The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,413 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3.

“The son said, ’When the world is thus surrounded on all sides and is thus assailed, and when such irresistible things of fatal consequences fall upon it, how can you say these words so calmly?’

“The sire said, How is the world assailed?  What is that by which it is surrounded?  What, again, are those irresistible things of fatal consequences that fall upon it?  Why dost thou frighten me thus?’

“The son said, ’Death is that by which the world is assailed.  Decrepitude encompasses it.  Those irresistible things that come and go away are the nights (that are continually lessening the period of human life).  When I know that Death tarries for none (but approaches steadily towards every creature), how can I pass my time without covering myself with the garb of knowledge?[514] When each succeeding night, passing away lessens the allotted period of one’s existence, the man of wisdom should regard the day to be fruitless. (When death is approaching steadily) who is there that would, like a fish in a shallow water, feel happy?  Death comes to a man before his desires have been gratified.  Death snatches away a person when he is engaged in plucking flowers and when his heart is otherwise set, like a tigress bearing away a ram.  Do thou, this very day, accomplish that which is for thy good.  Let not this Death come to thee.  Death drags its victims before their acts are accomplished.  The acts of tomorrow should be done today, those of the afternoon in the forenoon.  Death does not wait to see whether the acts of its victim have all been accomplished or not.  Who knows that Death will not come to him even today?  In prime of age one should betake oneself to the practice of virtue.  Life is transitory.  If virtue be practised, fame here and felicity hereafter will be the consequences.  Overwhelmed by ignorance, one is ready to exert oneself for sons and wives.  Achieving virtuous or vicious acts, one brings them up and aggrandises them.  Like a tiger bearing away a sleeping deer, Death snatches away the man addicted to the gratification of desire and engaged in the enjoyment of sons and animals.  Before he has been able to pluck the flowers upon which he has set his heart, before he has been gratified by the acquisition of the objects of his desire, Death bears him away like a tiger bearing away its prey.  Death overpowers a man while the latter is stilt in the midst of the happiness that accrues from the gratification of desire, and while, still thinking, ’This has been done; this is to be done; this has been half-done.’  Death bears away the man, however designated according to his profession, attached to his field, his shop, or his home, before he has obtained the fruit of his acts.  Death bears away the weak, the strong, the brave, the timid, the idiotic, and the learned, before any of these obtains the fruits of his acts.  When death, decrepitude, disease, and sorrow arising from diverse causes, are all residing in thy body,

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