Chapter 166

Mahabharata English - ANUSASANA PARVA

“Janamejaya said, ‘When that foremost person among the Kauravas, viz.,Bhishma, was lying on a bed of arrows,–a bed that is always coveted byheroes,–and when the Pandavas, were sitting around him, my greatgrandsire Yudhishthira of much wisdom, heard these expositions ofmysteries with respect to the subject of duty and had all his doubtssolved. He heard also what the ordinance are that apply to the subjectsof gifts, and thus had all his doubts removed with respect to the topicsof righteousness and wealth. It behoveth thee, O learned Brahmana, totell me now what else did the great Pandava king do.’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘When Bhishma became silent, the entire circle ofking (who were seated around him) became perfectly silent. Indeed, theyall sat motionless there, like figures painted on canvass. Then Vyasa theson of Satyavati, having reflected for a moment, addressed the royal sonof Ganga, saying, ‘O king, the Kuru chief Yudhishthira has been restoredto his own nature, along with all brothers and followers. With Krishna ofgreat intelligence by his side, he bends his head in reverence unto thee.It behoveth thee to give him leave for returning to the city.’ Thusaddressed by the holy Vyasa, the royal son of Santanu and Ganga dismissedYudhishthira and his counsellors. The royal son of Santanu, addressinghis grandson in a sweet voice, also said, ‘Do thou return to the city, Oking! Let fever of thy heart be dispelled. Do thou adore the deities indiverse sacrifices distinguished by large gifts of food and wealth, likeYayati himself, O foremost of kings, endued with devotion andself-restraint. Devoted to the practice of the Kshatriya order, do thou,O son of Pritha, gratify the Pitris and the deities. Thou shalt then earngreat benefits. Indeed, let the fever of thy heart be dispelled. Do thougladden all thy subjects. Do thou assure them and establish peace amongall. Do thou also honour all thy well-wishers with such rewards as theydeserve! Let all thy friends and well-wishers live, depending on thee fortheir means, even as birds live, depending for their means upon afull-grown tree charged with fruit and standing on a sacred spot. Whenthe hour comes for my departure from this world, do thou come here, Oking. The time when I shall take leave of my body is that period when thesun, stopping in his south-ward course, will begin to return northwards!’The son of Kunti answered, ‘So be it!’ And saluted his grandsire withreverence and then set out, with all his relatives and followers, for thecity called after the elephant. Placing Dhritarashtra at the head andalso Gandhari who was exceedingly devoted to her lord, and accompanied bythe Rishis and Kesava, as also by the citizens and the inhabitants of thecountry and by his counsellors, O monarch, that foremost one of Kuru’srace entered the city named after the elephant.'”

Chapter 165
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