Source – http://bhagavata.org
CANTO 1: Creation
Chapter 9: The Passing Away of Bhîshmadeva in the Presence of Lord Krishna
(1) Sûta said: “Yudhishthhira in fear because he had killed went thereafter, from the full of his realization of the religious duty, to the battlefield where he found the dying Bhîshmadeva lying down. (2) Drawn by the best horses decorated with golden ornaments, all the brothers followed him hither, accompanied by Vyâsa, Dhaumya [the priest of the Pândavas] and other rishis. (3) Also the Supreme Lord came along with Arjuna on the chariot, oh sages among the learned, and thus appearing very aristocratic he [the king] was like Kuvera [the treasurer of the demigods] together with his companions. (4) When Yudhishthhira saw Bhîshma lying on the ground like a demigod fallen from heaven, he together with his brothers and the Lord who carries the disc, Krishna, bowed down before him. (5) At that place were present all the sages among the brahmins, the godly and the royalty, just to see the leader of the descendants of King Bharata [the common ancestor]. (6-7) Parvata Muni, Nârada, Dhaumya, Lord Vyâsa, Brihadas’va, Bharadvâja and Paras’urâma were present there with their disciples and also Vasishthha, Indrapramada, Trita, Gritsamada, Asita, Kakshîvân, Gautama, Atri, Kaus’ika and Sudars’ana had come. (8) Oh learned ones, also many other sages like S’ukadeva, the instrument of God, and other pure souls like Kas’yapa and Ângirasa arrived there accompanied by their disciples.
(9) Bhîshmadeva, the best among the Vasus knowing well how to behave in respect of the dharma according to time and circumstances, welcomed all the great and powerful ones who had assembled there. (10) Knowing of Krishna’s glories he also in worship welcomed Him, the Lord of the Universe who, situated in the heart, manifests His form through His internal potency. (11) Seeing the sons of Pându sitting silently by his side, Bhîshma congratulated them warmheartedly. With tears in his eyes in ecstasy he was overtaken by feelings of love about the gathering. (12) He said: ‘Oh how painful and unjust it has been for you good souls, sons of righteousness, to have had such a life of suffering you never really deserved under the protection of the learned, the religion and the Infallible One. (13) When after the death of the great general Pându, the children of Kuntî, my daughter in law, were still tender of age, she had to suffer a great deal on your account, and that continued even after you boys had grown up. (14) All the unpleasant that happened I think, is the inescapable effect of Time; you, just like the rest of the world with its ruling demigods, fall under that control just like the clouds that are carried by the wind.(15) Why else would there be that misfortune with the presence of Yudhishthhira, the son of the ruler of religion, Bhîma with his mighty club, Arjuna carrying his Gândîva and our well-wisher Lord Krishna? (16) No one may fathom God’s plan oh King; it bewilders even the great philosophers who are engaged in exhaustive inquiries. (17) Therefore, I assure you, oh best of the descendants of Bharata, that this was only due to His providence, His desire; 0h ruler – just take care of the helpless subjects 0 master. (18) He [Krishna] who inconceivably moves among the Vrishni family, is no one else but the Supreme Lord, the original, primordial, supreme enjoyer Nârâyana who bewilders each by His energies. (19) Oh King, Lord S’iva, Nârada the sage among the godly and the great Lord Kapila are the ones who have direct knowledge of the most confidential glories of His Lordship. (20) He is the very same person you consider your maternal cousin, dearest friend, ardent well-wisher, counselor, messenger, benefactor and charioteer. (21) He who is present in everyone’s heart, who is equal to all and who being from the Absolute never falsely identifies Himself, is, in His consciousness of making with everything He does a difference at each moment, free from whatever predilection. (22) Yet, despite His impartiality with the devotees, see, oh King, how Krishna directly, at the end of my life, cared to be present at my side. (23) Those yoga adepts who with Him in mind devoutly meditate on His holy name and with their mouth sing His glories, will, upon abandoning the material conception of life, find release from the desire proper to their materially motivated actions. (24) May He who in my meditations appears as the four-handed God of the Gods, the Supreme Lord with His cheerful smile, His eyes red like the morning sun and His decorated lotus face await me when I leave this material body.’ “
