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.
endued with great energy.  Yet we are obedient to the words of a eunuch as if we were entirely helpless.  We are the refuge of all helpless persons.  Yet, when people see us so, why would they not say that in respect of the acquisition of our objects we are entirely powerless?  Reflect on this that I say.  It has been laid down that (a life of) renunciation should be adopted, only in times of distress, by kings overcome with decrepitude or defeated by foes.  Men of wisdom, therefore, do not applaud renunciation as the duty of a Kshatriya.  On the other hand, they that are of clear sight think that the adoption of that course of life (by a Kshatriya) involves even the loss of virtue.  How can those that have sprung from that order, that are devoted to the practices of that order, and that have refuge in them, censure those duties?  Indeed, if those duties be censurable, then why should not the Supreme Ordainer be censured?[15] It is only those persons that are reft of prosperity and wealth and that are infidels in faith, that have promulgated this precept of the Vedas (about the propriety of a Kshatriya’s adoption of a life of renunciation) as the truth.  In reality, however, it is never proper for a Kshatriya to do so.  He who is competent to support life by prowess, he who can support himself by his own exertions, does not live, but really falls away from his duty, by the hypocritical externals of a life of renunciation.  That man only is capable of leading a solitary life of happiness in the woods who is unable to support sons and grandsons and the deities and Rishis and guests and Pitris.  As the deer and boars and birds (though they lead a forest life) cannot attain to heaven, even so those Kshatriyas that are not bereft of prowess yet not given to doing good turns cannot attain to heaven by leading only a forest life.  They should acquire religious merit by other ways.  If, O king, anybody were to obtain success from renunciation, then mountains and trees would surely obtain it!  These latter are always seen to lead lives of renunciation.  They do not injure any one.  They are, again, always aloof from a life of worldliness and are all Brahmacharins.  If it be the truth that a person’s success depends upon his own lot in life and not upon that of other, then (as a person born in the Kshatriya order) thou shouldst betake thyself to action.  He that is reft of action can never have success.  If they that fill only their own stomachs could attain to success, then all aquatic creatures would obtain it, for these have none else to support save their own selves.  Behold, the world moves on, with every creature on it employed in acts proper to its nature.  Therefore, one should betake oneself to action.  The man reft of action can never obtain success.’”

SECTION XI

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