Saturday, 4 August 2012

The women come out of their homes in thousands. Mahbharata 174

Dhritharashtra still inconsolable with grief and totally distraught appears to have lost his mind completely, gets on to the chariot.  Gandhari accompanied by Kunti and other women, follow him. Vidhura speaks soothingly to the women and joins them. As they go down the streets, they hear the wail of women, children and the old men. Women, who had lead a sheltered life, even the devatas had not seen them, having lost their husbands are stepping out of their homes, bereft of their jewellery, hair untied and with a single cloth covering their bodies. Thousands of such women, crying uncontrollably, run towards the Dhritharashtra's chariot unmindful of propriety and their self-respect. Their cry of pain rises to the skies and the whole world  mourns with them.

Dharmaraja hears the news and goes to meet Dhritharashtra along with his brothers, Krishna and Draupadi. On seeing him, the thousands of women around Dhritharashtra cry out loud, 'Where did the king's dharma and ahimsa go? He has killed elders, his gurus and brothers! What is the use of his kingdom without his children, gurus and the elders?'

Dharmaraja wades through this throng of women and salutes Dhritharashtra with reverence and the rest also announce themselves one by one and salute him. The old king embraces Dharmaraja perfunctorily without any show of emotion and asks for Bheema. His anger and grief is palpable and appears capable of burning Bheema. Krishna reads his mind and pulls back Bheema and pushes forward an iron statue. Dhritharashtra thinking it is Bheema, embraces it strongly with both his arms and crushes it. The iron sculpture  is disfigured beyond recognition  and Dhritharashta's chest is also pierced and blood gushes out. Dritharashtra falls behind and Sanjaya supports him. Thinking that he has killed Bheema shouts with sadness 'Ayyo Bheema! Ayyo Bheema!', not angry anymore.

Krishna realising this tells him, 'Maharaja, you did not kill Bheema! I saw the anger in you and pushed Bheeema back and pushed forward an iron sculpture which belonged to your son. No one has your strength. Being in the grip of your arms is like being the grip of lord Yama. In  extreme grief after' loosing your children you had planned to kill Bheemasena. It is not right Maharaja. Whatever you do, your children will not come back alive. Please understand that I did this to eliminate your anger. Control you grief.' Dhritharashtra then comes to his senses, crying blesses the Pandavas as he strokes their bodies.' .

1 comment:

Raghunath said...

The Allies did the Nuremberg trials after WW II for the same purpose. Enabled them to announce Marshall plan after that!!
(I called it 'Dhritharashtra's final gesture'.--nidhi)