The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,319 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4.

SECTION XXIX

“Bhishma said, ’Thus advised by Indra, Matanga, observant of vows, refused, to hear what he was bid.  On the other hand, with regulated vows and cleansed soul, he practised austere penances by standing on one foot for a thousand years, and was deeply engaged in Yoga-meditation.  After a thousand years had passed away, Sakra once more came to see him.  Indeed, the slayer of Vala and Vritra said unto him the same words.’

’Matanga said, ’I have passed these thousand years, standing on one foot, in deep meditation, observing of the vow of Brahmacharyya.  Why is it that I have not yet succeeded in acquiring the status of a Brahmana?’

’Sakra said, ’One born on a Chandala cannot, by any means acquire the status of a Brahmana.  Do thou, therefore name some boon so that all this labour of thine may not prove fruitless—­Thus addressed by the chief of the celestials, Matanga became filled with grief.  He repaired to Prayaga, and passed there a hundred years, standing all the while on his toes.  In consequence of the observance of such Yoga which was extremely difficult to bear, he became very much emaciated and his arteries and veins became swollen and visible.  He was reduced to only skin and bones.  Indeed, it has been heard by us that the righteous-souled Matanga, while practising those austerities at Gaya, dropped down on the ground from sheer exhaustion.  The lord and giver of boons, engaged in the good of all creatures, viz., Vasava beholding him falling down, quickly came to that spot and held him fast.’

“Sakra said, ’It seems, O Matanga, that the status of a Brahmana which thou seekest is ill-suited to thee.  That status is incapable of being attained by thee.  Verily, in thy case, it is surrounded by many dangers.  A person by worshipping a Brahmana obtains happiness; while by abstaining from such worship, he obtains grief and misery.  The Brahmana is, with respect to all creatures, the giver of what they prize or covet and the protector of what they already have.  It is through the Brahmanas that the Pitris and the deities become gratified.  The Brahmana, O Matanga, is said to be foremost of all created Beings.  The Brahmana grants all objects that are desired and in the way they are desired?[248] Wandering through innumerable orders of Being and undergoing repeated rebirths, one succeeds in some subsequent birth in acquiring the status of a Brahmana.  That status is really incapable of being obtained by persons of uncleansed souls.  Do thou, therefore, give up the idea.  Do thou name some other boon.  The particular boon which thou seekest is incapable of being granted to thee.’

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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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