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.

207.  The Karma of a sacrifice or religious rite is the procedure.  It is, of course, laid down in the scriptures on the ritual.  There are certain acts, however, which, though not laid down, should be done agreeably to reasonable inferences.  What is said, therefore, in the second line of 20 is that the procedure was fully followed, both as laid down and as consistent with inferences.

208.  Pravargya is a special preliminary rite performed in a sacrifice.  ‘Abhishva’ is the extraction of the juice of the Soma plant after its consecration with Mantras.

209.  Vitwa is the Aegle marmelos, Linn.  Khadira is Acacia catechu, Linn, or Mimosa catechu; Saravarnin is otherwise called, as explained by Nilakantha, Palasa.  It is the Butea frondosa of Roxburgh.  Devadaru is Pinus Deodara of Roxburgh, or Cedruz Deodara.  Sleshmataka is a small tree identified with the Cordia latifolia.  Here probably, some other tree is intended.

210.  It is difficult to understand what these constructions or figures were.  They were probably figures drawn on the sacrificial altar, with gold-dust.  At the present day, powdered rice, coloured red, yellow, blue, etc, is used.

211.  Each animal is supposed to be agreeable to a particular deity.

212.  Suvibhaktan implies that they were properly classed or grouped so that there was no dispute or dissatisfaction among them regarding questions of precedence.

213.  Nilakantha explains that Khandavaraga was made of piper longum and dried ginger (powdered), and the juice of Phaseolus Mungo, with sugar.  Probably, it is identical with what is now called Mungka laddu in the bazars of Indian towns.

214.  The unccha vow consists of subsisting upon grains of corn picked up after the manner of the pigeon from the field after the crops have been cut and removed by the owners.

215.  The day of 12 hours is divided into 8 divisions.

216.  A prastha is made up of four Kudavas.  A Kudava is equal to about twelve double handfuls.

217.  This verse is rather obscure.  I am not sure that I have understood it correctly.  The sense seems to be this:  thou art capable of enduring much.  Indeed, by barely living, thou art capable of capable of earning religious merit, for life-breath is a great deity.  He should not be cast off.  Thy life is at stake, for if this guest be not gratified, the thought of it will kill thee.  Do thou, therefore, protect thy life by gratifying this guest with my share of the barley.

218.  The sense is this:  for the sake of those auspicious results after which every family should strive, the daughter-in-law should be well treated.  How then can I deprive thee of food?

219.  The Diksha consists of the initiatory rites undergone by one desirous of performing a particular sacrifice or completing a particular vow.  Some auspicious day is selected.  Mantras are uttered and the purpose is expressed in words.  There were many long-extending sacrifices which were partly of the nature of vows.  Till their completion the performer or observer is said to undergo the period of Diksha.

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