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.
them?  They, on the other hand, who have reverence for gods and guests, who are liberal, who are fond of good and honest men, go, in consequence of their acts of charity, along that happy way which belongs to persons of cleansed souls.  They that have no reverence for virtue are as vile among men as seedless grains among corn or the gnat among birds.  That which is ordained in consequence of the acts of a past life pursues the actor even if the latter strives his best for leaving it behind.[544] It sleeps when he sleeps and does whatever else he does.[545] Like his shadow it rests when he rests, proceeds when he proceeds, and acts when he acts.  Whatever acts a man does he has certainly to obtain the fruits thereof.  Death is dragging all creatures who are surely destined to fall (into orders of existence they deserve) and who are surely ’liable to enjoy or suffer that which has been ordained as the consequence of their acts.  The acts of a past life develop their consequences in their own proper time even as flowers and fruits, without extraneous efforts of any kind, never fail to appear when their proper time comes.  After the consequences, as ordained, of the acts of a past life, have been exhausted (by enjoyment or sufferings), honour and disgrace, gain and loss, decay and growth, no longer flow or appear in respect of any one.  This happens repeatedly.[546] A creature while still in the mother’s womb enjoys or suffers the happiness or the misery that has been ordained for him in consequence of his own acts.  In childhood or youth or old age, at whatever period of life one does an act good or bad, the consequences thereof are sure to visit him in his next life at precisely the same period.  As a calf recognises and approaches its parent in the midst of even a thousand kine, even so the acts of a past life recognise and visit the doer in his new life.  Washed in water a (dirty) piece of cloth becomes clean.  Similarly, men burning in repentance obtain endless happiness by proper penances.[547] Those that can take up their residence in the woods and by performing austerities for a long period can wash themselves of their sins, succeed in obtaining the objects on which they set their hearts.  As no one can mark the track of birds in the sky or of fishes in the water, similarly, the track of persons whose souls have been cleansed by knowledge cannot be marked by any.[548] There is no need of any more eloquence or any more reference to sinful acts.  Suffice it to say that one should, with proper judgment and as befits one best, do what is for one’s good.  This is the means by which wisdom and high felicity may be achieved.’”

SECTION CLXXXII

“Yudhishthira said, ’Whence has this universe consisting of mobile and immobile creatures been created?  Whom does it go to when destruction sets in?  Tell me this, O grandsire!  Indeed, by whom has this universe with its oceans, its firmament, its mountains, its clouds, its lands, its fire, and its wind, been created.  How were all objects created?  Whence this division into separate orders of existence?  Whence are their purity and impurity, and the ordinances about virtue and vice?  Of what kind is the life of living creatures?  Where also do they go who die.  Tell us everything about this and the other world.’

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