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O king, with our spiritual vision.^® Vidura will enter into the
high souled Yudhisthira. Sanjaya also, through meditation,
will ascend from this world into Heaven.' "^^

Vaicampayana continued, — " That high-souled chief of
Kuru's race, possessed of learning, having, with his wife, heard
these words of Narada, praised them and worshipped Narada
with unprecedented honours.'^ The conclave of Brahmanas
there present became filled with great jo}-, and desirous of
gladdening king Dhritarastra, monarch, themselves wor-

Parva.] acra.mavasika parva. 47

shipped Narada with profound regards.^^ Those foremost of
jegenerate persons also praised the words of Narada. Then
the royal sage Catayupa, addressing Narada, said,^^ — 'Thy
holy self hath enhanced the devotion of the Kuru king, of all
those people here, and of myself also, thou of great splend-
our !^* I have, however, the wish to ask thee something.
Listen to me as I say it. It has reference to king Dhrita-
rashtra, O celestial Rishi, that art worshipped by all the
worlds !^^ Thou art acquainted with the truth of every affair.
Endued with celestial sight, thou beholdest, regenerate
Rishi, what the diverse goals are 6f human beings.'^* Thou
hast said what the goal has been of the kings mentioned by
thee, viz., association with the chief of the celestials. Thou
hast not, however, great Rishi, declared what those regions
are that will be acquired by this king !^^ puissant one, I
wish to hear from thee what region will be acquired by the
royal Dhritarashtra. It behooveth thee to tell me truly the kind
of region that will be his and the time when he will attain to
it !'^^ Thus addressed by him, Narada of celestial sight and
endued with austere penances, said in the midst of the as-
sembly these words highly agreeable to the minds of all.^*

"Narada said, — 'Repairing at my will to the mansion of
Cakra, I have seen Cakra the lord of Cachi ; and there, O
royal sage, I have beheld king Pandu.^" There a talk arose,
O monarch, regarding this Dhritarashtra and those highly
austere penances which he is performing.'*^ There I heard
from the lips of Cakra himself that there are three years yet
of the period of life allotted to this king.^-^ After that, king
Dhritarashtra, accompanied by his wife Gandhari, will go to
the regions of Kuvera and be hit,'hly honoured by that king
of kings. He will go there on a car moving at his will, his
person adorned with celestial ornaments.^^ He is the son of
a Rishi ; he is highly blessed; he has burnt all his sins by
his penances. Endued with a righteous soul, he will rove
at will through the regions of the deities, the Gandharvas,
and the Rakshasis, That about which thou hast enquired is
a mystery of the gods. Through my affection for you, I have
declared this high truth. ^*"^^ Ye all are possesocd of the

48 MAOABHARATA. [Agramavasei

wealth of Crutia and have consumed all your sins by your
penances !' "'*

Vaicjampayana continued, — "Heaving these sweet words of
the celestial Rishi, all the persons there assembled, as also
king Dhritarashtra, became greatly cheered and highly pleas-
ed.^'' Having cheered Dhritarashtra of great wisdom with
such talk, they left the spot, wending away by the path that
belongs to those who are crowned with success."^®

Section XXI.

