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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,884 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1.
Hunger could not disturb his equanimity.  Nor could anger, nor guile, nor a sense of degradation, nor agitation, enter into the heart of that best of Brahmanas leading the Unchha mode of life along with his son and his wife.  In this way, Durvasa having made up his mind, during successive seasons presented himself for six several times before that best of sages living according to the Unchha mode; yet that Muni could not perceive any agitation in Mudgala’s heart; and he found the pure heart of the pure-souled ascetic always pure.  Thereupon, well-pleased, the sage addressed Mudgala, saying, There is not another guileless and charitable being like thee on earth.  The pangs of hunger drive away to a distance the sense of righteousness and deprive people of all patience.  The tongue, loving delicacies, attracteth men towards them.  Life is sustained by food.  The mind, moreover, is fickle, and it is hard to keep it in subjection.  The concentration of the mind and of the senses surely constitutes ascetic austerities.  It must be hard to renounce in a pure spirit a thing earned by pains.  Yet, O pious one, all this hath been duly achieved by thee.  In thy company we feel obliged and gratified.  Self-restraint, fortitude, justice, control of the senses and of faculties, mercy, and virtue, all these are established in thee.  Thou hast by the deeds conquered the different worlds and have thereby obtained admission into paths of beautitude.  Ah! even the dwellers of heaven are proclaiming thy mighty deeds of charity.  O thou observant of vows, thou shalt go to heaven even in thine own body.

“Whilst the Muni Durvasa was speaking thus, a celestial messenger appeared before Mudgala, upon a car yoked with swans and cranes, hung with a neat work of bells, scented with divine fragrance, painted picturesquely, and possessed of the power of going everywhere at will.  And he addressed the Brahmana sage, saying, ’O sage, do thou ascend into this chariot earned by thy acts.  Thou hast attained the fruit of thy asceticism!’

“As the messenger of the gods was speaking thus, the sage told him, ’O divine messenger, I desire that thou mayst describe unto me the attributes of those that reside there.  What are their austerities, and what their purposes?  And, O messenger of the gods, what constitutes happiness in heaven, and what are the disadvantages thereof?  It is declared by virtuous men of good lineage that friendship with pious people is contracted by only walking with them seven paces.  O lord, in the name of that friendship I ask thee, ’Do thou without hesitation tell me the truth, and that which is good for me now.  Having heard thee, I shall, according to thy words, ascertain the course I ought to follow.’”

SECTION CCLIX

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