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Dhritarâshthra Quits Home

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 Dhritarâshthra Quits Home

(1) Sûta said: "Vidura [*] asrnhernwas traveling to the different places of pilgrimage, had receivedrnknowledge about the destination of the self from the great sagernMaitreya, and since he by that knowledge was sufficiently acquaintedrnwith everything to be known, he returned to the city ofrnHastinâpura. (2) After all the questions that Vidura putrnbefore Maitreya in his presencernan undivided devotion untornGovinda had grown in him and he refrained from further questioning. (3-4) Arriving in Hastinâpurarnhe, oh brahmins, was welcomed by Yudhishthhira and his youngerrnbrothers,rnDhritarâshthra, Sâtyaki and Sañjaya,rnKripâcârya, Kuntî, Gândhârî,rnDraupadî, Subhadrâ, Uttarâ, Kripî, other wivesrnof the family members of the Pândavas and other ladies with theirrnsons. (5) Likernawakened from death theyrnapproached him in great delight to receive him with all respect withrnembraces and obeisances. (6) In their affection they emotionally shedrntears because of the anxiety and grief they had felt because of thernseparation. King Yudhishthhira offered him a seat and then arranged forrna reception.
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(7) After he was fed sumptuously, had rested andrnwas seated comfortably, the king humbly bowed down to address him inrnfront of everybody. (8) Hernsaid: 'Do you remember how we, brought up under the wings of your care,rntogether with our mother were delivered from various calamities likernpoisoning and arson? (9) How did you maintain your livelihood as yourntraveled the surface of the earth and in which holy places ofrnpilgrimage have you been of service here on this planet? (10)rnDevotees like your goodness are converted into holy places themselves,rnoh powerful one; having the Supreme Personality in your heart, you turnrnall places into places of pilgrimage. (11) Dear uncle,rncanrnyou tell us what you saw or heard about our friends and well-wishers?rnAre the descendants of Yadu, who with Krishna are rapt in their lovernfor God, all happy where they are living?'
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(12) Thus being questioned by the king he properlyrndescribed, discussing one subject after the other, all he hadrnexperienced, but did not mention the destruction of the dynasty. (13) Because he didn't want to upset them he wasrnas graceful not to expound on this in fact so unpalatable andrnunbearable aspect of mankind's behavior. (14) The sage, who was treated like a god, thusrnresided for a few days with them so that he could mean something to hisrneldest brother and all would be happy. (15) Because of a curse of Mandûka Muni [who under Yama'srnresponsibility was treated unjustly], Vidura for the time of a hundredrnyears had to play the part of a s'ûdra [a working class man]. During that time itrnwas Aryamâ who [in his place] administered punishmentrnas was suitable for the sinful ones [**].
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(16) Yudhishthhira had seen thatrnthere was a grandson in the dynasty fit for ruling the kingdom that hernhad retrieved and enjoyed together with his politically gifted brothersrna life of great wealth. (17) But Time, insurmountable and imperceptible in itsrnbeing,rnsurpasses  inimitably those who are inattentive and engrossed in the mind of attachment tornfamilyrnaffairs. (18) VidurarnwhornknewrnthisrnsaidrntornDhritarâshthra: 'O King, [dear brother], please withdrawrnyourself without delay, just see how fear has taken the lead in yourrnlife. (19) In thisrnmaterialrnworld there is no help of anyone or anything to escape from this fear,rnbecause that fear concerns the Supreme Lord who approaches us all inrnthe form of eternal Time. (20) Inevitably overtaken by the pull of time arnperson must, just like that, give up this life as dear as it is torneveryone, not to mention the wealth and such he has acquired. (21)rnWith your father, brother, well-wishers