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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.
gold and silver and horses and cars.  That foremost of Brahmanas refused to accept any of these as gift and went away.  Meanwhile, urged by time’s irresistible influence, I had to depart from this world.  Wending to the region of the Pitris I was taken to the presence of the king of the dead.  Worshipping me duly Yama addressed me, saying, ’The end cannot be ascertained, O king, of thy deed.  There is, however, a little sin which was unconsciously perpetrated by thee.  Do thou suffer the punishment for that sin now or afterwards as it pleases thee.  Thou hadst (upon thy accession to the throne) sworn that thou wouldst protect (all persons in the enjoyment of their own).  That oath of thine was not rigidly kept by thee.  Thou tookest also what belonged to a Brahmana.  Even this has been the two-fold sin thou hast committed.’  I answered, saying, ’I shall first undergo the distress of punishment, and when that is over, I shall enjoy the happiness that is in store for me, O lord!’ After I had said those words unto the king of the dead, I fell down on the Earth.  Though fallen down I still could hear the words that Yama said unto me very loudly.  Those words were, Janardana the son of Vasudeva, will rescue thee!  Upon the completion of a full thousand years, when the demerit will be exhausted of thy sinful act, thou shalt then attain to many regions of inexhaustible felicity that have been acquired by thee through thy own acts of righteousness.  Falling down I found myself, with head downwards, within this well, transformed into a creature of the intermediate order.  Memory, however, did not leave me.  By thee I have been rescued today.  What else can it testify to than the puissance of thy penances?  Let me have thy permission.  O Krishna!  I desire to ascend to heaven! permitted then by Krishna, king Nriga bowed his head unto him and then mounted a celestial car and proceeded to heaven.  After Nriga had thus proceeded to heaven, O best of the Bharatas, Vasudeva recited this verse, O delighter of the Kurus.  No one should consciously appropriate anything belonging to a Brahmana.  The property of a Brahmana, if taken, destroys the taker even as the Brahmana’s cow destroyed king Nriga!  I tell thee, again, O Partha, that a meeting with the good never proves fruitless.  Behold, king Nriga was rescued from hell through meeting with one that is good.  As a gift is productive of merit even so an act of spoliation leads to demerit.  Hence also, O Yudhishthira, one should avoid doing any injury to kine.’"[352]

SECTION LXXI

’’Yudhishthira said, V sinless one, do thou discourse to me more in detail upon the merits that are attainable by making gifts of kine.  O thou of mighty arms, I am never satiated with thy words!’

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