Vai^ampayana said, — "Upon the retirement of the chief of
the Kurus into the forest, the Pandavas, O king, afflicted
besides by grief on account of their mother, became very
cheerless.* The citizens also of Hastinapura were possessed by
deep sorrow. The Brahmanas always talked of the old king.^
*How, indeed, will the king, who has become old, live in the
solitary woods ? How will the highly blessed Gandhari, and
Pritha, the daughter of Kuntibhoja, live there ?^ The royal
sage has always lived in the enjoyment of every comfort.
He will certainly be very miserable. Arrived in the deep
woods, what is now the condition of that personage of royal
descent, who is, again, bereft of vision ?* Difficult is the feat
that Kunti has achieved by separating herself from her sons.
Alas, casting ofif kingly prosperity, she chose a life in tho
woods !^ What, again, is the condition of Vidura who is
always devoted to the service of his elder brother ? How also
is the intelligent son of Gavalgani who is so faithful to the
food given him by his master?'® Verily, the citizens, includ-
ing those of even nonage, meeting together, asked one another
these questions.^ The Pandavas also, exceedingly afflicted
with grief, sorrowed for their old mother, and could not live
in their city long.® Thinking also of their old sire, the king,
who had lost all his children, and the highly blessed Gandhari,
and Vidura of great intelligence, they failed to enjoy peace of
mind.® They had no pleasure in sovereignty, nor iu women,
nor in the study of the Vedas.*° Despair penetrated their
souls as they thought of the old king and as they repeatedly

Parva.] acramavasika PARYAi 49

reflected on that terrible slaughter of kinsmen." Indeed,
thinking of the slaughter of the youthful Abhimanyu on the
field of battle, of the mighty -armed Kama who never retreat-
ed from the fray, of the sons of Draupadi, and of other friends
of theirs, those heroes became exceedingly cheerless.^""^^ They
failed to obtain peace of mind upon repeatedly reflecting
that the Earth had become divested of both her heroes and
her wealth.^* Draupadi had lost all her children, and the
beautiful Subhadra also had become childless. They too were
of cheerless hearts and grieved exceedingly.^^ Beholding, how-
ever, the son of Virata's daughter, viz., thy sire Parikshit,
thy grandsires somehow held their life- breaths."**

Section XXII.

Vai^ampayana said, — "Those foremost of men, the heroic
Pandavas, — those delighters of their mother — became exceed-
ingly afflicted with grief.* They Avho had formerly been always
engaged in kingly offices, did not at that time attend to those
acts at all in their capital.^ Afflicted with deep grief, they
failed to derive pleasure from anything. If any body accosted
them, they never honoured him with an answer.^ Although
those irresistible heroes were in gravity like the ocean, yet
they were now deprived of their knowledge and their very
senses by the grief they felt.* Thinking of their mother, the
sons of Pandu were filled with anxiety as to how their ema-
ciated mother was serving the old couple.^ 'How, indeed, is
that king, whose sons have all been slain and who is without
refuge, living alone, with only his wife, in the woods that are
the haunt of beasts of prey ?* Alas, how does that highly
blessed queen, Gandhari, whose dear ones have all been slain,
follow her blind lord in the solitary woods V Even such was
the anxiety manifested by the Pandavas when they talked
with one another. They then .set their hearts upon seeing the
king in his forest retreat.* Then Sahadeva, bowing down to
the king, said, — 'I have understood thy heart to be set upon
seeing our sire !' From my respect for thee, however, I could
not speedily open my mouth on the subject of our journey to

