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.

“Bhishma said, ’It has been said.  O son of Pritha, that a gift made unto an unsoliciting person is productive of greater merit than one made to a person who solicits.  One possessed of contentment is certainly more deserving than that person who is destitute of that virtue and is, therefore, helpless amidst the storms and buffets of the world.  The firmness of a Kshatriya consists in the protection he gives to others.  The firmness of a Brahmana consists in his refusal to solicit.  The Brahmana possessed of steadiness and learning and contentment gladdens the deities.  The wise have said that an act of solicitation on the part of a poor man is a great reproach.  Those persons that solicit others are said to annoy the world like thieves and robbers.[323] The person who solicits is said to meet with death.  The giver, however, is said not to meet with death.  The giver is said to grant life unto him who solicits.  By an act of gift, O Yudhishthira, the giver is said to rescue his own self also.  Compassion is a very high virtue.  Let people make gift from compassion unto those that solicit.  Those, however, that do not beg, but are plunged into poverty and distress should be respectfully invited to receive assistance.  If such Brahmanas, who must be regarded as the foremost of their order, live in thy kingdom, thou shouldst regard them as fire covered with ashes.  Blazing with penances, they are capable of consuming the whole earth.  Such persons, O son of Kuru’s race, though not generally worshipped, should still be regarded as deserving of worship in every way.  Endued with knowledge and spiritual vision and penances and Yoga, such persons always deserve our worship.  O scorcher of foes, do thou always offer worship unto such Brahmanas.  One should repair of one’s own accord unto those foremost of Brahmanas that do not solicit anybody and make unto them gifts of diverse kinds of wealth in abundance.  The merit that flows from properly pouring libations into the sacred fire every morning and evening is won by the person who makes gifts unto a Brahmana endued with learning, with the Vedas and with high and excellent vows.  Thou shouldst, O son of Kunti, invite those foremost of Brahmanas who are cleansed by learning and the Vedas and vows, who live in independence, whose Vedic studies and penances are hidden without being proclaimed from the house-top, and who are observant of excellent vows, and honour them with gifts of well-constructed and delightful houses equipped with servitors and robes and furniture, and with all other articles of pleasure and enjoyment.  Conversant with all duties and possessed of minute vision, those foremost of Brahmanas, O Yudhishthira, may accept the gifts offered to them with devotion and respect, thinking that they should not refuse and disappoint the giver.  Thou shouldst invite those Brahmanas whose wives wait for their return like tillers in expectation of rain.  Having fed them well thou shouldst make gifts of additional

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