Chapter 103 Sorrowful Dhritarashtra Wants A Hermit Life in Forest
The reign of King Yudhishthira lasted for fifteen years before elderly Dhritarashtra was completely unable to endure the weight of sorrow.
He had no desire to accept the courtesies and luxuries that were offered per King Yudhishthira’s commands since he was hurt by Bhima’s sporadic reprimands. He kept a secret fast and performed difficult penances without the Pandavas’ knowledge.
Gandhari also watched for the changed signs and so this tormented the woman. Dhritarashtra once sent for Dharmaputra and addressed him as follows:
“My cruel sons, who did an unforgivable wrong to Draupadi and denied you of your rightful inheritance, perished as a result of their sins, but they fought like brave soldiers a brave battle, my son. I have spent fifteen happy years under your roof. You have tended to me most lovingly. I have made presents and offerings to forefathers, our ancetors and fulfilled all my desires in that regard. Bereaved Gandhari has attended to my physical needs all these years. I need your permission to go and live in the forest, praying for your well-being. Let me follow the practise of our fathers. As king, you will share in the benefits of my penance. You know what the sastras have laid down: I must now go to the forest; these robes must be altered by bark and torn old clothes, suitable for the life of Vanaprastha.”
When Yudhishthira heard Dhritarashtra say this and saw him, he was startled. “Father, you have suffered grief for which there can be no consolation. I see no good in kingdom or luxuries. I am a sinner. Desire and ambition deceived me into this. Let your son Yuyutsu be king, or anybody else you choose. Or, if you will do so, yell at me and tell me to go to hell. I am not the king, you are the king. Go ask me for permission to depart. How then can I give or reject permission to you. Let me tell you that my fury against Duryodhana is a thing of the past, gone without a trace. I beseech you to preserve me from more obloquy and scorching shame. We are your children, just like Duryodhana and his brothers; Gandhari and Kunti are like mothers to me; they command equal regard and filial affection from me, their child; if you go away to the forest, I must go with you and serve you there; if you retire to the woods and leave me here, what pleasure shall I have in kingship? I bow before you and beg you; if you retire to the woods and leave me here, what joy shall I have.”
Dhritarashtra was brought to tears. Nevertheless, he remarked, “Kunti’s beloved son, my thoughts is fixed on going to the forest and on penance. I can find no peace elsewhere at this time. I have lived under your roof for many years. You and all of your people have served me with undivided devotion. You must now permit me to fulfil my wish and let me go.”
“I kindly ask of you to comfort the king and make him grant my grace. My mind is fixed on the forest. I am unable to speak any more. I am feeling dry in my throat. Perhaps it is due to age. I have talked too much. I am tired.” After speaking to Yudhishthira in this way, who stood with clasped hands and trembling with agitation, Dhritarashtra turned to Vidura and Kripacharya.
The big old man, who had the muscles of an elephant and the ability to break the metal statue of Bhima into powder, was in such misery that Yudhishthira was unable to stand it. He was so thin and malnourished by this point that his bones could be seen through his skin. He was pitifully leaning helplessly on Gandhari like a homeless person.
He asked himself, “Have I caused all this?” “An irremovable blemish on my experience and knowledge! I am miserable and worthless, ignorant of the dharma, and lacking in wisdom.”
Yudhishthira moistened Dhritarashtra’s face with water and tenderly caressed him with his hands.
“My little child, how wonderful is your touch! I am glad,” the elderly man said as he carefully held the Pandava to his chest.
Vyasa then walked in. After learning what had occurred, he remarked to Yudhishthira: “Do as Dhritarashtra, the eldest of the Kurus, requests and allow him to go to the forest. He is old, all his sons have passed on before him, and it is not possible for him to bear his grief for much longer. Gandhari, whom God has blessed with enlightenment, has bravely endured her sorrows. Do not oppose their wishes. Do not let Dhritarashtra pine away and die here. Let him go and live among the honey-laden flowers of the forest. The moment has come for him to make amends; let him depart with your full assent and without resentment in his heart. He enjoyed the great world through his son while you were in the desert for thirteen years and still presented him many presents.”
“So be it,” Dharmaraja commanded.
Vyasa then went back to his hermitage.
Keep Mahabharat Book at Home and Read Daily – DO NOT FALL TO FAKE PROPAGANDA and Allow Enemies to Weaken our Dharma and Bharat
This historical epic Mahabharat is known as fifth Veda. It is a common misconception spread by mlecchas; muslims and christian missionaries, and secular Hindus that reading Mahabharat or keeping it at home will likely lead to arguments and fighting. All of this misinformation was spread by illiterate mlecchas and anti-Hindus, and it is completely incorrect. It is done to mentally weaken Hindus so that they avoid reading Mahabharat. Because Mahabharat invokes bravery, pride and sense of confidence in Hindus.
Keep a copy of Mahabharat at home and read it online at the HariBhakt website. Mahabharat is rightly called the fifth Veda for Kaliyuga people because it is a tool and guidance to invoke confidence and bravery in Sanatan Dharmi Hindus.
You can read complete Mahabharat by following Chapter links given below. You can check Glossary of Mahabharat here.