“Vaisampayana said, “Beholding his five handsome sons growing up beforehim in that great forest on the charming mountain slope, Pandu felt thelast might of his arms revive once more.
One day in the season of springwhich maddens every creature the king accompanied by his wife (Madri),began to rove in the woods where every tree had put forth new blossoms.He beheld all around Palasas and Tilakas and Mangoes and Champakas andParihadrakas and Karnikaras, Asokas and Kesaras and Atimuktas andKuruvakas with swarms of maddened bees sweetly humming about. And therewere flowers of blossoming Parijatas with the Kokilas pouring forth theirmelodies from under every twig echoing with the sweet hums of the blackbees. And he beheld also various other kinds of trees bent down with theweight of their flowers and fruits. And there were also many fine poolsof water overgrown with hundreds of fragrant lotuses. Beholding allthese, Pandu felt the soft influence of desire. Roving like a celestialwith a light heart amidst such scenery, Pandu was alone with his wifeMadri in semi-transparent attire. And beholding the youthful Madri thusattired, the king’s desire flamed up like a forest-fire. And ill-able tosuppress his desire thus kindled at the sight of his wife of eyes likelotus-petals, he was completely overpowered. The king then seized heragainst her will, but Madri trembling in fear resisted him to the best ofher might. Consumed by desire, he forgot everything about his misfortune.And, O thou of Kuru’s race unrestrained by the fear of (the Rishi’s)curse and impelled by fate, the monarch, overpowered by passion, forciblysought the embraces of Madri, as if he wished to put an end to his ownlife. His reason, thus beguiled by the great Destroyer himself byintoxicating his senses, was itself lost with his life. And the Kuru kingPandu, of virtuous soul, thus succumbed to the inevitable influence ofTime, while united in intercourse with his wife.
“Then Madri, clasping the body of her senseless lord, began to weepaloud. And Kunti with her sons and the twins of Madri, hearing thosecries of grief, came to the spot where the king lay in that state. Then,O king, Madri addressing Kunti in a piteous voice, said, ‘Come hitheralone, O Kunti, and let the children stay there.’ Hearing these words,Kunti, bidding the children stay, ran with speed, exclaiming, ‘Woe tome!’ And beholding both Pandu and Madri lying prostrate on the ground shewent in grief and affliction, saying, ‘Of passions under completecontrol, this hero, O Madri, had all along been watched by me with care.How did he then forgetting the Rishi’s curse, approach thee withenkindled desire? O Madri, this foremost of men should have beenprotected by thee. Why didst thou tempt him into solitude? Alwaysmelancholy at the thought of the Rishi’s curse, how came he to be merrywith thee in solitude? O princess of Valhika, more fortunate than myself,thou art really to be envied, for thou hast seen the face of our lordsuffused with gladness and joy.’
“Madri then replied, saying, ‘Revered sister, with tears in my eyes, Iresisted the king, but he could not control himself, bent on, as it weremaking the Rishi’s curse true.’
“Kunti then said, ‘I am the older of his wedded wives; the chiefreligious merit must be mine. Therefore, O Madri, prevent me not fromachieving that which must be achieved. I must follow our lord to theregion of the dead. Rise up, O Madri, and yield me his body. Rear thouthese children.’ Madri replied, saying, ‘I do clasp our lord yet, andhave not allowed him to depart; therefore, I shall follow him. Myappetite hath not been appeased. Thou art my older sister, O let me havethy sanction. This foremost one of the Bharata princes had approached me,desiring to have intercourse. His appetite unsatiated, shall I not followhim in the region of Yama to gratify him? O revered one, if I survivethee, it is certain I shall not be able to rear thy children as if theywere mine. Will not sin touch me on that account? But, thou, O Kunti,shall be able to bring my sons up as if they were thine. The king, inseeking me wishfully, hath gone to the region of spirits; therefore, mybody should be burnt with his. O revered sister, withhold not thysanction to this which is agreeable to me. Thou wilt certainly bring upthe children carefully. That indeed, would be very agreeable to me. Ihave no other direction to give!’
“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Having said this, the daughter of the king ofMadras, the wedded wife of Pandu, ascended the funeral pyre of her lord,that bull among men.'”