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Chapter 149

Mahabharata English - ADI PARVA

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘A friend of Vidura’s, well-skilled in mining,coming unto the Pandavas, addressed them in secret, saying, ‘I have beensent by Vidura and am a skilful miner. I am to serve the Pandavas.

Tellme what I am to do for ye. From the trust he reposeth in me Vidura hathsaid unto me, ‘Go thou unto the Pandavas and accomplish thou their good.What shall I do for you? Purochana will set fire to the door of thy houseon the fourteenth night of this dark fortnight. To burn to death thosetigers among men, the Pandavas, with their mother, is the design of thatwicked wretch, the son of Dhritarashtra. O son of Pandu, Vidura also toldthee something in the Mlechchha tongue to which thou also didst reply insame language. I state these particulars as my credentials.’ Hearingthese words, Yudhishthira, the truthful son of Kunti replied, ‘O amiableone, I now know thee as a dear and trusted friend of Vidura, true andever devoted to him. There is nothing that the learned Vidura doth notknow. As his, so ours art thou. Make no difference between him and us. Weare as much thine as his. O, protect us as the learned Vidura everprotecteth us. I know that this house, so inflammable, hath beencontrived for me by Purochana at the command of Dhritarashtra’s son. Thatwicked wretch commanding wealth and allies pursueth us withoutintermission. O, save us with a little exertion from the impendingconflagration. If we are burnt to death here, Duryodhana’s most cherisheddesire will be satisfied. Here is that wretch’s well-furnished arsenal.This large mansion hath been built abutting the high ramparts of thearsenal without any outlet. But this unholy contrivance of Duryodhana wasknown to Vidura from the first, and he it was who enlightened usbeforehand. The danger of which Kshattri had foreknowledge is now at ourdoor. Save us from it without Purochana’s knowledge thereof.’ On hearingthese words, the miner said, ‘So be it,’ and carefully beginning his workof excavation, made a large subterranean passage. And the mouth of thatpassage was in the centre of that house, and it was on a level with thefloor and closed up with planks. The mouth was so covered from fear ofPurochana, that wicked wretch who kept a constant watch at the door ofthe house. The Pandavas used to sleep within their chambers with armsready for use, while, during the day, they went a-hunting from forest toforest. Thus, O king, they lived (in that mansion) very guardedly,deceiving Purochana by a show of trustfulness and contentment while inreality they were trustless and discontented. Nor did the citizens ofVaranavata know anything about these plans of the Pandavas. In fact, noneelse knew of them except Vidura’s friend, that good miner.'”

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Chapter 150
Chapter 148
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