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Chapter 1

Mahabharata English - ASWAMEDHA PARVA

OM! HAVING BOWED down unto Narayana, and Nara the foremost of malebeings, and unto the goddess Saraswati, must the word Jaya be uttered.

“Vaisampayana said, “After the king Dhritarashtra had offered libationsof water (unto the manes of Bhisma), the mighty-armed[1] Yudhishthira,with his senses bewildered, placing the former in his front, ascended thebanks (of the river), his eyes suffused with tears, and dropt down on thebank of the Ganga like an elephant pierced by the hunter. Then incited byKrishna, Bhima took him up sinking. ‘This must not be so,’ said Krishna,the grinder of hostile hosts. The Pandavas, O king, saw Yudhishthira, theson of Dharma, troubled and lying on the ground, and also sighing againand again. And seeing the king despondent and feeble, the Pandavas,overwhelmed with grief, sat down, surrounding him. And endowed with highintelligence and having the sight of wisdom, king Dhritarashtra,exceedingly afflicted with grief for his sons, addressed the monarch,saying,–‘Rise up, O thou tiger among the Kurus. Do thou now attend tothy duties. O Kunti’s son, thou hast conquered this Earth according tothe usage of the Kshatriyas. Do thou now, O lord of men, enjoy her withthy brothers and friends. O foremost of the righteous, I do not see whythou shouldst grieve. O lord of the Earth, having lost a hundred sonslike unto riches obtained in a dream, it is Gandhari and I, who shouldmourn. Not having listened to the pregnant words of the high-souledVidura, who sought our welfare, I, of perverse senses, (now) repent. Thevirtuous Vidura, endowed with divine insight, had told me,–‘Thy racewill meet with annihilation owing to the transgressions of Duryodhana. Oking, if thou wish for the weal of thy line, act up to my advice. Castoff this wicked-minded monarch, Suyodhana, and let not either Karna orSakuni by any means see him. Their gambling too do thou, without makingany fuss suppress, and anoint the righteous king Yudhishthira. That oneof subdued senses will righteously govern the Earth. If thou wouldst nothave king Yudhishthira, son of Kunti, then, O monarch, do thou,performing a sacrifice, thyself take charge of the kingdom, and regardingall creatures with an even eye, O lord of men, do thou let thy kinsmen. Othou advancer of thy kindred, subsist on thy bounty.’ When, O Kunti’sson, the far-sighted Vidura said this, fool that I was I followed thewicked Duryodhana. Having turned a deaf ear to the sweet speech of thatsedate one, I have obtained this mighty sorrow as a consequence, and havebeen plunged in an ocean of woe. Behold thy old father and mother, Oking, plunged in misery. But, O master of men, I find no occasion for thygrief.'”

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