Vaisampayana continued, “It was thus that Markandeya narrated all this unto the son of Pandu. And after Markandeya finished, the sons of Pandu said, ’Blessed be thou! Thou hadst acted properly in causing king Indradyumna who had fallen from Heaven to regain his sphere!’ And Markandeya answered them, saying, ’Devaki’s son, Krishna, also had thus raised the royal sage Nriga who had sunk in hell and caused him to regain Heaven!’”
Vaisampayana said, “King Yudhishthira, hearing from the illustrious Markandeya the story of the royal sage Indradyumna’s regaining of Heaven, again asked the Muni, saying, ’O great Muni, tell me in what condition should a man practise charity in order to gain admission into the regions of Indra? Is it by practising charity while leading a domestic mode of life, or in boyhood, or in youth, or in old age? O, tell me about the respective merits reaped from the practice of charity in these different stages of life.’
“Markandeya said, ’Life that is futile is of four kinds. Charity also that is futile is of sixteen kinds. His life is vain who hath no son; and his also who is out of pale of virtue: and his too who liveth on the food of other; and, lastly, his who cooketh for himself without giving therefrom unto the Pitris, the gods, and the guests, and who eateth of it before these all. The gift to one that has fallen away from the practice of virtuous vows, as also the gift of wealth that has been earned wrongly, are both in vain. The gift to a fallen Brahmana, that to a thief, that also to a preceptor that is false, is in vain. The gift to an untruthful man, to a person that is sinful, to one that is ungrateful, to one that officiates at sacrifices performed by all classes of people residing in a village, to one that sells the Vedas, to a Brahmana that cooks for Sudra, to one that too by birth is a Brahmana but who is destitute of the occupations of his order, is in vain. The gift to one that has married a girl after the accession of puberty, to females, to one that sports with snakes, and to one that is employed in menial offices, is also in vain. These sixteen kinds of gifts are productive of no merits. That man who with mind clouded with darkness giveth away from fear or anger, enjoyeth the merit of such gift while he is in the womb of his mother. The man who (under other circumstances) maketh gifts unto the Brahmanas, enjoyeth the fruit thereof while he is in old age. Therefore, O king, the man who wishes to win the way of heaven, should under all conditions, make gifts unto Brahmanas of everything that he wishes to give away.’
 A man is said to sell
the Vedas who lectures on the Vedas
taking fees from the hearers.
“Yudhishthira said, ’By what means do Brahmanas, who accept gifts from all the four orders, save others as well as themselves?”