“Blessings to you!” said Dhrutharashtra addressing Dharmaraja, with the qualifying appellation of “ajaatashatru” one bereft of enemies, “commanded by me, all of you build a rich and prosperous state and rule it. Old as I am, heed my advice and act accordingly. Yudhishtira! You are fully aware of the subtlety and manifestation of dharma. You are a repository of the ethical code and enormous wisdom. You have served those whose ripe age is only enlightenment.”
“Peace reigns where intellect rules. As you are both intelligent and discreet, tow the path of peace always. The axe can only cut firewood but not stone or metal. In the same way, any words of advice can only pierce you to advantage and not Duryodhana.”
“Men of integrity” continued Dhrutharashtra, “do not harbor ill-feeling towards enemies who have harassed them. They perceive good qualities in them but not the bad ones. Even as part of their inimical attitude if the enemies have caused harm, they forget it and remember the good deeds. A great quality possessed by men of integrity is that without expecting any reward whatsoever, they will render help to others.”
“Yudhishtira!” said Dhrutharashtra, continuing his advice, “The wicked express bad words during arguments and disputes. The middling ones, through harsh words, will give back the wicked in their own coin. But the brave and righteous people will not use retaliatory words. They do not even nurture them in their mind. They do even bother about whether the harsh words emerge from enemies or not. The darshan of such people is a lovely experience for all. The whole world will always be eager to see them. In the meetings and confrontations of Kauravas and Pandavas, you have acquitted yourselves well by exemplary behavior like men of proven merit and greatness.”
“Child!” he said, “do not take Duryodhana’s harsh words to your mind. If you have to carry conviction here, draw a lesson from Gandhari, the mother who is a great follower of dharma and also the father who is blind! I permitted the game of dice to go on as I wanted to meet relatives and friends and also know the strength of my children. Yudhishtira, the Kurus who have you as the king and Vidura as the counselor will have no cause for sorrow at any time. Dharmaraja! You have been practicing dharma. You are its personification. Arjuna has courage. Bheema has valour. Dedication and virtue of service to Gurus adorn Nakula and Sahadeva. Hence, let there be auspicious forebodings for you! When you go back to Khandavaprastha, let love and affection take deep roots among your brothers and cousins. May you always dwell in dharma!”
So saying, Dhrutharashtra gave the Pandavas permission to go to Khandavaprastha. After the formal courtesies extended to the elders on the eve of departure, Yudhishtira took leave of the king. The Pandavas left for the city of Indraprastha along with Draupadi – contented with the turn of events.
The Cobra Woman?
Despite the pacification of the Pandavas and the peaceful send off given by Dhrutharashtra, what happened to the deep wound caused by the Kauravas? Did their anger and indignation die down? What was the effect of Bheema’s vow in respect of Dusshaasana? How could Bheema fulfil his vow especially after rapprochement? On the other hand, could the Kauravas stay without tension and worry after turning Draupadi into a cobra woman after putting her to absolute shame and humiliation? The virtuous one was a wounded cobra! How could they throw their fear of Pandavas and worry to the winds after the Pandavas left for their capital with all the wealth?