The Mahabharata Home
Vaishampayana said: "Meanwhile Daruka, going to the Kurus and seeing those mighty car-warriors, the son of Pritha, informed them of how the Vrishnis had slain one another with iron bolts. Hearing that the Vrishnis along with the Bhojas and Andhakas and Kukuras had all been slain, the Pandavas, burning with grief, became highly agitated. Then Arjuna, the dear friend of Keshava, bidding them farewell, set out for seeing his maternal uncle. He said that destruction would soon overtake everything. Proceeding to the city of the Vrishnis with Daruka in his company, O puissant king, that hero beheld that the city of Dwaraka looked like a woman bereft of her husband. Those ladies who had, before this, the very Lord of the universe for their protector, were now lordless. Seeing that Partha had come for protecting them, they all set up a loud wail. 16,000 ladies had been wedded to Vasudeva. Indeed, as soon as they saw Arjuna arrive, they uttered a loud cry of sorrow. As soon as the Kuru prince met those beauteous ones deprived of the protection of Krishna and of their sons as well, he was unable to look at them, his vision being obstructed by tears. The Dwaraka river had the Vrishnis and the Andhakas for its water, steeds for its fishes, cars for its rafts, the sound of musical instruments and the rattle of cars for its waves, houses and mansions and public squares for its lakes. Gems and precious stones were its abundant moss. The walls of adamant were the garlands of flowers that floated on it. The streets and roads were the strong currents running in eddies along its surface. The great open squares were the still large lakes in its course. Rama and Krishna were its two mighty alligators. That agreeable river now seemed to Arjuna to be the fierce Vaitarani bound up with Times net. Indeed, the son of Vasava, endued with great intelligence, beheld the city to look even thus, reft as it was of the Vrishni heroes. Shorn of beauty, and perfectly cheerless, it presented the aspect of a lotus flower in the season of winter. Beholding the sight that Dwaraka presented, and seeing the numerous wives of Krishna, Arjuna wailed aloud with eyes bathed in tears and fell down on the earth. Then Satya, the daughter of Satrajit, and Rukmini too, O king, fell down beside Dhananjaya and uttered loud wails of grief. Raising him then they caused him to be seated on a golden seat. The ladies sat around that high-souled one, giving expression to their feelings. Praising Govinda and talking with the ladies, the son of Pandu comforted them and then proceeded to see his maternal uncle."
Next: Section 6