|To The Forest
After the Kurukshetra war, Dhritharashtra and Gandhari lived under
Yudhishtira's care for eighteen years. Then one day Dhritharashtra sent for Yudhishtira
and told him that he and Gandhari would go to the forest for tapas (prayer and
meditation). Yudhishtira had to agree.
When she came to know of this Kunthi also decided to
accompany Gandhari and Dhritharashtra to the forest. Vidura also decided likewise. In
spite of the entreaties and prayers of the Pandavas and Draupadi the four lefts for the
forest. Those in the palace as well as the citizens bid them a respectful farewell.
Even after they went to the forest, the Pandavas constantly
thought of them. Dhritharashtra and Gandhari were a blind old man and an old woman. Kunthi
was also in the evening of life. She was not as strong as she was once. How could she look
after the two old people? The Pandavas were troubled by thoughts of the difficulties they
might be facing in the forest. When these thoughts troubled them very much they proceeded
to visit their elders in the forest. A number of citizens accompanied them.
They found Kunthi, Gandhari and Dhritharashtra on the way
from Dhritharashtra's ashram to the river. They all came to the ashram together. After
inquiries about one another, Yudhishtira asked Dhritharashtra: where is Vidura? He is not
to be seen." He replied: "Vidura is well. But he does not live with us. He lives
all by himself and does severe tapas. He does not take any food. He fasts completely. He
is run down very much. Occasionally he visits this place to look us up."