Bhishma Lies on the Bed of Arrows

According to historical record,
Bhishma’s bed of arrows was also his deathbed in a war that is said to have
occurred around 6000 BC. The war was so devastating to India that the country never recovered, according to Amar Evry, President of the Vedic Cultural Center in Toronto. Up until that time India was technologically very advanced.
No other technology came even remotely close until the twentieth century, says
Evry. But after the war the India’s superior knowledge was lost.

Bhishma’s body was so covered with
arrows shot at him that when he lay down, the arrows made a bed. Only his head
was not supported by arrows. So Bhishma asked Arjun, another war hero, to
create a pillow of arrows for him. This Arjun did by putting the arrows into
the ground for Bhishma’s head. An interesting aspect of Bhishma’s death is that
he could control the exact time of his death. This is not especially unusual,
says Evry – many Yogis have attained this ability.

Asked about the connection between
sleep and Hinduism, Evry replies quite simply: “If you do good deeds, have a
clear conscience and work hard you will sleep well. This is not the sole
monopoly of Hinduism, but is the belief of all religions,” he said.

The states of waking, dreaming and
deep sleep are associated with the syllable aum which Hindus chant when
they meditate. When the sounds a-u-m that make up aum are chanted, it is
believed that one goes through all of the three states. Meditation is a means
of connecting with one’s innermost self and is an integral part of Hinduism.

What follows are some less
conventional recommendations regarding sleep from one Hindu internet source:

(a) There must be at least two
hours of gap between supper and sleeping time.

(b) One hour before going to sleep
one should wash your face, hands and legs in pure water and dry them well.

(c) Walking in a place where there
is fresh air is advisable.

(d) Before going to sleep there
should not be any strain for the eyes. Hence reading or watching the TV should
be avoided.

Sleep with your head towards south, it helps to improve the blood circulation
of body, due to the body’s alignment with earth’s magnetic field.

Lastly, these
sites suggest that sleep can cure the world’s problems. “If all humans sleep at
night with their heads facing the east, and their feet pointed toward the west,
as well as watching the sun rise at dawn until it reaches about a 25 degree
angle every day, the movement of solar energy will tend to harmonize all of
mankind as one, bringing peace to the world.” ( This Hindu concept
is called The Ramachandra Path of Unity (The Sun-Moon Path of Unity) or The
Ramayana Path of Unity.

Editors note:
the concept of sleeping with one head in a particular direction is not only a
part of the Hindu culture. Years ago, I was wrestling with a problem or a
serious and long standing nature. A friend suggested that I visit a blind seer
from Eastern Europe. More as a lark I did, and was told to sleep with my head
facing due north. I performed as instructed, and for next three nights noticed
a marked improvement in the quality of the sleep and the feeling of being
rested when I woke up. By the third morning, I said to myself, “this is what is
meant when one says sleeping with angels”. However, on that very morning I
received a call informing me that the problem had been resolved in my favor. I
have never forgotten the experience.