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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.
ascend into the regions of Brahma.  The lives of those that are both righteous and sinful rove in the middle regions.  The lives of those that are sinful sink into the lowest depths.  There is only one foe (of man) and not another.  That foe is identifiable with ignorance, O king.  Overwhelmed by it, one is led to perpetrate acts that are frightful and exceedingly cruel.  That foe for resisting which one should put forth one’s power by waiting upon the aged according to the duties laid down in the Srutis—­that foe which cannot be overcome except by steady endeavours,—­meets with destruction., O king, only when it is crushed by the shafts of wisdom.[1556] The man desirous of achieving merit should at first study the Vedas and observe penances, becoming a Brahmacharin.  He should next, entering the domestic mode of life, perform the usual Sacrifices.  Establishing his race, he should then enter the forest, restraining his senses, and desirous of winning Emancipation.  One should never emasculate oneself by abstaining from any enjoyment.  Of all births, the status of humanity is preferable even if one has to become a Chandala.  Indeed, O monarch, that order of birth (viz., humanity) is the foremost, since by becoming a human being one succeeds in rescuing one’s self by meritorious acts.  Men always perform righteous acts, O lord, guided by the authority of the Srutis, so that they may not fall away from the status of humanity.  That man who, having attained to the status of humanity that is so difficult of attainment, indulges in malice, disregards righteousness and yields himself up to desire, is certainly betrayed by his desires.[1557] That man who looks upon all creatures with eyes guided by affection, regarding them worthy of being cherished with loving aid, who disregards all kinds of wealth, who offers them consolation, gives them food, address them in agreeable words, and who rejoices in their happiness and grieves in their griefs, has never to suffer misery in the next world, Repairing to the Saraswati, the Naimisha woods, the Pushkara waters, and the other sacred spots on earth, one should make gifts, practise renunciation, render one’s aspect amiable, O king, and purify one’s body with baths and penances.  Those men who meet with death within their houses should have the rites of cremation performed upon their persons.  Their bodies should be taken to the crematorium on vehicles and there they should be burnt according to the rites of purification that have been laid down in the scriptures.  Religious rites, beneficial ceremonies, the performance of sacrifices, officiation at the sacrifices of others, gifts, the doing of other meritorious acts, the performance, according to the best of one’s power, of all that has been ordained in the case of one’s deceased ancestors,—­all these one does for benefiting one’s own self.  The Vedas with their six branches, and the other scriptures, O king, have been created for the good of him who is of stainless acts.’

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