“Narada said, ‘The king has not been burnt to death by an unsanctifiedfire. I have heard this there. I tell thee, O Bharata, such has not beenthe fate of Vichitraviryya. It has been heard by us that when the oldking endued with great intelligence and subsisting on air alone enteredthe woods (after his return from Gangadwara), he caused his sacrificialfires to be duly ignited. Having performed his sacred rites therewith, heabandoned them all. Then the Yajaka Brahmanas he had with him cast offthose fires in a solitary part of the woods and went away as they likedon other errands, O foremost one of Bharata’s race. The fire thus castoff grew in the woods. It then produced a general conflagration in theforest. Even this is what I have heard from the ascetics dwelling on thebanks of Ganga. United with that (sacred) fire of his own, O chief of theBharatas, the king, as I have already said unto thee, met with death onthe banks of Ganga. O sinless one, this is what the ascetics have toldme,–those, viz., whom I saw on the banks of the sacred Bhagirathi, OYudhishthira. Thus O lord of Earth, king Dhritarashtra, coming intocontact with his own sacred fire, departed from this world and attainedto that high goal that has been his. Through service rendered by her toher seniors, thy mother, O lord of men, has attained to very greatsuccess. There is not the slightest doubt of this. It behoveth thee, Oking of kings, to now discharge the rites of water to their honour, withall thy brothers. Let, therefore, the necessary steps be taken towardsthat end.’
“Vaisampayana continued,–‘Then that lord of Earth, that foremost of men,that upholder of the burthens of the Pandavas, went out, accompanied byall his brothers as well as the ladies of his household. The inhabitantsof the city as also those of the provinces, impelled by their loyalty,also went out. They all proceeded towards the banks of Ganga, every oneclad in only single peace of raiment. Then all those foremost of men,having plunged into the stream, placed Yuyutsu at their head, and beganto offer oblations of water unto the high-souled king. And they also gavesimilar oblations unto Gandhari and Pritha, naming each separately andmentioning their families. Having finished those rites that cleanse theliving, they came back but without entering their capital took up theirresidence outside of it. They also despatched a number of trusted peoplewell conversant with the ordinances relating to the cremation of thedead, to Gangadwara where the old king had been burnt to death. The king,having rewarded those men beforehand, commanded them to accomplish thoserites of cremation which the bodies of Dhritarashtra and Gandhari andKunti still awaited. On twelfth day, the king, properly purified,duly performed the Sraddhas of his deceased relations, which werecharacterised by gifts in abundance. Referring to Dhritarashtra,Yudhishthira made many gifts of gold and silver, of kine and costly beds.Uttering the names of Gandhari and Pritha, the king, endued with greatenergy, made many excellent gifts. Every man received what thing hewished and as much of it as he wished. Beds and food, and cars andconveyances, and jewels and gems, and other wealth were given away inprofusion. Indeed, the king referring to his two mothers, gave away carsand conveyances, robes and coverlets, various kinds of food, and femaleslaves adorned with diverse ornaments. Having thus made many kinds ofgifts in profusion, that lord of Earth then entered his capital calledafter the elephant. Those men who had gone to the banks of Ganga at thecommand of the king, having disposed of (by cremation) the remains of theking and two queens, returned to the city. Having duly honoured thoseremains with garlands and scents of diverse kinds and disposed of them,they informed Yudhishthira of the accomplishment of their task. The greatRishi Narada, having comforted king Yudhishthira of righteous soul, wentaway to where he liked. Even thus did king Dhritarashtra make his exitfrom this world after having passed three years in the forest and ten andfive years in the city. Having lost all his children in battle, he hadmany gifts in honour of his kinsmen, relatives, and friends, his brethrenand own people. King Yudhishthira after the death of his uncle, becamevery cheerless. Deprived of his kinsmen and relatives, he somehow borethe burthen of sovereignty.
One should listen with rapt attention to this Asramavasika Parvan, andhaving heard it recited, one should feed Brahmanas with Habishya,honouring them with scents and garlands.”‘