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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.
heart, we have heard the eternal Sruti that in consequence of the Infinity to which they attain (through beholding the universal soul) and of the knowledge of Brahma (they acquire through the declarations of Srutis), they behold everything to be Brahma.  The duties (of tranquillity, self-restraint, abstention from acts, renunciation, devotion, and the abstraction of Samadhi) followed by those men of pure hearts, that are freed from desire, and that have Emancipation only for their object, for acquisition of the knowledge of Brahma, are equally laid down for all the four orders of men and all the four modes of life.  Verily, that knowledge is always acquired by Brahmanas of pure hearts and restrained soul.[1266] One whose soul is for Renunciation based upon contentment is regarded as the refuge of true knowledge.  Renunciation, in which is that knowledge which leads to Emancipation, and which is highly necessary for a Brahmana, is eternal (and comes down from preceptor to pupil for ever and ever).[1267] Renunciation sometimes exists mixed with the duties of other modes.  But whether existing in that state or by itself, one practises it according to the measure of one’s strength (that depends upon the degree of one’s absence of worldly desires).  Renunciation is the cause of supreme benefit unto every kind of person.  Only he that is weak, fails to practise it.  That pure-hearted man who seeks to attain to Brahma becomes rescued from the world (with its misery).’[1268]

“Syumarasmi said, ’Amongst those that are given up to enjoyment (of property), they that make gifts, they that perform sacrifices, they that devote themselves to the study of the Vedas, and they that betake themselves to a life of Renunciation after having acquired and enjoyed wealth and all its pleasures, when they depart from this world, who is it that attains to the foremost place in heaven?  I ask thee this, O Brahmana!  Do thou tell me truly.’

“Kapila said, ’Those who lead a life of domesticity are certainly auspicious and acquire excellence of every kind.  They are unable, however, to enjoy the felicity that attaches to Renunciation.  Even thou mayst see this.’[1269]

“Syumarasmi said, ’Ye depend upon knowledge as the means (for the attainment of Emancipation).  Those who lead lives of domesticity have planted their faith in acts.  It has, however, been said that the end of all modes of life is Emancipation.[1270] No difference, therefore, is observable between them in respect of either their superiority or inferiority of puissance.  O illustrious one, do thou tell me then how stands the matter truly.’

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