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Chapter 11

Mahabharata English - ANUSASANA PARVA

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Tell me, O grandsire, in what kind of man or woman,O chief of the Bharatas, does the goddess of prosperity always reside?’

“Bhishma said, ‘I shall, in this connection, narrate to thee whatoccurred and what I have heard. Once on a time, beholding the goddess ofprosperity blazing with beauty and endued with the complexion of thelotus, the princess Rukmini the mother of Pradyumna that bore the deviceof the Makara on his banner, filled with curiosity, asked this questionin the presence of Devaki’s son. Who are those beings by whose side thoustayest and whom thou favours? Who again, are those whom thou dost notbless with favour. O thou that art dear unto Him that is the lord of allcreatures, tell me this truly, O thou that art equal to a great Rishi inpenances and puissance. Thus addressed by the princess, the goddess ofprosperity, with a face as beautiful as the moon, and moved by grace, inthe presence of him who has Garuda on his banner, said these words inreply that were sweet and charming.’

“Sree said, ‘O blessed lady, I always reside with him that is eloquent,active, attentive to business, free from wrath, given to the worship ofthe deities, endued with gratitude, has his passions under completecontrol, and is high-minded in everything. I never reside with one thatis inattentive to business, that is an unbeliever, that causes anintermixture of races in consequence of his lustfulness, that isungrateful, that is of impure practices, that uses harsh and cruel words,that is a thief, that cherishes malice towards his preceptors and otherseniors, those persons that are endued with little energy, strength,life, and honour, that are distressed at every trifle, and that alwaysindulge in wrath. I never reside with these that think in one strain andact in a different one.[28] I never reside also with him who neverdesires any acquisition for himself, of him who is so blinded as to restcontent with the lot in which he finds himself without any exertion orwith those that are contented with small acquisitions. I reside withthose that are observant of the duties of their own order, or those thatare conversant with the duties of righteousness, or those that aredevoted to the service of the aged or those that have their passionsunder control, or those that are endued with cleansed souls or those thatobserve the virtue of forgiveness, or those that are able and prompt inaction, or with such women as are forgiving and self-restrained. I residewith those women also that are devoted to truth and sincerity and thatworship the deities. I do not reside with those women also that do notattend to household furniture and provisions scattered all around thehouse, and that always utter words contrary to the wishes of theirhusbands. I always avoid those women that are fond of the houses of otherpeople and that have no modesty. On the other hand, I reside with thosewomen that are devoted to their husbands, that are blessed in behaviour,and that are always decked in ornaments and attired in good robes. Ialways reside with those women that are truthful in speech, that are ofhandsome and agreeable features, that are blessed and that are enduedwith all accomplishments. I always avoid such women as are sinful andunclean or impure, as always lick the corners of their mouths, as have nopatience or fortitude, and as are fond of dispute and quarrelling, as aregiven to much sleep, and as always lie down. I always reside inconveyances and the animals that drag them, in maidens, in ornaments andgood vestments, in sacrifices, in clouds charged with rain, in full-blownlotuses, and in those stars that bespangle the autumnal firmament. Ireside in elephants, in the cow pen, in good seats, and in lakes adornedwith full-blown lotuses. I live also in such rivers as babble sweetly intheir course, melodious with the music of cranes, having banks adornedwith rows of diverse trees, and restored to by Brahmanas and ascetics andothers crowned with success. I always reside in those rivers also thathave deep and large volumes of rolling waters rendered turbid by lionsand elephants plunging into them for bathing or slaking their thirst. Ireside also in infuriate elephants, in bovine bulls, in kings, on thethrone and good men. I always reside in that house in which the inmatepours libation on the sacrificial fire and worships kine, Brahmanas andthe deities. I reside in that house where at the proper time offeringsare made unto the deities, in course of worship.[29] I always reside insuch Brahmanas as are devoted to the study of the Vedas, in Kshatriyasdevoted to the observance of righteousness, in Vaisyas devoted tocultivation, and the Sudras devoted to the (menial) service of the threeupper classes. I reside, with a heart firm and unchangeable, in Narayana,in my embodied self. In Him is righteousness in its perfection and fullmeasure, devotion to the Brahmanas, and the quality of agreeableness. CanI not say, O lady that I do not reside in my embodied form, (in any ofthese places that I have mentioned, except Narayana)? That person in whomI reside in spirit increases in righteousness and fame and wealth andobjects of desire.'”

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