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Sin Committed By Bhishma And Redemption Through Worship Of Surya

In the Mahabharata, the character Bhishma, despite his virtuous life, was burdened with the sin of silence when Draupadi was being disrobed in the court of Hastinapura. This incident, where he failed to prevent the humiliation of Draupadi at the hands of Duryodhana and his cohorts, left a stain on his otherwise noble character. Bhishma's silence during this egregious act was considered a transgression against dharma, the righteous path.

Bhishma, being granted the boon to choose the time of his death, desired to depart during Uttarayan, the auspicious period. However, he found himself unable to do so, perplexed by his inability to realize his boon. Sage Vyasa, the revered sage and author of the Mahabharata, revealed to Bhishma the cause of his predicament. He explained that while Bhishma lived a life of personal integrity, his failure to intervene during Draupadi's disrobing had tied his seven senses with sin.

To attain redemption and release from this burden, Vyasa prescribed a unique solution. He suggested that only the potent rays of Surya, the sun god, could purge Bhishma of his sins. However, the intensity of Surya's energy was such that no mortal could withstand it. Therefore, Vyasa proposed an alternative method involving the use of seven leaves of the calotropis plant, also known as Eruku leaves.

The calotropis plant possesses the extraordinary ability to absorb and retain the energy of the sun. By washing Bhishma with water infused with these leaves, it was believed that the accumulated sins entwining his senses would be cleansed, allowing him to attain liberation.

This narrative underscores the complex themes of virtue, redemption, and the consequences of inaction portrayed in the Mahabharata. Bhishma's story serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of upholding righteousness and the enduring quest for spiritual purity.