I have heard that in Mahabharata Bhishma was made to lie on a bed made of arrows by Arjuna after dropping his weapons. I want to know in detail what all did Bhishma do in his arrow bed. Whether Bhishma was feeling so bad because of the pain and what are the set of events that occurred when Bhisma was in arrow bed. What he did at that time and what was his state of mind at that time?

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    ok I will take tour Sep 7, 2018 at 10:37
  • during that time, he recited vishnu sahasranama. and then the whole of shanti parva he gives advice to yudhishtira on raja-dharma, moksha-dharma etc.
    – ram
    Sep 8, 2018 at 5:46

1 Answer 1


He used to think of Lord Krishna.


"Vasudeva said, 'That tiger among men, Bhishma, who is now lying on a bed of arrows, and who is now like unto a fire that is about to go out, is thinking of me.

He praised Krishna.

"Bhishma said, 'Salutations to thee, O divine Krishna! Thou art the origin and thou art the dissolution of all the worlds. Thou art the Creator and thou art the Destroyer. Thou, O Hrishikesa, art incapable of being vanquished by any one. The universe is the handiwork. Thou art the soul of the universe and the universe hath sprung from thee. Salutations to thee! Thou art the end of all created things. Thou art above the five elements. Salutations to thee that art the three worlds and that art again above the three worlds. O lord of Yogins, salutations to thee that art the refuge of everything. O foremost of beings, those words which thou hast said regarding me have enabled me to behold thy divine attributes as manifest in the three worlds. (In consequence of that kindness), O Govinda, I also behold thy eternal form. Thou standest shutting up the seven paths of the Wind possessed of immeasurable energy. The firmament is occupied by thy head, and the earth by thy feet. The points of the compass are thy two arms, and the Sun is thy eye, and Sakra constitutes thy prowess. O thou of unfading glory, thy Person, attired in yellow robes that resemble the hue of the Atasi flower, seem to us to be like a cloud charged with flashing of lightning. Think of that, O best of gods, which would be good, O thou of lotus eyes, for my humble self, that am devoted to thee, that seek thy protection, and that am desirous of obtaining a blissful end.'

He instructed Yudhisthira on morality.


It is for this, that all these persons, assembled together, have approached thee for listening to discourses on duty and morality. Do thou then speak words of truth, fraught with morality and Yoga, unto Yudhishthira who as firm in truth but whose learning has been clouded by grief on account of the slaughter of his kinsmen, and do thou, by this, quickly dispel that grief of his!'

An example of Yudhisthira questioning Bhishma on morality and Bhishma answering him.


"Yudhishthira said, 'Tell me, O grandsire, that conduct by which a king succeeds in aggrandising his subjects and earning regions of felicity in the other world.'

"Bhishma said, 'The king should be liberal and should perform sacrifices, O Bharata! He should be observant of vows and penances, and should be devoted to the duty of protecting his subjects. Righteously protecting all his subjects, he should honour all righteous persons by standing up when they come and by making gifts unto them. If the king regards it, righteousness becomes regarded everywhere. Whatever acts and things are liked by the king are liked by his subjects. Unto his foes the king should always be like Death, with the rod of chastisement uplifted in his hands. He should exterminate robbers everywhere in his kingdom and never pardon any one from caprice. The king, O Bharata, earns a fourth part of the merit that his subjects earn under his protection. By only protecting his subjects the king acquires a fourth part of the merit that his subjects acquire by study, by gifts, by pouring libations, and by worshipping the gods. The king acquires a fourth part also of the sin that his subjects commit in consequence of any distress in the kingdom arising from the king's neglect in discharging the duty of protection. Some say that the king earns a moiety, and some say the full measure, of whatever sin is caused by his becoming cruel and untruthful in speech. Listen now to the means by which the king may be cleansed of such sins. If the king fails to restore to a subject the wealth that has been stolen away by thieves, he should then compensate the injured from his own treasury, or, in case of inability, with wealth obtained from his dependents. All the orders should protect the wealth of a Brahmana even as they should the Brahmana's boy or life. The person that offends against Brahmanas should be exiled from the kingdom. Everything is protected by protecting the Brahmana's wealth. Through the grace of the Brahmana, which may thus be secured, the king becomes crowned with success. Men seek the protection of a competent king like creatures seeking relief from the clouds or birds seeking refuge in a large tree. A cruel and covetous king, with lustful soul and ever seeking the gratification of his desire never succeeds in protecting his subjects.'

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