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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.

This (domestic mode of life again) has been said by all persons acquainted with Vedic truths to be superior to all the (other) modes of life.  Knowing this, O king, that the person who in sacrifices gives away his righteously acquired wealth unto those Brahmanas that are well conversant with the Vedas, and restrains his soul, is, O monarch, regarded as the true renouncer.  He, however, who, disregarding (a life of domesticity, that is) the source of much happiness, jumps to the next mode of life,—­that renouncer of his own self,[23] O monarch, is a renouncer labouring under the quality of darkness.  That man who is homeless, who roves over the world (in his mendicant rounds), who has the foot of a tree for his shelter, who observes the vow of taciturnity, never cooks for himself, and seeks to restrain all the functions of his senses, is, O Partha, a renouncer in the observance of the vow of mendicancy.[24] That Brahmana who, disregarding wrath and joy, and especially deceitfulness, always employs his time in the study of the Vedas, is a renouncer in the observance of the vow of mendicancy.[25] The four different modes of life were at one time weighed in the balance.  The wise have said, O king, that when domesticity was placed on one scale, it required the three others to be placed on the other for balancing it.  Beholding the result of this examination by scales, O Partha, and seeing further, O Bharata, that domesticity alone contained both heaven and pleasure, that became the way of the great Rishis and the refuge of all persons conversant with the ways of the world.  He, therefore, O bull of Bharata’s race, who betakes himself to this mode of life, thinking it to be his duty and abandoning all desire for fruit, is a real renouncer, and not that man of clouded understanding who goes to the woods, abandoning home and its surroundings.  A person, again, who under the hypocritical garb of righteousness, fails to forget his desires (even while living in the woods), is bound by the grim King of death with his deadly fetters round the neck.  Those acts that are done from vanity, are said to be unproductive of fruit.  Those acts, on the other hand, O monarch I that are done from a spirit of renunciation, always bear abundant fruits.[26] Tranquillity, self-restraint, fortitude, truth, purity, simplicity, sacrifices, perseverance, and righteousness,—­these are always regarded as virtues recommended by the Rishis.  In domesticity, it is said, are acts intended for Pitris, gods, guests.  In this mode of life alone, O monarch, are the threefold aims to be attained.[27] The renouncer that rigidly adheres to this mode of life, in which one is free to do all acts, has not to encounter ruin either here or hereafter.  The sinless Lord of all creatures, of righteous soul, created creatures, with the intention that they would adore him by sacrifices with profuse presents.  Creepers and trees and deciduous herbs, and animals that are clean, and clarified butter, were created

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