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by modifications (of diverse articles), were caused to be made
for the old king as in his days of prosperity.-^ Those kings of
Earth who came there one after another, all usnd to wait upon
the old Kuru monarch as before."'" Kunti, and Draupadi, and



* The derivation of 'Arfilikas' fis explained by Nilakantha thus:
'Potherbs cut off' with a kind of weapon called 'Ar;V are called 'Aralu.'
They who wei'e export in cooking those potherbs were called 'Aridikas.'
'Eagakhandava' was manufactured from Piper longum^ dry giiig«r,
sHgar, and the juice of I'huseolus Ma7igo,—T,



Parva.] acramavasika parva^ '3

she of the Satfcwata race, possessed of great fame, and Ulupi,
the daughter of the snake chief, and queen Chitrangada,^^ and
the sister of Dhrishtaketu, and the daughter of Jarasandba, —
these and many other ladies, chief of men,"* used to wait
upon the daughter of Suvala like maids of all work. That
Dhritarashtra, who was deprived of all his children, might not
feel unhappy in any matter,'^ was what Yudhishthira often
said unto his brothers to see. They also, on their part, listen-
ing to these commands of grave import from king Yudhishthira,
showed particular obedience to the old king.-^ There was one
exception, however. It embraced Bhimasena. All that had
followed from that match at dice which had been brought
about by the wicked understanding of Dhritarashtra, did not
disappear from the heart of that hero. (He remembered those
incidents still)."^^



Section II.

Vaiijampayana said, — "Thus worshipped by the Pandava:^,
the royal son of Amvika passed his time happily as before,
waited upon and honoured by the Rishis.^ That perpetuater
of Kuru's race used to make those foremost of offerings which'
should be given to the Brahmanas. The royal son of Kunti
always placed those articles under Dhritarashtra's control.'*'
Destitute of malice as king Yudhishthira was, he was always-
affectionate towards his uncle. Addressing his brothers and
councillors, the king said,* — 'King Dhritarashtra should be-
honoured both by myself and you all ! He, indeed, is a well-
wisher of m.ine who is obedient to the commands of Dhrita-
rashtra.* He, on the other hand, who behaves otherwise to-
wards him, is my enemy. Such a man should certainly be-
punished by me !' On days of performing the rites ordained for
the Pitris.as also in the Craddhas performed for his sons and all
well-wishers, the high-souled Kuru king. Dhritarashtra, gave
avvay unto Brahmanas, as each deserved, as profuse measures
of wealth as he liked.^-« King Yudhishthira the just, and
Bhima, and Arjuna, and the twins, desirous of doing what was
agreeable to the old king, used to execute all his orders.^ They



4 MAHABHARATA. [Ap^amavasa

always took care that the old king who was afflicted with the
slaughter of his sons and grandsons, — with, that is, grief caused
by the Pandavas themselves, — might not die of his grief." In-
deed, the Pandavas bore themselves towards him in such a
way that that Kuru hero might not be deprived of that happi-
ness and all those articles of enjoyment which had been his
while his sons lived.^ The five brothers, viz., the sons of
Pandu, behaved themselves even thus towards Dhritarashtra,
living under his command. ^° Dhritarashtra also, seeing them
r so humble and obedient to his commands and acting towards
him as disciples towards preceptors, adopted the affectionate
behaviour of a preceptor towards them in return.^^ Gandhari,
by performing the diverse rites of the Craddha and making
gifts unto Brahmanas of diverse objects of enjoyment, became
freed from the debt she owed to her slain children.^- Thus
did that foremost of righteous men, viz., king Yudhishthira
the just, possessed of great intelligence, along with his brothers^
worship king Dhritarashtra."^^

