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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,413 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3.

“Bhishma said, ’One should always worship Brahmanas venerable for learning, devoted to penances, and rich in conduct conformable to the injunctions of the Vedas.  This indeed, is a high and sacred duty.  Let thy conduct towards the Brahmanas be always that which thou observest towards the gods.  The Brahmanas, if enraged, can inflict diverse kinds of wrong, O king.  If they be gratified, high fame will be thy share.  If otherwise, great will be thy fear.  If gratified, the Brahmanas become like nectar.  If enraged, they become like poison.’”

SECTION CXLIII

“Yudhishthira said, ’O grandsire, O thou of great wisdom, O thou that are conversant with every kind of scripture, tell me what the merit is of one who cherishes a suppliant that craves for protection.’

“Bhishma said, ’Great is the merit, O monarch, in cherishing a suppliant.  Thou art worthy, O best of the Bharatas, of asking such a question.  Those high-souled kings of old, viz., Sivi and others, O king, attained to great bliss in heaven by having protected suppliants.  It is heard that a pigeon received with respect a suppliant foe according to due rites and even fed him with his own flesh.’

“Yudhishthira said, ’How, indeed, did a pigeon in days of old feed a suppliant foe with his own flesh?  What also was the end, O Bharata, that he won by such conduct?’

“Bhishma said, ’Listen, O king, to this excellent story that cleanses the hearer of every sin, the story, viz., that Bhrigu’s son (Rama) had recited to king Muchukunda.  This very question, O son of Pritha had been put to Bhrigu’s son by Muchukunda with due humility.  Unto him desirous of listening with humility the son of Bhrigu narrated this story of how a pigeon, O monarch, won success (entitling him to the highest heavenly bliss).’

“The sage said, ’O mighty-armed monarch, listen to me as I narrate to thee this story that is fraught with truths connected with Virtue, Profit, and Pleasure.  A wicked and terrible fowler, resembling the Destroyer himself, used in days of old to wander through the great forest.  He was black as a raven and his eyes were of a bloody hue.  He looked like Yama himself.  His legs were long, his feet short, his mouth large, and his cheeks protruding.  He had no friend, no relative, no kinsman.  He had been cast off by them all for the exceedingly cruel life he led.  Indeed, a man of wicked conduct should be renounced from a distance by the wise, for he who injures his own self cannot be expected to do good to others.  Those cruel and wicked-souled men that take the lives of other creatures are always like poisonous snakes, a source of trouble to all creatures.  Taking his nets with him, and killing birds in the woods, he used to sell the meat of those winged creatures, O king (for livelihood).  Following such conduct, the wicked-souled wretch lived for many long years without ever understanding the sinfulness

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