Chapter 33

Mahabharata English - ASRAMAVASIKA PARVA

“Vaisampayana said. ‘Then those foremost of men divested of wrath andjealousy, and cleansed of every sin, met with one another, agreeably tothose high and auspicious ordinances that have been laid down byregenerate Rishis. All of them were happy of hearts and looked like godsmoving in Heaven. Son met with sire or mother, wives with husbands,brother with brother, and friend with friend, O king. The Pandavas, fullof joy, met with the mighty bowman Karna as also with the son ofSubhadra, and the children of Draupadi. With happy hearts the sons ofPandu approached Karna, O monarch, and became reconciled with him. Allthose warriors, O chief of Bharata’s race, meeting with one anotherthrough the grace of the great ascetic, became reconciled with oneanother. Casting off all unfriendliness, they became established on amityand peace. It was even thus that all those foremost of men, viz., theKauravas and other kings became united with the Kurus rid other kinsmenof theirs as also with their children. The whole of that night theypassed in great happiness. Indeed, the Kshatriya warriors, in consequenceof the happiness they felt, regarded that place as Heaven itself. Therewas no grief, no fear, no suspicion, no discontent, no reproach in thatregion, as those warriors, O monarch, met with one another on that night.Meeting with their sires and brothers and husbands and sons, the ladiescast off all grief and felt great raptures of delight. Having sportedwith one another thus for one night, those heroes and those ladies,embracing one another and taking one another’s leave returned to theplaces they had come from. Indeed, that foremost of ascetics dismissedthat concourse of warriors. Within the twinkling of an eye that largecrowd disappeared in the very sight of all those (living) persons. Thosehigh-souled persons, plunging into the sacred river Bhagirathi proceeded,with their cars and standards, to their respective abodes. Some went tothe regions of the gods, some to the region of Brahman, some to theregion of Varuna, and some to the region of Kuvera. Some among thosekings proceeded to the region of Surya. Amongst the Rakshasas andPisachas some proceeded to the country of Uttara-Kurus. Others, moving indelightful attitudes, went in the company of the deities. Even thus didall those high-souled persons disappear with their vehicles and animalsand with all their followers. After all of them had gone away, the greatsage, who was standing in the waters of the sacred stream viz., Vyasa ofgreat righteousness and energy, that benefactor of the Kurus, thenaddressed those Kshatriya ladies who had become widows, and said thesewords, ‘Let those amongst these foremost of women that are desirous ofattaining to the regions acquired by their husbands cast away all slothand quickly plunge into the sacred Bhagirathi.–Hearing these words ofhis, those foremost ladies, placing faith in them, took the permission oftheir father-in-law, and then plunged into the waters of the Bhagirathi.Freed from human bodies, those chaste ladies then proceeded, O king, withtheir husbands to the regions acquired by the latter. Even thus, thoseladies of virtuous conduct, devoted to their husbands entering, thewaters of the Bhagirathi, became freed from their mortal tenements andattained to the companionship of their husbands in the regions acquiredby them. Endued with celestial forms, and adorned with celestialornaments, and wearing celestial vestments and garlands, they proceededto those regions where their husbands had found their abodes. Possessedof excellent behaviour and many virtues, their anxieties all dispelled,they were seen to ride on excellent cars, and endued with everyaccomplishment they found those regions of happiness which were theirs byright. Devoted to the duties of piety, Vyasa, at that time, becoming agiver of boons, granted unto all the men there assembled the fruition ofthe wishes they respectively cherished. People of diverse realms, hearingof this meeting between the hallowed dead and living human beings, becamehighly delighted. That man who duly listens to this narrative meets witheverything that is dear to him. Indeed, he obtains all agreeable objectsboth here and hereafter. That man of learning and science, that foremostof righteous persons, who recites this narrative for the hearing ofothers acquires great fame here and an auspicious end hereafter, as alsoa union with kinsmen and all desirable objects. Such a man has not toundergo painful labour for his sustenance, and meets with all sorts ofauspicious objects in life. Even these are the rewards reaped by a personwho, endued with devotion to Vedic studies and with penances, recitesthis narrative in the hearing of others. Those persons who possessed ofgood conduct, devoted to self-restraint, cleansed of all sins by thegifts they make, endued with sincerity, having tranquil souls, freed fromfalsehood and the desire of injuring others, adorned with faith, beliefin the scriptures, and intelligence, listen to this wonderful parvan,surely attain to the highest goal hereafter.”

Chapter 34
Chapter 32
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