In Hindusim the sacred period of Bhishma Panchak is an important time of the year for deep spiritual renewal. Bhishma Panchak typically falls in October or November, depending on the lunar calendar, and holds great significance for devout Hindus. This year Bhishma Panchak falls on the period of 23-Nov to 27-Nov.
During these five days, devout Hindus partake in cleansing rituals, introspection, and the recitation of sacred scriptures to usher in rejuvenation and spiritual growth. The observance holds deep cultural and religious significance, intertwining the narratives of Mahabharata with timeless teachings on morality and righteousness.
Understanding Bhishma Panchak
Bhishma Panchak, also known as Vishnu Panchak, is a sacred period observed in the Hindu calendar during the last five days of the Kartik month. Bhisma Panchak is linked to Mahabharat and the name Bhishma is linked to the Bhisma the great grandfather of Kaurava and Pandvas. When Bhisma was lying on the death bed on the arrows shot by Arjuna. Bhisma go euthanasia (icha mrityu) – means he got the power that he can decide when to leave his body.
Bhisma Panchak is the duration when Bhishma decided to leave his body. Panchak means five, and it refers to the five days of fasting and worship that are dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the supreme personality of Godhead.
The significance of Bhishma Panchak lies in the fact that it is a very favourable time to attain liberation from the cycle of birth and death, or moksha. According to the scriptures, anyone who performs devotional service to Lord Vishnu during this period, especially by fasting, chanting, reading, and offering lamps, will please the Lord and receive His pure love and mercy.
Traditions and Rituals During Bhishma Panchak:
Listed below are the ways to celebrate this divine occasion. You can follow all or few as per your desires and how your body and pocket allow you. But definitely your sadhana during this period will be more energized due to the planetary conditions that are favourable for meditation and spiritual growth.
Bhishma Ekadashi: The five-day period commences with Bhishma Ekadashi, dedicated to Bhishma Pitamah. Devotees observe a fast on this day and engage in prayers, seeking blessings for spiritual well-being and the removal of sins. Ekadashi fasting is popular practice and those who don’t fast of all the Ekadashi then the Nirjala Ekadashi and Bhisma Ekadashi are the important one that must not be missed.
Vishnu Puja: Throughout Bhishma Panchak, Vishnu Puja takes center stage. Devotees offer prayers to Lord Vishnu, seeking His divine grace and blessings. Reading or reciting Vishnu Sahasranama (the thousand names of Lord Vishnu) is considered highly auspicious during this period.
Charity and Acts of Kindness: Bhishma Panchak is a time for selfless giving and charity. Devotees are encouraged to engage in acts of kindness, donate to the needy, and perform charitable deeds to accumulate positive karma.
Abstaining from Grains: Observing a vow of abstinence from grains (known as Bhishma Panchak Vrat) is a common practice during these five days. Devotees consume only fruits, vegetables, and milk products while refraining from cereals and lentils.
Dip in Holy Rivers: Taking a dip in sacred rivers during Bhishma Panchak is believed to cleanse one’s sins and bring spiritual purification. Rivers like the Ganges, Yamuna, and Saraswati are particularly revered during this period.
Devotion to Ancestors: Devotees also pay homage to their ancestors during Bhishma Panchak. Performing rituals like ‘Pind Daan’ (offering rice balls to departed souls) is believed to bring peace to the souls of ancestors.
Satsangs: Spiritual gatherings, known as satsangs, are organized where devotees come together to listen to discourses on the significance of Bhishma Panchak and the teachings of Bhishma Pitamah.
Bhishma Panchak is a time of reflection, spiritual growth, and devotion for Hindus. Observing the traditions and rituals associated with this period is believed to bring blessings, cleanse the soul, and pave the way for a virtuous life. We wish you and your family five days full of spirituality and happiness.