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.
unrighteous.[1130] Then, again, the proof (of what I say) has been furnished by even those that are well conversant with the scriptures themselves, for it has been heard by us that the ordinances of the Vedas disappear gradually in every successive age.  The duties in the Krita age are of one kind.  Those in the Treta are of another kind, and those in the Dwapara are again different.  The duties in the Kali age, again, are entirely of another kind.  It seems, therefore, that duties have been laid down for the respective ages according to the powers of human beings in the respective ages.  When, therefore, all the declarations in the Vedas do not apply equally to all the ages, the saying that the declarations of the Vedas are true is only a popular form of speech indulged in for popular satisfaction.  From the Srutis have originated the Smritis whose scope again is very wide.  If the Vedas be authority for everything, then authority would attach to the Smritis also for the latter are based on the former.  When, however, the Srutis and the Smritis contradict each other, how can either be authoritative?  Then again, it is seen that when some wicked persons of great might cause certain portions of certain courses of righteous acts to be stopped, these are destroyed for ever.[1131] Whether we know it or know it not, whether we are able to ascertain it or not to ascertain it, the course of duty is finer than the edge of a razor and grosser than even a mountain.  Righteousness (in the form of sacrifices and other religious acts) at first appears in the form of the romantic edifices of vapour seen in the distant sky.  When, however, it is examined by the learned, it disappears and becomes invisible.[1132] Like the small ponds at which the cattle drink or the shallow aqueducts along cultivated fields that dry up very soon, the eternal practices inculcated in the Smritis, falling into discontinuance, at last disappear totally (in the Kali age).  Amongst men that are not good some are seen to become hypocrites (in respect of the acquisition of righteousness) by suffering themselves to be urged by desire.  Some become so, urged by the wishes of others.  Others, numbering many, tread in the same path, influenced by diverse other motives of a similar character.[1133] It cannot be denied that such acts (though accomplished by persons under the influence of evil passions) are righteous.  Fools, again, say that righteousness is an empty sound among those called good.  They ridicule such persons and regard them as men destitute of reason.  Many great men, again, turning back (from the duties of their own order) betake themselves to the duties of the kingly order.  No such conduct, therefore, is to be seen (as observed by any man), which is fraught with universal benevolence.[1134] By a certain course of conduct one becomes really meritorious.  That very course of conduct obstructs another in the acquisition of merit.  Another, by practising at his pleasure that conduct, it is seen, remains
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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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