As Yudhiṣṭhira went ahead, he first saw Duryodhana. He was sitting amidst the Devatās, glimmering with the wealth of courage, seated on a throne that was resplendent like the sun. Upon looking at that ungainly sight, Yudhiṣṭhira simply could not contain himself. Not looking in that direction a moment longer, he sharply turned his head the other way and said, “I don’t want to be in the world that is inhabited by Duryodhana! Owing to his insatiable avarice, we already performed the ghastly feat of killing all our relatives and friends!
After Yudhiṣṭhira heard the tragic tale of the Yādavas from Arjuna, he felt like renouncing everything and setting out on a long voyage. He looked at Arjuna and exclaimed, “Time indeed brings maturity to all animals, it creates balance in all beings; I too am caught in the grip of Time; you too know this very well!”
Arjuna concurred with his brother’s opinion and said, “Oh! Time! Time! Who indeed can escape from it?”
Thirty-six years after the Mahābhārata War transpired, yet another catastrophe struck. Once, the three mahaṛṣis – Viśvāmitra, Kaṇva, and Nārada – came to Dvāraka. Sāraṇa and other Yādavas desired to play a prank on them; they got Sāmba, one of the Yādavas, dressed as a girl and took him to them with a request: “This is Babhru’s wife; he wishes a son to be born to him. Now, will this damsel give birth to a boy or a girl, please tell us! You are all ṛṣis; you will indeed know this correctly!”
Dhṛtarāṣṭra asked Vidura and Gāndhārī to advise Kuntī to go back with her children. He said that she can perform tapas in the kingdom and she had served them very well so far. Kuntī would not budge to anybody’s words and she went ahead as per her decision. The Pāṇḍavas were now orphaned.
Upon hearing Dharmarāja's request, asking them to stay back in the kingdom, Dhṛtarāṣṭra replied – “Son, my heart has turned towards tapas. It has come down to us as a family tradition to take to the forest at a ripe old age like ours. You all have taken care of us well. I am now old. Please let me go!”
Addressing Vidura, Sañjaya, Kṛpa and the others who had surrounded him, he said – “Please ask Dharmarāja to permit me to go. I feel dull. My mouth has gone dry for having spoken for so long and also due to my old age!”
The Pāṇḍavas after winning over their enemies, were ruling the vast kingdom under the guidance of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. Sañjaya, Yuyutsu and Vidura were taking care of the health and well-being of Dhṛtarāṣṭra. The Pāṇḍavas always consulted Dhṛtarāṣṭra for all their needs and their wives such as Draupadī and Subhadrā were guided by Gāndhārī. They treated their uncle and aunt with great love and tried to ensure that they could provide as much comfort as possible to the old couple who had lost their children. Dhṛtarāṣṭra and Gāndhārī were peaceful and affectionate to their nephews as well.