DEVI BHAGAVATHAM VI (6th) Skandha Ch.25.

Chapter XXV

On the cause of Moha of Vyâsa Deva asked before Nârada

1-10. Vyâsa said :– OKing! The mother became astonished to hear me. Becoming very anxious for a son, she began to speak to me. O Child! The wife of your brother, the daughter Ambâlikâ of Kâs’îrâj, is a widow; she is very sorrowful; she is endowed with all auspicious signs and endowed with all good qualities; better cohabit with that beautiful young wife and get a child according to the tradition of the S’istas. Persons born blind are not entitled to kingdoms. Therefore take my word and procreate a beautiful son and thus keep my honour. O Muni! Hearing the mother’s words, I began to wait in Hastinâpura till Ambâlikâ, the daughter of Kâs’îrâj, finished her ablutions after menstruation. That King’s daughter, of curling hairs, came to me alone at her mother-in-law’s order, and became very much abashed. Seeing me an ascetic with matted hairs on my head and void of every love sentiment, perspiration came on her face; her body turned pale and her mind void of any love towards me. When I saw that lady trembling and pale beside me, I angrily spoke :– “O One of beautiful waist! When you have turned out pale, considering your own beauty, let your son be of a pale colour.” Thus saying I spent there that night with Ambâlikâ. After enjoying her I took farewell from my mother and went to my place.

11-21. In due course, the two daughters of the King gave birth to two sons respectively, one blind and the other pale. The son of Ambikâ was named Dhritarâstra; and the son of Ambâlikâ was named Pându, as his colour was pându (pale). Mother became absentminded when she saw the two sons in those states. After one year she again called me and said :– “O Dvaipâyana! These two persons are not so fit to become kings; therefore beget one more son beautiful and according to my liking.” When I consented, she became very glad and, in due course, asked Ambikâ to embrace me and give birth to a son, endowed with extraordinary qualities, and fit to preserve the line worthy of the Kuru dynasty. The bride did not then say anything on account of her bashfulness. But when I went in the night time according to my mother’s order, to the sleeping room, Ambikâ sent to me a maid-servant of Vichitravîrya, full of youth and beauty, and adorned with various ornaments and clothings. That maid-servant of beautiful hairs and of a swan-like gait adorned with garlands and red sandal-paste, came to me with many enchanting gestures and making me take my seat on the cot, became herself merged in love sentiments. O Muni! I became pleased with her gestures and amorous sports and passed the night, full of love towards her and played and cohabited with her. At last I gladly gave her the boon, “O Fortunate One! Your child, begotten by me, will be endowed with all good qualities, will be of good form, will be conversant with all the essences of Dharma, calm and quiet and truthful.”

22-34. In due course, a child named Vidura was born to her. Thus I had three sons; and in my mind grew up Mâyâ and affection that these were my sons. When I saw again those three sons, heroic and full of manliness, the only cause of my sorrow due to the bereavement of my son S’uka vanished away from my mind. O Lord of Dvîjas! Mâyâ is very powerful and extremely hard to be abandoned by those who are not masters of their senses; She enchants even the wise, though She does not possess any form nor any substratum nor any support. I could not find any peace, even in the forest, as my mind was attached to my mother and children. O Muni! My mind then began to oscillate like a pendulum and I remained sometime in Hastinâpura and sometime on the banks of the Sarasvatî. I could not stay in a certain fixed place. By discrimination, the knowledge sometimes flashed in my mind :– Whose sons are these? The attachment is nothing but merely a delusion. On my death they would not be entitled to perform my S’râddha ceremony. These sons are begotten by ways and manners not sanctioned by Dharma; what happiness can they bring to me? O Muni! The powerful Mâyâ has caused this delusion in me. What! Knowing this Samsâra to be unreal, Alas! I have fallen into this well of the Darkness of delusion. Thus I repented when I thought over the matter deeply and when I was alone in a solitary place. When, subsequently, through the mediation of Bhîsma, the powerful Pându got the kingdom, I became pleased to see the prosperity of my son. O Muni! This is also the creation of Mâyâ. The daughter of the King S’ûrasena, named Kuntî, and the daughter of the King of Madra, named Mâdrî became the two beautiful wives of Pându. Pându was cursed by a Brâhmana that he would die if he cohabited with any woman; he therefore became dispassionate and quitting his kingdom, went to the forest with his two wives. Hearing Pându gone to the forest I felt pain and went to my son who was staying with his wives and consoling him, came to Hastinâpura, where I held a conversation with Dhritarâstra and then came back to the banks of the river Sarasvatî.

