“Hearing those words of Janamejaya, Krishna-Dwaipayana directed his disciple Vaisampayana seated by his side, saying, ’The discord that happened between the Kurus and the Pandavas of old, narrate all to the king even as thou hast heard from me.’
“Then that blessed Brahmana, at the command of his preceptor recited the whole of that history unto the king, the Sadasyas, and all the chieftains there assembled. And he told them all about the hostility and the utter extinction of the Kurus and the Pandavas.’”
(Adivansavatarana Parva continued)
“Vaisampayana said, ’Bowing down in the first place to my preceptor with the eight parts of my body touching the ground, with devotion and reverence, and with all my heart, worshipping the whole assembly of Brahmanas and other learned persons, I shall recite in full what I have heard from the high-souled and great Rishi Vyasa, the first of intelligent men in the three worlds. And having got it within thy reach, O monarch, thou also art a fit person to hear the composition called Bharata. Encouraged by the command of my preceptor my heart feeleth no fear.
“Hear, O monarch, why that disunion occurred between the Kurus and the Pandavas, and why also that exile into the woods immediately proceeding from the game at dice prompted by the desire (of the Kurus) for rule. I shall relate all to thee who askest it thou best of the Bharata race!
“On the death of their father those heroes (the Pandavas) came to their own home. And within a short time they became well-versed in archery. And the Kurus beholding the Pandavas gifted with physical strength, energy, and power of mind, popular also with the citizens, and blessed with good fortune, became very jealous. Then the crookedminded Duryodhana, and Karna, with (the former’s uncle) the son of Suvala began to persecute them and devise means for their exile. Then the wicked Duryodhana, guided by the counsels of Sakuni (his maternal uncle), persecuted the Pandavas in various ways for the acquirement of undisputed sovereignty. The wicked son of Dhritarashtra gave poison to Bhima, but Bhima of the stomach of the wolf digested the poison with the food. Then the wretch again tied the sleeping Bhima on the margin of the Ganges and, casting him into the water, went away. But when Bhimasena of strong arms, the son of Kunti woke, he tore the strings with which he had been tied and came up, his pains all gone. And while asleep and in the water black snakes of virulent poison bit him in every part of his body. But that slayer of foes did not still perish. And in all those persecutions of the Pandavas by their cousins, the Kurus, the high-minded Vidura attentively engaged himself neutralising those evil designs and rescuing the persecuted ones. And as Sakra from the heavens keeps in happiness the world of men, so did Vidura always keep the Pandavas from evil.