Why does Bhishma say in SB 1.9.22 that he is a pure devotee? Shouldn’t a devotee be humble?
Transcription:Sudha Mehta Mataji
Question: Why does Bhishma pitamah in the first canto of Srimad Bhagawatam say that he is a pure devotee? Shouldn’t he be humble?
Answer: Yes we have to look at the verse carefully to understand. Devotees are humble but at the same time that humility doesn’t mean that they won’t do what is required for glorifying Krishna and for glorifying the process of Bhakti Yoga so look at the verse
yan me ‘sums tyajatah saksat
krsno darsanam agatah
so hear what is he saying tathapy ekanta bhaktesu ekanta bhaktesu because I was his one point devotee pasya bhupanukampitam Pashya means see O King please see what should you see Bhupa O king Anukampitam just see his mercy yan me sums tyajatah saksatwhen I am about to leave my body krsno darsanam agatah Krsna has come to give me his darshan so here if you look at the flow of the Gita Bhishma pitamah’s instruction and prayers Yudhisthira Maharaj is feeling repented of having being the cause of slaughter of so many people in the Kurukshetra war and is not able to decide what to do? So Bhishma Pitama’s instruction is we just stick to the plan of the Lord whatever the Lord wants us to do if we do it unflinchingly then the Lord will bestow his mercy and everything will work out wonderfully for us and for teaching this point for illustrating this point he gives his own example and he says that because I stayed as his unflinching devotee ekanta bhaktesu. In the previous verse he says Lord is equal to all and in this verse he says because I was his unflinching devotee therefore just see what mercy he has giving me? He has himself come to bestow his darshan to me at the time of my death. So the point is that the Lord is always eager to bestow his mercy and if somebody is unflinchingly devoted to him then by that we open ourselves to receive his full mercy just like when we open our eyes we are able to receive the light of the sun. So like that Yudhistra Maharaj is told by Bhishma pitama“Please stay fixed in the devotion to Lord in the service of the Lord and so if the Lord wants you to be the king now please become the king because serving the Lord is the most auspicious thing for you“. And therefore you should do it. So the devotee doesn’t want to glorify himself but devotees do want to glorify Bhakti and if for the sake of glorifying Bhakti they have to give their own example then they will give that. That is not a matter of pride but that is a matter of demonstrating the principles of pure devotion and how it works in life.