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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.

“Bhishma continued, ’The Chandala, having said these words unto Kusika’s son, became silent.  Viswamitra then, of cultivated understanding, took away that haunch of dog’s meat.  The great ascetic having possessed himself of that piece of dog’s meat for saving his life, took it away into the woods and wished with his wife to eat it.  He resolved that having first gratified the deities according to due rites, he should then eat that haunch of dog’s meat at his pleasure.  Igniting a fire according to the Brahma rites, the ascetic, agreeably to those rites that go by the name of Aindragneya, began himself to cook that meat into sacrificial Charu.  He then, O Bharata, began the ceremonies in honour of the gods and the Pitris, by dividing that Charu into as many portions as were necessary, according to the injunctions of the scriptures, and by invoking the gods with Indra at their head (for accepting their shares).  Meanwhile, the chief of the celestials began to pour copiously.  Reviving all creatures by those showers, he caused plants and herbs to grow once more.  Viswamitra, however, having completed the rites in honour of the gods and the Pitris and having gratified them duly, himself ate that meat.  Burning all his sins afterwards by his penances, the sage, after a long time, acquired the most wonderful (ascetic) success.  Even thus, when the end in view is the preservation of life itself, should a high-souled person possessed of learning and acquainted with means rescue his own cheerless self, when fallen into distress, by all means in his power.  By having recourse to such understanding one should always preserve one’s life.  A person, if alive, can win religious merit and enjoy happiness and prosperity.  For this reason, O son of Kunti, a person of cleansed soul and possessed of learning should live and act in this world, relying upon his own intelligence in discriminating between righteousness and its reverse.’”

SECTION CXLII

“Yudhishthira said, ’If that which is so horrible and which like falsehood should never be an object of regard, be cited (as duty), then what act is there from which I should forbear?  Why also should not robbers then be respected?  I am stupefied!  My heart is pained!  All the ties that bind me to morality are loosened!  I cannot tranquillise my mind and venture to act in the way suggested by you.’

“Bhishma said, ’I do not instruct thee in respect of duty, taught by what I have heard from the Vedas alone.  What I have told thee is the result of wisdom and experience.  This is the honey that the learned have gathered.  Kings should gather wisdom from various sources.  One cannot accomplish his course through the world with the aid of a morality that is one-sided.  Duty must spring from the understanding; and the practices of those that are good should always be ascertained, O son of Kuru!  Attend to these words of mine.  Only kings that are possessed of superior intelligence

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