The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,413 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3.
Householders may, without any compunction, enjoy wealth and other possessions that are obtained without Exertion.  As regards, however, the duties of their order that are laid down in the scriptures, these, I am of opinion, they should discharge with the aid of Exertion.[1542] The practice of those that are honoured, that are born in high families, and that have their eyes always turned towards the import of the scriptures, is incapable of being followed by those that are sinful and that are possessed of unrestrained minds.  All acts that are done by man under the influence of vanity, meet with destruction.  Hence, for them that are respectable and truly righteous there is no other act in this world to do than penance.[1543] As regards, those house-holders, however, that are addicted to acts, they should, with their whole hearts, set themselves to acts.  Following the duties of their order, O king, they should with cleverness and attention perform sacrifices and other religious rites.  Indeed, as all rivers, male and female, have their refuge in the Ocean, even so men belonging to all the other orders have their refuge in the householder.’”

SECTION CCXCVII

“Janaka said, ’Whence, O great Rishi, does this difference of colour arise among men belonging to the different orders?  I desire to know this.  Tell me this, O foremost of speakers!  The Srutis say that the offspring one begets are one’s own self.  Originally sprung from Brahmana, all the inhabitants of the earth should have been Brahmanas.  Sprung from Brahmanas, why have men betaken themselves to practices distinguished from those of Brahmanas.’

“Parasara said, ’It is as thou sayst, O king!  The offspring procreated are none else than the procreator himself.  In consequence, however, of falling away from penance, this distribution into classes of different colours has taken place.  When the soil becomes good and the seed also is good, the offspring produced become meritorious.  If, however, the soil and seed become otherwise or inferior, the offspring that will be born will be inferior.  They that are conversant with the scriptures know that when the Lord of all creatures set himself to create the worlds, some creatures sprang from his mouth, some from his arms, some from his thighs, and some from his feet.  They that thus sprang from his mouth, O child, came to be called Brahmanas.  They that sprang from his arms were named Kshatriyas.  They, O king, that sprang from his thighs were the wealthy class called the Vaisyas.  And, lastly, they that were born of his feet were the serving class, viz., the Sudras.  Only these four orders of men, O monarch, were thus created.  They that belong to classes over and other than these are said to have sprung from an intermixture of these.  The Kshatriyas called Atirathas, Amvashthas, Ugras, Vaidehas, Swapakas, Pukkasas, Tenas, Nishadas, Sutas, Magadhas, Ayogas, Karanas, Vratyas, and Chandalas, O monarch, have all sprung from the four original orders by intermixture with one another.’

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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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