The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,319 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4.
who is pursued by bees, behold, I am running, penetrated with fear, and smeared with dust!  They that lead the domestic mode of life are rescued from all sins by a study of the Vedas, as also by gifts of other kinds, as declared by the wise.[451] O thou of the royal order, a Brahmana that is sinful in conduct, becomes rescued from all his sins by the study of the Vedas if he betakes himself to the forest mode of life and abstains from attachment of every kind.  O chief of Kshatriyas, I am in this life, born in a sinful older!  I fail to see clearly how I may succeed in cleansing myself from all sins.  In consequence of some meritorious act of a former life, I have not lost the memory of my previous lives.  O king, I throw myself on the mercy!  I ask thee!  Do thou resolve my doubt.  By what auspicious course of conduct should I wish to achieve my emancipation?  O foremost of men, by what means shall I succeed in getting rid of my status as a Chandala?’

“The person of the royal order said, ’Know, O Chandala, the means by which thou mayst be able to attain to emancipation.  By casting off thy life-breaths for the sake of a Brahmana thou mayst attain a desirable end!  By throwing thy body on the fire of battle as a libation to the beasts and birds of prey for the sake of a Brahmana, indeed, by casting off thy life-breaths thus, thou mayst achieve emancipation!  By no other means wilt thou succeed in achieving it!’

“Bhishma continued, ’Thus addressed, that Chandala, O scorcher of foes, poured his life-breaths as a libation on the fire of battle for the sake of protecting a Brahmana’s wealth and as the consequence of that act attained to a very desirable end.  Hence, O son, thou shouldst always protect the property of the Brahmanas, if, O chief of Bharata’s race, thou desirest, O thou of mighty arms, an end that is eternal felicity!’”

SECTION CII

“Yudhishthira said, ’O grandsire, it has been said that all pious men attain to the same region after death.  Is it true, O Bharata, that there is difference of position or status among them?’

“Bhishma said, ’By different deeds, O son of Pritha, men attain to different regions.  They who are righteous in conduct attain to regions of felicity, while they who are sinful attain to regions that are fraught with misery.  In this connection is cited the old narrative of the discourse, O son, between the ascetic Gautama and Vasava.  A certain Brahmana of the name of Gautama, mild and self-restrained and with all his senses under complete control, beheld an infant elephant that had lost his mother and that was exceedingly cheerless on that account.  Full of compassion and steady in the observance of his vows, the ascetic nursed that infant animal.  After a long time the little beast grew up into a large and mighty elephant.  One day, Indra, assuming the form of king Dhritarashtra, seized that mighty elephant which was as huge as a hill and from whose

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