Uploaded on Sep 18, 2010
This hymn is a lesson on the best death possible for human beings: available only for human beings but for every human being. This possibility is the reason why human existence is an invaluable one.
One of the pancha stutis (five hymns) of the Srimad Bhagavatam, Bhishma stuti is similar to Gajendra stuti (also known as Gajendra Moksha), as both are released from the cycle of birth and death. This death is known as eternal life.
Those who depart as Bhishma did are also said to have left their bodies. Such persons are not evicted from the body by death... they merge with great joy and full realization into the Self (Aatma)....just as the Ganga (and all other rivers) merges into the ocean every moment.
Traditionally, Bhishma stuti consists of shlokas 32-43 of adhyaya 9, skanda 1 of the Srimad Bhagavatam. However this video has verses 29-44, grouped into 3 sections.
1. The description of the moment of reckoning
2. The hymn
3. The description of the immediate moment after Bhishma's departure.
Almost each shloka of Bhishma stuti is a deep and powerful capsule demonstrating the most important lesson and act of life: how to die. The description of this process is given in each of the verses from 29-44.
Bhishma's mind does not wander over the vastness or the depth of the Lord.
He does not dwell on his own inadequacies or on complaints or the glories of the Lord. He does not seek anything except being drawn to the Lord.
Bhishma withdraws all his senses into their master, the mind and focusses this mind on the One Lord, just as described by Sri Krishna in Chapters 2 and 6 of the Bhagavad Gita.
Bhishma dwells on the activities of the Lord in order to withdraw his mind from all else, keep it focussed and merge into the Lord. With a few exceptions, Bhishma limits this remembering process to his immediate experiences: the war and the Sri Krishna as 'Vijaya sakhe' (friend of Vijaya (victory), another name of Arjuna). This war takes place within every human being, if that human surrenders to the guidance of the Lord as Arjuna did. Bhishma refers often to the Lord, Arjuna, the chariot and the horses. The Katha Upanishad gives the meaning of this metaphor in unmistakable words. The senses are the horses and the physical body is the chariot.
After withdrawing all his senses, Bhishma meditates on the four-armed form of the Lord and states in his last verse that the same Lord is present in each heart just as the sun perceived differently is but One.
Bhishma's last words are 'vidhutah bheda mohah' (freed from the delusion of duality). The nature of the duality from which Bhishma is freed is explained by Suta in the next two verses: Bhishma has become one with the formless Brahman.
For the hymn (verses 33-42) in Devnagari script, English transliteration, English translation and comments, click on.
for only English transliteration and translation.
for Devnagari script, English translation and video with South Indian rendering in the Sri Ramanujacharya tradition. This tradition accepts merging with the Absolute as the ultimate and only worthwhile human goal. However, their understanding is that the merging is only with the form of Sri Vishnu. Example, Andal.
The English transliteration, the word-to-word translation, the verse translation and comments of the full set of verses used in this video is available by starting to click on: http://srimadbhagavatam.com/1/9/29/en
This is the only complete version of Bhagavn Veda Vyasa's Srimad Bhagavatam in English on the web, translated by Swami Bhaktivedanta (also popular as Prabhupada), a monumental effort. He is also the founder of ISKCON, a branch of the Gaudiya Vaishnavas who connect to the Sri Madhavacharya tradition. This tradition preaches that the individual cannot merge with the Absolute (example: any human being except those who merge), despite Sri Krishna Chaitanya's (from whom the Gaudiya Vaishnavas and Bauls of Bengal claim philosophical descent) documented merging with the deity of Jagannath at Puri.
For an explanation of the background and the last verse by Bhishma in the Advaita (non-dual) tradition which is clear that such merging with the formless Absolute (Brahman) is the only worthwhile goal of human existence and is possible even while living (example: Bhagavan Ramana Maharishi, Neem Karoli Baba, Anandamayi Ma, Shirdi Sai Baba), click on: http://www.krishnamurthys.com/profvk/...
The pictures are random downloads from the web. Some are paintings by ISKCON artists, others by unknown Indian artists and one by BG Sharma (5.07). Others are NASA's satellite images: Ganga merging with the ocean. The deep space images of merging galaxies or star wombs are from hubblesite.org.
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