Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 1 Chapter 13:17-30

Book 1: Chapter 13

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 1: Chapter 13: Verses 17-30
Departure of Dhrtarastra and his wife Gandhari, for the forest at the instance of Vidura

In this way time, whose movements are most difficult to control, passed unnoticed by them, attached as they were to their home and had lost sight of their goal (for the time being) on account of their remaining engrossed in worldly activities. Perceiving this, Vidura said to Dhrtarastra,"Look here: a terrible time has come. Let us, therefore, soon be away, my royal brother ! That all-powerful time (the time of death) has come upon us all, which cannot be averted on any account and under any circumstance. Overtaken by it, a man is immediately made to part with his life, which is most dear to him, to say nothing of other things such as wealth and so on. Your uncles (Bhisma and Somadatta), your brother and cousin (Pandu and BhOrisrava), your relations (such as your brothers-in-law, Sakuni and Salya, your son-in-law, Jayadratha and so on), nay, your own sons (Duryodhana and others) have been killed; your days are almost ended and your body is overcome with old age, and (what is worst) you are living under the roof of another (king Yudhisthira, who was your mortal enemy till yesterday) ! Oh, how strong is the desire in a living being to survive, impelled by which you accept the morsels of food thrown to you by Bhima even like a dog ! What do you expect to achieve through a life depending on the good-will of those whose dwelling was set on fire, to whom poison was administered, whose wedded wife was subjected to ignominy (in open court), nay, whose lands and other possessions were seized (all with your connivance) ?

How foolish of you that you still desire to live ! Like tattered clothes, your age-worn body will nonetheless leave you, however reluctant you may be to cast it off. Therefore,free from worldly attachment and shaking off all bondage, he who drops this body, which is no longer of any use to him, away from and unknown to his kith and kin, he alone is spoken of as wise. Fed up with this world either by himself or by another's precept and with a subdued mind, and holding Sri Hari in his heart, he who leaves his home (as a recluse) is foremost among men. Therefore, unnoticed by your kinsmen, proceed to the north (the Himalayan region); for the time which will come hereafter will be mostly such as would take away the virtues of men." Thus instructed by Vidura, his younger brother, the blind king Dhrtarastra (a descendant of Ajamidha) had his mind's eye opened. Cutting asunder the strong ties of affection that bound him to his kinsmen, he departed, his brother (Vidura) himself acting as his guide. Perceiving that her husband was proceeding to the Himalayas-which afforded great delight to recluses (lit., those who have taken a vow of non-violence) even as a righteous combat (on the battle-field) delights a heroic warrior-the virtuous Gandhari (the daughter of king Subala) too, who had taken a vow of devoted service to her lord, followed him in his journey. Having said his Sandhya prayers and poured oblations into the sacred fire, and having bowed to the Brahmanas and bestowed on them gifts of sesamum seeds, cows, lands and gold, king Yudhisthira (who looked upon none as his enemy) entered the apartments of his elders for his daily salutations, but failed to perceive either of his uncles or even his aunt (Gandhari).



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