Bhishma had the boon "Ichchha-Mrutyu" (one who can decide when to die). So he saw four generations of his family. I just want to know, what was the age difference between Bhishma & Abhimanyu in the Mahabharata?

2 Answers 2


I discuss in this answer the age of various Mahabharata characters. In particular, Bhishma was 140 years old at the time of the Mahabharata war. Now as you can see in this web page, Abhimanyu was born 12 years after Yudhishthira's coronation in Indraprastha, and Yudhishthira was coronated at the age of 46. So since (as I discuss in that answer) Yudhishthira was 91 years old at the time of the Mahabharata war, Abhimanyu was 33 years old at the time of the war (contrary to the popular belief that he was 16). So Bhishma was 107 years older than Abhimanyu.

  • you are incoreect about age of yudhishthira and abhimanyu. abhimanyu was 14 years old at the time of war
    – Vikas Rana
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 7:10
  • and if yudishthara was 91 years old at war time, his diff of age with bhishma is only 49 years. which is not possible.
    – Vikas Rana
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 7:12
  • @VikasRana Where did you hear that Abhimanyu was 14? Abhimanyu was born long before the Pandavas 12-year exile. As far as Bhishma goes, the reason that the age difference between Bhishma and Yudhishthira is only 49 years is that Vichitravirya and Chitrangada died at an early age, and Dhritarashtra and Pandu were born shortly after Vichitravirya's death. And then Dhritarashtra and Pandu got married at an early age. Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 7:37
  • hmm ok. but how can a person saw his fourth generation when he was only 49 (bhima was not young when vichitervirya and chitrangad born). is there any written evidence for it.
    – Vikas Rana
    Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 8:05
  • @VikasRana Bhishma was just a boy when Ganga gave him back to Shantanu, and this chapter of the Adi Parva of the Mahabharata describes how Shantanu married Satyavati four years later: sacred-texts.com/hin/m01/m01101.htm So Bhishma would have been about 16 when Vichitravirya and Chitrangada were born, which would make him in his early 30's when Pandu and Dhritarashtra were born, and then he was 49 when Yudhishthira was born. Commented Jun 5, 2015 at 13:43

Difference should be ~70+/- years.

As discussed in this answer, Drona died at the age of 85 years. From that, we can assume that Bhishma's age should be of 85-90 years, as both Bhishma & Drona were contemporaries along with KripachArya.

Abhimanyu's age was 16 years as mentioned in Sambhava Parva:

Nara, whose companion is Narayana, will be born as Indra's son and indeed, will be known as Arjuna, the mighty son of Pandu. This boy of mine shall be his son and become a mighty car-warrior in his boyhood. And let him, ye best of immortals, stay on earth for sixteen years. And when he attaineth to his sixteenth year, the battle shall take place in which all who are born of your portions shall achieve the destruction of mighty warriors...

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