The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,886 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3.

“Vyasa said, ’O Bharata, is the Supreme Being the doer, or is man the doer?  Is everything the result of Chance in the world, or are the fruits that we enjoy or suffer, the results of (previous) action?  If man, O Bharata, does all acts, good or bad, being urged thereto by the Supreme Being, then the fruits of those acts should attach to the Supreme being himself.  If a person cuts down, with an axe, a tree in forest, it is the person that incurs the sin and not the axe by any means.  Or, if it be said that, the axe being only the material cause, the consequence of the act (of cutting) should attach to the animate agent (and not to the inanimate tool), then the sin may be said to belong to the person that has made the axe.  This, however, can scarcely be true.  If this be not reasonable, O son of Kunti, that one man should incur the consequence of an act done by another, then, guided by this, thou shouldst throw all responsibility upon the Supreme Being.[105] If, again, man be himself the agent of all his acts virtuous and sinful, then Supreme Director there is none, and, therefore, whatever thou hast done cannot bring evil consequences on thee.[106] No one, O king, can ever turn away from that which is destined.  If, again, Destiny be the result of the acts of former lives, then no sin can attach to one in this life even as the sin of cutting down a tree cannot touch the maker of the axe.[107] If thou thinkest it is chance only that acts in the world, then such an act of destruction could never happen nor will ever happen.[108] If it is necessary to ascertain what is good and what is evil in the world, attend to the scriptures.  In those scriptures it has been laid down that kings should stand with the rod of chastisement uplifted in their hands.  I think, O Bharata, that acts, good and bad, are continually revolving here as a wheel, and men obtain the fruits of those acts, good or bad, that they do.  One sinful act proceeds from another.  Therefore, O tiger among kings, avoid all evil acts and do not thus set thy heart upon grief.  Thou shouldst adhere, O Bharata, to the duties, even if reproachable, of thy own order.  This self-destruction, O king, does not look well in thee.  Expiations, O king, have been ordained for (evil) acts.  He that is alive can perform them, but he that dies fails in their performance.  Therefore, O king without laying down thy life, perform those expiatory acts.  If thou dost not perform them thou mayst have to repent in the next world.’


“Yudhishthira said, ’Sons and grandsons and brothers and sires and fathers-in-law and preceptors and maternal uncles and grandsires, many high-souled Kshatriyas, many relatives (by marriage), friends, companions, sister’s sons, and kinsmen, O grandsire, and many foremost of men coming from diverse countries, have fallen.  All these, O grandsire, have been caused to be slain by myself alone, from desire of

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