(Sambhava Parva continued)
“Vaisampayana said, ’Then Bhishma and Kunti with their friends celebrated the Sraddha of the deceased monarch, and offered the Pinda. And they feasted the Kauravas and thousands of Brahmanas unto whom they also gave gems and lands. Then the citizens returned to Hastinapura with the sons of Pandu, now that they had been cleansed from the impurity incident to the demise of their father. All then fell to weeping for the departed king. It seemed as if they had lost one of their own kin.
“When the Sraddha had been celebrated in the manner mentioned above, the venerable Vyasa, seeing all the subjects sunk in grief, said one day to his mother Satyavati, ’Mother, our days of happiness have gone by and days of calamity have succeeded. Sin beginneth to increase day by day. The world hath got old. The empire of the Kauravas will no longer endure because of wrong and oppression. Go thou then into the forest, and devote thyself to contemplation through Yoga. Henceforth society will be filled with deceit and wrong. Good work will cease. Do not witness the annihilation of thy race, in thy old age.’
“Acquiescing in the words of Vyasa, Satyavati entered the inner apartments and addressed her daughter-in-law, saying, ’O Ambika, I hear that in consequence of the deeds of your grandsons, this Bharata dynasty and its subjects will perish. If thou permit, I would go to the forest with Kausalya, so grieved at the loss of her son.’ O king, saying this the queen, taking the permission of Bhishma also, went to the forest. And arriving there with her two daughters-in-law, she became engaged in profound contemplation, and in good time leaving her body ascended to heaven.’
“Vaisampayana continued, ’Then the sons of king Pandu, having gone through all the purifying rites prescribed in the Vedas, began to grow up in princely style in the home of their father. Whenever they were engaged in play with the sons of Dhritarashtra, their superiority of strength became marked. In speed, in striking the objects aimed at, in consuming articles of food, and scattering dust, Bhimasena beat all the sons of Dhritarashtra. The son of the Wind-god pulled them by the hair and made them fight with one another, laughing all the while. And Vrikodara easily defeated those hundred and one children of great energy as if they were one instead of being a hundred and one. The second Pandava used to seize them by the hair, and throwing them down, to drag them along the earth. By this, some had their knees broken, some their heads, and some their shoulders. That youth, sometimes holding ten of them, drowned them in water, till they were nearly dead. When the sons of Dhritarashtra got up to the boughs of a tree for plucking fruits, Bhima used to shake that tree, by striking it with his foot, so that down came the fruits and the fruitpluckers at the same time. In fact, those princes were no match for Bhima in pugilistic encounters, in speed, or in skill. Bhima used to make a display of his strength by thus tormenting them in childishness but not from malice.