The Mahabharata Home
"Vaisampayana said. 'Then those foremost of men divested of wrath and jealousy, and cleansed of every sin, met with one another, agreeably to those high and auspicious ordinances that have been laid down by regenerate Rishis. All of them were happy of hearts and looked like gods moving in Heaven. Son met with sire or mother, wives with husbands, brother with brother, and friend with friend, O king. The Pandavas, full of joy, met with the mighty bowman Karna as also with the son of Subhadra, and the children of Draupadi. With happy hearts the sons of Pandu approached Karna, O monarch, and became reconciled with him. All those warriors, O chief of Bharata's race, meeting with one another through the grace of the great ascetic, became reconciled with one another. Casting off all unfriendliness, they became established on amity and peace. It was even thus that all those foremost of men, viz., the Kauravas and other kings became united with the Kurus rid other kinsmen of theirs as also with their children. The whole of that night they passed in great happiness. Indeed, the Kshatriya warriors, in
consequence of the happiness they felt, regarded that place as Heaven itself. There was no grief, no fear, no suspicion, no discontent, no reproach in that region, as those warriors, O monarch, met with one another on that night. Meeting with their sires and brothers and husbands and sons, the ladies cast off all grief and felt great raptures of delight. Having sported with one another thus for one night, those heroes and those ladies, embracing one another and taking one another's leave returned to the places they had come from. Indeed, that foremost of ascetics dismissed that concourse of warriors. Within the twinkling of an eye that large crowd disappeared in the very sight of all those (living) persons. Those high-souled persons, plunging into the sacred river Bhagirathi proceeded, with their cars and standards, to their respective abodes. Some went to the regions of the gods, some to the region of Brahman, some to the region of Varuna, and some to the region of Kuvera. Some among those kings proceeded to the region of Surya. Amongst the Rakshasas and Pisachas some proceeded to the country of Uttara-Kurus. Others, moving in delightful attitudes, went in the company of the deities. Even thus did all those high-souled persons disappear with their vehicles and animals and with all their followers. After all of them had gone away, the great sage, who was standing in the waters of the sacred stream viz., Vyasa of great righteousness and energy, that benefactor of the Kurus, then addressed those Kshatriya ladies who had become widows, and said these words, 'Let those amongst these foremost of women that are desirous of attaining to the regions acquired by their husbands cast away all sloth and quickly plunge into the sacred Bhagirathi.--Hearing these words of his, those foremost ladies, placing faith in them, took the permission of their father-in-law, and then plunged into the waters of the Bhagirathi. Freed from human bodies, those chaste ladies then proceeded, O king, with their husbands to the regions acquired by the latter. Even thus, those ladies of virtuous conduct, devoted to their husbands entering, the waters of the Bhagirathi, became freed from their mortal tenements and attained to the companionship of their husbands in the regions acquired by them. Endued with celestial forms, and adorned with celestial ornaments, and wearing celestial vestments and garlands, they proceeded to those regions where their husbands had found their abodes. Possessed of excellent behaviour and many virtues, their anxieties all dispelled, they were seen to ride on excellent cars, and endued with every accomplishment they found those regions of happiness which were theirs by right. Devoted to the duties of piety, Vyasa, at that time, becoming a giver of boons, granted unto all the men there assembled the fruition of the wishes they respectively cherished. People of diverse realms, hearing of this meeting between the hallowed dead and living human beings, became highly delighted. That man who duly listens to this narrative meets with everything that is dear to him. Indeed, he obtains all agreeable objects both here and hereafter. That man of learning and science, that foremost of righteous persons, who recites this narrative for the hearing of others acquires great fame here and an auspicious end hereafter, as also a union with kinsmen and all desirable objects. Such a man has not to undergo painful labour for his sustenance,
and meets with all sorts of auspicious objects in life. Even these are the rewards reaped by a person who, endued with devotion to Vedic studies and with penances, recites this narrative in the hearing of others. Those persons who possessed of good conduct, devoted to self-restraint, cleansed of all sins by the gifts they make, endued with sincerity, having tranquil souls, freed from falsehood and the desire of injuring others, adorned with faith, belief in the scriptures, and intelligence, listen to this wonderful parvan, surely attain to the highest goal hereafter."
Next: Section XXXIV