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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.

SECTION CXLIV

“Uma said, ’O holy one, O Lord of all beings, O thou that art worshipped by the deities and Asuras equally, tell me what are the duties and derelictions of men.  Indeed, O puissant one, resolve my doubts.  It is by these three, viz., thought, word, and deed, that men become bound with bonds.  It is by these same three that they become freed from those bonds.  By pursuing what conduct, O god,—­indeed, by what kind of acts,—­by what behaviour and attributes and words, do men succeed in ascending to heaven?’

“The god of gods said, ’O goddess, thou art well-conversant with the true import of duties.  Thou art ever devoted to righteousness and self-restraint.  The question thou hast asked me is fraught with the benefit of all creatures.  It enhances the intelligence of all persons.  Do thou, therefore, listen to the answer.  Those persons that are devoted to the religion of Truth, that are righteous and destitute of the indications of the several modes of life, and that enjoy the wealth earned by righteous means, succeed in ascending to heaven.  Those men that are freed from all doubts, that are possessed of omniscience, and that have eyes to behold all things, are never enchained by either virtue or sin.  Those men that are freed from all attachments can never be bound by the chains of action.  They who never injure others in thought, word, or deed, and who never attach themselves to anything, can never be bound by acts.  They who abstain from taking the lives of any creature, who are pious in conduct, who have compassion, who regard friends and foes in an equal light and who are self-restrained, can never be bound by acts.  Those men that are endued with compassion towards all beings, that succeed in inspiring the confidence of all living creatures, and that have cast off malice in their behaviour, succeed in ascending to heaven.  Those men that have no desire to appropriate what belongs to others, that keep themselves aloof from the wedded wives of others, and that enjoy only such wealth as has been earned by righteous means, succeed in ascending to heaven.  Those men who behave towards the wives of other people as towards their own mothers and sisters and daughters, succeed in attaining to heaven.  Those men that abstain from appropriating what belongs to others, that are perfectly contented with what they possess, and that live depending upon their own destiny, succeed in ascending to heaven.  Those men that, in their conduct, always shut their eyes against association with other people’s spouses, that are masters of their senses, and that are devoted to righteous conduct, succeed in ascending to heaven.  Even this is the path, created by the gods, that the righteous should follow.  This is the path, freed from passion and aversion, laid down for the righteous to follow.  Those men who are devoted to their own spouses and who seek them only in their seasons, and who turn themselves away from indulgence in sexual pleasure, succeed in ascending to Heaven Conduct marked by charity and penances, and characterised by righteousness of deeds and purity of both body and heart, should be followed by those that are wise for the sake of adding to their merit or for earning their means of subsistence.  Those who wish to ascend to Heaven should follow in this track and not in any other.’

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