With sweet words Bheeshma who was the best amongst the Vasus and who was extremely well-versed with the rules of righteousness (dharma) based on divisions of time and place, welcomed them all. As he was lying on the bed of arrows he could not stand and welcome them. Hence through his eyes and words he reverentially welcomed them all!
Srikrishna, the Lord of the universe, who had taken on a human body using His transcendental powers, was seated towards a side. Bheeshma, who was very well aware of His greatness, contemplated and mentally worshipped the Lord who was in his heart. Could it be possible for Bheeshma to be unaware of the Lord’s capacities? How could he not know of the Lord’s glories? Mentally he was contemplating and worshipping the Lord.
With overflowing love and modesty, his grandsons, the Pandavas, sat right beside him. Merely by seeing them, his heart was filled with tears of affection. His vision was blurred due to the tears of joy and he could not see them properly.
Seeing the Pandavas, Bheeshma said, “Oho, what calamity has befallen you! What injustice! O Pandavas, having sought refuge under Srikrishna, you have been leading a life that is full of righteousness. That, even such righteous persons like you should undergo so many troubles and limitless suffering is not right, isn’t it?
At the time when your father King Pandu died, my daughter-in-law Kunti was left with very small children. Together with her children Kunti has also undergone enormous hardships and has suffered a great deal. All of you also have seen many difficulties in life.
How much of suffering you have had to undergo! Undoubtedly both you and Kauravas were equal in my eyes. But, you were the ones who have always abided by righteousness. You have always sought shelter in Lord Krishna. It pains me that you had to suffer despite all this.
I believe that this is nothing but the influence (effect) of time! Everyone who is controlled by time should abide by its dictates. Just as clouds are under the control of Lord Vayu (God of wind), this entire world, including its rulers, are under the control of time.
If not, how is it possible for calamities to befall King Yudhisthira who is the personification of dharma, when mighty warrior Bhima holding the club and greatest archer Arjuna wielding his bow Gandiva, ensure protection to him at all times and when Srikrishna always remains by his side as his friend and protector? This is nothing but the influence of time!”
Swamiji explains: Mighty warriors Bheema and Arjuna were always beside Yudhisthira in order to protect him. Krishna, the Supreme Lord was his friend and protector. Even then, Yudhisthira, who was the personification of righteousness, had to face innumerable difficulties in life. This was because of the influence (effect) of time (Kāla).
“O Yudhisthira! No one can understand the intentions and plans of this Lord Srikrishna. Although He is always by your side, it is as if at times He is beside you and yet He is not beside you. It is like getting the work done through you and then saying that He had no role in it. Or, it is like Him taking credit for work done by you. All His plays are beyond our understanding!”
Swamiji explains: He got the tasks executed through Arjuna and then claimed that He had no role in it. He caused feelings of detachment in Arjuna and then claimed that He had no role in it. He thus forced Arjuna to take up arms and fight. He said, ‘I am the one who has set it free; I am the one who has bound it; I am the one who asked you to kill him; I am the one who questioned your action of killing him’. Oh My God! None of His actions come within our scope of understanding! His wonderous intentions are unimaginable!
“Even those eminent scholars who attempted to understand His wonderous intentions, themselves fell into illusion!
Even when He is visible directly in front of our eyes, we are unable to understand Him! Now if He was not visible, then, entangled in our karmas, how much more we would have to suffer! Being by our side He sometimes says ‘I did this’. Other times He says ‘I did not do this’. At times He says, ‘I already told you’; other times He says, ‘I did not speak in this manner’; ‘I did exactly as you said’ He says. At times He says, ‘everything belongs to me’; another time He will say, ‘I have no role in this. All this is your karma’. If this is the state when He is physically present, then what will happen when He becomes invisible?
Therefore, accepting all this as God’s will, surrender to Him. Rule righteously and protect the citizens. Stop lamenting. I know that grief that has brought you here to me. What is the use of crying now? Lamenting before the war also would have served no purpose. At that time itself you were aware that you would be left grieving at the end of the war.
You have the satisfaction that you are ruling righteously. You also have the satisfaction that you have eliminated cruel and sinful persons. Most of these corrupt sinful persons happened to be your relatives so you are grieving. Why do you now regret your actions? Why do you blame yourself for killing or punishing them? All this is absolutely unnecessary.
Do you realize that this Srikrishna is the Supreme Lord of the universe? He is the original God, the ādi Puruśa Sriman Narayana! Secretively living among the members of Yadu lineage, He, with his self created energy (power of illusion), is putting the entire earth under illusion! Using his power of illusion, He has enveloped every being! This, He does, while moving amongst us and being one with us!
Lord Shiva, Maharishis Narada and Kapila are very well aware of the capacities of this Supreme Lord! They have understood in depth! But they too roam about as if they are ignorant about it.
You have considered this Supreme Lord as your maternal cousin, as a benefactor, a well-wisher, a dear friend and a very good advisor. Thus you have used Him as your messenger, your minister and as a charioteer for your brother. Aha! Is this how you treat the Lord? You allowed the Supreme Lord to be a charioteer for your brother’s vehicle. You considered Him to be a minister you gave you valuable advice. You sent Him as an ambassador before the war to the enemy camp. There He bore the insults heaped upon by the Kauravas and allowed himself to be bound.
Even though he was by your side the Supreme Lord who dispels illusion has put you under illusion as you were not vigilant. Do you have any idea who He is? He is the form of the Self that exists within all! In His eyes everyone is equal! He is free from the ‘false ego identification’. He is beyond likes and dislikes. He is free from any form of differentiation. He remains an eternal witness. He illumines everything and also observes everything. He puts everyone under His illusion. He is the master of all tasks but yet He appears as if He doesn’t do anything.
Even though He treats everyone equally, He has limitless compassion towards those who are totally devoted towards Him. This is the speciality. Even though He is the illumination that exists within everyone and He treats everyone equally, He has a special corner for the ardent devotees of His. If you were to ask me, whom He loves the most, I would say that it is the devotees who with total devotion have totally surrendered everything to Him.
I am now about to give up my life. At such a time the Supreme Lord Srikrishna himself has come to bless me with his darshan. This shows his limitless compassion”.