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.
O great ascetic, I shall obtain the fruition of my wish.  Let my race become invested with the status of Brahmanahood, and let it always set its heart upon righteousness.’  The ascetic Chyavana, thus solicited, granted the king’s prayer, and bidding farewell to the monarch, set out on his intended tour to the sacred waters.  I have now told thee everything, O Bharata, relating to thy questions, viz., how the Bhrigus and the Kusikas became connected with each other by marriage.  Indeed, O king, everything fell out as the Rishi Chyavana had said.  The birth of Rama (of Bhrigu’s race) and of Viswamitra (of Kusika’s race) happened in the way that Chyavana had indicated.’”

SECTION LVII

“Yudhishthira said, ’Hearing thy words I become stupefied, O grandsire!  Reflecting that the earth is now destitute of a very large number of kings all of whom were possessed of great prosperity, my heart becomes filled with grief.  Having conquered the earth and acquired kingdoms numbered by hundreds, O Bharata, I turn with grief, O Grandsire, at the thought of the millions of men I have slaughtered.  Alas, what will be the plight of those foremost ladies who have been deprived by us of husbands and sons and maternal uncles and brothers?  Having slain those Kurus—­our kinsmen, that is, our friends and well-wishers,—­we shall have to sink in hell, beads (hanging) downwards.  There is no doubt of this.  I desire, O Bharata, to address my body to severe penances.  With that end in view, O king, I wish to receive instructions from thee.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ’The high-souled Bhishma, hearing these words of Yudhishthira, reflected upon them acutely with the aid of his understanding, and addressed Yudhishthira in reply.’

“Bhishma said, ’Hear what I say unto thee.  It is exceedingly wonderful, and constitutes a great mystery.  The topic is the object that creatures obtain after death as the rewards of particular acts or courses of conduct they follow.  One attains to Heaven by penances.  By penances one attains to fame.  By penances, O puissant king, one attains to length of life and all articles of enjoyment.  By penances one attains to knowledge, to science, to health and freedom from disease, beauty of person, prosperity, and blessedness, O chief of Bharata’s race.  By penances one attains to wealth.  By observing the vow of taciturnity one succeeds in bringing the whole world under one’s sway.  By making gifts one acquires all kinds of enjoyable articles.  By observing the right of Diksha one acquires birth in a good and high family.  Those that spend their lives subsisting only upon fruits and roots (and avoiding cooked food) succeed in obtaining kingdom and sovereignty.  Those that live upon the leaves of plants and trees as their food succeed in attaining to heaven.  One that subsists upon water only attains to heaven.  By making gifts one simply increases one’s wealth.  By serving

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