The Mahabharata Home
OM! HAVING BOWED down unto Narayana, and Nara the foremost of male beings, and unto the goddess Saraswati, must the word Jaya be uttered.
"Vaisampayana said, "After the king Dhritarashtra had offered libations of water (unto the manes of Bhisma), the mighty-armed 1 Yudhishthira, with his senses bewildered, placing the former in his front, ascended the banks (of the river), his eyes suffused with tears, and dropt down on the bank of the Ganga like an elephant pierced by the hunter. Then incited by Krishna, Bhima took him up sinking. 'This must not be so,' said Krishna, the grinder of hostile hosts. The Pandavas, O king, saw Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma, troubled and lying on the ground, and also sighing again and again. And seeing the king despondent and feeble, the Pandavas, overwhelmed with grief, sat down, surrounding him. And endowed with high intelligence and having the sight of wisdom, king Dhritarashtra, exceedingly afflicted with grief for his sons, addressed the monarch, saying,--'Rise up, O thou tiger among the Kurus. Do thou now attend to thy duties. O Kunti's son, thou hast conquered this Earth according to the usage of the Kshatriyas. Do thou now, O lord of men, enjoy her with thy brothers and friends. O foremost of the righteous, I do not see why thou shouldst grieve. O lord of the Earth, having lost a hundred sons like unto riches obtained in a dream, it is Gandhari and I, who should mourn. Not having listened to the pregnant words of the high-souled Vidura, who sought our welfare, I, of perverse senses, (now) repent. The virtuous Vidura, endowed with divine insight, had told me,--'Thy race will meet with annihilation owing to the transgressions of Duryodhana. O king, if thou wish for the weal of thy line, act up to my advice. Cast off this wicked-minded monarch, Suyodhana, and let not either Karna or Sakuni by any means see him. Their gambling too do thou, without making any fuss suppress, and anoint the righteous king Yudhishthira. That one of subdued senses will righteously govern the Earth. If thou wouldst not have king Yudhishthira, son of Kunti, then, O monarch, do thou, performing a sacrifice, thyself take charge of the kingdom, and regarding all creatures with an even eye, O lord of men, do thou let thy kinsmen. O thou advancer of thy kindred, subsist
on thy bounty.' When, O Kunti's son, the far-sighted Vidura said this, fool that I was I followed the wicked Duryodhana. Having turned a deaf ear to the sweet speech of that sedate one, I have obtained this mighty sorrow as a consequence, and have been plunged in an ocean of woe. Behold thy old father and mother, O king, plunged in misery. But, O master of men, I find no occasion for thy grief.'"
1:1 Mahavahu occurs twice in this passage. One of the epithets is left out on the score of redundancy.
Next: Section II