“Bhishma said, ‘In this connection is cited the old history of thediscourse between Sakra and Samvara. Do thou listen to it, OYudhishthira. Once upon a time Sakra, assuming the guise of an asceticwith matted locks on his head and body smeared with ashes all over, rodeon an ugly car and repaired to the presence of the Asura Samvara.’
“Sakra said, ‘Through what conduct, O Samvara, hast thou been able to getat the head of all individuals of thy race? For what reason do all peopleregard thee as superior? Do thou tell me this truly and in detail.’
“Samvara said, ‘I never cherish any ill-feelings towards the Brahmanas.Whatever instructions they impart I accept with unquestioning reverence.When the Brahmanas are engaged in interpreting the scriptures, I listento them with great happiness. Having heard their interpretations I neverdisregard them. Nor do I ever offend against the Brahmanas in any way. Ialways worship those Brahmanas that are endued with intelligence. Ialways seek information from them. I always worship their feet.Approaching me with confidence, they always address me with affection andenquire after my welfare. If they ever happen to be heedless, I am alwaysheedful. If they happen to sleep, I always remain wakeful. Like beesdrenching the cells of the comb with honey, the Brahmanas, who are myinstructors and rulers, always drench me with the nectar of knowledge–methat am always devoted to the path pointed out by the scriptures, that amdevoted to the Brahmanas, and that am perfectly free from malice or evilpassion. Whatever they say with cheerful hearts, I always accept aided bymemory and understanding. I am always careful of my own faith in them andI always think of my own inferiority to them. I always lick the nectarthat dwells at the end of their tongue, and it is for this reason that Ioccupy a position far above that of all others of my race like the Moontranscending all the stars. The scriptural interpretations which fallfrom the lips of the Brahmanas and listening to which every wise man actsin the world, constitute nectar on earth and may also be likened to eyesof remarkable excellence. Witnessing the encounter between thedeities and the Asuras in days of old, and understanding the puissance ofthe instructions that fell from the Brahmanas, my father became filledwith delight and wonder. Beholding the puissance of high-souledBrahmanas, my sire asked Chandramas the question, ‘How do the Brahmanasattain to success?
‘Soma said, ‘The Brahmanas become crowned with success through theirpenances. Their strength consists in speech. The prowess of personsbelonging to the kingly order resides in their arms. The Brahmanas,however, have speech for their weapons. Undergoing the discomforts of aresidence in the abode of his preceptor, the Brahmana should study theVedas or at least the Pranava. Divesting himself of wrath and renouncingearthly attachments, he should become a Yati, viewing all things and allcreatures with equal eyes. If remaining in the abode of his sire hemasters all the Vedas and acquiring great knowledge attains to a positionthat should command respect people still condemn him as untravelled orhomekeeping. Like a snake swallowing mice, the earth swallows up thesetwo, viz., a king that is unwilling to fight and a Brahmana that isunwilling to leave home for acquiring knowledge. Pride destroys theprosperity of persons of little intelligence. A maiden, if she conceives,becomes stained. A Brahmana incurs reproach by keeping at home. Even thisis what my father heard from Soma of wonderful aspect. My father, inconsequence of this, began to worship and reverence the Brahmanas. Likehim, I also worship and adore all Brahmanas of high vows.’
“Bhishma continued, “Hearing these words that fell from the mouth of thatprince of Danavas, Sakra began to worship the Brahmanas, and as aconsequence thereof he succeeded in obtaining the chiefdom of thedeities.'”