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.
sweet, attains to a residence in heaven where he is honoured by all the deities and other denizens.  Food constitutes the life-breath of men.  Everything is established upon food.  He who makes gifts of food obtains many animals (as his wealth), many children, considerable wealth (in other shape), and a command in abundance of all articles of comfort and luxurious enjoyment.  The giver of food is said to be the giver of life.  Indeed, he is said to be the giver of everything.  Hence, O king, such a man acquires both strength and beauty of form in this world.  If food be given duly unto a Brahmana arrived at the giver’s house as a guest, the giver attains to great happiness, and is adored by the very deities.  The Brahmana, O Yudhishthira, is a great being.  He is also a fertile field.  Whatever seed is sown on that field produces an abundant crop of merit.  A gift of food is visibly and immediately productive of the happiness of both the giver and the receiver.  All other gifts produce fruits that are unseen.  Food is the origin of all creatures.  From food, comes happiness and delight.  O Bharata, know that religion and wealth both flow from food.  The cure of disease or health also flows from food.  In a former Kalpa, the Lord of all creatures said that food is Amrita or the source of immortality.  Food is Earth, food is Heaven, food is the Firmament.  Everything is established on food.  In the absence of food, the five elements that constitute the physical organism cease to exist in a state of union.  From absence of food the strength of even the strongest man is seen to fail.  Invitations and marriages and sacrifices all cease in the absence of food.  The very Vedas disappear when food there is none.  Whatever mobile and immobile creatures exist in the universe are dependent on food.  Religion and wealth, in the three worlds, are all dependent on food.  Hence the wise should make gifts of food.  The strength, energy, fame and achievements of the man who makes gifts of food, constantly increase in the three worlds, O king.  The lord of the life-breaths, viz., the deity of wind, places above the clouds (the water sucked up by the Sun).  The water thus borne to the clouds is caused by Sakra to be poured upon the earth, O Bharata.  The Sun, by means of his rays, sucks up the moisture of the earth.  The deity of wind causes the moisture to fall down from the Sun.[333] When the water falls down from the clouds upon the Earth, the goddess Earth becomes moist, O Bharata.  Then do people sow diverse kinds of crops upon whose outturn the universe of creatures depends.  It is in the food thus produced that the flesh, fat, bones and vital seed of all beings have their origin.  From the vital seed thus originated, O king, spring diverse kinds of living creatures.  Agni and Soma, the two agents living within the body, create and maintain the vital seed.  Thus from food, the Sun and the deity of wind and the vital seed spring and act.  All these are said to constitute one element or quantity, and it is from these that all creatures spring.  That man who gives food into one who comes into his house and solicits it, is said, O chief of the Bharatas, to contribute both life and energy unto living creatures.’

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