Vaisampayana said,—’Then when Draupadi was about to set out she went unto the illustrious Pritha and solicited her leave. And she also asked leave of the other ladies of the household who had all been plunged into grief. And saluting and embracing every one of them as each deserved, she desired to go away. Then there arose within the inner apartments of the Pandavas a loud wail of woe. And Kunti, terribly afflicted upon beholding Draupadi on the eve of her journey, uttered these words in a voice choked with grief,—
’O child, grieve not that this great calamity hath overtaken thee. Thou art well conversant with the duties of the female sex, and thy behaviour and conduct also are as they should be. It behoveth me not, O thou of sweet smiles, to instruct thee as to thy duties towards thy lords. Thou art chaste and accomplished, and thy qualities have adorned the race of thy birth as also the race into which thou hast been admitted by marriage. Fortunate are the Kauravas that they have not been burnt by thy wrath. O child, safely go thou blest by my prayers. Good women never suffer their hearts to the unstung at what is inevitable. Protected by virtue that is superior to everything, soon shalt thou obtain good fortune. While living in the woods, keep thy eye on my child Sahadeva. See that his heart sinketh not under this great calamity.’
“Saying ‘So be it!’ the princess Draupadi bathed in tears, and clad in one piece of cloth, stained with blood, and with hair dishevelled left her mother-in-law. And as she went away weeping and wailing Pritha herself in grief followed her. She had not gone far when she saw her sons shorn of their ornaments and robes, their bodies clad in deerskins, and their heads down with shame. And she beheld them surrounded by rejoicing foes’ and pitied by friends. Endued with excess of parental affection, Kunti approached her sons in that state, and embracing them all, and in accents choked by woe, She said these words,—
“Ye are virtuous and good-mannered, and adorned with all excellent qualities and respectful behaviour. Ye are all high-minded, and engaged in the service of your superiors. And ye are also devoted to the gods and the performance of sacrifices. Why, then, hath this calamity overtaken you. Whence is this reverse of fortune? I do not see by whose wickedness this sin hath overtaken you. Alas I have brought you forth. All this must be due to my ill fortune. It is for this that ye have been overtaken by this calamity, though ye all are endued with excellent virtues. In energy and prowess and strength and firmness and might, ye are not wanting. How shall ye now, losing your wealth and possessions, live poor in the pathless woods? If I had known before that ye were destined to live in the woods, I would not have on Pandit’s death come from the mountains of Satasringa to Hastinapore.