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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.
not commit any sin.  I was, for this, gratified with thee!  O best of Brahmanas, if I had known thee to have acted wickedly, I would without hesitation, have cursed thee.  Women become united with men.  Such union is very desirable with men.  Thou hadst, however, protected my wife in a different spirit.  If thou hadst acted otherwise, a curse would have been uttered upon thee.  Even this is what I think.  Thou hadst O son, protected my spouse.  The manner in which thou didst it hath now become known to me as if thou hadst thyself informed me of it.  I have, O son, become gratified with thee.  Relieved of all anxiety, thou shalt go to heaven!’ Having said these words unto Vipula, the great Rishi Devasarman, ascended to heaven with his wife and his disciple and began to pass his time there in great happiness.  In course of conversation, O king, on a former occasion, the great ascetic Markandeya had narrated to me this history on the banks of the Ganga.  I, therefore, recite to thee.  Women should always be protected by thee (from temptations and opportunities of every kind).  Amongst them both kinds are to be seen, that is, those that are virtuous and those that are not so.  Those women that are virtuous are highly blessed.  They are the mothers of the universe (for they it is that cherish all creatures on every side).  They, it is, O king, that uphold the earth with all her waters and forests.  Those women that are sinful, that are of wicked behaviour, that are the destroyers of their races, and that are wedded to sinful resolves, are capable of being ascertained by indications, expressive of the evil that is in them, which appear, O king, on their bodies.  It is even thus that high-souled persons are capable of protecting women.  They cannot, O tiger among kings, be protected in any other way.  Women, O chief of men, are fierce.  They are endued with fierce prowess.  They have none whom they love or like so much as they that have sexual congress with them.  Women are like those (Atharvan) incantations that are destructive of life.  Even after they have consented to live with one, they are prepared to abandon him for entering into engagements with others.  They are never satisfied with one person of the opposite sex, O son of Pandu!  Men should feel no affection for them.  Nor should they entertain any jealousy on account of them, O king! having a regard only for the considerations of virtue, men should enjoy their society, not with enthusiasm and attachment but with reluctance and absence of attachment.  By acting otherwise, a man is sure to meet with destruction, O delighter of the Kurus.  Reason is respected at all times and under all circumstances.  Only one man, viz., Vipula, had succeeded in protecting woman.  There is none else, O king, in the three worlds who is capable of protecting women.’”

SECTION XLIV

“Yudhishthira said, “Tell me of that, O grandsire, which is the root of all duties, which is the root of kinsmen, of home, of the Pitris and of guests.  I think this should be regarded as the foremost of all duties, (viz., the marriage of one’s daughter).  Tell me, however, O king, upon what sort of a person should one bestow one’s daughter?’

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