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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.
O king, tell me what wish of thine I shall grant today.  I am puissant enough to grant thee a boon.  Behold the fruit of my penances.’  Thus addressed by Vyasa of immeasurable understanding, king Dhritarashtra reflected for a moment and then prepared to speak.  He said,—­’I am exceedingly fortunate.  Lucky am I in obtaining thy favour.  My life is crowned with success today,—­since this meeting has happened between me and ye all of great piety.  Today I shall attain to that highly happy goal which is reserved for me, since, ye ascetics endued with wealth of penances, ye who are equal to Brahma himself, I have succeeded in obtaining this meeting with you all.  There is not the least doubt that this sight that I have obtained of you all has cleansed me of every sin.  Ye sinless ones, I have no longer any fear in respect of my end in the next world.  Full as I am of love for my children, I always cherish their remembrance.  My mind, however, is always tortured by the recollection of the diverse acts of wrong which my wicked son of exceedingly evil understanding perpetrated.  Possessed of a sinful understanding, he always persecuted the innocent Pandavas.  Alas, the whole Earth has been devastated by him, with her steeds, elephants and men.  Many high-souled kings, rulers of diverse realms, came for siding my son and succumbed to death.  Alas, leaving their beloved sires and wives and their very life-breaths, all those heroes have become guests of the king of the dead.  What end, O regenerate one, has been attained by those men who have been slain, for the sake of their friend, in battle?  What end also has been attained by my sons and grandsons who have fallen in the fray?  My heart is always pained at the thought of my having brought about the slaughter of the mighty Bhishma, the son of Santanu, and of Drona, that foremost of Brahmanas, through my foolish and sinful son who was an injurer of his friends.  Desirous of obtaining the sovereignty of the Earth, he caused the Kuru race, blazing with prosperity, to be annihilated.  Reflecting on all this, I burn day and night with grief.  Deeply afflicted with pain and grief, I am unable to obtain peace of mind.  Indeed, O father, thinking of all this, I have no peace of mind.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ’Hearing these lamentations expressed in diverse ways, of that royal sage, the grief, O Janamejaya, of Gandhari, became fresh.  The grief also of Kunti, of the daughter of Drupada, of Subhadra, and of the other members, male and female, and the daughters-in-law, of the Kuru race, became equally green.  Queen Gandhari, with bandaged eyes, joining her hands, addressed her father-in-law.  Deeply afflicted with grief on account of the slaughter of her sons, she said,—­’O foremost of ascetics, sixteen years have passed over the head of this king grieving for the death of his sons and divested of peace of mind.  Afflicted with grief on account of the slaughter of his children, this king Dhritarashtra, always breathes heavily,

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