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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.
every sin except those that are called Mahapatakas (highly heinous sins).  As regards sins in respect of unclean food and the like, and improper speeches, etc., they are of two classes, viz., those committed consciously and those that are committed unconsciously.  All sins that are committed consciously are grave, while those that are committed unconsciously are trivial or light.  There is expiation for both.  Indeed sin is capable of being washed away by (observance of) the ordinances spoken of.  Those ordinances, however, have been laid down only for believers (in God) and those that have faith.  They are not for atheists or those that have no faith, or those in whom pride and malice predominate.  A person, O tiger among men, that is desirous of weal both here and hereafter, should, O foremost of virtuous men, have recourse to righteous behaviour, to (the counsels of) men that are righteous, and to the duties that have been ordained for him.  Therefore, for the reasons already advanced (by me), thou, O king, shalt be cleansed of all thy sins for thou hast slain thy foes in the discharge of thy duties as a king and for the protection of thy life-breath and thy inheritance.  Or, if not withstanding this, thou still regardest thyself to be sinful, perform expiation.  Do not cast away thy life in consequence of such grief that is not becoming a wise man.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ’Thus addressed by the holy Rishi, king Yudhishthira the just, having reflected for a short while, said these words unto the sage.’”

SECTION XXXVII

“Yudhishthira said, ’Tell me, O grandfather, what food is clean and what unclean, what gift is praiseworthy, and who should be considered deserving and who undeserving (of gifts).’

“Vyasa said, ’In this connection is cited the old account of a discourse between the ascetics and that lord of creation, viz., Manu.  In the Krita age, an assembly of Rishis, of rigid vows, having approached the great and puissant lord of creation, Manu, while seated at his ease, solicited him to discourse on duties, saying, ’What food should be taken, who is to be regarded a deserving person (for gifts), what gifts should be made, how should a person study, and what penances should one perform and how, and what acts should be done and what acts should not be done, O lord of creation, tell us everything about all this.’  Thus addressed by them, the divine and self-born Manu said unto them, ’Listen to me as I expound the duties in brief and in detail.  In regions which have not been interdicted, silent recitation (of sacred mantras, homa), fasts, knowledge of self, sacred rivers, regions inhabited by men devoted to this pious acts,—­these have been laid down as acts and objects that are cleansing.  Certain mountains also are cleansing, as also the eating of gold and bathing in waters into which have been dipped gems and precious stones.  Sojourn to holy

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