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still, leaning against a tree.-* He was exceedingly emaciated.
He retained only the shape of a human being, (all his charac-
teristic features having totally disappeared). Yudhishthira Qf

[ 8 ]


great intelligende recof^nised him, however, (in spite of suck
change).*^ Standing before him, Yudhishthira addressed him,
saying, — 'I am Yudhishthira !' Indeed, worshipping Vidura
properly, Yudhishthira said these words in the hearing of
Vidura. '^^ MeanAvhile Vidura eyed the king with a steadfast
gaze. Casting his gaze thus on the king, he stood motionless
in Yoo^a.^* Possessed of great intelligence, he then (by his
Yoga-power) entered the body of Yudhishthira, limb by limb.
He united his life-breaths with the king's life-breaths, and
his senses with the king's senses."^ Verily, Avith the aid of
Yoga-power, Vidura, blazing with energy, thus entered the
body of king Yudhishthira the just.'^ Meanwhile, the body
of Vidura continued to lean against the tree, with eyes fixed in
a steadfast gaze. The king soon saw that life had fled out of
it.^^ At the same time, he felt that he himself had become
stronger than before and that he had acquired many additional
virtues and accomplishments. Possessed of great learning and
energy, monarch, Pandu's son, king Yudhishthira the just,
then recollected^® his own state before his birth among men.*
Endued with mighty energy, he had beard of Yoga practice
from Vyasa."* King Yudhishthira the just, possessed of great
learning, became desirous of doing the last rites to the body of
Vidura, and wished to cremate it duly. An invisible voice was
then heard, saying,^" — 'O king, this body that belonged to
him called Vidura should not be cremated ! In him is thy
body also. He is the eternal deity of Righteousness !^^ Those
regions of felicity which are known by the name of Santaniha
will be his, Bharata ! He was an observer of the duties of
Yatis. Thou shouldst not, scorcher of foes, grieve for him
at all !'^^ Thus addressed, king Yudhishthira the just return-
ed from that spot, and represented everything unto the royal
son of Vichitraviryya.^^ At this, that king of great splen-
dour, all those men, and Bhimasena and others, became filled

♦ Yvidhislithira was Dharma's self Vidura also was Dharma born
as a Cudra through the ©f the Rishi Aniiniindavya. Both, tliere-
fore, were of the same essence. Whon Vidvna left his humavi body, he
entered the body of Yudhishthira aud thus the latter felt himself
etreagtheued greatly by the accession. — T.


with wander.^* Hearing what had happened, king Dhrita-
fashtra became pleased and then, addressing the son of
Dharma, said, — 'Do thou accept from me these gifts of water
and roots and fruits ! It has been said, O king, that one's
guest should take that which one takes oneself !'^^ Thus ad-
dressed, Dharma's son answered the king, saying, — 'So be it !'
The mighty-armed king ate the fruits and roots which the
monarch gave him.^^ Then they all spread their beds under
a tree and passed that night thus, having eaten fruits and
loots and drunk the water that the old king had given them."'^

Section XXVII.

Vai^ampayana said, — "They passed that night which was
eharacterised by auspicious constellations even thus, O king,
in that retreat of righteous ascetics.^ The conversation that
occurred was characterised by many reflections on morality
and wealth. Consisting of delightful and sweet words, its
was graced with diverse citations from the Crutis.^ The Pan-
davas, king, leaving costly beds, laid themselves down, near
their mother, on the bare ground.* Indeed, those heroes passed
that night, having eaten the food which was the food of the
high-souled king Dhritarashtra.'* After the night had passed
away, king Yudhishthira, having gone through his morning
acts, proceeded to survey that retreat in the company of hia
brothers.^ With the ladies of his household, the servants,
and his priest, the king roved about the retreat in all direc-
tions, as he pleased, at the command of Dhritarashtra,^ He
beheld many sacrificial altars with sacred fires blazing on them
and with many ascetics seated on them, that had performed
their oblations and poured libations in honour of the deities.'
Those altars were overspread with fruits and roots of the forest,
and with heaps of flowers. The smoke of clarified butter
curled upwards from them. They were graced, besides, with
many ascetics possessed of bodies that looked like the em-
bodied Vedas and with many that belonged to the lay brother-
hood.^ Herds of deer were grazing or resting here and tfiere,
freed from every fear. Innumerable birds also were ther®,

