Bhishma Pitamah, the greatest warrior in the hindu epic-Mahabharata was born the son of king Shantanu and river goddess Ganga. In those days Bhishma Pitamah was known as Devavrata, and with his skills of a warrior, noble, a great student of Lord Parshurama and an able administrator, Devavrata was the right fit for the throne of Hastinapur, his father’s kingdom.
He had won many territories for the kingdom, that today in the modern days would have stretched as far as Russia and Greece to the north west and to Cambodia, Vietnam, and Malaysia in the south east. The Bharatvansha was in its prime under the command of the young prince- Devavrata. But the fate had other plans for him, King Shantanu had fallen in love with a fisherman’s daughter, Satyavati. The girl’s father had agreed to get the couple married on only one condition, that the heir to the throne of Hastinapur would be the son of Shantanu and Satyavati and not Devavrata.
King Shantanu readily refused to the condition. But to spare pain to his own father, Devavrata took an oath of a lifetime celibacy and that he would never sit on the throne of Hastinapur, and would protect the kingdom and the throne with his life. This oath today is known as Bhishma Pratigya.
A great Student
Bhishma was the student of Parshurama, the eight incarnation of Vishnu and the greatest Brahmana warrior who killed the evil Kshatriyas ruling the earth. Bhishma learned all the skills of war from the great Parshurama himself. But when Amba went to Parshurama to force BHishma to marry her, the most ardent follower of his guru, Bhishma, had to deny his guru Parshurama as well because he had taken oath of lifetime celibacy for the sake of Hastinapur. Enraged by the insult ,Lord Parshurama had challenged Bhishma in the battlefield. Bhishma had gracefully accepted the challenge and eventually had defeated his guru Lord Parshurama.
The Most Generous warrior
During the battle of Mahabharata, there was no match for the mighty Bhishma and the kauravas would have easily defeated the Pandavas. But he knew that he was fighting the wrong side and cause, and that Pandavas were the right fit to lead Hastinapur. In order to get defeated, he had given a clue to Pandavas that only a female warrior could kill him during the war as he would not pick weapons against a female. So Pandavas had sent Shikhandi, a eunuch who was Amba in her previous birth, ended the misery for Bhishma pitamah and killed him.
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