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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.
men fail to obtain a sight of it.  The bar of Heaven’s door has cupidity for its seed.  That bar is kept fastened by desire and affection.  Verily, Heaven’s door is unapproachable.  Those men who subdued wrath and conquered their passions, those Brahmanas who are endued with penances and who make gifts according to the measure of their ability, succeed in beholding it.  It has been said that he that gives away a hundred, having a thousand, he that gives away ten, having a hundred, and he that gives a handful of water, having no wealth, are all equal in respect of the merit they earn.  King Rantideva, when divested of all his wealth, gave a small quantity of water with a pure heart.  Through this gift, O learned Brahmana, he went to Heaven.  The deity of righteousness is never gratified so much with large gifts of costly things as with gifts of even things of no value, if acquired lawfully and given away with devotion and faith.  King Nriga had made gifts of thousands of kine unto the regenerate class.  By giving away only one cow that did not belong to him, he fell into Hell.  Usinara’s son Sivi of excellent vows, by giving away the flesh of his own body, is rejoicing in Heaven, having attained to the regions of the righteous.  Mere wealth is not merit.  Good men acquire merit by exerting to the best of their power and with the aid of pious meals.  One does not acquire such merit by means of even diverse sacrifices as with even a little wealth that has been earned lawfully.  Through wrath, the fruits of gifts are destroyed.  Through cupidity one fails to go to Heaven.  One conversant with the merits of gift, and leading a just course of conduct succeeds, through penances, in enjoying Heaven.  The fruit, O Brahmana, of this gift made by thee (of a prastha of powdered barley) is much greater than what one acquires by many Rajasuya sacrifices with profuse gifts or many Horse-sacrifices.  With this prastha of powdered barley thou hast conquered the eternal region of Brahman.  Go thou in happiness, O learned Brahmana, to the abode of Brahman that is without the stain of darkness.  O foremost of regenerate persons, a celestial car is here for all of you.  Do thou ascend it as pleasest thee, O Brahmana, I am the deity of Righteousness.  Behold me!  Thou hast rescued thy body.  The fame of thy achievement will last in the world.  With thy wife, thy son, and thy daughter-in-law, go now to Heaven.’—­After the deity of Righteousness had said these words, that Brahmana, with his wife, son and daughter-in-law, proceeded to Heaven.  After that learned Brahmana, conversant with all duties, had thus ascended to Heaven with his son, daughter-in-law, and wife numbering the fourth, I came out of my hole.  There with the scent of that powdered barley, with the mire caused by the water (which the Brahmana had given to his guest), with the contact (of my body) with the celestial flowers that had been rained down, with the particles of the barley-powder which that good man had given away, and the penances of that
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