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SB 1.9 - Bhīṣma's absorption in vīra-rasa

Bhīṣma praised Kṛṣṇa as Bhagavān full of six qualities, best of the Yadus, superior to all other forms of the Lord, and absorbed in bliss with His associates. After describing thus the main qualities of the Lord, Bhīsma then described the secondary qualities by saying that the Lord contacts māyā by glancing for evolving mahat-tattva from which arises the sequence of material creation. He does this in His forms of the puruṣāvatāras.

Kṛṣṇa, the intimate friend of Arjuna, had appeared on earth in His transcendental body, which resembles the bluish color of the tamāla tree. His body attracts everyone in the three planetary systems. Bhīṣma prayed for Kṛṣṇa’s glittering yellow dress and His lotus face covered with paintings of sandalwood pulp be the object of His attraction, and that he may not desire fruitive results. He saw that intense yellow from Kṛṣṇa’s upper and lower cloth sparkling in the sun’s rays as Kṛṣṇa stood on the chariot of Arjuna. Bhīṣma admired his enemy Arjuna for possessing the Lord as his friend. So he addressed Kṛṣṇa as vijaya-sakhe. Although Kṛṣṇa was present before Bhīṣma, Bhīṣma did not use the second person to address the Lord. This indicates his attraction for the Lord’s sweetness absorbed in vīra-rasa during the battle, and his absorption in relishing it.

Bhīṣma visualized Kṛṣṇa on the battlefield with His flowing hair turned ashen due to the dust raised by the hoofs of the horses; beads of sweat wetted His face arising from efforts because of His affection for Arjuna. All these decorations, intensified by the wounds dealt by Bhīṣma’s sharp arrows, were enjoyed by the Lord. Bhīṣma is a great devotee of the Lord in the relation of dāsya. Thus his throwing of sharp arrows at the transcendental body of the Lord is as good as the worship of throwing soft roses upon Him. The arrows slightly pierced the armor of Kṛṣṇa and not really His skin. Moreover, the Lord’s body which is completely spiritual is never hurt by the arrows or any other weapons hurled at Him. Spirit is never pierced, burnt, dried or moistened as explained in the Gītā. The Lord acts like a conditioned soul to bewilder the asuras and the non believers. Thus Bhīṣma’s piercing the body of Kṛṣṇa is a bewildering problem only for the atheist. Bhīṣma repented his acts but the all merciful Lord was never reluctant to come before Bhīṣma’s deathbed, even though He was ill-treated by Bhīṣma on the battlefield. Bhīṣma’s repentance and the Lord’s merciful attitude are both unique in this picture.

Viśvanātha Cakravartī says that the wounds created on the body of the Lord by the arrows of Bhīṣma were as pleasing to the Lord as the biting of a lover who bites the body of the Lord directed by a strong sense of sex desire. Thus the fighting as an exchange of transcendental pleasure between the Lord and His pure devotee was not at all mundane. Bhīṣma is a devotee in the chivalrous relation, and so he fixed up his mind on Kṛṣṇa in thinking about Kṛṣṇa’s wounds.