Episode 45: Dhritarashtra and Gandhari leave home for forests
Vidura continued, “First step is to attain dispassion. Make a firm determination to let go of everything in life. You have a deep infatuation towards your body which in reality is ugly and despicable. You seek that you should live for a very long time. You still desire to regain your youth. You still crave for good health and enjoyments at this old age. What do you think is your age now? Why do you entertain such craving?
He who attains dispassion giving up infatuation in totality and who without disclosing his identity gives up this useless body that does not have the capacity to even undertake righteous deeds, is a truly courageous man (dhira)! This is what our elders state.
Dispassion should arise on its own in the person. When it arises thus it means the person has understood the temporal nature of this life. However, it is impossible for dispassion to arise on its own in the person! That rare person in whom it arises automatically is exceedingly fortunate! In normal circumstances, even after many attempts the person fails in attaining detachment. In case the person is unable to automatically attain detachment, then at least due the understanding of its importance from a Guru or from some other person, he should develop dispassion.
He, who due to detachment, gives up his family together with all other worldly bondages, who is able to restrain the mind completely while focusing exclusively upon Srihari in his heart and thus becomes a sanyasi (parivrajaka), is said to be the greatest amongst humans!
The future period of time is not conducive for noble beings. It will cause depletion of all good qualities in beings. Therefore, without informing your relatives of your future place of stay, now quickly proceed towards the North”.
In this manner Vidura preached Dhritarashtra. With this preaching, wisdom dawned upon the blind Dhritarashtra. He was able to see light. He was instantaneously able to cut off his attachment and infatuation towards his near and dear ones!
This was the effect of Vidura’s final preaching! Dhritarashtra could immediately break away from all familial ties. Due to this wonderful preaching by his brother Vidura, Dhritarashtra was rid of the bondage towards home and family. What a great achievement this is! Krishna! Srihari! This is such wonderful news!
Many times in the past Vidura had tried to cause this awakening in Dhritarashtra. But he had repeatedly failed. The blind king refused to listen. It was as if he had become deaf in addition to being blind. Now in this last attempt he was able to grasp the reality!
To a self-respecting warrior, wounds inflicted by the opponent during a righteous war are joyful. Only such valorous warriors enter the battlefield. Likewise to a Yati, who causes joy to one and all, the Himalayas bestow happiness and joy.
Dhritarashtra therefore left home immediately and proceeded towards the Himalayas. The chaste and kind woman Gandhāri, who was the daughter of King Subala, followed her husband who was proceeding towards the Himalayas.
As per his usual practice, next morning Yudhisthira completed his daily Sandhya rituals and fire-worship (Agni upasana). After offering obeisance to Vedic Brahmins and giving them gingely, cows, lands and gold in charity, he entered the palace in order to offer obeisance to his elders. When he could not find Vidura, Dhritarashtra and Gāndhāri anywhere he was deeply troubled and anxious.
He enquired of Sanjaya, the son of Gavalgana, who was present there, “Where is my blind paternal uncle? Where is my aunt Gāndhāri, who is grieving the loss of her sons? Where have they gone today? Where is Vidura, the well-wisher of everyone? He is such a revered being. Where have they all gone?
Is it possible that some of my actions were faulty, for apart from me there is none to hurt their feelings? I hope my uncle has not jumped into the Ganga. When our father died we were still very young. When we were in this helpless situation Dhritarashtra and Vidura protected us and raised us. Where could they have now disappeared?” In this way Yudhisthira lamented.
Dhritarashtra had saved him when he was a small boy. Hence the noble Yudhisthira who was full of gratitude ensured the protection of his uncle throughout his life.
Being extremely agitated and distressed at being unable to locate his master Dhritarashtra, Sanjaya could not even reply for a long time. Thereafter wiping his tears and composing himself a little, Sanjaya mentally offered obeisance to his master Dhritarashtra and said, “O Dharmaraja! I have no idea where Vidura and Dhritarashtra, who are father-like figures to you, have gone. I do not know what is in Gāndhāri’s mind. I do not know the place to which they have gone. They have cheated me, left me and disappeared”.
Exactly at that minute Maharishi Narada along with Tumbura, arrived there: Narayana! Narayana!
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