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.
places, and eating of sanctified butter—­these also, without doubt speedily cleanse a man.  No man would ever be called wise if he is indulged in pride.  If he wishes to be long-lived, he should for three nights drink hot water (as an expiation for having indulged in pride).  Refusal to appropriate what is not given, gift, study (of scriptures), penance, abstention from injury, truth, freedom from wrath, and worship of the gods in sacrifices,—­these are the characteristics of virtue.  That again which is virtue may, according to time and place, be sin.  Thus appropriation (of what belongs to others), untruth, and injury and killing, may under special circumstances, become virtue.  With respect to persons capable of judging, acts are of two kinds, viz., virtuous and sinful.  From the worldly and the Vedic points of view again, virtue and sin are good or bad (according to their consequences).  From the Vedic point of view, virtue and sin (i.e., everything a man may do or not do), would be classed under action and inaction.  Inaction (i.e., abstention from Vedic rites and adoption of a life of contemplation) leads to emancipation (from rebirth); while the consequences of action (i.e., practice of Vedic rites) are repeated death and rebirth.  From the worldly point of view, acts that are evil lead to evil and those that are good to consequences that are good.  From the worldly point of view, therefore, virtue and sin are to be distinguished by the good and the evil character of their consequences.[118] Acts that are (apparently) evil, when undertaken from considerations connected with the gods, the scriptures, life itself, and the means by which life is sustained, produce consequences that are good.  When an act is undertaken from the expectation, however doubtful, that it will produce mischief (to some one) in the future, or when an act is done whose consequence is visibly mischievous, expiation has been laid down.  When an act is done from wrath or clouded judgment, then expiation should be performed by giving pain to the body, guided by precedent, by scriptures, and by reason.  When anything, again, is done for pleasing or displeasing the mind, the sin arising therefrom may be cleansed by sanctified food and recitation of mantras.  The king who lays aside (in a particular case) the rod of chastisement, should fast for one night.  The priest who (in a particular case) abstains from advising the king to inflict punishment, should fast for three nights as an expiation.  The person who, from grief, attempts to commit suicide by means of weapons, should fast for three nights.  There is no expiation for them that cast off the duties and practices of their order and class, country, and family, and that abandon their very creed.  When an occasion for doubt respecting what should be done arises, that should be regarded as the injunction of the scriptures which ten persons versed in Vedic scriptures or three of those that frequently recite them may declare.[119]
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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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