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Chapter 73

Mahabharata English - ANUSASANA PARVA

“The Grandsire said, ‘The questions thou hast asked me in respect ofkine, beginning with their gift, are such that there is none else in thethree worlds, O thou of a hundred sacrifices, who could put them! Thereare many kinds of regions, O Sakra, which are invisible to even thee.Those regions are seen by me, O Indra, as also by those women that arechaste and that have been attached to only one husband. Rishis observantof excellent vows, by means of their deeds of righteousness and piety,and Brahmanas of righteous souls, succeed in repairing to them in eventheir fleshy forms. Men that are observant of excellent vows behold thoseregions which resemble the bright creations of dreams, aided by theircleansed minds and by that (temporary) emancipation which succeeds theloss of one’s consciousness of body.[358] Listen, O thou of a thousandeyes, to me as I tell thee what the attributes are with which thoseregions are endued. There the very course of Time is suspended.Decrepitude is not there, nor Fire which is omnipresent in the universe.There the slightest evil does not occur, nor disease, nor weakness of anykind. The kine that live there, O Vasava, obtain the fruition of everydesire which they cherish in their hearts. I have direct experience ofwhat I say unto thee. Capable of going everywhere at will and actuallyrepairing from place to place with ease, they enjoy the fruition of wishafter wish as it arises in their minds. Lakes and tanks and rivers andforests of diverse kinds, and mansions and hills and all kinds ofdelightful objects,–delightful, that is, to all creatures,–are to beseen there. There is no region of felicity that is superior to any ofthese of which I speak. All those foremost of men, O Sakra, who areforgiving unto all creatures, who endure everything, who are full ofaffection for all things, who render dutiful obedience unto theirpreceptors, and who are free from pride and vanity, repair to thoseregions of supreme felicity. He, who abstains from every kind of flesh,who is possessed of a cleansed heart, who is endued with righteousness,who worships his parents with reverence, who is endued with truthfulnessof speech and conduct, who attends with obedience upon the Brahmanas, whois faultless in conduct, who never behaves with anger towards kine andtowards the Brahmanas, who is devoted to the accomplishment of everyduty, who serves his preceptors with reverence, who is devoted for hiswhole life to truth and to gifts, and who is always forgiving towards alltransgression against himself, who is mild and self-restrained, who isfull of reverence for the deities, who is hospitable to all guests, whois endued with compassion,–verily, he, who is adorned with theseattributes,–succeeds in attaining to the eternal and immutable region ofkine. He, who is stained with adultery, sees not such a region; nor he,who is a slayer of his preceptor; nor he, who speaks falsely or indulgesin idle boasts; nor he, who always disputes with others; nor he whobehaves with hostility towards the Brahmanas. Indeed, that wicked wight,who is stained with such faults fails to attain even a sight of theseregions of felicity; also he that injures his friends; also he that isfull of guile; also he that is ungrateful; also he that is a cheat; alsohe that is crooked in conduct; also he that is a disregarder of religion;also he that is a slayer of Brahmanas. Such men are incapable ofbeholding in even imagination the region of kine that is the abode ofonly those who are righteous of deeds. I have told thee everything aboutthe region of kine in minute detail, O chief of the deities! Hear now, Othou of a hundred sacrifices, the merit that is theirs who are engaged inmaking gifts of kine. He, who make gifts of kine, after purchasing themwith wealth obtained by inheritance or acquired lawfully by him, attains,as the fruit of such an act to many regions of inexhaustible felicity.He, who makes a gift of a cow, having acquired it with wealth won atdice, enjoys felicity, O Sakra, for ten thousand years of celestialmeasure, He, who acquires a cow as his share of ancestral wealth is saidto acquire her legitimately. Such a cow may be given away. They that makegifts of kine so acquired obtain many eternal regions of felicity that isinexhaustible. That person, who, having acquired a cow in gift makes agift of her with a pure heart, succeeds without doubt, O lord of Sachi,in obtaining eternal regions of beatitude. That person, who, withrestrained senses speaks the truth from his birth (to the time of hisdeath) and who endures everything at the hands of his preceptor and ofthe Brahmanas, and who practises forgiveness, succeeds in attaining to anend that is equal to that of kine. That speech which is improper, O lordof Sachi, should, never be addressed to a Brahmana. One, again, shouldnot, in even one’s mind, do an injury to a cow. One should, in one’sconduct, imitate the cow, and show compassion towards the cow.