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Chapter 72

Mahabharata English - ANUSASANA PARVA

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Thou hast, O grandsire, discoursed to me the topicof gifts of kine in speaking of the Rishi Nachiketa Thou hast alsoimpliedly discoursed, O puissant one, on the efficacy and pre-eminence ofthat act. Thou hast also told me, O grandsire of great intelligence, ofthe exceedingly afflicting character of the calamity that overtook thehigh-souled king Nriga in consequence of a single fault of his. He had todwell for a tong time at Dwaravati (in the form of a mighty lizard) andhow Krishna became the cause of his rescue from that miserable plight. Ihave, however, one doubt. It is on the subject of the regions of kine. Idesire to hear, in detail, about those regions which are reserved for theresidence of persons that make gifts of kine.’

“Bhishma said, ‘In this connection is recited the old narrative of thediscourse between Him who sprang from the primeval lotus and him whoperformed a hundred sacrifices.’

“Sakra said, ‘I see, O Grandsire, that those who are residents of theregion of kine transcend by their resplendence the prosperity of thedenizens of heaven and pass them by (as beings of an inferior station).This has raised a doubt in my mind. Of what kind, O holy one, are theregions of kine? Tell me all about them, O sinless one! Verily, what isthe nature of those regions that are inhabited by givers of kine? I wishto know this of what kind are those regions? What fruits do they bring?What is the highest object there which the denizens thereof succeeds inwinning? What are its virtues? How also do men, freed from every kind ofanxiety, succeed in going to those regions? For what period does thegiver of a cow enjoy the fruits that are borne by his gift? How maypersons make gifts of many kine and how may they make gifts of a fewkine? What are the merits attaching to gifts of many kine and what thosethat attach to gifts of a few only? How also do persons become givers ofkine without giving any kine in reality? Do thou tell me all this. Howdoes one making gifts of even many kine, O puissant lord, become theequal of one that has made gift of only a few kine? How also does one whomake gifts of only a few kine succeed in becoming the equal of one whohas made gifts of many kine? What kind or Dakshina is regarded asdistinguished for pre-eminence in the matter of gifts of kine? Itbehoveth thee, O holy one, to discourse unto me on all this agreeably totruth.'”

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