The Passing Away of Bhismadev in the Presence of Lord Krsna
"All the sages like Parvata Muni, Narada, Dhaumya, Vyasa the incarnation of God, Brhadasva, Bharadvaja and Parasurama and disciples, Vasistha, Indrapramada, Trita, Grtsamada, Asita, Kaksivan, Gautama, Atri, Kausika and Sudarsana were present."
Parvata Muni: is considered to be one of the oldest sages. He is almost always a constant companion of Narada Muni. They are also spacemen competent to travel in the air without the help of any material vehicle. Parvata Muni is also a devarsi, or a great sage amongst the demigods, like Narada. He was present along with Narada at the sacrificial ceremony of Maharaja Janamejaya, son of Maharaja Pariksit. In this sacrifice all the snakes of the world were to be killed. Parvata Muni and Narada Muni are called Gandharvas also because they can travel in the air singing the glories of the Lord. Since they can travel in the air, they observed Draupadi's svayamvara ceremony (selecting of her own husband) from the air. Like Narada Muni, Parvata Muni also used to visit the royal assembly in the heaven of King Indra. As a Gandharva, sometimes he visited the royal assembly of Kuvera, one of the important demigods. Both Narada and Parvata were once in trouble with the daughter of Maharaja Srnjaya. Maharaja Srnjaya got the benediction of a son by Parvata Muni.
Narada Muni: is inevitably associated with the narrations of the Puranas. He is described in the Bhagavatam. In his previous life he was the son of a maidservant, but by good association with pure devotees he became enlightened in devotional service, and in the next life he became a perfect man comparable with himself only. In the Mahabharata his name is mentioned in many places. He is the principle devarsi, or the chief sage amongst the demigods. He is the son and disciple of Brahmaji, and from him the disciplic succession in the line of Brahma has been spread. He initiated Prahlada Maharaja, Dhruva Maharaja and many celebrated devotees of the Lord. He initiated even Vyasadeva, the author of the Vedic literatures, and from Vyasadeva, Madhvacarya was initiated, and thus the Madhva-sampradaya, in which the Gaudiya-sampradaya is also included, has spread all over the universe. Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu belonged to this Madhva-sampradaya; therefore, Brahmaji, Narada, Vyasa, down to Madhva, Caitanya and the Gosvamis all belonged to the same line of disciplic succession. Naradaji has instructed many kings from time immemorial. In the Bhagavatam we can see that he instructed Prahlada Maharaja while he was in the womb of his mother, and he instructed Vasudeva, father of Krsna, as well as Maharaja Yudhisthira.
Dhaumya: A great sage who practiced severe penances at Utkocaka Tirtha and was appointed royal priest of the Pandava kings. He acted as the priest in many religious functions of the Pandavas (samskara), and also each of the Pandavas was attended by him at the betrothal of Draupadi. He was present even during the exile of the Pandavas and used to advise them in circumstances when they were perplexed. He instructed them how to live incognito for one year, and his instructions were strictly followed by the Pandavas during that time. His name is mentioned also when the general funeral ceremony was performed after the Battle of Kuruksetra. In the Anusasana-parva of Mahabharata (127.15-16), he gave religious instructions very elaborately to Maharaja Yudhisthira. He was actually the right type of priest of a householder, for he could guide the Pandavas on the right path of religion. A priest is meant for guiding the householder progressively in the right path of asrama-dharma, or the occupational duty of a particular caste. There is practically no difference between the family priest and the spiritual master. The sages, saints and brahmanas were especially meant for such functions.
