Bhishma waits on the bed of arrows for 40 days

In the Mahabharat, Bhishma waits on the bed of arrows for 40 days towards the auspicious day of Uttarayana to leave his body in order to attain Mukti.
Actually Bhisma’s time of death is not considered auspicious, it is just that on an auspicious time Bhishma left his body as he had the boon of ichha mrityu (death at will). And in remembrance of that this specific day is celebrated.
There are these two paths known as pitru yana and deva yana through which an eligible jivatma goes to the upper worlds after leaving the body. Of these two deva yana leads to the world of Brahman reaching where one doesn’t return and pitru yana leads to the world of manes or chandra loka from where one has to return after the end of the merits.
When the sun is ascending the northern course in the sky it is called as Uttarayan which opens the path of deva yana and when the sun is moving southern it is called as Dakhinayan opening the path of pitru yana.
The yogis take the first path and reaching the abode of Brahman they do not return here again. Bhishma was aware of this. Hence even though he fell down, shot by arrows on Margasirsha Krishna Saptami, he waited till Magha Sukla Ekadashi to leave his body. Because only then that the auspicious moment for leaving the body through deva yana was going to open.

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