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.


“Yudhishthira said, ’O grandsire, O thou of virtuous soul, what, indeed, is said to be productive of great merit[458] for a person attentively engaged in the study of the Vedas and desirous of acquiring virtue?  That which is regarded in this world as productive of high merit is of diverse kinds as set forth in the scriptures.  Tell me, O grandsire, about that which is regarded as such both here and hereafter.  The path of duty is long and has innumerable branches, O Bharata!  Amongst those duties what are those few that should, according to thee, be preferred to all others for observance?  Tell me, O king, in detail, about that which is so comprehensive and which is so many-branched.’

“Bhishma said, ’I shall speak to thee of that by which thou mayst attain to high merit.  Possessed as thou art of wisdom, thou shalt be gratified with the knowledge.  I will impart to thee, like a person gratified with having quaffed nectar.  The rules of duty that have been uttered by the great Rishis, each relying upon his own wisdom, are many.  The highest among them all is self-restraint.  Those amongst the ancients that were acquainted with truth said that self-restraint leads to the highest merit.  As regards the Brahmana in particular, self-restraint is his eternal duty.  It is from self-restraint that he obtains the due fruition of his acts.  Self-restraint, in his case, surpasses (in merit) charity and sacrifice and study of the Vedas.  Self-restraint enhances (his) energy.  Self-restraint is highly sacred.  Through self-restraint a man becomes cleansed of all his sins and endued with energy, and as a consequence, attains to the highest blessedness.  We have not heard that there is any other duty in all the worlds that can equal self-restraint.  Self-restraint, according to all virtuous persons, is the highest of virtues in this world.  Through self-restraint, O foremost of men, a person acquires the highest happiness both here and hereafter.  Endued with self-restraint, one acquires great virtue.  The self-restrained man sleeps in felicity and awakes in felicity, and moves through the world in felicity.  His mind is always cheerful.  The man who is without self-restraint always suffers misery.  Such a man brings upon himself many calamities all born of his own faults.  It has been said that in all the four modes of life self-restraint is the best of vows.  I shall now tell thee those indications whose sum total is called self-restraint.  Forgiveness, patience, abstention from injury, impartiality, truth, sincerity, conquest of the senses, cleverness, mildness, modesty, steadiness, liberality, freedom from wrath, contentment, sweetness of speech, benevolence, freedom from malice,—­the union of all these is self-restraint.  It also consists, O son of Kuru, of veneration for the preceptor and universal compassion.  The self-restrained man avoids both adulation and slander.  Depravity,

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