“Vaisampayana continued, ’The Pandava king, conversant with every duty, using his own hand, then softly rubbed with cold water the breast and the face of the old monarch. At the touch of the king’s hand which was auspicious and fragrant, and on which were jewels and medicinal herbs, Dhritarashtra regained his senses.
“Dhritarashtra said, ’Do thou again touch me, O son of Pandu, with thy hand, and do thou embrace me. O thou of eyes like lotus petals, I am restored to my senses through the auspicious touch of thy hand. O ruler of men, I desire to smell thy head. The clasp of thy arms is highly gratifying to me. This is the eighth division of the day and, therefore, the hour of taking my food. For not having taken my food, O child of Kuru’s race, I am so weak as to be unable to move. In addressing my solicitations to thee, great hag been my exertion. Rendered cheerless by it, O son, I had fainted. O perpetuator of Kuru’s race, I think that receiving the touch of thy hand, which resembles nectar in its vivifying effects I have been restored to my senses.’
“Vaisampayana said, ’Thus addressed, O Bharata, by the eldest brother of his father, the son of Kunti, from affection, gently touched every part of his body. Regaining his life-breaths, king Dhritarashtra embraced the son of Pandu with his arms and smelled his head. Vidura and others wept aloud in great grief. In consequence, however, of the poignancy of their sorrow, they said nothing to either the old king or the son of Pandu. Gandhari, conversant with every duty, bore her sorrow with fortitude, and loaded as her heart was, O king, said nothing. The other ladies, Kunti among them, became greatly afflicted. They wept, shedding copious tears, and sat surrounding the old king. Then ’Dhritarashtra, once more addressing Yudhishthira, said these words, Do thou, O king, grant me permission to practise penances. By speaking repeatedly, O son, my mind becomes weakened. It behoveth thee not, O son, to afflict me after this.’ When that foremost one of Kuru’s race was saying go unto Yudhishthira, a loud sound of wailing arose from all the warriors there present. Beholding his royal father of great splendour, emaciated and pale, reduced to a state unbecoming of him, worn out with fasts, and looking like a skeleton covered with skin, Dharma’s son Yudhishthira shed tears of grief and once more said these words. ’O foremost of men, I do not desire life and the Earth. O scorcher of foes, I shall employ myself in doing what is agreeable to thee. If I deserve thy favour, if I am dear to thee, do thou eat something. I shall then know what to do.’ Endued with great energy, Dhritarashtra then said to Yudhishthira,—’I wish, O son, to take some food, with thy permission.’ When Dhritarashtra said these words to Yudhishthira, Satyavati’s son Vyasa came there and said as follows.`