from malice strives to do what is good, attains wealth,
virtue, happiness and heaven (hereafter). Those
who are purified of sins, wise, forbearing, constant
in righteousness, and self-restrained enjoy continuous
felicity in this as well as in the next world.
Man must follow the standard of virtue of the good
and in his acts imitate the example of the righteous.
There are virtuous men, versed in holy writ and learned
in all departments of knowledge. Man’s
proper duty consists in following his own proper avocation,
and this being the case these latter do not become
confused and mixed up. The wise man delights
in virtue and lives by righteousness. And, O
good Brahmana, such a man with the wealth of righteousness
which he hereby acquires, waters the root of the plant
in which he finds most virtue. The virtuous man
acts thus and his mind is calmed. He is pleased
with his friends in this world and he also attains
happiness hereafter. Virtuous people, O good man,
acquire dominion over all and the pleasure of beauty,
flavour, sound and touch according to their desire.
These are known to be the rewards of virtue. But
the man of enlightened vision, O great Brahmana, is
not satisfied with reaping the fruits of righteousness.
Not content with that, he with the light of spiritual
wisdom that is in him, becomes indifferent to pain
and pleasure and the vice of the world influenceth
him not. Of his own free will he becometh indifferent
to worldly pursuits but he forsaketh not virtue.
Observing that everything worldly is evanescent, he
trieth to renounce everything and counting on more
chance he deviseth means for the attainment of salvation.
Thus doth he renounce the pursuits of the world, shunneth
the ways of sin, becometh virtuous and at last attaineth
salvation. Spiritual wisdom is the prime requisite
of men for salvation, resignation and forbearance
are its roots. By this means he attaineth all
the objects of this desire. But subduing the senses
and by means of truthfulness and forbearance, he attaineth,
O good Brahmana, the supreme asylum of Brahma
The Brahmana again enquired, “O thou most eminent
in virtue and constant in the performance of the religious
obligations, you talk of senses; what are they; how
may they be subdued; and what is the good of subduing
them; and how doth a creature reap the fruits thereof?
O pious man, I beg to acquaint myself with the truth
of this matter."’”
“Markandeya continued, ’Hear, O king Yudhishthira
what the virtuous fowler, thus interrogated by that
Brahmana, said to him in reply. The fowler said,
“Men’s minds are at first bent on the acquisition
of knowledge. That acquired, O good Brahmana,
they indulge in their passions and desires, and for
that end, they labour and set about tasks of great
magnitude and indulge in much-desired pleasures of
beauty, flavour, &c. Then follows fondness, then
envy, then avarice and then extinction of all spiritual