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.
consequence of the woods that flowered these at every season.  Many were the Brahmacharins that dwelt there, and many belonging to the forest mode of life.  Many also were the Brahmanas that took up their residence there, that were highly blessed and that resembled the sun or the fire in energy and effulgence.  Ascetics of diverse kinds, observant of various restraints and vows, as also others, O chief of the Bharatas, that had undergone Diksha and were frugal in fare and possessed of cleansed souls, took up their residence there.  Large numbers of Valakhilyas and many that were observant of the vow of Sanyasa also, used to dwell there.  The asylum, in consequence of all this, resounded with the chanting of the Vedas and the sacred Mantras uttered by its inhabitants.  Once upon a time a Sudra endued with compassion for all creatures, ventured to come into that asylum.  Arrived at that retreat, he was duly honoured by all the ascetics.  Beholding those ascetics of diverse classes that were endued with great energy, that resembled the deities (in purity and power), and that were observing diverse kinds of Diksha, O Bharata, the Sudra became highly pleased at heart.  Beholding everything, O chief of Bharata’s race, the Sudra felt inclined to devote himself to the practice of penances.  Touching the feet of the Kulapati (the head man of the group), O Bharata, he addressed him saying,[19] ’Through thy grace, O foremost of regenerate persons, I desire, to learn (and practise) the duties of religion.  It behoveth thee, O illustrious one, to discourse to me on those duties and introduce me (by performing the rites of initiation) into a life of Renunciation.  I am certainly inferior in colour, O illustrious one, for I am by caste a Sudra, O best of men.  I desire to wait upon and serve you here.  Be gratified with me that humbly seek thy shelter.’”

“The Kulapati said, ’It is impossible that a Sudra should live here adopting the marks specially intended for those practising lives of Renunciation.  If it pleases thee, thou mayest stay here, engaged in waiting upon and serving us.  Without doubt, by such service thou shalt attain to many regions of high felicity.’”

“Bhishma continued, ’Thus addressed by the ascetic, the Sudra began to reflect in his mind, O king, saying, How should I now act?  Great is my reverence for those religious duties that lead to merit.  Let this, however, be settled, that I shall do what would be for my benefit.’[20] Proceeding to a spot that was distant from that asylum, he made a hut of the twigs and leaves of trees.  Erecting also a sacrificial platform, and making a little space for his sleep, and some platforms for the use of the deities, he began, O chief of the Bharatas, to lead a life regulated by rigid observances and vows and to practise penances, abstaining entirely from speech all the while.  He began to perform ablutions thrice a day, observe other vows (in respect of food and sleep), make sacrifices to the deities,

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