He, however, who though possessed of objects of enjoyment
casts them off and engages himself in the practice
of penances, succeeds in acquiring everything.
The fruits of the penances of such a man are, I think,
much higher. Mothers and sires and sons and spouses,
by hundreds and thousands, every one had and will
have in this world. Who, however, were they and
whose are we? I am quite alone. I have no
one whom I may call mine. Nor do I belong to
any one else. I do not see that person whose
I am, nor do I see him whom I may call mine. They
have nothing to do with thee. Thou hest nothing
to do with them. All creatures take birth agreeably
to their acts of past lives. Thou also shalt
have to go hence (for taking birth in a new order)
determined by thy own acts. In this world it
is seen that the friends and followers of only those
that are rich behave towards the rich with devotion.
The friends and followers of those, however, that
are poor fall away during even the life-time of the
poor. Man commits numerous evil acts for the
sake of his wife (and children). From those evil
acts he derives much distress both here and hereafter.
The wise man beholds the world of life devastated
by the acts performed by every living being. Do
thou, therefore, O son, act according to all the instructions
I have given thee! The man possessed of true
vision, beholding this world to be only a field of
action, should, from desire of felicity in the next
world, do acts that are good. Time, exerting
his irresistible strength, cooks all creatures (in
his own cauldron), with the aid of his ladle constituted
by months and seasons, the sun for his fire, and days
and nights for his fuel, days and nights, that is
that are the witnesses of the fruits of every act
done by every creature. For what purpose is that
wealth which is not given away and which is not enjoyed?
For what purpose is that strength which is not employed
in resisting or subjugating one’s foes?
For what purpose is that knowledge of the scriptures
which does not impel one to deeds of righteousness?
And for what purpose is that soul which does not subjugate
the senses and abstain from evil acts? “Bhishma
continued, ’Having heard these beneficial words
spoken by the Island-born (Vyasa), Suka, leaving his
sire, proceeded to seek a preceptor that could teach
him the religion of Emancipation.’"
“Yudhishthira said, ’If there is any efficacy
in gifts, in sacrifices, in penances well-performed,
and in dutiful services rendered to preceptors and
other reverend seniors, do thou, O grandsire, speak
of the same to me. “Bhishma said, ’An
understanding associated with evil causes the mind
to fall into sin. In this state one stains one’s
acts, and then falls into great distress. Those
that are of sinful acts have to take birth as persons
of very indigent circumstances. From famine to
famine, from pain to pain, from fear to fear, is their