The Mahabharata Home
Vaishampayana said, "Hearing these words of Vidura, that bull of Bharatas race (Dhritarashtra) ordered his car to be yoked. The king once more said, Bring Gandhari hither without delay, and all the Bharata ladies. Bring hither Kunti also, as well as all the other ladies with her. Having said these words unto Vidura, conversant with every duty, Dhritarashtra of righteous soul, deprived of his senses by sorrow, ascended on his car. Then Gandhari, afflicted with grief on account of the death of her sons, accompanied by Kunti and the other ladies of the royal household, came at the command of her lord to that spot where the latter was waiting for her. Afflicted with grief, they came together to the king. As they met, they accosted each other and uttered loud wails of woe. Then Vidura, who had become more afflicted than those ladies, began to comfort them. Placing those weeping fair ones on the cars that stood ready for them, he set out (with them) from the city. At that time a loud wail of woe arose from every Kuru house. The whole city, including the very children, became exceedingly afflicted with grief. Thoseladies that had not before this been seen by the very gods were now helpless, as they were, for the loss of their lords, seen by the common people. With their beautiful tresses all dishevelled and their ornaments cast off, those ladies, each attired in a single piece of raiment, proceeded most woefully. Indeed, they issued from their houses resembling white mountains, like a dappled herd of deer from their mountain caves after the fall of their leader. These fair ladies, in successive bevies, O king, came out, filled with sorrow, and ran hither and thither like a herd of fillies on a circus yard. Seizing each other by the hand, they uttered loud wails after their sons and brothers and sires. They seemed to exhibit the scene that takes place on the occasion of the universal destruction at the end of the Yuga. Weeping and crying and running hither and thither, and deprived of their senses by grief, they knew not what to do. Those ladies who formerly felt the blush of modesty in the presence of even companions of their own sex, now felt no blush of shame, though scantily clad, in appearing before their mothers-in-law. Formerly they used to comfort each other while afflicted with even slight causes of woe. Stupefied by grief, they now, O king, refrained from even casting their eyes upon each other. Surrounded by those thousands of wailing ladies, the king cheerlessly issued out of the city and proceeded with speed towards the field of battle. Artisans and traders and Vaishyas and all kinds of mechanics, issuing out of the city, followed in the wake of the king. As those ladies, afflicted by the wholesale destruction that had overtaken the Kurus, cried in sorrow, a loud wail arose from among them that seemed to pierce all the worlds. All creatures that heard that wail thought that the hour of universal destruction had come when all things would be consumed by the fire that arises at the end of the Yuga. The citizens also (of Hastinapura), devoted to the house of Kuru, with hearts filled with anxiety at the destruction that had overtaken their rules, set up, O king, a wail that was as loud as that uttered by those ladies."
Next: Section 11