|Chapter VI - 22||Home | Index | Previous | Next|
At this, Vidura replied that he had been on a pilgrimage to a number of holy places. The brothers listened with rapt attention to his story, prodding him with questions. Dharmaraja said often that he was awaiting the day when he too could go through all those holy experiences. He folded his palms in reverence whenever a holy shrine was mentioned and, with closed eyes, he pictured to himself the sacred spot. Meanwhile, Bhima interjected, "Did you proceed to Dwaraka? Please tell us your experiences there." Dharmaraja too added, "You must have met Lord Krishna there, isn't it? Tell us all what happened, in full detail." Kunthi Devi too became eager to hear his description; for, she said, "Tell us, tell us. My son is there now; you must have met him too. How are they all? I hope the old parents, Nanda and Yasoda are well. And, Devaki and Vasudeva?" A shower of questions fell on Vidura, even before he started talking.
Vidura was not overeager to answer. He talked as if he was anxious to avoid being drawn into the topic. For he had learnt from Uddhava while on the way to Dwaraka that the Yadava clan had perished and Krishna had closed His human career. He had no desire to plunge the Pandavas into grief, when they were elated at meeting him after a long time. "Why should I who have given them so much joy, be myself the cause for wiping off that joy?" he argued. "They are sure to know about it from Arjuna who will be returning from Dwaraka with the sorrowful news." So, he swallowed the news that popped up quite often into his mouth; he satisfied himself and them, by describing the glory of Krishna. He said, "I did not like to visit kith and kin with these ascetic robes on; so, I did not meet any of the Yadava leaders or Nanda, Yasoda and others", and kept quiet. He did not dilate further on Dwaraka and his own pilgrimage.
"I came to you because I heard that you have won the war and are peacefully engaged at last in ruling over the kingdom which was rightfully yours; I felt drawn towards these children whom I had fostered from a tender age. It was affection towards them that drew me here. Among my kith and kin, I was tempted to visit only you; I did not desire to meet any others", he said and turned towards the Vedanthic teachings which he wanted to impart. When the conversation ended, Dharmaraja prayed that Vidura might take residence at the quarters specially arranged for him and himself accompanied him to the mansion.
There he appointed certain persons to serve Vidura and requested him to take rest at that place. Vidura did not relish the idea of spending his time in that seat of luxury; but he entered the mansion lest Dharmaraja be displeased. He lay on his bed, reviewing the past. He sighed when he realised that the stratagems which the blind Dhritharashtra, his own brother, employed to destroy the Pandavas, the children of his other brother Pandu, recoiled on him and caused the destruction of his own clan. He admired Dharmaraja for the magnanimity he was showing towards Dhritharashtra, in spite of the fact that he had tortured the Pandavas in various ways. Dharmaraja was revering him with great faith and devotion and attending to his comforts. He felt the utmost disgust when he recapitulated the wickedness of Dhritharashtra's heart; he was ashamed that the old man was coolly wallowing in the luxury of the palace, instead of cultivating detachment from the flimsy pleasures of the senses and attempting to realise the goal of human life, namely, liberation from the cycle of birth and death. He experienced an uncontrollable agony that his brother was wasting the few remaining years of his life on earth.