Bhishma on the bed of arrows – Part 2 of 7 (36 days and counting…)

Bhima, Arjuna and Krishna humbled Ashwatthama, one day after the War was over. Pandavas met Dhritarashtra and Gandhari and Kuru women arrived at the battlefield in search of the bodies of their beloved.

Dhritarashtra asked Yudhishthir to look after the final rituals for the dead.

GP Edition, Stri Parva 26:23

यान सुपर्णाश्च गृध्राश्च विकर्षन्ति यतस्तत:
तेषां तु कर्मणा लोका भविष्यन्ति युधिष्ठीर

(Yudhishthir, only through proper final rites they will achieve better worlds, whose bodies are being devoured by eagles and vultures).

At this subggestion of Dhritarashtra, Yudhishthir asked Sudharma, Dhoumya, Sanjay, Vidur, Yuyutsu, Indrasen and others to perform proper fire rites for the dead.

GP Edition, Stri Parva 26:24-26

एवमुक्तो महाराज कुन्तीपुत्रो युधिष्ठीर:
आदिदेश सुधर्माणं धौम्यं सूतं च संजयं

विदुरं च महाबुद्धिं युयुत्सुं चैव कौरवं
इंद्रसेनमुखाश्चैव भृत्यान सूतांश्च सर्वश:

भवन्त: कारयन्त्वेषां प्रेतकार्याण्यशेषत:
यथा चानाथवत किंचिच्छरीरं न विनश्यति

(At this subggestion of Dhritarashtra, Yudhishthir asked Sudharma, Dhoumya, Sanjay, Vidur, Yuyutsu, Indrasen and others to perform proper fire rites for the dead.)

GP Edition, Stri Parva 26:27-39

At the order of Yudhishthir, all performed fire rites for the dead, along with Sama-gana and Pitru-medha.

The night was filled with sounds of Sama-gana and loud crying of women. It was a difficult night for all. (GP edition, Stri Parva 26:40)

GP edition, Stri Parva 26:44

कारयित्वा क्रियास्तेषां कुरुराजो युधिष्ठीर:
धृतराष्ट्र पुरस्क्रूत्य गंगांभिमुखोsगमत

(After performing fire rites for the deal, Yudhishthir left for the bank of river Ganga, along with Dhritarashtra and the rest.)

GP Edition, Stri Parva 27

Yudhishthir performed water rites for the dead on the bank of river Ganga.

GP edition, Shanti Parva 1:1-2

कृतोदकास्ते सुहृदां सर्वेषां पाण्डुनन्दना:
विदुरो धृतराष्ट्रश्च सर्वाश्र्च भरतस्त्रिय:

(Pandavs, Vidur, Dhrutarashtra and Kuru women performed water rites for the dead)

तत्र ते सुमहात्मानो न्यवसं पाण्डुनन्दना:
शौचं निवर्तयिष्यन्तो मासमात्रं बहि: पुरात

(Pandavas lived on the bank of Ganga, outside the city, for a month, in order to purify themselves).

Estimating this time interval of one month, by most conservative method, would still amount to 27 days (sidereal lunar month). If one interprets this month long interval using ‘synodic’ lunar month, it would amount to ~30 (29.53) days.

Thus Yudhishthir and party spent about a month on the bank of river Ganga.

Total duration of Bhishma, on the bed of arrows, so far = 9 + 27 = 36 days.

To be continued….

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