Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,413 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3.
paths of the Rishis, and the paths of Brahma, therefore, they attain to paths disapproved of by the Srutis.[19] There is an ordinance in the mantras which says, ’Ye sacrificer, perform the sacrifice represented by gifts of valuable things.  I wilt give thee happiness represented by sons, animals, and heaven!’—­To live, therefore, in accordance with ordinance is said to be the highest asceticism of the ascetics.  Therefore, ye should perform such sacrifices and such penances in the shape of gifts.  The due performance of these eternal duties, viz., the worship of the gods, the study of the Vedas, and the gratification of the Pitris, as also regardful services unto the preceptors—­these are called the austerest of penances.  The gods, by performing such exceedingly difficult penances, have obtained the highest glory and power.  I, therefore, tell you to bear the very heavy burthen of the duties of domesticity.  Without doubt, penances are the foremost of all things and are the root of all creatures.  Asceticism, however, is to be obtained by leading a life of domesticity, upon which depends everything.  They that eat the remnants of feasts, after duly apportioning the food morning and evening among kinsmen, attain to ends that are exceedingly difficult of attainment.  They are called eater of the remnants of feasts who eat after having served guests and gods and Rishis and kinsmen.  Therefore, those persons that are observant of their own duties, that practise excellent vows and are truthful in speech, become objects of great respect in the world, with their own faith exceedingly strengthened.  Free from pride, those achievers of the most difficult feats attain to heaven and live for unending time in the regions of Sakra.’

“Arjuna continued, ’Those ascetics then, hearing these words that were beneficial and fraught with righteousness, abandoned the religion of renunciation, saying, ‘There is nothing in it,’ and betook themselves to a life of domesticity.  Therefore, O thou that are conversant with righteousness, calling to thy aid that eternal wisdom, rule the wide world, O monarch that is now destitute of foes.’

SECTION XII

“Vaisampayana said, ’Hearing these words of Arjuna, O chastiser of foes, Nakula of mighty arms and a broad chest, temperate in speech and possessed of great wisdom, with face whose colour then resembled that of copper, looked at the king, that foremost of all righteous persons, and spoke these words, besieging his brother’s heart (with reason).’

“Nakula said, ’The very gods had established their fires in the region called Visakha-yupa.  Know, therefore, O king, that the gods themselves depend upon the fruits of action.[20] The Pitris, that support (by rain) the lives of even all disbelievers, observing the ordinances (of the Creator as declared in the Vedas), are, O king, engaged in action.[21] Know them for downright atheists that reject the declaration of the Vedas (which inculcate action).  The person that is learned in the Vedas, by following their declarations in all his acts, attains, O Bharata, to the highest region of heaven by the way of the deities.[22]

Follow Us on Facebook