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.

SECTION LIX

“Yudhishthira said, ’Amongst all those gifts that are mentioned in the treatises other than the Vedas, which gift, O chief of Kuru’s race, is the most distinguished in thy opinion?  O puissant one, great is the curiosity I feel with respect to this matter.  Do thou discourse to me also of that gift which follows the giver into the next world.’[317]

“Bhishma said, ’An assurance unto all creatures of love and affection and abstention from every kind of injury, acts of kindness and favour done to a person in distress, gifts of articles made unto one that solicits with thirst and agreeable to the solicitor’s wishes, and whatever gifts are made without the giver’s ever thinking of them as gifts made by him, constitute, O chief of Bharata’s race, the highest and best of gifts.  Gift of gold, gift of kine, and gift of earth,—­these are regarded as sin-cleansing.  They rescue the giver from his evil acts.  O chief of men, do thou always make such gifts unto those that are righteous.  Without doubt, gifts rescue the giver from all his sins.  That person who wishes to make his gifts eternal should always give unto persons possessed of the requisite qualifications whatever articles are desired by all and whatever things are the best in his house.  The man who makes gifts of agreeable things and who does to others what is agreeable to others, always succeeds in obtaining things that are agreeable to himself.  Such a person certainly becomes agreeable unto all, both here and hereafter.  That man, O Yudhishthira, is a cruel wretch, who, through vanity, does not, to the extent of his means, attend to the wishes of one who is poor and helpless, and who solicits assistance.[318] He is verily the foremost of men who shows favour unto even an helpless enemy fallen into distress when such enemy presents himself and prays for help.  No man is equal to him (in merit) who satisfies the hunger of a person that is emaciated, possessed of learning, destitute of the means of support, and weakened by misery.  One should always, O son of Kunti, dispel by every means in one’s power, the distress of righteous persons observant of vows and acts, who, though destitute of sons and spouses and plunged into misery, do not yet solicit others for any kind of assistance.  Those persons who do not utter blessings upon the deities and men (in expectation of gifts), who are deserving of reverence and always contented, and who subsist upon such alms as they get without solicitation of any kind, are regarded as veritable snakes of virulent poison.  Do thou, O Bharata, always protect thyself from them by making gifts unto them.  They are competent to make the foremost of Ritwikas.  Thou art to find them out by means of thy spies and agents.[319] Thou shouldst honour those men by gifts of good houses equipped with every necessary article, with slaves and serving men, with good robes and vestments, O son of Kuru, and with all articles competent to contribute

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