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.
of the best things of his father.  Even this is the law of inheritance, O son of Pritha, as declared by the Self-born himself.  Amongst children all born of the spouse taken from the husband’s own order, there is another distinction, O king!  In marrying, the elder ones should always precede the younger ones.  The spouses being all equal in respect of their order of birth, and the children also being all equal in respect of the status of their mothers, the son that is first-born shall take one share more than each of his other brothers.  The son that comes next in point of age shall take a share that is next in value, while the son that is youngest shall take the share that belongs to the youngest.[297] Thus among spouses of all orders, they that belong to the same order with the husband are regarded as the first.  Even this is what was declared by the great Rishi Kasyapa the son of Marichi.’

SECTION XLVIII

“Yudhishthira said, ’Through inducements offered by wealth, or through mere lust, or through ignorance of the true order of birth (of both males and females), or through folly, intermixture happens of the several order What, O grandsire, are the duties of persons that are born in the mixed classes and what are the acts laid down for them?  Do thou discourse to me on this!’

“Bhishma said, ’In the beginning, the Lord of all creatures created the four orders and laid down their respective acts or duties, for the sake of sacrifice.[298] The Brahmana may take four wives, one from each of the four orders.  In two of them (viz., the wife taken from his own order and that taken from the one next below), he takes birth himself (the children begotten upon them being regarded as invested with the same status as his own).  Those sons, however, that are begotten by him on the two spouses that belong to the next two orders (viz., Vaisya and Sudra), are inferior, their status being determined not by that of their father but by that of their mothers.  The son that is begotten by a Brahmana upon a Sudra wife is called Parasara, implying one born of a corpse, for the Sudra woman’s body is as inauspicious as a corpse.  He should serve the persons of his (father’s) race.  Indeed, it is not proper for him to give up the duty of service that has been laid down for him.  Adopting all means in his power, he should uphold the burden of his family.  Even if he happens to be elder in age, he should still dutifully serve the other children of his father who may be younger to him in years, and bestow upon them whatever he may succeed in earning.  A Kshatriya may take three wives.  In two of them (viz., the one taken from his own order and the other that is taken from the order immediately below), he takes birth himself (so that those children are invested with the status of his own order).  His third wife being of the Sudra order is regarded as very inferior.  The son that he begets upon her comes to be called as an Ugra.  The Vaisya

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