The Mahabharata Home
"Vaisampayana said,--'The royal son of Amvika, viz., Dhritarashtra, having settled the hour of his departure for the woods, summoned those heroes, the Pandavas. Possessed of great intelligence, the old monarch, with Gandhari, duly accosted those princes. Having caused the minor rites to be performed, by Brahmanas conversant with the Vedas, on that day which was the day of full moon in the month of Kartika, he caused the fire which he worshipped daily to be taken up. Leaving his usual robes he wore deer-skins and barks, and accompanied by his daughters-in-law, he set out of his mansion. When the royal son of Vichitraviryya thus set out, a loud wail was uttered by the Pandava and the Kaurava ladies as also by other women belonging to the Kaurava race. The king worshipped the mansion in which he had lived with fried paddy and excellent flowers of diverse kinds. He also honoured all his servants with gifts of wealth, and then leaving that abode set out on his journey. Then O son, king Yudhishthira, trembling all over, with utterance choked with tears, said these words in a loud voice, viz.,--'O righteous monarch, where dost thou go?--and fell down in a swoon. Arjuna, burning with great grief, sighed repeatedly. That foremost of Bharata princes, telling Yudhishthira that he should not behave in that manner, stood cheerlessly and with heart plunged into distress. Vrikodara, the heroic Phalguna, the two sons of Madri, Vidura, Sanjaya, Dhritarashtra's son by his Vaisya wife, and Kripa, and Dhaumya, and other Brahmanas, all followed the old monarch, with voices choked in grief. Kunti walked ahead, bearing on her shoulders the hand of Gandhari who walked with her bandaged eyes. King Dhritarashtra walked confidently behind Gandhari, placing his hand on her shoulder. 1 Drupada's daughter Krishna, she of the Sattwata race, Uttara the daughter-in-law of the Kauravas, who had recently become a mother, Chitrangada, and other ladies of the royal house-hold, all proceeded with the old monarch. The wail they uttered on that occasion, O king, from grief, resembled the loud lamentations
of a swarm of she-ospreys. Then the wives of the citizens,--Brahmanas and Kshatriyas and Vaisyas and Sudras,--also came out into the streets from every side. At Dhritarashtra's departure, O king, all the citizens of Hastinapore became as distressed as they had been, O monarch, when they had witnessed the departure of the Pandavas in former days after their defeat at the match at dice. Ladies that had never seen the sun or the moon, came out into the streets on the occasion, in great grief, when king Dhritarashtra proceeded towards the great forest."'
25:1 As Dhritarashtra was blind, his queen Gandhari, whose devotion to her lord was very great, had, from the days of her marriage, kept her eyes bandaged refusing to look on the world which her lord could not see.
Next: Section XVI