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Chapter 134

Mahabharata English - ANUSASANA PARVA

“Skanda said, ‘I shall now declare a duty that is approved of by me. Doye listen to it with concentrated attention. That person who takes alittle earth from the horns of a bull of blue complexion, smears his bodytherewith for three days, and then performs his ablutions, acquires greatmerits. Hear what those merits are. By such an act he would wash awayevery stain and evil, and attain to sovereign sway hereafter. As manytimes he takes his birth in this world, so many times does he becomecelebrated for his heroism. Listen now to another mystery unknown to all.Taking a vessel of copper and placing therein some cooked food afterhaving mixed it with honey, one should offer it as Vali unto the risingmoon on the evening of the day when that luminary is at full. Do yelearn, with faith, what the merits are of the person that acts in thisway. The Sadhyas, the Rudras, the Adityas, the Viswedevas, the twinAswins, the Maruts, and the Vasus, all accept that offering. By such anoffering Soma increases as also the ocean, that vast receptacle ofwaters. This duty that is declared by me and that is unknown to all, ifperformed, is certainly fraught with great happiness.’

“Vishnu said, ‘That person who, endued with faith and freed from malice,listens every day with concentrated attention to the mysteries in respectof religion and duty that are preserved by the high-souled deities andthose mysteries also of the same kind that are preserved by the Rishis,has never to succumb to any evil. Such a person becomes also freed fromevery fear. That man who, with his senses under thorough control, readsthese sections which treat of these auspicious and meritorious duties,together with their mysteries,–duties that have been declared (by theprevious speakers), acquires all the merits that attach to their actualperformance. Sin can never overmaster him. Verily, such a man can neverbe stained with faults of any kind. Indeed, one wins abundant merits byreading these mysteries (as declared), or by reciting them to others, orby hearing them recited. The deities and the Pitris eat, for ever theHavya and the Kavya offered by such a creature. Both these, inconsequence of the virtues of the offerer become inexhaustible. Even suchis the merit that attaches to the person who, with concentratedattention, recites these mysteries to foremost of Brahmanas on days ofthe full moon or the new moon. Such a person, in consequence of such anact, becomes steady in the observance of all duties. Beauty of form andprosperity also become his. He succeeds, besides this, in becoming thefavourite, for all time, of the Rishis and the deities and the Pitris. Ifa person becomes guilty of all sins save those which are classed as graveor heinous, he becomes cleansed of them all by only listening to therecitation of these mysteries about religion and duty.’

“Bhishma continued, ‘Even these, O king of men, are the mysteries inrespect of religion and duty dwelling in the breasts of the deities. Heldin high respect by all the gods and promulgated by Vyasa, they have nowbeen declared by me for thy benefit. One who is conversant with religionand duty thinks that this excellent knowledge is superior (in value) toeven the whole earth full of riches and wealth. This knowledge should notbe imparted to one that is bereft of faith, or to one that is an atheist,or to one that has fallen away from the duties of his order, or to onethat is destitute of compassion, or to one that is devoted to the scienceof empty disputations, or to one that is hostile to one’s preceptors, orto one that thinks all creatures to be different from oneself.'”

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