Chapter 13: Dhritarâshthra Quits Home
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    Welcome, Guest · RSS 2019-07-20, 4:48 PM
    Chapter 13: Dhritarâshthra Quits Home
    (1) Sûta said: "Vidura* as he was traveling to the different places of pilgrimage, had received knowledge about the destination of the self from the great sage Maitreya, and since he by that knowledge was sufficiently acquainted with everything to be known, he returned to the city of Hastinâpura. (2) After all the questions that Vidura put before Maitreya in his presence an undivided devotion unto Govinda had grown in him and he refrained from further questioning. (3-4) Arriving in Hastinâpura he, oh brahmins, was welcomed by Yudhishthhira and his younger brothers, Dhritarâshthra, Sâtyaki and Sañjaya, Kripâcârya, Kuntî, Gândhârî, Draupadî, Subhadrâ, Uttarâ, Kripî, other wives of the family members of the Pândavas and other ladies with their sons. (5) Like awakened from death they approached him in great delight to receive him with all respect with embraces and obeisances. (6) In their affection they emotionally shed tears because of the anxiety and grief they had felt because of the separation. King Yudhishthhira offered him a seat and then arranged for a reception.

    (7) After he was fed sumptuously, had rested and was seated comfortably, the king humbly bowed down to address him in front of everybody. (8) He said: 'Do you remember how we, brought up under the wings of your care, together with our mother were delivered from various calamities like poisoning and arson? (9) How did you maintain your livelihood as you traveled the surface of the earth and in which holy places of pilgrimage have you been of service here on this planet? (10) Devotees like your goodness are converted into holy places themselves, oh powerful one; having the Supreme Personality in your heart, you turn all places into places of pilgrimage. (11) Dear uncle, can you tell us what you saw or heard about our friends and well-wishers? Are the descendants of Yadu, who with Krishna are rapt in their love for God, all happy where they are living?'

    (12) Thus being questioned by the king he properly described, discussing one subject after the other, all he had experienced, but did not mention the destruction of the dynasty. (13) Because he did not want to upset them he was as graceful not to expound on this in fact so unpalatable and unbearable aspect of mankind's behavior. (14) The sage, who was treated like a god, thus resided for a few days with them so that he could mean something to his eldest brother and all would be happy. (15) Because of a curse of Mandûka Muni [who under Yama's responsibility was treated unjustly], Vidura for the time of a hundred years had to play the part of a s'ûdra [a working class man]. During that time it was Aryamâ who [in his place] administered punishment as was suitable for the sinful ones**.

    (16) Yudhishthhira had seen that there was a grandson in the dynasty fit for ruling the kingdom that he had retrieved and enjoyed together with his politically gifted brothers a life of great wealth. (17) But Time, insurmountable and imperceptible in its being, surpasses  inimitably those who are inattentive and engrossed in the mind of attachment to family affairs. (18) Vidura who knew this said to Dhritarâshthra: 'Oh King, [dear brother], please withdraw yourself without delay, just see how fear has taken the lead in your life. (19) In this material world there is no help of anyone or anything to escape from this fear, because that fear concerns the Supreme Lord who approaches us all in the form of eternal Time. (20) Inevitably overtaken by the pull of time a person must, just like that, give up this life as dear as it is to everyone, not to mention the wealth and such he has acquired. (21) With your father, brother, well-wishers and sons all dead, with your life expended and your body decrepit, you live in another man's home. (22) You have been blind since you were born, don't hear that well anymore, your memory fails and recently your teeth loosened, your liver gives you trouble, and you are loudly coughing up mucus. (23) Alas, how powerful  the living being its attachment to life is! It is that strong that it makes you, just like a household dog, eat the remnants of the food left over by Bhîma [your Pândava nephew]. (24) How can you subsist on the grace of those whom you tried to burn and poison and whose wife you have insulted while usurping their kingdom? (25) Whether you like it or not, you will, however much you value your life, have to face the fact that this miserly body will dwindle and deteriorate like an old garment. (26) Someone is courageous and wise if he, unconcerned in being freed from all obligations, accepts that he has to head for an unknown destination when he is no longer able to use his body properly. (27) Anyone in this world who, by his own understanding or having it learned from others, arrives at consciousness when he has awakened from his material attachment and next leaves home with the Lord installed in his heart, is certainly a first-class human being. (28) Therefore, please leave for the north without letting your relatives know where you are heading for; hereafter soon the time will arrive of a general diminishing of the qualities of men [Kali-yuga].' (29) Having heard this the old king of the Ajamîdha family, in respect of the wisdom of his younger brother Vidura, broke determined with the strong family ties and left in that direction which was 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 of those who took up the staff of renunciation like they were fighters accepting the legitimacy 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 for the brahmins, wanted to pay his respects to the elderly. But he couldn't find his two uncles or aunt Gândhârî. (32) Anxiously, he turned to Sañjaya the son of Gavalgana [the assistant who gave the blind Dhritarâshthra the account of the battle], and said to him: 'Where is our old, blind uncle? (33) Where is my well-wisher Vidura and mother Gândhârî who was grieving over losing her offspring? Has the old king, ungrateful to me for having lost his sons, distressed in a mind of doubt about my offenses drowned himself together with his wife in the Ganges? (34) After   the downfall of my father King Pându they were the well-wishers who protected us all who were still small children - where have my uncles gone from here?' "