60 MAHABHARATA. [Acramav^sd

engaged in uttering their melodious notes, king '* The whole
forest seemed to resound with the notes of peacocks and Da-
tyuhas and Kokilas and the sweet songs of other warblers.*^*
Some spots echoed with the chaunt of Vedic hymns recited by
learned Brahmanas. Some w-ere adorned with large heaps
of fruits and roots gathered from the wilderness,' ^ King
Yudhishtliira then gave those ascetics jars made of gold or
copper which he had brought for them,^^ and many deer-skins
and blankets and sacrificial ladles made of wood, and Ka-
mandalus and wooden platters, and pots and pans, Bha-
rata.i*^* Diverse kinds of vessels, made of iron, and smaller
vessels and cups of various sizes, were also given away by the
king, the ascetics taking them away, each as many as he liked.^*
King Yudhishthira of righteous soul, having thus roved
through the woods and beheld the diverse retreats of ascetics
and made many gifts, returned to the place where his uncle
was.^^ He saw king Dbritarashtra, that lord of Earth, seated
at his ease, with Gandhari beside him, after having finished
his morning rites.*® The, righteous-souled monarch saw also
his mother, Kunti, seated not much remote from that place,
like a disciple with bent head, endued with humility.*^ He
saluted the old king, proclaiming his name. 'Sit down' were
the words the old king said. Receiving Dhritarashtra's per-
mission, Yudhishthira sat himself down on a mat of KuQa
grass.^* Then the other sons of Pandu with Bhima among
them, thou of Bharata's race, saluted the king and touched
his feet and sat themselves down, receiving his permission.^*
The old Kuru king, surrounded by them, looked exceedingly
beautiful. Indeed, he blazed with a Vedic splendour like

* 'Nilakantha' here implies the peacock and not the blue jay, for the

word 'ktika' is applied to the notes of the peacock alone. 'Datyulias' are

gallinules or a species of Chfitakas wliose cry resembles ^Patik jal —

phatikjal — phatikjal,' repeated very distinctly, the second syllable being

lengthened greatly. — T.

t 'Aiulumvaran' is an adjective of 'kala^an.' It means 'made of
copper.' 'Praveni' is a 'kutha' or blanket. 'Sruk' is a ladle havin<i the
cup like cavity at one extremity only. 'Sruv' is a ladle having cup-like
cavitrc^ at bvlii txtrcmitic^i.— T.

Parva.] acramavasika parva. 61

Vrihaspati in the midst of the celestials.-" After they had
sat themselves down, many great Rishis, viz., Catayupa and
others, who were denizens of Kurukshetra, came there. ^^ The
illustrious and learned Vyasa, possessed of great energy and
reverenced by even the celestial Rishis, showed himself, at the
head of his numerous disciples, unto Yudhishthira.^*^ The
Kuru king Dhritarashtra, Kunti's son Yudhishthira of great
energy, and Bhimasena and others, stood up and advancing a
few steps, saluted those guests.-* Approaching near, Vyasa,
surrounded by Catayupa and others, addressed king Dhrita-
rashtra, saying, — 'Be ihou seated.'^* The illustrious Vyasa
then took an excellent seat made of Kucja grass placed upon a
black deer skin and covered with a piece of silken cloth. They
had reserved that seat for him.^^ After Vyasa had been seated,
all those foremost of regenerate persons, endued with abund-
ant energy, sat themselves down, having received the permis-
sion of the Island-boru sa^e."-*

