Mahabharata Mahaprasthanika Parva Chapter 1:2


Mahabharata Mahaprasthanika Parva Chapter 1:2

Then Yudhishthira once more summoned all his subjects. The royal sage informed them of his intentions. The citizens and the inhabitants of the provinces, hearing the king's words, became filled with anxiety and disapproved of them. "This should never be done," said they unto the king. The monarch, well versed with the changes brought about by time, did not listen to their counsels. Possessed of righteous soul, he persuaded the people to sanction his views. He then set his heart on leaving the world. His brothers also formed the same resolution. Then Dharma's son, Yudhishthira, the king of the Kurus, casting off his ornaments, wore barks of trees. Bhima and Arjuna and the twins, and Draupadi also of great fame, similarly clad themselves in bark of trees, O king. Having caused the preliminary rites of religion, O chief of Bharata's race, which were to bless them in the accomplishment of their design, those foremost of men cast off their sacred fires into the water. The ladies, beholding the princes in that guise, wept aloud. They seemed to look as they had looked in days before, when with Draupadi forming the sixth in number they set out from the capital after their defeat at dice. The brothers, however, were all very cheerful at the prospect of retirement. Ascertaining the intentions of Yudhishthira and seeing the destruction of the Vrishnis, no other course of action could please them then.

The five brothers, with Draupadi forming the sixth, and a dog forming the seventh, set out on their journey. Indeed, even thus did king Yudhishthira depart, himself the head of a party of seven, from the city named after the elephant. The citizens and the ladies of the royal household followed them for some distance. None of them, however, could venture to address the king for persuading him to give up his intention. The denizens of the city then returned; Kripa and others stood around Yuyutsu as their centre. Ulupi, the daughter of the Naga chief, O thou of Kunti's race, entered the waters of Ganga. The princess Chitrangada set out for the capital of Manipura. The other ladies who were the grandmothers of Parikshit centered around him. Meanwhile the high-souled Pandavas, O thou of Kuru's race, and Draupadi of great fame, having observed the preliminary fast, set out with their faces towards the east. Setting themselves on Yoga, those high-souled ones, resolved to observe the religion of Renunciation, traversed through various countries and reached diverse rivers and seas. Yudhishthira, proceeded first. Behind him was Bhima; next walked Arjuna; after him were the twins in the order of their birth; behind them all, O foremost one of Bharata's race, proceeded Draupadi, that first of women, possessed of great beauty, of dark complexion, and endued with eyes resembling lotus petals. While the Pandavas set out for the forest, a dog followed them.