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? 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!
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. 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