Chapter 104 Kunti, Dhritarashtra and Gandhari Self-Immolated to Forest Fire
Dhritarashtra and Gandhari returned to their home and broke their fast after Yudhishthira finally given his approval for Dhritarashtra to retire to the jungle.
While eating, Kunti sat next to Gandhari. Yudhishthira was requested to sit by Dhritarashtra as he bestowed his final blessings.
The elderly king then exited the building while keeping his hand on Gandhari’s shoulder as he made his way into the woodland. By placing her hand on Kunti’s shoulder and moving gently in her direction, Gandhari, who had given up using her eyes because her lord and husband was blind, led the way.
Kunti had made up her mind to visit the forest with Gandhari. She was speaking to Yudhishthira as she continued to walk: “Son, remember with fondness Karna, who died a hero’s death on the battlefield; he was my son, but I did the fault of not telling you; never let your voice be furious when you talk to Sahadeva. The responsibility of the family is now entirely on you, son, so take care of Draupadi with unwavering affection and never bring Bhima, Arjuna, Nakula, or Sahadeva any anguish.”
Up until that point, Kunti had been considered by Dharmaputra to be following Gandhari very briefly in order to bid him farewell. He was shocked and rendered speechless for a few moments when he heard her say this. “Mother, not thus! You blessed us and sent us to combat. It is not proper that you should now forsake us and go to the jungle,” he said after he had recovered from his astonishment. However, Yudhishthira’s pleadings proved ineffective. Kunti stuck to her plan.
Kunti gave her distinguished son a blessing before leaving, saying, “I must join my lord and husband wherever he be now. I shall stay with Gandhari and go through the austerity of forest life and soon join your father. Go back unagitated. Return to the city. May your mind ever be fixed on dharma.”
Yudhishthira remained silent. He and her other Pandavas saw Kunti’s infrequent glances as she continued on her journey.
Vyasa narrates this part of the history in detailed manner showing duty of old people of giving responsibility to young people and retiring to hermit life. The three respected elders are making their way to the forest while holding hands and leaning on each other’s shoulders. Ideally, the old parents should have stayed with the younger ones and guide them but deep sorrow of losing an entire clan caused deep irreparable despair to the elders. They wanted to escape to forest and lead a simple join to reduce their emotional pain.
For three years, Dhritarashtra, Gandhari, and Kunti lived in the jungle. They had Sanjaya with them. The forest was on fire when Dhritarashtra came to their hermitage after finishing his rituals one day. The flames spread over the area as the wind blew. The herds of deer and wild boars dashed wildly in all directions toward the waters.
“This fire will engulf us all, so you had best rescue yourself,” Dhritarashtra warned Sanjaya.
After saying this, the elderly blind monarch, Gandhari, who had her eyes covered, and Kunti sat down on the ground in a yoga position with their backs to the east and quietly surrendered to the fire.
Sanjaya obeyed king’s last instruction like he always did in his entire adult life, he had been the Dhritarashtra’s only source of light due to his blindness and who was precious to him like life itself. He spent the remainder of his days as a sanyasin in the Himalayas.
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.