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.
food unto them so that upon their return home their expectant wives might be able to distribute that food among their children that had clamoured for food but that had been pacified with promises Brahmacharins of restrained senses, O son, by eating at one’s house in the forenoon, cause the three sacrificial fires to be gratified with the householder at whose house they eat.  Let the sacrifice of gift proceed in thy house at midday, O son, and do thou also give away kine and gold and robes (unto thy guests after feeding them well).  By conducting thyself, in this way, thou art sure to gratify the chief of the celestials himself.  That would constitute thy third sacrifice, O Yudhishthira, in which offerings are made unto the deities, the Pitris, and the Brahmanas.  By such sacrifice thou art sure to gratify the Viswedevas.  Let compassion unto all creatures, giving unto all creatures what is due unto them, restraining the senses, renunciation, steadiness, and truth, constitute the final bath of that sacrifice which is constituted by gift.  Even this is the sacrifice that is spread out for thee,—­a sacrifice that is sanctified by devotion and faith, and that has a large Dakshina attached to it.  This sacrifice which is constituted by gift is distinguished above all other sacrifices, O son, let this sacrifice be always performed by thee.’”


“Yudhishthira said, ’I wish to know in detail, O Bharata, where one meets with the high rewards of gifts and sacrifices.  Are those rewards earned here or are they to come hereafter?  Which amongst these two (viz., Gift and Sacrifice) is said to be productive of superior merit?  Unto whom should gifts be made?  In what manner are gifts and sacrifices to be made?  When also are they to be made?  I ask thee all these.  O learned sire!  Do thou discourse to me on the duty of gifts!  Do tell me, O grandsire, what leads to the highest reward, viz., gifts made from the sacrificial platform or those made out of that place?[324]

’Bhishma said, ’O son, a Kshatriya is generally employed in deeds of fierceness.  In his case, sacrifices and gifts are regarded as cleansing or sanctifying him.  They, that are good and righteous, do not accept the gifts of persons of the royal order, who are given to sinful acts.  For this reason, the king should perform sacrifices with abundant gifts in the form of Dakshina.[325] If the good and righteous would accept the gifts made unto them, the Kshatriya, O monarch, should incessantly make gifts with devotion and faith unto them.  Gifts are productive of great merit, and are highly cleansing.  Observant of vows, one should perform sacrifices and gratify with wealth such Brahmanas as are friends of all creatures, possessed of righteousness, conversant with the Vedas, and preeminent for acts, conduct, and penances.  If such Brahmanas do not accept thy gifts, no merit becomes thine.  Do thou perform sacrifices with

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