Mahabharata Bhishma Parva Chapter 123

Mahabharata Bhishma Parva (Bhagavat-Gita Parva) Chapter 123

Sanjaya said,—"After the night had passed away, O monarch, all the kings, the Pandavas and the Dhartarashtras, repaired to the grandsire. Those Kshatriyas then saluted that bull of their order, that foremost one among the Kurus, that hero lying on a hero's bed, and stood in his presence. Maidens by thousands, having repaired to that place, gently showered over Santanu's son powdered sandal wood and fried paddy, and garlands of flowers. And women and old men and children, and ordinary spectators, all approached Santanu's son like creatures of the world desirous of beholding the Sun. And trumpets by hundreds and thousands, and actors, and mimes, and skilled mechanics also came to the aged Kuru grandsire. And ceasing to fight, putting aside their coats of mail, and lying aside their weapons, the Kurus and the Pandavas, united together, came to the invincible Devavrata, that chastiser of foes. And they were assembled together as in days of old, and cheerfully addressed one another according to their respective ages. And that conclave full of Bharata kings by hundreds and adorned with Bhishma, looked beautiful and blazing like a conclave of the gods in heaven. And that conclave of kings engaged in honouring the son of Ganga looked as beautiful as a conclave of the celestials engaged in adorning their Lord, viz., the Grandsire (Brahman). Bhishma, however, O bull of Bharata's race, suppressing his agonies with fortitude though burning with the arrows (still sticking to his body), was sighing like a snake.

His body burning with these arrows, and himself nearly deprived of his senses in consequence of his weapon-wounds, Bhishma cast his eyes on those kings and asked for water. Then those Kshatriyas, O king, brought thither excellent viands and several vessels of cold water. Beholding that water brought for him, Santanu's son said,—'I cannot, O sire, now use any article of human enjoyment! I am removed from the pale of humanity. I am lying on a bed of arrows. I am staying here, expecting only the return of the Moon and the Sun!' Having spoken these words and thereby rebuked those kings, O Bharata, he said,—'I wish to see Arjuna!'—The mighty-armed Arjuna then came there, and reverentially saluting the grandsire stood with joined hands, and said,—'What shall I do?'—Beholding then that son of Pandu, O monarch, thus standing before him after having offered him respectful salutations, Bhishma of righteous soul cheerfully addressed Dhananjaya, saying,—'Covered all over with thy shafts, my body is burning greatly! All the vital parts of my body are in agony. My mouth is dry. Staying as I am with body afflicted with agony, give me water, O Arjuna! Thou art a great bowman! Thou art capable of giving me water duly!'—The valiant Arjuna then saying,—'So be it,'—mounted on his car, and striking his Gandiva with force, began to stretch it. Hearing the twang of his bow and the slap of his palms which resembled the roar of the thunder, the troops and the kings were all inspired with fear.