[ 7 j

50 ■ iXfAHABHARATA!- [Ap'amav(isa

the woods. The time for that sojourn is now come.'" By good
luck I shall see Kunti living in the observance of penances,
with matted locks on her head, practising severe austerities,
and emaciated with sleeping on blades of Ku9a and Kaga !**
She was brought up in palaces and mansions, and nursed in
«^very comfort and luxury. Alas, when shall I see my mother
who i=? now toil-worn and plunged into exceeding misery ?^^
Without doubt, O chief of Bharata's race, the ends of mortals
are exceedingly uncertain, since Kunti, who is a princess by
birth, is now living in misery in the woods !'^^ Hearing these
words of Sahadeva, queen Draupadi, that foremost of all
women, duly honouring the king said, with proper saluta-
^iQ^gii — 'Alas, when shall I see queen Pritha, if, indeed, she
be yet alive 1 I shall consider my life as not passed in vain if
I succeed in beholding her once more, king !^^ Let this sort
•of understanding be ever stable in thee ! Let thy mind always
take a pleasure in such righteousness as is involved, king
of kings, in thy desire of bestowing such a high boon on us 1^®
Know, O king, that all these ladi«s of thy house are staying
with their feet raised for the journey, from desire of beholding
Kunti, and Gandhari, and my father-in-law.'" Thus address-
ed by queen Draupadi, the king, chief of Bharata's race,
summoned all the leaders of his forces to his presence and told
them,^® — 'Cause my army, teeming with cars and elephants,
to march out. I shall behold king Dhritarashtra who is now
living in the woods !'^* Unto those that supervised the con-
cerns of the ladies, the king gave the order, — 'Let diverse kinds
of conveyances be properly equipt, and all my closed litters
that count by thousands !-° Let carriages and granaries, and
wardrobes, and treasuries, be equipt and ordered out, and let
mechanics have the command to march out. Let men in
charge of treasuries go out on the way leading to the ascetic
retreats on Kurukshetra.^* Whoever amongst the citizens
wishes to see the king is allowed to do so without any restric-
tion. Let him proceed, properly protected."^ Let cooks and
{superintendents of kitchens, and the whole culinary establish-
ment, and diverse kinds of edibles and viands, be ordered to
he borne out on carta and conveyances.^^ Let it be proclaimed

Farva.] acramavasika parvaI .'51

that we march out tomorrow. Indeed, let no delay occur (in
carrying out the arrangements). Let pavilions and resting
houses of diverse kinds be erected on the way !'^* Even these
were the commands which the eldest son of Pandu gave, with
his brothers. When morning came, O monarch, the king set
out, with a large train of women and old men.'^^ Going ou*
of his city, king Yudhishthira waited five days for such citi-
zens as might accompany him, and then proceeded towards
the forest."^*

Section XXIII.

Vaigampayana said, — "That foremost one of Bharata's race,
then ordered his troops, which were protected by heroes that
were headed by Arjuna and that resembled the very guardians
of the universe, to march out.^ Instantly, a loud clamour arose
consisting of the words — Equip, Equip ! — of horse-men, O
Bharata, engaged in equiping and arraying their steeds.*
Some proceeded on carriages and vehicles, some on horses of
great speed, and some on cars made of gold and endued with
the splendour of blazing fires.* Some proceeded on mighty
elephants, and some on camels, O king. Some proceeded on
foot, that belonged to that class of combatants which is armed
with tiger-like claws.** The citizens and inhabitants of the
provinces, desirous of seeing Dhritarashtra, followed the king
on diverse kinds of conveyances.^ The preceptor Kripa also,
of Gotama's race, that great leader of forces, taking all the
forces with him, proceeded, at the command of the king, to-
wards the old monarch's retreat.® The Kuru king Yudhish-
thira, that perpetuater of Kuru's race, surrounded by a large
number of Brahraanas, his praises sung by a large band of
Sutas and Magadhas and bards, and with a white umbrella
held over his head, and encompassed around by a large number
of cars, set out on his journey .^"^ Vrikodara, the son of the
Wind-god, proceeded on an elephant as gigantic as a hill, equipt

* 'Nakharaprasa-yodhinah,' Nilakantha explains, are those combat-
ants who are armed with tiger-like claws made of iron and tied to their
waists. — T,

