The Mahabharata Home
OM! AFTER HAVING bowed down to Narayana, and Nara, the foremost of men, and unto the goddess Saraswati also, must the word Jaya be uttered.
"Janamejaya said 'After having acquired their kingdom, how did my grandsires, the high-souled Pandavas, conduct themselves towards the high-souled king Dhritarashtra? How, indeed, did that king who had all his counsellors and sons slain, who was without a refuge, and whose affluence had disappeared, behave? How also did Gandhari of great fame conduct herself? For how many years did my high-souled grandsires rule the kingdom? It behoveth thee to tell me all this.'
"Vaisampayana said, 'Having got back their kingdom, the high-souled Pandavas, their foes all slain, ruled the Earth, placing Dhritarashtra at their head. Vidura, and Sanjaya and Yuyutsu of great intelligence, who was Dhritarashtra's son by his Vaisya wife, used to wait upon Dhritarashtra. The Pandavas used to take the opinion of that king in all matters. Indeed, for ten and five years, they did all things under the advice of the old king. Those heroes used very often to go to that monarch and sit beside him, after having worshipped his feet, agreeably to the wishes of king Yudhishthira the just. They did all things under the command of Dhritarashtra who smelt their heads in affection. The daughter of king Kuntibhoja also obeyed Gandhari in everything. Draupadi and Subhadra and the other ladies of the Pandavas behaved towards the old king and the queen as if they were their own father-in-law and mother-in-law. Costly beds and robes and ornaments, and food and drink and other enjoyable articles, in profusion and of such superior kinds as were worthy of royal use, were presented by king Yudhishthira unto Dhritarashtra. Similarly Kunti behaved towards Gandhari as towards a senior. Vidura, and Sanjaya, and Yuyutsu, O thou of Karu's race, used to always wait upon the old king whose sons had all been slain. The dear brother-in-law of Drona, viz., the very Superior Brahmana, Kripa, that mighty bowman, also attended upon the king. The holy Vyasa also used to often meet with the old monarch and recite to him the histories of old Rishis and celestial ascetics and Pitris and Rakshasas. Vidura, under the orders of Dhritarashtra, superintended the discharge of all acts of religious merit and all that related to the administration of the law. Through the excellent policy of Vidura, by the expenditure of even a small wealth, the Pandavas obtained numerous agreeable services from their
feudatories and followers. King Dhritarashtra liberated prisoners and pardoned those that were condemned to death. King Yudhishthira the just never said anything to this. On those occasions when the son of Amvika went on pleasure excursions, the Kuru king Yudhishthira of great energy used to give him every article of enjoyment. Aralikas, and juice-makers, and makers of Ragakhandavas waited on king Dhritarashtra as before. 1 Pandu's son, collected costly robes and garlands of diverse kinds and duly offered them to Dhritarashtra. Maireya wines, fish of various kinds, and sherbets and honey, and many delightful kinds of food prepared by modifications (of diverse articles), were caused to be made for the old king as in his days of prosperity. Those kings of Earth who came there one after another, all used to wait upon the old Kuru monarch as before. Kunti, and Draupadi, and she of the Sattwata race, possessed of great fame, and Ulupi, the daughter of the snake chief, and queen Chitrangada, and the sister of Dhrishtaketu, and the daughter of Jarasandha,--these and many other ladies, O chief of men, used to wait upon the daughter of Suvala like maids of all work. That Dhritarashtra, who was deprived of all his children, might not feel unhappy in any matter, was what Yudhishthira often said unto his brothers to see. They also, on their part, listening to these commands of grave import from king Yudhishthira, showed particular obedience to the old king. There was one exception, however. It embraced Bhimasena. All that had followed from that match at dice which had been brought about by the wicked understanding of Dhritarashtra, did not disappear from the heart of that hero. (He remembered those incidents still)."'
2:1 The derivation of Aralikas is explained by Nilakantha thus; Potherbs cut off with a kind of weapon called Ara are called Aralu. They who were expert in cooking those potherbs were called Aralikas. Ragakhandava was manufactured from piper longum, dry ginger, sugar, and the juice of Phaseolus Mango.
Next: Section II