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.

“The Chandala said, ’I have become thy friend.  For this reason only I am preaching to thee.  Do what is beneficial.  Do not, from temptation, do what is sinful.’

“Viswamitra said, ’If thou be a friend desirous of my happiness, do thou then raise me up from this distress.  In that case, relinquishing this dog’s haunch, I may consider myself saved by the aid of righteousness (and not by that of sinfulness).’

“The Chandala said, ’I dare not make a present of this piece of meat to thee, nor can I quietly suffer thee to rob me of my own food.  If I give thee this meat and if thou take it, thyself being a Brahmana, both of us will become liable to sink in regions of woe in the next world.’

“Viswamitra said, ’By committing this sinful act today I shall certainly save my life which is very sacred.  Having saved my life, I shall afterwards practise virtue and cleanse my soul.  Tell me which of these two is preferable (to die without food, or save my life by taking this food that is unclean).’

“The Chandala said:  ’In discharging the duties that appertain to one’s order or race, one’s own self is the best judge (of its propriety or impropriety).  Thou thyself knowest which of those two acts is sinful.  He who would regard dog’s meat as clean food, I think, would in matters of food abstain from nothing!’

“Viswamitra said, ’In accepting (an unclean present) or in eating (unclean food) there is sin.  When one’s life, however, is in danger there is no sin in accepting such a present or eating such food.  Besides, the eating of unclean food, when unaccompanied by slaughter and deception and when the act will provoke only mild rebuke, is not matter of much consequence.’

“The Chandala said, ’If this be thy reason for eating unclean food, it is then clear thou dost not regard the Veda and Arya morality.  Taught by what thou art going to do, I see, O foremost of Brahmanas, that there is no sin in disregarding the distinction between food that is clean and food that is unclean.’

“Viswamitra said, ’It is not seen that a person incurs a grave sin by eating (forbidden food).  That one becomes fallen by drinking wine is only a wordy precept (for restraining men from drinking).  The other forbidden acts (of the same species), whatever they be, in fact, every sin, cannot destroy one’s merit.’

“The Chandala said, ’That learned person who takes away dog’s meat from an unworthy place (like this), from an unclean wretch (like me), from one who (like me) leads such a wicked life, commits an act that is opposed to the behaviour of those that are called good.  In consequence, again, of his connection with such a deed, he is certain to suffer the pangs of repentance.’

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