Om! Having bowed down unto Narayana and Nara, the foremost of malebeings, and unto the goddess Sarasvati, must the word Jaya be uttered.
Janamejaya said, “After Duryodhana had fallen and after all the warriorsalso had fallen, what, O sage, did king Dhritarashtra do on receipt ofthe intelligence? What also did the high-souled Kuru king Yudhishthira,the son of Dharma, do? What did the three survivors (of the Kuru army)viz. Kripa and the others do? I have heard everything about the feats ofAshvatthama. Tell me what happened after that mutual denunciation ofcurses. Tell me all that Sanjaya said unto the blind old king.”
Vaishampayana said, “After he had lost his century of sons, kingDhritarashtra, afflicted with grief on that account, cheerless, andlooking like a tree shorn of its branches, became overwhelmed withanxiety and lost his power of speech. Possessed of great wisdom, Sanjaya,approaching the monarch, addressed him, saying, Why dost thou grieve, Omonarch? Grief does not serve any purpose. Eight and ten Akshauhinis ofcombatants, O king, have been slain! The earth hath become desolate, andis almost empty now! Kings of diverse realms, hailing from diversequarters, united with thy son (for aiding him in battle) have all laiddown their lives. Let now the obsequial rites of thy sires and sons andgrandsons and kinsmen and friends and preceptors be performed in dueorder.”
Vaishampayana continued, “Destitute of sons and counsellors and all hisfriends, king Dhritarashtra of great energy suddenly fell down on theearth like a tree uprooted by the wind.
“Dhritarashtra said, Destitute as I am of sons and counsellors and all myfriends, I shall, without doubt have to wander in sorrow over the earth.What need have I now of life itself, left as I am of kinsmen and friendsand resembling as I do a bird shorn of its wings and afflicted withdecrepitude? Shorn of kingdom, deprived of kinsmen, and destitute ofeyes, I cannot, O thou of great wisdom, shine any longer on earth like aluminary shorn of its splendours! I did not follow the counsels offriends of Jamadagnis son, of the celestial rishi Narada, and ofisland-born Krishna, while they offered me counsel. In the midst of theassembly, Krishna told me what was for my good, saying, “A truce (tense)to hostilities, O king! Let thy son take the whole kingdom! Give but fivevillages to the Pandavas!” Fool that I was, for not following thatadvice, I am now obliged to repent so poignantly! I did not listen to therighteous counsels of Bhishma. Alas, having heard of the slaughter ofDuryodhana whose roars were as deep as those of a bull, having heard alsoof the death of Duhshasana and the extinction of Karna and the setting ofthe Drona-sun, my heart does not break into pieces. I do not, O Sanjaya,remember any evil act committed by me in former days, whose consequences,fool that I am, I am suffering today. Without doubt, I committed greatsins in my former lives, for which the Supreme Ordainer has set me toendure such a measure of grief. This destruction of all my kinsmen, thisextermination of all my well-wishers and friends, at this old age, hascome upon me through the force of Destiny. What other man is there onearth who is more afflicted than my wretched self? Since it is so, letthe Pandavas behold me this very day firmly resolved to betake myself tothe long way that leads to the regions of Brahman!”
Vaishampayana continued, “While king Dhritarashtra was indulging in suchlamentations, Sanjaya addressed him in the following words for dispellinghis grief, Cast off thy grief, O monarch! Thou hast heard the conclusionsof the Vedas and the contents of diverse scriptures and holy writ, fromthe lips of the old, O king! Thou hast heard those words which the sagessaid unto Sanjaya while the latter was afflicted with grief on account ofthe death of his son. When thy son, O monarch, caught the pride that isborn of youth, thou didst not accept the counsels offered unto thee bythy well-wishers. Desirous of fruit, thou didst not, throughcovetousness, do what was really for thy benefit. Thy own intelligence,like a sharp sword, has wounded thee. Thou didst generally pay court tothose that were of wicked behaviour. Thy son had Duhshasana for hiscounsellor, and the wicked-souled son of Radha, and the equally wickedShakuni and Citrasena of foolish understanding, and Salya. Thy son (byhis own behaviour) made the whole world his enemy. Thy son, O Bharata,did not obey the words of Bhishma, the reverend chief of the Kurus, ofGandhari and Vidura, of Drona, O king, of Kripa the son of Sharadvata, ofthe mighty-armed Krishna, of the intelligent Narada, of many otherrishis, and of Vyasa himself of immeasurable energy. Though possessed ofprowess, thy son was of little intelligence, proud, always desirous ofbattle, wicked, ungovernable, and discontented. Thou art possessed oflearning and intelligence and art always truthful. They that are sorighteous and possessed of such intelligence as thou, are never stupefiedby grief. Virtue was regarded by none of them. Battle was the one word ontheir lips. For this the Kshatriya order has been exterminated and thefame of thy foes enhanced. Thou hadst occupied the position of an umpire,but thou didst not utter one word of salutary advise. Unfitted as thouwert for the task, thou didst not hold the scales evenly. Every personshould, at the outset, adopt such a beneficial line of action that he maynot have, in the end, to repent for something already done by him.Through affection for thy son, O monarch, thou didst what was agreeableto Duryodhana. Thou art obliged to repent for that now. It behoveth thee,however not to give way to grief. The man whose eyes are directed towardsonly the honey without being once directed to the fall, meets withdestruction through his covetousness for honey. Such a man is obliged torepent even like thee. The man who indulges in grief never wins wealth.By grieving one loses the fruits one desires. Grief is again an obstacleto the acquisition of objects dear to us. The man who gives way to griefloses even his salvation. The man who shrouds a burning coal within thefolds of his attire and is burnt by the fire that is kindled by it, wouldbe pronounced a fool if he grieves for his injuries. Thyself, with thyson, hadst, with your words, fanned the Partha-fire, and with yourcovetousness acting as clarified butter caused that fire to blaze forth,into consuming flames. When that fire thus blazed forth thy sons fellinto it like insects. It behoveth thee not, however, to grieve for themnow that they have all been burnt in the fire of the enemys arrow. Thetear-stained face, O king, which thou bearest now is not approved by thescriptures or praised by the wise. These tears, like sparks of fire, burnthe dead for whom they are shed. Kill thy grief with thy intelligence,and bear thyself up with the strength of thy own self! Thus was the kingcomforted by the high-souled Sanjaya. Vidura then, O scorcher of foes,once again addressed the king, displaying great intelligence.”