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Bhishma Keeps His Vow

Bhishma's forces numbered eleven akshouhini. (One akshouhini comprises 21,870 elephants, 21,870 chariots, 65,610 horses and 1,09 350-foot soldiers.) They clashed with the army of the Pandavas at Kurukshetra. Before the battle began, Yudhishthira bowed to Bhishma and received his blessings. Krishna himself was Arjuna's charioteer.

The fierce war began. On two days Bhishma took a toll of ten thousand Pandava soldiers before the evening.

On the third day Arjuna himself faced Bhishma and rained arrows on him. "Oh, you learnt archery from Lord Parameshwara, didn't you?" said Bhishma and showered arrows on him. But it was very difficult even for Bhishma to withstand Arjuna's attack. Bhishma thought that Arjuna's success was only due to the presence of Sri Krishna. He had to separate him from Krishna.

Bhishma took an arrow presented to him by Parashurama and aimed it at Sri Krishna's forehead. It struck Sri Krishna deep in the forehead. When Sri Krishna pulled it out blood gushed in fountains and his whole body was drenched in blood. Sri Krishna becomes wild like Rudra when he sets out to destroy the worlds. He jumped from the chariot holding the Sudarshana Chakra in his hand and crying, "I shall kill 13hishma!" He had vowed not to touch his Chakra, but the oath was now forgotten. Bhishma was not in the least disturbed, but on the other hand he was filled with joy. In fact his own wish had been fulfilled; for, he had vowed that he would make Sri Krishna take up his Chakra.

Bhishma jumped down from his chariot and threw down his bow and arrows. He praised Sri Krishna.

With folded hands he said, "Lord, I am a child before you; should you look for my shortcomings? I am your devotee; should you be angry with me? I shall be happy if you kill me, for then I shall go to heaven. Come, my Lord."

Sri Krishna was pleased with his devotion. He withdrew his Chakra and returned to the chariot of Arjuna. Thus Bhishma's vows had all been fulfilled.

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Bhishma- A Honoured figure of the Indian Epic, the 'Mahabharata'
About Bhishma
"Who Are You?"
"I Speak As A Father"
My Father Must Be Happy
"This Is My Vow"
The Burdens Of All On His Shoulders
Bhishma The Hero
"I Shall Never Break My Vow"
The Grandsons
Shri Krishna In Duryodhana's Court
Bhishma To Lead The Kauravas
You are Here! Bhishma Keeps His Vow
Bhishma On A Bed Of Arrows
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