" Dhritarashthra"





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Dhritarâshthra Quits Home



(1) Sûta said: " Vidura* while traveling to the different places of pilgrimage, had received knowledge of the destination of the self from the great sage Maitreya, and by that knowledge sufficiently acquainted with everything there was to know, returned he to the city of Hastinâpura. (2) With all the questions he had asked having grown one in devotion to Govinda in the presence of Maitreya, had Vidura refrained from questioning any further. (3-4) Arriving there, he was welcomed by Yudhishthhira with his younger brothers, Dhritarâshthra, Sâtyaki and Sañjaya, Kripâcârya, Kuntî, Gândhârî, Draupadî - o learned ones - Subhadrâ, Uttarâ, Kripî, other wives of the family members of the Pândavas, and other ladies with their sons. (5) They went towards him in great delight as if life had returned to their bodies, approaching him with due respect with embraces and obeisances. (6) In their affection they emotionally shed tears because of the anxiety and grief they had felt from the separation. King Yudhishthhira then arranged for a reception getting him seated.





(7) After being fed sumptuously, having rested and being seated comfortably, the king from his gentle nature meekly began to speak to him with all of the others listening. (8) He said: 'Do you remember how we, being educated under your wings, along with our mother were released from various calamities like poisoning and arson? (9) By which means of your good self did you maintain your livelihood traveling the surface of the earth and at what holy places of pilgrimage did you serve here on this planet? (10) Devotees like your goodness are converted into holy places themselves, o powerful one; having the Supreme Personality in your heart, you turn all places into places of pilgrimage. (11) O my uncle, can you tell us from seeing or hearing about our friends and well-wishers, if the descendants of Yadu, who are rapt in the service of Krishna, are all happy in their respective abodes?'




(12) Thus being asked by the king, he properly described all that he had experienced one after another, without mentioning the destruction of the dynasty. (13) Unable to see them distressed he compassionately did not expound on this in fact unpalatable and unbearable manifestation of mankind its own ways. (14) He resided thus for a few days being treated with the amenities befitting a god, doing good to the eldest brother and this way bringing happiness to all the others. (15) As long as Vidura played the part of a s'ûdra [a working class man], because of a 100-year curse of the sage Mandûka Muni [who under his responS'ibility was treated unjustly], Aryamâ** administered punishment as was suitable for the sinful ones. (16) By his seeing the grandson of the dynasty being suitable for ruling over the paternal kingdom together with his capable co-administering brothers, they enjoyed life in great opulence.




(17) Insurmountable, imperceptible eternal Time supremely surpasses all those who are mad and engrossed in their thoughts of attachment to family affairs. (18) Vidura, knowing this well, said to Dhritarâshthra: 'O King, please withdraw yourself from here without delay, just see how fear has taken over. (19) In this material world there is no remedy of any measure or anyone, for that fear concerns the Supreme Lord of eternal Time who arrives for all of us. (20) Inevitably overtaken by the pull of time must a person, just like that, give up this life, dear as it is to everyone, not to mention the other things he has acquired. (21) With your father, brother, well-wishers and sons all dead, your life expended and your body invalid of old age, you live in another man's home. (22) You have been blind from the beginning, don't hear so well, your memory fails and recently your teeth loosened, your liver gives you trouble, and you are loudly coughing up mucus. (23) Alas, how powerful are the hopes of living beings for life, under the influence of which you, just like a household-dog, eat the remnants of food left by Bhîma [a Pândava brother] (24) What use has it to subsist on the grace of those whom you tried to set afire, poison and whose wife you insulted usurping their kingdom? (25) Whether you like it or not will you, who desires to live, see this miserly body dwindle and deteriorate like an old garment. (26) He is considered wise who, being without the proper use of this body and indifferent of being freed from all obligations, gives up this body, having left for an unknown destination. (27) Anyone who in this world by his own understanding or by hearing from others awakens from his material attachment to consciousness and leaves home with the Lord installed in his heart, is certainly a first class human being. (28) Therefore, please go away heading for the north, without letting your relatives know where you are going to, as soon after this the time will come of the general diminishing of the qualities of men [kali-yuga].'(29) Thus the old king of the Ajamîdha family, urged by the wisdom of his younger brother Vidura, by his steadfastness broke with the strong network of familial affection and left in the [northern] direction set for the path of liberation. (30) He was followed by the chaste and worthy daughter of King Subala [Gândhârî] who went along with her husband to the Himalayas - the place that is the delight for those who took up the staff of renunciation, like fighters accepting the legitimate of a good beating.