    (35) Sûta said: "Sañjaya, who worried in the love for his master couldn't find him, was upset about the separation and could, being too aggrieved, not speak a word in reply. (36) Thinking about the feet of his master he with his hands wiped the tears from his face and tried to regain his composure to answer King Yudhishthhira. (37) Sañjaya said: 'I do not know what your uncles or Gândhârî had in mind, oh descendant of the Kuru dynasty - oh great King, these great souls have led me by the nose.' (38) At that moment the supreme personality Nârada appeared on the scene with his musical instrument and after Yudhishthhira and his younger brothers had got up from their seats to welcome him properly by offering him their obeisances, the king said: (39) 'Oh Supreme One, I do not know in which direction my uncles and my ascetic aunt who is so aggrieved about the loss of her sons, have left. (40) Just like a captain on a ship in the great ocean you are the Lord to guide us to the other side.'

    Thus being addressed the divine personality Nârada, the greatest among the wise philosophers of the eternal, began to speak: (41) 'Oh King, never lament for whatever reason, for you are controlled by the Supreme Lord. All living beings and their leaders in this world perform their ceremonies in order to be protected. He is the one who brings everybody together and also disperses us again. (42) The way a cow is tied by a rope through the nose, one is likewise tied by the hymns and precepts of the Veda so as to follow in accordance with the demands of the Supreme. (43) The way in this world playthings at will are brought together and separated again, it also happens to the people who subjected to the game of the Lord are brought together and separated again. (44) Whether one considers persons eternal [souls] or temporal [bodies] or else as both [embodied souls] or as neither of both [because of the Absolute Truth which is transcendental to all attributes], they never under any circumstance should constitute a reason for lamentation; one is only of that state because one is emotionally involved or has lost one's mind. (45) Therefore, oh King, give up the anxiety you feel because of a lack of self knowledge, and stop thinking how these helpless poor creatures would be able to survive without you. (46) How is this body, which is made out of the five elements [fire, water, air, earth and ether] and is controlled by time, materially motivated action and the modes of nature [kâla, karma and the gunas], capable of protecting others when it is just as well bitten by that snake? (47) Those who have no hands [the animals] are at the mercy of the ones who do have hands [the human beings]. Living beings without limbs [like grasses] are at the mercy of the four-legged ones [like the cows]. The weaker ones are at the mercy of the stronger ones and thus one living being feeds on the other. (48) Therefore only have eyes for the outer form of Him who by the power of illusion appears as a diversity; He, oh King, is the Supreme Personality, the Supersoul who self-illuminating manifests Himself as the object as well as the subject of the different living beings. (49) That Unborn One, the Father of Creation, has, oh King, at present descended in this world in a form of [the all-devouring] Time in order to eliminate all the enemies of the enlightened. (50) The Lord did for the enlightened souls what had to be done and is now awaiting the rest. You Pândavas  must observe in the same way and wait for as long as He is present in this world.

    (51) Dhritarâshthra, his brother Vidura and his wife Gândhârî have departed for the southern side of the Himalayas where the sages have their refuge. (52) The place is known as Saptasrota [seven sources] because the river of the heavens [the Svardhunî] sprouted there and to the satisfaction of the respective wise divided herself into the seven currents we know as her branches. (53) By bathing regularly there, sacrificing in the fire according to the regulative principles and fasting on drinking water only, Dhritarâshthra has completely subdued his mind and senses and is thus freed from the dependency he had with his family. (54) With the help of sitting postures, breath-control and turning one's mind inward away from the six senses one can, absorbed in the Lord, conquer the contaminations of passion, goodness and ignorance. (55) By allowing his self to merge with the wisdom and the wisdom to merge with the pure witness, he has united with the Absolute [brahman], the reservoir of pure being, the same way the air within a pot merges with the space outside of it. (56) With his breaking with the effects of the operation of the natural modes, his senses and mind will no longer be fed and come to a stop when he, no longer hindered in renouncing all his duties, sits concentrating his mind without moving a limb. (57) I expect that he will quit his body five days from now, oh King, and will allow it to turn to ashes. (58) While she outside observes the body of her husband being [mystically set] afire along with his cottage, his chaste wife fully conscious will follow him in the fire. (59) Vidura, witnessing that wonderful incident, oh son of the Kuru dynasty, will, with mixed feelings of delight and grief, leave that place to embark on an inspiring pilgrimage.' (60) After thus having addressed the king Nârada, along with his stringed instrument, rose up into heaven. Yudhishthhira, taking his instructions at heart, thereupon gave up all his lamentation."