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.


Vaisampayana said, “After this, Yudhishthira, saluted his grandsire, viz. the son of Ganga, and with joined hands and concentrated attention, once more asked him, saying, ’What are the general duties of the four orders of men, and what the special duties of each order?  What mode of life should be adopted by which order?  What duties are especially called the duties of kings?  By what means does a kingdom grow, and what are those means by which the king himself grows?  How also, O bull of Bharata’s race, do the citizens and the servants of the king grow?  What sorts of treasuries, punishments, forts, allies, counsellors, priests, and preceptors, should a king avoid?[179] Whom should the king trust in what kinds of distress and danger?  From what evils should the king guard himself firmly?  Tell me all this, O grandsire!’

“Bhishma said, ’I bow down to Dharma who is great, and to Krishna who is Brahma.  Having bowed down also unto the Brahmanas (assembled here), I shall discourse on duties that are eternal.  The suppression of wrath, truthfulness of speech, justice, forgiveness, begetting children upon one’s own wedded wives, purity of conduct, avoidance of quarrel, simplicity, and maintenance of dependants, these nine duties belong to all the four orders (equally).  Those duties, however, which belong exclusively to Brahmanas, I shall now tell thee.  Self-restraint, O king, has been declared to be the first duty of Brahmanas.  Study of the Vedas, and patience in undergoing austerities, (are also their other duties).  By practising these two, all their acts are accomplished.  If while engaged in the observance of his own duties, without doing any improper act, wealth comes to a peaceful Brahmana possessed of knowledge, he should then marry and seek to beget children and should also practise charity and perform sacrifices.  It has been declared by the wise that wealth thus obtained should be enjoyed by distributing it (among deserving persons and relatives).  By his study of the Vedas all the pious acts (laid down for the Brahmana) are accomplished.  Whether he does or does not achieve anything else, if he devotes himself to the study of the Vedas, he becomes (by that) known as a Brahmana or the friend of all creatures.  I shall also tell thee, O Bharata, what the duties are of a Kshatriya.  A Kshatriya, O king, should give but not beg, should himself perform sacrifices but not officiate as a priest in the sacrifices of others.  He should never teach (the Vedas) but study (them with a Brahmana preceptor).  He should protect the people.  Always exerting himself for the destruction of robbers and wicked people, he should put forth his prowess in battle.  Those among Kshatriya rulers who perform great sacrifices, who are possessed of a knowledge of the Vedas, and who gain victories in battle, become foremost of those that acquire many blessed regions hereafter by their merit.  Persons conversant with

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