Chapter 31

Mahabharata English - ASRAMAVASIKA PARVA

“Vyasa said, ‘Blessed be thou, O Gandhari, thou shalt behold thy sons andbrothers and friends and kinsmen along with thy sires this night like menrisen from sleep. Kunti also shall behold Karna, and she of Yadu’s raceshall behold her son Abhimanyu. Draupadi shall behold her five sons, hersires, and her brothers also. Even before ye had asked me, this was thethought in my mind. I entertained this purpose when I was urged to thateffect by the king, by thee, O Gandhari, and by Kunti. Thou shouldst notgrieve for those foremost of men. They met with death in consequence oftheir devotion to the established practices of Kshatriyas. O faultlessone, the work of the gods could not but be accomplished. It was foraccomplishing that object that those heroes came down on Earth. They wereall portions of the deities. Gandharvas and Apsaras, and Pisachas andGuhyakas and Rakshasas, many persons of great sanctity, many individualscrowned with success (of penances), celestial Rishis, deities and Danavasand heavenly Rishis of spotless character, met with death on thebattle-field of Kurukshetra.[49] It is heard that he that was theintelligent king of the Gandharvas, and named Dhritarashtra, took birthin the world of men as thy lord Dhritarashtra. Know that Pandu ofunfading glory and distinguished above all others, sprung from theMaruts. Kshattri and Yudhishthira are both portions of the deity ofRighteousness. Know that Duryodhana was Kali, and Sakuni was Dwapara. Othou of good features, know that Dussasana and others were all Rakshasas.Bhimasena of great might, that chastiser of foes, is from the Maruts.Know that this Dhananjaya, the son of Pritha, is the ancient Rishi Nara.Hrishikesa is Narayana, and the twins are the Aswins. The foremost ofheat-giving ones, viz., Surya, having divided his body in twain,continued with one portion to give heat to the worlds and with another tolive (on Earth.) as Karna. He that took his birth as the son of Arjuna,that gladdener of all, that heir to the possessions of the Pandavas, whowas slain by six great car-warriors (fighting together), was Soma. He wasborn of Subhadra. Through Yoga-puissance he had divided himself in twain.Dhrishtadyumna who sprung with Draupadi from the sacrificial fire, was anauspicious portion of the deity of fire. Sikhandin was a Rakshasa. Knowthat Drona was a portion of Vrihaspati, and that Drona’s son is born of aportion of Rudra. Know that Ganga’s son Bhishma was one of the Vasus thatbecame born as a human being. Thus, O thou of great wisdom, the deitieshad taken birth as human beings, and after having accomplished theirpurposes have gone back to Heaven. That sorrow which is in the hearts ofyou all, relating to the return of these to the other world, I shalltoday dispel. Do you all go towards the Bhagirathi.–You will then beholdall those that have been slain on the field of battle.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘All the persons there present, having heard thewords of Vyasa, raised a loud leonine shout and then proceeded towardsthe Bhagirathi. Dhritarashtra with all his ministers and the Pandavas, asalso with all those foremost of Rishis and Gandharvas that had comethere, set out as directed. Arrived at the banks of Ganga, that sea ofmen took up their abode as pleased them. The king possessed of greatintelligence, with the Pandavas, took up his abode in a desirable spot,along with the ladies and the aged ones of his household. They passedthat day as if it were a whole year, waiting for the advent of the nightwhen they would behold the deceased princes. The Sun then reached thesacred mountain in the west and all those persons, having bathed in thesacred stream, finished their evening rites.”‘

Chapter 32
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