Chapter VIII - 28 Home | Index | Previous | Next

Just then, Sanjaya came there, all of a sudden. Dharmaraja rose and caught hold of both his hands and said "My parents have gone; alas, I found their chambers empty. Why did they behave like this? Have they disclosed anything to you, tell me. If I know where they have gone, I could fall at their feet and crave pardon for all my failings. Tell me quick Sanjaya, where have they gone." He too had no knowledge of their whereabouts. He only knew that Vidura must be involved in the whole affair. He too shed tears and holding Dharmaraja's hands in his, he said in a voice that shook with emotion, "Lord and master, believe me, I am speaking the truth. Of course, Dhritharashtra used to consult me and ask for my suggestions even in small matters; but, in this affair, he has acted without discussing with me or even informing me. I am struck with wonder at this act. Though I was near him, I did not in the least know about his journey. I cannot also guess why he should have done so. I never dreamt that he would deceive me thus. He showed me some respect and had some confidence in me. But he has played me false. I can only say that this is my bad luck". Sanjaya started weeping like a child.

Dharmaraja consoled him, saying that it was really the consequence of his own sins, and not Sanjaya's. "The extent of our bad luck can be gauged from this. Our father left us even while we were children; this uncle brought us up from that tender age. We were revering him and tending him, as both father and uncle. I must have perpetrated some error out of ignorance; I am incapable of doing so, consciously. Both uncle and aunt were broiling in the agony of the loss of their hundred sons. I was eager to offer them some little peace, and so, myself and my four brothers were wholeheartedly serving them so that they might not remember the anguish of their terrible loss. We took care that no little point was missed while serving them. There was no diminution of reverence or affection. Alas, that they should have left this place! What a tragedy, what a terrible blow!", lamented Dharmaraja.

"My uncle and aunt are both aged and weak; besides, they are blind. I cannot understand how they managed to leave this place. How they must be suffering now! Not even one attendant accompanied them. Of what benefit are these large numbers that I have? Groping along, they might have fallen into the Ganges, by now. O, how unlucky I am! I fostered them both like the apple of the eye and at last, I have allowed them to meet this tragic fate." Dharmaraja was beating his breast and expressing his deep distress.

The brothers heard the lamentation and they flew fast to the side of the weeping Dharmaraja. Kunthi, the mother, also inquired anxiously the reason for the grief. She peeped into the chambers and, not finding Gandhari or her brother-in-law, she asked Sanjaya what had happened to them. Sanjaya could not reply; he could only shed tears. "Where have they gone, in their aged and helpless condition? Tell me," she cried; but no one could answer. Meanwhile Dharmaraja called the brothers to his side and made some gestures which they could not understand aright. Then, he mustered courage and rose from the ground. He managed to narrate to them the happenings since sunrise; he asked Bhima to send force in all directions to search for them and find them for they would not have gone far, since they were blind and could not travel fast; they must be groping their way.