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Chapter 106

Mahabharata English - ADI PARVA

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Soon after the monthly season of the princess ofKosala had been over, Satyavati, purifying her daughter-in-law with abath, led her into the sleeping apartment. There seating her upon aluxurious bed, she addressed her, saying, ‘O Princess of Kosala, thyhusband hath an elder brother who shall this day enter thy womb as thychild.

Wait for him tonight without dropping off to sleep.’ Hearing thesewords of her mother-in-law, the amiable princess, as she lay on her bed,began to think of Bhishma and the other elders of the Kuru race. Then theRishi of truthful speech, who had given his promise in respect of Amvika(the eldest of the princesses) in the first instance, entered her chamberwhile the lamp was burning. The princess, seeing his dark visage, hismatted locks of copper hue, blazing eyes, his grim beard, closed her eyesin fear. The Rishi, from desire of accomplishing his mother’s wishes,however knew her. But the latter, struck with fear, opened not her eyeseven once to look at him. And when Vyasa came out, he was met by hismother, who asked him, ‘Shall the princess have an accomplished son?’Hearing her, he replied, ‘The son of the princess she will bring forthshall be equal in might unto ten thousand elephants. He will be anillustrious royal sage, possessed of great learning and intelligence andenergy. The high-souled one shall have in his time a century of sons. Butfrom the fault of his mother he shall be blind ‘At these words of herson, Satyavati said, ‘O thou of ascetic wealth, how can one that is blindbecome a monarch worthy of the Kurus? How can one that is blind becomethe protector of his relatives and family, and the glory of his father’srace? It behoveth thee to give another king unto the Kurus.’ Saying, ‘Sobe it,’ Vyasa went away. And the first princess of Kosala in due timebrought forth a blind son.

“Soon after Satyavati, O chastiser of foes, summoned Vyasa, after havingsecured the assent of her daughter-in-law. Vyasa came according to hispromise, and approached, as before, the second wife of his brother. AndAmbalika beholding the Rishi, became pale with fear And, O Bharata,beholding her so afflicted and pale with fear, Vyasa addressed her andsaid, ‘Because thou hast been pale with fear at the sight of my grimvisage, therefore, thy child shall be pale in complexion. O thou ofhandsome face, the name also thy child shall bear will be Pandu (thepale).’ ‘Saying this, the illustrious and best of Rishis came out of herchamber. And as he came out, he was met by his mother who asked him aboutthe would-be-child. The Rishi told her that the child would be of palecomplexion and known by the name of Pandu. Satyavati again begged of theRishi another child, and the Rishi told her in reply, ‘So be it.’Ambalika, then, when her time came, brought forth a son of palecomplexion. Blazing with beauty the child was endued with all auspiciousmarks. Indeed, it was this child who afterwards became the father ofthose mighty archers, the Pandavas.

“Some time after, when the oldest of Vichitravirya’s widows again had hermonthly season, she was solicited by Satyavati to approach Vyasa onceagain. Possessed of beauty like a daughter of a celestial, the princessrefused to do her mother-in-law’s bidding, remembering the grim visageand strong odour of the Rishi. She, however, sent unto him, a maid ofhers, endued with the beauty of an Apsara and decked with her ownornaments. And when the Vyasa arrived, the maid rose up and saluted him.And she waited upon him respectfully and took her seat near him whenasked. And, O king, the great Rishi of rigid vows, was well-pleased withher, and when he rose to go away, he addressed her and said, ‘Amiableone, thou shalt no longer be a slave. Thy child also shall be greatlyfortunate and virtuous, and the foremost of all intelligent men onearth!’ And, O king, the son thus begotten upon her by Krishna-Dwaipayanawas afterwards known by the name of Vidura. He was thus the brother ofDhritarashtra and the illustrious Pandu. And Vidura was free from desireand passion and was conversant with the rules of government, and was thegod of justice born on earth under the curse of the illustrious RishiMandavya. And Krishna-Dwaipayana, when he met his mother as before,informed her as to how he had been deceived by the seniormost of theprincesses and how he had begotten a son upon a Sudra woman. And havingspoken thus unto his mother the Rishi disappeared from her sight.

“Thus were born, in the field of Vichitravirya, even of Dwaipayana thosesons of the splendour of celestial children, those propagators of theKuru race.'”

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