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Vyasa has approved of this, as also the son of Kunti !^^ Let
me have your permission too. Do not hesitate in this. That
good will, which has always existed between you and us,^^ is
not to be seen, I believe, in other realms between the rulers
and the ruled, I am worn out with this load of years on my
head. I am destitute of children.^'* Ye sinless ones, I am
emaciated with fasts, along with Gandhari. The kingdom
having passed to Yudhishthira, I have enjoyed great happi-
ness.*^ Ye foremost of men, I think that happiness has been
greater than what I could expect from Duryodhana's sover-
eignty. What other refuge can I have, old as I am and des-
titute of children, save the woods? Ye highly blessed ones,
it behoves you to grant me the permission I seek !'^^ Hearing
these words of his, all the<e residents of Kurujaiigala, uttered
loud lamentations, O best of the Bharatas, with voices choked
by tears. - Desirous of telling those grief- stricken people some-
thing more, Dliritarashtra of great energy once more addressed
them and said as follows.' "^^


Section IX.

" Dhrstarashtra said, — 'Cantanu duly ruled this Earth.
Similarly, Vichitraviryya also, protected by Bhishma, ruled you.
Without doubt, all this is known to you.^ It is also known
to you how Pandu, my brother, was dear to me as also to you.
He also ruled you duly.^ Ye sinless ones, I have also served
you. Whether those services have come up to the mark or
fallen short of it, it behooveth you to forgive me, for I have
attended to my duties without heedlessness.^ Duryodhana also
enjoyed this kingdom without a thorn in his side. Foolish aa
he was and endued with wicked understanding, he did not,
however, do any wrong to you.* Through the fault, however,
of that prince of wicked understanding, and through his pride,
as also through my own impolicy, a great carnage has taken
place of persons of the royal order.^ Whether I have, in that
matter, acted rightly or wrongly, I pray you with joined hands
to dispel all remembrance of it from your hearts !^ — This one
is old ; this one has lost all his children ; this one is afflicted
with grief ; this one was our king ; this one is a descendant of
former kings ; — considerations like these should induce you to
forgive me.^ This Gandhari also is cheerless and old. She too
has lost her children and is helpless. Afflicted with grief for
the loss of her sons, she solicits you with me.^ Knowing that
both of us are old and afflicted and destitute of children, grant
us the permission we seek. Blessed be you, we seek your pro-
tection !^ This Kuru king, Yudhishthira the son of Kunti,
should be looked after by you all, in prosperity as well as in
adversity.^" He will never fall into distress, he that has for
his counsellers four such brothers of abundant prowess. All of
them are conversant with both righteousness and wealth, and
resemble the very guardians of the world.^^ Like the illustri-
ous Brahman himself, the Lord of the universe of creatures,
this Yudhishthira of mighty-energy will rule you.^^ That
which should certainly be said is now said by me, I make
over to you this Yudhishthira here as a deposit. I make you
also a deposit in the hands of this hero.^^ It behooves you all

I 4 ]

26 MAHABHARATA. [Acromavasa

to forget and forgive whatever injury has been done to you by
those sons of mine that are no longer alive, or, indeed, by
any one else belonging to me.^* Ye never harboured any
wrath against me on any previous occasion. I join my hands
before vou who are distinguished for loyalty. Here, I bow to
you all." Ye sinless one, I, with Gandhari by my side, soli-
cit your pardon now for anything done to you by those sons of
mine, of restless understandings, stained by cupidity, and ever
acting as their desires prompted !'" Thus addressed by the old
monarch, all those citizens and inhabitants of the provinces,
tiled with tears, said nothing but only looked at one another.""

Section X.

