OM! AFTER HAVING bowed down to Narayana, and Nara, the foremost of men,and unto the goddess Saraswati also, must the word Jaya be uttered.
“Vaisampayana said, ‘Thus worshipped by the Pandavas, the royal soil ofAmvika passed his time happily as before, waited upon and honoured by theRishis.
“Vaisampayana said, ‘The people who lived in the Kuru kingdom failed tonotice any variance in the cordiality that subsisted between kingYudhishthira and the father of Duryodhana.
“Vyasa said, ‘O mighty-armed Yudhishthira, do without any scruple whatDhritarashtra of Kuru’s race hag said. This king is old. He has, again,been made sonless.
“Vaisampayana said, ‘Having received the king’s permission, kingDhritarashtra of great energy then proceeded to his own palace, followedby Gandhari. With weakened strength and slow motion, that king of greatintelligence walked with difficulty, like the leader, worn out with age,of an elephantine herd.
“Dhritarashtra said, Thou shouldst always ascertain the Mandalas thatbelong to thee, to thy foes, to neutrals, and to those that are disposedequally towards thee and thy foes, O Bharata.
“Dhritarashtra said, ‘O best of kings, thou shouldst also reflectproperly on war and peace. Each is of two kinds.
“Yudhishthira said, ‘O lord of Earth, I shall do as thou biddest me. Oforemost of kings, I should be further instructed by thee. Bhishma hasascended to Heaven.
“Dhritarashtra said, ‘Santanu duly ruled this Earth. Similarly,Vichitraviryya also, protected by Bhishma, ruled you. Without doubt, allthis is known to you. It is also known to you how Pandu, my brother, wasdear to me as also to you.
“Vaisampayana said, ‘Thus addressed, O thou of Kuru’s race, by the oldking, the citizens and the inhabitants of the provinces stood sometimelike men deprived of consciousness.