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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.

“Arundhati said, ’The great progress I have been able to achieve in penances is due to your consideration for me in thus remembering my poor self.  With your gracious permission I shall now discourse on duties that are eternal, on duties that are high mysteries.  I shall discourse thereon with the causes on which they depend.  Listen to me as I discourse to you elaborately.  A knowledge of these should be imparted unto him only that is possessed of faith or that has a pure heart.  These four, viz., he that is bereft of faith, he that is full of pride, he that is guilty of Brahmanicide, and he that violates the bed of his preceptor, should never be talked to.  Religion and duty should never be communicated unto them.  The merits acquired by a person who gives away a Kapila cow every day for a period of two and ten years, or by a person who adores the deities every month in a sacrifice, or by him who gives away hundreds of thousands of kine in the great Pushkara, do not come up to those that are his with whom a guest is gratified.  Listen now to another duty whose observance is fraught with happiness to mankind.  It should be observed with its secret ritual by a person endued with faith, Its merits are certainly high.  Listen to what they are.  If a person, rising at early dawn and taking with him a quantity of water and a few blades of Kusa grass, proceeds into a cow-pen and arriving there washes a cow’s horns by sprinkling thereon that water with those blades of Kusa grass and then causes the water to drip down on his own head, he is regarded, in consequence of such a bath, as one that has performed his ablutions in all the sacred waters that the wise have heard to exist in the three worlds and that are honoured and resorted to by Siddhas and Charanas.’  After Arundhati had said these words, all the deities and Pitris applauded her, saying, ‘Excellent, Excellent,’ Indeed, all the beings there were highly gratified and all of them worshipped Arundhati.’

“Brahman said, ’O highly blessed one, excellent is the duty that thou hast enunciated, together with its secret ritual.  Praise be to thee!  I grant thee this boon, viz., that thy penances will continually increase!’

“Yams said, ’I have heard from thee an excellent and agreeable discourse.  Listen now to what Chitragupta has said and what is agreeable to me.  Those words relate to duty with its secret ritual, and are worthy of being heard by the great Rishis, as also by men endued with faith and desirous of achieving their own good.  Nothing is lost of either piety or sin that is committed by creatures.  On days of the full moon and the new moon, those acts are conveyed to the sun where they rest.  When a mortal goes into the region of the dead, the deity of the sun bears witness to all his acts.  He that is righteous acquires the fruits of his righteousness there.  I shall now tell you of some auspicious duties that are approved by Chitragupta.  Water for drink, and lamps for lighting darkness, should

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