YUDHISHTHIRA'S pain of mind
increased everyday as he thought of all the
kinsmen that had been killed. He was
stricken with intense remorse and decided
he must give up the world go to the forest
and do penance to expiate his sin.
"I see no joy or good," he said to his
brothers, in taking up the office of king or
in worldly enjoyment. Do rule the land
yourselves leaving me free to go to the
forest." Arjuna talked of the nobility of family life
and the entire good one may do without
taking sanyasa. Bhimasena also spoke and
harshly. "You talk, alas"' he said, "like a dullwitted
person who has committed to memory the texts of the sastras without
understanding their sense. Sanyasa is not
the dharma of kshatriyas. The duty of a
kshatriya, is to live an active life and
perform his proper task, not to go to the
forest renouncing activity."
Nakula also contested the propriety of
Dharmaputra's proposal and insisted that
the path of work was the right one to
follow and the way of sanyasa was beset
Sahadeva also argued likewise and
entreated: "You are my father, my mother,
my teacher, as well as brother. Do not
leave us, bear with us."
Draupadi also spoke. "It was right we
killed Duryodhana and his men. Why
should we regret it? Among the duties of a
king is included the inflicting of just
punishment. It cannot be avoided and is
an essential part of the ruler's duty. You
have meted just punishment too evildoers.
There is no cause whatsoever for
contrition. It is now your sacred duty to
take up the burden of governing the land
according to dharma. Cease grieving."
Then Vyasa spoke to Yudhishthira at
length and explained where his duty lay,
pointing out precedents, and persuaded
him to go to the city and take up the
burden of ruling the land.
Yudhishthira was duly crowned at
Hastinapura. Before taking up the duties
of the State, Yudhishthira went to where
Bhishma lay on his bed of arrows
awaiting his death, and took his blessing
and instruction in dharma.