The Mahabharata Home
"Vidura said, 'O monarch, O best of men, thou art respected by three worlds. Thou, O Bharata, art loved and regarded by every body. Venerable in year as thou art, what thou wilt say at this age cap never be against the dictates of the scriptures or the conclusions of well-directed reason, for thy mind is ever calm. Thy subjects, O king, are well-assured that, like characters on stone, light in the sun, and billows in the ocean, virtue resideth in thee permanently. O monarch, every one is honoured and made happy in consequence of thy numerous virtues. Strive, therefore, with thy friends and kinsmen to retain those virtues of thine. Oh, adopt sincerity of behaviour. Do not from folly, cause a wholesale destruction of thy sons, grandsons, friends, kinsmen, and all that are dear to thee. It is much, O king, that thou wishes to give unto Kesava as thy guest. Know, however, that Kesava deserves all this and much more, aye, the whole earth itself. I truly swear by my own soul that thou dost not wish to give all this unto Krishna either from
motives of virtue or for the object of doing what is agreeable to him. O giver of great wealth, all this betrays only deception, falsehood, and insincerity. By the external acts, O king, I know thy secret purpose. The five Pandavas, O king, desire only five villages. Thou, however, dost not wish to give them even that. Thou art, therefore, unwilling to make peace. Thou seekest to make the mighty-armed hero of Vrishni's race thy own by means of thy wealth; in foot, by this means, thou seekest to separate Kesava from the Pandavas. I tell thee, however, that thou art unable, by wealth, or attention, or worship, to separate Krishna from Dhananjaya. I know magnanimity of Krishna; I know firm devotion of Arjuna towards him, I know that Dhananjaya, who is Kesava's life, is incapable of being given up by the latter. Save only a vessel of water, save only the washing of his feet, save only the (usual) enquiries after the welfare (of those he will see), Janardana will not accept any other hospitality or set his eyes on any other thing. Offer him, however, O king, that hospitality which is the most agreeable to that illustrious one deserving of every respect, for there is no respect that may not be offered to Janardana. Give unto Kesava, O king, that object in expectation of which, from desire of benefiting both parties, he cometh to the Kurus. Kesava desires peace to be established between thee and Duryodhana on one side and the Pandavas on the other. Follow his counsels, O, monarch. Thou art their father, O king, and the Pandavas are thy sons. Thou art old, and they are children to thee in years, behave as father towards them, that are disposed to pay thee filial regard."
Next: Section LXXXVIII