Sacred Texts  Hinduism  Mahabharata  Index  Previous  Next 


(Jatugriha Parva continued)

"Vaisampayana said, 'Meanwhile the Pandavas got into their cars, yoking thereto some fine horses endued with the speed of wind. While they were on the point of entering their cars, they touched, in great sorrow, the feet of Bhishma, of king Dhritarashtra, of the illustrious Drona, of Kripa, of Vidura and of the other elders of the Kuru race. Then saluting with reverence all the older men, and embracing their equals, receiving the farewell of even the children, and taking leave of all the venerable ladies in their household, and walking round them respectfully, and bidding farewell unto all the citizens, the Pandavas, ever mindful of their vows, set out for Varanavata. And Vidura of great wisdom and the other bulls among the Kurus and the citizens also, from great affliction, followed those tigers among men to some distance. And some amongst the citizens and the country people, who followed the Pandavas, afflicted beyond measure at beholding the sons of Pandu in such distress, began to say aloud, 'King Dhritarashtra of wicked soul seeth no things with the same eye. The Kuru monarch casteth not his eye on virtue. Neither the sinless Yudhishthira, nor Bhima the foremost of mighty men, nor Dhananjaya the (youngest) son of Kunti, will ever be guilty (of the sin of waging a rebellious war). When these will remain quiet, how shall the illustrious son of Madri do anything? Having inherited the kingdom from their father, Dhritarashtra could not bear them. How is that Bhishma who suffers the exile of the Pandavas to that wretched place, sanctions this act of great injustice? Vichitravirya, the son of Santanu, and the royal sage Pandu of Kuru's race both cherished us of old with fatherly care. But now that Pandu that tiger among men, hath ascended to heaven, Dhritarashtra cannot bear with these princes his children. We who do not sanction this exile shall all go, leaving this excellent town and our own homes, where Yudhishthira will go.'

"Unto those distressed citizens talking in this way, the virtuous Yudhishthira, himself afflicted with sorrow, reflecting for a few moments said, 'The king is our father, worthy of regard, our spiritual guide, and our superior. To carry out with unsuspicious hearts whatever he biddeth, is indeed, our duty. Ye are our friends. Walking round us and making us happy by your blessings, return ye to your abodes. When the time cometh for anything to be done for us by you, then, indeed, accomplish all that is agreeable and

p. 308

beneficial to us.' Thus addressed, the citizens walked round the Pandavas and blessed them with their blessings and returned to their respective abodes.

"And after the citizens had ceased following the Pandavas, Vidura, conversant with all the dictates of morality, desirous of awakening the eldest of the Pandavas (to a sense of his dangers), addressed him in these words. The learned Vidura, conversant with the jargon (of the Mlechchhas), addressed the learned Yudhishthira who also was conversant with the same jargon, in the words of the Mlechchha tongue, so as to be unintelligible to all except Yudhishthira. He said, 'He that knoweth the schemes his foes contrive in accordance with the dictates of political science, should, knowing them, act in such a way as to avoid all danger. He that knoweth that there are sharp weapons capable of cutting the body though not made of steel, and understandeth also the means of warding them off, can never be injured by foes. He liveth who protecteth himself by the knowledge that neither the consumer of straw and wood nor the drier of the dew burneth the inmates of a hole in the deep woods. The blind man seeth not his way: the blind man hath no knowledge of direction. He that hath no firmness never acquireth prosperity. Remembering this, be upon your guard. The man who taketh a weapon not made of steel (i.e., an inflammable abode) given him by his foes, can escape from fire by making his abode like unto that of a jackal (having many outlets). By wandering a man may acquire the knowledge of ways, and by the stars he can ascertain the direction, and he that keepeth his five (senses) under control can never be oppressed y his enemies.'

"Thus addressed, Pandu's son, Yudhishthira the just replied unto Vidura, that foremost of all learned men, saying, 'I have understood thee.' Then Vidura, having instructed the Pandavas and followed them (thus far), walked around them and bidding them farewell returned to his own abode. When the citizens and Bhishma and Vidura had all ceased following, Kunti approached Yudhishthira and said, 'The words that Kshattri said unto thee in the midst of many people so indistinctly as if he did not say anything, and thy reply also to him in similar words and voice, we have not understood. If it is not improper; for us to know them I should then like to hear everything that had passed between him and thee.'

"Yudhishthira replied, 'The virtuous Vidura said unto me that we should know that the mansion (for our accommodation at Varanavata) hath been built of inflammable materials. He said unto me, 'The path of escape too shall not be unknown to thee,'--and further,--'Those that can control their senses can acquire the sovereignty of the whole world.'--The reply that I gave unto Vidura was, 'I have understood thee.'

"Vaisampayana continued, 'The Pandavas set out on the eighth day of the month of Phalguna when the star Rohini was in the ascendant, and arriving at Varanavata they beheld the town and the people.'"

Next: Section CXLVIII