is immortal, should be regarded as both a father and
a mother. The disciple, in grateful recognition
of what the instructor has done, should never do anything
that would injure the latter. They that do not
reverence their preceptors after receiving instruction
from them by obeying them dutifully in thought and
deed, incur the sin of killing a foetus. There
is no sinner in this world like them. Preceptors
always show great affection for their disciples.
The latter should, therefore, show their preceptors
commensurate reverence. He, therefore, that wishes
to earn that high merit which has existed from ancient
days, should worship and adore his preceptors and
cheerfully share with them every object of enjoyment.
With him who pleases his father is pleased Prajapati
himself. He who pleases his mother gratifies the
earth herself. He who pleases his preceptor gratifies
Brahma by his act. For this reason, the preceptor
is worthy of greater reverence than either the father
or the mother. If preceptors are worshipped, the
very Rishis, and the gods, together with the Pitris,
are all pleased. Therefore, the preceptor is
worthy of the highest reverence. The preceptor
should never be disregarded in any manner by the disciple.
Neither the mother nor the father deserves such regard
as the preceptor. The father, the mother, and
the preceptor, should never be insulted. No act
of theirs should be found fault with. The gods
and the great Rishis are pleased with him that behaves
with reverence towards his preceptors. They that
injure in thought and deed their preceptors, or fathers,
or mothers, incur the sin of killing a foetus.
There is no sinner in the world equal to them.
That son of the sire’s loins and the mother’s
womb, who, being brought up by them and when he comes
to age, does not support them in his turn, incurs
the sin of killing a foetus. There is no sinner
in the world like unto him. We have never heard
that these four, viz
., he who injures a friend,
he who is ungrateful, he who slays a woman, and he
who slays a preceptor, ever succeed in cleansing themselves.
I have now told thee generally all that a person should
do in this world. Besides those duties that I
have indicated, there is nothing productive of greater
felicity. Thinking of all duties, I have told
thee their essence.’”
“Yudhishthira said, ’How, O Bharata, should
a person act who desires to adhere to virtue?
O bull of Bharata’s race, possessed as thou art
of learning, tell me this, questioned by me.
Truth and falsehood exist, covering all the worlds.
Which of these two, O king, should a person adopt
that is firm in virtue? What again is truth?
What is falsehood? What, again, is eternal virtue?
On what occasions should a person tell the truth,
and on what occasions should he tell an untruth?’