CXLVIII Vasudeva said, After Bhishma had said these words, Drona, always competent to speak, then addressed Duryodhana in the midst of the assembled monarchs and said these words that are beneficial to thee. And he said, O sire, as Pratipa's son, Santanu, was devoted to the welfare of his race, and as Devavrata, otherwise called Bhishma was devoted to the welfare of his race, so was the royal Pandu, that king of the Kurus, who was firmly devoted to truth, who had his passions under control, who was virtuous, of excellent vows, and attentive to all duties. Though king by right that perpetuator of Kuru's race yet made over the sovereignty to his elder brother, Dhritarashtra, endued with great wisdom, and to his younger brother Kshattri Vidura. And placing this Dhritarashtra of unfading glory on the throne, that royal son of Kuru's race went to the woods with his two wives. And that tiger among men, Vidura, with great humility, placing himself in subjection to Dhritarashtra, began to wait on him like a slave, fanning him with the branch of a tender palm.
And all the subjects then, O sire, duly tendered their submission to king Dhritarashtra just as they had done to king Pandu himself. And having made over the kingdom to Dhritarashtra and Vidura, that conqueror of hostile cities, Pandu, wandered over the whole earth. Always devoted to truth, Vidura then took charge of the finances, gifts, superintendence of the servants of the state, and the feeding of all, while that conqueror of hostile cities, Bhishma, of mighty energy, supervised the making of war and peace and the necessity of making or withholding gifts to kings. When king Dhritarashtra of great strength was on the throne, the high-souled Vidura was near him. Born in Dhritarashtra's race how dost thou venture to bring about a disunion in the family? Uniting with thy brothers the Pandavas enjoy all objects of enjoyment. O king, I do not say this to you from cowardice, nor for the sake of wealth. I am enjoying the wealth that Bhishma gave me, and not thou, O best of kings. I do not desire, O king, to have from thee my means of sustenance. Where Bhishma is, there Drona must be.
Do what Bhishma hath told thee. O grinder of foes, give unto the sons of Pandu half the kingdom. O sire, I acted as their preceptor as much as thine. Indeed, even as Aswatthaman is to me, so is Arjuna of white steeds. What use is there of much declamation? Victory is there where righteousness is' Vasudeva continued, After Drona, of immeasurable energy, had said this, the virtuous Vidura then, O king, who is devoted to truth, said these words, turning towards his uncle Bhishma and looking at his face. And Vidura said, O Devavrata, attend to the words I speak. This race of Kuru, when it became extinct, was revived by thee. It is for this that thou art indifferent to my lamentations now.
In this our race, its stain is this Duryodhana, whose inclinations are followed by thee, although he is enslaved by avarice, and is wicked and ungrateful and deprived of his senses by lust. The Kurus will certainly bear consequence of the acts of that Duryodhana who transgresseth the command of his father, observant of virtue and profit. O great king, act thou so that the Kurus may not perish. Like a painter producing a picture, it was thou, O king, who hadst caused me and Dhritarashtra to spring into life. The Creator, having created creatures, destroys them again. Do not act like him. Seeing before thy very eyes this extinction of thy race, be not indifferent to it. If, however, thy understanding is gone in consequence of the universal slaughter that is at hand, go then to the woods, taking me and Dhritarashtra with thee. Otherwise, binding this very day wicked Duryodhana that hath deceit for his wisdom, rule this kingdom with the sons of Pandu guarding it around. Relent, O tiger among kings.
A great slaughter of the Pandavas, the Kurus, and of other kings of immeasurable energy is before us' Having said this, Vidura ceased, his heart overflowing with sorrow. And reflecting on the matter, he began to draw repeated sighs. Then the daughter of king Suvala, alarmed at the prospect of the destruction of a whole race, said, from wrath, these words fraught with virtue and profit, to cruel Duryodhana of wicked heart, in the presence of the assembled monarchs, Let all the kings present in this royal assembly and let the regenerate Rishis that form the other members of this conclave, listen to me as I proclaim the guilt of thy sinful self backed by all thy counsellors. The kingdom of the Kurus is enjoyable in due order of succession. Even this hath always been the custom of our race. Of sinful soul and exceedingly wicked in acts, thou seekest the destruction of the Kuru kingdom by thy unrighteousness. Wise Dhritarashtra is in possession of the kingdom, having Vidura of great foresight under him as his adviser. Passing over these two, why, O Duryodhana, dost thou, from delusion, covet the sovereignty now? Even the high-souled king and Kshattri, when Bhishma is alive, should both be subordinate to him.
Indeed, this foremost of men, this offspring of Ganga, the high-souled Bhishma, in consequence of his righteousness, doth not desire the sovereignty. It is for this reason that this invincible kingdom became Pandu's. His sons, therefore, are masters today and no other. The extensive kingdom, then by paternal right, belongeth to the Pandavas, and their sons and grandsons in due order. Observing the customs of our race and the rule with respect to our kingdom, we all fully accomplish that which this high-souled and wise chief of the Kurus, Devavrata, firmly adhering to truth, sayeth, Let this king Dhritarashtra and Vidura also, at the command of Bhishma of great vows, proclaim the same thing. Even that is an act that should be done by those that are well-wishers of this race. Keeping virtue in front, let Yudhishthira, the son of Dharma, guided by king Dhritarashtra and urged by Santanu's son, rule for many long years this kingdom of the Kurus lawfully obtainable by him