Bhisma Panchaka - ISKCON Congregational Development Ministry

Bhisma Panchaka

Bhisma-panchaka is five days dedicated to Bhismadev, The son of mother Ganga and his father King Shantanu-Bhismah santanavo birah. He is the Grandfather of Pandavas, descendant of Great king Bharata in Kuru dynasty .The period falls in the last 5 days of the month Kartik,the resounding 5 days of chaturmasya. It is said to commemorate the life of Grandfather Bhismadev, a key figure in the history of India, one who is known as a powerful warrior and commander-in-chief of the royal army who renounced his own claim to the throne of the world and instead remained celibate throughout his life as stated in Mahabharata and the Srimad-Bhagavatam.

After the chronological events that took place on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, being extremely pleased with Bhismadev, Lord Krsna granted a special boon to those who worship Lord Hari and engage in devotional service during these five days. What is that special boon?Lord Krsna agreed to bestow pure devotion to those who earnestly follow certain austerities these last five days of Kartik. As per Gaudiya vaishnava, Bhismadev is very well known as one of the twelve mahajanas—authorities—in the science of Krsna
consciousness. In his youth, he received the benediction that he would only die when he wishes it. He spent his final days giving spiritual and political instructions to King Yudhisthira while lying on a bed of arrows, having been wounded on the battlefield of Kurukshetra. After the Pandavas won the battle, Bhismadeva finally felt peaceful and wanted to leave his body looking into the lotus-like face of Lord Krsna in His transcendental feature as Partha-sarathi. This shows his unflinching faith and devotion to Lord Krsna, which we know is the highest perfection of life.

drstva nipatitam bhumau
divas cyutam ivamaram
pranemuh pandava bhisma
sanugah saha cakrina

Seeing him [Bhisma] lying on the ground, like a demigod fallen from the sky, the Pandava King Yudhisthira, along with his younger brothers and Lord Krsna, bowed down before him. -SB 1.9.4

It is a joyous event since many devotees from various parts of the world come to Sri Mayapur Dham, India, situated very close to the holy bank of river Ganga. The atmosphere is filled with excitement in honoring such an auspicious, devotional vow. Every year HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaj also joins us in Sri Dham Mayapur to give all of us His company. We have gathered an overwhelming response from many devotees participating from several countries and from many states of India..

Most importantly, HH Jayapataka Swami Maharaj always emphasises on following these 5 days in the shastric way as it is quoted by Srila Suta Goswami in the Padma Purana, Uttarakhanda, ‘This liberating fast is unknown even to the demigods.’

The Padma Purana says that this pleases Lord Keshava the worshipable Lord for the month of Kartik and he who follows, makes spiritual advancement by doing such vrata and is so powerful that one can even free oneself from one of the greatest sins.

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