The last 5 days of the month of Kartika are traditionally known as the Bhisma Panchaka or the Vishnu Panchaka. Grandfather Bhisma fasted for these five days, as arranged by Lord Sri Krishna, preparing to give up his life. In the Hari Bhakti Vilasa it is said that if one is capable, one should observe fasting from certain foodstuffs on the Bhisma-panchaka for the pleasure of the Lord. “The fast should begin by remembering Bhismadeva on the Ekadasi day and should end on Purnima [the full moon]. The Padma Purana says that one pleases the Lord and makes spiritual advancement by such austerities”.
Most important of all is to meditate on the teachings of Pitamaha Bhismadeva in the Mahabharata, and also presented in the Srimad Bhagavatam below. And finally, the example of the great warrior himself is to fix the mind on Sri Krishna at the time of death, which may come to us at any moment.
We also encourage our readers to utilize this auspicious time to fix their mind on the order of Srila Prabhupada to build the largest Vedic temple on Earth, the Temple of the Vedic Planetarium (TOVP), which will bring the teachings of Bhisma to the entire world. Following such an order will undoubtedly please our Founder-Acharya and bring the blessings of the Lord, further helping one understand the teachings of Grandfather Bhismadeva.
The Nrsimhadeva Wing of the TOVP is scheduled for completion during a three-day celebration from February 29 – March 2, 2024. You can help with this important seva by going to the Give To Nrsimha Fundraiser and selecting one of many options available.
Bhisma Panchaka Dates
Nov. 23 – 26 (U.S.) – note that the fast is 4 days in the U.S. due to the Purnima on 26th.
Nov. 23 – 27 (India)
Teachings of Grandfather Bhisma from Srimad Bhagavatam
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