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.
to one’s ancestors on earth that has been duly purchased becomes inexhaustible.[343] Forests, and mountains, and rivers, and Tirthas are regarded as having no owners.  No earth need be purchased here for performing Sraddhas.  Even this has been said, O king, on the subject of the merits of making gifts of earth.  After this, O sinless one, I shall discourse to thee on the subject of the gift of kine.  Kine are regarded as superior to all the ascetics.  And since it is so, the divine Mahadeva for that reason performed penance in their company.  Kine, O Bharata, dwell in the region of Brahman, in the company of Soma.  Constituting as it does the highest end, regenerate Rishis crowned with success strive to attain to that very region.  Kine benefit human beings with milk, ghee, curds, dung, skin, bones, horns, and hair, O Bharata.  Kine do not feel cold or heat.  They always work.  The season of rains also cannot afflict them at all.  And since kine attain to the highest end (viz., residence in the region of Brahman), in the company of Brahmanas, therefore do the wise say that king and Brahmanas are equal.  In days of yore, king Rantideva performed a grand sacrifice in which an immense number of kine were offered up and slaughtered.  From the juice that was secreted by the skins of the slaughtered animals, a river was formed that came to be called by the name of Charmanwati.  Kine no longer form animals fit for sacrifice.  They now constitute animals that are fit for gift.  That king who makes gifts of kine unto the foremost of Brahmanas, O monarch, is sure to get over every calamity even if he falls into it.  The man who makes a gift of a thousand kine has not to go to hell.  Such a person, O ruler of men, obtains victory everywhere.  The very chief of the deities had said that the milk of kine is nectar.  For this reason, one who makes a gift of a cow is regarded as making a gift of nectar.  Persons conversant with the Vedas have declared that the Ghee manufactured from cows’ milk is the very best of all libations poured into the sacrificial fire.  For this reason, the man who makes a gift of a cow is regarded as making a gift of a libation for sacrifice.  A bovine bull is the embodiment of heaven.  He who makes the gift of a bovine bull unto an accomplished Brahmana, receives great honours in heaven.  Kine, O chief of Bharata’s race, are said to be the life-breath of living creatures.  Hence, the man who makes the gift of a cow is said to make the gift of life-breath.  Persons conversant with the Vedas have said that kine constitute the great refuge of living creatures.  Hence, the man who makes the gift of a cow is regarded as making the gift of what is the high refuge for all creatures.  The cow should never be given away for slaughter (i.e., unto one who will kill her); nor should the cow be given unto a tiller of the soil; nor should the cow be given unto an atheist.  The cow should not also, O chief of the Bharatas, be given unto one whose occupation
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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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