After the great battle, Yudhishthira appointed Vidura the prime minister with complete control of the government. However, following the carnage of the war and his own age, Vidura did not have the heart to govern. Soon after, he retired to the forests as an ascetic with his half-brother Dhritarashtra and his sisters-in-law Gandhari and Kunti. He undertook severe penances and was the first of the royal ascetics to die.
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Story – When Krishna refused Duryodhana’s offer to stay in the royal palace and instead he stayed at Vidura’s home
According to Krishna, Vidura was considered as Dharmaraja, which means the lord of truth. Krishna respected Vidura for his devotion to people’s welfare, and his proficiency in every sphere of knowledge. When Krishna visited Hastinapura as a peace emissary of the Pandavas, he shunned Duryodhana’s offer to stay in the royal palace, preferring instead the home of Vidura, on account of him being the only neutral man in the Kaurava court. The reason Krishna stayed in Vidura’s chambers for the night instead of Duryodhana’s is due to the thoughts which were running through their heads and the difference between them. Duryodhana’s intention was to heave luxury upon Krishna and convince him to join the Kaurava’s side. Sensing this intention, Krishna refused. Krishna knew the food that Vidura presented was presented with love and affection with no ulterior motive. In the Sanatsujatiya section of the Mahabharata, shortly before the Kurukshetra War began, Vidura invoked the sage Sanatsujata to answer Dhritarashtra’s questions about death. In protest against the Kurukshetra War, Vidura resigned from the post of minister.
Towards the end of the year that the Pandavas spent at the Matsya Kingdom, Duryodhana (suspecting that the Pandavas were hiding in Matsya) attacked that kingdom. The army of Hastinapura stood at the borders of Matsya, but King Virata had already taken his entire army to fight the Trigarta army attacking from the south. When news arrives at the palace, Uttar confidently boasts about how he will single-handedly wipe out the Kauravas, downplaying their abilities. Upon the prodding of his mother and her maid, he takes his sister’s dancing teacher, the eunuch Brihannala, who was in reality Arjuna, as his charioteer. As they approach the Kuru army, Uttar panics at the site, and asks Brihannala to turn back. When he refuses, citing Kshatriya dharma, Uttar dismounts the chariot and runs for his life, only for Arjuna to run up to him and catch him. In order to fortify Uttar’s courage, Arjuna revealed his true identity. Uttar was incredulous and initially refused to believe Arjuna; only after Arjuna had recited his ten aliases did Uttar believe that Brihannala was indeed Arjuna in disguise. Arjuna then took charge and single-handedly defeated the entire Hastinapura army.
During the 18-day Kurukshetra war, Uttar and his brothers fought in support of the Pandavas. Uttar was killed on the very first day of the war by Shalya. Uttar’s brother Shweta, who witnessed the ghastly death of his brother, immediately went into a frenzy and started attacking Shalya repeatedly to avenge his brother’s death. Bhishma came to Shalya’s rescue and ultimately killed Shweta. Thus the two brothers died on the same day, within minutes of each other. In the Chatahurdi compilation, a third brother, Shankhya, was killed by Drona on the seventh day of the war.
In the Mahabharata, Jambavantha had killed a lion, who had acquired a gem called Syamantaka from Prasena after killing him. Krishna was suspected of killing Prasena for the jewel, so He tracked Prasena’s steps until He learned that he had been killed by a lion who had been killed by a bear. Krishna tracked Jambavantha to his cave and a fight ensued. After eighteen days, realizing who Krishna was, Jambavantha submitted. He gave Krishna the gem and also presented Him his daughter Jambavati, who became one of Krishna’s wives.