Mahaabhaarat | Kathaa-G | 7-Post-War
|15-Aashramvaas Parv, 1-4 of 39|
|Kathaa-G - 7-Post-War - page 25|
|15-Aashramvaas Parv-page 1|
Dhritraashtra Wishes to Go to Woods
Om, After bowing down to Nar and Naaraayan and Saraswatee, Jaya must be uttered.
Janamejaya asked - "After getting the kingdom, how did my grandparents treat their great father who had nowhere to go. How Gaandhaaree lived? For how many years they ruled?" Vaishampaayam Jee said - "Paandav ruled the kingdom placing Dhritraashtra at their head. Vidur, Sanjaya and Yuyutsu used to wait upon Dhritraashtra. Paandav used to take advice from Dhritrashtra in all matters. Kuntee also obeyed Gaandhaaree in everything. Draupadee and Subhadraa and other ladies used to treat Dhritraashtra and Gaandhaaree like their own father and mother. All the things were in plenty to enjoy. Kripaa also used to wait upon Dhritraashtra. Vyaas Jee came to Dhritraashtra often and used to tell him stories of old Rishi, Pitar, Raakshas etc. Dhritraashtra pardoned many prisoners and who were condemned to death. Dhritraashtra got all kinds of luxury as before. Kuntee, Draupadee, Subhadraa, Uloopee, Chitraangadaa, sister of Dhrishtketu and daughter of Jaraasandh, all used to wait upon Gaandhaaree like her maids. Yudhishthir was specially concerned about Dhritraashtra that he should not feel lonely without all his children. However Bheem could not forget any single incident.
Vaishampaayan Jee said - "Thus Dhritraashtra started passing his time happily under the sincere care of Yudhishthir. Yudhishthir often used to say to his brothers that they should respect Dhritraashtra as he was his well-wisher and whoever will misbehave with him he would be his enemy." So all his brothers used to obey him whatever he wanted to do. On the other hand, Dhritraashtra, seeing them so humble, used to treat them affectionately in return. Thus both treated them like their own children. In fact he never derived so much happiness from his own children as he was deriving now from Paandu's. However Bheem always became cheerless at the sight of Dhritraashtra.
Vaishampaayan further said - "Whenever Dhritraashtra remembered his wicked sons, he did not feel comfortable when he saw Bheem, in the same way Bheem also could not put up with Dhritraashtra. He secretly disobeyed him and did several acts which were disagreeable to him. One day Bheem said, so that Dhritraashtra and Gaandhaaree could hear it, "The sons of this blind king were all killed by my these strong arms like iron clubs." Dhritraashtra again got sad hearing this, but Gaandhaaree who was very intelligent and knew what the Time had in front of them regarded them untrue. Fifteen years had passed away, and Dhritraashtra was still sad because of Bheem's words. Nobody else among Paandav family could know this.
One day Dhritraashtra called his friends and said to them - "Everybody knows how the Kuru died. All was because of my fault as they obeyed my counsel. I was so fool that I installed Duryodhan as a ruler, Vaasudev told me that this sinful wretched should be killed with all his friends and counselors. Vidur, Bheeshm, Drone and Kripaa also told the same thing. Vyaas also told me the same thing as Sanjaya and Gaandhaaree. Out of the affection I did not follow their advice. Janaardan knew that all kings would be killed and it will be highly beneficial for everybody (as Prithvi prayed to Vishnu to become lightened from the load of Daitya). I am really sad of its results. After the 15 years I wish to wash my sins. At present I am eating food just to quench my thirst at the 4th part of the day or the 8th part of the day (day is divided in 8 parts). Gaandhaaree knows this, but everybody else knows that I eat as usual. I do this secretly because if Yudhishthir will know about it, he wall feel great pain. I pass my night wearing deer skin lying on a very few quantity of Kush grass in silent recitations. Gaandhaaree also observes similar vows. I am not grieved for my children because all have died as Kshatriya."
Then he said to Yudhishthir - "God bless you. I praise you. We have lived here for all these years very comfortably. Whoever misbehaved with Draupadee, they have all died. I have nothing to do with them. Now I have to think about myself as what is beneficial and meritorious to me. I, therefore, now seek your permission to go to woods. Wearing rags and barks I will live in the woods subsisting on air for the cause of severe penance." Yudhishthir said - "When you are thus sad, this kingship doesn't make me happy. Fie on me that I with my brothers never knew that you were so sad and not eating food properly. How foolish I am. How we will live without you? I am not the king, you are the king. I have no ill feeling about Duryodhan as it was ordained like this. We are your children like Duryodhan and you are like our parents as Kuntee and Paandu. I will try my best to dispel your grief."
Dhritraashtra said - "I have made up my mind. I have lived here long enough, you have served me with so much respect, but now you give me permission to go to woods." After saying this to Yudhishthir Dhritraashtra said to Sanjaya and Kripaa - "I am tired of my age and exertion of speaking." And he leaned on Gaandhaaree. Yudhishthir got very sad to see this condition of Dhritraashtra. He sprinkled some sweet smelling herbal water on his face and thus he regained his consciousness. He said - "Touch me again, your touch is highly gratifying to me. This is the 8th part of the day, this is my food time, if I do not eat food, I will be very weak." So Yudhishthir caressed him gently.
Filled with grief all wept but nobody said anything to anybody. Dhritraashtra said again to Yudhishthir - "Give me the permission to go to woods. By repeating the request my mind becomes weakened. Do not afflict me after this." Weeping Yudhishthir said - "I do not desire this life or this earth. I will do anything to please you. If I am dear to you please eat something. Then I will tell you what to do." Dhritraashtra said - I wish to take some food." The then Vyaas Jee came there and said thus.
Vyaas Jee said - "Do as Dhritraashtra says. The king is old, besides this he is without his children too. I don't think that he can live long in this condition. So I also say the same [what king says]. Do as the king says, don't let him die here at home. Let this king also follow the path of royal sages." Hearing this Yudhishthir said - "You are our Guru, you are our refuge, the son should always obey his father." Vyaas Jee further said to Yudhishthir - "The king is in the last stage of his life. Permitted by you and me let him do whatever he wishes to do. He has also enjoyed his kingdom and you have also served them well. Now you permit him to go, the time has come for him to practice penance. He has no ill feeling towards any of you." Yudhishthir said - "So be it." When Vyaas Jee left, Yudhishthir said - "I will accomplish everything, as has been decided by all, as soon as possible. You take your food first and then go to forest."
Created by Sushma Gupta On 05/27/04
Modified on 04/08/13