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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,413 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3.
himself think of preventing another by a murderous act, from doing the same?  Whatever wishes one entertains with respect to one’s ownself, one should certainly cherish with respect to another.  With the surplus wealth one may happen to own one should relieve the wants of the indigent.  It is for this reason that the Creator ordained the practice of increasing one’s wealth (by trade or laying it out at interest).[1124] One should walk alone that path by proceeding along which one may hope to meet with the deities; or, at such times when wealth is gained, adherence to the duties of sacrifice and gift is laudable. [1125] The sages have said that the accomplishment of the objects by means of agreeable (pacific) means is righteousness.  See, O Yudhishthira, that even this is the criterion that has been kept in view in declaring the indications of righteousness and iniquity.[1126] In days of old the Creator ordained righteousness endowing it with the power of holding the world together.  The conduct of the good, that is fraught with excellence, is subjected to (numerous) restraints for acquiring righteousness which depends upon many delicate considerations.  The indications of righteousness have now been recounted to thee, O foremost one of Kuru’s race!  Do not, therefore, at any time set thy understanding upon any act that is wrong.’”

SECTION CCLX

“Yudhishthira said, ’Thou sayest that righteousness or duty depends upon delicate considerations, that is indicated by the conduct of those that are called good, that it is fraught with restraints (from numerous acts), and that its indications are also contained in the Vedas.  It seems to me, however, that I have a certain inward light in consequence of which I can discriminate between right and wrong by inferences.[1127] Numerous questions that I had intended to ask thee have all been answered by thee.  There is one question, however, that I shall presently ask.  It is not prompted, O king, by desire of empty disputation.  All these embodied creatures, it seems, take birth, exist, and leave their bodies, of their own nature.  Duty and its reverse, therefore, cannot be ascertained, O Bharata, by study of the scriptures alone.[1128] The duties of a person who is well off are of one kind.  Those of a person who has fallen into distress are of another kind.  How can duty respecting seasons of distress be ascertained by reading the scriptures alone?[1129] The acts of the good, thou hast said, constitute righteousness (or duty).  The good, however, are to be ascertained by their acts.  The definition, therefore, has for its foundation, a begging of the question, with the result that what is meant by conduct of the good remains unsettled.  It is seen that some ordinary person commits unrighteousness while apparently achieving righteousness.  Some extraordinary persons again may be seen who achieve righteousness by committing acts that are apparently

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