Bhishma, also popularly known as Bhishma Pitamah, was one of the greatest, highly skilled, intelligent, respected, God gifted archer warriors in the ancient, thousands of years old epic, the Mahabharata. Bhishma was also known for his devout loyalty to his father. Bhishma played one of the pivotal roles and character in the Mahabharata. Bhishma Ashtami is a day in the year that is dedicated in remembrance of Bhishma. It is not a holiday. Pitamah means grandfather.
The Sanskrit word Ashtami means 8th. Bhishma Ashtami is observed on the 8th day, Tithi, of the Shukla Paksha, in the Hindu calendar month of Magha. Shukla Paksha is the rising-waxing phase of the moon in the lunar month. Bhishma Ashtami is observed in his remembrance as it is believed that Bhishma left his soul on this day, and Bhishma Ashtami is observed as his death anniversary.
As per the legend, Bhishma’s parents were King Shantanu and Goddess Ganga. Bhishma is also popular and called as Ganga Putr Bhishma; where Ganga, the river, here refers to his mother Goddess Ganga. Putr means son. King Shantanu was a noble King of Kuru, the northern India area. Kuru is also the name of the people or tribe who lived in that area-region, Kuru Kingdom. The city of Kurukshetra has historic significance in this regard. The ‘Shetra’ part of Kurukshetra means area or region.
Bhishma had the boon to choose the day of his death. He chose the auspicious Magha Shukla Paksha Ashtami day. He laid himself on a bed of arrows on this day.
Many devotees observe Bhishma Ashtami. Many childless couples observe a Vrat, fasting, on the occasion of Bhishma Ashtami to be blessed with a child and to get rid of the aspect Putr Dosh. This is also sometimes one of the remedies provided by Astrologers and Priests. Many devotees mark Bhishma Ashtami by taking a holy dip in the river Ganga.
(Updated Date & Time :- 2019-02-12 09:44:06 )
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