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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.
hath no expiation for his offence.  That miserable wretch is full of anxiety and acquireth not regions of bliss hereafter.  A rejector of proofs, a slanderer of the interpretation of the Vedic scriptures, a transgressor urged by lust and covetousness, that fool goeth to hell.  O amiable one, he on the other hand, who ever cherisheth religion with faith, obtaineth eternal bliss in the other world.  The fool who cherisheth not religion, transgressing the proofs offered by the Rishis, never obtaineth prosperity in any life, for such transgression of the scriptures.  It is certain, O handsome one, that with respect to him who regardeth not the words of the Rishis or the conduct of the virtuous as proof, neither this nor the other world existeth.  Doubt not, O Krishna, the ancient religion that is practised by the good and framed by Rishis of universal knowledge and capable of seeing all things!  O daughter of Drupada, religion is the only raft for those desirous of going to heaven, like a ship to merchants desirous of crossing the ocean.  O thou faultless one, if the virtues that are practised by the virtuous had no fruits, this universe then would be enveloped in infamous darkness.  No one then would pursue salvation, no one would seek to acquire knowledge not even wealth, but men would live like beasts.  If asceticism, the austerities of celibate life, sacrifices, study of the Vedas, charity, honesty,—­these all were fruitless, men would not have practised virtue generation after generation.  If acts were all fruitless, a dire confusion would ensue.  For what then do Rishis and gods and Gandharvas and Rakshasas who are all independent of human conditions, cherish virtue with such affection?  Knowing it for certain that God is the giver of fruits in respect of virtue, they practise virtue in this world.  This, O Krishna, is the eternal (source of) prosperity.  When the fruits of both knowledge and asceticism are seen, virtue and vice cannot be fruitless.  Call to thy mind, O Krishna, the circumstances of thy own birth as thou that heard of them, and recall also the manner in which Dhrishtadyumna of great prowess was born!  These, O thou of sweet smiles, are the best proofs (of the fruits of virtue)!  They that have their minds under control, reap the fruits of their acts and are content with little.  Ignorant fools are not content with even that much they get (here), because they have no happiness born of virtue to acquire to in the world hereafter.  The fruitlessness of virtuous acts ordained in the Vedas, as also of all transgressions, the origin and destruction of acts are, O beautiful one, mysterious even to the gods.  These are not known to any body and everybody.  Ordinary men are ignorant in respect of these.  The gods keep up the mystery, for the illusion covering the conduct of the gods is unintelligible.  Those regenerate ones that have destroyed all aspirations, that have built all their hopes on vows and asceticism, that have burnt all their sins and have acquired minds where
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