[359] Hear,O Sakra, what the fruits are that become his, who is devoted to the dutyof truth. If such a person gives away a single cow, that one cow becomesequal to a thousand kine. If a Kshatriya, possessed of suchqualifications, makes a gift of a single cow, his merit becomes equal tothat of a Brahmana’s. That single cow, listen, O Sakra which such aKshatriya gives away becomes the source of as much merit as the singlecow that a Brahmana gives away under similar circumstances. Even this isthe certain conclusion of the scriptures. If a Vaisya, possessed ofsimilar accomplishments, were to make a gift of a single cow, that cowwould be equal to five hundred kine (in respect of the merit she wouldproduce) If a Sudra endued with humility were to make a gift of a cow,such a cow would be equal to a hundred and twenty-five kine (in respectof the merit it would produce) Devoted to penances and truth, proficient(in the scriptures and all acts) through dutiful services rendered to hispreceptor, endued with forgiveness of disposition, engaged in the worshipof the deities, possessed of a tranquil soul, pure (in body and mind),enlightened, observant of all duties, and freed from every kind ofegotism, that man who makes a gift of a cow unto a Brahmana, certainlyattains to great merit through that act of his, viz., the gift, accordingto proper rites, of a cow yielding copious milk. Hence, one, withsingleness of devotion, observant of truth and engaged in humbly servingone’s preceptor, should always make gifts of kine.[360] Hear, O Sakra,what the merit is of that person, who, duly studying the Vedas, showsreverence for kine, who always becomes glad at sight of kine, and who,since his birth has always bowed his head unto kine. The merit thatbecomes one’s by performing the Rajasuya sacrifice, the merit thatbecomes one’s by making gifts of heaps of gold, that high merit isacquired by a person who shows such reverence for kine. Righteous Rishisand high-souled persons crowned with success have said so. Devoted totruth, possessed of a tranquil soul, free from cupidity, always truthfulin speech, and behaving with reverence towards kine with the steadinessof a vow, the man, who, for a whole year before himself taking any food,regularly presents some food to kine, wins the merit, by such an act, ofthe gift of a thousand kine. That man, who takes only one meal a day andwho gives away the entire quantity of his other meal unto kine.–verily,that man, who thus reverences kine with the steadiness of a vow and showssuch compassion towards them,–enjoys for ten years’ unlimited felicity.That man, who confines himself to only one meal a day and ‘with the othermeal saved for some time purchases a cow and makes a gift of it (unto aBrahmana), earns, through that gift, O thou of a hundred sacrifices, theeternal merit that attaches to the gift of as many kine as there arehairs on the body of that single cow so given away. These aredeclarations in respect of the merit that Brahmanas acquire by makinggifts of kine. Listen now to the merits that Kshatriyas may win. It hasbeen said that a Kshatriya, by purchasing a cow in this manner and makinga gift of it unto a Brahmana, acquires great felicity for five years. AVaisya, by such conduct, acquires only half the merit of a Kshatriya, anda Sudra, by such conduct, earns half the merit that a Vaisya does. Thatman, who sells himself and with the proceeds thereof purchases kine andgives them away unto Brahmanas, enjoy felicity in heaven for as long aperiod as kine are seen on earth. It has been said, O highly blessed one,that in every hair of such kite as are purchased with the proceedsobtained by selling oneself, there is a region of inexhaustible felicity.That man, who having acquired kine by battle makes gifts of them (untoBrahmanas), acquires as much merit as he, who makes gifts of kine afterhaving purchased