The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,582 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4.
The deities have been gratified by libations of clarified butter and acts of merit, and dependants and followers by protection.  That therefore, which is true, do thou truly declare unto these Brahmanas.  Indeed, do thou declare what is agreeable to the scriptures and to actual experience, asked by the Brahmanas who are eager to know.  Thy words seem to demand credit.  Thou art wise.  Thou bearest also a celestial form.  Thou hast come into the midst of learned Brahmanas.  It behoveth thee to explain thyself.’  Thus addressed by those regenerate persons, the mongoose, smiling, answered them as follows.  ’Ye regenerate ones, the words I have uttered are not false.  Neither have I spoken them from pride.  That which I have said may have been heard by you all.  Ye foremost of regenerate persons, this sacrifice is not equal in merit to the gift of a prastha of powdered barley.  Without doubt, I should say this, ye foremost of Brahmanas.  Listen to me with undivided attention as I narrate what happened to thee truly.  Wonderful and excellent was the occurrence that fell out.  It was witnessed by me and its consequences were felt by me.  The incident relates to a liberal Brahmana dwelling in Kurukshetra in the observance of the Unccha vow.  In consequence of that incident he attained to Heaven, ye regenerate ones, along with his wife and son and daughter-in-law.  And in consequence of what then happened half my body became transformed into gold.’

“The Mongoose continued, ’Ye regenerate ones, I shall presently tell you what the excellent fruit was of the gift, made by a Brahmana, of a very little measure (of powdered barley) obtained by lawful means.  On that righteous spot of ground known by the name of Kurukshetra, which is the abode of many righteous persons, there lived a Brahmana in the observance of what is called the Unccha vow.  That mode of living is like unto that of the pigeon.[214] He lived there with his wife and son and daughter-in-law and practised penances.  Of righteous soul, and with senses under complete control, he adopted the mode of living that is followed by a parrot.  Of excellent vows, he used to eat everyday at the sixth division.[215] If there was nothing to eat at the sixth division of the day, that excellent Brahmana would fast for that day and eat the next day at the sixth division.  On one occasion, ye Brahmanas, there occurred a dreadful famine in the land.  During that time there was nothing stored in the abode of that righteous Brahmana.  The herbs and plants were all dried up and the whole realm became void of foodstore.  When the accustomed hours came for eating, the Brahmana had nothing to eat.  This occurred day after day.  All the members of his family were afflicted with hunger but were obliged to pass the days as best they could.  One day, in the month of Jaishtha, while the Sun was in the meridian, the Brahmana was engaged in picking up grains of corn.  Afflicted by heat and hunger, he was practising even this penance.  Unable to obtain

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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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