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.
with due rites should be set free.  That maiden, therefore, was recommended to Vichitravirya for being married by him according to due rites.  Doubting my father’s words I repaired to others for asking their opinion.  I thought that my sire was exceedingly punctilious in matters of morality.  I then went to my sire himself, O king, and addressed him these words from desire of knowing something about the practices of righteous people in respect of marriage, ’I desire, O sire, to know what in truth the practices are of righteous people.’  I repeated the expression of my wish several times, so great was my eagerness and curiosity.  After I had uttered those words, that foremost of righteous men, viz., my sire, Valhika answered me, saying, ’If in your opinion the status of husband and wife be taken to attach on account of the gift and acceptance of dowry and not from the actual taking of the maiden’s hand with due rites, the father of the maiden (by permitting his daughter to go away with the giver of the dowry) would so himself to be the follower of a creed other than that which is derivable from the ordinary scriptures.  Even this is what the accepted scriptures declare.  Persons conversant with morality and duty do not allow that their words are at all authoritative who say that the status of husband and wife arises from the gift and acceptance of dowry, and not from the actual taking of the hand with due rites.  The saying is well-known that the status of husband and wife is created by actual bestowal of the daughter by the sire (and her acceptance by the husband with due rites).  The status of wife cannot attach to maidens through sale and purchase.  They who regard such status to be due to sale and the gift of dowry are persons that are certainly unacquainted with the scriptures.  No one should bestow his daughter upon such persons.  In fact, they are not men to whom one may marry his daughter.  A wife should never be purchased.  Nor should a father sell his daughter.  Only those persons of sinful soul who are possessed, besides, by cupidity, and who sell and purchase female slaves for making serving women, regard the status of wife as capable of arising from the gift and acceptance of a dowry.  On this subject some people on one occasion had asked prince Satyavat the following question, ’If the giver of a dowry unto the kinsmen of a maiden happens to die before marriage, can another person take the hand of that maiden in marriage?  We have doubts on this matter.  Do thou remove these doubts of ours, for thou art endued with great wisdom and art honoured by the wise.  Be thou the organ of vision unto ourselves that are desirous of learning the truth.’  Prince Satyavat answered saying, ’The kinsmen of the maiden should bestow her upon him whom they consider eligible.  There need be no scruples in this.  The righteous act in this way without taking note of the giver of the dower even if he be alive; while, as regards the giver that is dead, there
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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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