Vai9ampayana continued, — "Possessed of great energy, that
perpetuater of Kuru's race, viz., the old king Dhritarashtra,
could not notice any ill-will in Yudhishthira.^* Seeing that
the high-souled Pandavas were in the observance of a wise and
righteous conduct, king Dhritarashtra, the son of Amvika,
became gratified with them.*^ Suvala's daughter, Gandhari,
casting off all sorrow for her (slain) children, began to show
great affection for the Pandavas as if they were her own child-
ren.^® Endued with great energy, the Kuru king Yudhish-
thira never did anything that was disagreeable to the royal
son of Vichitraviryya. On the other hand, he always behaved
towards him in a highly agreeable way.^^ Whatever acts, grave
or light, were directed by king Dhritarashtra or the helpless
Gandhari to be done,^^ were all accomplished with reverence,
O monarch, by that slayer of hostile heroes, viz., the Pandava
king.^^ The old king became highly gratified with such con-
duct of Yudhishthira. Indeed, he was grieved at the remem-
brance of his own wicked son.-* Rising every day at early
dawn, he purified himself and went through his recitations,
and then blessed the randavas by wishing them victory in



Parva.] acramavasika parva. 5

battle.-^ Making the usual gifts unto the Brahraanas and
causing them to utter benedictions, and pouring libations on
the sacred fire, the old king prayed for long life to the Pan-
davas.^^ Indeed, the king had never derived that great happi-
ness from his own sons which he always derived from the sons
of Pandu.^^ King Yudhishthira at that time became as agree-
able to the Brahmanas as to the Kshatriyas, and the diverse
bands of Vai(;yas and Gudras of his realm. ^* Whatever wrongs
were done to him by the sons of Dhritarashtra, king Yudhish-
thira forgot them all, and reverenced his uncle."^ If any man
did any thing that was not agreeable to the son of Amvika, he
became thereby an object of hatred to the intelligent son of
Kunti,^** Indeed, through fear of Yudhishthira nobody could
talk of the evil deeds of either Duryodhana or Dhritarashtra.'^''
Both Gandhari and Vidura also were well pleased with the
capacity king Ajatgatru showed for bearing wrongs. They
were, however, no so pleased, slayer of foes, with Bhima.**
Dharma's son, Yudhishthira, was truly obedient to his uncle.
Bhima, however, at the sight of Dhritarashtra, became very
cheerless.^^ That slayer of foes, seeing Dharma's son reverenc-
ing the old king, reverenced him outwardly with a very un-
willing heart.""'*



Section III.

VaiQampayana said, — "The people Avho lived in the Kuru
kingdom failed to notice any variance in the cordiality that
subsisted between king Yudhishthira and the father of Duryo-
dhana.^ When the Kuru king recellected his wicked son, he
then could not but feel unfriendly, in his heart, towards
Bhima.^ Bhimasena also, king; impelled by a heart that
seemed to be wicked, was unable to put up with king Dhrita-
rashtra.'* Vrikodara secretly did many acts that were dis-
agreeable to the old king. Through deceitful servitors he
caused the commands of his uncle to be disobeyed.* Recollect-
ing the evil counsels of the old king and some acts of his,
Bhima, one day, in the midst of his friends, slapped his arm-
pits,^ in the hearing of Dhritarashtra and of Gandhari. The



Q MAHABHARATA. [Agraiiiavasa

wrathful Vrikodara, recollecting his foes Duryodhana and
Kama and Dus^asana,^ gave way to a transport of passion, and
said these harsh words :— 'The sons of the blind king, capable
of fighting with diverse kinds of weapons, have all been des-
patched by me to the other world with these arms of mine that
resemble a pair of iron clubs/ Verily, these are those two
arms Of mine, looking like maces of iron, and invincible by
foes, coming within whose clasp the sons of Dhritarashtra have
all met with destruction.'** These are those two well-deve-
loped and round arms of mine, resembling a pair of elephantine
trunks. Coming within their clasp, the foolish sons of Dhrita-
rashtra have all met with destruction.^ Smeared with sandal-
paste and deserving of that adornment are those two arms of
mine by which Duryodhana has been despatched to the other
world along with all his sons and kinsmen !'^*^ Hearing these
and many other words, king, of Vrikodara, that were veri-
table darts, king Dhritarashtra gave way to cheerlessness and
sorrow.^^ Queen Gandhari, however, who was conversant with
every duty and possessed of great intelligence, and who knew
what Time brings on its course, regarded them as untrue.^**
Then, after five and ten years had passed away, monarchy
king Dhritarashtra, afflicted (constantly) by the wordy darts
of Bhima, became penetrated with despair and grief.^'^ King
Yudhishthira the son of Kunti, however, knew it not ; nor
Arjuna of white steeds ; nor Kunti ; nor Draupadi possessed
of great fame ; nor the twin sons of Madri, conversant with
every duty and who were always engaged in acting after the
wishes of Dhritarashtra.^* Employed in doing the behests of
the king, the twins never said anything that was disagreeable
to the old king. Then Dhritarashtra one day honoured his
friends by his confidence. Addressing them with tearful eyes^
he said these words.^®

