Anushashana Parva is the thirteenth parva of Mahabharata and consists of 2 sub-parvas. It consists of 146 sections and contains 8000 slokas.
The Parva starts with scene of battlefield, where Bhishma is lying on a bed of arrows shot by Arjuna piercing his entire body. It includes narration of suffering of bhishma on bed of arrows, where he was surrounded by sages and rishis including Vashishta, Maitreya, Sanat Kumara, Valmiki, Kapila, Vyasadeva and Narada. This follows final instructions from Bhishma to Yudhisthir called Anushashana. Yudhisthir was deeply grieved and shocked as he came to know to that Karna was his elder brother and he was responsible for his killing and other Kauravas. Sunk in grief and feeling responsible for death of his Kauravas brother he counseled Krishna who advised him to visit his grandsire Bhishma in battlefield to seek his advice. Bhishma consoled Yudhishthira, answered all his questions and helped him regain his former composure. It consists of instructions of Bhishma and how he told Yudhisthir about 9 duties belonging to all 4 orders of society. These duties include - justice, maintenance of dependents, avoidance of quarrel, purity, suppression of anger, forgiveness, beggetting children by one's own wife, and simplicity. It narrates the Varnashrama system, practical duties of a king, acts of charity and activities of salvation as explained by Bhishma to Yudhisthir.
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