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Chapter 71

Mahabharata English - SABHAKRIYA PARVA

“Yudhishthira said,–‘O king, thou art our master. Command us as to whatwe shall do. O Bharata, we desire to remain always in obedience to thee.

“Dhritarashtra replied.–‘O Ajatasatru, blest be thou. Go thou in peaceand safety. Commanded by me, go, rule thy own kingdom with thy wealth.And, O child, take to heart this command of an old man, this wholesomeadvice that I give, and which is even a nutritive regimen. OYudhishthira, O child, thou knowest the subtle path of morality.Possessed of great wisdom, thou art also humble, and thou waitest alsoupon the old. Where there is intelligence, there is forbearance.Therefore, O Bharata, follow thou counsels of peace. The axe falleth uponwood, not upon stone. (Thou art open to advice, not Duryodhana). They arethe best of men that remember not the acts of hostility of their foes;that behold only the merits, not the faults, of their enemies; and thatnever enter into hostilities themselves. They that are good remember onlythe good deeds of their foes and not the hostile acts their foes mighthave done unto them. The good, besides, do good unto others withoutexpectation of any good, in return. O Yudhishthira, it is only the worstof men that utter harsh words in quarrelling; while they that areindifferent reply to such when spoken by others. But they that are goodand wise never think of or recapitulate such harsh words, little caringwhether these may or may not have been uttered by their foes. They thatare good, having regard to the state of their own feelings, canunderstand the feelings of others, and therefore remember only the gooddeeds and not the acts of hostility of their foes. Thou hast acted evenas good men of prepossessing countenance do, who transgress not thelimits of virtue, wealth, pleasure and salvation. O child, remember notthe harsh words of Duryodhana. Look at thy mother Gandhari and myselfalso, if thou desirest to remember only what is good. O Bharata, look atme, who am thy father unto you and am old and blind, and still alive. Itwas for seeing our friends and examining also the strength and weaknessof my children, that I had, from motives of policy, suffered this matchat dice to proceed. O king those amongst the Kurus that have thee fortheir ruler, and the intelligent Vidura conversant with every branch oflearning for their counsellor, have, indeed, nothing to grieve for. Inthee is virtue, in Arjuna is patience, in Bhimasena is prowess, and thetwins, those foremost of men, is pure reverence for superiors. Blest bethou, O Ajatasatru. Return to Khandavaprastha, and let there be brotherlylove between thee and thy cousins. Let thy heart also be ever fixed onvirtue.'”

Vaisampayana continued,–“That foremost of the Bharatas–kingYudhishthira the just–then, thus addressed by his uncle, having gonethrough every ceremony of politeness, set out with his brothers forKhandavaprastha. And accompanied by Draupadi and ascending their carswhich were all of the hue of the clouds, with cheerful hearts they allset out for that best of cities called Indraprastha.”

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