1) When the Pandavas were ruling the Earth with devotion towards Sri Krishna, the lord of the Yajnas, one excellent Brahmana came to Yudhisthira at night with the intention of performing Yajnas.
2) When Dharmaraja said that he would give in the morning, the Brahmana, being in a hurry, asked Bhima. Listening to what Yudhishthira had said, Bhima immediately gave him his armlet.
3) Having obtained that invaluable armlet that was shining like fire and studded with precious stones, that excellent Brahmana left with a feeling of accomplishment. Bhima then got the Nandighosha beaten loudly.
Note: Nandighosha is the custom of beating a drum or bell to indicate happiness or victory.
4) Hearing that sound of victory at an odd time, Dharmaraja sent messenger after messenger to enquire with Bhima who replied – “Being in a mortal body, Dharmaraja has certainty about his lifespan. Therefore I was pleased”.
5) When Bhima said thus, Dharmaraja understood Bhima’s intent that there must never be delay in practicing Dharma. He respected it and said “Wonderful!”. Later he ensured he was responsive in practicing Dharma.
6) After that Bhimasena noticed Dhritharashtra, who in spite of being tainted due to evil company, being responsible for the death of all Kings, having committed great sin, was still immersed in material pleasures. He developed compassion towards him.
7) “Unless he engages in extreme Tapas he will never attain his own loka. Due to excessive material indulgence he will not be able to perform Tapas” – thinking thus, Bhima started doing those things that would develop Vairagya in him.
Note: The harshness shown by Bhima towards Dhritharashtra was to sprout the seed of Vairagya in him.
8) Noticing his brothers and the women-folk giving excess respect to Dhritharashtra, he got others to disobey his orders. He personally did the same too. In spite of this, since the others kept serving him, he did not develop Vairagya.
9) Apart from Bhima, all the other Pandavas and their wives used to serve the son of Vichitravirya along with his wife with great respect and care. Wanting to ensure that they do not suffer from the grief of their sons’ deaths, Draupadi too was serving him.
10) Although Dhritharashtra was greatly satisfied with the others, he would not get that affectionate with Bhima in spite of knowing his great influence, recalling always that his sons were killed by him.
11) In order to eliminate the excessive inclination towards material comforts, and to reduce the hatred towards him, Bhimasena patted his own shoulders and spoke in front of Nakula and Sahadeva such that Dhritharashtra could hear him.
12) “It is between these two round, plum and sandal-paste laden shoulders that the old man’s sons were caught and killed”.
13) Out of affection and respect towards him, Nakula and Sahadeva accepted these words. But Draupadi, Kunti or Dharmaraja could not realize this.
14) Listening to his words, the elder one (Dhritharashtra) developed Vairagya. In order to increase it further, Vidura said – “O King! Your attachment towards life is excessive”.
15) “What surprise! For a living being, attachment over life is everything. That is why you are eating the morsels thrown by Bhima like a dog”.
16) “There is nothing wrong in Bhima speaking like this. All of you lit fire. You fed him poison. Insulted his wife. Snatched away their wealth and land. But, has Bhima done anything wrong to you in return?”
17) “In order to help you who is excessively interested in material luxuries, Bhima has spoken such Vairagya inducing words. Give up your hatred towards him”.
18) “Giving up attachment and hatred, worship Tirthas in the forest and perform Tapas of Sri Hari and worship him. You shall become pure”.
Note: Tirthas here refer to sacred places and banks of great rivers.
19) When Vidura spoke thus, Dhritharashtra gave up hatred towards Bhima and attained Vairagya. In order to obtain Dharmaraja’s consent for Tapas, he started an Upavasa.
20) Getting to know that he had kept away from food for the fourth day, Dharmaraja rushed to him and requested him repeatedly to consume food.
21) “I shall consume food only after obtaining your consent for moving to the forest. Otherwise I shall not” – saying thus, Dhritharashtra, who was tired due to fasting, fell unconscious at that moment and leaned against his wife.
22) Dharmaraja touched him softly with his comforting hands and woke him up. Later he spoke out of great sorrow.
23) “Keeping Yuyutsu in front, may you rule this land without any troubles. For your sake, all of us will perform Tapas in the forest”.
24) Dhritharashtra said to him – “Not possible. It is the tradition of our Kula to give up one’s life in the forest at the end. Therefore grant me permission”.
25) When the two of them were engaged in a dispute thus, Lord Sri Krishna Dwaipayana appeared there. Being omniscient and the doer of all activity, he said to Dharmaraja.
26) “Grant your consent to the King (Dhritharashtra) who desires to lose all his sins through Tapas. Do not come in the way of him accomplishing Dharma”.
27) “If he attains Vairagya in time and relieves himself of all sins through Tapas, he shall attain Sadgati. Definitely not otherwise”.
28-32) When Sri Vyasa said thus, Dharmaraja gave him his consent. He had his food then. Later he instructed Dharmaraja in matters of noble Dharmas and political strategy, out of affection. The King listened to it as a matter of courtesy. Having given his consent, the son of Dharma returned to his palace. Dhritharashtra then sent Vidura to Dharmaraja asking for money to perform his sons’ Shraddha. Listening to his (Vidura’s) words, Dharmaraja said to Bhima – “It is appropriate for us to give him money since he wishes to perform Shraddha for his sons, grandsons, close ones and relatives”. Bhima thought – “Those who have turned against Sri Madhusudana should not be rendered any help that could aid their sadhana in the other world. Even if money is given keeping the others in mind, he will use it to perform Shraddha for his sons. Giving him money in spite of knowing this will lead to defect (sin)”. Thinking thus, Bhima said.
33) “May Duryodhana and the others attain a state that is tougher than the toughest. On the other hand, we are performing Shraddha for Bhishma and the others. Therefore, why should we give (money) to Dhritharashtra?”
34) “Since Karna is a Kaneena, Kunti, along with us, possesses the right to perform Shraddha for him. Why then should we give money to Dhritharashtra?” – when he said thus, the King and Arjuna requested again.
Note: Kaneena is the son of a Kanya.
35-37) “Dhritharashtra wishes to go to the forest. He has requested us for money. Give him his own money that he earned through his prowess. Will he ask you again like this in future?” – when they said thus, Bhimasena, the follower of Shuddha Dharma, refused again. Dharmaraja, being disappointed, said – “You remain quiet. I shall give him my money, that does not belong to the treasury, and money that will lead to Daana and other material pleasures”.
38) Arjuna too said the same thing. Dharmaraja and Arjuna then requested Vidura – “Father should not get upset with Bhima who is engaged in Mukhya-Dharma“.
39-40) When they said thus, Vidura took the money (from them) and went to Dhritharashtra and said – “Yudhishthira and Arjuna have shown great respect towards you. However, Bhima does not like your instruction very much. He has engaged himself in pure Kshatriya Dharma. Therefore, do not get angry at him”.