|Chapter VI - 23||Home | Index | Previous | Next|
His yogic vision told him that the Pandavas too will soon disappear; that the same Krishna who guarded them here will look after their best interest in the hereafter too. But, he surmised that the blind king will suffer more, after the departure of the Pandavas. He resolved to send that unfortunate brother out on pilgrimage and the ultimate realisation of his destiny. He did not want any delay to intervene. So, he slipped out in the darkness, without being noticed by any one, and walked straight into the residence of Dhritharashtra.
The blind king and his queen, Gandhari, were of course expecting Vidura to call on them, for they learnt that he had come to town. So, when Vidura stepped in, he embraced him and shed tears of joy. He could not contain himself. He listed one by one the calamities that overtook him and his children and lamented over their fate. Vidura tried to console him with the profound teachings of the scriptures. But, he soon discovered that the petrified heart of the old man will not melt at the application of cold advice; he knew that his stupidity can be overcome only by hard blows.
So, he changed the tune and resorted to blame and abuse. Hearing this Dhritharashtra was alarmed. He expostulated, "Brother! We are burning in agony at the loss of our hundred sons, and you prick the wound with sharp needles of your angry abuse. Even before we taste the joy of meeting you after so long a time, why do you try to plunge us deeper into distress? Why should I blame you for hard-heartedness? I am laughed at by all, blamed by all, I have no right to find fault with you". With head bent and resting on his palms, Dhritharashtra sat in silence.
Vidura recognised this as the opportune moment for instilling the lesson of renunciation, which alone could save him from perdition. He knew that his purpose was beyond reproach, for, he wanted them to undertake pilgrimage to holy places and fill themselves with sanctity, and meet great and good men and recognise the Lord within and thus save themselves. So, he decided to use even stronger words with a view to transforming him and the queen. Though filled with pity at their forlorn condition, Vidura had in mind the dire days when they would need all the courage that Jnana alone could give them; so, he was determined to prod them into action. He said, "O foolish king! Have you no shame? Do you still find joy in earthly pleasures? Of what avail is it if you wallow in the mire until you die? I thought you had enough of it and more. Time is a cobra that lies in wait to sting you to death. You dare hope that you can escape it and live for ever. No one, however great, has escaped the sting. You run after happiness in this temporary world and you seek to fulfil your desires in order to get some paltry satisfaction. You are wasting precious years. Make your life worthwhile. It is not yet too late to begin the effort. Give up this cage called home. Dismiss from your mind the paltry pleasures of this world. Remember the joy that awaits you, the world that is welcoming you, the end of this journey. Save yourself. Avoid the foolish fate of giving up this life in the agony of separation from kith and kin. Learn to die with the thought of the Lord uppermost in the mind at the moment of departure. It is better far to die in joy in the thick of the blackest forest than die in distress in the palace of this capital city. Go, go and do Thapas. Get away from this place, this prison which you call, home".