Badarayana (Vyasadeva): He is known as Krsna, Krsna-dvaipayana, Dvaipayana, Satyavati-suta, Parasarya, Parasaratmaja, Badarayana, Vedavyasa, etc. He was the son of Mahamuni Parasara in the womb of Satyavati prior to her betrothal with Maharaja Santanu, the father of the great general Grandfather Bhismadeva. He is a powerful incarnation of Narayana, and he broadcasts the Vedic wisdom to the world. As such, Vyasadeva is offered respects before one chants the Vedic literature, especially the Puranas. Sukadeva Gosvami was his son, and rsis like Vaisampayana were his disciples for different branches of the Vedas. He is the author of the great epic Mahabharata and the great transcendental literature Bhagavatam. The Brahma-sutras--the Vedanta-sutras, or Badarayana-sutras--were compiled by him. Amongst sages he is the most respected author by dint of severe penances. When he wanted to record the great epic Mahabharata for the welfare of all people in the age of Kali, he was feeling the necessity of a powerful writer who could take up his dictation. By the order of Brahmaji, Sri Ganesaji took up the charge of noting down the dictation on the condition that Vyasadeva would not stop dictation for a moment. The Mahabharata was thus compiled by the joint endeavor of Vyasa and Ganesa.
By the order of his mother, Satyavati, who was later married to Maharaja Santanu, and by the request of Bhismadeva, the eldest son of Maharaja Santanu by his first wife, the Ganges, he begot three brilliant sons, whose names are Dhrtarastra, Pandu and Vidura. The Mahabharata was compiled by Vyasadeva after the Battle of Kuruksetra and after the death of all the heroes of Mahabharata. It was first spoken in the royal assembly of Maharaja Janamejaya, the son of Maharaja Pariksit.
Brhadasva: An ancient sage who used to meet Maharaja Yudhisthira now and then. First of all he met Maharaja Yudhisthira at Kamyavana. This sage narrated the history of Maharaja Nala. There is another Brhadasva, who is the son of the Iksvaku dynasty (Mahabharata, Vana-parva 209.4-5)
Bharadvaja: He is one of the seven great rsis and was present at the time of the birth ceremony of Arjuna. The powerful rsi sometimes undertook severe penances on the shore of the Ganges, and his asrama is still celebrated at Prayagadhama. It is learned that this rsi, while taking bath in the Ganges, happened to meet Ghrtaci, one of the beautiful society girls of heaven, and thus he discharged semen, which was kept and preserved in an earthen pot and from which Drona was born. So Dronacarya is the son of Bharadvaja Muni. Others say that Bharadvaja the father of Drona is a different person from Maharsi Bharadvaja. He was a great devotee of Brahma. Once he approached Dronacarya and requested him to stop the Battle of Kuruksetra.
Parasurama, or Renukasuta: He is the son of Maharsi Jamadagni and Srimati Renuka. Thus he is also known as Renukasuta. He is one of the powerful incarnations of God, and he killed the ksatriya community as a whole twenty-one times. With the blood of the ksatriyas he pleased the souls of his forefathers. Later on he underwent severe penances at the Mahendra Parvata. After taking the whole earth from the ksatriyas, he gave it in charity to Kasyapa Muni. Parasurama instructed the Dhanur-veda, or the science of fighting, to Dronacarya because he happened to be a brahmana. He was present during the coronation of Maharaja Yudhisthira, and he celebrated the function along with other great rsis.
Parasurama is so old that he met both Rama and Krsna at different times. He fought with Rama, but he accepted Krsna as the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He also praised Arjuna when he saw him with Krsna. When Bhisma refused to marry Amba, who wanted him to become her husband, Amba met Parasurama, and by her request only, he asked Bhismadeva to accept her as his wife. Bhisma refused to obey his order, although he was one of the spiritual masters of Bhismadeva. Parasurama fought with Bhismadeva when Bhisma neglected his warning. Both of them fought very severely, and at last Parasurama was pleased with Bhisma and gave him the benediction of becoming the greatest fighter in the world.
