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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.
of those creatures that have hands!  We covet hands as eagerly as you covet riches.  There is no acquisition that is more valuable than the acquisition of hands.  Behold, O Brahmana, I cannot extract this thorn that has entered my body, or crush these insects and worms that are biting and afflicting me greatly!  They that have bestowed upon them two hands with ten fingers, succeed in throwing away or crushing the worms (by scratching) that bite their limbs.  They succeed in constructing shelters for themselves from rain, cold, and heat.  They succeed also in enjoying excellent clothes for themselves, good food, comfortable beds, and excellent habitations.  Lying on this Earth, they that have hands enjoy kine and other animals and cause them to carry burthens or drag their vehicles, and by the aid of diverse means bring those animals under sway (for their own purposes).  Those living creatures that are without tongues, that are helpless, of little strength, and destitute of hands, bear all the several kinds of misery (indicated above).  By good luck, O ascetic, thou art not like them.  By good luck, thou art not a jackal, nor a worm, nor a mouse, nor a frog, nor an animal of any other miserable order.  With this measure of gain (that thou hast won), thou shouldst, O Kasyapa, be contented!  How happy, again, shouldst thou feel at the thought that amongst living creatures thou art a superior Brahmana!  These worms are biting me!  For want of hands I am unable to drive them off.  Behold this my miserable plight!  I do not cast off life because to do so is a very sinful act, and lest, indeed, I fall into a more miserable order of existence!  This order of existence, viz., that of a jackal, to which I now belong is rather tolerable.  Miserable as it is, there are many orders of existence below it that are more miserable still.  By birth certain classes of creatures become happier than others who become subject to great woe.  But I never see that there is any order of being which can be said to be in the possession of perfect happiness.  Human beings, obtaining affluence, next wish for sovereignty.  Having achieved sovereignty their next wish is for the status of gods.  Having won that status they then wish for the chiefdom of the celestials.  If thou becomest affluent, thou wilt never succeed in becoming a king (for thou art a Brahmana by birth), nor in becoming a god (because, in reality, thy status of Brahmanahood is equal if not superior to that of a god).  If by any means (led away by the alluring prospect of heavenly bliss) thou becomest a god (instead of attaining to a superior position), thou wilt then covet for the chiefdom of the gods.  In no condition wilt thou be contented.  Contentment does not result from acquisition of desirable objects.  Thirst is never slaked although there is profusion of water.[539] The thirst for acquisition only blazes up with each fresh acquisition like a fire with new faggots thrown into it.  In thee there is grief.  But joy
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