"Dhritarashtra said, — 'How the destruction of the Kurus
has happened is well known to you. All that was brought
about by my fault, though the Kauravas approved of all my
counsels.^^ Fool that I was, I installed the wicked-minded
Duryodhana, that enhancer of the terrors of kinsmen, to rule
over the Kurus.^'' Vilsudeva had said unto me — Let this sinful



Parva.] acramavasika parva. 7

wretch of wicked understanding be killed along with all his
friends and counsellers. — I did not listen to those words of
grave import. All wise men gave me the same beneficial ad-
vice. Vidura, and Bhishma., and Drona, and Kripa, said the
samething. The holy and high-souled Vyasa repeatedly said
the same, as also Sanjaya and Gandhari. Overwhelmed, how-
ever, by filial affection, I could not follow that advice. Bitter
repentance is now my lot for my neglect.^^"^** I also repent
for not having bestowed that blazing prosperity, derived from
sires and grandsires, on the high-souled Pandavas possessed of
every accomplishment."^ The eldest brother of Gada foresaw
the destruction of all the kings ; Janarddana, however, re-
garded that destruction as highly beneficial.*^^ So many
Anikas of troops, belonging to me, have been destroyed ! Alas,
my heart is pierced with thousands of darts in consequence of
all these results.'^ Of wicked understanding as I am, now,
after the lapse of five and ten years, I am seeking to expiate
my sins.^* Now at the fourth division of the day or some-
times at the eighth division, with the regularity of a vow, I eat
a little food for simply conquering my thirst. Gandhari knows
this.^^ All my attendants are under the impression that I eat
as usual. Through fear of Yudhishthira alone I concealed my
acts, for if the eldest son of Pandu came to know of my vow,
he would feel great pain.-^ Clad in deer-skin, I lie down on
the Earth, spreading a small quantity of Ku^a grass, and pass
the time in silent recitations. Gandhaai of great fame passes
her time in the observance of similar vows.'''^ Even thus do
Ave both behave, we that have lost a century of sons none of
whom ever retreated from battle. I do not, however, grieve
for those children of mine. They have all died in the observ-
ance of Kshatriya duties.'-^ Having said these words, the old
king then addressed Yudhishthira in particular and said, —
'Blessed be thou, son of the princess of Yadu's race ! Listen
now to what I say !-'•* Cherished by thee, son, I have lived

* It will be remembered, Earth, unable to bear her load of popu-
lation, I 1 lyed to the Gnindaire for lightening that, load. The Grandsire
urged Vishnu to do the needful. Hence Vibhnu incarnated himself as
Krishna and brought about a lightening of Earth's load. — T.



