The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,582 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4.

“Bhishma continued, ’After this, the highly blessed and celebrated seven Rishis, with Vasishtha at their head, rose and circumambulating the Lotus-born Brahman, stood around him with hands joined in reverence.  Vasishtha, that foremost of all persons conversant with Brahma, became their spokesman and asked this question that is beneficial to every creature, but especially so to Brahmanas and Kshatriyas, ’By doing what acts may men of righteous conduct who are, however, destitute of the good of this world, succeed in acquiring merits attaching to sacrifices?’ Hearing this question of theirs, the Grandsire Brahman began to say what follows.’

“Brahman said, ’Excellent is this question, ye highly blessed ones!  It is at once auspicious and high and fraught with a mystery.  This question that ye have put is subtil and is fraught with high benefit to mankind.  Ye Rishis possessed of wealth of penances, I shall recite everything to you in detail.  Do ye listen with attention to what I say as to how men acquire the merits attaching to sacrifices (even when they are unable to perform them through poverty.) In the lighted fortnight of the month of Pausha, when the constellation Rohini is in conjunction, if one, purifying oneself by a bath, lies under the cope of heaven, clad in a single piece of raiment, with faith and concentrated attention, and drinks the rays of the moon, one acquires the merits that attach to the performance of great sacrifices.  Ye foremost of regenerate persons, this is a high mystery that I declare unto you in reply to your questions, ye that are possessed of insight into the subtil truths of all topics of enquiry.’”


“Vibhavasu (otherwise called Surya) said, ’There are two offerings.  One of those consists of a palmful of water and the other called Akshata consists of rice-grains with ghee.  One should, on the day of the full moon, stand facing that bright orb and make unto him the two offerings mentioned, viz., a palmful of water and the rice-grains with ghee called Akshata.  The man who presents these offerings is said to adore his sacred fire.  Verily, he is regarded as one that has poured libations on the three (principal) fires.  That man of little understanding who cutteth down a large tree on the day of the new moon, becomes stained with the sin of Brahmanicide.  By killing even a single leaf one incurs that sin.  That foolish man who chews a tooth-brush on the day of the new moon is regarded as injuring the deity of the moon by such an act.  The Pitris of such a person become annoyed with him.[553] The deities do not accept the libations poured by such a man on days of the full moon and the new moon.  His Pitris become enraged with him, and his race and the family become extinct.’

“Sree said, ’That sinful house, in which eating and drinking vessels and seats and beds lie scattered, and in which women are beaten, the deities and Pitris leave in disgust.  Verily, without accepting the offerings made unto them by the owners of such houses, the deities and the Pitris fly away from such a sinful habitation.’

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