35-50. Pându in his forest life, got five sons out of his wives by the Devas Dharma, Vâyu, Indra, and the twin As’vins. Dharma, Vâyu, and Indra begat respectively of Kuntî the three sons Yudhisthira, Bhîmasena and Arjuna; and the two As’vins begat of Mâdrî the two sons Nakulu and Sahadeva. Once Mâdrî, full of youth and beauty, was staying alone in a solitary place and Pându seeing her embraced her and due to the curse, died. When the funeral pyre was ablaze, the chaste Mâdrî entered into the fire and died a Satî. Kuntî was prevented from doing so, as she was to nurse and look after her young children. The Munis then took the sorrowful Kuntî, the daughter of S’ûrasena, bereft of her husband to Hastinâpur and handed her over to the high-souled Bhîsma and Vidura. When I came to hear this, my mind was greatly agitated to see the pain and pleasure that other people suffered. Bhîsma, Vidura, and Dhritarâstra began to nourish and support Yudhisthira and others as they considered them the sons of their dearest Pându. The cruel and wicked sons of Dhritarâstra, Duryodhana and others united with each other and began to quarrel horribly with the sons of Pându. Dronâchârya came there accidentally and Bhîsma treated him with great respect and requested him to stay in Hastinâpura and educate the sons of Kuru. Karna was the the son of Kuntî, when she was young and unmarried; and he was quitted by her no sooner he was born. The charioteer Sûta (or carpenter) Adhiratha found him in a river and nourished him. Karna was the foremost of the heroes and therefore the great favourite of Duryodhana. The enmity between Bhîma and Duryodhana, etc., began to grow greater day by day. Dhritarâstra, thinking the difficult situation of his children, fixed  the residence of the sons of Pându at the Vâranâvata city so that the quarrels might die away. Out of enmity, Duryodhana ordered his dear friend Purochana to build there a  house of lac for the Pândavas. O Muni! When I heard that Kuntî and her five sons were burnt in the lac-house, I became merged in the ocean of sorrows and thought that they were my grandsons. I was overwhelmed with sorrow and began to search after them in deep forests day and night till at last I found them in Ekachakrâ city, lean and thin and very much distressed with sorrow.

51-63. I became very glad to see them and sent them soon to the city of the King Drupada. Wearing the deer’s skin, they went there dejected with sorrow in the Brâhmin’s dress and stayed in the royal court. The victorious Arjuna shewed prowess and pierced the mark (the eye of the fish) and obtained Krisnâ, the daughter of the King Drupada. By the order of the mother Kuntî, the five brothers married her. O Muni! I became  very glad to see that they were all married. The Pândavas , then, accompanied by Pânchâlî, soon went to Hastinâpura. Dhritarâstra then fixed Khândavaprastha as the residence of the Pândavas. Visnu, the son of Vâsudeva, then performed the Yajñâ with the victorious Arjuna and satisfied the Great Fire. The Pândavas next performed the Râjasûya sacrifice and that made me very glad. Seeing the affluence and prosperity of the Pândavas and the great assembly hall beautiful and exquisitely artistic, Duryodhana was burnt up, as it were, with malice and made arrangements for play in dice, very injurious in its consequences. S’akuni was expert in playing deceitfully and Yudhisthira the son of Dharma, was not expert in this play. So Duryodhana made S’akuni play for him and stole away all that Yudhisthira had and insulted, at last, in the royal assembly, the daughter of Drupada, Yajñâsenî and gave her much trouble. The Pândavas then went with Pânchâlî in an exile in the forest for twelve years. And I was very much grieved to hear this O Muni! Though I know all about the Sanâtan Dharma, yet I was deluded and merged in these worlds of pains and pleasures. Who am I? To whom do these sons belong? My mind roams day and night on the thought of all these. O Muni! What shall I do? And whither shall I go? I don’t find happiness anywhere; my mind is, as it were, floating in a rocking machine and it is never being fixed. O Best of Munis! You are allknowing; solve my doubts so that my mental fever may be quietened and I may be happy. 

Here ends the Twenty-fifth Chapter on the cause of Moha of Vyâsa Deva asked before Nârada in S’rî Mad Devi Bhâgavatam of 18,000 verses by Maharsi Veda Vyâsa.
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