Section XXVII L

Vai^ampayajia said, — "After the high-souled Pandavas had
all been seated, Satyavati's son Vyasa said,^ — Dhritarashtra
of mighty arms, hast thou been able to achieve penances? Is
thy mind, O king, pleased with thy residence in the woods 1^
Has the grief that was thine born of the slaughter of thy sons
in battle, disappeared from thy heart ? Are all thy perceptions,
sinless one, now clear (^ Dost thou practise the ordinances
of forest life after having made thy heart firm ? Does my
daughter-in-law, Gandhari, allow herself to be overwhelmed
by grief ?* She is possessed of great wisdom. Endued with
intelligence, that queen understands both Religion and Wealth.
She is well conversant with the truths that relate to both pros-
perity and adversity. Do she still grieve ?^ Does Kunti, O
king, who in consequence of her devotion to the service of her
seniors, left her children, attend to thy wants and serve thee
with all humility ?^ Have the high-minded and high-souled
king Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma; and Bhima and Arjuna
and the twins beeii safficiently comforted?^ Dost thou feel

62 BTAHABHARATA. [AgvaniavSsct

delight at seeing them ? Has thy mind become freed from
every stain ? Has thy disposition, king, become pure in
consequence of the increase of thy knowledge ?® This aggre-
gate of three, king, is the foremost of all concerns, O Bha-
rata, viz., abstension from injury to any creature, truth, and
freedom from anger.^ Does thy forest life any longer prove
painful to thee ? Art thou able to earn with thy own exertions
the products of the wilderness for thy food ? Do fasts give
thee any pain now ?^** Hast thou learnt, king, how the
high-souled Vidura, who was Dharma's self, left this world ?'*
Through the curse of Mandavya, the deity of Righteousness
became born as Vidura. He was possessed of great intelli-
gence. Endued with high penances, he was high-souled and
high-minded.^^ Even Vrihaspati among the celestials, and'
Cukra among the Asuras, was not possessed of such intelli-
gence as that foremost of persons.^^ The eternal deity of
Righteousness was stupefied by the Rishi Mandavya with an
expenditure of his penances earned for a long time with great
care.*^* At the command of the Grandsire, and through my
own energy, Vidura of great intelligence was procreated by
me upon a soil owned by Vichitraviryya.-'^ A deity of deities,
and eternal, he was, king, thy brother ! The learned know
him to be Dharma in consequence of his practices of Dharana
and Dhyana.-j-^^ He grows with (the growth of ) truth, self-
restraint, tranquillity of heart, compassion, and gifts. He is
always engnged in penances, and is eternal." From that
deity of Righteousness, through Yoga-puissance, the Kuru king,
Yudhishthira also took his birth. Yudhishthira, therefore,
O king, is Dharma of great wisdom and immeasurable in-

* Whenever a Brahmana cursed another, his penances underwent a
diminution. Forgivenebs was tlie highest virtue of the Brahmana. His
power lay in foi-giveness. Hence, when Mandavya cursed Dharma, he
had to spend a portion of his hard-earned penances. Previously, the
plea of minority or non-age could not be urged in the court of Dharma*
Mandavya forced Dharma to admit that plea in the matter of punish-
ment for offences. — T.

+ Both 'Dharana' and 'Dhyana' are processes or, rather, stages of
Yoga. The former implies the fixing of the mind on one thing ; the
latter is the abstratiou of the mind from surrounding objects. — !•

