Janamejaya said, “After the holy Vyasa had departed, what, O regeneratesage, did king Dhritarashtra, do? It behoveth thee to tell me this. Whatalso did the Kuru king, the high-souled son of Dharma, do? And how didthose three, Kripa and others, do? I have heard of the feats ofAshvatthama and the mutual denouncement of curses. Tell me what happenednext and what Sanjaya next said (unto the old king).”
Vaishampayana said, “After Duryodhana had been slain and all the troopsslaughtered, Sanjaya, deprived of his spiritual sight, came back toDhritarashtra.
“Sanjaya said, The kings of diverse peoples, that came from diverserealms, have all, O king, gone to the regions of the dead, along with thysons. Thy son, O king, who had constantlybeen implored (for peace) butwho always wished to terminate his hostility (with the Pandavas byslaughtering them) has caused the earth to be exterminated. Do thou, Oking, cause the obsequial rites of thy sons and grandsons and sires to beperformed according to due order!”
Vaishampayana continued, “Hearing these terrible words of Sanjaya, theking fell down on the Earth and lay motionless like one deprived of life.Approaching the monarch who was lying prostrate on the Earth, Vidura,conversant with every duty, said these words: Rise, O king, why dost thoulie down thus? Do not grieve, O bull of Bharatas race! Even this, O lordof Earth, is the final end of all creatures. At first creatures arenon-existent. In the interim, O Bharata, they become existent. At theend, they once more become non-existent. What cause of sorrow is there inall this? By indulging in grief, one cannot get back the dead. Byindulging in grief, one cannot die himself. When such is the course ofthe world, why dost thou indulge in grief? One may die without havingbeen engaged in battle. One also escapes with life after being engaged inbattle. When ones Time comes, O king, one cannot escape! Time drags allkinds of creatures. There is none dear or hateful to Time, O best of theKurus! As the wind tears off the ends of all blades of grass, even so allcreatures, O bull of Bharatas race, are brought by Time under itsinfluence. All creatures are like members of the same caravan bound forthe same destination. What cause of sorrow is there if Time meets withone a little earlier than with another? Those again, O king, that havefallen in battle and for whom thou grievest, are not really objects ofthy grief, since all those illustrious ones have gone to heaven. Bysacrifices with profuse presents, by ascetic austerities, and byknowledge, people cannot so easily repair to heaven as heroes by couragein battle. All those heroes were conversant with the Vedas; all of themwere observant of vows; all of them have perished, facing the foe inbattle. What cause of sorrow then is there? They poured their arrowylibations upon the bodies of their brave foes as upon a fire. Foremost ofmen, they bore in return the arrowy libations poured upon themselves. Itell thee, O king, that there is no better way to heaven for a Kshatriyathan through battle. All of them were high-souled Kshatriyas, all of themwere heroes and ornaments of assemblies. They have attained to a highstate of blessedness. One should not grieve for them. Do thou comfort thyown self. Do not grieve, O bull among men! It behoveth thee not to sufferthyself to be overwhelmed with sorrow and abandon all action.”