The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,582 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4.

“Bhishma said, Listen, O king, with concentrated attention to me as I recite to thee in detail the circumstances connected with the origin of gold as understood by me.  When my father Santanu of great energy departed from this world, I proceeded to Gangadwara for performing his Sraddha.  Arrived there, I commenced the Sraddha of my father.  My mother Jahnavi, coming there, rendered me great help.  Inviting many ascetics crowned with success and causing them to take their seats before me, I commenced the preliminary rites consisting of gifts of water and of other things.  Having with a concentrated mind performed all preliminary rites as laid down in the scriptures, I set myself to duly offer the obsequial cake.  I then saw, O king, that a handsome arm, adorned with Angadas and other ornaments, rose up, piercing the ground, through the blades of Kusa grass which I had spread.  Beholding that arm rise from the ground, I became filled with wonder.  Indeed, O chief of Bharata’s race, I thought that my father had come himself for accepting the cake I was about to offer.  Reflecting then, by the light of the scriptures, the conviction soon came upon me that the ordinance does occur in the Vedas that the cake should not be presented into the hand of him whose Sraddha is performed.  Even this was the conviction that took possession of my mind, viz., that the obsequial cake should never be presented in this world by a man into the visible hand of the man whose obsequial rites are performed.  The Pitris do not come in their visible forms for taking the cake.  On the other hand, the ordinance provides that it should be presented on the blades of Kusa grass spread on the earth for the purpose.  I then, disregarding that hand which constituted an indication of my father’s presence, and recollecting the true ordinance depending upon the authority of the scriptures respecting the mode of presenting the cake, offered the entire cake, O chief of the Bharatas, upon those blades of Kusa grass that were spread before me.  Know, O prince of men, that what I did was perfectly consistent with the scriptural ordinance.  After this, the arm of my sire, O monarch, vanished in our very sight.  On that night as I slept, the Pitris appeared to me in a dream.  Gratified with me they said, O chief of Bharata’s race, even these words, ’We have been pleased with thee, for the indication thou hast afforded today of thy adherence to the ordinance.  It has pleased us to see that thou hast not swerved from the injunctions of the scriptures.  The scriptural ordinance, having been followed by thee, has become more authoritative, O king.  By such conduct thou hast honoured and maintained the authority of thyself, the scriptures, the auditions of the Vedas, the Pitris and the Rishis, the Grandsire Brahman himself, and those seniors, viz., the Prajapatis.  Adherence to the scriptures has been maintained.  Thou hast today, O chief of the Bharatas, acted very properly.  Thou hast made gifts of earth and kine.  Do thou

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