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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.
seek the accomplishment of the business of friends regardless of their own dignity and casting off all the marks of their own respectability, should be regarded as persons with whom alliances (of friendship) should be made.  Indeed, the dominions of that king spread on every direction, like the light of the lord of the stars, who makes alliances of friendship with such superior men.  Alliances should be formed with men that are well-practised in weapons, that have completely subdued their anger, that are always strong in battle and possessed of high birth, good behaviour, and varied accomplishments.  Amongst those vicious men, O sinless one, that I have mentioned, the vilest, O king, are those that are ungrateful and that injure friends.  Those persons of wicked behaviour should be avoided by all.  This, indeed, is a settled conclusion.’

“Yudhishthira said, ’I desire to hear in detail this description.  Tell me who they are that are called injurers of friends and ungrateful persons.’

“Bhishma said, ’I shall recite to thee an old story whose incidents occurred in the country, O monarch, of the Mlecchas that lies to the north.  There was a certain Brahmana belonging to the middle country.  He was destitute of Vedic learning. (One day), beholding a prosperous village, the man entered it from desire of obtaining charity.’[490] In that village lived a robber possessed of great wealth, conversant with the distinctive features of all the orders (of men), devoted to the Brahmanas, firm in truth, and always engaged in my king gifts.  Repairing to the abode of that robber, the Brahmana begged for a alms.  Indeed, he solicited a house to live in and such necessaries of life as would last for one year.  Thus solicited by the Brahmana, the robber gave him a piece of new cloth with its ends complete,[491] and a widowed woman possessed of youth.  Obtaining all those things from the robber, the Brahmana became filled with delight.  Indeed, Gautama began to live happily in that commodious house which the robber assigned to him.  He began to hold the relatives and kinsmen of the female slave he had got from the robber chief.  In this way he lived for many years in that prosperous village of hunters.  He began to practise with great devotion the art of archery.  Every day, like the other robbers residing there, Gautama, O king, went into the woods and slaughtered wild cranes in abundance.  Always engaged in slaughtering living creatures, he became well-skilled in that act and soon bade farewell to compassion.  In consequence of his intimacy with robbers he became like one of them.  As he lived happily in that robber village for many months, large was the number of wild cranes that he slew.  One day another Brahmana came to that village.  He was dressed in rags and deer-skins and bore matted locks on his head.  Of highly pure behaviour, he was devoted to the study of the Vedas.  Of a humble disposition, frugal in fare, devoted to the Brahmanas, thoroughly conversant with the Vedas, and

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