Mahabharata Stri Parva Chapter 16:3

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Mahabharata Stri Parva (Vilapa Parva) Chapter 16:3

Many, whom bards well-trained to their work formerly used, with their hymns and eulogies of grave import, to delight every morning, are now surrounded by fair ladies stricken with grief and weeping and crying around them in woe, O tiger of Vrishni's race! The faces of those beautiful ladies, O Keshava, though pale, look resplendent still, like an assemblage of red lotuses! Those Kuru ladies have ceased to weep, with their respective followers and companions. They are all filled with anxiety. Overwhelmed with sorrow, they are running hither and thither. The faces of those fair ones have, with weeping and anger, become resplendent as the morning sun or gold or burnished copper. Hearing each other's lamentations of incomplete sense, those ladies, in consequence of the loud wails of woe bursting from every side, are unable to catch each other's meaning. Some amongst them, drawing long sighs and indulging in repeated lamentations, are stupefied by grief and are abandoning their life-breaths. Many of them, beholding the bodies (of their sons, husbands, or sires), are weeping and setting up loud wails. Others are striking their heads with their own soft hands. The earth, strewn with severed heads and hands and other limbs mingled together and gathered in large heaps, looks resplendent with these signs of havoc! Beholding many headless trunks of great beauty, and many heads without trunks, those fair ones have been lying senseless on the ground for a long while. Uniting particular heads with particular trunks, those ladies, senseless with grief, are again discovering their mistakes and saying, "This is not this ones," and are weeping more bitterly! Others, uniting arms and thighs and feet, cut off with shafts, are giving way to grief and losing their senses repeatedly (at the sight of the restored forms). Some amongst the Bharata ladies, beholding the bodies of their lords,—bodies that have been mangled by animals and birds and severed of their heads,—are not succeeding in recognising them. Others, beholding their brothers, sires, sons, and husbands slain by foes, are, O destroyer of Madhu, striking their heads with their own hands. Miry with flesh and blood, the Earth has become impassable with arms still holding swords in their grasp, and with heads adorned with earrings. Beholding the field strewn with their brothers and sires, and sons, those faultless ladies, who had never before suffered the least distress, are now plunged into unutterable woe. Behold, O Janardana, those numerous bevies of Dhritarashtra's daughters-in-law, resembling successive multitudes of handsome fillies adorned with excellent manes! What, O Keshava, can be a sadder spectacle for me to behold than that presented by those ladies of fair forms who have assumed such an aspect? Without doubt, I must have perpetrated great sins in my former lives, since I am beholding, O Keshava, my sons and grandsons and brothers all slain by foes.' While indulging in such lamentations in grief, Gandhari's eyes fell upon her son (Duryodhana)."

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