Mahabharata Stories: 46 – Steely Blind Man

Happiness is more easily shared than grief. It simply is beyond common human nature to accept another’s pain as one’s own. Grief by itself is a very painful state and this pain could be intensified if coupled with anger. Beyond a point it becomes difficult to distinguish between grief and anger and the amalgamation of the two could destroy the person experiencing it. Or it could destroy the person it is vented out on.

The Great War at Kurukshetra begot nothing but grief. But for the adamantine nature of Duryodhana and Karna on the Kaurava front; of Draupadi on the Pandava front and the warped mischief mongering of uncle Sakuni, the war would not have taken place. Karna and Draupadi, both were humiliated to great extents for no fault of theirs and it was but natural for them to nurture hatred for those responsible for their humiliation. Duryodhana, dogged on by his wicked uncle and fuelled by Karna, did not waver from his resolution to usurp the kingdom that was rightfully the Pandavas’.

How much ever one may find justifications to one’s deeds, the end says it all. At the end of the war, none of the Kauravas but Yuyutsu, who stood by the fairness of the Pandavas, survived and they left no progeny to carry on the famed lineage. None of the Pandavas had any son left. But for Abhimanyu’s unborn child, who was later to become the famous King Parikshit, the line would have been lost. Many a great soul lost their lives-Bheeshmacharya, Dronacharya, Karna and a horde of powerful kings. Within a time-span of eighteen days, all things turned topsy-turvy for many a woman and child. The city of Hastinapura seemed like one huge wailing house.

Amongst the royalty, there was none so bereaved as Dhritarashtra and Gandhari – all but one of their one hundred children was lost! Now they had hardly anyone to call their own except of course, their nephews, the ever benevolent Pandavas. And now, it was difficult for Dhritarashtra to come to terms with the fact that he was the object of compassion of his children’s killers. He wept inconsolably at the thought of his dear Duryodhana being dead. The hatred he nurtured for Bhima was immense.

Sanjaya and Vidura, in their wisdom, attempted all they could to draw the king out from this painful state but to no avail. As king, it was his duty to provide solace to the bereaved but he was in no state to do so-the people were without refuge now.

The Pandavas, themselves plunged in grief, came to Dhritarashtra-the eldest person alive in the family-to express their condolences and to get his blessings. One by one they embraced the blind king. The king’s perfunctory grasp held no warmth. When it was Bhima’s turn, Sri Krishna, knowing the king’s state of mind and his immense strength, drew Bhima aside and placed in his stead an iron statue, which was about the size of Bhimasena. The king, in his anger for Bhima, not bothering even to sense the difference in texture, held the statue so tight that it crumbled to pieces!

SteelBlindMan

The king, realising that he had committed a great wrong, was remorseful for he had once loved little Bhima too! He was greatly relieved of the immense burden of heart when told of the trick played by the Lord. He then warmly held Bhima and blessed him and all his brothers who were his very own children!

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