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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.
Let them betake themselves to me as a mother takes to her offspring.  Let all other blessings also be mine that have not been named in the Mantras I have uttered!  In the alleviation or cure of phthisis and other wasting diseases, and in the matter of achieving freedom from the body, if a person takes the help of the five products of the cow, kine become inclined to confer blessings upon the person like the river Saraswati—­Ye kine, ye are always conveyers of all kinds of merit!  Gratified with me, do ye appoint a desirable end for me!  I have today become what ye are!  By giving you away, I really give myself away.  (After these words have been uttered by giver, the receiver should say),—­Ye are no longer owned by him who gives you away!  Ye have now become mine.  Possessed of the nature of both Sutya and Soma, do ye cause both the giver and the receiver to blaze forth with all kinds of prosperity!—­(As already indicated), the giver should duly utter the words occurring in the first part of the above verse.  The regenerate recipient, conversant with the ritual that regulates the gift of kine, should, when receiving the kine in gift, utter (as already) said the words occurring in the latter half of the above verse.  The man who, instead of a cow, gives away the usual value thereof or cloths or gold, comes to be regarded as the giver of a cow The giver, when giving away the usual value of a cow (as the substitute of a cow) should utter the words,—­This cow with face upturned is being given away.  Do thou accept her!—­The man who gives away cloths (as the substitute of a cow) should utter the words,—­Bhavitavya—­(meaning that the gift should be regarded as representing a cow).  The man who gives away gold (as the substitute of a cow) should utter the word,—­Vaishnavi (meaning, this gold that I give away is of the form and nature of a cow).—­Even these are the words that should be uttered in the order of the kind of gift mentioned above.  The reward that is reaped by making such vicarious gifts of kine is residence in Heaven for six and thirty thousand years, eight thousand years, and twenty thousand years respectively.  Even these are the merits, respectively, of gifts of things as substitute of kine.  While as regards him who gives an actual cow all the merits that attach to vicarious gifts of kine become his at only the eight step (homewards) of the recipient.[368] He that gives an actual cow becomes endued with righteous behaviour in this world.  He that gives the value of a cow becomes freed from every kind of fear.  He that gives a cow (as a substitute in way for a real cow) never meet with sorrow.  All the three, as also they that regularly go through their ablutions and other acts at early dawn, and he that is well-conversant with the Mahabharata, it is well-known, attain to the regions of Vishnu and Soma.  Having given away a cow, the giver should, for three nights, adopt the vaccine vow, and pass one night with kine.  Commencing again from that lunation, numbering the eight, which
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