Dear Bhagavadh Bandhus,
Bhishma Ekadasi is observed in the Ma:gha ma:sam which occurs during the January and February. Fasting on Ekadasi is considered highly auspicious and is believed to help in redemption of sins and in attaining Moksha.
The story behind Bhishma Ekadasi:
- Shantanava is the king of Bharat Kandh. Bhishma is the son of the King Shantanava and Ganga Devi. Actual name of the Bhishma was “Devavratha” and another name of him “Gangeya” beacuse he his the son of the Ganga Devi.
- As he made a promise (Bhishma Pratigna) to his father that he will never marry in his life because of his father second marriage. After the promise Narada Maharshi named him as Bhishma. In favor of Bhisma’s promise his father gave boon that Bishma’s death is on his own hands.
- After the fathers death bhishma decided to do marriage of his brother “Vichitra Virya”. For that Bhishma selected the daughters of Kasi Raju they are Amba, Ambika and Ambalika. But Amba she want to marry other king. So, Bhishma Sent her back to the king. But king rejected her then she came back to Bhishma to marry her. As bhishma promised to not marry, he said no.
- Then Amba went to Parushurama for help but she didn’t get. After that Amba prayed for years to Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva asked for her wish. She asked to get death of bhishma because of her, So he gave her the oath, In next birth she born as Shikandi.
- Shikandi was born as lady at young age she became man. Bhishma’s brother sons were Drutharastra and Pandu Raju. Bishma is great grand father of the Pandava’s sons of the Pandu Raju and Kaurava’s sons of the Drutharastra.
Bhishma fights 9 days in Mahabharat war. On 9th day he will leave his arrows because of Shikandi Who was born to kill Bhisma.
- When Bhishma was about to fall on earth Arjuna built “Shayya”. As Arjuna built with arrows it is called “Ampa Shayya”. Bhishma slept on Ampa Shayya until “Uttarayan”. Because Bhishma has the boon to die on his wish he waited until Uttarayan (that is the good time to leave the soul).
- On this day, Vishnu Sahasranama Stotram was revealed to Pandava’s by Bhishma in the presence of Lord Krishna. Listening / chanting “Vishnu Sahasranama” Stotram leads to Moksha. So it is considered as the birth of Vishnu Sahasranama. Jai Srimannarayana.