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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 521 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Bk. 3 Pt. 2.
because (with their meat), gods and guests and servants are regaled with dainty food and the manes are propitiated.  It is said authoritatively that herbs and vegetables, deer, birds and wild animals constitute the food of all creatures.  And, O Brahmana, king Sivi, the son of Usinara, of great forbearance attained to heaven, which is hard to reach, giving away his own flesh.  And in days of yore, O Brahmana, two thousand animals used to be killed every day in the kitchen of king Rantideva; and in the same manner two thousand cows were killed every day; and, O best of regenerate beings, king Rantideva acquired unrivalled reputation by distributing food with meat every day.  For the performance of the fourmonthly rites animals ought to be sacrificed daily.  ‘The sacred fire is fond of animal food,’ this saying has come down to us.  And at sacrifices animals are invariably killed by regenerate Brahmanas, and these animals being purged of sin, by incantation of hymns, go to heaven.  If, O Brahmana, the sacred fire had not been so fond of animal food in ancient times, it could never have become the food of any one.  And in this matter of animal food, this rule has been laid down by Munis:—­Whoever partakes of animal food after having first offered it duly and respectfully to the gods and the manes, is not polluted by the act.  And such a man is not at all considered to have partaken of animal food, even, as a Brahmacharin having intercoursed with his wife during the menstrual period, is nevertheless considered to be a good Brahmana.  After consideration of the propriety and impropriety of the matter, this rule has been laid down.  King Saudasa, O Brahmana, when under a curse, often used to prey upon men; what is thy opinion of this matter?  And, O good Brahmana, knowing this to be the consequence of my own actions, I obtain my livelihood from this profession.  The forsaking of one’s own occupation is considered, O Brahmana, to be a sin, and the act of sticking to one’s own profession is without doubt a meritorious act.  The Karma of a former existence never forsakes any creature.  And in determining the various consequences of one’s Karma, this rule was not lost sight of by the Creator.  A person having his being under the influence of evil Karma, must always consider how he can atone for his Karma, and extricate himself from an evil doom, and the evil Karma may be expiated in various ways.  Accordingly, O good Brahmana, I am charitable, truthful, assiduous in attending on my superior, full of respect towards regenerate Brahmanas, devoted to and free from pride and (idle) excessive talk.  Agriculture is considered to be a praiseworthy occupation, but it is well-known that even there, great harm is done to animal life; and in the operation of digging the earth with the plough, numberless creatures lurking in the ground as also various other forms of animal life are destroyed.  Dost thou not think so?  O good Brahmana, Vrihi
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