05 August 2013


Uttarayana means Winter solstice or December Solstice. It is a very important festival in India especially in the villages because it is the time when crops are harvested. It is referred to as Makara Sankranti because the Sun enters the zodiac sign of Makara or Capricorn. I do not know whether Indians go out of their way to pay respects to Bhishma on the day of Makara Sankranti or on Magha Shukla Ashtami but quite a number of them certainly do think of him.

It is generally assumed that Bhishma dropped his body on the day of Uttarayana and in the lunar month of Magha on the Eighth tithi of the waxing fortnight or Shukla Ashtami. The phrase "Dropping the body" may seem amusing but highly advanced practitioners of yoga leave their body as effortlessly as ordinary mortals leave their clothes before taking a bath. That's why the word "die" or other forms of the word "die" are avoided, though for convenience it is occasionally used. It is said that Bhishma waited for 58 Days for Uttarayana on his bed of arrows with almost all the arrows actually going through him!

The dates below show what I found about Bhishma...

Bhishma was born on Magha Shukla Ashtami

08 Jan. -801
07:06:04.00 {Sunrise} Local Mean Time
I do not know the time of birth so I took the Sunrise Time
Assumed to be Hastinapura
Longitude : 78E01'00"
Latitude : 29N10'00"
05:12 east Of GMT
Bhishma was born on Magha Shukla Ashtami. He did not die on that day.

05 Dec. -744 -- Lunar Eclipse. Three Eclipses within thirty days.
20 Dec. -744 -- Solar Eclipse.
28 Dec. -744 -- Magha Shukla Ashtami, most probably the Pandavas visited Hastinapura to greet and also take the blessings of Bhishma. The interesting point is that it was Bhishma's birthday according to the Lunar Calendar and it is also a day of Uttarayana and Bhishma was Fifty Eight years old on that day.
04 Jan. -743 -- Lunar Eclipse.

22 Mar. -729 -- On Shukla Ashtami Bhishma Drops his body {I'm not sure whether it is Adhika Vaisakha or Vaisakha}. Bhishma was Seventy Two when he dropped his body.

Bhishma was Twenty Three years younger than Veda Vyasa. Veda Vyasa was Ninety Five at the time of The Kurukshetra War.

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