the same with the proceeds of selling oneself. That man,who, in the absence of kine, makes a gift of a cow made of sesame seeds,restraining his senses the while, is rescued by such a cow from everykind of calamity or distress. Such a man sports in great felicity. Themere gift of kine is not fraught with merit. The considerations ofdeserving recipients, of time, of the kind of kine, and of the ritual tobe observed, should be attended to. One should ascertain the proper timefor making a gift of kine. One should also ascertain the distinctivequalifications of both Brahmanas (who are to receive them) and of kinethemselves (which are to be given away). Kine should not be given untoone in whose abode they are likely to suffer from fire or the sun. One,who is rich in Vedic lore, who is of pure lineage, who is endued with atranquil soul, who is devoted to the performance of sacrifices, who fearsthe commission of sin, who is possessed of varied knowledge, who iscompassionate towards kine, who is mild in behaviour, who accordsprotection unto all that seek it of him, and who has no means ofsustenance assigned unto him, is regarded as a proper person forreceiving a gift of kine. Unto a Brahmana who has no means of sustenance,unto him while he is exceedingly afflicted for want of food (in a time,of famine, for example) for purposes of agriculture, for a child born inconsequence of Homa, for the purposes of his preceptor, for thesustenance of a child born (in the ordinary course), should a cow begiven. Verily, the gift should be made at a proper time and in a properplace[361]. Those kine, O Sakra, whose dispositions are well-known, whichhave been acquired as honoraria for knowledge, or which have beenpurchased in exchange for other animals (such as goats, sheep, etc.), orwhich have been who by prowess of arms, or obtained as marriage-dower; orwhich have been acquired by being rescued from situations of danger, orwhich incapable of being maintained by their ‘poor owner have been madeover for careful keep, to another’s house are, for such reasons, regardedas proper objects of gift. Those kine which are strong of body, whichhave good dispositions, and which emit an agreeable fragrance, areapplauded in the matter of gifts. As Ganga is the foremost of allstreams, even so is a Kapila cow the foremost of all animals of thebovine breed. Abstaining from all food and living only upon water forthree nights, and sleeping for the same period upon the bare earth, oneshould make gifts of kine unto Brahmanas after having gratified them withother presents. Such kine, freed from every vice should, at the sametime, be accompanied by healthy calves that have not been weaned. Havingmade the gift, the giver should live for the next three days insuccession on food consisting only of the products of the cow.[362] Bygiving away a cow that is of good disposition, that quietly suffersherself to be milked that always brings forth living and hale calves, andthat does not fly away from the owner’s abode, the giver enjoys felicityin the next world for as many years as there are hairs on her body.Similarly, by giving unto a Brahmana a bull that is capable of bearingheavy burden, that is young and strong and docile, that quietly bears theyoke of the plough, and that is possessed of such energy as is sufficientto undergo even great labour one attains to such regions as are his whogives away ten kine. That person, who rescues kine and Brahmanas (fromdanger) in the wilderness, O Kausika, becomes himself rescued from everykind of calamity. Hear what his merit is.[363] The merit such a manacquires is equal to the eternal merit of a Horse-sacrifice. Such aperson attains to whatever end he desires at the hour of death. Many aregion of felicity,–in fact, whatever happiness he covets in hisheart,–becomes attainable to him in consequence of such an act of his.Verily, such man, permitted by kine, lives honoured in every region offelicity. That man, who follows kine every day in the woods himselfsubsisting the while on grass and cowdung and leaves of trees, his heartfreed from desire of fruit, his senses restrained from every improperobject and his mind purified of all dross,–that man,–O thou of ahundred sacrifices, lives in joy and freed from the dominion of desire inmy region or in any other region of happiness that he wishes, in thecompany of the deities!”

Chapter 72
Chapter 74
🙏 धर्म और आध्यात्म को जन-जन तक पहुँचाने में हमारा साथ दें| 🙏