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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.
Brahmana, my head became gold, Behold, in consequence of the gift of that Brahmana who was firm in truth, and his penances, half of this my ample body has become golden.  Ye regenerate ones, for converting the rest of my body into gold I repeatedly repair, with a cheerful heart, to the retreats of ascetics and the sacrifices performed by kings.  Hearing of this sacrifice of the Kuru king endued with great wisdom, I came hither with high hopes.  I have not, however, been made gold.  Ye foremost of Brahmanas, it was for this that I uttered those words, viz., that this sacrifice can by no means compare with (the gift of) that prastha of powdered barley.  With the grains of that prastha of powdered barley, I was made gold on that occasion.  This great sacrifice however, is not equal to those grains.  Even this is my opinion.’  Having said those words unto all those foremost of Brahmanas, the mongoose disappeared from their sight.  Those Brahmanas then returned to their respective homes.’

“Vaisampayana continued, ’O conquerer of hostile towns, I have now told thee all relating to that wonderful incident which occurred in that great Horse-sacrifice.  Thou shouldst not, O king, think highly of sacrifice.  Millions of Rishis have ascended to Heaven with the aid of only their penances.  Abstention from injury as regards all creatures, contentment, conduct, sincerity, penances, self-restraint, truthfulness, and gifts are each equal in point of merit to sacrifice."’

SECTION XCI

“Janamejaya said, ’O puissant Rishi, kings are attached to sacrifices.  The great Rishis are attached to penances.  Learned Brahmanas are observant of tranquillity of mind, peacefulness of behaviour, and self-restraint.  Hence it seems that nothing can be seen in this world which can compare with the fruits of sacrifices.  Even this is my conviction.  That conviction, again, seems to be undoubtedly correct.  Innumerable kings, O best of regenerate persons, having worshipped the deities in sacrifices, earned high fame here and obtained Heaven hereafter.  Endued with great energy, the puissant chief of the deities viz., Indra of a thousand eyes, obtained the sovereignty over the deities through the many sacrifices he performed with gifts in profusion and attained to the fruition of all his wishes.  When king Yudhishthira, with Bhima and Arjuna by him, resembled the chief of the deities himself in prosperity and prowess, why then did that mongoose depreciate that great Horse-sacrifice of the high-souled monarch?’

“Vaisampayana said, ’Do thou listen to me, O king, as I discourse to thee duly, O Bharata, on the excellent ordinances relating to sacrifice and the fruits also, O ruler of men, that sacrifice yields.  Formerly, on one occasion Sakra performed a particular sacrifice.  While the limbs of the sacrifice were spread out, the Ritwijas became busy in accomplishing the diverse rites ordained in the scriptures. 

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