Vaigampayana said.— "Thus addressed, O thou of Kuru's
race, by the old king, the citizens and the inhabitants of the
provinces stood sometime like men deprived of consciousness.^
King Dhritarashtra, finding them silent, with their throats
choked by grief, once more addressed them, saying,^^— 'Ye best
of men, old as I am, and sonless, and indulging, through
cheerlessness of heart, in diverse lamentations along with this
my wedded wife,^ I have obtained the permission, in the matter
•of my retirement into the forest, of my sire, the Island-born
Krishna himself, as also of king Yudhishthira, who is conver-
sant with every duty, ye righteous denizens of this kingdom !*
Ye sinless ones, I, with Gandhari, repeatedly solicit you with
bent heads. It behooves you all to grant us permission !' "^

Vaigampayana continued, — "Hearing these pitiable words
•of the Kuru king, O monarch, the assembled denizens of
Kurujangala all began to weep.« Covering their faces with
their hands and upper garments, all those men, burning with
■grief, wept for a while as fathers and mothers would weep (at
the prospect of a dear son about to leave them for ever).^
Bearing in their hearts, from which every other thought had
"been dispelled, the sorrow born of Dhritarfishtra's desire to
leave the world, they looked like men deprived of all conscious-
ness.« Checking that agitation of heart due to the announce-
ment of Dhritarashtra's desire of going to the forest, they

Parm.] acramavasika parya. 2T

gradually were able to address one another, expressing their
wishes.^ Settling their words in brief, O king, they charged
a certain Brahmana therewith and thus replied unto the old
monarch.^® That learned Brahmana, of good behaviour, chosen
by unanimous consent, conversant with all topics, master of
all the Eichs, and named Samba, endeavoured to speak.^'
Taking the permission of the whole assembly and with its full
approbation, that learned Brahmana of great intelligence,
conscious of his own abilities, said these words unto the king :^*
— '0 monarch, the answer of this assembly has been committed
to my care. I shall voice it, O hero ! Do thou receive it,
O king !^* What thou sayest, king of kings, is all true, O
puissant one I There is nothing in it that is even slightly
untrue. Thou art our well-wisher, as, indeed, we are thine !^*
Verily, in this race of kings, there never was a king who
coming to rule his subjects became unpopular with them.-'^ Ya
have ruled us like fathers or brothers. King Duryodhana never
did us any wrong.^^ Do that, king, which that righteous-
souled ascetic, the son of Satyavati, has said. He is, verily»
our foremost of instructors.^^ Left by thee, monarch, wo
shall have to pass our days in grief and sorrow, filled with re-
membrance of thy hundreds of virfcues.^^ We were well pro>
tected and ruled by king Duryodhana even as we had been
ruled by king Cantanu, or by Chitrangada, or by thy father,
O monarch, who was protected by the prowess of Bhishma, or
by Pandu, that ruler of Earth, who was overlooked by thee
in all his acts.^^"^'* Thy son, monarch, never did us the
slightest wrong. We lived, relying on that king as trustfully
as on our own father.^^ It is known to thee how we lived
(under that ruler). After the same manner, we have enjoyed
great happiness, monarch, for thousands of years, under the
rule of Kunti's son of great intelligence and wisdom.*-" This
righteous-souled king who performs sacrifices with gifts iu
profusion, follows the conduct of the royal sages of old, be-
longing to thy race, of meritorious deeds, having Kuru and

* The text, in Verse 22, where mention is made of thousands o£
years as embracing the rule of YudhisLthiraj is evidently vitiated.— T,.

28 MAHABHARATA. [Agramavasa

Samvara and others and Bharata of great intelligence among
them.^^"^* There is nothing, monarch, that is even slightly
censurable in the matter of this Yudhishthira's rule. Protected
and ruled by thee, we have all lived in great happiness."^ The
slightest demerit is incapable of being alleged against thee and
thy son. Regarding what thou hast said about Duryodhana in
the matter of this carnage of kinsmen, I beg thee, delighter
of the Kurus, (to listen to me).'26-27

