The Mahabharata Home
"Vaisampayana said, 'Meanwhile, Vasudeva of great energy accompanied by the Vrishnis, came to the city called after the elephant. While leaving that city for returning to his own Dwaraka, he had been requested by the son of Dharma to come back. Hence, knowing that the time fixed for the horse-sacrifice had come, that foremost of men came back (to the Kuru capital). Accompanied by the son of Rukmini, by Yuyudhana, by Charudeshna, by Samva, by Gada, by Kritavarman, by the heroic Sarana, by Nisatha, and by the Unmukha, Vasudeva came with Valadeva at the head of the train, with Subhadra also accompanying him. Indeed, that hero came for seeing Draupadi and Uttara and Pirtha and for comforting those Kshatriya ladies of distinction who had been bereft of many of their protectors. Beholding those heroes come, king Dhritarashtra, as also the high-souled Vidura, received them with due
honours. That foremost of men, viz., Krishna of great energy, well adored by Vidura and Yuyutsu, continued to reside in the Kuru capital. It was while the Vrishni heroes, O Janamejaya, were residing in the Kuru city, O king, that thy sire, that slayer of hostile heroes, was born. The royal Parikshit, O monarch, afflicted by the Brahma weapon (of Aswatthaman), upon coming out of the womb, lay still and motionless, for life he had not. By his birth he had gladdened the citizens but soon plunged them into grief. The citizens, learning of the birth of the prince, uttered a leonine shout. That noise proceeded to the utmost verge of every point of the compass. Soon, however, (when it was known that the prince was bereft of life), that noise ceased. With great haste Krishna, his senses and mind considerably affected, with Yuyudhana in his company, entered the inner apartments of the palace. He beheld his own paternal aunt (Kunti) coming, loudly weeping and calling upon him repeatedly. Behind her were Draupadi and the famous Subhadra, and the wives of the relatives of the Pandavas, all weeping piteously. Meeting Krishna, Kunti, that daughter of the Bhoja race, said unto him, O foremost of monarchs, these words in a voice chocked with tears, 'O Vasudeva, O mighty-armed hero, Devaki by having borne thee, has come to be regarded as an excellent genetrix. Thou art our refuge, and our glory. This race (of Pandu) depends upon thee for its protector. O Yadava hero, O puissant one, this child of thy sister's son, has come out of the womb, slain by Aswatthaman. O Kesava, do thou revive him. O delighter of the Yadavas, even this was vowed by thee, O puissant one, when Aswatthaman had inspired the blade of grass into a Brahma-weapon of mighty energy. Indeed, O Kesava, thy words were even these, I shall revive that child if he comes out of the womb dead.--That child, O son, has been born dead. Behold him, O foremost of men. It behoveth thee, O Madhava, to rescue Uttara and Subhadra and Draupadi and myself, and Dharma's son (Yudhishthira), and Bhima and Phalguna, and Nakula, and the irresistible Sahadeva. In this child are bound the life-breaths of the Pandavas and myself. O thou of the Dasarha race, on him depends the obsequial cake of Pandu, as also of my father-in-law, and of Abhimanyu too, blessed be thou, that darling nephew of thine who was so very like unto thee. Do thou accomplish today what will be beneficial to all these. I urge thee earnestly, O Janarddana. Uttara, O slayer of foes, always repeats the words said unto her by Abhimanyu. Without doubt, O Krishna, those words were highly agreeable to her. O thou of the Dasarha race, Arjuna's son said unto this daughter of Virata,--Thy son, O blessed girl, will go to my maternal uncles. Taking up his residence with the Vrishnis and Andhakas, he will obtain from them the science of arms, indeed, diverse wonderful weapons and the whole of the science of politics and morality. Even these were the words, O son, that that slayer of hostile heroes, viz., the son of Subhadra, that irresistible hero, said unto Uttara. from his affection for her. O slayer of Madhu, bowing our heads unto thee, we pray thee for making those words of Abhimanyu true. In view also of the time that has come, do thou accomplish what is highly beneficial. Having said these words unto that hero of the Vrishni's race, Pritha of large eyes, raised her arms upwards and with the other ladies in her company, fell down on the
[paragraph continues] Earth. All of them, with eyes rendered muddy by tears, repeatedly exclaimed, saying, 'Alas, the son of Vasudeva's nephew has been born dead.' After Kunti had said so, Janarddana took hold of her, O Bharata, and gently raising her from the Earth, comforted her as follows.'"
Next: Section LXVII