Sauti said, ‘And Ruru, on hearing those words, replied, ‘My wife, dear tome as life, was bit by a snake; upon which, I took, O snake, a dreadfulvow, viz., that I would kill every snake that I might come across.Therefore shall I smite thee and thou shalt be deprived of life.’
“Dhritarashtra said, ‘O Muni of profound wisdom, it is even as thousayest! I know it well as do all these kings! Indeed, what thouconsiderest to be beneficial for the Kurus was pointed out to me, O Muni,by Vidura and Bhishma and Drona. And, if I deserve thy favour, and ifthou hast kindness for the Kurus, do thou exhort my wicked sonDuryodhana!’
“Vaisampayana said, ‘O monarch, after the nuptials were over, kingSantanu established his beautiful bride in his household. Soon after wasborn of Satyavati an intelligent and heroic son of Santanu namedChitrangada. He was endued with great energy and became an eminent man.
“Vaisampayana said, ‘O thou of Kuru’s race, after Chitrangada was slain,his successor Vichitravirya being a minor, Bhishma ruled the kingdom,placing himself under the command of Satyavati. When he saw that hisbrother, who was the foremost of intelligent men, attained to majority, Bhishma set his heart upon marrying Vichitravirya.
"Dhritarashtra, said, 'Describe to me, O Sanjaya, the diverse kinds ofstandards resplendent with great beauty, of both the Partha and ourwarriors (in that battle).' "Sanjaya said, 'Hear, O king, of the diverse kinds of standards of thosehigh-souled warriors. Listen to me as I describe their forms and names.Indeed, O king, upon the cars of those foremost of car-warriors were seendiverse kinds of standards that shone like blazing flames of fire. Madeof gold, or decked with gold,
“Vaisampayana said, ‘The unfortunate Satyavati then became plunged ingrief on account of her son. And after performing with herdaughters-in-law the funeral rites of the deceased, consoled, as best shecould, her weeping daughters-in-law and Bhishma, that foremost of allwielders of weapons.
“Narada then said, ‘This one is the charioteer of the name of Matali. Heis besides a dear friend of Sakra. Pure in conduct, he hath an excellentdisposition and possesses numerous virtues.
“Vaisampayana said, ‘Soon after the monthly season of the princess ofKosala had been over, Satyavati, purifying her daughter-in-law with abath, led her into the sleeping apartment. There seating her upon aluxurious bed, she addressed her, saying, ‘O Princess of Kosala, thyhusband hath an elder brother who shall this day enter thy womb as thychild.
“Yudhishthira said, ‘The path of duty is long. It has also, O Bharata,many branches. What, however, according to thee, are those duties thatmost deserve to be practised? What acts, according to thee, are the mostimportant among all duties, by the practice of which I may earn thehighest merit both here and hereafter?’