|'Bear Your Grief'
There was a terrible war for eighteen days between the Kauravas and
the Pandavas at Kurukshetra. The Pandavas had an army of seven 'Akshouhinis' and the
Kauravas an army of eleven akshouhinis. (One akshouhini, comprises 21,870 elephants,
21,870 chariots, 65,610 horses and 1,09,350 foot-soldiers.) Both the armies were
practically destroyed. Duryodhana and his brothers and his powerful friends like Karna
died in the battle. On the side of the Pandavas also a large number of mighty warriors
Yudhishtira had wished to avert the destruction of people;
Vidura and Krishna also had tried hard to avert it. But it did take place. Dhritharashtra
and Gandhari were both old people. Dhritharashtra was blind. Their hundred children and
relatives were dead. Their grief was beyond description. They were in utter anguish. It
was extremely difficult to console them.
Vidura attempted to comfort Dhritharashtra and said:
"Desire is the source of grief. Philosophy is the cure. Have control over your mind
and banish sorrow. Be friendly to others. It will beget good." But no words could
comfort Gandhari and Dhritharashtra. They had lost their children and grandchildren and
the grief pierced their mind. Yudhishtira did all he could to assuage their pain and bring
them peace of mind. After he became the king of the country he appointed Vidura as his
minister. The task of looking after Dhritharashtra and Gandhari, and carrying out their
wishes was entrusted to him. Vidura did this work with great devotion. Dhritharashtra and
Gandhari now had a little mental peace. Dhritharashtra realized that if he had acted
according to Vidura's advice from the beginning he or Gandhari would not have had to
suffer such grief. He also said so.