Bhagawatam 093: Vidura seeks to know the well-being of all Yadavas and Pandavas

Om Viṣṇave namah

Upon reaching Prabhāsa teertha, Vidura came to know that just as a fire caused due to the friction of bamboo trees destroys the entire forest, a violent war between the kinsmen had destroyed the entire Kuru lineage. Deeply aggrieved upon hearing this news, Vidura took up the vow of silence and silently walked towards the banks of River Saraswati.

Reaching the banks of River Saraswati he visited and served the sacred pilgrim centres popularly known as Trita, Uśana, Manu, Pṛthu, Agni, Asita, Vāyu, Sudāsa, Go, Guha and Sraddhadeva.

In this world, in the temples of Lord Mahavishnu consecrated by Devatas and Maharishis, the discus (chakra), which is the most important amongst all His weapons, will be retained decoratively. Merely by visiting such temples people remember Lord Srikrishna. Vidura visited many such temples.

As he visited these temples, he passed through Sauraśtra, Suvīra, Matsya and Kurujānga provinces and at last reached the banks of River Yamuna. Here he happened to meet Uddhava, the great devotee of Lord Srikrishna.

Uddhava, the ardent devotee, had strictly adhered to the instructions given by Srikrishna He was of peaceful nature. He was formerly a student of Lord Brihaspati. Seeing Uddhava, Vidura with great joy embraced him and enquired from Him the well-being of Srikrishna and all other relatives.

Vidura said, “Uddhava, due to the prayer of Brahma, who was born from the navel of that Supreme Lord, the original Gods Krishna and Balarama incarnated upon earth. They have reduced the burden of Mother Earth and thus brought well-being to this universe. I presume that now they have with them the time to relax and rest.

Are they both safe and doing well in the house of Vasudeva? How is the venerable Vasudeva, who is so dear to our Kuru lineage? He was always concerned about the well-being of Kunti and his other sisters and of his brothers-in-law. Is he happy?

How is Pradyumna, the leader of the Yadava army? In his previous birth this valourous warrior was Manmatha, the Lord of desire. Rukmini devi worshipped eminent Vedic Brahmins and obtained Pradyumna as her son from Lord Srikrishna.  Is Pradyumna comfortable and happy?

How is Ugrasena, the King of Sātvata and other Yadava clans? He was never hopeful or desirous of becoming the king. Yet Srikrishna installed him as the king and seated him on the throne.

Jāmbhavati Devi performed severe austerities and obtained Lord Subrahmanya as her son. He was Sāmba. He resembles Srikrishna in every aspect. He is the greatest amongst all the great warriors. How is Sāmba?

How is Satviki, who had learnt the secrets of archery from Arjuna? Through his devotional service he pleased Supreme Lord Srikrishna and obtained from him that ultimate state of devotion (bhāgawata sthithi) which even supreme yatis (saints) find it hard to scale.

At one time Akrura was walking when he saw the footprints of Lord Srikrishna in the middle of the path. Just by seeing those footprints, Arkura’s heart swelled with devotion. Forgetting himself in the devotional love that had surged in him, Akrura fell on that dusty path and rolled in it. How is Akrura, the son of Swaphalaka? This supreme scholar is absolutely sinless and has totally surrendered to the Lord. Is he happy?

How is Devaki, the daughter of Devaka who belonged to the Bhoja clan? She, who is like Aditi the mother of all the Devatas, obtained the original Supreme Lord Mahavishnu as her son. Just as the Vedas retain the Yagnas and Karmas within them she retained the Supreme Lord in her womb. Is she doing well?

Aniruddha is none other than the Supreme Almighty. He is the one who has fulfilled the desires of his devotees who belonged to the Yadu lineage. The fourth aspect of that Supreme Lord Mahavishnu, from whom Vedas originated, is Aniruddha. This is what learned scholars state. He is the presiding deity for the mind. Is Aniruddha happy and comfortable?

O Uddhava, how are other warriors such as Hṛdika and Chārudeṣṇa the son of Satyabhāma? Are they all doing well? The reason I enquire about them is because they possess profound devotion towards Srikrishna, who is the form of the Self.

Krishna and Arjuna are like the two arms to Yudhisthira. Is he, with their help ruling this entire world in a righteous manner? Duryodhana was very jealous of Yudhisthira’s supreme victories and of the extraordinary and astounding palace that Maya had built for him. He was also jealous of the services that Arjuna would render to Yudhisthira. Is Yudhisthira happy and comfortable?

Bheema is known for his intense anger. Mistakes of people cause him to get infuriated. Like a snake he hisses with this anger for long periods. Tossing the mace in his hand when he furiously walks in the war field it appears as if earth will crumble under his pressure. Is Bheema hale and hearty? Has he discarded his anger?

Arjuna had achieved great fame as the best warrior amongst all great warriors and army leaders. At one time when he was performing severe austerities Lord Shiva appeared in front of him disguised as a hunter. When Arjuna overpowered him with his arrows, the Supreme Shiva was so deeply pleased with his valour and might that He blessed Arjuna with the Pāśupata weapon. Is this supreme warrior Arjuna, peaceful and happy, having defeated all his enemies?

The twins Nakula and Sahadeva lost their mother when they were very young. Kunti devi lovingly raised them as if they were her own sons. Yudhisthira, Bheema and Arjuna protected them as zealously as the eyelid protects the eye. Just as Garuda snatched from Indra the bowl of nectar, are these twins, having snatched away from Duryodhana their rightful kingdom, happy and joyful?

O Uddhava, Emperor Pāndu was an expert in wars. Seated in his chariot and with his profound skills in archery he single-handedly conquered all the four directions. His wife Kunti continues to live even after his demise, solely for the sake of her children. This is such a noble trait. How is Kunti?

O Uddhava, I deeply worry about Dhritarashtra. This is because he cheated his deceased brother and accumulated heaps of sin. He has made it a vow to listen to the words of his sons and walk on that path. When I, his younger brother, sought to advice him rightly seeking his welfare, he threw me out of the city’.

In this way Vidura was enquiring about everyone’s welfare. Whether he entertained some doubts about their welfare or was grieving within about the war or whether he wanted to know all the survivors of the war or whether he wanted to highlight the greatness of everyone- we do not know the reason, but he was enquiring individually about them all.

Om Vishnave namah.

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