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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,319 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4.

“Yama said, ’Do thou hear, O regenerate Rishi, the excellent ordinances regarding gifts.  The gift of sesame seeds is a very superior one.  It produces everlasting merit.  O foremost of regenerate ones, one should make gifts of as much sesame as one can.  By making gifts of sesame every day, one is sure to attain the fruition of one’s every wish.  The gift of sesame at Sraddhas is applauded.  Verily the gift of sesame is a very superior one.  Do thou make gifts of sesame unto the Brahmanas according to the rites ordained in the scriptures.  One should on the day of the full moon of the month of Vaisakha, make gilts of sesame unto the Brahmanas.  They should also be made to eat and to touch sesame on every occasion that one can afford.  They that are desirous of achieving what is beneficial to them should, with their whole souls, do this in their houses.[347] Without doubt, men should similarly make gifts of water and establish resting places for the distribution of drinking water.[348] One should cause tanks and lakes and wells to be excavated.  Such acts are rare in the world, O best of regenerate persons!  Do thou always make gifts of water.  This act is fraught with great merit.  O best of regenerate persons, thou shouldst establish resting places along the roads for the distribution of water.  After one has eaten, the gift unto one should especially be made of water for drink.’

“Bhishma continued, ’After Yama had said these words unto him, the messenger who had borne him from his abode conveyed him back to it.  The Brahmana, on his return, obeyed the instructions he had received.  Having thus conveyed him back to his abode the messenger of Yama fetched Sarmin who had really been sought by Yama.  Taking Sarmin unto him, he informed his master.  Possessed of great energy, the judge of the dead worshipped that righteous Brahmana, and having conversed with him a while dismissed him for being taken back to his abode.  Unto him also Yama gave the same instructions.  Sarmin, too, coming back into the world of men, did all that Yama had said.  Like the gift of water, Yama, from a desire of doing good to the Pitris, applauds the gift of lamps to light dark places.  Hence, the giver of a lamp for lighting a dark place is regarded as benefiting the Pitris.  Hence, O best of the Bharatas, one should always give lamps for lighting dark spots.  The giving of lamps enhances the visual power of the deities, the Pitris, and one’s own self.[349] It has been said, O king, that the gift of gems is a very superior gift.  The Brahmana, who, having accepted a gift of gems, sells the same for performing a sacrifice, incurs no fault.  The Brahmana, who, having accepted a gift of gems makes a gift of them unto Brahmanas. acquires inexhaustible merit himself and confers inexhaustible merit upon him from whom he had originally received them.  Conversant with every duty Manu himself has said that he, who, observant of proper restraints, earns makes a gift of gems unto a Brahmana observant of proper

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