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"Vaisampayana said, 'After the high-souled Pandavas had all been seated, Satyavati's son Vyasa said,--O Dhritarashtra of mighty arms, hast thou been able to achieve penances? Is thy mind, O king, pleased with thy residence in the woods? Has the grief that was thine, born of the slaughter of thy sons

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in battle, disappeared from thy heart? Are all thy perceptions, O sinless one, now clear? Dost thou practise the ordinances of forest life after having made thy heart firm? Does my daughter-in-law, Gandhari, allow herself to be overwhelmed by grief? She is possessed of great wisdom. Endued with intelligence, that queen understands both Religion and Wealth. She is well conversant with the truths that relate to both prosperity and adversity. Does she still grieve? Does Kunti, O king, who in consequence of her devotion to the service of her seniors, left her children, attend to thy wants and serve thee with all humility? Have the high-minded and high-souled king, Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma and Bhima and Arjuna and the twins been sufficiently comforted? Dost thou feet delight at seeing them? Has thy mind become freed from every stain? Has thy disposition, O king, become pure in consequence of the increase of thy knowledge? This aggregate of three, O king, is the foremost of all concerns, O Bharata, viz., abstension from injury to any creature, truth, and freedom from anger. Does thy forest life any longer prove painful to thee? Art thou able to earn with thy own exertions the products of the wilderness for thy food? Do fasts give thee any pain now? Hast thou learnt, O king, how the high-souled Vidura, who was Dharma's self, left this world? Through the curse of Mandavya, the deity of Righteousness became born as Vidura. He was possessed of great intelligence. Endued with high penances, he was high-souled and high-minded. Even Vrihaspati among the celestials, and Sukra among the Asuras, was not possessed of such intelligence as that foremost of persons. The eternal deity of Righteousness was stupefied by the Rishi Mandavya with an expenditure of his penances earned for a long time with great care. 1 At the command of the Grandsire, and through my own energy, Vidura of great intelligence was procreated by me upon a soil owned by Vichitraviryya. A deity of deities, and eternal, he was, O king, thy brother. The learned know him to be Dharma in consequence of his practices of Dharana and Dhyana. 2 He grows with (the growth of) truth, self-restraint, tranquillity of heart, compassion, and gifts. He is always engaged in penances, and is eternal. From that deity of Righteousness, through Yoga-puissance, the Kuru king Yudhishthira also took his birth. Yudhishthira, therefore, O king, is Dharma of great wisdom and immeasurable intelligence. Dharma exists both here and hereafter, and is like fire or wind or water or earth or space. He is, O king of kings, capable of going everywhere and exists, pervading the whole universe. He is capable of being beheld by only those that are the foremost of the deities and those that are cleansed of every sin and crowned with ascetic success. He that is Dharma is Vidura; and he

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that is Vidura is the (eldest) son of Pandu. That son of Pandu. O king, is capable of being perceived by thee. He stays before thee as thy servitor. Endued with great Yoga-puissance, thy high-souled brother, that foremost of intelligent men, seeing the high-souled Yudhishthira, the son of Kunti, has entered into his person. These also, O chief of Bharata's race, I shall unite with great benefit. Know, O son, that I am come here for dispelling thy doubts. Some feat that has never been accomplished before by any of the great Rishis, some wonderful effect of my penances,--I shall show thee. What object is that, O king, whose accomplishment thou desirest from me? Tell me what is that which thou wishest to see or ask or hear? O sinless one, I shall accomplish it.'


42:1 Audumvaran is an adjective of kalasan. It means 'made of copper'. Praveni is a kutha or blanket. Sruk is a ladle having the cup like cavity at one extremity only. Sruv is a ladle having cup-like cavities at both extremities.

43:1 Whenever a Brahmana cursed another, his penances underwent a diminution. Forgiveness was the highest virtue of the Brahmana. His power lay in forgiveness. Hence, when Mandavya cursed Dharma, he had to spend a portion of his hard-earned penances. Previously, the plea of minority or non-age could not be urged in the court of Dharma. Mandavya forced Dharma to admit that plea in the matter of punishment for offences.

43:2 Both Dharana and Dhyana are processes or, rather, stages of Yoga. The former implies the fixing of the mind on one thing; the latter is the abstraction of the mind from surrounding objects.

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