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.
his foes in battle, a Kshatriya should die at the edge of keen weapons.  Moved by desire of enjoyment and filled with rage, a hero fights furiously and does not feel the wounds inflicted on his limbs by foes.  Encountering death in battle, he earns that high merit fraught with fame and respect of the world which belongs to his or her and ultimately obtains a residence in Indra’s heaven.  The hero, by not showing his back in fight and contending by every means in his power, in utter recklessness of life itself, at the van of battle, obtains the companionship of Indra.  Wherever the hero encountered death in the midst, of foes without displaying ignoble fear or cheerlessness, he has succeeded in earning regions hereafter of eternal bliss.’”

SECTION XCVIII

“Yudhishthira said, ’Tell me, O grand-sire, what regions are earned by unreturning heroes by encountering death in battle.”

“Bhishma, said, ’In this connection, O Yudhishthira, is cited the old story of the discourse between Amvarisha and Indra.  Amvarisha, the son of Nabhaga, having repaired to heaven that is so difficult of acquisition, beheld his own generalissimo in those celestial regions in the company of Indra.  The king saw his puissant general blazing with every kind of energy, endued with celestial form, seated on a very beautiful car, and journeying (in that vehicle) up and up towards still higher regions.  Beholding the prosperity of his general Sudeva, and observing how he traversed regions that were still higher, the high-souled Amvarisha, filled with surprise, addressed Vasava, in the following words.’

“Amvarisha said, ’Having duly governed the whole earth bounded by the seas, having from desire of earning religious merit practised all those duties that are common to the four orders as declared by the scriptures, having practised with rigid austerity all the duties of the Brahmacharya mode, having waited with dutiful obedience upon my preceptors and other reverend seniors, having studied with due observances the Vedas and the scriptures on kingly duties, having gratified guests with food and drink, the Pitris with offerings in Sraddhas, the Rishis with attentive study of the scriptures and with initiation (under proper forms into the mysteries of religion), and the gods with many excellent and high sacrifices, having duly observed Kshatriya duties according to the injunctions of the scriptures, having cast my eyes fearlessly upon hostile troops, I won many victories in battle, O Vasava!  This Sudeva, O chief of the deities, was formerly the generalissimo of my forces.  It is true.  He was a warrior of tranquil soul.  For what reason, however, has he succeeded in transcending me?  He never worshipped the gods in high and great sacrifices.  He never gratified the Brahmanas (by frequent and costly presents) according to the ordinance.  For what reason, then, has he succeeded in transcending me?’

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