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.
Brahmanas endued with Vedic lore and good conduct for accepting gifts, the wealth possessed by wealthy people would be useless.  The ignorant Brahmana, by eating the food that is offered to him, destroys what he eats (for it produces no merit to him who gives it).  The food that is eaten also destroys the eater (for the eater incurs sin by eating what is offered to him).  That ought to be properly termed an eatable which is given away to a deserving man, in all other cases, he that takes it makes the donor’s gift thrown away and the receiver is likewise ruined for his improperly accepting it.  The Brahmana possessed of learning becomes the subjugator of the food that he eats.  Having eaten it, he begets other food.  The ignorant who eats the food offered to him loses his right to the children he begets, for the latter become his whose food has enabled the progenitor to beget them.  Even this is the subtle fault that attaches to persons eating other people’s food when they have not the puissance to win that food.  The merit which the giver acquires by making the gift, is equal to what the taker acquires by accepting the food.  Both the giver and the acceptor depend equally upon each other.  Even this is what the Rishis have said.  There where Brahmanas exist, possessed of Vedic lore and conduct, people are enabled to earn the sacred fruits of gifts and to enjoy them both here and hereafter.  Those men who are of pure lineage, who are exceedingly devoted to penances, and who make gifts, and study the Vedas, are regarded as worthy of the most reverent worship.  It is those good men that have chalked out the path by treading on which one does not become stupefied.  It is those men that are the leaders of others to heaven.  They are the men who bear on their shoulders the burden of sacrifices and live for eternity.”

SECTION CXXII

“Bhishma said, ’Thus addressed, the holy one replied unto Maitreya, saying ’by good luck, thou art endued with knowledge.  By good luck, thy understanding is of this kind!  They that are good highly applaud all righteous attributes.  That personal beauty and youth and prosperity do not succeed in overwhelming thee is due to good luck.  This favour done to thee is due to the kindness of the deities.  Listen to me as I discourse to thee upon what is even superior (in efficacy) to gift.  Whatever scriptures and religious treatises there are, whatever (righteous) inclinations are observable in the world, they have flowed in their due order, agreeably with the lead of the Vedas, according to their due order.  Following them I applaud gift.  Thou praisest penances and Vedic lore.  Penances are sacred.  Penances are the means by which one may acquire the Vedas and heaven also.  With the aid of penances and of knowledge, one attains to the highest fruits, we have heard.  It is by penances that one destroys one’s sins and all else that is evil.  It has been heard by us that with whatever

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