Dear Devotees,PAMHO,


धर्म के जिन सिद्धान्तों से पूर्ण पुरुषोत्तम भगवान को वास्तव में समझा जा सकता है, वह भागवत धर्म कहलाता है (SB.7.10.45) | भागवत धर्म को पूर्णतया जानने वाले 12 महाजन हैं : ब्रह्माजी, नारद, शिवजी, (चारो) कुमार, भगवान कपिल, स्वयम्भू मनु, प्रह्लाद महाराज, जनक महाराज, भीष्म पितामह, बलि महाराज, शुकदेव गोस्वामी तथा यमराज (SB.6.3.20) |

क्या कोई भक्त इस पर कुछ प्रकाश डाल सकता है कि इस सूची में श्री भीष्म पितामह का नाम किस आधार पर शामिल है?

Hare Krishna

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  • Dear Devotees Hare Krsna! PAMHO,AGTSP

    Recently I came across an article regarding contradictory role of great Devotees wherein it was discussed that why such learned men go against Lord. For e.g. Bhisma in Mahabharata (one of 12 Mahajan) was a man with high character and knowledge; still he chose to fight against Krishna?

    This puzzle was solved by HH.Sri Radhanath Swami,who explained : Bhisma was always upright, loyal and true in the service of the Lord. Although as an instrument in the Lord’s hands he had to play a thankless role and be misunderstood forever. Generally, people think that Bhisma was obliged to Duryodhana because he was receiving food from him and thus he had to be on his side.
    The real reason that Bhisma accepted the side of Kurus was the will of Lord Krishna. Because when Krishna wants to show a fantastic example to the whole world, He uses His devotee.
    Even if His devotee has to temporally become His enemy, the devotee accepts that position out of love. So Bhisma understood Krishna’s plan. He wanted to show the whole world in the coming ages that the most important principle in life – “whoever you are, however wealthy you are, however powerful you are, however famous you are, however beautiful you are, however learned you are? If you are not on the side of Krishna, then you will be defeated.”
    And irrespective of who you are, if you are on the side of Krishna you will be victorious because Krishna is Achyuta. Achyuta means unconquerable. But the unconquerable Krishna agrees to be conquered by the love of His devotees.
    Krishna says in Bhagavad-Gita
    “kaunteya pratijanehina me bhakti pranashyati”
    Bhagavad-Gita 9.31
    “Arjuna, you should know that my devotee will never perish; I will always protect my devotees. But how I protect you is not according to your choice. That is according to my choice. I may protect you by kicking you, punching you, taking everything away from you, or I may protect you by giving you the whole world.”

    your insignificant servant

  • Hare Krishna Pr,

    Real religious principles are nistraiguṇya, above the three modes of material nature, or transcendental.Expert religionists know perfectly well how to adjust religious principles in terms of time and place. All the great ācāryas or religious preachers or reformers of the world executed their mission by adjustment of religious principles in terms of time and place. There are different climates and situations in different parts of the world, and if one has to discharge his duties to preach the message of the Lord, he must be expert in adjusting things in terms of the time and place. Bhīṣmadeva was one of the twelve great authorities in preaching this cult of devotional service.  Bhīṣmadeva, who was the best amongst the eight Vasus,chief of the descendants of King Bharata knews perfectly all the religious principles according to time and place. Bhīṣmadeva knew of Krsna glories, he worshiped Him duly. 

    Source -- 

    Bhishma is a Mahajana (one of Krishna's greatest devotees), and he achieved spiritual perfection in his relationship with Krishna by serving the Lord in a chivalrous mood. He was fully aware that Krishna's will would be done no matter what side he himself fought on, so he chose to do his duty and fight with those for whom he was working (the Kuru family).

    Source --

    The verse come between discussion between Yamarāja and His Messengers about bhāgavata-dharma, the religious principle of devotional service. bhāgavata-dharma is the most confidential religious principle. No one but the Lord Himself can deliver that confidential religious system to human society. It is by the mercy of the Lord that the transcendental system of religion can be understood by His pure devotees, and specifically by the twelve mahājanas Lord Brahmā, Nārada Muni, Lord Śiva, the Kumāras, Kapila, Manu, Prahlāda, Janaka, Bhīṣma, Bali, Śukadeva Gosvāmī and Yamraj. 

    These Mahajana are intimate associates of Lord also presented when Akrūra have Vision of Viṣṇuloka Within the Yamunā River.  Krsna Book 39: Akrūra also saw His Lordship surrounded by intimate associates like the four Kumāras—Sanaka, Sanātana, Sananda and Sanat-kumāra—and other associates like Sunanda and Nanda, as well as demigods like Brahmā and Lord Śiva. The nine great learned sages were there, and also devotees like Prahlāda and Nārada and the eight Vasus. All were engaged in offering prayers to the Lord with clean hearts and pure words. 

