Sages who lived in other parts of the forest came to his hermitage and asked Mandavya how he came to be in that terrible pass. Mandavya replied: "Whom shall I blame? The servants of the king, who protect the world, have inflicted this punishment." The king was surprised and frightened when he heard that the impaled sage was still alive and that he was surrounded by the other sages of the forest. He hastened to the forest with his attendants and at once ordered the sage to be taken down from the spear. Then he prostrated at his feet and prayed humbly to be forgiven for the offence unwittingly committed. Mandavya was not angry with the king. He went straight to Dharma, the divine dispenser of justice, who was seated on his throne, and asked him: "What crime have I committed to deserve this torture?" Lord Dharma, who knew the great power of the sage, replied in all humility: "O sage, you have tortured birds and bees. Are you not aware that all deeds, good or bad, however small, inevitably produce their results, good or evil?" Mandavya was surprised at this reply of Lord Dharma and asked: "When did I commit this offence?" Lord Dharma replied: "When you were a child." Mandavya then pronounced a curse on Dharma: "This punishment you have decreed is far in excess of the deserts of a mistake committed by a child in ignorance. Be born, therefore, as a mortal in the world." Lord Dharma who was thus cursed by the sage Mandavya incarnated as Vidura and was born of the servant-maid of Ambalika, the wife of Vichitravirya. This story is intended to show that Vidura was the incarnation of Dharma. The great men of the world regarded Vidura as a mahatma who was unparalleled in his knowledge of dharma, sastras and statesmanship and was totally devoid of attachment and anger. Bhishma appointed him, while he was still in his teens, as the chief counsellor of king Dhritarashtra.