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"Vaisampayana said, 'Dismissed with salutation by the Pandavas, Sanjaya set out for (Hastinapura) having executed all the commands of the illustrious Dhritarashtra. Reaching Hastinapura he quickly entered it, and presented himself at the gate of the inner apartments of the palace. Addressing the porter, he said, 'O gate-keeper, say unto Dhritarashtra that I, Sanjaya, have just arrived, coming from the sons of Pandu. Do not delay. If the king be awake, then only shouldst thou say so, O keeper, for I like to enter having first apprised him of my arrival. In the present instance I have something of very great importance to communicate.' Hearing this, the gate-keeper went to the king and addressed him, saying, 'O lord of earth, I bow to thee. Sanjaya is at thy gates, desirous of seeing thee. He cometh, bearing a message from the Pandavas. Issue your commands, O king, as to what he should do.'

"The king said, 'Tell Sanjaya that I am happy and hale. Let him enter. Welcome to Sanjaya. I am always ready to receive him. Why should he stay outside whose admission is never forbidden?"

"Vaisampayana continued, 'Then, with the king's permission, having entered that spacious apartment, the Suta's son, with joined hands, approached the royal son of Vichitravirya who was protected by many wise, valiant, and righteous persons, and who was then seated on his throne. And Sanjaya addressed him, saying, 'I am Sanjaya, O king. I bow unto thee. O chief of men, proceeding hence I found the sons of Pandu. After having paid his salutations to thee, Pandu's son, the intelligent Yudhishthira, enquired of thy welfare. And well-pleased, he also enquireth after thy sons, and asketh thee whether thou art happy with thy sons and grandsons and friends and counsellors, and, O king, all those that depend upon thee.'

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"Dhritarashtra said, 'O child, giving my blessings to Ajatasatru, I ask thee, O Sanjaya, whether that king of the Kauravas, Pritha's son, is well with his sons and brothers and counsellors.'

"Sanjaya said, 'Pandu's son is well with his counsellors. He desires possessions of that which he formerly had as his own. He seeketh virtue and wealth without doing anything that is censurable, possesseth intelligence and vast learning, and is, besides, far-sighted and of excellent disposition. With that son of Pandu, abstention from injury is even superior to virtue, and virtue superior to the accumulation of wealth. His mind, O Bharata, is always inclined to happiness and joy, and to such course of action as are virtuous and conducive to the higher ends of life. Even like doll pulled this way and that by threads, man (in this world) moveth, swayed by a force not his own. Beholding the sufferings of Yudhishthira, I regard the force of destiny to be Superior to the effect of human exertion. Beholding again thy unworthy deeds, which, besides, being highly sinful and unspeakable, are sure to terminate in misery, it seemeth to me that one of thy nature winneth praise only so long as his able foe bideth his time. Renouncing all sin, even as a serpent casteth off its worn out slough which it cannot any longer retain, the heroic Ajatasatru shineth in his natural perfection, leaving his load of sins to be borne by thee. Consider, O king, thy own acts which are contrary to both religion and profit, and to the behaviour of those that are righteous. Thou hast, O king, earned a bad repute in this world, and wilt reap misery in the next. Obeying the counsels of thy son thou hopest to enjoy this doubtful property, keeping them aloof. This unrighteous deed is loudly bruited about in the world, Therefore, O foremost of the Bharatas, this deed is unworthy of thee. Calamity overtaketh him who is deficient in wisdom, or who is of low birth, or who is cruel, or who cherisheth hostility for a long time, or who is not steady in Kshatriya virtues, or is devoid of energy, or is of a bad disposition, in fact, him who hath such marks. It is by virtue of luck that a person taketh his birth in good race, or becometh strong, or famous, or versed in various lore, or possesseth the comforts of life, or becometh capable of subduing his senses, or discriminating virtue and vice that are always linked together. What person is there, who, attended upon by foremost of counsellors, possessed of intelligence, capable of discriminating between virtue and vice in times of distress, not destitute of the rituals of religion, and retaining the use of all his faculties, would commit cruel deeds. These counsellors, ever devoted to thy work, wait here united together. Even this is their firm determination (viz., that the Pandavas are not to get back their share). The destruction of the Kurus, therefore, is certain to be brought about by the force of circumstances. If, provoked by the offences, Yudhishthira wisheth for misery to thee, then Kurus will be destroyed prematurely, while, imparting all his sins to thee, the blame of that deed will be thine in this world. Indeed, what else is there save the will of the Gods, for Arjuna, the son of Pritha,

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leaving this world ascended to the very heavens and was honoured there very greatly. This proves that individual exertion is nothing. There is, no doubt, as to this. Seeing that the attributes of high birth, bravery, etc., depended for their development or otherwise on acts, and beholding also prosperity and adversity and stability and instability (in persons and their possessions), king Vali, in his search after causes, having failed to discover a beginning (in the chain of acts of former lives one before another), regarded the eternal Essence to be the cause of everything. The eye, the ear, the nose, the touch, and the tongue, these are the doors of a person's knowledge. If desire be curbed, these would be gratified by themselves. Therefore, cheerfully and without repining one should control the senses. Others there are that think differently. They hold that if a person's acts are well-applied, these must produce the desired result. Thus the child begot by the act of the mother and the father grows when duly tended with food and drink. Men in this world become subject to love and hate, pleasure and pain, praise and blame. A man is praised when he behaves honestly. Thee I blame, since these dissensions of the Bharatas (whose root thou art) will surely bring about the destruction of innumerable lives. If peace be not concluded, then through thy fault Arjuna will consume the Kurus like a blazing fire consuming a heap of dried grass. O ruler of men, thou alone of all the world, yielding to thy son whom no restraints can blind, hadst regarded thyself as crowned with success and abstained from avoiding dispute at the time of the match at dice. Behold now the fruit of that (weakness of thine)! O monarch, by rejecting advisers that are faithful and accepting those that deserve no confidence, this extensive and prosperous empire, O son of Kuru, thou art unable to retain owing to thy weakness. Wearied by my fast journey and very much fatigued, I solicit thy permission to go to bed now, O lion of men, for tomorrow morning will the Kurus, assembled together in the council-hall, hear the words of Ajatasatru.'"

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