“Vaisampayana said, ’Indeed, I shall recite to thee the excellent story of Yayati’s adventures on Earth and in heaven. That story is sacred and destroyeth the sins of those that hear it.
“King Yayati, the son of Nahusha, having installed his youngest son, Puru, on the throne after casting his sons with Yadu for their eldest amongst the Mlechchhas, entered the forest to lead the life of a hermit. And the king eating fruits and roots lived for some time in the forest. Having his mind and passions under complete control, the king gratified by sacrifices the Pitris and the gods. And he poured libations of clarified butter upon the fire according to the rites prescribed for those leading the Vanaprastha mode of life. And the illustrious one entertained guests and strangers with the fruit of the forest and clarified butter, while he himself supported life by gleaning scattered corn seeds. And the king; led this sort of life for a full thousand years. And observing the vow of silence and with mind under complete control he passed one full year, living upon air alone and without sleep. And he passed another year practising the severest austerities in the midst of four fires around and the Sun overhead. And, living upon air alone, he stood erect upon one leg for six months. And the king of sacred deeds ascended to heaven, covering heaven as well as the Earth (with the fame of his achievements).’”
(Sambhava Parva continued)
“Vaisampayana said, ’While that king of kings dwelt in heaven—the home of the celestials, he was reverenced by the gods, the Sadhyas, the Maruts, and the Vasus. Of sacred deeds, and mind under complete control, the monarch used to repair now and then from the abode of the celestials unto the region of Brahman. And it hath been heard by me that he dwelt for a long time in heaven.
“One day that best of kings, Yayati, went to Indra and there in course of conversation the lord of Earth was asked by Indra as follows:
’What didst thou say, O king, when thy son Puru took thy decrepitude on Earth and when thou gavest him thy kingdom?’
“Yayati answered, ’I told him that the whole country between the rivers Ganga and Yamuna was his. That is, indeed, the central region of the Earth, while the out-lying regions are to be the dominions of thy brothers. I also told him that those without anger were ever superior to those under its sway, those disposed to forgive were ever superior to the unforgiving. Man is superior to the lower animals. Among men again the learned are superior to the un-learned. If wronged, thou shouldst not wrong in return. One’s wrath, if disregarded, burneth one’s own self; but he that regardeth it not taketh away all the virtues of him that exhibiteh it. Never shouldst thou pain others by cruel speeches. Never subdue thy foes by despicable means; and never utter such scorching and sinful words as may torture