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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,413 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3.

“Bhishma continued, ’After a short while, Tuladhara and Jajali, both of whom had been endued with great wisdom, ascended to heaven and sported there in great happiness,[1194] having reached their respective places earned by their respective acts.  Many truths of this kind were spoken of by Tuladhara.  That eminent person understood this religion (of abstention from injury) completely.  These eternal duties were accordingly proclaimed by him.  The regenerate Jajali, O son of Kunti, having heard these words of celebrated energy, betook himself to tranquillity.  In this way, many truths of grave import were uttered by Tuladhara, illustrated by examples for instruction.  What other truths dost thou wish to hear?’”

SECTION CCLXV

“Bhishma said, ’In this connection is cited an old narrative of what was recited by king Vichakhy through compassion for all creatures.  Beholding the mangled body of a bull, and hearing the exceedingly painful groans of the kine in a cow-slaying sacrifice, and observing the cruel Brahmanas that gathered there for assisting at the ceremonies, that king[1195] uttered these words, ‘Prosperity to all the kine in the world.’  When the slaughter had commenced, these words expressive of a blessing (to those helpless animals) were pronounced.  And the monarch further said, ’Only those that are transgressors of defined limits, that are destitute of intelligence, that are atheists and sceptics, and that desire the acquisition of celebrity through sacrifices and religious rites speak highly of the slaughter of animals in sacrifices.[1196] The righteous-souled Manu has applauded (the observance of) harmlessness in all (religious) acts.  Indeed, men slaughter animals in sacrifices, urged by only the desire of fruit.[1197] Hence, guided by authority (in respect of slaughter and abstention from slaughter or harmlessness) one conversant (with the scriptures) should practise the true course of duty which is exceedingly subtile.  Harmlessness to all creatures is the highest of all duties.  Living in the vicinity of an inhabited place and injuring oneself to the observance of rigid vows, and disregarding the fruits indicated of Vedic acts, one should give up domesticity, adopting a life of Renunciation.  Only they that are mean are urged by the desire of fruit.[1198] Reverentially mentioning sacrifices and trees and sacrificial stakes, men do not eat tainted meat.  This practice, however, is not worthy of applause.[1199] Wine, fish, honey, meat, alcohol, and preparations of rice and sesame seeds, have been introduced by knaves.  The use of these (in sacrifices) is not laid down in the Vedas.  The hankering after these arises from pride, error of judgment, and cupidity.  They that are true Brahmanas realise the presence of Vishnu in every sacrifice.  His worship, it has been laid down, should be made with agreeable Payasa. (The leaves and flowers of) such trees as have been indicated in the Vedas, whatever act is regarded as worthy and whatever else is held as pure by persons of pure hearts and cleansed natures and those eminent for knowledge and holiness, are all worthy of being offered to the Supreme Deity and not unworthy of His acceptance.’[1200]

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