and sons all dead, with yourrnlife expended and your body decrepit, you live in another man's home. (22)rnYou have been blind since you were born, don't hear that well anymore,rnyour memory fails and recently your teeth loosened, your liver givesrnyou trouble, and you are loudly coughing up mucus. (23)rnAlas, how powerful  the living being its attachment to life is! Itrnis that strong that it makes you, just like a household dog, eat thernremnants of the food left over by Bhîma [your Pândavarnnephew]. (24) Howrncan you subsist on the grace of those whom you tried to burn and poisonrnand whose wife you have insulted while usurping their kingdom? (25) Whether you like it or not, you will,rnhowever much you value your life, have to face the fact that thisrnmiserly body will dwindle and deteriorate like an old garment. (26)rnSomeone is courageous and wise if he, unconcerned in being freed fromrnall obligations, accepts that he has to head for an unknown destinationrnwhen he is no longer able to use his body properly. (27)rnAnyone in this world who, by his own understanding or having it learnedrnfrom others, arrives at consciousness when he has awakened from hisrnmaterial attachment and next leaves home with the Lord installed in hisrnheart, is certainly a first-class human being. (28) Therefore, please leave for the north withoutrnletting your relatives know where you are heading for; hereafter soonrnthe time will arrive of a general diminishing of the qualities of menrn[Kali-yuga].' (29)rnHaving heard this the old king of the Ajamîdha family, in respectrnof the wisdom of his younger brother Vidura, broke determinedrnwithrnthernstrongrnfamilyrntiesrnandrnleftrninrnthatrndirectionrnwhichrnwasrnsetrnforrnthernpathrnofrnliberation.rn (30) He was followed by the chaste and worthyrndaughter of King Subala [Gândhârî] who went alongrnwith her husband to the Himalayas - the place that is the delight ofrnthose who took up the staff of renunciation like they were fightersrnaccepting the legitimacy of a good beating.
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(31) Returning to the palace he who considered nornone his enemy [Yudhishthhira], having worshiped the demigods withrnoblations, obeisances and gifts for the brahmins, wanted to pay hisrnrespects to the elderly. But he couldn't find his two uncles or auntrnGândhârî. (32) Anxious, he turned to Sañjaya the sonrnof Gavalgana [the assistant who gave the blind Dhritarâshthra thernaccount of the battle], and said to him: 'Where is our old, blindrnuncle? (33) Wherernis my well-wisher Vidura and mother Gândhârî who wasrngrieving over losing her offspring? Has the old king, ungrateful to mernfor having lost his sons, distressed in a mind of doubt about myrnoffenses drowned himself together with his wife in thernGanges? (34)rnAfter the downfall of my father King Pându they were thernwell-wishers who protected us all who were still small children - wherernhave my uncles gone from here?' "
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(35) Sûta said: "Sañjaya, who worriedrnin the love for his master couldn't find him, was upset about thernseparation and could, being too aggrieved, not speak a word in reply. (36)rnThinking about the feet of his master he with his hands wiped the tearsrnfrom his face and tried to regain his composure to answer KingrnYudhishthhira. (37) Sañjaya said: 'I do not know whatrnyour uncles or Gândhârî had in mind, oh descendant ofrnthe Kuru dynasty - oh great King, these great souls have led me by thernnose.' (38) At that moment the supreme personalityrnNârada appeared on the scene with his musical instrument andrnafter Yudhishthhira and his younger brothers had gotten up from theirrnseats to welcome him properly by offering him their obeisances, thernking said: (39) 'OhrnSupreme One, I do not know in which direction my uncles and my asceticrnaunt who is so aggrieved about the loss of her sons, have left. (40) Just like a captain on a ship in the greatrnocean you are the Lord to guide us to the other side.'
