Bheeshma’s hymn on Srikrishna:
“The Supreme Lord is inherently blissful. Even then at times playfully using His power of illusion (maya shakti) as a tool He descends to the material world by taking on a gross body. It is due to this power of illusion that this material universe is created.
Such a Supreme Lord, the crown jewel of the Yadu lineage, sits right now in front of my eyes! I am placing at the feet of this Lord, my mind, which through strict adherence to righteousness (dharma), has been rendered free from any form of desires.” -said Bheeshma Pitamaha while steadily gazing at Srikrishna who was sitting in front of him.
Tri-bhuvana-kamanaṃ tamāla-varṇaṃ ravi-kara-gaura-varāmbaraṃ dadhāne
Vapur alaka-kulāvṛtānanābjaṃ vijaya-sakhe ratir astu me ‘navadyā
I pray that I should develop selfless love, which is devoid of any form of desires, towards that Supreme Lord Srikrishna, the friend of Arjuna, who is of bluish-green complexion, who wears golden yellow clothing that glitters like the rising Sun, whose lotus-like face appears covered with sandal paste and whose form/ appearance is the most magnificent in all the three planes of existence (tribhuvana)!
During the war, due to the dust raised by the horse hoofs, His hair turned ashen (smoke grey colour). At that time His face, which was drenched in sweat, was shining radiantly. My sharp arrows tore through his armour and pierced His skin. May my mind remain totally focused upon such Lord Srikrishna!
Immediately upon hearing the words of his friend Arjuna, Krishna drove the chariot and stationed it in the centre of the battlefield, between the two armies. Merely with His gaze He shortened the lifespan of all opponents who had assembled there. May I develop firm devotion towards Srikrishna, the charioteer of Arjuna!
Upon entering the battlefield, Arjuna immediately saw the Kaurava soldiers and warriors stationed for war. His gaze fell upon me, who was standing right in front, leading this enemy army. He instantly felt that it was unrighteous to wage a war wherein he would kill his own kith and kin and hence was disinclined to fight. At such a crucial time, Srikrishna preached to him the knowledge of the Self (atma vidya) and dispelled his spiritual ignorance (ajnana). He ensured that Arjuna walks on the path of righteousness (dharma). I pray that I should develop love towards the lotus feet of such Lord Srikrishna!
Srikrishna, who had assumed the role of a charioteer and who had taken a pledge not to take up any weapon during the war, broke His pledge only for my sake. This is purely because I had pledged that I would make Him hold a weapon. With the intention of fulfilling my desire and through this ensuring that I become great, the Lord broke His promise. Just as a lion rushes in great fury to kill the elephant, this Lord got down from the chariot, took a wheel and rushed towards me in such mad fury that the earth shook. While he was thus rushing, His upper garment slipped and fell.
Due to the impact of the arrows released by me during the war, His protective shield was completely shattered. The powerful sharp arrows pierced his body and blood was flowing profusely. Arjuna, in various ways, tried to stop this Lord who was rushing in uncontrollable fury to kill me. Unmindful of all this Lord Srikrishna rushed forward to attack me. He is my sole refuge.
Now when I am about to give up my life, let me develop absolute love towards Lord Srikrishna, who is extremely handsome in appearance and who holding the goad in one hand and the bridle rope in another, zealously protected the chariot of Arjuna! This is because those who lost their life in the war, while seeing this form of His, attained oneness of form with Him (sārupya moksha)!
With His enchanting gait, fascinating deeds, charming appearance, pleasant smile and gaze that is filled totally with love, Krishna attracted the Gopikas who worshipped Him. Suddenly, in between (this worship) He disappeared from the scene. With this the love of the Gopikas towards Him surged even more. Forgetting everything else, these Gopikas, in absolute mad love towards Him, began to imitate His deeds and His other favorite pastimes. Thus these Gopikas merged into Him. Likewise even I should merge into that Lord”.
Bheeshma began recollecting all the pastimes of Krishna. In this short speech he explained the entire history of Krishna.
“Yudhisthira performed the Rājasuya Yagna. In that great assembly, this Lord Srikrishna, in the presence of all eminent saints, scholars and kings, accepted worship in my presence. That Supreme Lord has now emerged as the form of my Self (atma swaroopa)!
That Lord who is inherently devoid of birth, remains within all living beings created by Him, in the form of their Self. There is only one Sun. Nevertheless, each eye that sees it perceives it in a different way. In a similar manner, this Lord illumines differently in various different forms.
How many people observe the Sun! Countless beings observe it including insects and worms. But to each it appears differently.
I, who have transcended differentiation and illusion (bheda-moha), have realized that Krishna, who is the personification of the non-dual (adviteeya) Parabrahma, is nothing but the form of my Self (atma swaroopa)!
In this way, Bheeshma, using the 3 actions called mind, speech, vision (manas, vak, drsti), fixed his intellect (buddhi) perfectly upon Lord Srikrishna, who was the form of his Self (atma) and withdrawing his breath into himself, left his body.
Jai Sriman Nārāyaṇa.