52 MAHABHARATA. [Aframavdsa

with strung bow and machines and weapons of attack ai)d
defence.® The twin sons of Madri proceeded on two fleet
steeds, well cased in mail, well protected, and equipt with
banners.^^ Arjuna of mighty energy, with senses under con-
trol, proceeded on an excellent car endued with solar effulgence
and unto which were equipt excellent steeds of white hue.'^*
The ladies of the royal household, headed by Draupadi, pro-
ceeded in closed litters protected by the superintendents of
women. They scattered copious showers of wealth as they
proceede.^.^' Teeming with cars and elephants and steeds, and
echoing with the blare of trumpets and the music of Vinris,
the Pandava host, monarch, blazed with great beauty.**
Those chiefs of Kuru's race proceeded slowly, resting by de-
lightful banks of rivers and lakes, O monarch." Yuyutsu of
mighty energy, and Dhaumya, the priest, at the command of
Yudhishthira, were engaged in protecting the city." By slow
inarches, king Yudhishthira reached Kurukghetra, and then,
crossing the Yamuna, that highly sacred river," he beheld
from a distance the retreat, O thou of Kuru's race, of the
royal sage of great wisdom and of Dhritarashtra.*^ Then all
the men became filled with joy and quickly entered the forest,
filling it with loud sounds of glee, chief of Bharata's race i""

Section XXIV.

Vai^ampayana said, — "The Pandavas alighted, at a dis-
tance, from their cars and proceeded on foot to the retreat of
the king, bending themselves in humility.* All the combat-
ants also, and all the denizens of the kingdom, and the spouses
of the Kuru chiefs, followed them on foot.'' The Pandavas
then reached the sacred retreat of Dhritarashtra which abound-
ed with herds of deer and which was adorned with plantain
plants.' Many ascetics of rigid vows, filled with curiosity,
came there for beholding the Pandavas who had arrived at
the retreat.* The king, with tears in his eyes, asked them,
saying, — 'Where has my eldest sire, the perpetuater of Kuru's
race, gone ?'^ They answered, O monarch, telling hira that
he had gone to the Yamuna for his ablutions, as also for fetch-

Farva.] acramavasika parva. 53

ing flowers and waters.® Proceeding quickly on foot along the
path pointed out by them, the Pandavas beheld all of them
from a distance/ Desirous of meeting with their sire they
walked with a rapid pace. Then Sahadeva ran with speed
towards the spot where Pritha was.^ Touching the feet of his
mother, he began to weep aloud. "With tears gushing down
her cheeks, she saw her darling child.^ Raising her son up
and embracing him with her arms, she informed Gandhari of
Sahadeva's arrival.^" Then seeing the king and Bhimasena
and Arjuna, and Nakula, Pritha endeavoured to advance
quickly towards them.^* She was walking in advance of
the childless old couple, and was dragging them forward.
The Pandavas, beholding her, fell down on the earth." The
puissant and high-souled monarch, endued with great in-
telligence, recognising them by their voices and also by touch,
comforted them one after another.^^ Shedding tears, those
high-souled princes, with due formalities, approached the old
king and Gandhari, as also their own mother.** Indeed, re-
gaining their senses, and once more comforted by their mother,
the Pandavas took away from the king and their aunt and
mother the jars full of water which they had been carrying, for
bearing them themselves.*® The ladies of those lions among
men, and all the women of the royal household, as also all the
inhabitants of the city and the provinces, then beheld the old
king." King Yudhishthira presented all those individuals one
after another to the old king, repeating their names and races,
and then himself worshipped his eldest sire with reverence.*'
Surrounded by them all, the old monarch, with eyes bathed
in tears of joy, regarded himself as once more staying in the
midst of the city called after the elephant " Saluted with
reverence by all his daughters-in-law headed by Krishna, king
Dhritarashtra, endued with great intelligence, with Gandhari
and Kunti, became filled with joy.*" He then reached his
forest- retreat that was applauded by Siddhas and Charanas,
and that then teemed with vast crowds of men all desirous of
beholding him, like the firmament teeming with innumerable


Section XXV.

