Lessons from Bhishmadev - Part 5

Hare Krishna Prabhujis and Matajis,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva.

This is in continuation of the transcription of the nectarean and inspiring class given by our beloved spiritual master HH Mahavishnu Goswami Maharaj in London on Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 1, Chapter 9. In previous offering we heard from Maharaj

1. Fate cannot be changed.
2. Use lone time in Krishna's service.
3. Fate is inevitable.

Maharaj said how fate continued to play in the life of Bhishmadev and Santanu. Now let us hear further.

4. Sacrifice of Bhishmadev: Santanu again went back to the bank of Ganges. He was going there to hunt and then he came across Satyavati, fisherman's daughter. She was raised by fisher-man. He smelled a nice fragrance. She was born out of a fish and she was smelling very bad. But then by the benediction given by Parasara Muni, she smelled very nicely. So when he smelled and he saw her climbing the boat on the bank of the river, he fell in love with her. Then she told that he has to go to her father to ask for her hand. So Santanu was blind with love. He went and approached the fisher-man and fisher-man said that, "It is alright that you are king and I am very fortunate that my daughter is getting such a nice husband." But again he had one condition that her children should become the king. And now Santanu had already declared Bhishma to be the heir-apparent. So again Santanu was in trouble. And this is sense-gratification again. Santanu should not have been attracted because he had a nice son like Devavrat. Very nice son, so there was no need for anyone else, because father and son were very nice friends. Son was 16 years old and father-son relationship was going very nicely. But somehow or the other, in order to cover up his own sense-gratification, he found other ways to express this to Devavrat. 

He went back to the palace and wouldn't talk to Devavrat. Devavrat saw that his father was completely changed and wondered what was the trouble with him. He asked his father, "What is the trouble with you? You are not eating properly. You are not staying alright." He wouldn't tell anything and then from the charioteer Devavrat knew that father is in love with that girl. He asked his father again and father then opened his mouth. In material world it is always the case that if somebody is suffering from head-ache, he will say that he is suffering from stomach-ache. He will never tell you the correct thing.(laughter) This is nature of the material existence. Every step we want to tell lies, without any reason.(laughter) This was the king's position also. So instead of telling him that he has fallen in love with Satyavati, he said, "You are the only son for me and a great archer. So sometime, if you die, then what will happen to our dynasty?" Devavrat was very clever to read inbetween the lines. He saw that this is not the case, but the father wants to get married. But then Devavrat was very generous. He sacrificed his own marriage for the sake of his father. Who will do it? Except Vedic culture, where can we find this behaviour?

Krishna willing we shall continue to hear more about Bhishmadev from Maharaj in the subsequent offering.

Thank you very much.
Yours in service of Srila Prabhupada and Srila Gurudeva,
Sudarshana devi dasi.