some rich. Here toil, and fear and delusion,
and painful hunger make their appearance. Here
cupidity for wealth is also seen, a passion that stupefies
even those that are learned amongst men. Here
diverse opinions prevail, broached by those that do
deeds which are righteous or sinful. That man
possessed of wisdom who knows all those opinions which
may be divided into two kinds, is never stained by
sin. Deceit With fraud, theft, slander, malice,
oppression, injury, treachery, and untruth, and vices
that detract from the merit of his penances who practises
them. He, on the other hand, possessed of learning,
who avoids them, finds the merit of his penances increased.
Here there is much reflection about acts that are
righteous and those that are unrighteous. This
region that we inhabit is the field of action.
Having done good and evil here, one obtains good for
his good acts and evil for acts that are evil.
Here the very Creator in days of yore, and all the
gods with the Rishis, having performed proper penances,
become cleansed and attain to Brahma. The northern
portion of the earth is highly auspicious and sacred.
Those belonging to this region (that we inhabit) that
are doers of righteous deeds or that show regard for
yoga, become born in that region. Others (that
are of a different disposition) take their births in
the intermediate species. Some again, when their
allotted periods run out, become lost on earth.
Employed in feeding upon one another and stained by
cupidity and delusion, these mea return to this very
region without being able to go (after death) to that
northern region. Those men of wisdom who with
vows and observant of Brahmacharyya listen with veneration
to the instructions of preceptors, succeed in knowing
the ends reserved for all classes of men. I have
now told thee in brief the course of duties ordained
by Brahman. He, indeed, is said to be possessed
of intelligence who knows what is righteousness and
what its reverse in this world.’
“Bhishma continued, ’Thus, O king, did
Bhrigu speak unto Bharadwaja of great energy.
Of soul highly virtuous, the latter became filled with
wonder and worshipped the great sage with veneration.
Thus, O monarch, the origin of the universe has been
narrated to thee in detail. What, O thou of great
wisdom, dost thou wish to hear after this?"’
“Yudhishthira said, ’I think, O grandsire,
that thou art acquainted with everything, O thou that
art conversant with duties. I desire to hear thee
discourse to me, O sinless one, of the ordinances about