Chapter 11

Mahabharata English - ASRAMAVASIKA PARVA

“Vaisampayana said, ‘After that night had passed away, Dhritarashtra, theson of Amvika, despatched Vidura to Yudhishthira’s mansion. Endued withgreat energy and the foremost of all persons possessed of intelligence,Vidura, having arrived at Yudhishthira’s mansion, addressed that foremostof men, that king of unfading glory, in these words, ‘King Dhritarashtrahas undergone the preliminary rites for accomplishing his purpose ofretiring into the woods. He will set out for the woods, O king, on thecoming day of full moon of the month of Kartika. He now solicits fromthee, O foremost one of Kuru’s race, some wealth. He wishes to performthe Sraddha of the high-souled son of Ganga, as also of Drona andSomadatta and Valhika of great intelligence, and of all his sons as alsoof all well-wishers of his that have been slain, and, if thou permittestit, of that wicked-souled wight, viz., the ruler of the Sindhus.'[29]Hearing these words of Vidura, both Yudhishthira, and Pandit’s son Arjunaof curly hair, became very glad and applauded them highly. Bhima,however, of great energy and unappeasable wrath, did not accept thosewords of Vidura in good spirits, recollecting the acts of Duryodhana. Thediadem-decked Phalguna, understanding the thoughts of Bhimasena, slightlybending his face downwards, addressed that foremost of men in thesewords, ‘O Bhima, our royal father who is advancing in years, has resolvedto retire into the woods. He wishes to make gifts for advancing thehappiness of his slain kinsmen and well-wishers now in the other world. Othou of Kuru’s race, he wishes to give away wealth that belongs to theeby conquest. Indeed, O mighty-armed one, it is for Bhishma and othersthat the old king is desirous of making those gifts. It behoves thee togrant thy permission. By good luck it is, O thou of mighty arms thatDhritarashtra today begs wealth of us, he who was formerly begged by us.Behold the reverse brought about by Time. That king who was before thelord and protector of the whole Earth, now desires to go into the woods,his kinsmen and associates all slain by foes. O chief of men, let not thyviews deviate from granting the permission asked for. O mighty-armed one,refusal, besides bringing infamy, will be productive d demerit. Do thoulearn your duty in this matter from the king, thy eldest brother, who islord of all. It becometh thee to give instead of refusing, O chief ofBharata’s race. Vibhatsu who was saying so wag applauded by kingYudhishthira the just. Yielding to wrath, Bhimasena said these words, ‘OPhalguna, it is we that shall make gifts in the matter of Bhishma’sobsequies, as also of king Somadatta and of Bhurisravas, of the royalsage Valhika, and of the high-souled Drona, and of all others. Our motherKunti shall make such obsequial offerings for Karna. O foremost of men,let not Dhritarashtra perform those Sraddhas. Even this is what I think.Let not our foes be gladdened. Let Duryodhana and others sink from amiserable to a more miserable position. Alas, it was those wretches oftheir race that caused the whole Earth to be exterminated. How hast thoubeen able to forget that anxiety of twelve long years, and our residencein deep incognito that was so painful to Draupadi? Where wasDhritarashtra’s affection for us then? Clad in a black deer-skin anddivested of all thy ornaments, with the princess of Panchala in thycompany, didst thou not follow this king? Where were Bhishma and Dronathen, and where was Somadatta? Thou hadst to live for thirteen years inthe woods, supporting thyself on the products of the wilderness. Thyeldest father did not then look at thee with eyes of parental affection.Hast thou forgotten, O Partha, that it was this wretch of our race, ofwicked understanding, that enquired of Vidura, when the match at dice wasgoing on,–‘What has been won?’ Hearing thus far, king Yudhishthira, theson of Kunti, endued with great intelligence, rebuked him and told him tobe silent.”‘

Chapter 12
Chapter 10
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