Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,319 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4.
the means of subsistence for such Brahmanas as are endued with eternal contentment as are thy well-wishers, and as are gratified by only a little?  As women have one eternal duty, in this world, viz., dependence upon and obedient service to their husbands, and as such duty constitutes their only end, even so is the service to Brahmanas Our eternal duty and end.  If, at sight of cruelties and other sinful acts in Kshatriyas, the Brahmanas, O son, unhonoured by us, forsake us all, I say, of what use would life be to us, in the absence of all contact with the Brahmanas, especially as we shall then have to drag on our existence without being able to study the Vedas to perform sacrifices, to hope for worlds of bliss hereafter, and to achieve great feats?  I shall, in this connection, tell thee what the eternal usage is.  In days of yore, O king, the Kshatriyas used to serve the Brahmanas.  The Vaisya in a similar manner used in those days to worship the royal order, and the Sudra to worship the Vaisya.  Even this is what is heard.  The Brahmana was like a blazing fire.  Without being able to touch him or approach his presence, the Sudra used to serve the Brahmana from a distance.  It was only the Kshatriya and the Vaisya who could serve the Brahmana by touching his person or approaching his presence.  The Brahmanas are endued with a mild disposition.  They are truthful in behaviour.  They are followers of the true religion.  When angry, they are like snakes of virulent poison.  Such being their nature, do thou, O Yudhishthira, serve and attend upon them with obedience and reverence.  The Brahmanas are superior to even those that are higher than the high and the low.  The energy and penances of even those Kshatriyas who blaze forth with energy and might, become powerless and neutralised when they come in contact with the Brahmanas.  My sire himself is not dearer to me than the Brahmanas.  My mother is not dearer to me than they.  My grandsire, O king, is not dearer, my own self is not dearer, my life itself is not dearer, O king, to me than the Brahmanas!  On earth there is nothing, O Yudhishthira, that is dearer to me than thou.  But, O chief of Bharata’s race, the Brahmanas are dearer to me than even thou.  I tell thee truly, O son of Pandu!  I swear by this truth, by which I hope to acquire all those regions of bliss that have been Santanu’s.  I behold those sacred regions with Brahma shining conspicuously before them.  I shall repair thither, O son, and reside in them for unending days.  Beholding these regions, O best of the Bharatas (with my spiritual eyes), I am filled with delight at the thought of all these acts which I have done in aid and honour of the Brahmanas, O monarch!’”

SECTION LX

“Yudhishthira said, ’Unto which of two Brahmanas, when both happen to be equally pure in behaviour, equally possessed of learning and purity, of birth and blood, but differing from each other in only this, viz., the one solicits and the other does not,—­I ask, O grandsire, unto which of these two would a gift be more meritorious?”

Follow Us on Facebook