"The Brahmana continued, — 'The destruction that has over-
taken the Kurus was not brought about by Duryodhana. It
was not brought about by thee. Nor was it brought about by
Kama and Suvala's son !=^^ We know that it was brought
about by destiny, and that it was incapable of being counter-
acted. Verily, destiny is not capable oi being resisted by
human exertion."^ Eight and ten Akshauhinis of troops, O
monarch, were brought together. In eight and ten days that
host was destroyed by the foremost of Kuru warriors,^° viz.,
Bhishma and Drona and Kripa and others, and the high-
souled Kama, and the heroic Yuyudhana, and Dhrishta-
dyumna,^^ and by the four sons of Pandu, that is, Bhima and
Arjuna and the twins. This (tremendous) carnage, king,
could not happen without the influence of destiny.^^ With-
out doubt, by Kshatriyas in particular, should foes be slain
and death encountered in battle.^^ By those foremost of
men, endued with science and might of arms, the Earth
has been exterminated with her steeds and cars and ele-
phants.^* Thy son was not the cause of that carnage of
high-souled kings. Thou wert not the cause, nor thy servants,
nor Kama, nor Suvala's son.^^ The destruction of those fore-
most ones of Kuru's race and of kings by thousands, know,
was brought about by destiny. Who can say anything else in
this ?^^ Thou art regarded as the Guru and the master of the
whole world. We, therefore, in thy presence, absolve thy
righteous-souled son.«^ Let that king, with all his associates,
obtain the regions reserved for heroes. Permitted by foremost
of Brahmanas. let him sport blissfully in Heaven I'' Thou
also shult attain to great merit, and unswerving steadiness in
virtue. thou of excellent vows, follow thou fully the duties

Parva.] acramavasika parva. 29

indicated in the Vedas.^' It is not necessary for either thee
or ourselves to look after the Pandavas. They are capable of
ruling the very Heavens, what need then be said of the
Earth ?*^ O thou of great intelligence, in prosperity as in
adversity, the subjects of this kingdom, foremost one of
Kuru's race, will be obedient to the Pandavas who have con-
duct for their ornament.** The son of Pandu makes those
valuable gifts which are always to be made to foremost of re-
generate persons in sacrifices and in obsequial rites, after the
manner of all the great kings of antiquity/^ The high-mind-
ed son of Kunti is mild, and self-restrained, and is always
disposed to spend as if he were a second Vaigravana. He has
great ministers that attend on him.*^ He is compassionate to
even his foes. Indeed, that foremost one of Bharata's race is
of pure conduct. Endued with great intelligence, he is per-
fectly straight forward in his dealings and rules and protects us
like a father his children.** From association with him who
is the son of Dharma, royal sage, Bhima and Arjuna and
others will never do us the least wrong.*^ They are mild, O
thou of Kuru's race, unto them that are mild, and fierce like
snakes of virulent poison unto them that are fierce. Possessed
of great energy, those high-souled ones are always devoted to
the good of the people.*^ Neither Kunti, nor thy (daughter-
in-law) Panchali, nor Ulupi, nor the princess of the Sattwata
race, will do the least wrong to these people.**^ The affection
which thou hast shown towards us and which in Yudhishthira
is seen to exist in a still larger measure is incapable of being
forgotten by the people of the city and the provinces.*^ Those
mighty car-warriors, viz., the sons of Kunti, themselves de-
voted to the duties of righteousness, will protect and cherish
the people even if these happen to be unrighteous.*^ Do thou,
therefore, king, dispelling all anxiety of heart on account of
Yudhishthira, set thyself to the accomplishment of all meri-
torious acts, foremost of men !' "^^

Vai9ampayana continued, — "Bearing these words, fraught
with righteousness and merit, of that Brahmana and approving

* The correct reading is 'jane' and not 'ks hane.'— T,

30 MAHABHARATA. [Acrauavasa

of them, every person in that assembly said, — 'Excellent, Ex-
cellent' and accepted them as his own."* Dhritarashtra also,
repeatedly applauding those words, slowly dismissed that as-
sembly of his subjects."'^ Thus honoured by them and looked
upon with auspicious glances, the old king, chief of Bha-
rata's race, joined his hands and honoured them all in return.^*
He then entered his own mansion with Gandhari. Listea
now to what he did after that night had passed away."*^*

Section XI.

