The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,886 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3.
attaining to the second mode of life, obtains happiness and respect in heaven.  After this comes that high and superior mode of life, called the third, for those that are desirous of casting off their bodies.  Superior to that of householders, that is the life of forest recluses,—­of those, that is, who waste their bodies (by diverse kinds of austerities) into skeletons overlaid with dried skins.  Listen as I discourse to thee upon it.’”


“Bhishma said, “Though hast been told what the duties of domesticity are as ordained by the wise.  Listen now, O Yudhishthira, to what those duties are that have been next spoken of.  Gradually abandoning the domestic mode, one should enter the third mode which is excellent.  It is the mode in which wives afflict themselves by means of Austerities.  It is the mode practised by those that live as forest recluses.  Blessed be thou, O son, listen to the duties observed by those that lead this mode of life in which occur the practices of all men and all modes of life.  Listen, indeed, to the duties of those that are denizens of sacred spots and that have resorted to this mode after proper deliberation!’

“Vyasa said, ’When the householder beholds wrinkles on his body and white hair on his head, and children of his children, he should then retire into the forest.  The third part of his life he should pass in the observance of the Vanaprastha mode.  He should attend to those fires to which he had attended as a householder.  Desirous of sacrificing, he should adore the deities (according to the rituals ordained).  Observant of vows and abstemious in diet, he should eat only once, the time thereof being the sixth part of the day.  He should be always heedful.  Attending to his fires, he should keep some kine, waiting upon them dutifully.[1005] He should attend to all the rituals of a sacrifice.  He should live upon rice growing indigenously, upon wheat growing under similar circumstances, upon grain of other kinds, growing wildly (and belonging to none).  He should eat what remains after feeding guests.  In this the third mode of life, he should present offerings of clarified butter in the five well-known Sacrifices.[1006] Four kinds of courses of conduct have been laid down for observance in the Vanaprastha mode of life.  Some collect only what is needed for the day.  Some collect stores to last for a month.  Some store grain and other necessaries sufficient to last for twelve years.  Forest recluses may act in these ways for worshipping guests and performing sacrifices.  They should during the season of the rains, expose themselves to rain and betake themselves to water during the autumn.  During the summer they should sit in the midst of four fires with the sun burning overhead.  Throughout the year, however, they should be abstemious in diet.[1007] They sit and sleep on the bare earth.  They stand on only their toes.  They content themselves with the bare earth

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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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