with grief, like calves destitute of their dams.
Dhritarashtra reached that day a place far removed
from the city. The puissant monarch arrived at
last on the banks of the Bhagirathi and took rest there
for the night. Brahmanas conversant with the
Vedas duly ignited their sacred fires in that retreat
of ascetics. Surrounded by those foremost of Brahmanas,
those sacred fires blazed forth in beauty. The
sacred fire of the old king was also ignited.
Sitting near his own fire, he poured libations on
it according to due rites, and then worshipped the
thousand-rayed sun as he was on the point of setting.
Then Vidura and Sanjaya made a bed for the king by
spreading some blades of Kusa grass. Near the
bed of that Kuru hero they made another for Gandhari.
In close proximity to Gandhari, Yudhishthira’s
mother Kunti, observant of excellent vows, happily
laid herself down. Within hearing distance of
those three, slept Vidura and others. The Yajaka
Brahmanas and other followers of the king laid themselves
down on their respective beds. The foremost of
Brahmanas that were there chanted aloud many sacred
hymns. The sacrificial fires blazed forth all
around. That night, therefore, seemed as delightful
to them as a Brahmi night. When the night passed
away, they all arose from their beds and went through
their morning acts. Pouring libations then on
the sacred fire, they continued their journey.
Their first day’s experience of the forest proved
very painful to them on account of the grieving inhabitants
of both the city and the provinces of the Kuru kingdom.”
“Vaisampayana said. ’Following the
advice of Vidura, the king took up his abode on the
banks of the Bhagirathi which were sacred and deserved
to be peopled with the righteous. There many
Brahmanas who had taken up their abode in the woods,
as also many Kshatriyas and Vaisyas and Sudras, came
to see the old monarch. Sitting in their midst,
he gladdened them all by his words. Having duly
worshipped the Brahmanas with their disciples, he
dismissed them all. As evening came, the king,
and Gandhari of great fame, both descended into the
stream of the Bhagirathi and duly performed their
ablutions for purifying themselves. The king and
the queen, and Vidura and others, O Bharata, having
bathed in the sacred stream, performed the usual rites
of religion. After the king had purified himself
by a bath, the daughter of Kuntibhoja gently led both
him, who was to her as her father-in-law and Gandhari
from the water into the dry bank. The Yajakas
had made a sacrificial altar there for the king.
Devoted to truth, the latter poured libations then
on the fire. From the banks of the Bhagirathi
the old king, with his followers, observant of vows
and with senses restrained, then proceeded to Kurukshetra.
Possessed of great intelligence, the king arrived
at the retreat of the royal sage Satayupa of great
wisdom and had an interview with him. Satayupa,