Vaigampayana said, — "The king, chief of Bharata's race,,
with those foremost of men, viz., his brothers, who were all
possessed of eyes that resembled lotus-petals, took his seat in
the retreat of his eldest sire.* There sat around him many
bighly-blessed ascetics, hailing from diverse regions, from desire
of beholding the sons of that lord of Kuru's race, viz., the
Panda vas of wide chests.^ They said, — 'We wish to know
who amongst these is Yudhishthira, who are Bhima and
Arjuna, who the twins, and who is Draupadi of great fame.'^
Then the Suta, Sanjaya, in answer to their queries, pointed
out to them the Pandavas, naming each, and Draupadi too as-
also the other ladies of the Kuru household.*

"Sanjaya said, — 'This one that is as fair of complexion as.
•pure gold, that is endued with a body which looks like that of
a full-grown lion, that is possessed of a large aquiline nose, and
wide and expansive eyes that are, again, of a coppery hue, is
the Kuru king.^ This one, whose tread resembles that of an
infuriate elephant, whose complexion is as fair as that of heat-
ed gold, whose frame is of large and expansive proportions,
and whose arms are long and stout, is Vrikodara. Behold him
well !^ The mighty bowman who sits besides him, of darkish,
complexion and youthful frame, who resembles the leader of
an elephantine herd, whose shoulders are as high as those of a
lion, who walks like a sporting elephant, and whose eyes are as
expansive as the petals of a lotus, is the hero called Arjuna.''
Those two foremost of men, that are sitting beside Kunti, are
the twins, resembling Vishnu and Maheudra. In this whole
world of men, they have not their equals in beauty and
strength and excellence of conduct.*^ This lady, of eyes as.
expansive as lotus petals, who seems to have touched the
middle age of life, whose complexion resembles that of the
blue lotus, and who looks like a goddess of Heaven, is Krishna,
the embodied form of the goddess of prosperity.*^ She who
sits besides her, possessed of the complexion of pure gold, who

♦ 'Suradevata' is like 'karirringhati' or 'govalivardda.'— T,

Parva.] acbamavasika parva^ 55

looks like the embodied rays of the moon, in the midst of the
other ladies, is, ye foremost of regenerate ones, the sister of
that unrivalled hero who wields the discus.^" This other, as
fair as pure gold, is the daughter of the snake-chief and wife
of Arjuna* This other whose complexion is like that of pure
gold or like that of Madhuka flowers, is the princes Chitran-
gada.^^ This one, that is possessed of the complexion of an
assemblage of blue lotuses, is the sister of that monarch, that
lord of hosts, who used to always challenge Krishna. She is
the foremost wife of Vrikodara.*^ This is the daughter of the
king of Magadha who was known by the name of Jarasandha.
Possessed of the complexion of an assemblage of Champa kas.
She is the wife of the youngest son of Madravati.^^ Possessed
of a complexion darkish as that of the blue lotus, she who sits
there on the earth, and whose eyes are as expansive as lotus-
petals, is the wife of the eldest son of Madravati." This lady
whose complexion is as fair as that of heated gold and who sits
with her child on her lap, is the daughter of king Virata.
She is the wife of that Abhimanyu who, while divested of his
car, was slain by Drona and others fighting from their cars.f^^
These ladies, the hair on whose heads shows not the parted
line, and who are clad in white, are the widows of the slain
sons of Dhritarashtra. They are the daughters-in-law of this
old king, the wives of his hundred sons, now deprived of both
their husbands and children who have been slain by heroic
foes.^® I have now pointed them out in the order of pre-
cedence. In consequence of their devotion to Brahmanas,
their understandings and hearts are divested of every kind
of crookedness. Possessed of pure souls, they have all been
pointed out by men, — these princesses of the Kaurava house-
hold, — in answer to your queries !' ""

Vai^ampayana continued, — "Thus that king of Kuru's race,
of very advanced years, having met with those sons of him
that was a deity among men, enquired about their welfare

* Ulupi is implied. — T.

t Implying the unfair character of the fight, for one on the earth
should ne.ver be assailed by one on his car.— T. >

56 MAHABHARATA. [Ac:rartmv(tsa

after all the ascetics had gone away.'^ The warriors who had
accompanied the Pandivas, leaving the retreat, sat themselves
down at a little distance, alighting from their cars and the
animals they rode. Indeed, after all the crowd, viz., the ladies,
the old men, and the children, had been seated, the old king
duly addressed them, making the usual enquires of polite-
ness. **

Section XXVI.

