Significance of Bishma Ekadasi
1. Revelation of Vishnu Sahasranamam
Vishnu Sahasranama stotram is the most chanted or recited stotra dedicated to Lord Vishnu in Hindu mythology. Who recited the Vishnu Sahasranamam first and when? Why is Bhishma Ekadashi called Vishnu Sahasranama Jayanthi?
Magha Sukla Ekadasi is called Bheeshma Ekadasi. It is the day The Vishnu Sahasranama Stothram was revealed to Pandavas by their beloved great grandfather Bhishma, lying on the bed of arrows, in the presence of Lord Krishna, who is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
It is believed that listening to and reciting Vishnu Sahasranama Stothram leads to Moksha.
The Greatness of Bhishma:
Bhishma is the son of the King Shantanava and Ganga Devi. In the childhood his name was Devavratha, and he was also known as Gangeya because he is the son of the Ganga Devi. Shantanava fell in love with another lady, but she refused to marry Shantanava unless Shantanava promises to make her child as the King. Shantanava loved his son Devavrata and could not make that promise. Looking at his father’s suffering, Devavrata made a promise (Bhishma Pratigna) to his father that he will never marry in his life and never take claim of the kingdom. After the promise, Narada Maharshi named him as Bhishma. For Bhishma’s promise, his father gave boon that Bhisma’s death is in his hands.
Bhishma is one of Krishna’s greatest devotees, and he achieved spiritual perfection in his relationship with Krishna by serving the Lord in a chivalrous mood. He was acutely aware that Krishna’s will would be done no matter what side he fought on, so he chose to do his duty and fight with those for whom he was working (the Kuru family)
Bhishma was a terror to the enemies. In the Kurukshetra war, Bhishma fought the war on Kaurava’s side, and Arjuna faced him. But even Arjuna could not defeat Bhishma in the war. As the fight progressed, Shikhandi (transgender) appeared before Bhishma ready with weapons to fight with him. At once Bhishma threw down his bow and arrows. Arjuna’s arrows had already weakened him. Arjuna’s arrows had formed a bed for him. And he was on this bed for 58 days.
Bhisma lied down on Ampa Shayya until Uttarayan. Because Bhishma has the boon to die on his wish he waited until Uttarayan that is the good time to leave the soul. On this day, Vishnu Sahasranama Stotram was revealed to Pandava’s by Bhishma in the presence of Lord Krishna. As we believe that listening to Vishnu Sahasranama Stotram leads to Moksha. So, it is considered as the day of revelation for Vishnu Sahasranama.