There is an incident in Mahabharata when Bhishma was destroying the Pandava army furiously and Arjuna was still not fighting with high spirits. At that time, Krishna became furious with Arjuna and he used a wheel of a chariot as his chakra and spoke angrily to Arjuna that if he isn't willing to kill Bhishma, he will have to do the job himself. This is what I have seen/read in TV serials/comic books based on the Mahabharata.

The question is, even if Krishna wanted to kill Bhishma, he couldn't have, because of the ichcha-mrityu (death at will) boon of Bhishma, so why would Krishna even attempt to do such a thing?

  • So what is the question and why would even Krishna try to do that Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 16:56
  • 3
    Vote to close. There is no question here. Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 4:30
  • @Swami_Vishwananda, there is a question here. There is an incident in Mahabharata when Bhishma was destroying Pandava army furiously and Arjun was still not fighting with high spirits. At that time, Krishna became furious with Arjun and Bhishma and he used a Wheel of a chariot as his chakra and spoke angrily to Arjun that if he isn't willing to kill Bhishma, I will have to do it. This is as per what I have seen and read in TV serial/ comic book based on Mahabharat. The question is even if Krishna tried to kill him, he cannot kill because of IchchaMrityu boon of Bhishma, so how could he do that
    – Aby
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 7:58
  • Aby got the question.
    – Sam
    Commented Apr 21, 2015 at 8:00
  • 1
    Question should include the complete text of mahabharat story rather than just one liner.
    – Sid M
    Commented Apr 22, 2015 at 14:45

4 Answers 4


According to me, even if Bhishma couldn't be killed but still there were other ways of stopping him. If you know about the story of Samudra Manthan and what happened afterwards with Rahu, you can probably imagine what could Lord Krishna might have done. As per the Adi Parva of the Mahabharata the following describes what happened with Rahu after he drank Amrit:

And all the gods at that time of great fright drank the Amrita with delight, receiving it from Vishnu. And while the gods were partaking of it, after which they had so much hankered, a Danava named Rahu was also drinking it among them in the guise of a god. And when the Amrita had reached Rahu's throat only, Surya and Soma (recognised him and) intimated the fact to the gods. And Narayana instantly cut off with his discus the well-adorned head of the Danava who was drinking the Amrita without permission. And the huge head of the Danava, cut off by the discus and resembling a mountain peak, then rose up to the sky and began to utter dreadful cries. And the Danava's headless trunk, falling upon the ground and rolling thereon, made the Earth tremble with her mountains, forests and islands. And from that time there is a long-standing quarrel between Rahu's head and Surya and Soma.

So as we can see, Rahu had consumed Amrit so he could have been a problem as he became immortal but still Lord Vishnu cut him off, disabling him to create any major troubles. Lord Krishna had used Wheel in the form of Charka, so i believe he might be trying to do the same here. If Bhishma's head would be cut off then he won't be able to fight but can still be alive.

We have another example of the same act with Barbarik (son of Ghatotkach), who could have proven to be a problem for both Pandav and Kaurav army, so Lord Krishna also used the same technique with him, i.e., he discussed with Barbarik and it was mutually agreed that Barbarik's head will be cut off so that he couldn't participate in the war.


In this case there is no deadlock between Krishna being all-God and Bhishma's boon


Like a lion towards an elephant, or the leader of a bovine herd upon another of his species, that bull of Madhu's race, with a loud roar, impetuously rushed towards Bhishma. Beholding him of eyes like lotus petals (thus) rushing towards him in that battle, Bhishma began to fearlessly draw his large bow. And with a fearless heart he addressed Govinda, saying, 'Come, come, O thou of eyes like lotus petals. O God of the gods, I bow to thee. O best of the Satwatas, throw me down today in this great battle. O god, slain by thee in battle, O sinless one, great will be the good done to me, O Krishna, in every respect in the world. Amongst all, in the three worlds, great is the honour done to me today in battle, O Govinda. Strike me as thou pleasest, for I am thy slave, O sinless one.' Meanwhile, the mighty-armed Partha. quickly following Kesava behind, seized him by encircling him with his two arms. That best of male beings, viz., Krishna, of eyes like lotus petals, seized by Partha, still proceeded with great speed, bearing the latter away with him.

So Bhishma would have welcomed being killed by Krishna.


Yes, Sri Krishna could kill Bhisma whenever He wished.

Because, He was Iswara. All jeevas are controlled by Iswara, as mentioned in Gita:

18.61 O Arjuna, the Lord resides in the region of the heart of all creatures, revolving through Maya all the creatures (as though) mounted on a machine!

Only God is 'Swatantra' and all jeevas are 'Paratantra'(Subordinate).

So the 'ichchha' of anyone is also controlled by Iswara's maya.

Whenever Sri Krishna wanted, He could generate the willingness to die in Bhisma's mind.

What He did and did not are all His divine leela.


Kṛṣṇa could have easily killed Bhīṣma even while keeping to the "ichcha-mrityu" thing, because he can control desire, as shown by his name as Kāmadeva (~The one who conspires against desire (technically deva means to play with, but it's always used in the game theory, conspiracy-y way)). Thus Kṛṣṇa could kill Bhīṣma by desire controlling him and keep the ichcha-mrityu.


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