Mahabharata Stri Parva Chapter 26

Mahabharata Stri Parva (Vilapa Parva) Chapter 26

"The holy one said, 'Arise, arise, O Gandhari, do not set thy heart on grief! Through thy fault, this vast carnage has taken place! Thy son Duryodhana was wicked-souled, envious, and exceedingly arrogant. Applauding his wicked acts, thou regardest them to be good. Exceedingly cruel, he was the embodiment of hostilities, and disobedient to the injunctions of the old. Why dost thou wish to ascribe thy own faults to me? Dead or lost, the person that grieves for what has already occurred, obtaineth more grief. By indulging in grief, one increases it two-fold. A woman of the regenerate class bears children for the practice of austerities; the cow brings forth offspring for bearing burdens; the mare brings forth her young for acquiring speed of motion; the Shudra woman bears a child for adding to the number of servitors; the Vaishya woman for adding to the number of keepers of cattle. A princess, however, like thee, brings forth sons for being slaughtered!'" Vaishampayana said, "Hearing these words of Vasudeva that were disagreeable to her, Gandhari, with heart exceedingly agitated by grief, remained silent. The royal sage Dhritarashtra, however, restraining the grief that arises from folly, enquired of Yudhishthira the just, saying, 'If, O son of Pandu, thou knowest it, tell me the number of those that have fallen in this battle, as also of those that have escaped with life!' "Yudhishthira answered, 'One billion 660 million and 20,000 men have fallen in this battle. Of the heroes that have escaped, the number is 240,165.' "Dhritarashtra said, 'Tell me, O mighty-armed one, for thou art conversant with everything, what ends have those foremost of men attained.' "Yudhishthira said, 'Those warriors of true prowess that have cheerfully cast off their bodies in fierce battle have all attained regions like those of Indra. Knowing death to be inevitable, they that have encountered it cheerlessly have attained the companionship of the Gandharvas. Those warriors that have fallen at the edge of weapons, while turning away from the field or begging for quarter, have attained the world of the guhyakas. Those high-souled warriors who, observant of the duties of Kshatriya-hood and regarding flight from battle to be shameful, have fallen, mangled with keen weapons, while advancing unarmed against fighting foes, have all assumed bright forms and attained the regions of Brahman. The remaining warriors, that have in anyhow met with death on the precincts of the field of battle, have attained the region of the Uttara-Kurus.' "Dhritarashtra said, 'By the power of what knowledge, O son, thou seest these things like one crowned with ascetic success? Tell me this, O mighty-armed one, if thou thinkest that I can listen to it without impropriety!' "Yudhishthira said, 'While at thy command I wandered in the forest, I obtained this boon on the occasion of sojourning to the sacred places. I met with the celestial rishi Lomasa and obtained from him the boon of spiritual vision. Thus on a former occasion I obtained second sight through the power of knowledge!'