    The stage attained by Bhīṣmadeva while quitting his material body is called nirvikalpa-samādhi because he merged his self into thinking of the Lord and his mind into remembering His different activities. He chanted the glories of the Lord, and by his sight he began to see the Lord personally present before him, and thus all his activities became concentrated upon the Lord without deviation. This is the highest stage of perfection, and it is possible for everyone to attain this stage by practice of devotional service. The devotional service of the Lord consists of nine principles of service activities, and they are (1) hearing, (2) chanting, (3) remembering, (4) serving the lotus feet, (5) worshiping, (6) praying, (7) executing the orders, (8) fraternizing, and (9) fully surrendering. Any one of them or all of them are equally competent to award the desired result, but they require to be practiced persistently under the guidance of an expert devotee of the Lord. The first item, hearing, is the most important item of all, and therefore hearing of the Bhagavad-gītā and, later on, Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam is essential for the serious candidate who wants to attain the stage of Bhīṣmadeva at the end.

    The eight Vasus and the demigods in the upper planetary system, who are responsible for the management of the universal affairs, performed a sacrifice in the days of yore. Thus Yamarāja instruct His Messengers about bhāgavata-dharma and knower of bhāgavata-dharma.

  • Volunteer

    Hare Krishna,

    Please accept my humble obeisances.

    please listen to wonderful satsang katha by HH Radha Govind Goswami Maharaj on Bhishma Dev and him seeing Krishna on his deathbed.

    this will clear all of your doubts and will understand who Bhishma Dev is and what is his relationship with our beloved Krishna.

    katha is in hindi.

    Hare Krishna, Hari bol

    your servant

    • Hare Krishna, Prabhuji, dandavat

      I am obliged for the information provided by you & other devotees. The katha referred in your reply is about highest principles of religion explained by Sri Bhishm to Pandavs & other Rishes present. It also included stuties by him before leaving his material body in front of Lord Sri Krishna praising qualities of Sri Krishna as mentioned in canto 1 chapter 9 of Srimad Bhagvatam. But does not mention anywhere, the importance of inclusion of his name in the list of Mahajans. 

      The shlok mentioning names of 12 mahajans is narrated by Sri Yamraj  to his servants who returned empty handed as could not bring aatma of Sri Ajamil who was saved by Narayan doots due to reciting name of Narayan Narayan at the time of his death.

      Hare Krishna

  • E-Counselor

    Hare KRsna Prabhuji,


    Bhishma Pitamaha is the 8th Vasu. His mother Ganga ji had been successful in delivering 7 earlier vasus as per her promise. When she wanted to end the 8th Vasu's human life also, her husband Maharaj Shantanu intervened and stopped her. Therefore, by previous birth, already a pious soul. He is a pure devotee of the lord - as certififed by the scriptures and the lord Himself. He said the Vishnu Sahastranaam, lying on the bed of arrows, directly to the lord Himself and then left his body in front of the lord.

    What is your objection to only Bhishma Pitamaha being a mahajan? Because he fought on the side of the kauravas? This was explained to me in one class, Bhishma Pitamaha considered his own vow to be greater and therefore fought on the side of the kauravas, knowing fully well that they cannot win. That is one of the reasons why he had to undergo the pain of the bed of arrows till the war ended. He was again bound by his own vow to not end his life till the time the crown of Hastinapur is in safe hands. Therefore, he waited till the war ended and Yudhishtir emerged victorious before leaving his body.


    YOur servant,


    • Hare Krsna
      There is no greater " specific reason " than the fact that he was dear to Lord Krsna and Lord Krsna was dear to Him.
      As told by Rashmi Mataji he chanted the glories of the Lord that is because he knew his glories. When Sisupala was decapitated by the Lord at the Rajasuya sacrifice Bhismadeva was amongst those present. By the grace of the Lord he was able to see the spiritual spark of Sisupala merge into the transcendental body of Krsna.
    • Hare Krishna Mataji, dandavat

      I have read that due to some bad karmas in his previous life, he had to undergo the pain of the bed of arrows. Please note that only 12, I repeat only 12 are included in this list. So there must be some more specific reason for inclusion of his name.

      Hare Krishna 

  • Hare Krsna
    Bhismadeva was a great devotee of Lord Krsna in particular chivalry( Veer Rasa).
    His knowledge in Raja Dharma surpassed even that of Lord Krsna according to Prabhupada.
    He instructed Maharaja Yuddhistara in Raja Dharma from his unique deathbed as it was desired by Lord Krsna.
    He quit his body meditating on the personal form of Krsna who was present at his passing away.
    Prabhupada also mentions that the Ksatriyas are very stern people and for some reason he had to fight on the behalf of the Kauravas but he was always affectionate towards the Pandavas who were by nature righteous.
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