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, ’O great king, O Yudhishthira, the rules about charity which thou wishest to hear from me are always highly regarded by me.  Listen now to the mysteries of charity as expounded in the sruti and the smritis!  A man that performs a sraddha in the conjunction called Gajacchaya at a place that is fanned by the leaves of the Aswattha tree enjoys the fruits thereof, O Yudhishthira, for a hundred thousand kalpas.  O king, he that foundeth a dharmasala and established there a person to look after all comers, is crowned with the merits of all the sacrifices.  He that giveth away a horse at a tirtha where the current of the river runneth in a direction opposite to its general course, reapeth merit that is inexhaustible.  The guest that comes to one’s house for food is none other than Indra himself.  If he is entertained with food, Indra himself conferreth on the best merit that is inexhaustible.  As men cross seas by vessels, so are the givers mentioned above are saved from all their sins.  So what is given unto Brahmanas produceth, like gift of curds, inexhaustible merits.  A gift on particular lunations produceth merit that is twice as much as a gift on other days.  That in a particular season produceth merit ten times greater that in other seasons.  That in a particular year produceth merit a hundred times greater than in other years.  And lastly, a gift on the last day of the last month of the year produceth merit that is inexhaustible.  A gift also that is made while the Sun is on the solstitial points, one again that is made on the last day of the Sun’s path through Libra, Aries, Gemini, Virgo, and Pisces, a gift again during eclipses of the Moon and the Sun, produce merit that is inexhaustible.  The learned have also said that gifts made during the seasons produce merit that is ten times, those made during the change of seasons, a hundred times—­and those made during the days when Rahu is visible, a thousand times—­greater than what is produced by gifts at other time; while a gift made on the last day of the Sun’s course through Libra and Aries produces merit that knows no diminution.  O king, no one can enjoy landed possessions unless he giveth away land, and no one can go on cars and vehicles unless he giveth away these.  Indeed a person on rebirth obtaineth the fruition of whatever objects he hath in view at the time of making a gift to a Brahmana.  Gold hath sprung from Fire; the Earth from Vishnu; and the cows from the Sun.  He, therefore, that giveth away gold, land, and kine attaineth all the regions of Agni, Vishnu, and the Sun.  There is nothing so eternal as a gift.  Where, therefore, in the three worlds is anything that is more auspicious?  It is for this, O king, that they who have great intelligence say that there is nothing higher and greater in the three worlds than gift!’”


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