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.

SECTION LXVI

“Yudhishthira said, ’I desire to hear, O grandsire, what the merits are of that person who makes the gift of a pair of sandals unto a Brahmana whose feet are burning or being scorched by hot sand, while he is walking.’

“Bhishma said, ’The man, that gives unto the Brahmanas sandals for the protection of their feet, succeeds in crushing all thorns and gets over every kind of difficulty.  Such a man, O Yudhishthira, stays over the heads of all his foes.  Vehicles of pure splendour, with mules harnessed thereto, and made of gold and silver, O monarch, approach him.  He who makes a gift of sandals is said to earn the merit of making the gift of a vehicle with well-broken steeds yoked thereto.’

“Yudhishthira said, ’Do thou tell me in detail once more, O grandsire, of the merits that attach to gifts of sesame and land and kine and food.’

“Bhishma said, ’Do thou hear, O son of Kunti, what the merits are that attach to the gift of sesame.  Hearing me, do thou, then, O best of the Kurus, make gifts of sesame according to the ordinance.  Sesame seeds were created by the Self-born Brahman as the best food for the Pitris.  Hence, gifts of sesame seeds always gladden the Pitris greatly.  The man who makes gifts of sesame seeds, in the month of Magha, unto the Brahmanas, has never to visit hell which abounds with all frightful creatures.  He who adores the Pitris with offerings of sesame seeds is regarded as worshipping the deities at all the sacrifices.  One should never perform a Sraddha with offerings of sesame seeds without cherishing some purpose.[340] Sesame seeds sprang from the limbs of the great Rishi Kasyapa.  Hence, in the matter of gifts, they have come to be regarded as possessed of high efficacy.  Sesame seeds bestow both prosperity and personal beauty and cleans the giver of all his sins It is for this reason that the gift of sesame seeds is distinguished above the gift of every other article.  Apastamva of great intelligence, and Kankha and Likhita, and the great Rishi Gautama have all ascended to heaven by having made gifts of sesame seeds.  Those Brahmanas that make Homa with offerings of sesame, abstain from sexual intercourse, and are observant of the religion of Pravritti or acts, are regarded as equal (in purity and efficacy) to bovine Havi.  The gift of sesame seeds is distinguished above all gifts.  Amongst all gifts, the gifts of sesame is regarded as productive of inexhaustible merit.  In ancient times when Havi (clarified butter) on one occasion had become unobtainable the Rishi Kusika, O scorcher of foes, made offerings of sesame seeds to his three sacrificial fires and succeeded in attaining to an excellent end.  I have thus said unto thee, O chief of the Kurus, what the regulations are respecting the excellent gift of sesame seeds.  It is in consequence of these regulations that the gift of sesame seeds has come to be regarded as endued with very superior merit.  After this, listen to what I would say.  Once on a time the deities, desirous of making a sacrifice, repaired, O monarch, to the presence of the Self-born Brahman.  Having met Brahman, being desirous of performing a sacrifice on earth, they begged him for a piece of auspicious earth, saying, ‘We want it for our sacrifice.’

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