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.

SECTION CCCLIV

“Bhishma said, ’In an excellent town called by the name of Mahapadma which was situate on the southern side of the river Ganga, there lived,

O, best of men, a Brahmana of concentrated soul.  Born in the race of Atri, he was endued with amiability.  All his doubts had been dispelled (by faith and contemplation) and he was well conversant with the path he was to follow.  Ever observant of the religious duties, he had his anger under perfect control.  Always contented, he was the, complete master of his senses.  Devoted to penances and study of the Vedas, he was honoured by all good men.  He earned wealth by righteous means and his conduct in all things corresponded with the mode of life he led and the order to which he belonged.  The family to which he belonged was large and celebrated.  He had many kinsmen and relatives, and many children and spouses.  His behaviour was always respectable and faultless.  Observing that he had many children, the Brahmana betook himself to the accomplishment of religious acts on a large scale.  His religious observances, O king, had reference to the customs of his own family.[1926] The Brahmana reflected that three kinds of duties have been laid down for observances.  There were first, the duties ordained in the Vedas in respect of the order in which he was born and the mode of life he was leading (viz., a Brahmana in the observance of domesticity).  There were secondly, the duties prescribed in the scriptures, viz., those especially called the Dharmasastras.  And, thirdly, there were those duties that eminent and revered men of former times have followed though not occurring either in the Vedas or the scriptures.[1927] Which of these duties should I follow?  Which of them, again, followed by me, are likely to lead to my benefit?  Which, indeed, should be my refuge?—­Thoughts like these always troubled him.  He could not solve his doubts.  While troubled with such reflections, a Brahmana of concentrated soul and observant of a very superior religion, came to his house as a guest.  The house-holder duly honoured his guest according to those ordinances of worship that are laid down in the scriptures.  Beholding his guest refreshed and seated at ease, the host addressed him in the following words.”

“The Brahmana said, ’O sinless one, I have become exceedingly attached to thee in consequence of the sweetness of thy conversation.  Thou hast become my friend.  Listen to me, for I wish to say something unto thee.  O foremost of Brahmanas, after making over the duties of a householder to my son, I wish to discharge the highest duties of man.  What, O regenerate one, should be my path?  Relying upon the Jiva soul, I wish to achieve existence in the one (supreme) soul.  Alas, bound up in the ties of attachment, I have not the heart to actually set myself to the accomplishment of that task.[1928] And since the best portion of my life has passed away

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