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muhurtam duhkhito ’bhavat
Translation by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
O descendant of Bhrgu [Saunaka], after performing funeral rituals for the dead body of Bhismadeva, Maharaja Yudhisthira was momentarily overtaken with grief.
Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
Bhismadeva was not only a great family head of Maharaja Yudhisthira, but also he was a great philosopher and friend to him, his brothers and his mother. Since Maharaja Pandu, the father of the five brothers headed by Maharaja Yudhisthira, had died, Bhismadeva was the most affectionate grandfather of the Pandavas and caretaker of the widow daughter-in-law Kuntidevi. Although Maharaja Dhrtarastra, the elder uncle of Maharaja Yudhisthira, was there to look after them, his affection was more on the side of his hundred sons, headed by Duryodhana. Ultimately a colossal clique was fabricated to deprive the five fatherless brothers of the rightful claim of the kingdom of Hastinapura. There was great intrigue, common in imperial palaces, and the five brothers were exiled to the wilderness. But Bhismadeva was always a sincerely sympathetic well-wisher, grandfather, friend and philosopher to Maharaja Yudhisthira, even up to the last moment of his life. He died very happily by seeing Maharaja Yudhisthira to the throne, otherwise he would have long ago quitted his material body, instead of suffering agony over the undue sufferings of the Pandavas. He was simply waiting for the opportune moment because he was sure and certain that the sons of Pandu would come out victorious on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra, as His Lordship Sri Krsna was their protector. As a devotee of the Lord, he knew that the Lord’s devotee cannot be vanquished at any time. Maharaja Yudhisthira was quite aware of all these good wishes of Bhismadeva, and therefore he must have been feeling the great separation. He was sorry for the separation of a great soul, and not for the material body which Bhismadeva relinquished. The funeral ceremony was a necessary duty, although Bhismadeva was a liberated soul. Since Bhismadeva was without issue, the eldest grandson, namely Maharaja Yudhisthira, was the rightful person to perform this ceremony. It was a great boon to Bhismadeva that an equally great son of the family undertook the last rites of a great man.