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Chapter 15

Mahabharata English - ASRAMAVASIKA PARVA

“Vaisampayana said,–‘The royal son of Amvika, viz., Dhritarashtra,having settled the hour of his departure for the woods, summoned thoseheroes, the Pandavas. Possessed of great intelligence, the old monarch,with Gandhari, duly accosted those princes. Having caused the minor ritesto be performed, by Brahmanas conversant with the Vedas, on that daywhich was the day of full moon in the month of Kartika, he caused thefire which he worshipped daily to be taken up. Leaving his usual robes hewore deer-skins and barks, and accompanied by his daughters-in-law, heset out of his mansion. When the royal son of Vichitraviryya thus setout, a loud wail was uttered by the Pandava and the Kaurava ladies asalso by other women belonging to the Kaurava race. The king worshippedthe mansion in which he had lived with fried paddy and excellent flowersof diverse kinds. He also honoured all his servants with gifts of wealth,and then leaving that abode set out on his journey. Then O son, kingYudhishthira, trembling all over, with utterance choked with tears, saidthese words in a loud voice, viz.,–‘O righteous monarch, where dost thougo?–and fell down in a swoon. Arjuna, burning with great grief, sighedrepeatedly. That foremost of Bharata princes, telling Yudhishthira thathe should not behave in that manner, stood cheerlessly and with heartplunged into distress. Vrikodara, the heroic Phalguna, the two sons ofMadri, Vidura, Sanjaya, Dhritarashtra’s son by his Vaisya wife, andKripa, and Dhaumya, and other Brahmanas, all followed the old monarch,with voices choked in grief. Kunti walked ahead, bearing on her shouldersthe hand of Gandhari who walked with her bandaged eyes. KingDhritarashtra walked confidently behind Gandhari, placing his hand on hershoulder.[32] Drupada’s daughter Krishna, she of the Sattwata race,Uttara the daughter-in-law of the Kauravas, who had recently become amother, Chitrangada, and other ladies of the royal house-hold, allproceeded with the old monarch. The wail they uttered on that occasion, Oking, from grief, resembled the loud lamentations of a swarm ofshe-ospreys. Then the wives of the citizens,–Brahmanas and Kshatriyasand Vaisyas and Sudras,–also came out into the streets from every side.At Dhritarashtra’s departure, O king, all the citizens of Hastinaporebecame as distressed as they had been, O monarch, when they had witnessedthe departure of the Pandavas in former days after their defeat at thematch at dice. Ladies that had never seen the sun or the moon, came outinto the streets on the occasion, in great grief, when king Dhritarashtraproceeded towards the great forest.”‘

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