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(Viduragamana Parva continued)

“Vaisampayana said, ‘After Drona had ceased, Vidura spoke, saying, ‘O monarch, thy friends without doubt, are saying unto thee what is for thy good. But as thou art unwilling to listen to what they say, their words scarcely find a place in thy ears. What that foremost one of Kuru’s race, viz., Bhishma, the son of Santanu, hath said, is excellent and is for thy good. But thou dost not listen to it. The preceptor Drona also hath said much that is for thy good which however Karna, the son of Radha, doth not regard to be such. But, O king, reflecting hard I do not find any one who is better a friend to thee than either of these two lions among men (viz., Bhishma and Drona), or any one who excels either of them in wisdom.

These two, old in years, in wisdom, and in learning, always regard thee, O king, and the sons of Pandu with equal eyes. Without doubt, O king of Bharata’s race, they are both, in virtue and truthfulness, not inferior to Rama, the son of Dasaratha, and Gaya. Never before did they give thee any evil advice. Thou also, O monarch, hast never done them any injury. Why should, therefore, these tigers among men, who are ever truthful, give thee wicked advice, especially when thou hast never injured them? Endued with wisdom these foremost of men, O king, will never give thee counsels that are crooked. O scion of Kuru’s rate, this is my firm conviction that these two, acquainted with all rules of morality, will never, tempted by wealth, utter anything betraying a spirit of partisanship. What they have said,

O Bharata, I regard highly beneficial to thee. Without doubt, O monarch, the Pandavas are thy sons as much as Duryodhana and others are. Those ministers, therefore, that give thee any counsel fraught with evil unto the Pandavas, do not really look to thy interests. If there is any partiality in thy heart, O king, for thy own children, they who by their counsel seek to bring it out, certainly do thee no good. Therefore, O king, these illustrious persons endued with great splendour, have not I think, said anything that leadeth to evil. Thou, however, dost not understand it. What these bulls among men have said regarding the invincibility of the Pandavas is perfectly true. Think not otherwise of it, O tiger among men.

Blest be thou! Can the handsome Dhananjaya, the son of Pandu, using the right and the left hand with equal activity, be vanquished in battle even by Maghavat himself? Can the great Bhimasena of strong arms possessing the might of ten thousand elephants, be vanquished in battle by the immortals themselves? Who also that desireth to live can overcome in battle the twins (Nagula and Sahadeva) like unto the sons of Yama himself, and well-skilled in fight? How too can the eldest one of the Pandavas in whom patience, mercy, forgiveness, truth, and prowess always live together, be vanquished? They who have Rama (Valadeva) as their ally, and Janardana (Krishna) as their counsellor, and Satyaki as their partisan, have already defeated everybody in war.

They who have Drupada for their father-in-law, and Drupada’s sons–the heroic brothers, viz., Dhristadyumna and others of Prishata’s race for their brothers-in-law, are certainly invincible. Remembering this, O monarch, and knowing that their claim to the kingdom is even prior to thine, behave virtuously towards them. The stain of calumny is on thee, O monarch, in consequence of that act of Purochana. Wash thyself of it now, by a kindly behaviour towards the Pandavas. This kindly behaviour of thine, O monarch, towards the Pandavas will be an act of great benefit to us, protecting the lives of us all that belong to Kuru’s race, and leading to the growth of the whole Kshatriya order! We had formerly warred with king Drupada; if we can now secure him as an ally, it will strengthen our party.

The Dasarhas, O king, are numerous and strong. Know where Krishna is, all of them must be, and where Krishna is, there victory also must be! O king, who, unless cursed by the gods, would seek, to effect that by means of war which can be effected by conciliation? Hearing that the sons of Pritha are alive, the citizens and other subjects of the realm have become exceedingly glad and eager for beholding them. O monarch, act in a way that is agreeable to them.

Duryodhana and Karna and Sakuni, the son of Suvala, are sinful, foolish and young; listen not to them. Possessed of every virtue thou art I long ago told thee, O monarch that for Duryodhana’s fault, the subjects of this kingdom would be exterminated.'”

(Viduragamana Parva continued)

“Vaisampayana said, ‘Hearing these various speeches, Dhritarashtra said, The learned Bhishma, the son of Santanu, and the illustrious Rishi Drona, and thyself also (O Vidura), have said the truth and what also is most beneficial to me. Indeed, as those mighty car-warriors, the heroic sons of Kunti. are the children of Pandu, so are they, without doubt, my children according to the ordinance.

And as my sons are entitled to this kingdom, so are the sons of Pandu certainly entitled to it. Therefore, hasten to bring hither the Pandavas along with their mother, treating them with affectionate consideration. O thou of Bharata’s race, bring also Krishna of celestial beauty along with them. From sheer good fortune the sons of Pritha are alive; and from good fortune alone those mighty car-warriors have obtained the daughter of Drupada.

It is from good fortune alone that our strength hath increased, and it is from good fortune alone that Purochana hath perished. O thou of great splendour, it is from good fortune that my great grief hath been killed!’

“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Then Vidura, at the command of Dhritarashtra, repaired, O Bharata, unto Yajnasena and the Pandavas. And he repaired thither carrying with him numerous jewels and various kinds of wealth for Draupadi and the Pandavas and Yajnasena also. Arrived at Drupada’s abode, Vidura conversant with every rule of morality and deep in every science, properly accosted the monarch and waited upon him. Drupada received Vidura in proper form and they both enquired after each other’s welfare.

Vidura then saw there the Pandavas and Vasudeva. As soon as he saw them he embraced them from affection and enquired after their well being. The Pandavas also along with Vasudeva, in due order, worshipped Vidura of immeasurable intelligence. But Vidura, O king, in the name of Dhritarashtra repeatedly enquired with great affection after their welfare. He then gave, O monarch, unto the Pandavas and Kunti and Draupadi, and unto Drupada and Drupada’s sons, the gems and various kinds of wealth that the Kauravas had sent through him. Possessed of immeasurable intelligence, the modest Vidura then, in the presence of the Pandavas and Keshava, addressed the well-behaved Drupada thus:
“With thy ministers and sons, O monarch, listen to what I say. King Dhritarashtra, with ministers, sons, and friends, hath with a joyous heart, O king, repeatedly enquired after thy welfare. And, O monarch, he hath been highly pleased with this alliance with thee. So also, O king, Bhishma of great wisdom, the son of Santanu, with all the Kurus, enquired after thy welfare in every respect. Drona also of great wisdom the son of Bharadwaja and thy dear friend, embracing thee mentally, enquired of thy happiness. And, O king of Panchalas, Dhritarashtra and all the Kurus, in consequence of this alliance with thee regard themselves supremely blest. O Yajnasena, the establishment of this alliance with thee hath made them happier than if they had acquired a new kingdom. Knowing all this, O monarch, permit the Pandavas to re-visit their ancestral kingdom.

The Kurus are exceedingly eager to behold the sons of Pandu. These bulls among men have been long absent (from their kingdom). They as well as Pritha must be very eager to behold their city. And all the Kuru ladies and the citizens and our subjects are eagerly waiting to behold Krishna the Panchala Princess. This, therefore, is my opinion, O monarch, that thou shouldst, without delay, permit the Pandavas to go thither with their wife. And after the illustrious Pandavas, O king, will have received thy permission to go thither, I shall send information unto Dhritarashtra by quick messengers. Then, O king, will the Pandavas set out with Kunti and Krishna.'”

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