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.
one should offer oblations of water unto one’s Pitris, naming them all.  Indeed, when one comes upon a river one should gratify one’s Pitris with oblations of water.  Having offered oblations of water first unto the ancestors of one’s own race, one should next offer such oblations to one’s (deceased) friends and relatives.  When one crosses a stream on a car unto which is yoked a couple of oxen of variegated hue, or from them that cross a stream on boats, the Pitris expect oblations of water.  Those that know this always offer oblations of water with concentrated attention unto the Pitris, Every fortnight on the day of the New moon, one should make offerings unto one’s deceased ancestors.  Growth, longevity, energy, and prosperity become all attainable through devotion to the Pitris.  The Grandsire Brahman, Pulastya, Vasishtha, Pulaha, Angiras, Kratu and the great Rishi Kasyapa—­these, O prince of Kuru’s race, and regarded as great masters of Yoga.  They are numbered among the Pitris.  Even this is the high ritual in respect of the Sraddha, O monarch!  Through Sraddhas performed on earth the deceased members of one race become freed from a position of misery.  I have thus, O prince of Kuru’s race, expounded to thee agreeably with the scriptures, the ordinances in respect of Sraddhas.  I shall once more discourse to thee on gifts.”


“Yudhishthira said, ’If Brahmanas that are in the observance of a vow (viz., fast) eat, at the invitation of a Brahmana, the Havi (offered at a Sraddha), can they be charged with the transgression or a violation of their vow, or should they refuse the invitation of a Brahmana when such invitation is received by them?  Tell me this, O grandsire!’

“Bhishma said, ’Let those Brahmanas eat, impelled by desire, who are observant of such vows as are not indicated in the Vedas.  As regards those Brahmanas, however, that are observant of such vows are indicated in the Vedas, they are regarded as guilty of a breach of their vow, O Yudhishthira, by eating the Havi of a Sraddha at the request of him who performs the Sraddha.’

“Yudhishthira said, ’Some people say that fast is a penance.  Is penance really identifiable with fast or is it not so?  Tell me this, O grandsire!’

“Bhishma said, ’People do regard a regular fast for a month or a half month as a penance.  The truth, however, is that one who mortifies one’s own body is not to be regarded either as an ascetic or as one conversant with duty[415].  Renunciation, however, is regarded as the best of penances.  A Brahmana should always be an abstainer from food, and observe the vow called Brahmacharya.[416] A Brahmana should always practise self-denial restraining even speech, and recite the Vedas.  The Brahmana should marry and surround himself with children and relatives, from desire of achieving righteousness.  He should never sleep.  He should abstain from meat. 

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