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.
restraints earns inexhaustible merit himself and confers inexhaustible merit upon the recipient.  The man who is content with his own wedded wife and who makes a gift of robes, earns an excellent complexion and excellent vestments for himself.  I have told thee, O foremost of men, what the merits are that attach to gifts of kine, of gold, and the sesame agreeably to deserve precepts of the Vedas and the scriptures One should marry and raise offspring upon one’s wedded wives.  Of all acquisitions, O son of Kuru’s race, that of male issue is regarded as the foremost.’”

 Section LXIX

“Yudhishthira said, ’Do thou, O foremost one of Kuru’s race, discourse unto me once again of the excellent ordinance regarding gifts, with especial reference, O thou of great wisdom, to the gift of earth.  A Kshatriya should make gifts of earth unto a Brahmana of righteous deeds.  Such a Brahmana should accept the gift with due rites.  None else, however, than a Kshatriya is competent to make gifts of earth.  It behoves thee now to tell me what these objects are that persons of all classes are free to bestow if moved by the desire of earning merit.  Thou shouldst also tell me what has been said in the Vedas on this subject.’

“Bhishma said, ’There are three gifts that go by the same name and that are productive of equal merits.  Indeed, these three confer the fruition of every wish.  The three objects whose gifts are of such a character are kine, earth, and knowledge.[350] That person who tells his disciple words of righteous import drawn from the Vedas acquires merit equal to that which is won by making gifts of earth and kine.  Similarly are kine praised (as objects of gifts).  There is no object of gift higher than they.  Kine are supposed to confer merit immediately.  They are also, O Yudhishthira, such that a gift of them cannot but lead to great merit.  Kine are the mothers of all creatures.  They bestow every kind of happiness.  The person that desires his own prosperity should always make gifts of kine.  No one should kick at kine or proceed through the midst of kine.  Kine are goddesses and homes of auspiciousness.  For this reason, they always deserve worship.  Formerly, the deities, while tilling the earth whereon they performed a sacrifice, used the goad for striking the bullocks yoked to the plough.  Hence, in tilling earth for such a purpose, one may, without incurring censure or sin, apply the goad to bullocks.  In other acts, however, bullocks should never be struck with the goad or the whip When kine are grazing or lying down no one should annoy them in any way.  When the cows are thirsty and they do not get water (in consequence of any one obstructing their access to the pool or tank or river), they, by merely looking at such a person, can destroy him with all his relatives and friends.  What creatures can be more sacred than kine when with the very dung of kine altars whereon Sraddhas are performed in honour of the Pitris, or those whereon the deities are worshipped, are cleansed and sanctified?  That man, who, before eating himself gives every day, for a year, only a handful of grass unto a cow belonging to another, is regarded as undergoing a vow or observance which bestows the fruition of every wish.  Such a person ac-quires children and fame and wealth and prosperity, and dispels all evils and dreams.’

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