The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,582 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4.

“Bhishma said, ’I shall tell thee what thou hast asked.  Do thou, O Yudhishthira, listen to this which constitutes the secret knowledge of the Rishis.  Listen to me as I explain what the ends, long coveted, are which are attained by men after death.  Whatever actions are performed by particular corporeal beings, the fruits thereof are reaped by the doers while endued with similar corporeal bodies; for example, the fruits of actions done with mind are enjoyed at the time of dreams, and those of actions performed physically are enjoyed in the working state physically.  In whatever states creatures perform good or evil deeds, they reap the fruits thereof in similar states of succeeding lives.  No act done with the aid of the five organs of sensual perception, is ever lost.  The five sensual organs and the immortal soul which is the sixth, remain its witnesses.  One should devote one’s eye to the service of the guest and should devote one’s heart on the same; one should utter words that are agreeable; one should also follow and worship (one’s guest).  This is called Panchadakshin Sacrifice, (the sacrifice with five gifts).  He who offers good food to the unknown and weary travellers fatigued by a long journey, attains to great merit.  Those that use the sacrificial platform as their only bed obtain commodious mansions and beds (in subsequent births).  Those that wear only rags and barks of trees for dress, obtain good apparel and ornaments in next birth.  One possessed of penances and having his soul on Yoga, get vehicles and riding animals (as the fruit of their renunciation in this life).  The monarch that lies down by the side of the sacrificial fire, attains to vigour and valour.  The man who renounces the enjoyment of all delicacies, attains to prosperity, and he that abstains from animal food, obtains children and cattle, He who lies down with his head downwards, or who lives in water, or who lives secluded and alone in the practice of Brahmacharya, attains to all the desired ends.  He who offers shelter to a guest and welcomes him with water to wash his feet as also with food, light and bed, attains to the merits of the sacrifice with the five gifts.  He who lays himself down on a warrior’s bed on the battle-field in the posture of a warrior, goes to those eternal regions where all the objects of desire are fulfilled.  A man, O king, attains to riches that makes charitable gifts.  One secures obedience to one’s command by the vow of silence, all the enjoyments of life by practice of austerities, long life by Brahmacharya, and beauty, prosperity and freedom from disease by abstaining from injury to others.  Sovereignty falls to the lot of those that subsist on fruits and roots only.  Residence in heaven is attained by those that live on only leaves of trees.  A man, O king, is said to obtain happiness, by abstention from food.  By confining one’s diet to herbs alone, one becomes possessed of cows.  By living on grass one attains to the celestial regions. 

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