taking reverential leave of the elders and embracing their comrades, the Pandavas
proceeded to Varanavata. The citizens accompanied them a part of their way and returned
unwillingly to the city. Vidura pointedly warned Yudhishthira in words intelligible only
to the prince:
"He alone will escape from danger who
forestalls the intentions of an astute enemy. There are weapons sharper than those made of
steel, and the wise man who would escape destruction must know the means to guard against
The conflagration that devastates a forest
cannot hurt a rat which shelters itself in a hole or a porcupine which burrows in the
earth. The wise man knows his bearings by looking at the stars."
This was meant to indicate to Yudhishthira and
to him alone, Duryodhana's hideous plot and the means of escape from danger.
Yudhishthira answered that he hadgrasped Vidura's meaning, and later he communicated it to