“Bhishma said, ’Thus addressed by Vyasa, Maitreya, who was a worshipper of acts, who had been born in a race endued with great prosperity, who was wise and possessed of great learning said unto him these words’.
“Maitreya said, ’O thou of great wisdom, without doubt it is as thou hast said, O puissant one, with thy permission I desire to say something.’
“Vyasa said, ’Whatever thou wishest to say, O Maitreya, do thou say, O man of great wisdom, for I wish to hear thee.
“Maitreya said. ’Thy words on the subject of Gift are faultless and pure. Without doubt, thy soul has been cleansed by knowledge and penances. In consequence of thy soul being cleansed, even this is the great advantage I reap from it. With the aid of my understanding I see that thou art endued with high penances. As regards ourselves we succeed in acquiring prosperity through only a sight of personages like thee I think, that is due to thy grace and flows from the nature of my own acts. Penances, knowledge of the Vedas, and birth in a pure race,—these are the causes of the status which one acquires of a Brahmana. When one has these three attributes, then does he come to be called a regenerate person. If the Brahmana be gratified, the Pitris and the deities are also gratified. There is nothing superior to a Brahmana possessed of Vedic lore. Without the Brahmana, all would be darkness. Nothing would be known. The four orders would not exist. The distinction between Righteousness and Unrighteousness. Truth and Falsehood, would cease. On a well-tilled field, an abundant harvest can be reaped. Even so, one may reap great merit by making gifts unto a Brahmana possessed of great learning. If there were no