Vaigampayana said, — "After that night had passed away,
Dhritarashtra, the son of Amvika, despatched Vidura to Yu-
dhishthira's mansion.* Endued with great energy and the
foremost of all persons possessed of intelligence, Vidura, hav-
ing arrived at Yudhishthira's mansion, addressed that foremost
of men, that king of unfading glory, in these words :" — 'King
Dhritarashtra has undergone the preliminary rites for accom-
plishing his purpose of retiring into the woods. He will set
out for the woods, king, on the coming day of full moon of
the month of Kartika.^ He now solicits from thee, fore-
most one of Kuru's race, some wealth. He wishes to perform
the Craddha of the high-souled son of Ganga,* as also of
Drona and Somadatta and Valhika of great intelligence, and
of all his sons as also of all other wishers of his that have been
slain, and, if thou permittest it, of that wicked-souled wight,
viz., the ruler of the Sindhus.'*" Hearing these words of
Vidura, both Yudhishthira, and Pandu's son Arjuna of curly
hair, became very glad and applauded them highly.* Bhima,
however, of great energy and unappeasable wrath, did not

* It is difficult to imagine why the ruler of the Sindhus, Jayadratha,
only should be regarded as a wrong-doer to the Piindavas. In the
matter of the slaying of Abhimanyu he played a very minor part, by
only guarding the entrance of tlie an-ay against the Piindava warriors.
It is true he had attempted to abduct Draupadi from the forest retreat
of the Pandavas, but eren in this, the wrong was not so great as that
which Dnryodhana and others inflicted on the Piudavas by dragging
Draupadi to the court of the Kurus.— T.

Parva.] acramavasika parva. SI

accept those words of Vidura in good spirits, recollecting the
acts of Duryodhana. The diadem-decked Phalguna, under-
standing the thoughts of Bhimasena, slightly bending his face
downwards, addressed that foremost of men in these words :—
'0 Bhima, our royal father who is advanced in years, has re-
solved to retire into the woods.^"® He wishes to make gifts
for advancing the happiness of his slain kinsmen and well-
wishers now in the other world. O thou of Kuru's race, he
wishes to give away wealth that belongs to thee by conquest.*®
Indeed, mighty-armed one, it is for Bhishma and others that
the old king is desirous of making those gifts. It behooves
thee to grant thy permission. By good luck it is, thou of
mighty arms, that Dhritarashtra today begs wealth of us," he
who was formerly begged by us. Behold the reverses brought
about by Time. That king who was before the lord and pro-
tector of the whole Earth,^^ now desires to go into the woods,
his kinsmen and associates all slain by foes. chief of men,
let not thy views deviate from granting the permission asked !^^
O mighty-armed one, refusal, besides bringing infamy, will be
productive of demerit. Do thou learn your duty in this
matter from the king, thy eldest brother, who is lord of all !**
It becometh thee to give instead of refusing, chief of Bha-
•rata's race !' Vibhatsu who was saying so was applauded by
king Yudhishthira the just.**^ Yielding to wrath, Bhimasena
■said these words : — Phalgnna, it is we that shall make gifts
in the matter of Bhishma's obsequies,** as also of king Soma-
datta and of Bhuri^ravas, of the royal sage Valhika, and of
the high-souled Drona,*^ and of all others. Our mother Kunti
shall make such obsequial offerings for Kama. O foremost of
men, let not Dhritarashtra perform those Craddhas.*® Even
this is what I think. Let not our foes be gladdened. Let
Duryodhana and others sink from a miserable to a more miser-
able position.*^ Alas, it was those wretches of their race that
caused the Avhole Earth to be exterminated ! How hast thou
been abk to forget that anxiety of twelve long years,-® and
our residence in deep incognito that was so painful to Drau-
padi.? Where was Dhritarashtra's affection for us then ?^*
Clad in a black deer-skin and divested of all thy ornaments,

