Lessons from Bhishmadev - Part 10

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 8 points. Now let us continue to hear further.

8. Commitment of Bhishmadev: When Bhishmadev got all the three daughters of Kashiraja after fighting with the other kings, he brought them home and offered them to Vicitravirya. And then Amba, the first daughter said, "Before you took us, I had already decided to marry king of Salva." Bhishma had fought violently with all the kings. Everyone was killed, but Salva was left alive. So she says that, "Now you do whatever you like." Bhishma said, "Why did you not tell me before? I would have left you go." And then Bhishma said, "Now I am allowing you to go." When she went to the king, the king said, "I won't accept you, because you are won by Bhishmadev. So it was the rule of kshatriyas, that whoever wins the fight, she has to marry him. Again there was trouble for Bhishma. She came back to Bhishma. She said, "You are ruining my life. You have to marry me." But Bhishma could not do that because his oath was like that. So he said, "I can't marry." She waited and waited for 6 to 7 years and eventually Bhishma told her that he cannot marry her and that she has to manage her own life. She couldn't do that. 

She was upset and when she was upset, she started tapasya. There was no psychiatrist at that time. (laughter) Otherwise in our times, we go to psychiatrist. But in those days, there were no psychiatrists. The whole population was very nicely directed to do tapa, austerities. And she performed great austerities in the forest and she could not understand why Bhishma should deny her. When it was clear that Bhishma was not going to marry her, she wanted to take revenge. With that revengeful idea, she started doing different penances. She tried to please the son of Lord Shiva, then Shiva Himself and she got the benediction. Lord Shiva was able to give her a nice benediction, "You will be able to kill Bhishmadev yourself in the next birth. That time first you will be born as a daughter and later you will become a man and you will be named as Shikhandi. Then you will be able to kill Bhishma." So his death was created by his own activities and this we don't know. In the material world while performing the activities, we don't have the dream that we are inviting our own death, by the activities which are against the instruction of Lord. We should be very clear from BG 16.23,

yaḥ śāstra-vidhim utsṛjya vartate kāma-kārataḥ
na sa siddhim avāpnoti na sukhaṁ na parāṁ gatim

He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme destination.

As soon as you go against the shastra vidhi, instructions of shastras, you are inviting your own end. This we don't know. And eventually Bhishma had to die at the hands of Sikhandi and this was all because there was a slight mistake of bringing Amba who had already decided to marry King Salva. 

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.