Son of the Great River Ganga
Do you know who the son of the great river Ganga is?
He is none other than Gangeya or Devavratha or popularly known as Bhishma the prince of Hasthinapura, now known as Delhi. Bhishma was the son of King Shanthanu and River Ganga and the grandfather of the Pandavas and Kauravas.
I don’t know about everyone but I remember studying about him in my school days. He is an exceptionally skilled administrator and an undefeatable warrior. He sacrificed his throne and promised to remain bachelor for the rest of his life to fulfill his father wish of marrying the daughter of a fisherman, who was ready to marry his daughter to the king Shanthanu only if her daughter’s sons and their line would rule the kingdom after him and not Bhishma. It is because of this terrible oath that he came to be known as Bhishma.
He was granted a boon for his sacrifice from his father that he will have his control over his death.
In the great battle of Mahabharatha he fought against the pandavas being true to the throne even though he knew he was doing a wrong. He gave up his arms in the battle and refused to fight against a male Sikhandi, who was actually a female by birth and transformed into male because of a boon and was born to take her revenge on Bhishma by becoming the cause of his death. Sikhandi had been born in an earlier lifetime as a woman named Amba, who was rejected by Bhishma for marriage. Feeling deeply humiliated and wanting revenge, Amba carried out great prayers and penance with the desire to be the cause of Bhishma’s death. Amba was then reborn as Shikhandini.
Knowing that Bhishma would react thus to Shikhandi, Arjuna hid behind Shikhandi and attacked Bhishma with a devastating volley of arrows. Thus, only with Shikhandi’s help could Arjuna deal a death blow to Bhishma, who had been virtually invincible until then.
He lay on the “bed of arrows” till the end of the battle, and chose to die only after learning that the Pandavas had won, as he was now assured that the throne of Hastinapura was in safe hands. In his last days before he ascended to heaven, he recited to Yudhisthira the famous hymn to Vishnu, the Vishnu sahasranama. Bhishma also admitted he had been wrong to fight for Duryodhana even though he was the king’s employee since one’s only allegiance is towards righteousness.
You might be wondering why I am telling you all this? Well………… because Bhimsha died on the eleventh day( Ekadasi) of the bright half of the eleventh month (Magha) according to the Hindu Calender and that day is known as Bhishma Ekadasi and that’s yesterday!!!!! .