The Mahabharata Home
"Bhishma said, 'After the fowler had left that spot, the she-pigeon, remembering her husband and afflicted with grief on his account, wept copiously and indulged in these lamentations, 'I cannot, O dear lord, recollect a single instance of thy having done me an injury! Widows, even if mothers of many children, are still miserable! Bereft of her husband, a woman becomes helpless and an object of pity with her friends. I was always cherished by thee, and in consequence of the great respect thou hadst for me I was always honoured by thee with sweet, agreeable, charming, and delightful words. I sported with thee in valleys, in springs of rivers, and on delightful tops of trees. I was also made happy by thee while roving with thee through the skies. I used to sport with thee before, O dear lord, but where are those joys now? Limited are the gifts of the father, of the brother, and of the son to a woman. The gifts that her husband alone makes to her are unlimited. What woman is there that would not, therefore, adore her lord? A woman has no protector like her lord, and no happiness like her lord. Abandoning all her wealth and possessions, a woman should take to her lord as her only refuge. Life here is of no use to me, O lord, now that I am separated from thee. What chaste woman is there that would, when deprived of her lord, venture to bear the burden of life?' Filled with sorrow and indulging in such piteous lamentations, the she-pigeon, devoted to her lord, cast herself on the blazing fire. She then beheld her (deceased) husband adorned with bracelets, seated on a (celestial) car, and adored by many high-souled and meritorious beings standing around him. Indeed, there he was in the firmament, decked with fine garlands and attired in excellent robes, and adorned with every ornament. Around him were innumerable celestial cars ridden by beings who had acted meritoriously while in this world. Seated on his own celestial car, the bird ascended to heaven, and obtaining proper honours for his deeds in this world, continued to sport in joy, accompanied by his wife.'"
Next: Section CXLIX