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Veda Vyasa

Mahabharata, Book XI - Kuru Women Visit The Battle-Field

Spake the ancient Dhrita-rashtra, father of a hundred sons,
Sonless now and sorrow-stricken, dark his ebbing life-tide runs:

'Gods fulfil my life's last wishes! Henchmen, yoke my royal car,
Dhrita-rashtra meets his princes in the silent field of war,

Speed unto the Queen Gandhari, to the dames of Kuru's house,
To each dear departed warrior wends his fair and faithful spouse! '

Queen Gandhari sorrow-laden with the ancient Pritha came,
And each weeping widowed princess and each wailing childless dame,

And they saw the hoary monarch, father of a perished race,
Fresh and loud awoke their sorrow, welling tears suffused their face,

Good Vidura ever gentle whispered comfort unto all,
Placed the dames within their chariots, left Hastina's palace hall!

Loud the wail of woe and sorrow rose from every Kuru house,
Children wept beside their mothers for each widowed royal spouse,

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Mahabharata, Book V - Overtaken by Fate

Twelve-month in the darksome forest by her true and chosen lord,
Sweet Savitri served his parents by her thought and deed and word,

Bark of tree supplied her garments draped upon her bosom fair,
Or the red cloth as in asrams holy women love to wear.

And the aged queen she tended with a fond and filial pride,
Served the old and sightless monarch like a daughter by his side,

And with love and gentle sweetness pleased her husband and her lord,
But in secret, night and morning, pondered still on Narad's word!

Nearer came the fatal morning by the holy Narad told,
Fair Savitri reckoned daily and her heart was still and cold,

Three short days remaining only! and she took a vow severe
Of triratra, three nights' penance, holy fasts and vigils drear.

Of Savitri's rigid penance heard the king with anxious woe,
Spake to her in loving accents, so the vow she might forgo:

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