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.

“The she-pigeon said, ’Whether I have any merit or not, verily there is no limit to any good fortune when my dear lord thus speaks of me.  She is no wife with whom her lord is not content.  In the case of women, if their lords be gratified with them all the deities also become so.  Since the marriage union takes place in the presence of fire, the husband is the wife’s highest deity.  That wife with whom her husband is not pleased becomes consumed into ashes, even like a creeper adorned with bunches of flowers in a forest conflagration.’  Having reflected thus, the she-pigeon, afflicted with woe, and immured by the fowler within his cage, thus spoke unto her woe-stricken lord, ’I shall say what is now beneficial for thee.’  Hearing me follow thou my counsel, O dear lord, be thou the rescuer of a suppliant.  This fowler lies here by thy abode, afflicted with cold and hunger.  Do him the duties of hospitality.  The sin that a person commits by slaying a Brahmana or that mother of the world, viz., a cow, is equal to that which one incurs by suffering a suppliant to perish (from want of help).  Thou art possessed of knowledge of self.  It ever behoves one like thee, therefore, to follow that course which has been ordained for us as pigeons by the order of our birth.[434] It has been heard by us that the householder who practises virtue according to the measure of his abilities, wins hereafter inexhaustible regions of bliss.  Thou hast sons.  Thou hast progeny.  O bird, casting off all kindness for thy own body, therefore, and for winning virtue and profit, offer worship to this fowler so that his heart may be pleased.  Do not, O bird, indulge in any grief on my account. (See, how unimportant I am!) Thou mayst continue to live, taking other wives!’ The amiable she-pigeon, overcome with sorrow, and casting her eyes upon her lord from the fowler’s cage within which she had been immured, said these words unto him.’”


“Bhishma said, ’Hearing these words fraught with morality and reason that were spoken by his wife, the pigeon became filled with great delight and his eyes were bathed in tears of joy.  Beholding that fowler whose avocation was the slaughter of birds, the pigeon honoured him scrupulously according to the rites laid down in the ordinance.  Addressing him, he said, ’Thou art welcome today.  Tell me, what I shall do for thee.  Thou shouldst not repine.  This is thy home.[435] Tell me quickly what I am to do and what is thy pleasure.  I ask thee this in affection, for thou hast solicited shelter at our hands.  Hospitality should be shown to even one’s foe when he comes to one’s house.  The tree withdraws not its shade from even the person that approaches it for cutting it down.  One should, with scrupulous care, do the duties of hospitality towards a person that craves for shelter.  Indeed, one is especially bound to do so if one happens to lead a life of domesticity that consists of the five

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