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Thus being addressed therndivine personality Nârada, the greatest among the wisernphilosophers of the eternal, began to speak: (41) 'O King, never lament for whatever reason,rnfor you are controlled by the Supreme Lord. All living beings and theirrnleaders in this world perform their ceremonies in order to bernprotected. He is the one who brings everybody together and alsorndisperses us again. (42) Thernway a cow is tied by a rope through the nose, one is likewise tied byrnthe hymns and precepts of the Veda so as to follow according therndemands of the Supreme. (43) The way in this world playthings at will arernbrought together and separated again, it also happens tornthernpeoplernwhornsubjectedrntorntherngamernofrnthernLordrnarernbroughtrntogetherrnandrnseparatedrnagain. (44)rnWhether one considers persons eternal [souls] or temporal [bodies] orrnelse as both [embodied souls] or as neither of both [because of thernAbsolute Truth which is transcendental to all attributes], they neverrnunder any circumstance should constitute a reason for lamentation; onernis only of that state because one is emotionally involved or has lostrnone's mind. (45) Therefore, oh King, give up the anxiety yournfeel because of a lack of self knowledge, and stop thinking how thesernhelpless poor creatures would be able to survive without you. (46) How is this body, which is made out of thernfive elements [fire, water, air, earth and ether] and is controlled byrntime, materially motivated action and the modes of nature [kâla,rnkarmarnandrnthe gunas], capable of protecting others when it isrnjust as well bitten by that snake?rn (47) Those who have no hands [the animals] are atrnthe mercy of the ones who do have hands [the human beings]. Livingrnbeings without limbs [like grasses] are at the mercy of the four-leggedrn ones [like the cows]. The weaker ones are at thernmercy of the stronger ones and thus one living being feeds on thernother. (48) Therefore only have eyes for the outer formrnof Him who by the power of illusion appears as a diversity; He, ohrnKing,rnis the Supreme Personality, the Supersoul who self-illuminatingrnmanifests Himself as the object as well as the subject of the differentrnliving beings. (49) That Unborn One, the Father of Creation,rnhas, oh King, at present descended in this world in a form of [thernall-devouring] Time in order to eliminate all the enemies of thernenlightened. (50) ThernLord did for the enlightened souls what had to be done and is nowrnawaiting the rest. You Pândavas the same way observe and wait forrnas long as He is present in this world.
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(51) Dhritarâshthra, his brother Vidura andrnhis wife Gândhârî have departed for the southern sidernof the Himalayas where the sages have their refuge. (52)rnThe place is known as Saptasrota [seven sources] because the river ofrnthe heavens [the Svardhunî] sprouted there and to thernsatisfaction of the respective wise divided herself into the sevenrncurrents we know as her branches. (53) By bathing regularly there, sacrificing in the firernaccording the regulative principles and fasting on drinking water only,rnDhritarâshthra has completelyrnsubduedrnhisrnmindrnandrnsensesrnandrnisrnthusrnfreedrnfromrntherndependencyrnhernhadrnwithrnhisrnfamily. (54) With the help of sittingrnpostures, breath-control and turning one's mind inward away from thernsix senses one can, absorbed in the Lord, conquer the contaminations ofrnpassion, goodness and ignorance. (55) Byrnallowing his self to merge in the wisdom and the wisdom to merge withrnthe pure witness, he has united with the Absolute [brahman], thernreservoir of pure being, the same way the air within a pot merges withrnthe space outside of it. (56) With his breaking with the effects of thernoperation of the natural modes, his senses and mind will no longer bernfed and come to a stop when he, no longer hindered in renouncing allrnhis duties, sits concentrating his mind without moving a limb. (57) Irnexpect that he will quit his body five days from now, oh King, and willrnallow it to turn to ashes. (58) While she outside observes the body of herrnhusband being [mystically set] afire along with his cottage, his chasternwife fully conscious will follow him in the fire. (59)rnVidura, witnessing that wonderful incident, oh son of the Kuru dynasty,rnwill, with mixed feelings of delight and grief, leave that place tornembark on an inspiring pilgrimage.' (60) After thusrnhavingrnaddressed the king Nârada, along with his stringed instrument,rnrose up into heaven. Yudhishthhira, taking his instructions at heart,rnthereupon gave up all his lamentation."
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SOURCE: Translation: Anand Aadhar Prabhu, http://bhagavata.org/

Production: the Filognostic Association of The Order of Time, with special thanks to Sakhya Devi Dasi for proofreading and correcting the manuscript. http://theorderoftime.com/info/guests-friends.html

The sourcetexts, illustrations and music to this translation one can find following the links from: http://bhagavata.org/