Mahabharata Sauptika Parva Chapter 1

Mahabharata Sauptika Parva Chapter 1

Om! Having bowed down unto Narayana, and Nara the most exalted of male beings, and unto the goddess Sarasvati, must the word Jaya be uttered! "Sanjaya said, 'Those heroes then together proceeded towards the south. At the hour of sunset they reached a spot near the (Kuru) encampment. Letting their animals loose they became very much frightened. Reaching then a forest, they secretly entered it. They took up their quarters there at no great distance from the encampment. Cut and mangled with many keen weapons, they breathed long and hot sighs, thinking of the Pandavas.
Hearing the loud noise made by the victorious Pandavas, they feared a pursuit and therefore fled towards the east. Having proceeded for sometime, their animals became tired and they themselves became thirsty. Overpowered by wrath and vindictiveness, those great bowmen could not put up with what had occurred, burning as they did with (grief at) the slaughter of the king. They however, took rest for a while.' "Dhritarashtra said, 'The feat, O Sanjaya, that Bhima achieved seems to be incredible, since my son who was struck down possessed the strength of 10,000 elephants. In manhood's prime and possessed of an adamantine frame, he was not capable of being slain by any creature! Alas, even that son of mine was struck down by the Pandavas in battle! Without doubt, O Sanjaya, my heart is made of adamant, since it breaks not into a 1,000 fragments even after hearing of the slaughter of my hundred sons! Alas, what will be the plight of myself and my spouse, an old couple destitute of children! I dare not dwell in the dominions of Pandu's son! Having been the sire of a king and a king myself, O Sanjaya, how shall I pass my days as a slave obedient to the commands of Pandu's son! Having laid my commands over the whole Earth and having stayed over the heads of all, O Sanjaya, how shall I live now as a slave in wretchedness? How shall I be able, O Sanjaya, to endure the words of Bhima who hath single-handed slain a full hundred sons of mine? The words of the high-souled Vidura have come to be realised! Alas, my son, O Sanjaya, did not listen to those words! What, however, did Kritavarma and Kripa and Drona's son do after my son Duryodhana had been unfairly stuck down?' "Sanjaya said, 'They had not proceeded far, O king, when they stopped, for they beheld a dense forest abounding with trees and creepers. Having rested for a little while, they entered that great forest, proceeding on their cars drawn by their excellent steeds whose thirst had been assuaged.
That forest abounded with diverse kinds of animals, and it teemed with various species of birds. And it was covered with many trees and creepers and was infested by numerous carnivorous creatures. Covered with many pieces of water and adorned with various kinds of flowers, it had many lakes overgrown with blue lotuses. "'Having entered that dense forest, they cast their eyes about and saw a gigantic banyan tree with thousands of branches. Repairing to the shade of that tree, those great car-warriors, O king, those foremost of men, saw that was the biggest tree in that forest.