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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.
blessed one, on costly beds in delightful rooms into which disagreeable winds cannot blow.  Towards the small hours of every night, Sutas and Magadhas and encomiasts utter my praises even as the deities utter the agreeable praises of Indra, their chief.  Through the grace of thyself that art firm in truth and endued with immeasurable energy, I who was before a worm have now become a person of the royal order.  I bow my head to thee, O thou of great wisdom.  Do thou command me as to what I should do now.  Ordained by the puissance of thy penances, even this happy status hath now become mine!’

“Vyasa said, ’I have today been worshipped by thee, O king, with diverse words expressive of reverence.  Transformed into a worm, thy memory had become clouded.  That memory has again appeared.  The sin thou committed in a former life has not yet been destroyed,—­that sin, viz., which was earned by thee while thou wert a Sudra covetous of wealth and cruel in behaviour and hostile to the Brahmanas.  Thou wert able to obtain a sight of my person.  That was an act of merit to thee while thou wert a worm.  In consequence of thy having saluted and worshipped me thou shalt rise higher, for, from the Kshatriya order thou shalt rise to the status of a Brahmana, if only thou castest off thy life-breaths on the field of battle for the sake of kine or Brahmanas.  O prince, enjoying much felicity and performing many sacrifices with copious presents, thou shalt attain to heaven and transformed into eternal Brahma, thou wilt have perfect beatitude.  Those that take birth in the intermediate order (of animals) become (when they rise) Sudras.  The Sudra rises to the status of the Vaisya; and the Vaisya to that of the Kshatriya.  The Kshatriya who takes pride in the discharge of the duties of his order, succeeds in attaining to the status of a Brahmana.  The Brahmana, by following a righteous conduct, attains to heaven that is fraught with great felicity.’”

SECTION CXIX

“Bhishma said, ’Having cast off the status of a worm and taken birth as a Kshatriya of great energy, the person (of whom I am speaking), remembering his previous transformations, O monarch, began to undergo severe austerities.  Beholding those severe austerities of the Kshatriya who was well-conversant with religion and wealth, the Island-born Krishna, that foremost of Brahmanas, went to him.’

“Vyasa said, The penances that appertain, O worm, to the Kshatriya order consist of the protection of all creatures.  Do thou regard these duties of the Kshatriya order to be the penances laid down for thee.  Thou shalt then attain to the status of a Brahmana.  Ascertaining what is right and what is wrong, and cleansing thy soul, do thou duly cherish and protect all creatures, judiciously gratifying all good desires and correcting all that is unholy.  Be thou of cleansed soul, be thou contented and be thou devoted to the practice of righteousness.  Conducting thyself in this way, thou wilt then, when thou castest off thy life-breaths, become a Brahmana!’

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