“Thus addressed by him, they replied unto that royal grinder of foes, saying, ’O monarch, the course that is thine, is also ours, O Bharata. How can we enter the city without thee?’”
Vaisampayana continued, “Though addressed in all manner of ways by his friends and counsellors and brothers and relatives, the king wavered not from his purpose. And the son of Dhritarashtra in accordance with his purpose spread Kusa grass on the earth, and purifying himself by touching water, sat down upon that spot. And clad in rags and Kusa grass he set himself to observe the highest vow. And stopping all speech, that tiger among kings, moved by the desire of going to heaven, began to pray and worship internally suspending all external intercourse.
“Meanwhile the fierce Daityas and the Danavas who had been defeated of old by the celestials and had been dwelling in the nether regions having ascertained Duryodhana’s purpose and knowing that if the king died their party would be weakened, commenced a sacrifice with fire for summoning Duryodhana to their presence. And mantra knowing persons then commenced with the help of formulae declared by Brihaspati and Usanas, those rites that are indicated in the Atharva Veda and the Upanishads and which are capable of being achieved by mantras and prayers. And Brahmins of rigid vows, well-versed in the Vedas and the branches, began, with rapt soul, to pour libations of clarified butter and milk into the fire, uttering mantras. And after those rites were ended, a strange goddess, O king, with mouth wide open, arose (from the sacrificial fire), saying, ‘What am I to do?’ And the Daityas with well-pleased hearts, commanded her, saying, ’Bring thou hither the royal son of Dhritarashtra, who is even now observing the vow of starvation for getting rid of his life.’ Thus commanded, she went away saying, ’So be it.’ And she went in the twinkling of an eye to that spot where Suyodhana was. And taking up the king back to the nether regions, and having brought him thus in a moment, she apprised the Danavas of it. And the Danavas beholding the king brought into their midst in the night, united together, and all of them with well-pleased hearts and eyes expanded in delight addressed these flattering words to Duryodhana.”
“The Danavas said, ’O Suyodhana, O great king! O perpetuator of the race of Bharata, thou art ever surrounded by heroes and illustrious men. Why hast thou, then, undertaken to do such a rash act as the vow of starvation? The suicide ever sinketh into hell and becometh the subject of calumnious speech. Nor do intelligent persons like thee ever set their hands to acts that are sinful and opposed to their best interests and striking at the very root of their purposes. Restrain this resolve of thine, therefore, O king, which is destructive of morality,