32 MAHABHARATA. [Agramavasci

with the princess of Pfinchala in thy company, didst thou not
follow this king ?'^^ Where were Bhishma and Drona then,
and where was Somadatta ? Thou hadst to live for thirteen
years in the woods, supporting thyself on the products of the
wilderness.^^ Thy eldest father did not then look at thee
with eyes of parental affection. Hast thou forgotten, O Par-
tha, that it was this wretch of our race,^* of wicked under-
standing, that enquired of Vidura, when the match at dice
was going one, — What has been won V Hearing thus far, king
Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, endued with great intelligence,
rebuked him and told him to be silent.""^

Section XII.

"Arjuna said, — '0 Bhima, thou art my elder brother and,
therefore, my senior and preceptor. I dare not say anything
more than what I have already said. The royal sage Dhrita-
rashtra deserves to be honoured by us in every respect.^ They
that are good, they that are distinguished above the common
level, they that break not the distinctions which characterise
the good, remember not the wrongs dene to them but only the
benefits they have received.""^ Hearing these words of the
high-souled Phalguna, the righteous-souled Yudhishthira, the
son of Kunti, addressed Vidura and said these words,^— 'In-
structed by me, O Kshattri, do thou say unto the Kuru king
that I shall give him as much wealth from my treasury as he
wishes to give away for the obsequies of his sons, and of
Bhishma and others among his well-wishers and benefactors.
Let not Bhiuia be cheerless at this !' "^"^

Vaic^auipayana continued,— "Having said these words, king
Yudhishthira the just highly applauded Arjuna. Meanwhile
Bhimasena began to cast angry glances at Dhananjaya.^ Then
Yudhishthira, endued with great intelligence, once more ad-
dressed Vidura and said,— 'It behoves not king Dhritarashtra
to be angry with Bhimasena.'' This Bhima of great intelli-
gence was greatly afHicted by cold and rain and heat and by a
thousand other griefs while residing in the woods. All this is
not unknown to thee.^ Do thou, however, instructed by me,


say unto the king, foremost one of Bharata's race, that he
may take from my house whatever articles he wishes and in
whatever measure also he likes.* Thou shalt also tell the
king that he should not allow his heart to dwell on this exhibi-
tion of pride in which Bhima, deeply afflicted, has indulged.^**
Whatever wealth I have and whatever Arjuna has in hia
house, the owner thereof is king Dhritarashtra. Even this
thou shouldst tell him.^^ Let the king make gifts unto the
Brahmanas ! Let him spend as largely as he likes. Let him
free himself from the debt he owes to his sons and well-
wishers.^^ Let him be told besides, — monarch, this very
body of mine is at thy disposal, and all the wealth I have!
Know this, and let there be no doubt in this. — ' "^*

Section XIIL

Vai(jampayana said, — "Thus addressed by king Yudhish-
thira, Vidura, that foremost of all intelligent persons, return-
ed to Dhritarashtra and said unto him these words of grave
import.^ — 'I at first reported thy message to king Yudhish-
thira. Reflecting on thy words, Yudhishthira of great splend-
our applauded them highly.^ Vibhatsu also, of great energy,
places all his mansions, with all the wealth therein, as also
his very life-breaths, at thy disposal.^ Thy son, king Yu-
dhishthira, too, offers thee, royal sage, his kingdom and
life-breaths and wealth and all else that belongs to him.*
Bhima, however, of mighty-arms, recollecting all his innu-
merable sorrows, has with difficulty given his consent, breath-
ing many heavy sighs.^ That mighty-armed hero, O monarch,
was solicited by the righteous king as also by Vibhatsu, and
induced to assume relations of cordiality towards thee.® King
Yudhishthira the just has prayed thee not to give way to
dissatisfaction for the improper conduct which Bhima has dis-
played at the recollection of former hostilities.^ — This is gone-
rally the behaviour of Kshatriyas in battle, king, and this
Vrikodara is devoted to battle and the practices of Kshatriyas.*
Both myself and Arjuna, king, repeatedly beg thee for
pardoning Vrikodara. Be gracious unto us. Thou art our lord.

