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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.
forth in the scriptures).  Remaining in woods and forests, they wander within woods and forests, live within them, and are always to be found within them.  Indeed, these forest recluses entering into woods and forests live within them as disciples, obtaining a preceptor, live with him.  The performance of the rites of Homa is their duty, as also the observance of the five sacrifices.  A due observance of the rules about distribution (in respect of time) of the fivefold sacrifices as laid down in the Vedas, devotion to (other) sacrifices, forming the eighth, observance of the Chaturmasya, performance of the Paurnamasya, and other sacrifices, and performance of the daily sacrifices, are the duties of these men dissociated from wives, freed from every attachment, and cleansed from every sin.  Indeed, they should live even thus in the forest.  The sacrificial ladle and the water-vessel are their chief wealth.  They are always devoted to the three fires.  Righteous in their conduct and adhering to the path of virtue, they attain to the highest end.  These Munis, crowned with (ascetic) success and ever devoted to the religion of Truth, attain to the highly sacred region of Brahman or the eternal region of Soma.  O auspicious goddess, I have thus recited to thee, in brief, the outlines of the religion that is followed by forest recluses and that has many practices in detail.’

“Uma said, ’O holy one, O lord of all creatures, O thou that art worshipped by all beings, I desire to hear what the religion is of those Munis that are followers of the scriptures treating of ascetic success.  Do thou recite it to me.  Residing in woods and forests and well-accomplished in the scriptures of success, some amongst them live and act as they like, without being restrained by particular practices; others have wives.  How, indeed, have their practices been laid down?’

“Mahadeva said, ’O goddess, the shaving of the head and the wearing of the brown robes are the indications of those recluses that rove about in freedom; while the indications of those that sport with wedded wives consist in passing their nights at home.  Performing ablutions there times a day is the duty of the classes, while the Homa, with water and fruits from the wilderness, belongs to the wedded recluses as performed by the Rishis in general.  Absorption, Yoga-meditation, and adherence to those duties that constitute piety and that have been laid down as such (in the scriptures and the Vedas) are some of the other duties prescribed for them.  All those duties also of which I have spoken to thee before as appertaining to recluses residing in forests, are the duties of these also.  Indeed, if those duties are observed, they that observe them, attain to the rewards that attach to severe penances.  Those forest recluses that lead wedded lives should confine the gratification of their senses to these wedded wives of theirs.  By indulging in sexual congress with their wives at only those times when

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