(31) Returning to the palace, he who considered no one his enemy [Yudhishthhira], having worshiped the demigods with oblations, obeisances and gifts to the learned ones, wanted to pay respects to the elderly, but did not find his two uncles or aunt Gândhârî. (32) Anxious, he turned to Sañjaya the son of Gavalgana [the assistant who gave the blind Dhritarâshthra the account of the battle], saying: 'Where is our old and blind uncle? (33) Where is my well-wisher Vidura and mother Gândhârî who was in grief of losing her offspring? Has the old king, ungrateful to me of having lost his sons, in a doubtful mind of my offenses, drowned himself with his wife in the Ganges in his distress? (34) After the fall down of my father King Pându, they were the well-wishers of all of us small children protecting us - where have my uncles gone from here?' "




(35) Sûta said: "Sañjaya anxious out of compassion and distressed in separation of not seeing his master, could, being too aggrieved, not reply. (36) Wiping the tears of his face with his hands and regaining his mind with intelligence he began to reply King Yudhishthhira while thinking of the feet of his master. (37) Sañjaya said: 'I do not know of the determination of your uncles or Gândhârî, o descendant of the Kuru dynasty - o great King, I've been cheated by those great souls.' (38) At that time the supreme personality Nârada appeared on the scene with his musical instrument and after Yudhishthhira and his younger brothers had gotten up from their seats and had offered him their due obeisances, thus receiving the sage properly, the king said: (39) 'O Supreme One, I do not know whereto my uncles and my ascetic aunt so aggrieved of the loss of her sons, have left for from here. (40) Like the captain on a ship in the extensive ocean you are the Lord to direct us to the other side.'




Thus addressed the divine personality Nârada, greatest among the wise philosophers of the eternal, began to speak: (41)'O King, never lament for whatever reason, as you are under the control of the Supreme Lord. All living beings and their leaders in this world therefore do carry on worship for their protection. He is the one who brings all together and also disperses them. (42) The way a cow is strung by a rope through the nose, likewise one is conditioned by the hymns and precepts of the Veda to carry on with the orders of control of the caring Lord. (43) As playthings that are brought together and set apart again at will in this world, does, just to have them play their part, the will of the caring Lord so also for certain direct the human beings. (44) Whether you think of the absolute impersonal truth or of persons as a non-reality or of both as such, in all circumstances, never give in to lamentation out of affection or otherwise out of bewilderment. (45) Therefore, o King, give up your anxiety due to the ignorance of the self, [all the while] thinking how these helpless poor creatures would be able to survive without you. (46) How can this body and mind made up of the five elements [fire, water, air, earth and ether] that is under the control of time, action and the material modes of nature [kâla, karma and gunas] protect others when it is as well bitten by that snake as all others? (47) Those without hands are of those with hands, without legs one is of the four-legged, the weak are of the powerful and one living being is the subsistence for the other. (48) Therefore look only at this outer form of the Supreme Personality, o King, who is one without a second and the Supersoul who by His energies manifests qualitatively alike Himself within and without, although He appears to be different. (49) That Unborn One, the Father of Creation, has, o King, at present descended in this world in a form of time, in order to eliminate all those who are against His will. (50) For the godly has been performed what needed to be done and the rest is awaited - till that time all of you may observe and wait for Him as long as He is in this world.'




(51)'Dhritarâshthra, his brother Vidura and his wife Gândhârî have gone to the southern side of the Himalayas where sages take shelter. (52) The place is known as Saptasrota [seven sources] as the sacred Ganges there sprouted to the satisfaction of the respective wise from seven currents into seven branches. (53) By bathing regularly there, sacrificing in the fire according the regulative principles and fasting with water only, Dhritarâshthra has the senses and mind completely controlled and is thus freed from His family concerns. (54) From sitting postures, breath-control and turning inward from the six senses one can, absorbed in the Lord, conquer the contaminations of passion, goodness and ignorance. (55) Perfectly fixing his intelligence in the wisdom of the living being and merging in the reservoir of the pure spirit of the Supreme [Brahman], he, from his clouded vision, will rise to the spiritual sky. (56) With the ending of the material modes and the suspension of their effects, his senses and mind will stop from being fed while sitting immovably fixed, of no hindrances renouncing all duties. (57) Probably he will quit his body five days from today, o King, and will turn to ashes. (58) While outside observing the body of her husband being [mystically set] afire along with his cottage, the chaste lady will follow him in full consciousness. (59) Vidura, witnessing that wonderful incident, o son of the Kuru dynasty, will, affected by delight and grief, leave from that place on an enlivening pilgrimage. (60) After thus having addressed the king, Nârada took out into space along with his stringed instrument. Yudhishthhira, keeping his instructions in his heart, then gave up all lamentations."






*: Vidura is a younger brother of Dhritarâshthra. He was born as a s'ûdra, a laborer, because of being conceived by Vyâsa from a maidservant of the mother of Pându.



** Aryamâ was a son of Aditi and Kas'yapa officiating for Yamarâja the Lord of punishment. Vidura is considered the s'ûdra incarnation of Yamarâja.   


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