With Vichitravirya having died of sickness, Bhishma unable to take the throne because of his vow, and Bahlika’s line unwilling to leave Bahlika Kingdom, there was as succession crisis in Hastinapur. Satyavati invites her son Vyasa to impregnate the queens Ambika and Ambalika under the Niyoga practice. When Vyasa went to impregnate Ambika, she got frightened due to his scary appearance and closed her eyes during their union; hence, her son Dhritarashtra was born blind.
All posts in Stories of Bhishma in Mahabharata
Story – When Vyasa went to impregnate Ambika, she got frightened & closed her eyes causing her son Dhritarashtra to be born blind
Before the Mahabharata war began, Lord Krishna asked all the Pandavas how many days they would take to finish Mahabharata war alone. Bhishma answered that he would take 20 days to finish the war. Dronacharya replied that it would take him 25 days. When Karna was asked, he said he would take 24 days. Arjuna told Krishna it would take 28 days for him to complete the battle by himself. In this manner, Lord Krishna asked each warrior and received an answer. Krishna disguised as a Brahmin, stopped Barbarika to examine his strength. When asked how many days he would take to finish the war alone, Barbarika answered that he could finish it in one minute. Krishna then asked Barbarika how he’d finish the great battle with just three arrows. Barbarika replied that a single arrow was enough to destroy all his opponents in the war, and it would then return to his quiver. He stated that, the first arrow is used to mark all the things that he wants to destroy. If he uses the second arrow, then the second arrow will mark all the things that he wants to save. On using the third arrow, it will destroy all the things that are not marked and then return to his quiver. In other words, with one arrow he can fix all his targets and with the other he can destroy them.
Story of Vikarna (Dhritarashtra’s Son and Duryodhana’s Brother) who stood against Adharma of his Brother
During the infamous dice game of the Mahabharatha, Vikarna raised his voice against the game as a whole, and specifically, at the mistreatment of Draupadi, his sister-in-law. Vikarna echoed the questions Draupadi had already asked the Kuru elders, demanding that her questions be answered. His protests were met with silence, even from wise elders like Bhishma and Dronacharya. In the silence, and depending on the version of the story, Karna later rebuked and taunted Vikarna for his outburst. Vikarna quietly replied “Sister-in-law’s insult is an affront to the entire Kuru clan. If her questions are not answered, our line is doomed.”
Despite his misgivings, Vikarna fights for Duryodhana during the Kurukshetra War. Bhishma names him as one of the great warriors on the Kaurava side. Mentioned throughout the war, Vikarna has a few notable moments. On the fourth day of the war, he attempts to check Abhimanyu’s advance, and is severely repulsed. On the fifth day of the war, he attempts to break the King of Mahismati’s defense of the Pandava formation, and is unsuccessful. On the seventh day, he covers the retreat of his brothers from Bhima’s rampage. On the tenth day, he attempts to prevent Arjuna and Shikhandi from reaching Bhishma, but is counter-checked by Drupada. On the thirteenth day of the war, depending on the version of the story, Vikarna is either a silent bystander or a willing participant in the slaying of Abhimanyu. On the fourteenth day, Arjuna navigates the chakravyuha of Drona, in order to reach and kill Jayadratha before sunset. Around midday, Bhima, trying to reach Arjuna, is making progress through the Kaurava ranks.
Bhishma declared Kripacharya as a mighty Maharathi, or a warrior capable of fighting 60,000 warriors simultaneously; circumspect in his mastery of all forms of weapons and combat skills.