Parva.] acrimavasika. parta! 63

telligence.^^ Dharma exists both here and hereafter, and is
like fire or wind or water or earth or space." He is, O
king of kings, capable of going everywhere and exists, per-
vading the whole universe. He is capable of being beheld
by only those that are the foremost of the deities and those
that are cleansed of every sin and crowned with ascetic suc-
cess.^° He that is Dharma is Vidura ; and he that is Vidura
is the (eldest) son of Pandu. That son of Pandu, O king, is
capable of being perceived by thee. He stays before thee as
thy servitor.^^ Endued with great Yoga- puissance, thy high-
souled brother, that foremost of intelligent men, seeing the
high-souled Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, has entered into
his person.^^ Thee also, chief of Bharata's race.. I shall unite
with great benefit. Know, son, that I am come here for
dispelling thy doubts.^^ Some feat that has never been ac-
complished before by any of the great Rishis, — some wonderful
effect of my penances, — I shall show thee.^* What object is
that, king, whose accomplishment thou desirest from me ?
Tell me what is that Avhich thou wishest to see or ask or hear ?
O sinless one, I shall accomlilish it !' "^^

Section XXIX.
( Futradargana Parva.)

Janamejaya said, — "Tell me, learned Brahmana, what
that Avonderful feat was which the great Rishi Vvasa of hich
-energy accomplished after his promise to the old king, made
when Dhritarashtra, that lord of Earth, that foremost one of
Kuru's race, had taken up hi^ abode in the forest, with his
wife and with his daughter-in-law Kunti ; and after, indeed,
Vidura had left his own body and entered into Yudhishthira,
and at the time when all the sons of Pandu were staving in
the ascetic retreat !^"^ For how many days did the Kuru
king Yudhishthira of unfading glory stay, with his men, in
the woods ?* On what food, puissant one, did the high-
souled Pandavas support themselves, with their men, and
wives, while they lived in the woods ? sinless one, do thou
tell me this !"s

64- MAHAnnARiTi. [Pufradureana

Vaitjampayana said, — "With the permission of the Kuni
kincj, the Pandavas, monarch, with their troops and the
ladies of their household, supported themselves on diverse
kiiids of food and drink and passed about a month in great
happiness in that forest. Towards the close of that period,
sinless one, Vyasa came there.^"^ While all those princes sat
around Vyasa, engaged in conversation on diverse subjects,
other Rishis came to that spot.® They were Narada, and Par-
vata and Devala of austere penances, and Vicwavasu and
Turavuru, and Chitrasena, Bharata.® Endued with severe
penances, the Kuru king Yudhishtbira, with the permission
of Dhritarashtra, worshipjjed them according to due rites.^"
Having obtained chat worship from Yudiiishthira, all of them
sat down on sacred seats (made of Kuga grass) as also on ex-
cellent seats made of peacock feather>^." After they had all
taken their seats, the Kuru king of high intelligence took his
seat there, surrounded by the sons of Pandu.-^' Gandhari and
Kunti and Draupadi, and she of the S«attwata race, and other
ladies of the royal household also sat down.'^ The coiiversa-
tion that then arose was excellent and had reference to topics
connected with piety, and the Rishis of old, and the deities and
the Asuras.^* At the close of that conversation Vyasa of great
energy, that foremost of eloquent men, that first of all persons
conversant with the Vedas, highly gratified, addressed the
blind monarch and once more said, — 'Burning as thou art with
grief on account of thy children, I know, king of kings,
what object is cherished by thee in thy heart.' The sorrow
that always exists in the heart of Gandhari,^^"" that which
exists in the heart of Kunti, and that also which is cherished
by Drawpadi in her heart, and that burning grief, on account
of the death of her son, which Krishna's sister Subhadra also
cherishes, are all known to me. Hearing of this meeiincr Q
king, of thine with all these princes and pincesses of thy
house,"*'^" I have come here, deligliter of the Kauravas, for
dispilling thy doubts ! Let the deities and Gandlmrvus, and
ttPi these great Rishis,^" behold today the energy of
penances which I have acquired for these long years I There-
fore, king, tell me what wish of thine I shall "rant today r^*


