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.
attains to prosperity by holy living, the Kshatriya by prowess, the Vaisya by manly exertion, and the Sudra by service.  Riches and other objects of enjoyment do not follow the stingy, nor the impotent, nor the idler.  Nor are these ever attained by the man that is not active or manly or devoted to the exercise of religious austerities.  Even he, the adorable Vishnu, who created the three worlds with the Daityas and all the gods, even He is engaged in austere penances in the bosom of the deep.  If one’s Karma bore no fruit, then all actions would become fruitless, and relying on Destiny men would become idlers.  He who, without pursuing the human modes of action, follows Destiny only, acts in vain, like unto the woman that has an impotent husband.  In this world the apprehension that accrues from performance of good or evil actions is not so great if Destiny be unfavourable as one’s apprehension of the same in the other world if Exertion be wanting while here.[9] Man’s powers, if properly exerted, only follow his Destiny, but Destiny alone is incapable of conferring any good where Exertion is wanting.  When it is seen that even in the celestial regions, the position of the deities themselves is unstable, how would the deities maintain their own position or that of others without proper Karma?  The deities do not always approve of the good deeds of others in this world, for, apprehending their own overthrow, they try to thwart the acts of others.  There is a constant rivalry between the deities and the Rishis, and if they all have to go through their Karma, still it can never be averted that there is no such thing as Destiny, for it is the latter that initiates all Karma.  How does Karma originate, if Destiny form the prime spring of human action? (The answer is) that by this means, an accretion of many virtues is made even in the celestial regions.  One’s own self is one’s friend and one’s enemy too, as also the witness of one’s good and evil deeds.  Good and evil manifest themselves through Karma.  Good and evil acts do not give adequate results.  Righteousness is the refuge of the gods, and by righteousness is everything attained.  Destiny thwarts not the man that has attained to virtue and righteousness.

In olden times, Yayati, falling from his high estate in heaven descended on the Earth but was again restored to the celestial regions by the good deeds of his virtuous grandsons.  The royal sage Pururavas, celebrated as the descendant of Ila, attained to heaven through the intercession of the Brahmanas.  Saudasa, the king of Kosala, though dignified by the performance of Aswamedha and other sacrifices, obtained the status of a man-eating Rakshasa, through the curse of a great Rishi.  Aswatthaman and Rama, though both warriors and sons of Munis, failed to attain to heaven by reason of their own actions in this world.  Vasu, though he performed a hundred sacrifices like a second Vasava, was sent to the nethermost regions, for making a single

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