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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.

“Bhishma continued, ’Although he had retired into the woods, yet, O Yudhishthira, having heard the words of the great Rishi he began to cherish and protect his subjects righteously.  Soon, O best of kings, that worm, in consequence of the due discharge of the duty of protecting his subjects, became a Brahmana after casting off his Kshatriya body.  Beholding him transformed into a Brahmana, the celebrated Rishi, viz., the Island-born Krishna of great wisdom, came to him.’

“Vyasa said, ’O chief of Brahmanas, O blessed one, be not troubled (through fear of death)!  He who acts righteously attains to respectable birth.  He, on the other hand, who acts unrighteously attains to a low and vile birth, O thou that art conversant with righteousness, one attains to misery agreeably the measure of one’s sin.  Therefore, O worm, do not be troubled through fear of death.  The only fear thou shouldst entertain is about the loss of righteousness.  Do thou, therefore, go on practising righteousness.’

“The worm said, ’Through thy grace, O holy one, I have attained from happy to happier positions!  Having obtained such prosperity as has its roots in righteousness, I think, my demerits have been lost.’

“Bhishma said, ’The worm having, at the command of the holy Rishi, attained to the status of a Brahmana that is so difficult to attain, caused the earth to be marked with a thousand sacrificial stakes.  That foremost of all persons conversant with Brahma then obtained a residence in the region of Brahman himself.  Indeed, O son of Pritha, the worm attained to the highest status, viz., that of eternal Brahma, as the result of his own acts done in obedience to the counsels of Vyasa.  Those bulls among Kshatriyas, also, who have cast off their life-breaths (on the field of Kurukshetra) exerting their energy the while, have all attained to a meritorious end.  Therefore O king, do not mourn on their account.’”

SECTION CXX

“Yudhishthira said, ’Which amongst these three is superior, viz., knowledge, penances, and gifts?  I ask thee, O foremost of righteous persons!  Do tell me this, O grandsire!’

“Bhishma said, ’In this connection is cited the old narrative of the conversation between Maitreya and the Island-born Krishna.  Once on a time, the Island-born Krishna, O king, while wandering over the world in disguise, proceeded to Baranasi and waited upon Maitreya who belonged by birth to a race of Munis[531].  Seeing Vyasa arrive, that foremost of Rishis, viz., Maitreya, gave him a seat and after worshipping him with due rites, fed him with excellent food.  Having eaten that good food which was very wholesome and which produced every kind of gratification, the high-souled Krishna became exceedingly delighted and as he sat there, he even laughed aloud.  Seeing Krishna laugh, Maitreya addressed him, saying, ’Tell me, O righteous-souled

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