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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.
lead to hell, with this difference that those consequences are disproportionate in point of gravity to the acts that produce them.[1515] As to those acts (of a doubtful or unrighteous nature) that may be done by the deities or ascetics of reputation, a righteous man should never do their like or, informed of them, should never censure them.[1516] That man who, reflecting with his mind, O king, and ascertaining his own ability, accomplishes righteous acts, certainly obtains what is for his benefit.  Water poured into an unbaked vessel gradually becomes less and finally escapes altogether.  If kept, however, in a baked vessel, it remains without its quantity being diminished.  After the same manner, acts done without reflection with the aid of the understanding do not become beneficial; while acts done with judgment remain with undiminished excellence and yield happiness as their result.  If into a vessel containing water other water be poured, the water that was originally there increases in quantity; even so all acts done with judgment, be they equitable or otherwise, only add to one’s stock of righteousness.  A king should subjugate his foes and all who seek to assert their superiority, and he should properly rule and protect his subjects.  One should ignite one’s sacred fires and pour libations on them in diverse sacrifices, and retiring in the woods into either one’s middle or old age, should live there (practising the duties of the two last modes of life).  Endued with self-restraint, and possessed of righteous behaviour, one should look upon all creatures as on one’s own self.  One should again reverence one’s superiors.  By the practice of truth and of good conduct, O king, one is sure to obtain happiness.’”

SECTION CCXCIII

“Parasara said, ’Nobody in this world does good to another.  Nobody is seen to make gifts to others.  All persons are seen to act for their own selves.  People are seen to cast off their very parents and their uterine brothers when these cease to be affectionate.  What need be said then or relatives of other degrees?[1517] Gifts to a distinguished person and acceptance of the gifts made by a distinguished person both lead to equal merit.  Of these two acts, however, the making of a gift is superior to the acceptance of a gift.[1518] That wealth which is acquired by proper means and increased also by proper means, should be protected with care for the sake of acquiring virtue.  This is an accepted truth.  One desirous of acquiring righteousness should never earn wealth by means involving injury to others.  One should accomplish one’s acts according to one’s power, without zealously pursuing wealth.  By giving water, whether cold or heated by fire, with a devoted mind, unto a (thirsty) guest, according to the best of one’s power, one earns the merit that attaches to the act of giving food to a hungry man.  The high-souled Rantideva obtained success in all the worlds by worshipping

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