(Sambhava Parva continued)
"Bhishma said, 'This our celebrated race, resplendent with every virtue and accomplishment, hath all along sovereignty over all other monarchs on earth. Its glory maintained and itself perpetuated by many virtuous and illustrious monarchs of old, the illustrious Krishna (Dwaipayana) and Satyavati and myself have raised you (three) up, in order that it may not be extinct. It behoveth myself and thee also to take such steps that this our dynasty may expand again as the sea. It hath been heard by me that there are three maidens worthy of being allied to our race. One is the daughter of (Surasena of) the Yadava race; the other is the daughter of Suvala; and the third is the princess of Madra. O son, all these maidens are of course of blue blood. Possessed of beauty and pure blood, they are eminently fit for an alliance with our family. O thou foremost of intelligent men, I think we should choose them for the growth of our race. Tell me what thou thinkest.' Thus addressed, Vidura replied, 'Thou art our father and thou art our mother, too. Thou art our respected spiritual
instructor. Therefore, do thou what may be best for us in thy eyes.'
"Vaisampayana continued, 'Soon after Bhishma heard from the Brahmanas that Gandhari, the amiable daughter of Suvala, having worshipped Hara (Siva) had obtained from the deity the boon that she should have a century of sons. Bhishma, the grandfather of the Kurus, having heard this, sent messengers unto the king of Gandhara. King Suvala at first hesitated on account of the blindness of the bridegroom, but taking into consideration the blood of the Kurus, their fame and behaviour, he gave his virtuous daughter unto Dhritarashtra and the chaste Gandhari hearing that Dhritarashtra was blind and that her parents had consented to marry her to him, from love and respect for her future husband, blindfolded her own eyes. Sakuni, the son of Suvala, bringing unto the Kurus his sister endued with youth and beauty, formally gave her away unto Dhritarashtra. And Gandhari was received with great respect and the nuptials were celebrated with great pomp under Bhishma's directions. And the heroic Sakuni, after having bestowed his sister along with many valuable robes, and having received Bhishma's adorations, returned to his own city. And, O thou of Bharata's race, the beautiful Gandhari gratified all the Kurus by her behaviour and respectful attentions. And Gandhari, ever devoted to her husband, gratified her superiors by her good conduct; and as she was chaste, she never referred even by words to men other than her husband or such superiors.'"