Chapter 9

Mahabharata English - ASRAMAVASIKA PARVA

“Dhritarashtra said, ‘Santanu duly ruled this Earth. Similarly,Vichitraviryya also, protected by Bhishma, ruled you. Without doubt, allthis is known to you. It is also known to you how Pandu, my brother, wasdear to me as also to you. He also ruled you duly. Ye sinless ones, Ihave also served you. Whether those services have come up to the mark orfallen short of it, it behoveth you to forgive me, for I have attended tomy duties without heedlessness. Duryodhana also enjoyed this kingdomwithout a thorn in his side. Foolish as he was and endued with wickedunderstanding, he did not, however, do any wrong to you. Through thefault, however, of that prince of wicked understanding, and through hispride, as also through my own impolicy, a great carnage has taken placeof persons of the royal order. Whether I have, in that matter, actedrightly or wrongly, I pray you with joined hands to dispel allremembrance of it from your hearts.–This one is old; this one has lostall his children; this one is afflicted with grief; this one was ourking;–this one is a descendant of former kings;–considerations likethese should induce you to forgive me. This Gandhari also is cheerlessand old. She too has lost her children and is helpless. Afflicted withgrief for the loss of her sops, she solicits you with me. Knowing thatboth of us are old and afflicted and destitute of children, grant us thepermission we seek. Blessed be you, we seek your protection. This Kuruking, Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, should be looked after by you all,in prosperity as well as in adversity. He will never fall into distress,he that has for his counsellors four such brothers of abundant prowess.All of them are conversant with both righteousness and wealth, andresemble the very guardians of the world. Like the illustrious Brahmanhimself, the Lord of the universe of creatures, this Yudhishthira ofmighty energy will rule you. That which should certainly be said is nowsaid by me. I make over to you it this Yudhishthira here as a deposit. Imake you also a deposit in the hands of this hero. It behoves you all toforget and forgive whatever injury has been done to you by those sons ofmine that are no longer alive, or, indeed, by any one else belonging tome. Ye never harboured any wrath against me on any previous occasion. Ijoin my hands before you who are distinguished for loyalty. Here, I bowto you all. Ye sinless one, I, with Gandhari by my side, solicit yourpardon now for anything done to you by those sons of mine, of restlessunderstandings, stained by cupidity, and ever acting as their desiresprompted.’ Thus addressed by the old monarch, all those citizens andinhabitants of the provinces, filled with tears, said nothing but onlylooked at one another.”‘

Chapter 10
Chapter 8
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