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Chapter 2

Mahabharata English - ASRAMAVASIKA PARVA

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Thus worshipped by the Pandavas, the royal soil ofAmvika passed his time happily as before, waited upon and honoured by theRishis. That perpetuator of Kuru’s race used to make those foremost ofofferings which should be given to the Brahmanas. The royal son of Kuntialways placed those articles under Dhritarashtra’s control. Destitute ofmalice as king Yudhishthira was, he was always affectionate towards hisuncle. Addressing his brothers and councillors, the king said, ‘KingDhritarashtra should be honoured both by myself and you all. He. indeed,is a well-wisher of mine who is obedient to the commands ofDhritarashtra. He, on the other hand, who behaves otherwise towards him,is my enemy. Such a man should certainly be punished by me. On days ofperforming the rites ordained for the Pitris, as also in the Sraddhasperformed for his sons and all well-wishers, the high-souled Kuru kingDhritarashtra, gave away unto Brahmanas, as each deserved, as profusemeasures of wealth as he liked. King Yudhishthira the just, and Bhima,and Arjuna, and the twins, desirous of doing what was agreeable to theold king, used to execute all his orders. They always took care that theold king who was afflicted with the slaughter of his sons andgrandsons,–with, that is, grief caused by the Pandavasthemselves,–might not die of his grief Indeed, the Pandavas borethemselves towards him in such a way that that Kuru hero might not bedeprived of that happiness and all those articles of enjoyment which hadbeen his while his sons lived. The five brothers, viz., the sons ofPandu, behaved themselves even thus towards Dhritarashtra, living underhis command. Dhritarashtra also, seeing them so humble and obedient tohis commands and acting towards him as disciples towards preceptors,adopted the affectionate behaviour of a preceptor towards them in return.Gandhari, by performing the diverse rites of the Sraddha and making giftsunto Brahmanas of diverse objects of enjoyment, became freed from thedebt she owed to her slain children. Thus did that foremost of righteousmen, viz., king Yudhishthira the just, possessed of great intelligence,along with his brothers, worship king Dhritarashtra.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Possessed of great energy, that perpetuator ofKuru’s race, viz., the old king Dhritarashtra, could not notice anyill-will in Yudhishthira Seeing that the high-souled Pandavas were in theobservance of a wise and righteous conduct, king Dhritarashtra, the sonof Amvika, became gratified with them. Suvala’s daughter, Gandhari,casting off all sorrow for her (slain) children, began to show greataffection for the Pandavas as if they were her own children. Endued withgreat energy, the Kuru king Yudhishthira, never did anything that wasdisagreeable to the royal son of Vichitraviryya. On the other hand, healways behaved towards him in a highly agreeable way. Whatever acts,grave or light, were directed by king Dhritarashtra, or the helplessGandhari to be done, were all accomplished with reverence, O monarch, bythat slayer of hostile heroes, viz., the Pandava king. The old kingbecame highly gratified with such conduct of Yudhishthira. Indeed, he wasgrieved at the remembrance of his own wicked son. Rising every day atearly dawn, he purified himself and went through his recitations, andthen blessed the Pandavas by wishing them victory in battle. Making theusual gifts unto the Brahmanas and causing them to utter benedictions,and Pouring libations on the sacred fire, the old king prayed for longlife to the Pandavas. Indeed, the king had never derived that greathappiness from his own sons which he always derived from the sons ofPandu. King Yudhishthira at that time became as agreeable to theBrahmanas as to the Kshatriyas, and the diverse bands of Vaisyas andSudras of his realm. Whatever wrongs were done to him by the sons ofDhritarashtra, king Yudhishthira, forgot them all, and reverenced hisuncle. If any man did anything that was not agreeable to the son ofAmvika, he became thereby an object of hatred to the intelligent son ofKunti. Indeed, through fear of Yudhishthira, nobody could talk of theevil deeds of either Duryodhana or Dhritarashtra. Both Gandhari andVidura also wore well pleased with the capacity the king Ajatasatrushowed for bearing wrongs. They were, however, not so pleased, O slayerof foes, with Bhima. Dharma’s son, Yudhishthira, was truly obedient tohis uncle. Bhima, however, at the sight of Dhritarashtra, became verycheerless. That slayer of foes, seeing Dharma’s son reverencing the oldking, reverenced him outwardly with a very unwilling heart.”‘

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