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.

“Gotama said, “By doing what acts does one liberate one’s self from the debt One owes to one’s mother and father?  How also does one succeed in winning regions of pure bliss that are so difficult of attainment?’

“Yama said, ’Devoting one’s self to the duty of truth, and practising purity and penances one should ceaselessly worship one’s mother and father.  One should also perform Horse-sacrifices with presents in profusion unto the Brahmanas.  By such acts one wins many regions (of felicity) of wonderful aspect.’”


“Yudhishthira said, ’What course of conduct should be adopted by a king shorn of friends, having many enemies, possessed of an exhausted treasury, and destitute of troops, O Bharata!  What, indeed, should be his conduct when he is surrounded by wicked ministers, when his counsels are all divulged, when he does not see his way clearly before him, when he assails another kingdom, when he is engaged in grinding a hostile kingdom, and when though weak he is at war with a stronger ruler?  What, indeed, should be the conduct of a king the affairs of whose kingdom are ill-regulated, and who disregards the requirements of place and time, who is unable, in consequence of his oppressions, to bring about peace and cause disunion among his foes?  Should he seek the acquisition of wealth by evil means, or should he lay down his life without seeking wealth?’

“Bhishma said, ’Conversant as thou art with duties, thou hast, O bull of Bharata’s race, asked me a question relating to mystery (in connection with duties).[388] Without being questioned, O Yudhishthira, I could not venture to discourse upon this duty.  Morality is very subtle.  One understands it, O bull of Bharata’s race, by the aid of the texts of scriptures.  By remembering what one has heard and by practising good acts, some one in some place may become a righteous person.  By acting with intelligence the king may or may not succeed in acquiring wealth.[389] Aided by thy own intelligence do thou think what answer should be given to thy question on this head.  Listen, O Bharata, to the means, fraught with great merit, by which kings may conduct themselves (during seasons of distress).  For the sake of true morality, however, I would not call those means righteous.  If the treasury be filled by oppression, conduct like this brings the king to the verge of destruction.  Even this is the conclusion of all intelligent men who have thought upon the subject.  The kind of scriptures or science which one always studies gives him the kind of knowledge which it is capable of giving.  Such Knowledge verily becomes agreeable to him.  Ignorance leads to barrenness of invention in respect of means.  Contrivance of means, again, through the aid of knowledge, becomes the source of great felicity.  Without entertaining any scruples and any malice,[390] listen to these instructions.  Through the decrease of the treasury,

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