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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,319 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4.
are never vanquished.  Victory always becomes theirs.[258] The energy and might of those Kshatriyas who scorch everything with their energy and might become neutralised when they encounter the Brahmanas.  The Bhrigus conquered the Talajanghas.  The son of Angiras conquered the Nipas.  Bharadwaja conquered the Vitahavyas as also the Ailas.  O chief of Bharata’s race.  Although all these Kshatriyas were capable of using diverse kinds of arms, yet the Brahmanas named, owning only black deer skins for their emblems, succeeded in conquering them effectually.  Bestowing the Earth upon the Brahmanas and illuminating both the worlds by the splendour of such a deed, one should accomplish acts through which one may succeed in attaining to the end of all things.[259] Like fire concealed within wood, everything that is said or heard or read in this world, lies ensconced in the Brahmana.  In this connection is cited the old history of the conversation between Vasudeva and the Earth, O chief of Bharata’s race!’

“Vasudeva said, ’O mother of all creatures, O auspicious goddess, I desire to ask thee for a solution of this doubt of mine.  By what act does a man leading the domestic mode of life succeed in cleansing all his sins?’

“The Earth said, ’One should serve the Brahmanas.  This conduct is cleansing and excellent.  All the impurities destroyed of that man who serves the Brahmanas with reverence.  From this (conduct) arises prosperity.  From this arises fame.  From this springs forth intelligence or knowledge of the soul.  A Kshatriya by this conduct, becomes a mighty car-warrior and a scorcher of foes and succeeds in acquiring great fame.  Even this is what Narada said unto me, viz., that one should always revere a Brahmana that is well-born, of rigid vows and conversant with the scriptures, if one desires every kind of prosperity.  That man really grows in prosperity who is applauded by the Brahmanas, who are higher than those that are regarded superior to all men high or low.  That man who speaks ill of the Brahmanas soon meets with discomfiture, even as a clod of unbaked earth meets with destruction when cast into the sea.  After the same manner, all acts that are hurtful to the Brahmanas are sure to bring about discomfiture and ruin.  Behold the dark spots on the Moon and the salt waters of the ocean.  The great Indra had at one time been marked all over with a thousand sex-marks.  It was through the power of the Brahmanas that those marks became altered into as so many eyes.  Behold, O Mahadeva how all those things took place.  Desiring fame and prosperity and diverse regions of beautitude in the next world, a person of pure behaviour and soul should, O slayer of Madhu, live in obedience to the dictates of the Brahmanas.’[260]

“Bhishma continued, ’Hearing these words of the goddess Earth, the slayer of Madhu, O thou of Kuru’s race, exclaimed,—­Excellent, Excellent—­and honoured the goddess in due form.  Having heard this discourse between the goddess Earth and Madhava, do thou, O son of Pritha, always, with rapt soul, worship all superior Brahmanas.  Doing this, thou shalt verily obtain what is highly beneficial for thee!"’

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