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Bhīṣma

Bhīṣma. In the Mahābhārata, the ‘Grandfather’ of the Pāṇḍavas and Kauravas. Really the sky god Dyaus (one of the eight Vasus: see ĀDITYAS) incarnate, Bhīṣma is born as the son of King Śaṃtanu and the river Ganges (Gaṅga). While waiting to die, he rests on a bed of arrows, and exhorts Yudhiṣṭhira with the legal and spiritual instruction which constitutes books xii and xiii of the Mahābhārata, the Śānti- and Anuśāsanaparvans.

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