Mahabharata Santi Parva (Rajadharmanusasana Parva) Chapter 1
Om! Having bowed down to Narayana, and Nara, the foremost of male beings, and unto the goddess Saraswati, must the word Jaya be uttered. "Vaisampayana said, 'Having offered oblations, of water unto all their friends and kinsmen, the sons of Pandu, and Vidura, and Dhritarashtra, and all the Bharata ladies, continued to dwell there (on the banks of the sacred stream). The high-souled sons of Pandu desired to pass the period of mourning,which extended for a month, outside the Kuru city. After king Yudhishthira the just had performed the water-rites, many high-souled sages crowned with ascetic success and many foremost of regenerate Rishis came there to see the monarch. Among them were the Island-born (Vyasa), and Narada, and the great Rishi Devala, and Devasthana, and Kanwa. They were all accompanied by best of their pupils. Many other members of the regenerate order, possessed of wisdom and accomplished in the Vedas, leading lives of domesticity or belonging to the Snataka class, came to behold the Kuru king. Those high-souled ones, as they came, were duly worshipped by Yudhishthira. The great Rishis then took their seats on costly carpets. Accepting the worship suited to that period (of mourning and impurity) that was offered them, they sat in due order around the king. Thousands of Brahmanas offered consolation and comfort to that king of kings residing on the sacred banks of the Bhagirathi with heart exceedingly agitated by grief. Then Narada, after having accosted the Rishis with the Island-born for their first, in due time, addressed Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma, saying, "Through the might of thy arms and the grace of Madhava, the whole Earth, O Yudhishthira, hath been righteously won by thee. By good luck, thou hast escaped with life from this dreadful battle. Observant as thou art of the duties of a Kshatriya, dost thou not rejoice, O son of Pandu? Having slain all thy foes, shalt thou not gratify thy friends, O king? Having obtained this prosperity, I hope, grief doth not afflict thee still." "'Yudhishthira said, "Indeed the whole Earth hath been subjugated by me through my reliance on the might of Krishna's arms, through the grace of the Brahmanas, and through the strength of Bhima and Arjuna. This heavy grief, however, is always sitting in my heart, viz., that through covetousness I have caused this dreadful carnage of kinsmen. Having caused the death of the dear son of Subhadra, and of the sons of Draupadi, this victory, O holy one, appears to me in the light of a defeat. What wilt Subhadra of Vrishni's race, that sister-in-law of mine, say unto me? What also will the people residing in Dwaraka say unto the slayer of Madhu when he goes thither from this place? This Draupadi, again, who is ever engaged in doing what is agreeable to us, bereaved of sons and kinsmen, is paining me exceedingly. This is another topic, O holy Narada, about which I will speak to thee. In consequence of Kunti having kept her counsels close in respect of a very important matter, great has been my grief.
- [1. Literally, the period of impurity. The period of mourning is the period of impurity, according to the Hindu scriptures. By performing the Sraddha rite, one becomes pure again. Till then, one can perform no religious rites.]