FIFTEEN years passed under king Yudhishthira's reign, when
oldDhritarashtra found himself utterly unable any longer to bear the burden of grief.
Hurt by Bhima's occasional reproaches, he found no heart to accept the
courtesies and comforts provided under kingYudhish- thira's orders. Unknown to the
Pandavas, he secretly fasted and underwent hard penances.
Gandhari too observed manifests and inflicted privation on her. And one
day Dhritarashtra sent for Dharmaputra and spoke to him thus:
"Son, blessings on you. I have spent fifteen happy years under
your roof. You have tended me most lovingly. I have made gifts and offerings to ancestors
and fulfilled all my desires in that respect.
Bereaved Gandhari, laying aside her own grief, has ministered to my
physical wants all these years. My cruel sons, who committed unforgivable wrong to
Draupadi and deprived you of your lawfulinheritance, perished on account of their sins.
But they fought like brave soldiers and died in the battlefield and
have gone to the happy regions reserved for the brave. The time has come when with
Gandhari I must do what has to be done for our next state. You know what the sastras have