Vasistha: The great celebrated sage among the brahmanas, well known as the Brahmarsi Vasisthadeva. He is a prominent figure in both the Ramayana and Mahabharata periods. He celebrated the coronation ceremony of the Personality of Godhead Sri Rama. He was present also on the Battlefield of Kuruksetra. He could approach all the higher and lower planets, and his name is also connected with the history of Hiranyakasipu. There was a great tension between him and Visvamitra, who wanted his kamadhenu, wish-fulfilling cow. Vasistha Muni refused to spare his kamadhenu, and for this Visvamitra killed his one hundred sons. As a perfect brahmana he tolerated all the taunts of Visvamitra. Once he tried to commit suicide on account of Visvamitra's torture, but all his attempts were unsuccessful. He jumped from a hill, but the stones on which he fell became a stack of cotton, and thus he was saved. He jumped into the ocean, but the waves washed him ashore. He jumped into the river, but the river also washed him ashore. Thus all his suicide attempts were unsuccessful. He is also one of the seven rsis and husband of Arundhati, the famous star.
Indrapramada: Another celebrated rsi.
Trita: One of the three sons of Prajapati Gautama. He was the third son, and his other two brothers were known as Ekat and Dvita. All the brothers were great sages and strict followers of the principles of religion. By dint of severe penances they were promoted to Brahmaloka (the planet where Brahmaji lives). Once Trita Muni fell into a well. He was an organizing worker of many sacrifices, and as one of the great sages he also came to show respect to Bhismaji at his deathbed. He was one of the seven sages in the Varunaloka. He hailed from the Western countries of the world. As such, most probably he belonged to the European countries. At that time the whole world was under one Vedic culture.
Grtsamada: One of the sages of the heavenly kingdom. He was a close friend of Indra, the King of heaven, and was as great as Brhaspati. He used to visit the royal assembly of Maharaja Yudhisthira, and he also visited the place where Bhismadeva breathed his last. Sometimes he explained the glories of Lord Siva before Maharaja Yudhisthira. He was the son of Vitahavya, and he resembled in features the body of Indra. Sometimes the enemies of Indra mistook him to be Indra and arrested him. He was a great scholar of the Rg-veda, and thus he was highly respected by the brahmana community. He lived a life of celibacy and was powerful in every respect.
Asita: There was a king of the same name, but herein the Asita mentioned is the Asita Devala Rsi, a great powerful sage of the time. He explained to his father 1,500,000 verses from the Mahabharata. He was one of the members in the snake sacrifice of Maharaja Janamejaya. He was also present during the coronation ceremony of Maharaja Yudhisthira along with other great rsis. He also gave Maharaja Yudhisthira instructions while he was on the Anjana Hill. He was also one of the devotees of Lord Siva.
Kaksivan: One of the sons of Gautama Muni and the father of the great sage Candakausika. He was one of the members of Parliament of Maharaja Yudhisthira.
Atri: Atri Muni was a great brahmana sage and was one of the mental sons of Brahmaji. Brahmaji is so powerful that simply by thinking of a son he can have it. These sons are known as manasa-putras. Out of seven manasa-putras of Brahmaji and out of the seven great brahmana sages, Atri was one. In his family the great Pracetas were also born. Atri Muni had two ksatriya sons who became kings. King Arthama is one of them. He is counted as one of the twenty-one prajapatis. His wife's name was Anasuya, and he helped Maharaja Pariksit in his great sacrifices.
Kausika: One of the permanent rsi members in the royal assembly of Maharaja Yudhisthira. He sometimes met Lord Krsna. There are several other sages of the same name.
Sudarsana: This wheel which is accepted by the Personality of Godhead (Visnu or Krsna) as His personal weapon is the most powerful weapon, greater than the brahmastras or similar other disastrous weapons. In some of the Vedic literatures it is said that Agnideva, the fire-god, presented this weapon to Lord Sri Krsna, but factually this weapon is eternally carried by the Lord. Agnideva presented this weapon to Krsna in the same way that Rukmini was given by Maharaja Rukma to the Lord. The Lord accepts such presentations from His devotees, even though such presentations are eternally His property. There is an elaborate description of this weapon in the Adi-parva of the Mahabharata. Lord Sri Krsna used this weapon to kill Sisupala, a rival of the Lord. He also killed Salva by this weapon, and sometimes He wanted His friend Arjuna to use it to kill his enemies (Mahabharata, Virata-parva 56.3).
Srimad-bhagavatam, 1:9:6-7 Purport
Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. HDG A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada.