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Chapter 5

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Desirous of living in the forest, those bulls of theBharata race, the Pandavas, with their followers, setting out from thebanks of the Ganges went to the field of Kurukshetra. And performingtheir ablutions in the Saraswati, the Drisadwati and the Yamuna, theywent from one forest to another, travelling in an westernly direction.And at length they saw before them the woods, Kamyaka, the favouritehaunt of Munis, situated by a level and wild plain on the banks of theSaraswati. And in those woods, O Bharata, abounding in birds and deer,those heroes began to dwell, entertained and comforted by the Munis. AndVidura always longing to see the Pandavas, went in a single car to theKamyaka woods abounding in every good thing. And arriving at Kamyaka on acar drawn by swift steeds, he saw Yudhishthira the just, sitting withDraupadi at a retired spot, surrounded by his brothers and the Brahmanas.And seeing Vidura approach from a distance with swift steps, the virtuousking addressed brother, Bhimasena, saying, ‘With what message dothKshatta come to us? Doth he come hither, despatched by Sakuni, to inviteus again to a game of dice? Doth the little-minded Sakuni intend to winagain our weapons at dice? O Bhimasena, challenged by any one addressingme,–Come, I am unable to stay. And if our possession of the Gandivabecomes doubtful, will not the acquisition of our kingdom also be so.’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘O king, the Pandavas then rose up and welcomedVidura. And received by them, that descendant of the Ajamida line(Vidura) sat in their midst and made the usual enquiries. And afterVidura had rested awhile, those bulls among men asked him the reason ofhis coming. And Vidura began to relate unto them in detail everythingconnected with the bearing of Dhritarashtra the son of Amvika.’

“Vidura said, ‘O Ajatasatru, Dhritarashtra called me, his dependant,before him and honouring me duly said, ‘Things have fared thus. Now, dothou tell me what is good for the Pandavas as well as for me. I pointedout what was beneficial to both the Kauravas and Dhritarashtra. But whatI said was not relished by him, nor could I hit upon any other course.What I advised was, O Pandavas, highly beneficial, but the son of Amvikaheeded me not. Even as medicine recommendeth itself not to one that isill, so my words failed to please the king. And, O thou without a foe, asall unchaste wile in the family of a man of pure descent cannot bebrought back to the path of virtue, so I failed to bring Dhritarashtraback. Indeed, as a young damsel doth not like a husband of three score,even so Dhritarashtra did not like my words. Surely, destruction willovertake the Kuru race, surely Dhritarashtra will never acquire goodfortune. For, as water dropped on a lotus-leaf doth not remain there, mycounsels will fail to produce any effect to Dhritarashtra. The incensedDhritarashtra told me, O Bharata, go thou thither where thou likest Nevermore shall I seek thy aid in ruling the earth or my capital,–O best ofmonarchs, forsaken by king Dhritarashtra, I come to thee for tenderinggood counsel. What I had said in the open court, I will now repeat untothee. Listen, and bear my words in mind,–that wise man who bearing allthe gross wrong heaped upon him by his enemies, patiently bideth histime, and multiplieth his resources “even as men by degrees turn a smallfire: into a large one, ruleth alone this entire earth. He that (inprosperity) enjoyeth his substance with his adherents findeth in themsharers of his adversity,–this is the best means of securing adherents,and it is said that he that hath adherents, winneth the sovereignty ofthe world! And, O Pandava, divided thy prosperity with thy adherents,behave truthfully towards them, and converse with them agreeably! Sharealso your food with them! And never boast thyself in their presence! Thisbehaviour increaseth the prosperity of kings!’

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Having recourse to such high intelligence,undisturbed by passion, I will do as thou counsellest! And whatever elsethou mayst counsel in respect of time and place, I will carefully followentirely.'”

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