t am puissant enough to grant thee a boon. Behold the fruit
of my penances !' Thus addressed by Vyasa of immeasurable
understanding, king Dhritarashtra'^^ reflected for a moment
and then prepared to speak. He said, — '1 am exceedingly
fortunate. Lucky am I in obtaining thy favour. My life
is crowned with success today,"^ — since this meeting has
happened between me and ye all of great piety ! Today
I shall attain to that highly happy goal which is reserved for
me,^* since, ye ascetics endued with wealth of penances, ye
who are equal to Brahma himself, I have succeeded in obtaining
this meeting with you all ! There is not the least doubt that
this sight that I have obtained of you all has cleansed me of
every sin l'^ Ye sinless ones, I have no longer any fear in
respect of my end in the next world. Full as I am of love for
my children, I always cherish their remembrance. My mind,
however, is always tortured by the recollection of the diverse
acts of wrong which my wicked son of exceedingly evil under-
standing perpetrated. Possessed of a sinful understanding,
he always persecuted the innocent Panda vas.-®"^^ Alas, the
whole Earth has been devastated by him, with her steeds,
elephants and men. Many high-souled kings, rulers of diverse
realms,^** came for siding my son and succumbed to death.
Alas, leaving their beloved sires and wives and their very life-
broaths,^^ all those heroes have become guests of the king of the
dead ! What end, regenerate one, has been attained by
those men who have been slain, for the sake of their friend,
in battle ?^° What end also has been attained by my sons and
grandsons who have fallen in the fray? My heart is always
pained at the thought of my having brought about the
slaughter of the mighty Bhishma, the son of Cantanu, and of
Drona, that foremost of Brahraanas, through my foolish and
sinful son who was an injurer of his friends.^^"^^ Desirous of
obtaining the severeignty of the Earth, he caused the Kuru
race, blazing with prosperity, to be annihilated ! Reflecting
on all this, I burn day and night with grief.^^ Deeply afflicted
with pain and grief, I am unable to obtain peace of mind.
Indeed, father, thinking of all this, I have no peace of

[ 9 ]

^Q MAHABHARATA^ [Futradftrcancc

VaiQanipayana continued, — " Hearing these lamentations,
expressed in diverse ways, of that royal sage, the grief, O
Janamejaya, of Gandhari, became fresh.^^ The grief also of
Kunti, of the daughter of Drupada, of Subhadra, and of the
other members, male and female, and the daughters in-law, of
the Kuru race, became equally green .^* Queen Gandhari,
with bandaged eyes, joining her hands, addressed her father-in-
law. Deeply afflicted with grief on account of the slaughter
of her sons, she said,^^ — '0 foremost of ascetics, sixteen years
have passed over the head of this king grieving for the death
■.of his sons and divested of peace of mind I^® Afflicted with
grief on account of the slaghter of his children, this king
Dhritarashtra, always breathes heavily, and never sleeps at
night, O great Rishi !^^ Through the power of thy penances
thou art competent to creat new worlds. What need I say
then about showing this king his children who are now in the
•other world?*** This Krishna, the daughter of Drupada, hath
lost all her kinsmen and children. For this, she who is the
dearest of my daughters-in-law grieves exceedingly.*^ The
sister of Krishna, viz., Subhadra of sweet speech, burning
with the loss of her son, grieves as deeply.*^ This lady that is
Tespected by all, that is the wife of Bhuricravas, afflicted with
grief on account of the fate that has overtaken her husband,
always indulges in heart-rending lamentations.*^ Her father-
in-law was the intelligent Valhika of Kuru's race. Alas,
Somadatta also was slain, along with his sire, in the great
battle !*** Alas, a century of sons., heroes that never retreated
from battle, belonging to this son of thine, this king of great
intelligence and great prosperity, has been slain in battle •**
The hundred wives of those sons are all grieving and repeatedly
enhancing the grief of both the king and myself great
ascetic, stricken by that great slaughter,- they have gathered
round me !*^ Alas, those high-souled heroes, those great car-
warriors, my fathers-in-law, Somadatta and others, — alas,
what end has been theirs, puissant one ?*^ Through thy

♦ Viilhika was the sire of Somadatta and the srandsire of Bhuri-
cravas. Valhika, thprefore, was the gnvud-father in-law of the lady
mentioned by Gandhuri. — T.

