“Vodhya said, ’I conduct myself according to the instructions of others but never instruct others myself. I shall, however, mention the indications of those instructions (according to which my conduct is framed). Thou mayst catch their spirit by reflection. My six preceptors are Pingala, the osprey, the snake, the bee in the forest, the maker of shafts (in the story), and the maiden (in the story)!’
“Bhishma continued, ’Hope is very powerful (in agitating the heart), O King! Freedom from hope is high felicity. Reducing hope to an absence of expectation, Pingala sleeps in peace. Beholding an osprey with meat in his beaks, others, that have not found any meat, assail and destroy him. A certain osprey, by altogether abstaining from meat obtained felicity. To build a house for one’s own self is productive of sorrow and not of happiness. The snake, taking up his residence in another creature’s abode, lives in felicity. The ascetics live happily, betaking themselves to mendicancy, without being injured by any creature, like bees in the forest. A certain maker of shafts, while employed at his work, was so deeply attentive to it that he did not notice the king who passed by his side. When many are together, dispute ensues. Even when two reside together, they are sure to converse. I, however, wander alone like the anklet made of sea-shells in the wrist of the maiden in the story.’"
“Yudhishthira said, ’O thou that art conversant with the conduct of men, tell me by what conduct a person may succeed in this world, freed from grief. How also should a person act in this world so that he may attain to an excellent end?’
“Bhishma said, ’In this connection is cited the old story of the discourse between Prahlada and the sage Ajagara. Once on a time king Prahlada of great intelligence questioned a wandering Brahmana of great intelligence and a cleansed and tranquil soul.’
“Prahlada said, ’Freed from desire, with a cleansed soul, possessed of humility and self-restraint, without desire of action, free from malice, agreeable in speech, endued with dignity and intelligence and wisdom, thou livest (in simplicity) like a child. Thou never covetest any kind of gain, and never grievest at any kind of loss. Thou art always contented, O Brahmana, and dost not seem to regard anything in the world. While all other creatures are being