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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.
is there that can be happy after having slain a woman, especially his mother?  Who again can obtain prosperity and fame by disregarding his own sire?  Regard for the sire’s behest is obligatory.  The protection of my mother is equally a duty.  How shall I so frame my conduct that both obligations may be discharged?  The father places his own self within the mother’s womb and takes birth as the son, for continuing his practices, conduct, name and race.  I have been begotten as a son by both my mother and my father.  Knowing as I do my own origin, why should I not have this knowledge (of my relationship with both of them)?  The words uttered by the sire while performing the initial rite after birth, and those that were uttered by him on the occasion of the subsidiary rite (after the return from the preceptor’s abode) are sufficient (evidence) for settling the reverence due to him and indeed, confirm the reverence actually paid to him.[1203] In consequence of his bringing up the son and instructing him, the sire is the son’s foremost of superiors and the highest religion.  The very Vedas lay it down as certain that the son should regard what the sire says as his highest duty.  Unto the sire the son is only a source of joy.  Unto the son, however, the sire is all in all.  The body and all else that the son owns have the sire alone for their giver.  Hence, the behests of the sire should be obeyed without ever questioning them in the least.  The very sins of one that obeys one’s sire are cleansed (by such obedience).  The sire is the giver of all articles of food, of instructions in the Vedas, and of all other knowledge regarding the world. (Prior to the son’s birth) the sire is the performer of such rites as Garbhadhana and Simantonnayana.[1204] The sire is religion.  The sire is heaven.  The sire is the highest penance.  The sire being gratified, all the deities are gratified.  Whatever words are pronounced by the sire become blessings that attach to the son.  The words expressive of joy that the sire utters cleanse the son of all his sins.  The flower is seen to fall away from the stalk.  The fruit is seen to fall away from the tree.  But the sire, whatever his distress, moved by parental affection, never abandons the son.  These then are my reflections upon the reverence due from the son to the sire.  Unto the son the sire is not an ordinary object.  I shall now think upon (what is due to) the mother.  Of this union of the five (primal) elements in me due to my birth as a human being, the mother is the (chief) cause as the firestick of fire.[1205] The mother is as the fire-stick with respect to the bodies of all men.  She is the panacea for all kinds of calamities.  The existence of the mother invests one with protection; the reverse deprives one of all protection.  The man who, though divested of prosperity, enters his house, uttering the words, ’O mother!’—­hath not to indulge in grief.  Nor doth decrepitude ever assail him.  A person whose mother exists,
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