bhīṣma भीष्म

Definition: भीष्म a. [भी-णिच्-सुक्-अपादाने मक्] Terrible, dreadful, frightful, fearful; भीष्मो हि देवः सहसः सहीयान् Bhāg. 11.23.48. -ष्मः 1 The sentiment of terror (in rhetoric); see भयानक. -2 A demon, an imp, a fiend, goblin. -3 An epithet of Śiva. -4 Name of the son of Śantanu by Gangā; हृते भीष्मे हते द्रोणे शल्ये च निधनं गते Mb. [He was the youngest of the eight sons of Śantanu by Gangā; but all the others having died, he remained the sole heir to the throne after his father. On one occasion while Śantanu was walking by the side of a river, he beheld a charming young damsel named Satyavatī, the daughter of a fisherman, and, though bowed downwith age, conceived a passion for her, and sent his son to negotiate the marriage. But the parents of the girl said that if their daughter bore sons to the king, they would not succeed to the throne, for after his death Śāntanava, being the rightful heir, would be the king. But Śāntanava, to please his father, made a vow to the parents that he would never accept the kingdom or marry a wife or become the father of children by any woman, so that if their daughter bore a son to Śantanu, he would be the king. This dreadful vow soon became known abroad, and thenceforth he was called Bhiṣma. He remained single, and, after the death of his father, he installed Vichitravīrya, the son of Satyavatī, on the throne, got him married to the two daughters of king Kāśirāja (see Ambikā), and became the guardian of his sons and grandsons, the Kauravas and Pāṇḍavas. In the great war he fought on the side of the Kauravas, but was wounded by Arjuna with the assistance of Śikhanḍin and was lodged in a 'cage of darts'. But having got from his father the power of choosing his own time for death, he waited till the sun had crossed the vernal equinox, and then gave up his soul. He was remarkable for his continence, wisdom, firmness of resolve, and unflinching devotion to God]. -ष्मम् Horror, horribleness. -Comp. -अष्टमी the eighth day in the light half of Māgha (when Bhīṣma died). -जननी an epithet of the Ganges. -पञ्चकम् Name of the five days from the eleventh to the fifteenth of the bright balf of Kārtika (said to be sacred to Bhīṣma). -पर्वन् Name of the 6th Book of the Mahā-Bhārata. -सूः f. an epithet of the river Ganges; हरशिरसि पतन्ती भीष्मसूर्वः पुनातु Udb. -स्तवराजः Name of the 47th Chapter of शान्तिपर्व in Mahābhāraṭa.

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