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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,319 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4.
of happiness, when thou, O king, hast undergone go much affliction?  I regard my kingdom as a disease, and myself also as afflicted.  Plunged though I am in sorrow, what, however, is the use of these words that I am addressing thee?  Thou art our father, thou art our mother; thou art our foremost of superiors.  Deprived of thy presence, how shall we live?  O best of king, let Yuyutsu, the son of thy loins, be made king, or, indeed, anybody else whom thou mayst wish.  I shall go into the woods.  Do thou rule the kingdom.  It behoveth thee not to burn me that am already burned by infamy.  I am not the king.  Thou art the king.  I am dependent on thy will.  How can I dare grant permission to thee that art my preceptor?  O sinless one, I harbour no resentment in my heart on account of the wrongs done to us by Suyodhana.  It was ordained that it should be so.  Both ourselves and others were stupefied (by fate).  We are thy children as Duryodhana and others were.  My conviction is that Gandhari is as much my mother as Kunti.  If thou, O king of kings, goest to the woods leaving me, I shall the, follow thee.  I swear by my soul.  This Earth, with her belt of seas, go full of wealth, will not be a source of joy to me when I am deprived of thy presence.  All this belongs to thee.  I gratify thee, bending my head.  We are all dependent on thee, O king of kings.  Let the fever of thy heart be dispelled.  I think, O lord of Earth, that all this that has come upon thee is due to destiny.  By good luck, I had thought, that waiting upon thee and executing thy commands obediently, I would rescue thee from the fever of thy heart.’

“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.’

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