Published On : March 30, 2024  |  Author : Astrologer Umesh
Bhishma Dwadashi

Introduction To Bhishma Dwadashi

India is the world’s perhaps the most unique country based on its countless festivals representing its deep-seated cultural vibrancy, magnificence, and beauty. Bhishma Dwadashi is one such festival. Celebrated in the month of Magha, the festival of Bhishma Dwadashi or Magha Shukla Dwadashi is celebrated with great honour and reverence paid by the devotees who observe fast or Dwadashi vrat and conclude the same on Bhishma Dwadashi. Lord Vishnu is worshipped on this day. It is also known as Govinda Dwadashi.

What Is The Significance Or What Makes Bhishma Dwadashi An Important Day?

The festival of Bhishma Dwadashi is significant as the devotees who observe fast and worship Bhishma on this day get to experience peace, happiness and contentment in life. The significance of the festival also rests in the fact of it is associated with brave Bhishma, one of the most powerful characters in the epic Mahabharata. The bravery of Bhishma in stotras is told on this day. It is also significant as it removes the sins of devotees performing it with religious adherence to the rituals of the festival.

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Why Should One Observe Fast On Bhishma Dwadashi?

A devotee should observe fast on Bhishma Dwadashi, considering the day is extremely auspicious and a giver of many good results, such as peace, happiness and prosperity. If someone is in the quest for satisfaction in life, observing Bhishma Dwadashi vrat is one of the recommended measures to follow. It is said that people who make donations or undertake charitable activities on this day get to experience auspicious results in life. The mantra of Lord Vishnu (Om Namo Narayanaya Namah) should be recited on this day to get relieved of sins.

What Is The Story Associated With Bhishma Dwadashi?

Bhishma Dwadashi is mainly associated with the tale of Bhishma, one of the most powerful characters in Mahabharata.

According to the legend, Bhishma was the son of king Shantanu. His childhood name was Devavrata, but he got the name Bhishma after he had taken an unbreakable vow of maintaining celibacy throughout his life. He took that vow when he came to know that his father fell in love with a beautiful girl named Matsyagandha (a mermaid) and wanted to marry her. However, the girl expressed concern over Devavrata as he was obviously an heir apparent to the throne after the demise of king Shantanu. Besides, even Shantanu made up his mind to marry her as he lost his first wife, Ganga, after giving birth to Devavrata.

Matsyagandha put the king in dilemma by demanding a condition for her marriage with him, saying she would only marry Shantanu if he vowed to make her son the king, not Devavrata. The king hesitated and didn’t give in to her demand but when Devavrata came to know of this, out of the sheer bond of love for his father, he took an oath of never ever marrying and fathering a child as long as he lived. Pleased and stunned at his son’s oath, Shantanu granted him a boon that death will only come to him (Devavrata) when he wished or on his own terms. Due to the unprecedented oath he took, he was later known as Bhishma and that oath was later known as Bhishma Pratigya (meaning, unbreakable oath).

Years later, when the epic battle of Mahabharata between Pandavas and Kaurava began, it resulted in the death of many esteemed warriors, including Bhishma, who fought tooth and nail on the side of Kaurava. He was defeated by Arjun who pierced his body with a volley of countless arrows. However, due to the boon of his father, Bhishma didn’t die, even though his body was grievously impaled by Arjuna’s arrows.Ultimately, Bhishmachose death on his own terms, in the presence of Surya Uttarayan. His sacrifice later was celebrated as Bhishma Dwadashi (as he died on Dwadashi of Magha month).

Rituals And Activities To Be Followed On Bhishma Dwadashi

Dress properly after taking a bath, observe a fast, worship Lord Laxminarayan, and offer puja-related materials, like fruits, betel nuts, banana leaves, roli, Panchamrit, etc. Other deities are also worshipped on this day. Distribute Charnamrit and Prasad to devotees. Donate money or clothes to the poor.

Conclusion Bhishma Dwadashi is one of the most auspicious days in the Hindu religion. It originated by the name of Bhishma, one of the famous characters in the epic Mahabharata. Devotees should observe fast on this day and worship deities including Lord Vishnu to gain peace, happiness, fortunes, and prosperity in life.

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