Parva.] acramavasika parva. 67

grace, holy one, that will happen in consequence of which
this lord of Earth, myself, and this daughter-in-law of thine,
viz., Kunti, shall all become freed from our grief !'*^ After
Gandhari had said so, Kunti, whose face had become wasted
through observance of many hard vows, began to think
of her secret-born son endued with solar effulgence.*' The
boon-giving Rishi Vyasa, capable of both beholding and hear-
ing what happened at a remote distance, saw that the royal
mother of Arjuna was afflicted with grief.^° Unto her Vyasa
said, — 'Tell me, blessed one, what is in thy mind ! Tell
me what thou wishest to say l'^^ At this, Kunti, bending her
head unto her father-in-law, and overcome with bashfulness,
said these words unto him, relating to the occurences of the

Section XXX

"Kunti said, — '0 holy one, thou art my father-in-law and,
therefore, my deity of deities ! Verily, thou art my god
of gods. Hear my words of truth !* An ascetic named
Durvasas, who is of the regenerate order and who is full of
wrath, came to my father's house for eleemosynary charity. I
succeeded in gratifying him^ by the purity of my external
behaviour and of my mind, as also by refusing to notice the
many wrongs he did. I did not give way tt) wrath although
there was much in his behaviour quite capable of exciting that
passion.' Served with care, the great ascetic became highly
pleased with me and disposed to grant me a boon. 'Thou
must accept the boon I shall give,' were his words to me.*
Fearing his curse, I answered him, saying, — 'So be it.' The
regenerate Rishi once more said unto me,^ — '0 blessed damsel,
O thou of beautiful face, thou wilt become the mother of
Dharma. Those deities whom thou wilt summon will be obe-
dient to thee !'' Having said those words, the regenerate one
vanished away from my sight. I became filled with wonder.
The mantra, however, which the Rishi gave has dwelt in my
saemory at all times.^ One day, sitting within my chambeiP

68 MAHABHARATA. . [PutraclarmTia

I beheld the sun rising. Desiring to bring the maker of dav
before me, I recollected the words of the Rishi.* Without
any consciousness of the fault I committed, I summoned the
deity from mere girlishness. The deity, however, of a thou-
sand rays, (summoned by me) came to my presence.* He
divided himself in twain. With one portion he was in the
firmament, and with the other he stood on the Earth before
me. With one he heated the worlds and with another he
came to me.^** He told me, while I was trembling at his sight,
these words : — 'Do thou ask a boon of me !' Bowing unto
him with my head, I asked him to leave me." He replied
unto me, saying, — 'I cannot bear the idea of coming to thee
fruitlessly. I shall consume thee as also that Brahmana who
gave thee the Mantra as a boon !'^^ The Brahmana who had
done no evil I wished to protect from Surya's curse. I, there-
fore, said, — 'Let me a have a son like thee, O god !'^^ The
deity of thousand rays then penetrated me with his energy
and stupefied me completely. He then said unto me, — 'Thou
wilt have a son,' and then went back to the firmament.^* I
continued to live in the inner apartments and desirous of
saving the honour of my sire, I cast into the waters my infant
son named Kama who thus came into the world secretly .*°
Without doubt, through the grace of that god, I once more
became a virgin, O regenerate one, even as the Rishi Durvasas
had said unto me.^^ Foolish that I am, although he knew me
for his mother when he grew up, I yet made no effort to
acknowledge him. This burns me, regenerate Rishi, as
ia well-known to thee !*^ Whether it is sinful or not so,
I have told thee the truth. It behooveth thee, O holy one, to
gratify the craving I feel for beholding that son of mine !^*
O foremost of ascetics, let this king also, O sinless one, obtain
the fruition today of that wish of his which he cherishes in his
bosom and which has become known to thee !'^° Thus address-

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