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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.

“Yudhishthira said, How should the purificatory rites of such a person be performed?  In whose case what sort of rites are to be performed?  With what girl should he be wedded?  Do thou tell me all this, O grandsire!”

“Bhishma said, ’The rites of purification touching such a son should be performed conformably to the usage of the person himself that raises him, for, cast off by his parents, such a son obtains the order of the person that takes him and brings him up.  Indeed, O thou of unfading glory, the rearer should perform all the purificatory rites with respect to such a son according to the practices of the rearer’s own race and kinsmen.  As regards the girl also, O Yudhishthira, that should be bestowed in marriage upon such a son, who belongs to the order of the rearer himself, All this is to be done only when the order of son’s true mother cannot be ascertained.  Among sons, he that is born of a maiden and he that is born of a mother that had conceived before her marriage but had brought him fourth subsequent to that are regarded as very disgraceful and degraded.  Even those two, however, should receive the same rites of purification that are laid down for the sons begotten by the father in lawful wedlock.  With respect to the son that becomes his sire’s in consequence of his birth in the sire’s soil and of those sons that are called Apasadas and, those conceived by the spouse in her maidenhood but brought forth after marriage, Brahmanas and others should apply the same rites of purification that hold good for their own orders.  These are the conclusions that are to be found in the scriptures with respect to the different orders.  I have thus told thee everything appertaining to thy questions.  What else dost thou wish to hear?”

SECTION L

“Yudhishthira said, ’What is the nature of the compassion or pity that is felt at the sight of another’s woe?  What is the nature of that compassion or sympathy that one feels for another in consequence of one’s living in the companionship of that other?  What is the nature (and degree) of the high blessedness that attaches to kine?  It behoveth thee, O grandsire, to expound all this to me.’

“Bhishma said, ’I shall, in this connection, O thou of great effulgence, recite to thee an ancient narrative of a conversation between Nahusha and the Rishi Chyavana.  In days of yore O Chief of Bharata’s race, the great Rishi Chyavana of Bhrigu’s race, always observant of high vows, became desirous of leading for some time the mode of life called Udavasa and set himself to commence it.  Casting off pride and wrath and joy and grief, the ascetic, pledging himself to observe that vow, set himself to live for twelve years according to the rules of Udavasa.  The Rishi inspired all creatures with a happy trust.  And he inspired similar confidence in all creatures living in water.  The puissant ascetic resembled the Moon himself in his behaviour to all.  Bowing

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