bhishma had to live a long life, as celibate. But with illustrious fame as a softening of the curse. – ram Nov 9 '17 at 2:29
  • But , there is another quote in the mahabharata which says , Bhishma is 1/8 of each Vasus. Also another quote talks about all 8 vasus present during birth of arjuna – tekkk Nov 9 '17 at 3:31
  • @KeshavSrinivasan , Any inputs ? – tekkk Nov 11 '17 at 4:19

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