(25) Sûta said: “Yudhishthhira, who heard that from him who was lying on a bed of arrows, asked him, with the rishis listening, about the diverse religious duties. (26) Bhîshma described to him the different stages of life and the vocations as determined by the qualities of the person next to the way how one should deal systematically with both the symptoms of attachment and detachment. (27) He explained about the duties of charity, rulership and liberation by giving their divisions and gave the general outline of the duties of women and devotional service. (28) Knowing the truth he described, oh sages, the [four basic civil virtues of] religious dutifulness, economy, fulfillment of desires and liberation, to which he cited various known histories. (29) During the time Bhîshma described the duties, the sun ran over the northern hemisphere, which is precisely the desired time preferred by the mystics when they want to leave this world [see B.G. 8: 24]. (30) Bhîshmadeva, the protector of thousands of sciences and arts, then fell silent and with a mind freed from all bondage he fixed his eyes wide open upon the Original Person Lord S’rî Krishna, the Fourhanded One who was standing before him in yellow garments. (31) Simply looking at Him, the Annihilator of the Inauspicious, his meditation purified and his pain from the arrows disappeared instantly. And while he prayed before the material tabernacle all the activities of his senses ceased when he departed for the Controller of All Living Beings. (32) S’rî Bhîshmadeva said: ‘Let me being freed from desires prepare my mind for the Supreme Lord, the Leader of the Devotees, the Great Self-contented One who in the realization of His transcendental joy at times [as an avâtara] takes pleasure in accepting this material world with her creation and destruction. (33) He is the most desirable person of the higher, lower and middle worlds. Bluish like a tamâla tree, He wears His dress that shines like the golden rays of the sun. He has a body decorated with sandalwood pulp and a face like a lotus. May my love free from material motives repose in the friend of Arjuna. (34) Let the mind be directed towards S’rî Krishna who, with His scattered hair that on the battlefield turned ashen from the dust of the hoofs, with His face decorated with perspiration and His skin pierced by my sharp arrows, wearing His protective armor took pleasure in all of it. (35) After hearing the command of His friend He drove His chariot between the opposing forces, where positioned He diminished the lifespan of the enemy by simply looking at them. Let there be my love for that friend of Arjuna. (36) While the troops were looking at a distance, He with His transcendental knowledge eradicated the ignorance of him who, because of a polluted intelligence, was reluctant to kill his kinsmen. Let there be the transcendence of my attraction for His feet.
(37) For the sake of the fulfillment of my duty factually to be more of violence and against His own sworn principle [to stay out of the fray], He got down from His chariot, took up its wheel and – while dropping His outer garment – paced towards me like a lion that is about to kill an elephant. (38) Wounded by the sharp arrows and without His shield He, smeared with blood, in the angry mood of the great aggressor moved towards me in order to kill me. May that Supreme Lord who awards salvation become my destination. (39) Let me, at this hour of death, be of love for the Personality of Godhead who, controlling the horses with a whip in His right hand and the reins in the left, so elegant to behold by all means protected the chariot of Arjuna. It was by looking at Him that those who died at this place realized their original form. (40) Watching the attractive movements of His supremely spirited, fascinating acts and sweet smiles, the gopîs of Vrajadhâma [the village of Krishna’s youth] imitating Him in ecstasy, found their original nature. (41) When King Yudhishthhira performed the [Râjasûya] royal sacrifice where the great sages and kings were assembled, He received the respectful worship of all the members of the elite. I present there recognized Him at the time [and still remember Him now] als the spirit soul, as the object of worship. (42) Having experienced the absorption of being freed from the misconceptions of duality, I have known [ever since] that He, now present before me, is the One Unborn in the heart of the conditioned soul. It is He who in His being situated as the Supersoul in the heart of all who are created by Him, just like the one sun, is looked upon differently from every angle.’ “
(43) Sûta said: “With his mind, speech, sight and actions thus fixed upon Krishna only, he fell silent and stopped breathing, having merged in the living being of the Supersoul. (44) After hearing this all from Bhîshmadeva as he merged into the Supreme Absolute and Unlimited, everyone fell silent like birds at the end of the day. (45) Thereafter from everywhere drums sounded being beaten by gods and men, accompanied by heartfelt praise from the pious royal order and showers of flowers falling from the sky. (46) Oh descendant of Bhrigu [S’aunaka], after having performed the funeral rites for the dead body, Yudhishthhira was afflicted for a moment. (47) The sages who were satisfied and happy about the [revelation of the] confidential secret of Lord Krishna’s glories, then went back to their own hermitages with Him installed in their hearts. (48) King Yudhishthhira went together with Lord Krishna to Hastinâpura and consoled his uncle [Dhritarâshthra] and ascetic aunt Ghândhârî. (49) With the approval of his uncle and consent of Lord Vâsudeva he thereafter, faithful to the greatness of his forefathers, executed the royal duties over the kingdom.”