“Janamejaya said, ’How did the grandsire of the Bharatas, who lay on a bed of arrows, cast off his body and what kind of Yoga did he adopt?’
“Vaisampayana said, ’Listen, O king, with pure heart and concentrated attention, as to how, O tiger among the Kurus, the high-souled Bhishma cast off his body. As soon as the Sun, passing the solstitial point, entered in his northerly course, Bhishma, with concentrated attention, caused his soul (as connected with and independent of the body) to enter his soul (in its independent and absolute state). Surrounded by many foremost of Brahmanas, that hero, his body pierced with innumerable arrows, blazed forth in great beauty like Surya himself with his innumerable rays. Surrounded by Vyasa conversant with the Vedas by the celestial Rishi Narada, by Devasthana, by Asmaka Sumantu, by Jaimini, by the high-souled Paila, by Sandilya, by Devarata, by Maitreya of great intelligence, by Asita and Vasishtha and the high-souled Kausika, by Harita and Lomasa and Atri’s son of great intelligence, by Vrihaspati and Sukra and the great sage Chyavana, by Sanatkumara and Kapila and Valmiki and Tumvuru and Kuru, by Maudgalya and Rama of Bhrigu’s race, and the great sage Trinavindu, by Pippalada and Vayu and Samvarta and Pulaha and Katha, by Kasyapa and Pulastya and Kratu and Daksha and Parasara, by Marichi and Angiras and Kasmya and Gautama and the sage Galava, by Dhaumya and Vibhanda and Mandavya and Dhaumra and Krishnanubhautika, by Uluka, that foremost of Brahmanas and the great sage Markandeya, by Bhaskari and Purana and Krishna and Suta,—that foremost of virtuous persons, surrounded by these and many other highly-blessed sages of great souls and possessed of faith and self-restraint and tranquillity of mind, the Kuru hero looked like the Moon in the midst of the planets and the stars. Stretched on his bed of arrows, that tiger among men, Bhishma, with pure heart and joined palms, thought of Krishna in mind, word, and act. With a cheerful and strong voice he hymned the praise of the slayer of Madhu, that master of yoga, with the lotus in his navel, that lord of the universe, called Vishnu and Jishnu. With joined hands, that foremost of eloquent men, that puissant one, viz., Bhishma of highly virtuous soul, thus praised Vasudeva.
“Bhishma said, ’O Krishna, O foremost of Beings, be thou pleased with these words which I utter, in brief and in detail, from desire of hymning thy praises. Thou art pure and purity’s self. Thou transcendest all. Thou art what people say to be that. Thou art the Supreme Lord. With my whole heart I seek thy refuge, O universal Soul and Lord of all creatures! Thou art without beginning and without end. Thou art the highest of the high and Brahma. Neither the gods nor the Rishis know thee. The divine Creator, called Narayana or Hari, alone knows thee. Through Narayana, the Rishis, the Siddhas, the great Nagas,