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.
Pitris, fails to ascend to Heaven.  He who collects his friends and relatives only on the occasion of the Sraddha he performs (without keeping an eye on properly honouring deserving persons by inviting and feeding them), fails to proceed (after death) by the path of the deities (which is a lighted one and free from all afflictions and impediments).  The man who makes the Sraddha he performs an occasion for only gathering his friends, never succeeds in ascending to heaven.  Verily, the man who converts the Sraddha into an occasion for treating his friends, becomes dissociated from heaven even like a bird dissociated from the perch when the chain tying it breaks.[408] Therefore, he that performs a Sraddha should not honour (on such occasions) his friends.  He may make gifts of wealth unto them on other occasions by collecting them together.  The Havi and the Kavi offered at Sraddhas should be served unto them that are neither friends nor foes but are only indifferent or neutral.  As seed sown on a sterile soil does not sprout forth, or as one that has not sown does not get a share of the produce, even so that Sraddha the offerings in which are eaten by an unworthy person, yields no fruit either here or hereafter.[409] That Brahmana who is destitute of Vedic study is like a fire made by burning grass or straw; and becomes soon extinguished even like such a fire.  The offerings made at Sraddhas should not be given to him even as libations should not be poured on the ashes of the sacrificial fire.  When the offerings made at Sraddhas are exchanged by the performers with one another (instead of being given away unto worthy persons), they come to be regarded as Pisacha presents.  Such offerings gratify neither the gods nor the Pitris.  Instead of reaching the other world, they wander about even here like a cow that has lost her calf wandering about within the fold.  As those libations of ghee that are poured upon the extinguished ashes of a sacrificial fire never reach either the gods or the Pitris, after the same manner a gift that is made to a dancer or a singer or a Dakshina presented to a lying or deceitful person, produces no merit.  The Dakshina that is presented to a lying or deceitful person destroys both the giver and the receiver without benefiting them in any respect.  Such a Dakshina is destructive and highly censurable.  The Pitris of the person making it have to fall down from the path of the deities.  The gods know them to be Brahmanas who always tread, O Yudhishthira, within the bounds set up by the Rishis who are conversant with all duties, and who have a firm faith in their efficacy.  Those Brahmanas that are devoted to Vedic study, to knowledge, to penances, and to acts, O Bharata, should be known as Rishis.  The offerings made at Sraddhas should be given unto those that are devoted to knowledge.  Verily, they are to be regarded as men who never speak ill of the Brahmanas.  Those men should never be fed on occasions of Sraddhas who speak ill of Brahmanas in course of conversation
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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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