’Bhishma continued, ’Thus addressed by Narada, O king, I have always made gifts of food. Do thou also, therefore, freed from malice and with a cheerful heart, make gifts of food. By making gifts of food, O king, unto deserving Brahmanas with due rites, thou mayst be sure, O puissant one, of attaining to Heaven. Hear me, O monarch, as I tell thee what the regions are that are reserved for those that make gifts of food. The mansions of those high-souled persons shine with resplendence in the regions of Heaven. Bright as the stars in the firmament, and supported upon many columns, white as the disc of the moon, and adorned with many tinkling bells, and rosy like the newly-risen sun, those palatial abodes are either fixed or movable. Those mansions are filled with hundreds upon hundreds of things and animals that live on land and as many things and animals living in water. Some of them are endued with the effulgence of lapis lazuli and some are possessed of the resplendence of the sun. Some of them are made of silver and some of gold. Within those mansions are many trees capable of crowning with fruition every desire of the inmates. Many tanks and roads and halls and well and lakes occur all around. Thousands of conveyances with horses and other animals harnessed thereto and with wheels whose clatter is always loud, may be seen there. Mountains of food and all enjoyable articles and heaps of cloths and ornaments are also to be seen there. Numerous rivers that run milk, and hills of rice and other edibles, may also be seen there. Indeed, many palatial residences looking like white clouds, with many beds of golden splendour, occur in those regions, All these are obtained by those men that make gifts of food in this world. Do thou, therefore, become a giver of food. Verily, these are the regions that are reserved for those high-souled and righteous persons that make gifts of food in this world. For these reasons, men should always make gifts of food in this world.’”
“Yudhishthira said, ’I have heard the discourse regarding the ordinance about the gift of food. Do thou discourse to me now about the conjunction of the planets and the stars in relation to the subject of making gifts.
“Bhishma said, ’In this connection is recited this ancient narrative of the discourse between Devaki and Narada, that foremost of Rishis. Once on a time when Narada of godlike feature and conversant with every duty arrived at Dwaraka, Devaki asked him this question. Unto her that had asked him, the celestial Rishi Narada duly answered in the following words. Do thou hear as I recite them.’