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Chapter 79

Mahabharata English - ANUSASANA PARVA

“Vasishtha said, ‘The kine that had been created in a former agepractised the austerest penances for a hundred thousand years with thedesire of attaining to a position of great pre-eminence. Verily, Oscorcher of foes, they said unto themselves,–We shall, in this world,become the best of all kinds of Dakshina in sacrifices, and we shall notbe liable to be stained with any fault! By bathing in water mixed withour dung people shall become sanctified. The deities and men shall useour dung for the purpose of purifying all creatures mobile and immobile.They also that will give us away shall attain to those regions ofhappiness which will be ours.[376]–The puissant Brahman, appearing untothem at the conclusion of their austerities, gave them the boons theysought, saying,–it shall be as ye wish! Do ye (thus) rescue all theworlds!–Crowned with fruition in respect of their wishes, they all roseup,–those mothers of both the Past and the Future. Every morning, peopleshould bow with reverence unto kine. As the consequence of this, they arecertain to win prosperity. At the conclusion of their penances O monarch,kine became the refuge of the world. It is for this that kine are said tobe highly blessed, sacred, and the foremost of all things. It is for thiskine are said to stay at the very head of all creatures. By giving away aKapila cow with a calf resembling herself, yielding a copious measure ofmilk, free from every vicious habit, and covered with a piece of cloth,the giver attains to great honours in the region of Brahma. By givingaway a cow of red complexion, with a calf that resembles herself,yielding milk, free from every vice, and covered with a piece of cloth,one attains to great honours in the region of Surya. By giving away a cowof variegated hue, with a calf similar to herself, yielding milk, freefrom every vice, and covered with a piece of cloth, one attains to greathonours in the region of Soma. By giving away a cow of white complexion,with a calf similar to herself, yielding milk, free from every vice, andcovered with a piece of cloth, one attains to great honours in the regionof Indra. By giving away a cow of dark complexion, with a calf similar toherself, yielding milk, free from every vice, and covered with a piece ofcloth, one attains to great honours in the region of Agni. By giving awaya cow of the complexion of smoke, with a calf similar to herself,yielding milk, free from every vice, and covered with a piece of cloth,one attains to great honours in the region of Yama. By giving away a cowof the complexion of the foam of water, with a calf and a vessel of whitebrass for milking her, and covered with a piece of cloth, one attains tothe region of Varuna. By giving away a cow whose complexion is like thatof the dust blown by the wind, with a calf, and a vessel of white brassfor milking her, and covered with a piece of cloth, one attains to greathonours in the region of the Wind-god. By giving a cow of the complexionof gold, having eyes of a tawny hue with a calf and a vessel of whitebrass for milking her and covered with a piece of cloth, one enjoys thefelicity of the region of Kuvera. By giving away a cow of the complexionof the smoke of straw, with a calf and a vessel of white brass formilking her, and covered with a piece of cloth, one attains to greathonours in the region of the Pitris. By giving away a fat cow with theflesh of its throat hanging down and accompanied by her calf, one attainswith ease to the high region of the Viswedevas. By giving away a Gouricow, with calf similar to her, yielding milk, free from every vice, andcovered with a piece of cloth, one attains to the region of the Vasus. Bygiving away a cow of the complexion of a white blanket, with a calf and avessel of white brass, and covered with a piece of cloth, one attains tothe region of the Sadhyas. By giving away a bull with a high hump andadorned with every jewel, the giver, O king, attains to the region of theMaruts. By giving away a bull of blue complexion, that is full-grown inrespect of years and adorned with every ornament, the giver attains tothe regions of the Gandharvas and the Apsaras. By giving away a cow withthe flesh of her throat hanging down, and adorned with every ornament,the giver, freed from every grief, attains to those regions that belongto Prajapati himself. That man, O king, habitually makes gifts of kine,proceed, piercing through the clouds, on a car of solar effulgence toHeaven and shines there in splendour. That man who habitually makes giftsof kine comes to be regarded as the foremost of his species. When thusproceeding to Heaven, he is received by a thousand celestial damsels ofbeautiful hips and adorned with handsome robes and ornaments. These girlswait upon him there and minister to his delight. He sleeps there in peaceand is awakened by the musical laughter of those gazelle-eyed damsels,the sweet notes of their Vinas, the soft strains of their Vallakis, andthe melodious tinkle of their Nupuras.[377] The men who makes gifts ofkine resides in Heaven and is honoured there for as many years as thereare hairs on the bodies of the kine he gives away. Falling off fromHeaven (upon the exhaustion of his merit), such a man takes birth in theorder of humanity and, in fact, in a superior family among men.'”

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