8 M.VTiABHATiATA. [A^'amcivafia

these years very happily. I have (with thy help) made large
gifts and performed Craddhas repeatedly.*^'' I have, O son, to
the best of my power, achieved merit largely. This Gandhari,
though destitute of sons, has lived Avith great fortitude, looking
all the while at me.^^ They who inflicted great wrongs on
Draupadi and robbed thee of thy affluence, — those cruel wights
— have all left the world, slain in battle agreeably to the prac-
tice of their ordcr.^^ I have nothing to do for them, de-
litrhter of the Kurus ! Slain with their faces towards battle,
they have attained to those regions which are for Avielders of
weapons.f ^^ I should now accomplish what is beneficial and
meritorious for me as also for Gandhari. It behooveth thee,
O great king, to grant me permission.^* Thou art the fore-
most of all righteous persons. Thou art always devoted to
righteousness. The king is the preceptor of all creatures. It is
for this that I say so.^^ With thy permission, hero, I shall
retire into the woods, clad in rags and barks, O king, along
with this Gandhari.^" I shall live in the woods, always bless-
ing thee. It is meet, O son, for the members of our race,^^
to make over sovereignty, when old age come-', to children and
lead the forest mode of life. Subsisting there on air alone, or
abstaining from all food, I shall, with this wife of mine, O
hero, practise severe austerities.^^ Thou shalt be a sharer of
those penances, O son, for thou art the king. Kings are
sharers of both auspicious and inauspicious acts done in their
kingdom !'t''

"Yudhishthira said,— 'When thou, king, art thus subject
to grief, sovereignty does not please me at all! Fie on me
that am of wicked understanding, devoted to the pleasures of



* 'Mahadana' implies sucli gifts as olepliants, boats, cars, horses, &c.
Everybody does not accept tVese gifts, for their acceptance causes a
Brahmana to fall away from his status. — T.

t Some of the Bengal texts read -avimukham hatah' for 'abhimukham
hatah.' The sense is tlic samr, — T.

\ The king gets a sixth share of the penances performed by the
Rishis livini; under his protection. The demerit, again, of all evil deeds
done within his realm is shared by the king, for such deeds become
possible through absence of supervision by the king. — T.



Pa,vra.] ACRAMAVASIKA PARVA. 9

rule, and utterly heedless of my true concerns*!*^ Alas, I, with
all my brothers, was ignorant of thypelf having so long been
afflicted with grief, emaciated with fasts, abstaining from food,
and lying on the bare ground !** Alas, foolish that I am, I
have been deceived by thee that hast deep intelligence, inas-
much as, having inspired me with confidence at first thou hasfc
latterly undergone such grief !*" What need have I of king-
dom or of articles of enjoyment, what need of sacrifices or of
happiness, when thou, king, hast undergone so much afflic-
tion ?" I regard my kingdom as a disease, and myself also
as afflicted. Plunged though I am in sorrow, what, however,
is the use of these words that I am addressing thee ?** Thou
art our father, thou art our mother ; thou art our foremost of
superiors. Deprived of thy presence, how shall we live ?*^ O
best of kings, let Yuyutsu, the son of thy loins, be made king,
or, indeed, anybody else whom thou mayst wish.*^ I shall go
into the woods. Do thou rule the kingdom. It behooveth
thee not to burn me that am already burned by infamy,*^ I
am not the king. Thou art the king. I am dependent on thy
will. How can I dare grant permission to thee that art my
preceptor ?*^ O sinless one, I harbour no resentment in my
heart on account of the wrongs done to us by Suyodhana. It
was ordained that it should be so. Both ourselves and others
were stupified (by fate).*'-* We are thy children as Duryodhana
and others were. My conviction is that Gandhari is as much
my mother as Kunti.^° If thou, O king of kings, goest to
the woods leaving me, I shall then follow thee. I swear by
my soul.^^ This Earth, with her belt of seas, so full of wealth,
will not be a source of joy to me when I am d(3prived of thy
presence.^- All this belongs to thee. I gratify thee, bending
my head. We are all dependent on thee, O king of kings.
Let the fever of thy heart be dispelled !'^ I think, lord of
Earth, that all this that has come upon thee is due to destiny.
By good luck, I had thought, that waiting upon thee and
executing thy commands obediently, I would rescue thee from
the fever of thy heart !'°*

"Dhritarashtra said, — '0 delighter of the Kurus, my mind
is fixed, son, on penances. O puissant one, it is meet for

t 2 ]



