MAN pursues madly the object of his
desire until it is got. When it is in his
possession, he is soon satisfied, but he
becomes the slave of ever-fresh longings
and fresh griefs and finds no peace.
Although to fight and to kill his enemies
is a Kshatriyas dharma, what joy can one
gets out of power and position and wealth
acquired by slaughter and grief inflicted
on brothers and near relations? It was this
that Arjuna pointed out in his powerful
plea before Krishna when the battle
commenced. Krishna in answer, explained
the principles of man's activities and the
proper discharge of one's duties. But, what
Arjuna felt and argued had also a great
deal of force and there was more truth in it
than appeared on the surface.
The Pandavas defeated the Kauravas and
became the unquestioned sovereigns of
the land. They took up their duties and
discharged them according to dharma.
But, they found not in victory, the joy that
they had expected.
"When the Pandavas won and obtained
the kingdom, how did they treat
Dhritarashtra?" asked king Janamejaya,
and Vaisampayana, who recited Vyasa's
Mahabharata to the king, tells the story.
The Pandavas with the utmost respect
treated Dhritarashtra, who was plunged in
a sea of grief. They tried to make him
happy. They did nothing to make him feel
humiliated. Yudhishthira issued no orders
except with his approval. Gandhari, whose
hundred sons had disappeared like dream-
gold, was looked after by Kuntidevi with
loving and sisterly devotion and Draupadi
dutifully ministered to them both, with
Yudhishthira furnished Dhritarashtra's
house with rich seats and beds and
decorations and all else that was wanted.
He sent from the royal kitchen most
dainty and palatable dishes prepared for
him. Kripacharya, lived with Dhritarashtra
and kept him company. Vyasa comforted
him with instructive stories of olden
times, calculated to assuage his sorrow.
In the administration of affairs of the
State, Yudhishthira consulted
Dhritarashtra and conducted himself so as
to give him the feeling that in truth the
kingdom was ruled on his behalf and that
he, as the eldest member of the family,
was still the supreme authority.
Yudhishthira was most careful in his
speech, never to allow himself to say
anything to cause pain to the bereaved old
man. The princes, who came to
Hastinapura from all parts of the world,
gave Dhritarashtra the same honors; as
they did of old, as if he were still the emperor.
The women attendants gave Gandhari no
occasion to feel her fallen estate.