The Mahabharata - First Book
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Dhritarashtra then said,
'O Vidura, celebrate the funeral ceremonies of that lion among kings viz., Pandu, and of Madri also, in right royal style. For the good of their souls, distribute cattle, cloths, gems and diverse kinds of wealth, every one receiving as much as he asketh for.
Make arrangements also for Kunti's performing the last rites of Madri in such a style as pleaseth her. And let Madri's body be so carefully wrapped up that neither the Sun nor Vayu (god of wind) may behold it. Lament not for the sinless Pandu.
He was a worthy king and hath left behind him five heroic sons equal unto the celestials themselves.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Then Vidura, O Bharata, saying, 'So be it,' in consultation with Bhishma, fixed upon a sacred spot for the funeral rites of Pandu.
The family priests went out of the city without loss of time, carrying with them the blazing sacred fire fed with clarified butter and rendered fragrant therewith. Then friends, relatives, and adherents, wrapping it up in cloth, decked the body of the monarch with the flowers of the season and sprinkled various excellent perfumes over it. And they also decked the hearse itself with garlands and rich hangings.
Then placing the covered body of the king with that of his queen on that excellent bier decked out so brightly, they caused it to be carried on human shoulders. With the white umbrella (of state) held over the hearse with waving yak-tails and sounds of various musical instruments, the whole scene looked bright and grand.
Hundreds of people began to distribute gems among the crowd on the occasion of the funeral rites of the king. At length some beautiful robes, and white umbrellas and larger yak-tails, were brought for the great ceremony. The priests clad in white walked in the van of the procession pouring libations of clarified butter on the sacred fire blazing in an ornamental vessel.
And Brahmanas, and Kshatriyas, and Vaisyas, and Sudras by thousands followed the deceased king, loudly wailing in these accents,
'O prince, where dost thou go, leaving us behind, and making us forlorn and wretched for ever?'
And Bhishma, and Vidura, and the Pandavas, also all wept aloud. At last they came to a romantic wood on the banks of the Ganga. There they laid down the hearse on which the truthful and lion-hearted prince and his spouse lay. Then they brought water in many golden vessels, washed the prince's body besmeared before with several kinds of fragrant paste, and again smeared it over with sandal paste.
They then dressed it in a white dress made of indigenous fabrics. And with the new suit on, the king seemed as if he was living and only sleeping on a costly bed.
"When the other funeral ceremonies also were finished in consonance with the directions of the priests, the Kauravas set fire to the dead bodies of the king and the queen, bringing lotuses, sandal-paste, and other fragrant substances to the pyre.
"Then seeing the bodies aflame, Kausalya burst out,
'O my son, my son!'
— and fell down senseless on the ground. And seeing her down the citizens and the inhabitants of the provinces began to wail from grief and affection for their king. And the birds of the air and the beasts of the field were touched by the lamentations of Kunti.
And Bhishma, the son of Santanu, and the wise Vidura, and the others also that were there, became disconsolate.
"Thus weeping, Bhishma, Vidura, Dhritarashtra, the Pandavas and the Kuru ladies, all performed the watery ceremony of the king. And when all this was over, the people, themselves filled with sorrow, began to console the bereaved sons of Pandu. And the Pandavas with their friends began to sleep on the ground.
Seeing this the Brahmanas and the other citizens also renounced their beds. Young and old, all the citizens grieved on account of the sons of king Pandu, and passed twelve days in mourning with the weeping Pandavas.'"
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