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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.
for it was by imparting instruction to a low-born person a Brahmana came to grief.  O best of kings, the Brahmana should never desire to obtain instruction from, or impart instruction to, a person that belongs to the lowest order.  Brahmanas and Kshatriyas and Vaisyas, the three orders, are regarded as twice-born.  By imparting instruction unto these, a Brahmana does not incur any fault.  They, therefore, that are good, should never discourse on any subject, for imparting any instruction, before persons of the inferior order.  The course of morality is exceedingly subtile and incapable of being comprehended by persons of uncleansed souls.  It is for this reason that ascetics adopt the vow of silence, and being respected by all, pass through Diksha (initiation) without indulging in speech.[26] For fear of saying what is incorrect or what may offend, ascetics often forego speech itself.  Even men that are righteous and possessed of every accomplishment, and endued with truth and simplicity of behaviour, have been known to incur great fault in consequence of words spoken improperly.  Instruction should never be imparted on anything unto any person.  If in consequence of the instructions imparted, the instructed commit any sin, that sin, attaches to the Brahmana who imparted the instruction.  The man of wisdom, therefore, that desires to earn merit, should always act with wisdom.  That instruction which is imparted in barter for money always pollutes the instructor.[27] Solicited by others, one should say only what is correct after settling it with the aid of reflection.  One should impart instruction in such a way that one may, by imparting it, earn merit.  I have thus told thee everything respecting the subject of instructions.  Very often persons become plunged into great afflictions in consequence of imparting instructions.  Hence it is meet that one should abstain from giving instruction unto others.’”

SECTION XI

“Yudhishthira said, ’Tell me, O grandsire, in what kind of man or woman, O chief of the Bharatas, does the goddess of prosperity always reside?’

“Bhishma said, ’I shall, in this connection, narrate to thee what occurred and what I have heard.  Once on a time, beholding the goddess of prosperity blazing with beauty and endued with the complexion of the lotus, the princess Rukmini the mother of Pradyumna that bore the device of the Makara on his banner, filled with curiosity, asked this question in the presence of Devaki’s son.  Who are those beings by whose side thou stayest and whom thou favours?  Who again, are those whom thou dost not bless with favour.  O thou that art dear unto Him that is the lord of all creatures, tell me this truly, O thou that art equal to a great Rishi in penances and puissance.  Thus addressed by the princess, the goddess of prosperity, with a face as beautiful as the moon, and moved by grace, in the presence of him who has Garuda on his banner, said these words in reply that were sweet and charming.’

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