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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.
rescuing his deceased ancestors.  Upon such second wedding, the first wife becomes cleansed and her husband himself would not incur sin by taking her.  Men conversant with the scriptures declare that women may be cleansed of even the greatest sins by observing the vow of chaturmasya, all the while living upon scanty and cleansing food.  Persons conversant with the scriptures do not take into account the sins that women may commit at heart.  Whatever their sins (of this description), they are cleansed by their menstrual course like a metallic plate that is scoured with ashes.  Plates (made of the alloy of brass and copper) stained by a Sudra eating off it, or a vessel of the same metal that has been smelt by a cow, or stained by a Brahmana’s Gandusha, may be cleansed by means of the ten purifying substances.[117] It has been laid down that a Brahmana should acquire and practise the full measure of virtue.  For a person at the kingly order it has been laid down that he should acquire and practise a measure of virtue less by a fourth part.  So, a Vaisya should acquire a measure less (than a Kshatriya’s) by a fourth and a Sudra less (than a Vaisya’s) by a fourth.  The heaviness or lightness of sins (for purposes of expiation) of each of the four orders, should be determined upon this principle.  Having slain a bird or an animal, or cut down living trees, a person should publish his sin and fast for three nights.  By having intercourse with one with whom intercourse is prohibited, the expiation for one is wandering in wet clothes and sleeping on a bed of ashes.  These, O king, are the expiations for sinful acts, according to precedent and reason and scriptures and the ordinances.  A Brahmana may be cleansed of all sins by reciting the Gayatri in a sacred place, all the while living upon frugal fare, casting off malice, abandoning wrath and hate, unmoved by praise and blame, and abstaining from speech.  He should during the day-time be under shelter of the sky and should lie down at night even at such a place.  Thrice during the day, and thrice during the night, he should also plunge with his clothes into a stream or lake for performing his ablutions.  Observant of rigid vows, he should abstain from speech with women, Sudras, and fallen persons.  A Brahmana by observing such regulations may be cleansed of all sins unconsciously committed by him.  A person obtains in the other world the fruits, good or bad, of his acts here which are all witnessed by the elements.  Be it virtue or be it vice, according to the true measure that one acquires of either, one enjoys or suffers the consequences (even here).  By knowledge, by penances, and by righteous acts, therefore, one enhances his weal (even here).  One, therefore may similarly enhance his misery by committing unrighteous acts.  One should, therefore, always achieve acts that are righteous and abstain altogether from those that are unrighteous.  I have now indicated what the expiations are of the sins that have been mentioned.  There is expiation for
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