[ 5 ]

84 MAHABHARATA. ]Ap'amav(isa

Whatever wealth we have thou mayst give away as thou
likest, ruler of Earth ! Thou, O Bharata, art the master of
this kingdom and of all lives in it i"'**' Let the foremost one
of Kuru's race give away, for the obsequial rites of his sons,
all those foremost of gifts which should be given to the Brah-
manas. Indeed, let him make those gifts unto persons of the
regenerate order, taking away from our mansions jewels and
gems, and kine, and slaves both male and female, and goats
and sheep. Let gifts be made unto also those that are poor or
sightless or in great distress, selecting the objects of his charity
as he likes.""-'' Let, Vidura, large pavilions be constructed,
rich with food and drink of diverse tastes collected in profu-
sion. Let reservoirs of water be constructed for enabling kine
to drink, and let other works of merit be accomplished !^^ —
Even these were the words said unto me by the king as also by
Pritha's son Dhananjaya. It behooveth thee to say what
should be done next.'^* After Vidura had said these words,
O Janamejaya, Dhritarashtra expressed his satisfaction at
them and set his heart upon making large presents on the day
of full moon in the month of Kartika.""

Section XIV.

Vai^ampayana said, — " Thus addressed by Vidura, king
Dhritarashtra became highly pleased, monarch, with the act
of Yudhishthira and Jishnu.^ Inviting then, after proper
examination, thousands of deserving Brahmanas and superior
Rishis, for the sake of Bhishma, as also of his sons and friends,''
and causing a large quantity of food and drink to be prepared,
and cars and other vehicles and clothes, and gold and jewels
and gems, and slaves both male and female, and goats and
sheep, and blankets and costly articles to be collected,^ and
villages and fields, and other kinds of wealth to be kept ready,
as also elephants and steeds decked with ornaments, and many
beautiful maidens who were the best of their sex,^ that fore-
most of kings gave them away for the advancement of the
dead, naming each of them in due order as the gifts were
made. Naming Drona, and Bhishma, and Somadatta, and

Parva.] acramavasika parva^ . 35

Valhika,^ and king Duryodhana, and each one of his other
sons, and all his well-wishers with Jayadratha numbering first,
those gifts were made in due order.^ With the approval of
Yudhishthira, that Craddha-sacrifice became characterised by
large gifts of wealth and profuse presents of jewels and gems
and other kinds of treasured Tellers and scribes on thafe
occasion, under the orders of Yudhishthira, ceaselessly asked
the old king,^ — Do thou command, monarch, what giffca
should be made to these. All things are ready here ! — As soon
as the king spoke, they gave away what he directed.*^ Unto
him that was to receive a hundred, a thousand was given, and
unto him that was to receive a thousand was given ten thou-
sand, at the command of the royal son of Kunti.f^*' Like the
clouds vivifying the crops with their downpours, that royal
cloud gratified the Brahmanas by downpours of wealth.^*
After all those gifts had been distributed, the king, thou of
great intelligence, then deluged the assembled guests of all
the four orders with repeated surges of food and drink of
diverse tastes.^^ Verily, the Dhritarashtra-ocean, swelling^
high, with jewels and gems for its waters, rich with the villages
and fields and other foremost of gifts constituting its verdanfe
islands, heaps of diverse kinds of precious articles for its rick

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