TO mahabharata!* [Agramavasr^

our race that I should retire into the woods.'^ I have lived
long under thy protection, O son ! I have for many years
been served by thee with reverence. I am now old. It be-
hooveth thee, O king, to grant me permission (to take up my
abode in the woods).' "^^

Vaigampayana continued, — "Having said these words unto
king Yudhishthira the just, king Dhritarashtra, the son of
Anivika, trembling the Avhile and with hands joined together,
further said unto the high- soul ed Sanjaya and the great car-
warrior Kripa, these words : — 'I wish to solicit the king
through you.^'"^^ My mind has become cheerless, my mouth
has become dry, through the weakness of age and the exertion
of speaking.''^^ Having said so, that perpetuater of Kuru's
race, viz., the righteous-souled old king, blessed with pros-
perity, leaned on Gandhari and suddenly looked like one de-
prived of life.*'" Beholding him thus seated like one deprived
of consciousness, that slayer of hostile heroes, vis., the royal
son of Kunti, became penetrated by a poignant grief®^

''Yudhishthira said, — 'Alas, he whose strength was equal to
that of a hundred thousand elephants, alas, that king sitteth
today, leaning on a woman !"' Alas, he by whom the iron
image of Bhima on a former occasion Avas reduced to frag-
ments, leaneth today on a weak woman !*' Fie on me that
am exceedingly unrighteous ! Fie on my understanding !
Fie on my knowledge of the scriptures ! Fie on me for whom
this lord of Fiarth lieth today in a manner that is not becom-
ing of him !** I also shall fast even as my preceptor. Yerily,
I shall fast if this king and Gandhari of great fame abstain

from food !' "''

Yaicampayana continued, — "The Pandava king, conversant
with every duty, using his own hand, then softly rubbed Avith
■cold water the breast and the face of the old monarch.*"' At
the touch of the king's hand which was auspicious and frag-
rant, and on which were jewels and medicinal herbs, Dhrita-
rashtra regained his senses.**^

* Formerly kings and noblemen wore jewels and medicinal herbs on
*heir arms. Tlie last were enclosed in drum-like capiules of gold, her-



Parva.] acramavasika parva. 11

"Dhritarashtra said, — 'Do thou again touch me, son of
Pandu, with thy hand, and do thou embrace me. O thou of
eyes like lotus petals, I am restored to my senses through the
auspicious touch of thy hand.*'^ O ruler of men, I desire ta
smell thy head. The clasp of thy arms is highly gratifying to-
me.^^ This is the eighth division of the day and, therefore,
the hour for taking my food. For not having taken my food,
O child of Kuru's race, I am so weak as to be unable to move,''®
In addressing my solicitations to thee, great has been my
exertion. Rendered cheerless by it, O son, I had fainted.''^

perpetuater of Kuru's race, I think that receiving the touch
of thy hand, which resembles nectar in its vivifying effects

1 have been restored to my senses.' "^^

Vai^ampayana said, — 'Thus addressed, O Bharata, by the
eldest brother of his father, the son of Kunti, from affection,
gently touched every part of his body.^^ Regaining his life-
breaths, king Dhritarashtra embraced the son of Pandu with
his arms and smelled his head.^* Vidura and others wept aloud
in great grief. In consequence, however, of the poignancy of
their sorrow, they said nothing to either the old king or the
son of Pandu.^^ Gandhari, conversant with every duty, bore
her sorrow with fortitude, and loaded as her heart was, O
king, said nothing.^^ The other ladies, Kunti among them,
became greatly afflicted. They wept, shedding copious tears,
and sat surrounding the old king." Then Dhritarashtra, once
more addressing Yudhishfchira, said these words :— 'Do thou,
king, grant me permission to practise penances.^® By speak-
ing repeatedly, son, my mind becomes weakened. It be-
booveth thee not, son, to afflict me after this.''^^ When that
foremost one of Kuru's race was saying so unto Yudhishthira,
a loud sound of wailing arose from all the warriors there pre-
sent.^** Beholding his royal father of great splendour, ema-
ciated and pale, reduced to a state unbecoming of him, worn
out with fasts, and looking like a skeleton covered with skin,
Dharma's son Yudhishthira shed tears of grief and once more



metically closed on both sides. It was believed that jewels and medi-
cinal herbs are a great protection against many evilss.— T.



