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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.
are the virtue of the hour.  This one may come back to life!  Spreading a few blades of Kusa grass on the ground and abandoning that dear child on the crematorium, why do ye go away with hearts of steel and casting off every affection for the darling?  Surely, ye have no affection for that sweet-speeched child of tender years, whose words, as soon as they left his lips, used to gladden you greatly.  Behold the affection that even birds and beasts bear towards their offspring.  Theirs is no return for bringing up their young ones.  Like the sacrifices of the Rishis (that are never undertaken from desire of fruit or rewards) the affection of quadrupeds of birds and insects, bears no reward in heaven.  Though delighting in their children, they are never seen to derive any benefit from the latter either here or hereafter.  ’Yet they cherish their young ones with affection.  Their children, growing up, never cherish them in age.  Yet are not they grieved when they do not behold their little ones?  Where, indeed, is affection to be seen in human beings that they would own the influence of grief?[448] Where would you go leaving here this child who is the perpetuator of his race?  Do you shed tears for him for some time, and do you look at him a little longer with affection?  Objects so dear are, indeed, difficult to abandon.  It is friends and not others that wait by the side of him that is weak, of him that is prosecuted in a court of law, of him that is borne towards the crematorium.  Life-breaths are dear unto all, and all feel the influence of affection.  Behold the affection that is cherished by even those that belong to the intermediate species![449] How, indeed, can you go away, casting off this boy of eyes large as the petals of the lotus, and handsome as a newly-married youth washed clean and adorned with floral garlands?’ Hearing these words of the jackal that had been indulging in such expressions of touching grief, the men turned back for the sake of the corpse.’

“The vulture said, ’Alas, ye men destitute of strength of mind, why do ye turn back at the bidding of a cruel and mean jackal of little intelligence?  Why do you mourn for that compound of five elements deserted by their presiding deities, no longer tenanted (by the soul), motionless, and stiff as a piece of wood?  Why do you not grieve for your own selves?  Do you practise austere penances by which you will succeed in cleansing yourselves from sin?  Everything may be had by means of penances.  What will lamentations do? ill-luck is born with the body.[450] It is in consequence of that ill-luck that this boy has departed, plunging you into infinite grief.  Wealth, kine, gold, precious gems, children, all have their root in penances.  Penances again are the results of yoga (union of the soul with Godhead).  Amongst creatures, the measure of weal or woe is dependent on the acts of a previous life.  Indeed, every creature comes into the world taking with him his own measure of weal and woe.  The son is not bound

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