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Chapter 127

Mahabharata English - ANUSASANA PARVA

“Vibhavasu (otherwise called Surya) said, ‘There are two offerings. Oneof those consists of a palmful of water and the other called Akshataconsists of rice-grains with ghee. One should, on the day of the fullmoon, stand facing that bright orb and make unto him the two offeringsmentioned, viz., a palmful of water and the rice-grains with ghee calledAkshata. The man who presents these offerings is said to adore his sacredfire. Verily, he is regarded as one that has poured libations on thethree (principal) fires. That man of little understanding who cuttethdown a large tree on the day of the new moon, becomes stained with thesin of Brahmanicide. By killing even a single leaf one incurs that sin.That foolish man who chews a tooth-brush on the day of the new moon isregarded as injuring the deity of the moon by such an act. The Pitris ofsuch a person become annoyed with him.[553] The deities do not accept thelibations poured by such a man on days of the full moon and the new moon.His Pitris become enraged with him, and his race and the family becomeextinct.’

“Sree said, ‘That sinful house, in which eating and drinking vessels andseats and beds lie scattered, and in which women are beaten, the deitiesand Pitris leave in disgust. Verily, without accepting the offerings madeunto them by the owners of such houses, the deities and the Pitris flyaway from such a sinful habitation.’

“Angiras said, ‘The offspring of that man increase who stands every nightfor a full year under a Karanjaka tree with a lamp for lighting it, andholds besides in his hand the roots of the Suvarchala plant.'[554]

“Gargya said, ‘One should always do the duties of hospitality to one’sguests. One should give lamps in the hall or shed where sacrifices areperformed. One should avoid sleep during the day, and abstain from allkinds of flesh or food. One should never injure kine and Brahmanas. Oneshould always recite names of the Pushkara lakes and the other sacredwaters. Such a course of duty, is the foremost. Even this constitutes ahigh religion with its mysteries. If observed in practice, it is sure toproduce great consequences. If a person performs even a hundredsacrifices, he is doomed to see the exhaustion of the merits attaching tothe libations poured therein. The duties, however, which I have mentionedare such that when observed by a person endued with faith, their meritbecomes inexhaustible. Listen now to another high mystery concealed fromthe view of many. The deities do not accept the libations (poured uponthe fire) on the occasion of Sraddhas and rites in their honour or on theoccasion of those rites that are performable on ordinary lunar days or onthe especially sacred days of the full moon and the new moon, if theybehold a woman in her season of impurity or one that is the daughter of amother afflicted with leprosy. The Pitris of the man who allows such awoman to come near the place where the Sraddha is being performed by him,do not become gratified with him for thirteen years. Robed in raiment ofwhite, and becoming pure in body and mind, one should invite Brahmanasand cause them to utter their benedictions (when one performs theSraddha). On such occasions one should also recite the Bharata. It is byobserving all these that the offerings made at Sraddhas becomeinexhaustible.’

“Dhaumya said, ‘Broken utensils, broken bedsteads, cocks and, dogs, asalso such trees as have grown within the dwelling houses, are allinauspicious objects. In a broken utensil is Kali himself, while in abroken bedstead is loss of wealth. When a cock or a dog is in sight, thedeities do not eat the offerings made to them. Under the roots of a treescorpions and snakes undoubtedly find shelter. Hence, one should neverplant a tree within one’s abode.'[555]

“Jamadagni said, ‘That man whose heart is not pure is sure to go to Helleven if he adores the deities in a Horse-sacrifice or in a hundredVajapeya sacrifices, or if he undergoes the severest austerities withhead downmost. Purity of heart is regarded as equal to sacrifices andTruth. A very poor Brahmana, by giving only a Prastha of powdered barleywith a pure heart unto a Brahmana, attained to the region of Brahmanhimself. This is a sufficient proof (of the importance of purity ofheart).'”

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