The Mahabharata Home
Vaishampayana said, "Upon the fall of Karna, O monarch, the son of Gavalgana, with a cheerless heart, set out that night for Nagapura, on steeds that rivalled the wind in speed. Arrived at Hastinapura, with a heart filled with deep anxiety, he proceeded to Dhritarashtra's abode which no longer teemed with kinsmen and friends. Beholding the king deprived of all energy by grief, joining his hands he worshipped, with a bend of his head, the monarch's feet. Having duly worshipped king Dhritarashtra, he uttered an exclamation of woe and then began, 'I am Sanjaya, O lord of Earth! Art thou not happy? I hope thou art not stupefied, having through thy own faults fallen into such distress? Counsels for thy good had been uttered by Vidura and Ganga's son and Keshava. I hope thou feelest no pain now, remembering thy rejection of those counsels? Counsels for thy good had also been uttered in the assembly by Rama and Narada and Kanwa and others. I hope thou feelest no pain now, remembering their rejection by thee? I hope thou feelest no pain, remembering the slaughter in battle, by the foe, of Bhishma and Drona and others, those friends that were ever engaged in thy good?' Unto the Suta's son who with joined hands was telling him so, the monarch afflicted with grief and drawing a long and hot breath, said these words.
"Dhritarashtra said, 'Hearing, O Sanjaya, of the fall of the heroic son of Ganga, that warrior of all celestial weapons, as also of the fall of that foremost of all bowmen, Drona, my heart feeleth great pain! That hero endued with great energy and born of the Vasus themselves, who slew every day 10,000 car-warriors clad in mail, that high-souled one unto whom Bhrigu's son had given the highest weapons, that warrior who in his childhood had been trained in the science of the bow by Rama, alas, even he hath been slain by Yajnasena's son Shikhandi protected by the Pandavas! At this my heart is greatly pained! That hero through whose grace those mighty car-warriors, the royal sons of Kunti, as also many other lords of Earth, have become maharathas, alas, hearing of the slaughter of that great bowman of sure aim, Drona, by Dhrishtadyumna, my heart is exceedingly pained! Those two had not in the world a person equal to them in (knowledge and use of) the four kinds of weapons! Alas, hearing of the slaughter of these two, Bhishma and Drona, in battle my heart is exceedingly pained! That warrior who had not in the three worlds a person equal to him in knowledge of weapons, alas, hearing of the slaughter of that hero, Drona, what did the people of my side do? After the high-souled son of Pandu, Dhananjaya, exerting himself with prowess, had despatched unto Yama's abode the strong force of the samsaptakas, after the Narayana weapon of the intelligent son of Drona had been baffled, and after the (Kaurava) divisions had begun to fly away, what, indeed, did the people of my side do? I think that, after Drona's death my troops, flying away and sinking in an ocean of grief, resembled shipwrecked mariners struggling on the bosom of the vast deep. What also, O Sanjaya, became the colour of the faces of Duryodhana, and Karna, and Kritavarma the chief of the Bhojas and Shalya, the ruler of the Madras, and of my remaining sons, and of the others, when the Kuru divisions fled away from the field? Tell me all this as it truly happened in battle, O son of Gavalgana, and describe to me the prowess put forth by the Pandavas and the warriors of my side!"
"Sanjaya said, 'O sire, hearing all that has happened unto the Kauravas through thy fault, thou shouldst not feel any anguish! He that is wise never feeleth any pain at what Destiny bringeth! And since Destiny is unconquerable, human purposes may or may not become attainable. Hence, he that is wise never feeleth pain on the acquisition or the reverse of the objects cherished by him.
"Dhritarashtra said, 'I do not feel great pain, O Sanjaya! I regard all this to be the result of Destiny! Tell me all that thou wishest!'"
Next: Section 3