“Dhritarashtra said, ’O delighter of the Kurus, my mind is fixed, O son, on penances. O puissant one, it is meet for our race that I should retire into the woods. I have lived long under thy protection, O son, I have for many years been served by thee with reverence. I am now old. It behoveth thee, O king, to grant me permission (to take up my abode in the woods).’
“Vaisampayana continued, ’Having said these words unto king Yudhishthira, the just, king Dhritarashtra, the son of Amvika, trembling the while and with hands joined together, further said unto the high-souled Sanjaya and the great car-warrior Kripa, these words, ’I wish to solicit the king through you. My mind has become cheerless, my mouth has become dry, through the weakness of age and the exertion of speaking.’ Having said so, that perpetuator of Kuru’s race, viz., the, righteous-souled old king, blessed with prosperity, leaned on Gandhari and suddenly looked like one deprived of life. Beholding him thus seated like one deprived of consciousness, that slayer of hostile heroes, viz., the royal son of Kunti, became penetrated by a poignant grief.
“Yudhishthira said, ’Alas, he whose strength was equal to that of a hundred thousand elephants, alas, that king sitteth today, leaning on a woman. Alas! he by whom the iron image of Bhima on a former occasion wag reduced to fragments, leaneth today on a weak woman. Fie on me that am exceedingly unrighteous! Fie on my understanding! Fie on my knowledge of the scripture! Fie on me for whom this lord of Earth lieth today in a manner that is not becoming of him! I also shall fast even as my preceptor. Verily, I shall fast if this king and Gandhari of great fame abstain from food.’