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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,319 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4.
by time.  They are the gods of the gods, and the cause of all cause.  They are the authority of all authorities.  What man of intelligence and wisdom is there that would seek to humiliate them?  Amongst them the young and the old all deserve honours.  They honour one another (not in consequence of distinctions of age but) in consequence of distinctions in respect of penances and knowledge.  Even the Brahmana that is destitute of knowledge is a god and is a high instrument for cleansing others.  He amongst them, then, that is possessed of knowledge is a much higher god and like unto the ocean when full (to the brim).  Learned or unlearned, Brahmana is always a high deity.  Sanctified or unsanctified (with the aid of Mantras), Fire is ever a great deity.  A blazing fire even when it burns on a crematorium, is not regarded as tainted in consequence of the character of the spot whereon it burns.  Clarified butter looks beautiful whether kept on the sacrificial altar or in a chamber.  So, if a Brahmana be always engaged in evil acts, he is still to be regarded as deserving of honour.  Indeed, know that the Brahmana is always a high deity.’”

SECTION CLII

“Yudhishthira said, ’Tell us, O king, what is that reward attached to the worship of Brahmanas, seeing which thou worshippest them, O thou of superior intelligence!  Indeed, what is that success, flowing from their worship, guided by which thou worshippest them?’

“Bhishma said, ’In this connection is cited this old narrative of a conversation between Pavana and Arjuna, O Bharata!  Endued with a thousand arms and great beauty the mighty Kartavirya, in days of yore, became the lord of all the world.  He had his capital in the city of Mahishmati.  Of unbaffled prowess, that chief of the Haihaya race of Kshatriyas swayed the whole earth with her belt of seas, together with all her islands and all her precious mines of gold and gems.  Keeping before him the duties of the Kshatriya order, as also humility and Vedic knowledge, the king made large gifts of wealth unto the Rishi Dattatreya.  Indeed, the son of Kritavirya thus adored the great ascetic who, becoming pleased with him, asked him to solicit three boons.  Thus requested by the Rishi in respect of boons, the king addressed him, saying, ’Let me become endued with a thousand arms when I am in the midst of my troops.  While, however, I remain at home let me have, as usual only two arms!  Indeed, let combatants, when engaged in battle, behold me possessed of a thousand arms, observant also of high vows, let me succeed in subjugating the whole earth by dint of my prowess.  Having acquired the earth righteously, let me sway her with vigilance.  There is a fourth boon which, O foremost of regenerate persons, I solicit thee to grant.  O faultless one, in consequence of the disposition to favour me, it behoveth thee to grant it to me.  Dependent that I am on thee, whenever I may happen to go wrong, let the righteous

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