The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,884 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1.

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,[52] 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.’

“Yudhishthira said, ’By what means do Brahmanas, who accept gifts from all the four orders, save others as well as themselves?”

“Markandeya said, ’By Japa,[53] and Mantras,[54] and Homa[55] and the study of the Vedas, the Brahmanas construct a Vedic boat[56] wherewith they save both others and themselves.  The gods themselves are pleased with that man who gratifieth the Brahmanas.  Indeed, a man may attain heaven at the command of a Brahmana.  Thou wilt, O king, without doubt ascend to regions of everlasting bliss, in consequence of thy worship of the Pitris and the gods, and thy reverence for the Brahmanas, even though thy body is filled with phlegmatic humours and withal so dull and inert!  He that desires virtue and heaven should adore the Brahmanas.  One should feed Brahmanas with care on occasions of Sraddhas, although those among them that are cursed or fallen should be excluded.  They also should be carefully excluded that are either excessively fair or excessively black, that have diseased nails, that are lepers, that are deceitful, that are born in bastardy of widows or of women having husbands alive; and they also that support themselves by the profession of arms.  That Sraddha which is censurable, consumeth the performer thereof like fire consuming fuel.  If they that are to be employed in Sraddhas

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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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