12 MAHABHARATA." [Agrccmavasci.

said these words.'^"^" — '0 foremost of men, I do not desire life
and the Earth ! scorcher of foes, I shall employ myself in
doing what is agreeable to thee.^^ If I deserve thy favour, if
I am dear to thee, do thou eat something. I shall then know
what to do.'^* Endued with great energy, Dhritarashtra then
said to Yudhishthira, — 'I wish, O son, to take some food, with
thy permission. '^^ When Dhritarashtra said these words to
Yudhishthira, Satyavati's son Vyasa came there and said as
follows/'^^



Section 17.

"Vyasa said, — '0 mighty- armed Yudhishthira, do without
any scruple what Dhritarashtra of Kuru's race has said.* This
king is old. He has, again, been made sonless. I think he will
not be able to bear his grief long.^ The highly blessed Gan-
dhari, possessed of great wisdom and endued with kindly
speech, bears with fortitude her excessive grief owing to the
loss of her sons.^ I also tell thee (what the old king says).
Do thou obey my words. Let the old king have thy permis-
sion. Let him not die an inglorious death at home.'* Let
this king follow the path of all royal sages of old. Verily, for
all royal sages, retirement into the woods comes at last !' "°

Vai^ampayana said, — " Thus addre.'^sed at that time by
Vyasa of wonderful deeds, king Yudhishthira the just, pos-
sessed of mighty energy, said unto the great ascetic these
words,'' — Thy holy self is held by us in great reverence. Thou
alone art our preceptor. Thou alone art the refuge of this our
kingdom as also of our race.'^ I am thy son. Thou, O holy
one, art my father ! Thou art our king, and thou art our
preceptor ! The son should, agreeably to every duty, be obe-
dient to the commands of his sire.' ''^

Vai(;ampayana continued, — "Thus addressed by the king,
Vyasa, that foremost of all persons conversant with the Vedas,
that foremost of poets, endued with great energy once more
said unto Yudhishthira these words,°— 'It is even so, O mighty
firmed one ! It is even as thou sayst, O Bharata ! This king
has reached old age. He is now in the la-st stage of life.**



Parva.] acramavasika parva. 13

Permitted both by me and thee, let this lord of Earth do
what he purposes. Do not stand as an impediment in his
way !" Even this is the highest duty, Yudhishthira, of
royal sages. They should die either in battle or in the woods
agreeably to the scriptures.^^^ Thy royal sire, Pandu, king
of kings, reverenced this old king as a disciple reverences his
preceptor.^^ (At that time) he adored the gods in many great
sacrifices with profuse gifts consisting of hills of wealth and
jewels, and ruled the Earth and protected his subjects wisely
and well." Having obtained a large progeny and a swelling
kingdom, he enjoyed great affluence for thirteen years while
you were in exile, and gave away much wealth.^^ Thyself
also, O chief of men, with thy servants, sinless one, hast
adored this king and the famous Gandhari with that ready
obedience which a disciple pays to his preceptor.^^ Do thou
grant permission to thy father. The time has come for him to
attend to the practice of penances. He does not harbour, O
Yudhishthira, even the slightest anger against any of you !' ""
Vai9ampayana continued, — " Having said these words,
Vyasa soothed the old king. Yudhishthira then answered him,
saying, — 'So be it.' The great ascetic then left the palace for
proceeding to the woods.^" After the holy Vyasa had gone
away, the royal son of Pandu softly said these words unto his
old father, bending himself in humility ,^^ — 'What the holy
Vyasa has said, what is thy own purpose, what the great bow-
man Kripa has said, what Vidura has expressed,-^ and what



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