Mahabharata Book Six (Volume 2)

Bhisma

582 pages

August, 2009

ISBN: 9780814717059

$25

Cloth

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Subjects:

Literature

Part of the Clay Sanskrit Library series

Author

All books by Alex Cherniak

This second half of Bhishma describes the events from the beginning of the fifth day till the end of the tenth of the great battle between the Káuravas and the Pándavas. Despite grandfather Bhishma’s appeal to conclude peace with the Pándavas, Duryódhana continues the bloody battle. The key strategist is general Bhishma, commander of the Káurava forces. Even though he is compelled to fight on the side of the Káuravas, Bhishma’s sympathies are with the Pándavas. After the ninth day of war, when Bhishma has wreaked havoc with their troops, the Pándavas realise that they will be unable to win as long as invincible Bhishma is alive. Bhishma willingly reveals to them how he can be destroyed. Strictly observing the warrior code, he will never fight with Shikhándin, because he was originally born a woman. Bhishma advises the Pándava brothers that Árjuna should strike him from behind Shikhándin’s back, and they follow the grandfather’s advice.