The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,413 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3.
Let us attain to that region which is intended for them.  Manu himself has said that those heroes repair to the region of Brahman.  As persons become cleansed of all their sins by undergoing the final bath on a horse-sacrifice even so they that die at the edge of weapons while fighting wicked people, become cleansed of their sins.  Righteousness becomes unrighteousness, and unrighteousness becomes righteousness, according to place and time.  Such is the power of place and time (in determining the character of human acts).  The friends of humanity, by doing even acts of cruelty, have attained to high heaven.  Righteous Kshatriyas, by doing even sinful acts, have attained to blessed ends.[235] The Brahmana, by taking up arms on these three occasions, does not incur sin, viz., for protecting himself, for compelling the other orders to betake themselves to their duties, and for chastising robbers.’

“Yudhishthira said, ’If when robbers raise their heads and an inter-mixture of the orders begins to take place in consequence of confusion, and Kshatriyas become incompetent, some powerful person other than a Kshatriya seeks to subdue those robbers for the sake of protecting the people,[236] indeed, O best of kings, if that powerful person happens to be a Brahmana or a Vaisya or a Sudra, and if he succeeds in protecting the people by righteously wielding the rod of chastisement is he justified in doing what he does or is he restrained by the ordinances from accomplishing that duty?  It seems that others, when the Kshatriyas prove so wretched, should take up weapons.’

“Bhishma said, ’Be he a Sudra or be he the member of any other orders, he that becomes a raft on a raftless current, or a means of crossing where means there are none, certainly deserves respect in every way.  That person, O king, relying upon whom helpless men, oppressed and made miserable by robbers, live happily, deserve to be lovingly worshipped by all as if he were a near kinsman.  The person, O thou of Kuru’s race, that dispels the fears of others, always deserves respect.  What use is there of bulls that would not bear burthens, or of kine that would not yield milk, or of a wife that is barren?  Similarly, what need is there for a king that is not competent to grant protection?  As an elephant made of wood, or a deer made of leather, as a person without wealth, or one that is a eunuch, or a field that is sterile, even so is a Brahmana that is void of Vedic lore and a king incapable of granting protection?  Both of them are like a cloud that does not pour rain.  That person who always protects the good and restrains the wicked deserves to become a king and to govern the world.’”

SECTION LXXIX

“Yudhishthira said, ’What, O grandsire, should be the acts and what the behaviour of persons employed as priests in our sacrifices?  What sort of persons should they be, O king?  Tell me all this, O foremost of speakers.’

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