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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.
bade them farewell and then started for the mountains of Himavat.  Even thus the high-souled Kuru king met with his death, and it was even thus that Gandhari and Kunti, thy two mothers, also met with death, O monarch.  In course of my wanderings at will, I saw the bodies of that king and those two queens, O Bharata.  Many ascetics came to that retreat, having heard of the end of king Dhritarashtra.  They did not at all grieve for that end of theirs.  There, O best of men, I heard all the details of how the king and the two queens, O son of Pandu, had been burnt.  O king of kings, thou shouldst not grieve for him.  The monarch, of his own will, as also Gandhari and thy mother, obtained that contact with fire.’

“Vaisampayana continued,—­’Hearing of the exit of Dhritarashtra from this world, the high-souled Pandavas all gave way to great grief.  Loud sounds or wailing were heard within the inner apartments of the palace.  The citizens also, hearing of the end of the old king, uttered loud lamentations.  ’O fie! cried king Yudhishthira in great agony, raising his arms aloft.  Thinking of his mother, he wept like a child.  All his brothers too, headed by Bhimasena, did the same.  Hearing that Pritha had met with such a fate, the ladies of the royal household tittered loud lamentations of grief.  All the people grieved upon hearing that the old king, who had become childless, had been burnt to death and that the helpless Gandhari too had shared his fate.  When those sounds of wailing ceased for a while, king Yudhishthira the just, stopping his tears by summoning all his patience, said these words."’

SECTION XXXVIII

“Yudhishthira said, ’When such a fate overtook that high-souled monarch who was engaged in austere penances, notwithstanding the fact of his having such kinsmen as ourselves all alive, it seems to me, O regenerate one, that the end of human beings is difficult to guess.  Alas, who would have thought that the son of Vichitraviryya would thus be burnt to death.  He had a hundred sons each endued with mighty arms and possessed of great prosperity.  The king himself had the strength of ten thousand elephants.  Alas, even he has been burnt to death in a forest-conflagration!  Alas, he who had formerly been fanned with palm leaves by the fair hands of beautiful women was fanned by vultures with their wings after he had been burnt to death in a forest-conflagration!  He who was formerly roused from sleep every morning by bands of Sutas and Magadhas had to sleep on the bare ground through the acts of my sinful self.  I do not grieve for the famous Gandhari who had been deprived of all her children.  Observing the same vows as her husband, she has attained to those very regions which have become his.  I grieve, however, for Pritha who, abandoning the blazing prosperity of her sons, became desirous of residing in the woods.  Fie on this sovereignty of ours, fie on our prowess, fie

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