Mahabharata Stri Parva Chapter 8

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Mahabharata Stri Parva Chapter 8

Vaishampayana said, "Even after hearing the words of Vidura, the chief of the Kurus, afflicted with grief on account of the death of his sons, fell down senseless on the Earth. Beholding him fall down in that state, his friends, as also the island-born Vyasa, and Vidura, and Sanjaya, and other well-wishers, and the attendants who used to wait at the gates and who enjoyed his confidence, sprinkled cool water over his body, and fanned him with palm leaves, and gently rubbed him with their hands. For a long while they comforted the king while in that condition. The monarch, recovering his senses after a long time, wept for a long while, overwhelmed with grief on account of the death of his sons. He said, 'Fie on the state of humanity! Fie on the human body! The woes that are suffered in this life frequently arise from the very state of humanity. Alas, O lord, great is the grief, like poison or fire, that one suffers at the loss of sons, of wealth, of kinsmen, and relatives. That grief causes the limbs to burn and our wisdom to be destroyed. Overwhelmed with that grief, a person regards death to be preferable. This calamity that has overtaken me through ill-luck is even like that. It will not, I see, end except with life itself. O best of regenerate ones, I shall, therefore, put an end to my life this very day.' Having said these words unto his high-souled sire, that foremost of all persons conversant with Brahman, Dhritarashtra, overwhelmed with grief, became stupefied. The king, O monarch reflecting on his woes, became speechless. Hearing these words of his, the puissant Vyasa thus spoke unto his son afflicted with grief on account of the death of his children. "Vyasa said, 'O mighty-armed Dhritarashtra, listen to what I say. Thou art possessed of learning, thou hast great intelligence, and thou, O puissant one, art skilled in understanding duties. Nothing of that which should be known is unknown to thee, O scorcher of foes! Without doubt, thou knowest the instability of all things doomed to death. When the world of life is unstable, when this world itself is not eternal, when life is sure to end in death, why then, O Bharata, dost thou grieve? Before thy very eyes, O king, the concatenation of facts brought about by Time making thy son the cause, produced this hostility. This destruction of the Kurus, O king, was inevitable. Why then dost thou grieve for those heroes that have attained to the highest end? O thou of mighty arms, the high-souled Vidura knew everything. With all his might he had endeavoured, O king, to bring about peace. It is my opinion that the course marked out by Destiny cannot be controlled by anyone, even if one struggles for eternity. The course that was settled by the gods was heard directly by me. I will recite it to thee, so that tranquillity of mind may be thine. Once before, without any fatigue, I repaired very quickly to the court of Indra. There I beheld all the denizens of heaven assembled together. There were, O sinless one, all the celestial Rishis also, headed by Narada. There, O monarch, I saw also the Earth (in her embodied form). The latter had repaired to the gods for the accomplishment of a particular mission. Approaching the gods, she said, "That which ye all should do for me hath, ye blessed ones, been already promised by you while you were in Brahma's abode. Let that be accomplished soon."

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