Bhishma Series

The Mahabharata is an Indian classic, one of the great myths that speaks to the heart and the belly, as well as to the head. I savoured every moment of it in a 45 hour, 35 minute audio telling. The death of Bhishma, noble warrior, is a key point in the tale. He lies raised from the earth, impaled on a bed of arrows, as if on an altar, still living. He chooses to live, by his own will, for a further 58 days, ceding his life on the shortest day of the year (sun return, Winter Solstice). His equally noble slayer Arjuna, causes a spring to well up from the ground to hold Bhishma’s unsupported head. The power of this story is deeply impressive; it speaks to me of life, pain, endurance, nobility, and ulimtately of the painful beauty of living. Acceptance of death, and a 'good' death, are a key principle of living life keenly. When Bhishma died, a blessing of flowers fell from the heavens.