22.SAKUNI COMES IN
AT the close of the Rajasuya, the princes, priests and elders, who had gathered for the purpose, took leave and returned to their places. Vyasa also came to say farewell. Dharmaputra rose and received him with due respect and sat by his side. The sage said: "O son of Kunti, you have got the title of emperor which you eminently deserve. May the illustrious Kuru race gain even greater glory through you. Give me leave to return to my hermitage." Yudhishthira touched the feet of his progenitor and guru and said: "O master, you alone can remove my apprehensions. Wise men have predicted from portents the happenings of catastrophic events. Has this prediction been fulfilled by the death of Sisupala or is more to ensue?" Bhagavan Vyasa replied: "Dear child, much sorrow and suffering is in store for thirteen years to come. The portents indicate the destruction of the Kshatriya race and are not exhausted with the death of Sisupala. It is far from it. Hundreds of kings will perish, and the old order of things will pass away. This catastrophe will spring out of the enmity between you and your brothers on the one side and your cousins, the Dhritarashtras, on the other. It will culminate in a war resulting in practical annihilation of the Kshatriya race. No one can go against destiny. Be firm and steadfast in righteousness. Be vigilant and rule the kingdom, farewell." And Vyasa blessed Yudhishthira. Vyasa's words filled Yudhishthira with grief and with a great repugnance for worldly ambition and life itself. He informed his brothers of the prediction of unavoidable racial disaster. Life seemed to him a bitter and weary business and his destiny particularly cruel and unbearable. Arjuna said: "You are a king and it is not right for you to be agitated. Let us meet destiny with an undaunted front and do our duty." Yudhishthira replied: "Brothers, may God protect us and give us wisdom. For my part, I take this vow never to speak harshly to my brothers or to my kinsmen for the next thirteen years. I shall avoid all pretext for conflict. I shall never give way to anger, which is the root cause of enmity.