Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 1 Chapter 13:31-45

Book 1: Chapter 13

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 1: Chapter 13: Verses 31-45
Departure of Dhrtarastra and his wife Gandhari, for the forest at the instance of Vidura

With an anxious heart he asked Sanjaya (Dhrtarastra's counsellor and trusted servant), who was sitting there, "Sanjaya (son of Gavalgana), where is our aged uncle, who is blind too? Where is my aunt, grieved at the loss of her sons, and where is my younger uncle gone, who was so kindly disposed towards us ? Distressed at the loss of his near and dear ones and apprehending ill treatment from my foolish self, may it be that he has thrown himself into the Ganga, along with his wife? After the death of our father, king Pandu, it was our uncles who protected us all, their children, against a series of calamities, tender of age as we were. Ah, where have they gone from here ?" Suta continued : Sore afflicted with grief and overwhelmed with affection at the sudden disappearance of his master and feeling very sad on account of his separation from him, Sanjaya (who too was a Suta by birth) could not utter a word in reply. Then, wiping the tears with his hands and steadying his mind by recourse to reason, he replied to Yudhisthira (as follows) with his thought fixed on the feet of his lord (Dhrtarastra) : Sanjaya said : "I know neither the resolve of your uncles nor of your aunt, O delight of your race. I have been deceived by those noble souls ! 0 lord with mighty arms." In the meantime came the divine sage Narada, accompanied by the sage Tumburu. Yudhisthira went forth with his younger brothers to receive them and, after greeting them, spoke with great reverence:

Yudhisthira said : "I know not the movements of my uncles, 0 divine sage; I wonder where they have gone hence. Nor do I know where is gone my aunt, so well-known for her austere penance and distressed at the loss of her sons. Your Holiness alone can guide us across this endless ocean (of grief) as a pilot in the deep." Thereupon the worshipful Narada, the foremost among sages, spoke (as follows) :-"Grieve not for anybody, 0 king; for the world is under the control of God. It is to Him, the supreme Ruler of all, that all these worlds along with their rulers offer their homage. It is He who unites and He again who parts living beings from one another. Even as oxen, controlled individually by small strings passed through their nostrils and held together by a strong rope, carry loads for their master, so these human beings, tied down to the rope of the divine word (the Veda) through the smaller strings of their different denominations (such as Brahmana, Brahmacari and so on), offer their worship to God (through their respective duties). Even as playthings here (in this world) are brought together and separated by the will of the player, so do the coming together and parting of human beings depend on the will of God. Whether you consider human beings to be eternal (as the soul or spirit) or ephemeral (as the corporeal body) or both eternal and transient (as embodied souls) or as neither eternal nor ephemeral (as the unspeakable Absolute, which is devoid of all attributes), they are not worth grieving for unless through affection born of infatuation. Therefore, O dear Yudhisthira, shake off the uneasiness of mind, caused by ignorance, as to how those people (your uncles and aunt) may be faring without you, helpless and miserable as they are. This body, constituted as it is of the five elements (viz., earth, water, fire, air and ether), is subject to the control of time, fate and the three modes of Prakrti (Sattva, Rajas and Tamas). How can it protect others any more than a man fallen in the' jaws of a python can help another?



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