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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.
One should ascertain the proper time for making a gift of kine.  One should also ascertain the distinctive qualifications of both Brahmanas (who are to receive them) and of kine themselves (which are to be given away).  Kine should not be given unto one in whose abode they are likely to suffer from fire or the sun.  One, who is rich in Vedic lore, who is of pure lineage, who is endued with a tranquil soul, who is devoted to the performance of sacrifices, who fears the commission of sin, who is possessed of varied knowledge, who is compassionate towards kine, who is mild in behaviour, who accords protection unto all that seek it of him, and who has no means of sustenance assigned unto him, is regarded as a proper person for receiving a gift of kine.  Unto a Brahmana who has no means of sustenance, unto him while he is exceedingly afflicted for want of food (in a time, of famine, for example) for purposes of agriculture, for a child born in consequence of Homa, for the purposes of his preceptor, for the sustenance of a child born (in the ordinary course), should a cow be given.  Verily, the gift should be made at a proper time and in a proper place[361].  Those kine, O Sakra, whose dispositions are well-known, which have been acquired as honoraria for knowledge, or which have been purchased in exchange for other animals (such as goats, sheep, etc.), or which have been who by prowess of arms, or obtained as marriage-dower; or which have been acquired by being rescued from situations of danger, or which incapable of being maintained by their ’poor owner have been made over for careful keep, to another’s house are, for such reasons, regarded as proper objects of gift.  Those kine which are strong of body, which have good dispositions, and which emit an agreeable fragrance, are applauded in the matter of gifts.  As Ganga is the foremost of all streams, even so is a Kapila cow the foremost of all animals of the bovine breed.  Abstaining from all food and living only upon water for three nights, and sleeping for the same period upon the bare earth, one should make gifts of kine unto Brahmanas after having gratified them with other presents.  Such kine, freed from every vice should, at the same time, be accompanied by healthy calves that have not been weaned.  Having made the gift, the giver should live for the next three days in succession on food consisting only of the products of the cow.[362] By giving away a cow that is of good disposition, that quietly suffers herself to be milked that always brings forth living and hale calves, and that does not fly away from the owner’s abode, the giver enjoys felicity in the next world for as many years as there are hairs on her body.  Similarly, by giving unto a Brahmana a bull that is capable of bearing heavy burden, that is young and strong and docile, that quietly bears the yoke of the plough, and that is possessed of such energy as is sufficient to undergo even great labour one attains to such regions as are
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