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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.
ceremonials in a Sudra’s house are afflicted with a terrible calamity.  In consequence of partaking such forbidden food they lose their family, strength, and energy, and attain to the status of animals, descending to the position of dogs, fallen in virtue and devoid of all religious observances.  He who takes food from a physician takes that which is no better than excrement; the food of a harlot is like urine; that of a skilled mechanic is like blood.  If a Brahmana approved by the good, takes the food of one who lives by his learning, he is regarded as taking the food of a Sudra.  All good men should forego such food.  The food of a person who is censured by all is said to be like a draught from a pool of blood.  The acceptance of food from a wicked person is considered as reprehensible as the slaying of a Brahmana.  One should not accept food if one is slighted and not received with due honours by the giver.  A Brahmana, who does so, is soon overtaken by disease, and his race soon becomes extinct.  By accepting food from the warder of a city, one descends to the status of the lowest outcaste.  If a Brahmana accepts food from one who is guilty of killing either a cow or a Brahmana or from one who has committed adultery with his preceptor’s wife or from a drunkard, he helps to promote the race of Rakshasas.  By accepting food from a eunuch, or from an ungrateful person, or from one who has misappropriated wealth entrusted to his charge, one is born in the country of the Savaras situated beyond the precincts of the middle country.  I have thus duly recited to thee the persons from whom food may be accepted and from whom it may not.  Now tell me, O son of Kunti, what else thou wishest to hear from me today.’”

SECTION CXXXVI

“Yudhishthira said, ’Thou hast told me in full of those from whom food may be accepted and of those from whom it should not be taken.  But I have grave doubts on one point.  Do thou, O sire, enlighten me, do thou tell me what expiation a Brahmana should make (for the sin he incurs) upon accepting the different kinds of food, those especially offered in honour of the gods and the oblations made to the manes.’

“Bhishma said, ’I shall tell thee, O prince, how high-souled Brahmanas may be absolved from all sin incurred by accepting food from others.  In accepting clarified butter, the expiation is made by pouring oblations on the fire, reciting the Savitri hymn.  In accepting sesamum, O Yudhishthira, the same expiation has to be made.  In accepting meat, or honey, or salt, a Brahmana becomes purified by standing till the rising of the sun.  If a Brahmana accepts gold from any one, he becomes cleansed of all sins by silently reciting the great Vedic prayer (Gayatri) and by holding a piece of iron in his hand in the presence of the public.  In accepting money or clothes or women or gold, the purification is the same as before.  In accepting food, or rice boiled

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