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.

“Vaisampayana said, ’While the son of Pritha and the son of Ganga were thus speaking with each other, there came to that spot from the firmament the illustrious Vrihaspati of cleansed soul.  King Yudhishthira, and all others, with Dhritarashtra at their head, stood up and received Vrihaspati with proper honours.  Verily, the worship they offered to the preceptor of the celestials was excellent.  Then Dharma’s royal son, Yudhishthira, approaching the illustrious Vrihaspati, asked him the question in proper form, desirous of knowing the truth.’

“Yudhishthira said, ’O illustrious one, thou art conversant with all duties and all the scriptures.  Do thou tell me, what is truly the friend of mortal creatures?  Is the father, or mother, or son, or preceptor, or kinsmen, or relatives, or those called friends, that may be said to truly constitute the friend of a mortal creature?  One goes to the next world, leaving one’s dead body that is like a piece of wood or a clod of earth.  Who is it that follows him thither?’

“Vrihaspati said, ’One is born alone, O king, and one dies alone; one crosses alone the difficulties one meets with, and one alone encounters whatever misery falls to one’s lot.  One has really no companion in these acts.  The father, the mother, the brother, the son, the preceptor, kinsmen, relatives, and friends, leaving the dead body as if it were a piece of wood or a clod of earth, after having mourned for only a moment, all turn away from it and proceed to their own concerns.  Only Righteousness follows the body that is thus abandoned by them all.  Hence, it is plain, that Righteousness is the only friend and that Righteousness only should be sought by all.  One endued with righteousness would attain to that high end which is constituted by heaven.  If endued with unrighteousness, he goes to Hell.  Hence, the man of intelligence should always seek to acquire religious merit through wealth won by lawful means.  Piety is the one only friend which creatures have in the world hereafter.  Let by cupidity, or stupefaction, or compassion, or fear, one destitute of much knowledge is seen to do improper acts, for the sake of even another, his judgment thus stupefied by cupidity.[506] Piety, wealth and pleasure,—­these three constitute the fruit of life.  One should acquire these three by means of being free from impropriety and sin.’

“Yudhishthira, said, ’I have carefully heard the words spoken by thy illustrious self,—­these words that are fraught with righteousness, and that are highly beneficial.  I wish now to know of the existence of the body (after death).[507] The dead body of man becomes subtil and unmanifest.  It becomes invisible.  How is it possible for piety to follow it?’

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