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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.

“Maheswara said, ’That man who is desirous of ascertaining what is righteousness, and who wishes to acquire prominent virtues and accomplishments, and who always puts questions to the Brahmanas with a view to find out the path that leads to his highest good, succeed in ascending to Heaven.  If (after exhaustion of his merit) he takes birth in the order of humanity, he becomes endued with intelligence and memory and great wisdom.  This, O goddess, is the line of conduct that the righteous are to follow and that is fraught with great benefit.  I have told thee of it for the good of human beings.’

“Uma said, ’There are men who hate righteousness and who are possessed of little understanding.  They never wish to approach Brahmanas conversant with the Vedas.  There are others who are observant of vows and who are devoted to the duty of performing Sraddhas.  Others, again, are destitute of all vows.  They are unmindful of observance and are like Rakshasas in conduct.  Some there are who are devoted to the performance of sacrifices and some who are unmindful of the Homa.  Through the consequences of what acts do men become possessed of These different natures?’

“Maheswara said, ’Through the Vedas, the limits have been assigned of all the acts of human beings.  Those men that conduct themselves according to the authority of the Vedas, are seen (in their next lives) to become devoted to the observance of vows.  Those men, however, who having become subject to the sway of folly accept unrighteousness for its reverse, become destitute of vows, transgress all restraints, and come to be regarded as Brahmarakshasas.  Indeed, it is these men that become unmindful of the Homa, that never utter the Vashat and other sacred Mantras, and that come to be regarded as the lowest and vilest of men Thus, O goddess, have I explained to thee the entire ocean of duties in respect of human beings for the sake of removing thy doubts, not omitting the sins of which they become guilty.’”

SECTION CXLVI

“Narada said, ’Having said these words, the puissant Mahadeva himself became desirous of hearing (instead of talking), and with that view he questioned his dear spouse who was seated by his side and she was fully inclined to act up to his desire.’

“Mahadeva said, ’Thou, O goddess, art conversant with what is Supreme and what is not.[576] Thou art acquainted with all duties, O thou that lovest to reside in the retreats of ascetics.  Thou art endued with every virtue, possessed of beautiful eyebrows and hair ending in the fairest curls, O daughter of Himavat, the king of mountains!  Thou art skilled in every work.  Thou art endued with self-restraint and thou lookest impartially upon all creatures.  Divested of the sense of meum, thou art devoted to the practice of all the duties.  O thou of beautiful features, I desire to ask thee about something.  I wish that, asked by me, thou wilt discourse to me

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