“Vaisampayana said, ‘Hearing these words of Krishna fraught with Moralityand profit, Santanu’s Bhishma, answered him in the following words.
“Bhishma said, ‘O master of all the worlds, O mighty-armed one, O Siva, ONarayana, O thou of unfading glory, hearing the words spoken by thee Ihave been filled with joy. But what words (of instruction), O master ofspeech, can I say in thy presence, when especially in all the subjects ofspeech have been dealt with in the speech? Whatever in either worldshould be done or is done, proceeds from thy intelligent self, O god!That person who is competent to discourse on the subject of heaven in thepresence of the chief of the gods himself is competent to discourse onthe interpretation of morality and pleasure and profit and salvation inthy presence. My mind, O slayer of Madhu, is exceedingly agitated by thepain of arrow-wounds. My limbs are weak. My understanding is not clear. Iam so afflicted, O Govinda, by these shafts resembling poison or firethat I have not power to utter anything. My strength is abandoning me. Mylife-breaths are hastening to leave me. The very vitals of my body areburning. My understanding is clouded. From weakness my utterance isbecoming indistinct. How then can I venture to speak? O enhancer of (theglory of) Dasarha’s race, be gratified with me. O mighty-armed one, Iwill not say anything. Pardon me (for my unwillingness). The very masterof speech (Vrihaspati), in speaking in thy presence, will be overcome byhesitation. I cannot any longer distinguish the points of the compass,nor the sky from the earth! Through thy energy, O slayer of Madhu, I amonly barely alive. Do thou, therefore, thyself speak for the good of kingYudhishthira the just, for thou art the ordainer of all the ordinances.How, O Krishna, when thou, the eternal creator of the universe, artpresent, can one like me speak (on such subjects) like a disciple in thepresence of the preceptor?’
“Vasudeva said, ‘The words spoken by thee are worthy of thee that art theforemost one of Kuru’s race, thee that art endued with great energy, theethat art of great soul, and thee that art possessed of great patience andconversant with every subject. Regarding what hast thou said unto meabout the pain of thy arrow-wounds, receive, O Bhishma, this boon that Igrant thee, O puissant one, from my grace. Discomfort and stupefactionand burning and pain and hunger and thirst shall not, O son of Ganga,overcome thee, O thou of unfading glory! Thy perceptions and memory, Osinless one, shall be unclouded. The understanding shall not failthee. The mind, O Bhishma, freed from the qualities of passion anddarkness, will always be subject to the quality of goodness, like themoon emerged from the clouds. Thy understanding will penetrate whateversubject connected with duty, morality, or profit, thou wilt think upon. Otiger among kings, obtaining celestial vision, thou wilt, O thou ofimmeasurable prowess, succeed in beholding the four orders of createdthings. Endued with the eye of knowledge, thou wilt, O Bhishma, behold,like fishes in a limpid stream, all created things that thou maystendeavour to recollect!’
“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Then those great Rishis, with Vyasa amongstthem, adored Krishna with hymns from the Richs, the Yajuses, and theSamans. A celestial shower of flowers belonging to every season fell onthat spot where he of Vrishni’s race, with Ganga’s son and the son ofPandu were. Celestial instruments of every kind played in the welkin andthe tribes of Apsaras began to sing. Nothing of evil and no portent ofany evil kind were seen there. An auspicious, pleasant, and pure breeze,bearing every kind of fragrance, began to blow. All the points of thecompass became clear and quiet, and all the animals and birds began torove in peace. Soon after, like a fire at the extremity of a greatforest, the divine Surya of a thousand rays was seen to descend to thewest. The great Rishis then, rising up, saluted Janardana and Bhishma andking Yudhishthira. Upon this, Kesava, and the sons of Pandu, and Satyaki,and Sanjaya, and Saradwata’s son Kripa, bowed in reverence to thosesages. Devoted to the practice of righteousness, those sages, thusworshipped by Kesava and others, speedily proceeded to their respectiveabodes, saying, ‘We will return tomorrow.’ After this, Kesava and thePandavas, saluting Bhishma and circumambulating him, ascended theirhandsome cars. Those heroes then proceeded, accompanied by many othercars decked with golden Kuvaras, and infuriated elephants looking likemountains and steeds fleet as Garudas, and foot-soldiers armed with bowsand weapons. That army, moving with great speed, proceeded in twodivisions, one in the van and the other in the rear of those princes. Thescene resembled the two currents of the great river Narmada at the pointwhere it is divided by the Rikshavat mountains standing across it.Gladdening that great host, the divine Chandramas rose before it in thefirmament, once more inspiring with moisture, by his own force, theterrestrial herbs and plants whose juice had been sucked up by the Sun.Then that bull of Yadu’s race and the sons of Pandu, entering the (Kuru)city whose splendour resembled that of the city of Indra itself,proceeded to their respective mansions like tired lions seeking theircaves.'”