The Mahabharata Home
"Vaisampayana said, 'Thus addressed, O king, (by his sister and others), the slayer of Kesin, exceedingly afflicted by grief, answered,--'So be it!'--These words were uttered with sufficient loudness and they gladdened all the inmates of the inner apartments of the palace. The puissant Krishna, that foremost of men, by uttering these words, gladdened all the people assembled there, like one pouring cold water on a person afflicted with sweat. He then quickly entered the lying-in room in which thy sire was born. It was duly sanctified, O chief of men, with many garlands of white flowers, with many well-filled water pots arranged on every side; with charcoal, soaked in ghee, of Tinduka wood, and mustard seeds, O thou of mighty arms; with shining weapons properly arrayed, and several fires on every side. And it was peopled by many agreeable and aged dames summoned for waiting (upon thy grandmother). It was also surrounded by many well-skilled and clever physicians, O thou of great intelligence. Endued with great energy, he also saw there all articles that are destructive of Rakshasas, duly placed by persons conversant with the subject. Beholding the lying-in room in which thy sire was born thus equipt, Hrishikesa became very glad and said,--'Excellent, Excellent!' When he of Vrishni's race said so and presented such a cheerful countenance, Draupadi, repairing thither with great speed, addressed the daughter of Virata, saying,--'O blessed lady, here comes to thee thy father-in-law, the slayer of Madhu, that ancient Rishi of inconceivable soul, that unvanquished one.'--Virata's daughter, checking her tears, said these words in a voice suffocated with grief. Covering herself properly, the princess waited for Krishna like the deities reverentially waiting for him. The helpless lady, with heart agitated by grief, beholding Govinda coming, indulged in these lamentations; O lotus-eyed one, behold us two deprived of our child. O Janarddana, both Abhimanyu and myself have been equally slain. O thou of Vrishni's race, O slayer of Madhu, I seek to gratify thee by bending my head, O hero, unto thee. Do thou revive this child of mine that has been consumed by the weapon of Drona's son. If king Yudhishthira the just, or Bhimasena, or thyself, O lotus-eyed one, had, on that occasion, said, 'Let the blade of grass (inspired by Aswatthaman into a Brahma-weapon) destroy the unconscious mother'--O puissant one, then I would have been destroyed and this (sad occurrence)
would not have happened. Alas, what benefit has been reaped by Drona's son by accomplishing this cruel deed, viz., the destruction of the child in the womb by his Brahma-weapon. The self-same mother now seeks to gratify thee, O slayer of foes, by bending her head. Surely, O Govinda, I shall cast off my life-breaths if this child does not revive. In him, O righteous one, were placed many expectations by me. Alas, when these have been frustrated by Drona's son, what need have I, O Kesava, to bear, the burden of life? The hope, O Krishna, was cherished by me that with my child on my lap, O Janarddana, I would salute thee with reverence. Alas, O Kesava, that hope has been destroyed. O foremost of all beings, at the death of this heir of Abhimanyu of restless eyes, all the hopes in my breast have been destroyed. Abhimanyu of restless eyes, O slayer of Madhu, was exceedingly dear to thee. Behold this child of his slain by the Brahma-weapon. This child is very ungrateful and very heartless, like his sire, for, behold, disregarding the prosperity and affluence of the Pandavas, he has gone to Yama's abode. I had, before this, vowed, O Kesava, that if Abhimanyu fell on the field of battle, O hero, I would follow him without any loss of time. I did not, however, keep my vow, cruel that I am and fond of life. If I repair to him now, what, indeed, will Phalguna's son say?'"
Next: Section LXIX