“Sri said, ’Ye givers of honours, cast off by you in this way, I shall certainly be an object of disregard with all the world. Do ye show me grace. Ye are all highly blessed. Ye are ever ready to grant protection unto those that seek your protection. I have come to you soliciting your protection. I have no fault. Do you rescue me (from this situation). Know that I shall always be devoted to you. I am desirous of residing in any parts, however repulsive, of your bodies. Indeed, I wish to reside in even your rectum. Ye sinless ones, I do not see that ye have any part in your bodies that may be regarded as repulsive, for ye are sacred, and sanctifying, and highly blessed. Do ye, however, grant my prayer. Do ye tell me in which part, of your bodies I shall take up my residence.’
“Bhishma continued, ’Thus addressed by Sri, the kine, always auspicious and inclined to kindness unto all who are devoted to them, took counsel with one another, and then addressing Sri, and unto her, O king, these words.’
“The kine said, ’O thou of great fame, it is certainly desirable that we should honour thee. Do thou live in our urine and dung. Both these are sacred, O auspicious goddess!
“Sri said, ’By good luck, ye have shown me much grace implying your desire to favour me. Let it be even as ye say! Blessed be ye all, I have really been honoured by you, ye givers of happiness!
“Bhishma continued, ’Having, O Bharata, made this compact with the kine, Sri, there and then, in the very sight of those kine, rendered herself invisible. I have thus told thee, O son, the glory of the dung of kine, I shall once again discourse to thee on the glory of kine. Do thou listen to me.”
“Bhishma said, ’They who make gifts of kine, and who subsist upon the remnants of things offered as libations on the sacred fire, are regarded, O Yudhishthira, as always performing sacrifices of every kind. No sacrifice can be performed without the aid of curds and ghee. The very character as sacrifice which sacrifices have, depends upon ghee. Hence ghee (or, the cow from which it is produced) is regarded as the very root of sacrifice. Of all kinds of gifts, the gift of kine is applauded as the highest. Kine are the foremost of all things. Themselves sacred, they are the best of cleansers and sanctifiers. People should cherish kine for obtaining prosperity and even peace. The milk, curds, and ghee that kine yield are capable of cleansing one from every kind of sin. Kine are said to represent the highest energy both in this world and the world that is above. There is nothing that is more sacred or sanctifying than kine, O chief of Bharata’s race. In this connection is recited the ancient narrative, O Yudhishthira, of the discourse between the Grandsire and the chief of celestials. After the Daityas had been defeated and Sakra had become the lord of the three worlds all creatures grew