Chapter 23

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

Vaisampayana continued, “After the chief of the Dasharhas had departed,the heroic Yudhishthira, and Bhima, and Arjuna, and the twins, eachlooking like unto Shiva, and Krishna, and their priest, ascending costlycars unto which were yoked excellent steeds, together went into theforest. And at time of going they distributed Nishkas of gold and clothesand kine unto Brahmanas versed in Siksha and Akshara and mantras. Andtwenty attendants followed them equipped with bows, and bowstrings, andblazing weapons, and shafts and arrows and engines of destruction. Andtaking the princess’s clothes and the ornaments, and the nurses and themaid-servants, Indrasena speedily followed the princes on a car. And thenapproaching the best of Kurus, the high-minded citizens walked round him.And the principal Brahmanas of Kurujangala cheerfully saluted him. Andtogether with his brothers, Yudhishthira the just, on his part salutedthem cheerfully. And the illustrious king stopped there a little,beholding the concourse of the inhabitants of Kurujangala. And theillustrious bull among the Kurus felt for them as a father feeleth forhis sons, and they too felt for the Kuru chief even as sons feel fortheir father! And that mighty concourse, approaching the Kuru hero, stoodaround him. And, O king, affected, with bashfulness, and with tears intheir eyes, they all exclaimed, ‘Alas, O lord! O Dharma!’ And they said,’Thou art the chief of the Kurus, and the king of us, thy subjects! Wheredost thou go, O just monarch, leaving all these citizens and theinhabitants of the country, like a father leaving his sons? Fie on thecruel-hearted son of Dhritarashtra! Fie on the evil-minded son of Suvala!Fie on Karna! For, O foremost of monarchs, those wretches ever wish untothee who art firm in virtue! Having thyself established the unrivalledcity of Indraprastha of the splendour of Kailasa itself, where dost thougo, leaving it, O illustrious and just king, O achiever of extraordinarydeeds! O illustrious one, leaving that peerless palace built by Maya,which possesseth the splendour of the palace of the celestialsthemselves, and is like unto a celestial illusion, ever guarded by thegods, where dost thou go, O son of Dharma?’ And Vibhatsu knowing the waysof virtue, pleasure, and profit said unto them in a loud voice, ‘Livingin the forest, the king intendeth to take away the good name of hisenemies! O we with the regenerate ones at your head, versed in virtue andprofit, do you approaching the ascetics separately and inclining them tograce, represent unto them what may be for our supreme good!’ Uponhearing these words of Arjuna, the Brahmanas and the other orders, Oking, saluting him cheerfully walked round the foremost of virtuous men!And bidding farewell unto the son of Pritha, and Vrikodara, andDhananjaya and Yajnaseni, and the twins, and commanded by Yudhishthira,they returned to their respective abodes in the kingdom with heavyhearts.”

Chapter 22
Chapter 24