"Dhritarashtra said, — '0 Yudhishthira, art thou in peace
and happines.s, with all thy brothers and the inhabitants of
the city and the provinces ?^ Are they that live in dependance
on thee also happy ? Are thy ministers, and servitors, and
all thy seniors and preceptors also, happy P Are those also
that live in thy dominions free from fear? Dost thou follow
the old and traditional conduct of i-ulers of men ?^ Is thy
treasury filled without disregarding the restr^iints imposed by
justice and equity ? Dost thou behave as thou shouldst to-
wards foes, neutrals, and allies ?* Dost thou duly look after
the Brahmanas, always making them the first gifts (ordained
in sacrifices and religious rites) ? What need I say of the
citizens, and thy servants, and kinsmen, are tliy foes, O chief
of Bharata's race, gratified with thy behaviour ? Dost thou,
O king of kings, adore with devotion the Pitris and the
deities 1^'^ Dost thou worship guests with food and drink, O
Bharata? Do the Brahmanas in thy dominions, devoted to
the duties of their order, walk along the pilh of righteous-
ness ?^ Do the Kshatriyas and Vaif,'yas and Cudras also within
thy kingdom, and all thy relatives, observe their respective
duties? I hope the women, the children, and the old, among
thy subjects, do not grieve (under distress) and do not beg
(the necessaries of life).® Are the ladies of thy household duly
honoured in thy house, O best of men ? I hope, O monarch,
that this race of royal sages, having obtained thee for their
king, have not fallen away from fame and glory !' "®

Vaifjampayana continued, — "Unto the old king who said so,
Yudhishthira, conversa.nt with morality and justice, and well-


skilled in acts and speech, spoke as follows, putting some ques-
tions about his welfare."^ °

"Yudhisthira said, — 'Doth thy peace, king, thy self-
restraint, thy tranquillity of heart, grow ? Is this my mother
able to serve thee without fatigue and trouble ?^^ "Will, O
king, her residence in the woods be productive of fruit ? I
hope this queen, who is my eldest mother, who is emaciated
with (exposure to) cold and wind and the toil of walking,**
and who is now devoted to the practice of severe austerities,
no longer gives way to grief for her children of mighty energy,
all of whom, devoted to the duties of the Kshatriya order, have
been slain on the field of battle ?*^ Does she accuse us, sinful
wretches, that are responsible for their slaughter ? Where is
Vidura, king ? We do not see him here. I hope this San-
jaya, observant of penances, is in peace and happiness.' "**

"Vai9ampayana continued, — "Thus addressed, Dbritarashtra
answered king Yudhishthira, saying, — '0 son, Vidura is well.
He is performing austere penances,*" subsisting on air alone,
for he abstains from all other food. He is emaciated and his
arteries and nerves have become visible. Sometimes he is seen
in this empty forest by Brahmanas.'*^ While Dbritarashtra
was saying this, Vidura was seen at a distance. He had
matted locks on his head, and gravels in his mouth, and was
exceedingly emaciated. He was perfectly naked. His body
was besmeired all over with filth, and with the dust of various
wild tiowers.*^ When Kshattri was beheld from a distance,
the fact was reported to Yudhishthiro. Vidura suddenly stopp-
ed, king, casting his eyes towards the retreat (and seeing it
peopled by so many individuals)." King Yudhishthira pur-
sued him alone, as he ran and entered the deep forest, some-
times seen and sometimes not seen by the pursuer.*^ He said
aloud, — '0 Vidura, Vidura, I am king Yudhishthira, thy
favorite 1' — Exclaiming thus, Y^udhishthira, with great exer-
tion, followed Vidura.'^" That foremost of intelligent men,
viz., Vidura, having reached a solitary spot in the forest, stood

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