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Chapter 129

Mahabharata English - ANUSASANA PARVA

“Lomasa said, ‘The Pitris of those men who, without having wedded wivesof their own, betake themselves to the wives of other people, becomefilled with disappointment when the time for the Sraddhas comes. He whobetakes himself to the wives of other people, he who indulges in sexualunion with a woman that is barren, and he who appropriates what belongsto a Brahmana, are equally sinful. Without doubt, the Pitris of suchpeople cut them off without desiring to have any intercourse with them.The offerings they make fail to gratify the deities and the Pitris.Hence, one should always abstain from sexual congress with women that arethe wedded wives of others, as also with women that are barren. The manwho desires his own good should not appropriate what belongs to aBrahmana. Listen now to another mystery, unknown to all with regard toreligion. One should, endued with faith, always do the bidding of one’spreceptor and other seniors. On the twelfth lunar day, as also on the dayof the full moon, every month, one should make gifts unto Brahmanas ofghee and the offerings that constitute Akshata. Listen to me as I saywhat the measure is of the merit that such a person acquires. By such anact one is said to increase Soma and the Ocean. Vasava, the chief of thecelestials, confers upon him a fourth part of the merits that attach to aHorse-sacrifice. By making such gifts, a person becomes endued with greatenergy and prowess. The divine Soma, well-pleased with him, grants himthe fruition of his wishes. Listen now to another duty, together with thefoundation on which it rests, that is productive of great merit. In thisage of Kali, that duty, if performed, brings about much happiness to men.That man who, rising at early dawn and purifying himself by a bath,attires himself in white robes and with the concentrated attention makesgifts unto Brahmanas of vessels full of sesame seeds, who makes offeringsunto the Pitris of water with sesame seeds and honey, and who gives lampsas also the food called Krisara acquires substantial merits. Listen to meas I say what those merits are. The divine chastiser of Paka has ascribedthese merits to the gift of vessels of copper and brass filled withsesame seeds. He who makes gifts of kine, he who makes gifts of land thatare productive of eternal merit, he who performs the Agnishtoma sacrificewith copious presents in the form of Dakshina to the Brahmanas, are allregarded by the deities as acquiring, merits equal to those which oneacquires by making gifts of vessels filled with sesame seeds. Gifts ofwater with sesame seeds are regarded by the Pitr is as productive ofeternal gratification to them. The grandsires all become highly pleasedwith gifts of lamps and Krisara. I have thus recited the ancientordinance, laid down by the Rishis, that is highly applauded by both thePitris and the deities in their respective regions.'”

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