The Mahabharata Home
Vaishampayana said, "Hearing this intelligence, O monarch, Dhritarashtra the son of Ambika, feeling the acme of grief, regarded Suyodhana to be already dead. Exceedingly agitated, the king fell down on the Earth like an elephant deprived of its senses. When that foremost of the monarchs, greatly agitated, fell down on the Earth, loud wails were uttered, O best of the Bharatas, by the ladies (of the royal household). That noise was so loud that it seemed to fill the entire Earth. Immersed in a deep ocean of woe, the Bharata ladies, with hearts exceedingly agitated and scorched by grief, wept aloud. Approaching the king, Gandhari, O bull of Bharata's race, and the other ladies of the household, all fell down on the earth, deprived of their senses. Then Sanjaya, O king, began to comfort those ladies stricken with grief, bathed in tears, and reft of consciousness. Comforted (by Sanjaya), those ladies began to tremble repeatedly like a plantain grove shaken by the wind. Vidura also, sprinkling that descendant of Kuru with water, began to comfort the puissant monarch who had knowledge only for his eye. Slowly restored to consciousness, and understanding that the ladies of the household were there, the king, O monarch, remained perfectly silent for some time like one reft of reason. Having reflected then for some time, and repeatedly drawn long breaths, the king censured his own sons and applauded the Pandavas. Censuring also his own intelligence and that of Shakuni the son of Subala, the king, having reflected for a long time, began to tremble repeatedly. Controlling his mind once more, the king, with sufficient fortitude, questioned his charioteer Sanjaya the son of Gavalgana.
"Dhritarashtra said, 'I have heard, O Sanjaya, all that thou hast said. Hath my son Duryodhana, O Suta, who is ever desirous of victory, already gone to Yama's abode, despairing of success? Tell me truly, O Sanjaya, all this even if thou wilt have to repeat it!'"
Vaishampayana continued, "Thus addressed by the king, O Janamejaya, the Suta said unto him, 'The mighty car-warrior Vaikartana, O monarch, hath been slain with his sons and brothers, and other Suta warriors, all of whom were mighty bowmen ready to lay down their lives in battle! Duhshasana also hath been slain by the renowned son of Pandu. Indeed, his blood also hath been, from wrath, drunk by Bhimasena in battle!'"
Next: Section 5