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VII. Vidura the Counsellor

Vidura continued his admonition of Dhritharashtra: "You have reached this advanced age; but still, without any shame or hesitation, you are leading a dog's life. You may not be ashamed of it, but, I am. Fie upon you! Your method of spending your days is worse than that of a crow".

Dhritharashtra could not bear more. He cried, "O! enough, enough. Please stop. You are torturing me to death. These are not the words that one brother should address another. Hearing you, I felt you are not Vidura, my brother. He would not have reprimanded me so cruelly. For, is Dharmaraja, with whom I now am, a stranger? Have I taken refuge with an alien? What is this that you are saying? Why these harsh words! Dharmaraja is fostering me with great love and care; how can you declare that I am leading a dog's life or a crow's? It is a sin - if you entertain such ideas. This is just my fate, and nothing else." Dhritharashtra bent his head and moaned.

Vidura laughed in derision. He said, "Have you no sense of shame that you should talk thus? Dharmaraja might, out of his goodness, care for you more than his own father. He might look after you with a love greater than your own sons. This is but the reflection of his character. That is but the amplification of the significance of his name. But, should you not plan for your own future? One leg of yours is already in the grave and you are blindly filling your stomach in comfort and rolling in luxury. Reflect for a moment how you tortured Dharmaraja and his brothers, to fulfil the wicked intentions of your vile sons, how you devised stratagems for their extinction. You put them in a wax house and set fire to it; you attempted to poison them. You insulted their queen in the most humiliating manner before a vast assembly. You and your abominable brood piled grief over grief on the sons of Pandu, your own brother. Blind, senile, thick-skinned elephant, you sat on the throne, perpetually asking those beside you 'What is happening now? What is happening now?' How can you stay in this place enjoying Dharmarja's hospitality, rolling over your mind the iniquities perpetrated by you for his destruction? When you were devising their end, did they cease to be your cousins? Or, did the cousinship emerge now, when you came to them for stay? You tell me so proudly that they are treating you well, without a shred of shame!

Why speak so much? The disastrous game of dice took place at your initiative, isn't it? Do you deny it? No. I was a witness to that game. I advised you against it then; did you take it to heart? What happened then to the love and sympathy which you are now freely pouring forth? Today, like a dog you are gulping the food the Pandavas are placing before you and leading this despicable life."