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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 deities in heaven become filled with gladness.  Hence, that king who, agreeably to the duties laid down for his order, protects the other classes, becomes worthy of respect.  Similarly, the Brahmana that is employed in studying the scriptures, the Vaisya that is engaged in earning wealth, and the Sudra that is always engaged in serving the three other classes with concentrated attention, become objects of respect.  By conducting themselves in the other ways, O chief of men, each order is said to fall away from virtue.  Keeping aside gifts by thousands, even twenty cowries that one may give painfully, having earned them righteously, will be productive of the great benefit.  Those persons, O king, who make gifts unto Brahmanas after reverencing them duly, reap excellent fruits commensurate with those gifts.  That gift is highly prized which the donor makes after seeking out the donee and honouring him properly.  That gift is middling which the donor makes upon solicitation.  That gift, however, which is made contemptuously and without any reverence, is said to be very inferior (in point of merit).  Even this is what those utterers of the truth, viz., the sages, say.  While sinking in this ocean of life, man should always seek to cross that ocean by various means.  Indeed, he should so exert himself that he might be freed from the bonds of this world.  The Brahmana shines by self restraint; the Kshatriya by victory; the Vaisya by wealth; while the Sudra always shines in glory through cleverness in serving (the three other orders).’”

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“Parasara said, ’In the Brahmana, wealth acquired by acceptance of gifts, in the Kshatriya that won by victory in battle, in the Vaisya that obtained by following the duties laid down for his order, and in the Sudra that earned by serving the three other orders, however small its measure, is worthy of praise, and spent for the acquisition of virtue is productive of great benefits.  The Sudra is said to be the constant servitor of the three other classes.  If the Brahmana, pressed for a living, betakes himself to the duties of either the Kshatriya or the Vaisya, he does not fall off from righteousness.  When, however, the Brahmana betakes himself to the duties of the lowest order, then does he certainly fall off.  When the Sudra is unable to obtain his living by service of the three other orders, then trade, rearing of cattle, and the practice of the mechanical arts are lawful for him to follow.  Appearance on the boards of a theatre and disguising oneself in various forms, exhibition of puppets, the sale of spirits and meat, and trading in iron and leather, should never be taken up for purposes of a living by one who had never before been engaged in those professions every one of which is regarded as censurable in the world.  It hath been heard by us that if one engaged in them can abandon them, one then acquires great merit.  When one that has

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