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Chapter 105

Mahabharata English - ANUSASANA PARVA

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Tell me, O chief of Bharata’s race, how the eldestbrother should behave towards his younger brothers and how the youngerbrothers should behave towards their eldest brother.’

“Bhishma said, ‘Do thou, O son, always behave towards thy youngerbrothers as their eldest brother should. Thou art always the eldest ofall these thy brothers. That high conduct which the preceptor shouldalways adopt towards his disciples should be adopted by thee towards thyyounger brothers. If the preceptor happens to be unendued with wisdom,the disciple cannot possibly behave towards him in a respectful or properway. If the preceptor happens to be possessed of purity and highness ofconduct, the disciple also succeeds in attaining to conduct of the samekind, O Bharata. The eldest brother should at times be blind to the actsof his younger brothers, and though possessed of wisdom should at timesact as if he does not understand their acts. If the younger brothers beguilty of any transgression, the eldest brother should correct them byindirect ways and means. If there be good understanding among brothersand if the eldest brother seek to correct his younger brothers by director ostensible means, persons that are enemies, O son of Kunti, that areafflicted with sorrow at the sight of such good understanding and who,therefore, always seek to bring about a disunion, set themselves todisunite the brothers and cause dissension among them. It is the eldestbrother that enhances the prosperity of the family or destroys itentirely. If the eldest brother happens to be unendued with sense andwicked in behaviour, he brings about the destruction of the whole family.The eldest brother who injures his younger brothers ceases to be regardedas the eldest and forfeits his share in the family property and deservesto be checked by the king. That man who acts deceitfully, has, withoutdoubt, to go to regions of grief and every kind of evil. The birth ofsuch a person serves no useful purpose even as the flowers of thecane.[486] That family in which a sinful person takes birth becomessubject to every evil. Such a person brings about infamy, and all thegood acts of the family disappear. Such among the brothers as are weddedto evil acts forfeit their shares of the family property. In such a case;the eldest brother may appropriate the whole Yautuka property withoutgiving any portion thereof to his younger brothers. If the eldest brothermakes any acquisition, without using the paternal property and by goingto a distant place he may appropriate for his own use, such acquisitions,without giving any share thereof to his younger brothers. If unseparatedbrothers desire (during the lifetime of their father) to portion thefamily property, the father should give equal shares unto all his sons.If the eldest brother happens to be of sinful acts and undistinguished byaccomplishments of any kind he may be disregarded by his youngerbrothers. If the wife or the younger brother happens to be sinful, her orhis good must still be looked after. Persons conversant with the efficacyof righteousness say that righteousness is the highest good. TheUpadhyaya is superior to even ten Acharyas. The sire is equal to tenUpadhyayas. The mother is equal to ten sires or even the whole earth.There is no senior equal to the mother Verily, she transcends all inrespect of the reverence due to her.[487] It is for this reason thatpeople regard the mother to deserve so much reverence. After the fatherhas ceased to breathe, O Bharata, the eldest brother should be regardedas the father. It is the eldest brother who should assign unto them theirmeans of support and protect and cherish them. All the younger brothersshould bow to him and obey his authority. Indeed, they should live independence upon him even as they did upon their father while he wasalive. So far as the body is concerned, O Bharata, it is the father andthe mother that create it. That birth, however, which the Acharyaordains, is regarded as the true birth, that is, besides, really unfadingand immortal. The eldest sister, O chief of Bharata’s race, is like untothe mother The wife of the eldest brother also is like unto the mother,for the younger brother, in infancy, receives, suck from her.'”[488]

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