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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.
always be given, as also sandals and umbrellas and Kapila kine with due rites.  In Pushkara especially should one make the gift of a Kapila cow unto a Brahmana conversant with the Vedas.  One should also always maintain one’s Agnihotra with great care.  Here is another duty which was proclaimed by Chitragupta.  It behoveth them that are the best of creatures to listen to what the merits are of that duty separately.  In course of time, every creature is destined to undergo dissolution.  They that are of little understanding meet with great distress in the regions of the dead, for they become afflicted by hunger and thirst.  Indeed, they have to rot there, burning in pain.  There is no escape for them from such calamity.  They have to enter into a thick darkness.  I shall now tell you of those duties by performing which one may succeed in crossing such calamity.  The performance of those duties costs very little but is fraught with great merit.  Indeed, such performance is productive of great happiness in the other world.  The merits that attach to the gift of water for drink are excellent.  In the next world in especial, those merits are very high.  For them that make gifts of water for drink there is ordained in the other world a large river full of excellent water.  Indeed, the water contained in that river is inexhaustible and cool and sweet as nectar.  He who makes gifts of water in this world drinks from that stream in the world hereafter when he goes thither.  Listen now to the abundant merits that attach to the giving of lamps.  The man who gives lamps in this world has never to even behold the thick darkness (of Hell).  Soma and Surya and the deity of fire always give him their light when he repairs to the other world.  The deities ordain that on every side of such a person there should be blazing light.  Verily, when the giver of lights repairs to the world of the dead, he himself blazes forth in pure effulgence like a second Surya.  Hence, one should give lights while here and water for drink in especial.  Listen now to what the merits are of the person who makes the gift of a Kapila cow to a Brahmana conversant with the Vedas, especially if the gift be made in Pushkara.  Such a man is regarded as having made a gift of a hundred kine with a bull, a gift that is productive of eternal merit.  The gift of a single Kapila cow is capable of cleansing whatever sins the giver may be guilty of even if those sins be as grave.  Brahmanicide, for the gift of a single Kapila cow is regarded as equal in point of merit to that of a hundred kine.  Hence, one should give away a Kapila cow at that Pushkara which is regarded as the senior (of the two Tirthas known by that name) on the day of the full moon in the month of Karttika.  Men that succeed in making such a gift have never to encounter distress of any kind, or sorrow, or thorns giving pain.  That man who gives away a pair of sandals unto a superior Brahmana that is deserving of the gift, attains to similar merits.  By giving
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