Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 1 Chapter 13:1-16

Book 1: Chapter 13

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 1: Chapter 13: Verses 1-16
Departure of Dhrtarastra and his wife Gandhari, for the forest at the instance of Vidura

Suta continued: Having ascertained the truth about the Spirit from the sage Maitreya in the course of his pilgrimage, Vidura returned to Hastinapura; for he had thereby come to know all that he wanted to know. Exclusive devotion to Sri Govinda having welled up in his heart even before he could elicit replies to all the questions he had urged for solution by Maitreya (a descendant of the sage Kusaru), Vidura pressed no more for a reply to the remaining questions. Seeing him, their kinsmen, come back, O sage, Yudhisthira (the son of Dharma, the god of righteousness) and his younger brothers (Bhima and others), Dhrtarastra (their eldest uncle and Vidura's eldest brother) and Yuyutsu (Dhrtarastra's only surviving son, born of a Vaisya wife), Suta (Sanjaya), Krpa (son of Saradvan), Prtha (Kunti, the mother of the Pandavas), Gandhari (Dhrtarastra's devoted spouse and daughter of the king of Gandhara, the modern Afghanistan), Draupadi (daughter of king Drupada), Subhadra (Arjuna's wife and Sri Krsna's younger sister, the grandmother of Pariksit) and Uttar& (Abhimanyu's widow and Pariksit's mother), Krpi (Drona's widow and Krpa's younger sister, the mother of Aswatthama) and all the male and female relations of the late king Pandu (the father of Yudhisthira and his brothers) as well as all the other ladies and their sons went forth in great joy to meet him even as the organs would be roused into activity when life returned to a dead body. They all duly received him by embracing or greeting him and shed copious tears of love, overwhelmed as they were with anxiety caused by (long) separation. When he had taken his seat, the king (duly) paid his respects to him. When after finishing his meal and having reposed (for some time) he was comfortably seated,the king addressed him in the presence of all, his head bent low with humility. Yudhisthira said : Do you remember us, brought up under your fostering care (like young birds that flourish under,the protective wings of their parents)-how with our mother we were delivered by you from a host of calamities like poisoning and fire ? How did you manage to keep your body and soul together during your peregrinations on the terrestrial globe? And what places of pilgrimage and principal sacred spots did you visit on the face of the earth? Devotees of God like you, my lord, are not only consecrated themselves; but it is they who revive the sanctity of sacred places (that get polluted by the contact of sinners) by the living presence of Lord Visnu (the Wielder of a mace), in their heart. Dear uncle, are our friends and relations, the Yadavas, who look upon Sri Krsrta as their deity, doing well in their own city (Dwaraka) ? Did you happen to see or even hear of them ?

Thus interrogated by the pious king (Yudhisthira) he narrated in order all that he had known at first hand (from Uddhava) omitting, of course, the extermination of the Yadava race. Compassionate by nature, he could not bear to see his kinsmen in distress; hence he did not break to them that unpleasant news, which was more than they could bear; for he knew that it would come to be known to the people of its own accord. Adored (by his kinsfolk) as a veritable god, he lived comfortably (at Hastinapura) for some time, anxious to do good to his eldest brother (Dhrtarastra) and bringing delight to all. Aryama (the second of the twelve sons of Aditi, who preside over the sun successively every month, vide Srimad Bhagavata XII. xi. 32-44) duly carried on the duties of punishing the evil-doers during the hundred years Yama (the god of justice) tenanted the body of a Sudra (as Vidura) under a curse (pronounced by the sage Mandavya.[1] Having got back his, kingdom and seen the face of a grandson capable of upholding the traditions of the family, Yudhisthira in his supreme splendour rejoiced with his younger brothers, who were as powerful as the guardians of the various worlds.



  1. Once upon a time the members of a king's police force apprehended some thieves at the hermitage of a sage, Mandavya by name. They naturally suspected the sage of complicity in their nefarious activities and arrested him as well, who was transfixed on the stake along with the thieves under orders of the king. When,however, the king learnt that the suspected accomplice was a saint, he immediately ordered the latter to be released and obtained his forgiveness by falling at his feet. The sage now approached Yama and wanted to know for what sinful act of his he was made to suffer such terrible agony. Yama told him that he had in his childhood pierced a live locust with the point of a blade of Kusa grass, and that was responsible for the pangs of impalement suffered by him. The sage felt that the punishment meted out to him was out of all proportion with the crime, which must have been committed by him through ignorance. He, therefore, uttered an imprecation against the god, consigning him to earthly life as a Sudra for one hundred years. It was under his imprecation that Yama was reborn on this earth as Vidura.

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