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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.

“The son said, ’When the world is thus assailed and thus besieged on all sides, and when such irresistible (bolts) are falling in every direction, how can you speak so calmly?’

“The sire said, ’How is the world assailed?  By what is it besieged?  What are those irresistible bolts that are falling on every side?  Dost thou frighten me with thy words?’

“The son said, ’The world is assailed by Death.  It is besieged by what is it besieged?  What are those irresistible bolts that are falling on every side?  Dost thou frighten me with thy words?’

“The son said, ’The world is assailed by Death.  It is besieged by Decrepitude.  Days and Nights are continually falling (like bolts).  Why do you not take heed of these?  When I know that Death does not wait here for any one (but snatches all away suddenly and without notice), how can I possibly wait (for his coming) thus enveloped in a coat of Ignorance and (heedlessly) attending to my concerns?  When as each night passes away the period of every one’s life wears away with it, when, indeed, one’s position is similar to that of a fish in a piece of shallow water, who can feel happy?  Death encounters one in the very midst of one’s concerns, before the attainment of one’s objects, finding one as unmindful as a person while engaged in plucking flowers.[1323] That which is kept for being done tomorrow should be done today; and that which one thinks of doing in the afternoon should be done in the forenoon.  Death does not wait, mindful of one’s having done or not done one’s acts.  Do today what is for thy good (without keeping it for tomorrow).  See that Death, who is irresistible, may not overcome thee (before you accomplish thy acts).  Who knows that Death will not come to one this very day?  Before one’s acts are completed, Death drags one away.  One should, therefore, commence to practise virtue while one is still young (without waiting for one’s old age). for life is uncertain.  By acquiring virtue one is sure to eternal happiness both here and hereafter.  Overpowered by folly one girds up one’s loins for acting on behalf of one’s sons and wives.  By accomplishing acts foul or fair, one gratifies these (relatives).  Him possessed of sons and animals, and with mind devotedly attached to them, Death seizes and runs away like a tiger bearing away a sleeping deer.[1324] While one is still engaged in winning diverse objects of desire, and while still unsatiated with one’s enjoyment, Death seizes one and runs away like a she-wolf seizing a sheep and running away with it.  ’This has been done’,—­’this remains to be done’,—­’this other is half done’,—­one may say thus to oneself; but Death, unmindful of one’s desire to finish one’s unfinished acts, seizes and drags one away.  One that has not yet obtained the fruit of what one has already done, amongst those attached to action, one busied with one’s field or shop or house, Death seizes and carries away.  The weak, the strong; the wise, the brave, the idiotic, the learned,

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