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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.
do anything unto that puissant deity.  The god in time invested Agni’s son born in the solitude (of a forest of reeds) with the command of their forces.  And they also informed him of the oppressions committed upon them by the Asura Taraka.  The generalissimo of the celestial forces grew up and became possessed of great energy and puissance.  In time Guha slew Taraka, with his irresistible dart.  Verily, Kumara slew the Asura as easily as if in sport.  Having accomplished the destruction of Taraka he re-established the chief of the deities in his sovereignty of the three worlds.  Endued with mighty prowess, the celestial generalissimo blazed with beauty and splendour.  The puissant Skanda became the protector of the deities and did what was agreeable to Sankara.  The illustrious son of Pavaka was endued with a golden form.  Verily, Kumara is always the leader of the celestial forces.  Gold is the puissant energy of the god of fire and was born with Kartikeya (from the same seed).  Hence is Gold highly auspicious and, as a valuable, is excellent and endued with inexhaustible merit.  Even thus, O son of Kuru’s race, did Vasishtha recite this discourse unto Rama of Bhrigu’s race in days of old.  Do thou, therefore, O king of men, try to make gifts of Gold.  By making gifts of Gold, Rama became cleansed of all his sins, and finally attained to a high place in heaven that is unattainable by other men.’”

SECTION LXXXVII

“Yudhishthira said, ’Thou hast discoursed to me, O thou of righteous soul, on the duties of the four orders.  Do thou, after the same manner, Q king, discourse to me now on all the ordinances respecting the Sraddha (of deceased ancestors).’

“Vaisampayana continued, ’Thus addressed by Yudhishthira, the son of Santanu set himself to declare unto him the following ritual, consistent with the ordinance of the Sraddha.’

“Bhishma said, ’Listen, O king, with close attention, to me as I discourse to you on the ritual of the Sraddha.  That ritual is auspicious, worthy of praise, productive of fame and progeny, and is regarded as a sacrifice, O scorcher of foes, in honour of the Pitris.  Gods or Asuras or human beings, Gandharvas or Uragas or Rakshasas, Pisachas or Kinnaras,—­every one should always worship the Pitris.  It is seen that people worship the Pitris first, and gratify the deities next by offering them their adorations.  Hence, one should always worship the Pitris with every care.[396] It is said, O king, that the Sraddha performed in honour of the Pitris is performable afterwards.  But this general rule is restrained by a special one (which directs that the Sraddha in honour of the Pitris should be performed on the afternoon of the day of the New moon).[397] The (deceased) grandsires become gratified with the Sraddha that may be performed on any day.  I shall, however, tell thee now what the merits and demerits are of the respective lunar days (in view of their adaptability to the performance

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