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Chapter 29

Mahabharata English - ASRAMAVASIKA PARVA

“Janamejaya said, ‘Tell me. O learned Brahmana, what that wonderful featwas which the great Rishi Vyasa of high energy accomplished after hispromise to the old king, made when Dhritarashtra, that lord of Earth,that foremost one of Kuru’s race, had taken up his abode in the forest,with his wife and with his daughter-in-law Kunti; and after, indeed,Vidura had left his own body and entered into Yudhishthira, and at thetime when all the sons of Pandu were staying in the ascetic retreat. Forhow many days did the Kuru king Yudhishthira of unfading glory stay, withhis men, in the woods? On what food, O puissant one, did the high-souledPandavas support themselves, with their men, and wives, while they livedin the woods? O sinless one, do thou tell me this.’

“Vaisampayana said, ‘With the permission of the Kuru king, the Pandavas,O monarch, with their troops and the ladies of their household, supportedthemselves on diverse kinds of food and drink and passed about a month ingreat happiness in that forest. Towards the close of that period, Osinless one, Vyasa came there. While all those princes sat around Vyasa,engaged in conversation on diverse subjects, other Rishis came to thatspot. They were Narada, and Parvata and Devala of austere penances, andViswavasu and Tumvuru, and Chitrasena., O Bharata. Endued with severepenances, the Kuru king Yudhishthira, with the permission ofDhritarashtra, worshipped them according to due rites. Having obtainedthat worship from Yudhishthira, all of them sat down on sacred seats(made of Kusa grass), as also on excellent seats made of peacockfeathers. After they had all taken their seats, the Kuru king of highintelligence took his seat there, surrounded by the sons of Pandu.Gandhari and Kunti and Draupadi, and she of the Sattwata race, and otherladies of the royal household also sat down. The conversation that thenarose was excellent and had reference to topics connected with piety, andthe Rishis of old, and the deities and the Asuras. At the close of thatconversation Vyasa of great energy, that foremost of eloquent men, thatfirst of all persons conversant with the Vedas, highly gratified,addressed the blind monarch and once more said,–‘Burning as thou artwith grief on account of thy children, I know, O king of kings, whatobject is cherished by thee in thy heart. The sorrow that always existsin the heart of Gandhari, that which exists in the heart of Kunti, andthat also which is cherished by Draupadi in her heart, and that burninggrief, on account of the death of her son, which Krishna’s sisterSubhadra also cherishes, are all known to me. Hearing of this meeting, Oking, of thine with all these princes and princesses of thy house, I havecome here, O delighter of the Kauravas, for dispelling thy doubts. Letthe deities and Gandharvas, and all these great Rishis, behold today theenergy of those penances which I have acquired for these long years.Therefore, O king, tell me what wish of thine I shall grant today. I ampuissant enough to grant thee a boon. Behold the fruit of my penances.’Thus addressed by Vyasa of immeasurable understanding, king Dhritarashtrareflected for a moment and then prepared to speak. He said,–‘I amexceedingly fortunate. Lucky am I in obtaining thy favour. My life iscrowned with success today,–since this meeting has happened between meand ye all of great piety. Today I shall attain to that highly happy goalwhich is reserved for me, since, ye ascetics endued with wealth ofpenances, ye who are equal to Brahma himself, I have succeeded inobtaining this meeting with you all. There is not the least doubt thatthis sight that I have obtained of you all has cleansed me of every sin.Ye sinless ones, I have no longer any fear in respect of my end in thenext world. Full as I am of love for my children, I always cherish theirremembrance. My mind, however, is always tortured by the recollection ofthe diverse acts of wrong which my wicked son of exceedingly evilunderstanding perpetrated. Possessed of a sinful understanding, he alwayspersecuted the innocent Pandavas. Alas, the whole Earth has beendevastated by him, with her steeds, elephants and men. Many high-souledkings, rulers of diverse realms, came for siding my son and succumbed todeath. Alas, leaving their beloved sires and wives and their verylife-breaths, all those heroes have become guests of the king of thedead. What end, O regenerate one, has been attained by those men who havebeen slain, for the sake of their friend, in battle? What end also hasbeen attained by my sons and grandsons who have fallen in the fray? Myheart is always pained at the thought of my having brought about theslaughter of the mighty Bhishma, the son of Santanu, and of Drona, thatforemost of Brahmanas, through my foolish and sinful son who was aninjurer of his friends. Desirous of obtaining the sovereignty of theEarth, he caused the Kuru race, blazing with prosperity, to beannihilated. Reflecting on all this, I burn day and night with grief.Deeply afflicted with pain and grief, I am unable to obtain peace ofmind. Indeed, O father, thinking of all this, I have no peace of mind.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Hearing these lamentations expressed in diverseways, of that royal sage, the grief, O Janamejaya, of Gandhari, becamefresh. The grief also of Kunti, of the daughter of Drupada, of Subhadra,and of the other members, male and female, and the daughters-in-law, ofthe Kuru race, became equally green. Queen Gandhari, with bandaged eyes,joining her hands, addressed her father-in-law. Deeply afflicted withgrief on account of the slaughter of her sons, she said,–‘O foremost ofascetics, sixteen years have passed over the head of this king grievingfor the death of his sons and divested of peace of mind. Afflicted withgrief on account of the slaughter of his children, this kingDhritarashtra, always breathes heavily, and never sleeps at night. Ogreat Rishi, through the power of thy penances thou art competent tocreate new worlds. What need I say then about showing this king hischildren who are now in the other world? This Krishna, the daughter ofDrupada, hath lost all her kinsmen and children. For this, she who is thedearest of my daughters-in-law grieves exceedingly. The sister ofKrishna, viz., Subhadra of sweet speech, burning with the loss of herson, grieves as deeply. This lady that is respected by all, that is thewife of Bhurisravas, afflicted with grief on account of the fate that hasovertaken her husband, always indulges in heart-rending lamentations. Herfather-in-law was the intelligent Valhika of Kuru’s race. Alas, Somadattaalso was slain, along with his sire, in the great battle![47] Alas, acentury of sons, heroes that never retreated from battle, belonging tothis son of thine, this king of great intelligence and great prosperity,has been slain in battle. The hundred wives of those sons are allgrieving and repeatedly enhancing the grief of both the king and myself.O great ascetic, stricken by that great slaughter, they have gatheredround me. Alas, those high-souled heroes, those great car warriors, myfathers-in-law, Somadatta and others,–alas, what end has been theirs, Opuissant one? Through thy grace, O holy one, that will happen inconsequence of which this lord of Earth, myself, and this daughter-in-lawof thine, viz., Kunti, shall all become freed from our grief. AfterGandhari had said so, Kunti, whose face had become wasted throughobservance of many hard vows, began to think of her secret-born sonendued with solar effulgence. The boon giving Rishi Vyasa, capable ofboth beholding and hearing what happened at a remote distance, saw thatthe royal mother of Arjuna was afflicted with grief. Unto her Vyasasaid,–‘Tell me, O blessed one, what is in thy mind. Tell me what thouwishest to say. At this, Kunti, bending her head unto her father-in-law,and overcome with bashfulness, said these words unto him, relating to theoccurrences of the past.'”

Chapter 30
Chapter 28
🙏 धर्म और आध्यात्म को जन-जन तक पहुँचाने में हमारा साथ दें| 🙏