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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, ’The illustrious and highly blessed Sandili, of righteous conduct, having said these words unto Sumana on the subject of woman’s duties towards her husband, disappeared there and then.  That man, O son of Pandu, who reads this narrative at every full moon and new moon, succeeds in attaining to heaven and enjoying great felicity in the woods of Nandana.”

SECTION CXXIV

“Yudhishthira said, ’Which is of superior efficacy, Conciliation or Gifts?  Tell me, O chief of Bharata’s race, which of these two is superior in point of efficacy.’

’Bhishma said, ’Some become gratified by conciliation, while others are gratified by gifts.  Every man, according to his own nature, affects the one or the other.  Listen to me, O king, as I explain to thee the merits of conciliation, O chief of Bharata’s race, so that the most furious creatures may be appeased by it.  In this connection is cited the ancient narrative of how a Brahmana, who had been seized in the forest by a Rakshasa, was freed (with the aid of conciliation).  A certain Brahmana, endued with eloquence and intelligence, fell into distress, for he was seized in a lone forest by a Rakshasa who wished to feed on him.  The Brahmana, possessed of understanding and learning, was not at all agitated.’  Without suffering himself to be stupefied at the sight of that terrible cannibal, he resolved to apply conciliation and see its effect on the Rakshasa.  The Rakshasa, respectfully saluting the Brahmana so far as words went, asked him this question, ’Thou shalt escape, but tell me for what reason I am pale of hue and so lean!’ Reflecting for a brief space of time, the Brahmana accepted the question of the Rakshasa and replied in the following well-spoken words’.

“The Brahmana said, ’Dwelling in a place that is distant from thy abode, moving in a sphere that is not thy own, and deprived of the companionship of thy friends and kinsmen, thou art enjoying vast affluence.  It is for this that thou art so pale and lean.  Verily, O Rakshasa, thy friends, though well-treated by thee, are still not well-disposed towards thee in consequence of their own vicious nature.  It is for this that thou art pale and lean.  Thou art endued with merit and wisdom and a well-regulated soul.  Yet it is thy lot to see others that are destitute of merit and wisdom honoured in preference to thyself.  It is for this that thou art pale and lean.  Persons possessed of wealth and affluence much greater than thine but inferior to thee in point of accomplishments are, verily, disregarding thee.  It is for this that thou art pale and lean.  Though distressed through want of the means of support, thou art led by the highness of thy soul to disregard such means as are open to thee for drawing thy sustenance.  It is for this that thou art pale and lean.  In consequence of thy righteousness thou hadst stinted thyself for doing good to another, This other, O righteous

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