Nobody but Krishna had anticipated what would happen to the idol. While it seemed that Dhritarashtra was only hugging it, he crushed it to scraps!
In the process, Dhritarashtra started to bleed and fell off his chair. His frightful anger released, he gasped and then wept like a babe. "What did I do! I killed Bhima!" he moaned out his regret.
"Don't you worry, O King, for you have not killed Bhima," revealed Krishna. "You have wreaked your vengeance on a metal idol."
The old king sat embarrassed. One after another, the Pandava brothers prostrated before him. He seemed reconciled to the situation and blessed them.
But it was different with Gandhari. She, who had kept her eyes sealed in sympathy with her blind husband, had developed immense supernatural powers. When Yudhisthira touched her feet, she could see his fingers through the lower edge of the cover on her eyes. The terrible wrath her vision emanated at once had its effect. Yudhisthira's nails grew curled and the finger-tips distorted.
Soon, the Kaurava womenfolk went to the battlefield to locate their dear ones. Wives wailed on discovering the corpsesf their husbands. Some women, while weeping over their dead, tried to scare away the vultures and jackals that were having a merry time feeding on the corpses. Tears of the women melted the drying blood of the fallen. Ominous clouds gathered overhead as if attracted by their groans and curses.
Queen Gandhari stopped at the approach to the battlefield. Although her eyes remained shut, she could see the condition through her inner vision. She even described it to Krishna who stood near her. At last, her voice stern and poignant, she said, "Krishna, I know for certain that you had the power to divert the events from their taking such a tragic course. Had you applied that power, I would not have been deprived of all my hundred sons. You deserve to be cursed. Thirty six years hence, you will be left without a single child or relative, because you did not try to save these relatives of yours from destruction. Some unexpected catastrophe will strike them all dead and you too will meet an inglorious death!"
As Queen Gandhari fell silent after striking terror in the hearts of the others, a faint and mysterious smile escaped Krishna's lips, for nothing was unforeseen so far as he was concerned! (to be continued)