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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.

SECTION LXXXII

“Pulastya said, ’O thou of excellent vows, I have been much gratified with thy humility, thy self-control, and thy truth, thou blessed one versed in morality!  O sinless one, it is for this virtue of thine which thou hast acquired from regard to thy ancestors, that I have been gratified with thee and thou hast, O son, obtained a sight of my person.  O Bhishma. my eyes can penetrate into everything.  Tell me what I may do for thee.  O sinless one, O thou foremost of the Kuru race, I will grant thee whatever thou mayst ask me.’

“Bhishma said, ’O highly blessed one, when thou who art worshipped by the three worlds hast been gratified with me and when I have obtained a sight of thy exalted self, I regard myself as already crowned with success.  But, O thou foremost of virtuous persons, if I have deserved thy favour, I will tell thee my doubts and it behoveth thee to dispel them, O holy one, I have some religious doubts in respect of tirthas.  Speak of those to me in detail, I desire to hear thee.  O thou that resemblest a celestial himself, what is his merit, O regenerate Rishi, who goeth round the whole earth (visiting shrines).  O tell me this with certainty.”

“Pulastya said, ’O son, listen with attention.  I will tell thee of the merit which attacheth to tirthas and which constituth the refuge of the Rishis.  He whose hands and feet and mind and knowledge and asceticism and acts are under wholesome control, enjoyeth the fruits of tirthas.  He who has ceased to accept gifts, he that is contented, he that is free from pride enjoys the fruits of tirthas.  He that is without sin, he that acts without purpose, he that eats light, he that has his senses under control, he that is free from every sin, enjoys the fruits of tirthas.  O king, he that is free from anger, he that adhereth to truth, he that is firm in vows, he that regardeth all creatures as his own self, enjoyeth the fruits of tirthas.  In the Vedas the Rishis have declared in due order the sacrifices and also their fruits here and hereafter truly.  O lord of earth, those sacrifices cannot be accomplished by him that is poor, for those sacrifices require various materials and diverse things in large measures.  These, therefore can be performed by kings or sometimes by other men of prosperity and wealth.  O lord of men, that rite, however, which men without wealth, without allies, singly, without wife and children, and destitute of means, are capable of accomplishing and the merit of which is equal unto the sacred fruits of sacrifices, I will now declare unto thee, thou best of warriors!  O thou best of the Bharata race, sojourns in tirthas which are meritorious and which constitute one of the high mysteries of the Rishis, are even superior to sacrifices.  He is a poor man who having gone to a tirtha hath not fasted for three nights, who hath not given away gold, and who hath not distributed kine.  Indeed, one acquireth

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