The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,273 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1.

“Pandu replied, ’Ye fortunate ones, it is said that for the sonless there is no admittance into heaven.  I am sonless!  I In affliction I speak’ unto you!  I am afflicted because I have not been able to discharge the debt I owe to my ancestors.  It is certain that with the dissolution of this my body my ancestors perish!  Men are born on this earth with four debts, viz. those due unto the (deceased) ancestors, the gods, the Rishis, and other men.  In justice these must be discharged.  The wise have declared that no regions of bliss exist for them that neglect to pay these debts in due time.  The gods are paid (gratified) by sacrifices, the Rishis, by study, meditation, and asceticism, the (deceased) ancestors, by begetting children and offering the funeral cake, and, lastly other men, by leading a humane and inoffensive life.  I have justly discharged my obligations to the Rishis, the gods, and other men.  But those others than these three are sure to perish with the dissolution of my body!  Ye ascetics, I am not yet freed from the debt I owe to my (deceased) ancestors.  The best of men are born in this world to beget children for discharging that debt.  I would ask you, should children be begotten in my soil (upon my wives) as I myself was begotten in the soil of my father by the eminent Rishi?’

“The Rishis said, ’O king of virtuous soul, there is progeny in store for thee, that is sinless and blest with good fortune and like unto the gods.  We behold it all with our prophetic eyes.  Therefore, O tiger among men, accomplish by your own acts that which destiny pointeth at.  Men of intelligence, acting with deliberation, always obtain good fruits; it behoveth thee, therefore, O king, to exert thyself.  The fruits thou wouldst obtain are distinctly visible.  Thou wouldst really obtain accomplished and agreeable progeny.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ’Hearing these words of the ascetics, Pandu, remembering the loss of his procreative powers owing to the curse of the deer, began to reflect deeply.  And calling his wedded wife the excellent Kunti, unto him, he told her in private, ’Strive thou to raise offspring at this time of distress.  The wise expounders of the eternal religion declare that a son, O Kunti, is the cause of virtuous fame in the three worlds.  It is said that sacrifices, charitable gifts, ascetic penances, and vows observed most carefully, do not confer religious merit on a sonless man.  O thou of sweet smiles, knowing all this, I am certain that as I am sonless, I shall not obtain regions of true felicity.  O timid one, wretch that I was and addicted to cruel deeds, as a consequence of the polluted life I led, my power of procreation hath been destroyed by the curse of the deer.  The religious institutes mention six kinds of sons that are heirs and kinsmen, and six other kinds that are not heirs but kinsmen.  I shall speak of them presently.  O Pritha, listen to me.  They are:  1st, the son begotten by

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