THE POET’S OWN WORDS
A. M. SRINIVASACHARIAR
Raghavan M.A., Ph.D.
obtains a long life by good conduct; those of bad conduct die early.’
च परिवर्जयेत् ॥
must not seek others’ wives, must avoid talking ill of others, avoid hate,
stiffness, pride and severity.
च स्वसा गुरुः।
old man, a relative, a friend, a widowed sister, a teacher, one of a good
family and a learned man, these, if poor, must be protected by one according to
is not conducive to longevity; therefore one should avoid jealousy.
must bathe in the sacred waters, deep, clear and pure, of his own mind, in the
lake of firmness and at the ford of Truth.
Knowledge, Softness, Truthfulness, Straightforwardness, Non-injury to all
beings, Sympathy, Self-control, Tranquillity – these constitute bath in waters.
of conduct is the great purity; the purity by baths in sacred waters is only
next to that.
great abstemious sages say that the voiding of the eating of flesh is blessed,
praiseworthy, conducive to long life, helpful to attain heaven and is the great
way to well-being.
who commits suicide in passion, anger or fear, goes to eternal hell because of
day thousands of occasions for sorrow, and hundreds of circumstances producing
fear take possession of a fool, but not a wise man.
is no absolute and invariable happiness even for Indra in his heaven.
मरणान्तं च जीवितम्॥
accumulations end in loss; all rises end in fall; all unions end in separation;
and life ends in death.
is trouble in earning riches; trouble in guarding the riches earned; trouble if they are lost; trouble if they are
spent; fie on wealth, the store-house of miseries.
म्रियमाणांस्तथैव च ।
काष्ठलोष्टसमो हि सः॥
so well those who are being born and those who are, in the same manner, dying,
if a man is not violently disturbed, he is verily equal to a piece of wood or a
lump of clay.
has been described as the best means of attaining the summum bonum – the
continuous meditation of Lord Narayana, worshipping Him, making offerings to
Him and singing His praises.
the praise of the Lord of the universe, the God of gods, the Infinite and
Supreme Being with His thousand names, one surmounts all misery.
Dharma I consider the greatest of all Dharmas, namely, that man should always
worship with devotion and hymns the Lotu-eyed Lord, Narayana.
न लोभो नाशुभा मतिः।
the blessed who are the devotees of Lord Narayana, there is no anger, no
malice, no avarice, no evil thought.
The one Vishnu, the Great Being, the Soul of all beings, the Enjoyer of the
universe, the Imperishable Lord, pervades and enjoys the various separate
beings and (all) the three worlds.
unto that Imperishable Being, of thousand forms, of thousand feet, eyes, heads
and hands; obeisance unto that Eternal Being of thousand names, who has in
Himself thousands of crores of aeons of Time.
protect all your subjects; let Krishna be your greatest refuge;” having said thus, the wise Bhishma, stopped
for meditating (upon the Lord).
व्यास आह वचस्त्वरन्।
कुरुराजो युधिष्ठिरः ।
Bhishma had become silent Vyasa hastened and said: “King (Bhishma)!
Yudhishthira, the Kuru King, is composed (by this discourse of yours); you must
give him leave to go to his city.”
Bhishma, son of the Ganges and Santanu, gave leave to Yudhishthira and his
ministers and spoke to him sweetly.
व्येतु ते मानसो ज्वरः।
go to your city; let your mind be set on Dharma; son of Pritha (Kunti)! You
will attain good fortune; let your mind’s fever disappear; you must come (here
again to me) when the sun has begun to go northwards from the South.”
that he would do so, Yudhishthira went to hastinapura. After living in his excellent city for fifty
nights, and seeing then that the sun had returned (from the South), king
Yudhishthira, surrounded by his retinue, came to Bhishma in Kurukshetra.
[राजन्] धृतराष्ट्रो जनेश्वरः।
son of the Ganges! I am Yudhishthira; obeisance unto you; I have come in the
specified time. King Dhritarashtra has
come with his ministers; also the valorous Krishna.”
कौन्तेय परिवृत्तो दिवाकरः’।
are happily come, Yudhishthira; the sun has changed his course (from the south
towards the north).” After saying thus
to Yudhishthira, the son of God Dharma, and after taking leave of
Dhritarashtra, Bhishma said these words to Dhritarashtra at that time:
राजंस्तथैव तव धर्मतः।
(Dhritarashtra)! By Dharma, these are as much your sons as of Pandu. Standing by Dharma, protect them who take
pleasure in the service of the elders.
Your sons were evil-natured; you must not grieve for them.”
(then) addressed Krishna of mighty arm:
कृष्ण मोक्ष्ये कलेवरम्॥
Lord of the god of gods bowed to by gods and demons! I know you as the divine,
ancient and greatest sage, Narayana.
Give me leave, Krishna. I will cast off this body.”
Bhishma, I give you leave; join the Vasus; there is no sin in you; you have the
godhead which is of the pure spirit.”
वः सत्यं हि परमं बलम् ।‘
एवमुक्त्वा कुरून्सर्वान् विशल्यस्सोऽभवत्तदा
desire to give up my life (now); You must all give me leave for it; You must
strive for truth; Truth is the greatest strength.”Having said so to all the
Kurus, Bhishma became, at that time, rid of the arrow-heads (that had pierced
into his body).
vital breaths were controlled by him at all the centres, and breaking open his
head, his soul shot up heavenwards.
साधु साध्विति हर्षिताः॥
With showers of flowers, there arose the sounds of the celestial drums; and the
siddhas and the Brahmarshis rejoiced saying ‘good, good’
the crematory rites to the body of Bhishma, the greatest of the Kauravas, all
the Kauravas went to the holy Ganges and offered then the manes’ libation to