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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.
subjects by adopting ways that are entirely harmless.  In the Treta age, kings conduct themselves according to ways that conform with righteousness fallen away by a fourth from its full complement.  In the Dwapara age, they proceed according to ways conforming with righteousness fallen away by a moiety, and in the age that follows, according to ways conforming with righteousness fallen away by three-fourth.  When the Kati age sets in, through the wickedness of kings and in consequence of the nature of the epoch itself, fifteen parts of even that fourth portion of righteousness disappear, a sixteenth portion thereof being all that then remains of it.  If, O Satyavat, by adopting the method first mentioned (viz., the practice of harmlessness), confusion sets in, the king, considering the period of human life, the strength of human beings, and the nature of the time that has come, should award punishments.[1223] Indeed, Manu, the son of the Self-born, has, through compassion for human beings, indicated the way by means of which men may adhere to knowledge (instead of harmfulness) for the sake of emancipation.’"[1224]

SECTION CCLXVIII

“Yudhishthira said, ’Thou hast already explained to me, O grandsire, how the religion of Yoga, which leads to the six well-known attributes, may be adopted and practised without injuring any creature.  Tell me, O grandsire, of that religion which leads to both results, viz., Enjoyment and Emancipation.  Amongst these two, viz., the duties of domesticity and those of Yoga, both of which lead to the same end, which is superior?’

“Bhishma said, ’Both courses of duty are highly blessed.  Both are extremely difficult of accomplishment.  Both are productive of high fruits.  Both are practised by those that are admittedly good.  I shall presently discourse to thee on the authoritativeness of both those courses of duty, for dispelling thy doubts about their true import.  Listen to me with concentrated attention.  In this connection is instanced the old narrative of the discourse between Kapila and the cow.  Listen to it, O Yudhishthira![1225] It has been heard by us that in days of old when the deity Tvashtri came to the place of king Nahusha, the latter, for discharging the duties of hospitality, was on the point of killing a cow agreeably to the true, ancient, and eternal injunction of the Vedas.  Beholding that cow tied for slaughter, Kapila of liberal soul, ever observant of the duties of Sattwa, always engaged in restraining his senses, possessed of true knowledge, and abstemious in diet, having acquired an excellent understanding that was characterised by faith, perfectly fearless, beneficial, firm, and ever directed towards truth, uttered this word once, viz.,—­’Alas ye Vedas!’—­At that time a Rishi, of the name of Syumarasmi, entering (by Yoga power) the form of that cow, addressed the Yati Kapila, saying, ’Hist O Kapila!  If the Vedas be deserving

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