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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.
feet of those Brahmanas engaged in eating the food that was served unto them a number of Kusa blades was spread out on the seats they occupied, with the top ends of the blades directed towards the south.  With a pure body and mind and with concentrated attention, Nimi, having placed those blades of sacred grass in the way indicated, offered cakes of rice unto his dead son, uttering his name and family.  Having done this, that foremost of Munis became filled with regret at the idea of having achieved an act that had not (to his knowledge) been laid down in any of the scriptures.  Indeed, filled with regret he began to think of what he had done.[412] ’Never done before by the Munis, alas, what have I done!  How shall I (for having done an act that has not been ordained) avoid being cursed by the Brahmanas (as an introducer of strange rites)?’ He then thought of the original progenitor of his race.  As soon as he was thought of, Atri endued with wealth of penances came there.  Beholding him exceedingly afflicted with grief on account of the death of his son, the immortal Atri comforted him with agreeable counsels.  He said unto him, ’O Mini, this rite that thou hast conceived, is a sacrifice in honour of the Pitris.  Let no fear be thine, O thou that art possessed of the wealth of asceticism!  The Grandsire Brahman himself, in days of old, laid it down!  This rite that thou hast conceived has been ordained by the Self-born himself.  Who else than the Self-born could ordain this ritual in Sraddhas?  I shall presently tell thee, O son, the excellent ordinance laid down in respect of Sraddhas.  Ordained by the Self-born himself, O son, do thou follow it.  Listen to me first!  Having first performed the Karana on the sacred fire with the aid of Mantras, O thou that art possessed of wealth of penances, one should always pour libations next unto the deity of fire, and Soma, and Varuna.  Unto the Viswedevas also, who are always the companions of the Pitris, the Self-born then ordained a portion of the offerings.  The Earth also, as the goddess that sustains the offerings made at Sraddhas, should then be praised under the names of Vaishnavi, Kasyapi, and the inexhaustible.[413] When water is being fetched for the Sraddha, the deity Varuna of great puissance should be praised.  After this, both Agni and Soma should be invoked with reverence and gratified (with libations), O sinless one.  Those deities that are called by the name of Pitris were created by the Self-born.  Others also, highly blessed, viz., the Ushnapsa, were created by him.  For all these shares have been ordained of the offerings made at Sraddhas.  By adoring all these deities at Sraddhas, the ancestors of the persons performing them become freed from all sins.  The Pitris referred to above as those created by the Self-born number seven.  The Viswedevas having Agni for their mouth (for it is through Agni that they feed), have been mentioned before.  I shall now mention the names of those high-souled
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