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Chapter 147

Mahabharata English - ADI PARVA

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Meanwhile the Pandavas got into their cars, yokingthereto some fine horses endued with the speed of wind. While they wereon the point of entering their cars, they touched, in great sorrow, thefeet of Bhishma, of king Dhritarashtra, of the illustrious Drona, ofKripa, of Vidura and of the other elders of the Kuru race.

Then salutingwith reverence all the older men, and embracing their equals, receivingthe farewell of even the children, and taking leave of all the venerableladies in their household, and walking round them respectfully, andbidding farewell unto all the citizens, the Pandavas, ever mindful oftheir vows, set out for Varanavata. And Vidura of great wisdom and theother bulls among the Kurus and the citizens also, from great affliction,followed those tigers among men to some distance. And some amongst thecitizens and the country people, who followed the Pandavas, afflictedbeyond measure at beholding the sons of Pandu in such distress, began tosay aloud, ‘King Dhritarashtra of wicked soul seeth no things with thesame eye. The Kuru monarch casteth not his eye on virtue. Neither thesinless Yudhishthira, nor Bhima the foremost of mighty men, norDhananjaya the (youngest) son of Kunti, will ever be guilty (of the sinof waging a rebellious war). When these will remain quiet, how shall theillustrious son of Madri do anything? Having inherited the kingdom fromtheir father, Dhritarashtra could not bear them. How is that Bhishma whosuffers the exile of the Pandavas to that wretched place, sanctions thisact of great injustice? Vichitravirya, the son of Santanu, and the royalsage Pandu of Kuru’s race both cherished us of old with fatherly care.But now that Pandu that tiger among men, hath ascended to heaven,Dhritarashtra cannot bear with these princes his children. We who do notsanction this exile shall all go, leaving this excellent town and our ownhomes, where Yudhishthira will go.’

“Unto those distressed citizens talking in this way, the virtuousYudhishthira, himself afflicted with sorrow, reflecting for a few momentssaid, ‘The king is our father, worthy of regard, our spiritual guide, andour superior. To carry out with unsuspicious hearts whatever he biddeth,is indeed, our duty. Ye are our friends. Walking round us and making ushappy by your blessings, return ye to your abodes. When the time comethfor anything to be done for us by you, then, indeed, accomplish all thatis agreeable and beneficial to us.’ Thus addressed, the citizens walkedround the Pandavas and blessed them with their blessings and returned totheir respective abodes.

“And after the citizens had ceased following the Pandavas, Vidura,conversant with all the dictates of morality, desirous of awakening theeldest of the Pandavas (to a sense of his dangers), addressed him inthese words. The learned Vidura, conversant with the jargon (of theMlechchhas), addressed the learned Yudhishthira who also was conversantwith the same jargon, in the words of the Mlechchha tongue, so as to beunintelligible to all except Yudhishthira. He said, ‘He that knoweth theschemes his foes contrive in accordance with the dictates of politicalscience, should, knowing them, act in such a way as to avoid all danger.He that knoweth that there are sharp weapons capable of cutting the bodythough not made of steel, and understandeth also the means of wardingthem off, can never be injured by foes. He liveth who protecteth himselfby the knowledge that neither the consumer of straw and wood nor thedrier of the dew burneth the inmates of a hole in the deep woods. Theblind man seeth not his way: the blind man hath no knowledge ofdirection. He that hath no firmness never acquireth prosperity.Remembering this, be upon your guard. The man who taketh a weapon notmade of steel (i.e., an inflammable abode) given him by his foes, canescape from fire by making his abode like unto that of a jackal (havingmany outlets). By wandering a man may acquire the knowledge of ways, andby the stars he can ascertain the direction, and he that keepeth his five(senses) under control can never be oppressed y his enemies.’

“Thus addressed, Pandu’s son, Yudhishthira the just replied unto Vidura,that foremost of all learned men, saying, ‘I have understood thee.’ ThenVidura, having instructed the Pandavas and followed them (thus far),walked around them and bidding them farewell returned to his own abode.When the citizens and Bhishma and Vidura had all ceased following, Kuntiapproached Yudhishthira and said, ‘The words that Kshattri said unto theein the midst of many people so indistinctly as if he did not sayanything, and thy reply also to him in similar words and voice, we havenot understood. If it is not improper; for us to know them I should thenlike to hear everything that had passed between him and thee.’

“Yudhishthira replied, ‘The virtuous Vidura said unto me that we shouldknow that the mansion (for our accommodation at Varanavata) hath beenbuilt of inflammable materials. He said unto me, ‘The path of escape tooshall not be unknown to thee,’–and further,–‘Those that can controltheir senses can acquire the sovereignty of the whole world.’–The replythat I gave unto Vidura was, ‘I have understood thee.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘The Pandavas set out on the eighth day of themonth of Phalguna when the star Rohini was in the ascendant, and arrivingat Varanavata they beheld the town and the people.'”



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