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 offerings we have heard 6 points. Now we shall hear further.
7. Bhishmadev's vows: Since Shantanu could not control his senses, the whole current of history was completely diverted. Otherwise it would have been very nice. This Devavrat would have been married and he would have had nice children and the same dynasty would have continued. And because of this Santanu's folly, the whole thing was completely disturbed. The whole Mahabharat stands on this folly. You do one thing wrong and you are creating Mahabharat. That we don't know and we do wrong just like that, like play thing. And as soon as you do something wrong, then Mahabharat has to follow.
And this is the thing to be learnt from Bhishmadev's story. Somehow the other he was highly elevated person. But highly elevated persons can sacrifice and he did it for the sake of his father. And this was again a noble quality. Otherwise other sons might have told, "Let it be. You need not get married now". This is how our culture stands on these values and these are the values which we should take from Mahabharat, Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam. Otherwise if you don't touch these values, just like animals we have come and like animals we go. There is no difference then. Even dog is better. Because dog at least stays and passes his life according to the dictates of the Lord. He doesn't visit pubs. He doesn't like. If you offer him a glass of beer, he just goes away. He won't touch it. But we degrade ourselves more than that. These are the few lessons which we should learn and discern from Mahabharat and Bhishmadev.
And then the whole thing followed. Bhishma had to take the vow. When he went to the fisherman, the fisherman said, "My daughter's sons only should be come the king." So Bhishmadev agreed. "Alright, I will not claim the throne. Your grand-children will have the throne." And again the fisherman did not leave. The fisherman was a real solicitor.(laughter) Solicitors are all fallen from the sky. They have lot of brains.(laughter) So the fisherman said, "If you marry and if you have children, then what guarantee that the children will not claim the throne?" So again Bhishma had to think. "Now what is to be done?" The fisherman continued, "Merely disowning the throne, is not useful. You have disowned. But what is the guarantee that children will disown, will not claim it?" So then there was no other go and then Devavrat had to say that he will remain brahmacari for the whole of his lifetime. And then the fisherman was very satisfied. After he ate away the whole life of Bhishmadev, the fisherman was satisfied. This is how Bhishmadev had to take the vows as otherwise his father was morose.
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.
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