Chapter 213

Mahabharata English - ARANYAKA PARVA

“Markandeya said, ‘When, O Yudhishthira, all this mystery of salvationwas explained to that Brahmana, he was highly pleased and he saidaddressing the fowler, ‘All this that thou hast explained, is rational,and it seems to me that there is nothing in connection with the mysteriesof religion which thou dost not know.’ The fowler replied, ‘O good andgreat Brahmana, thou shalt perceive with thine own eyes, all the virtuethat I lay claim to, and by reason of which I have attained this blissfulstate. Rise, worshipful sir, and quickly enter this inner apartment. Ovirtuous man, it is proper that thou shouldst see my father and mymother.’ Markandeya continued, ‘Thus addressed the Brahmana went in, andbeheld a fine beautiful mansion. It was a magnificent house divided infour suites of rooms, admired by gods and looking like one of theirpalaces; it was also furnished with seats and beds, and redolent ofexcellent perfumes. His revered parents clad in white robes, havingfinished their meals, were seated at ease. The fowler, beholding them,prostrated himself before them with his head at their feet. His agedparents then addressed him thus, ‘Rise, O man of piety, rise, mayrighteousness shield thee; we are much pleased with thee for thy piety;mayst thou be blessed with a long life, and with knowledge, highintelligence, and fulfilment of thy desires. Thou art a good and dutifulson, for, we are constantly and reasonably looked after by thee, and evenamongst the celestials thou hast not another divinity to worship. Byconstantly subduing thyself, thou hast become endowed with theself-restraining power of Brahmanas and all thy grandsires and ancestorsare constantly pleased with thee for thy self-restraining virtues and forthy piety towards us. In thought, word or deed thy attention to us neverflags, and it seems that at present thou hast no other thought in thymind (save as to how to please us). As Rama, the son of Jamadagni,laboured to please his aged parents, so hast thou, O Son, done to pleaseus, and even more. Then the fowler introduced the Brahmana to his parentsand they received him with the usual salutation of welcome, and theBrahmana accepting their welcome, enquired if they, with their childrenand servants, were all right at home, and if they were always enjoyinggood health at that time (of life). The aged couple replied, ‘At home, OBrahmana, we are all right, with all our servants. Hast thou, adorablesir, reached this place without any difficulty?’ Markandeya continued,”The Brahmana replied, ‘Yes, I have.’ Then the fowler addressing himselfto the Brahmana said to him, ‘These my parents, worshipful sir, are theidols that I worship; whatever is due to the gods, I do unto them. As thethirty-three gods with Indra at their head are worshipped by men, so arethese aged parents of mine worshipped by me. As Brahmanas exertthemselves for the purpose of procuring offering for their gods, so do Iact with diligence for these two (idols of mine). These my father andmother, O Brahmana, are my supreme gods, and I seek to please them alwayswith offering of flowers, fruits and gems. To me they are like the threesacred fires mentioned by the learned; and, O Brahmana, they seem to meto be as good as sacrifices or the four Vedas. My five life-giving airs,my wife and children and friends are all for them (dedicated to theirservice). And with my wife and children I always attend on them. O goodBrahmana, with my own hands I assist them in bathing and also wash theirfeet and give them food and I say to them only what is agreeable, leavingout what is unpleasant. I consider it to be my highest duty to do what isagreeable to them even though it be not strictly justifiable. And, OBrahmana, I am always diligent in attending on them. The two parents, thesacred fire, the soul and the spiritual preceptor, these five, O goodBrahmana, are worthy of the highest reverence from a person who seeksprosperity. By serving them properly, one acquires the merit ofperpetually keeping up the sacred fire. And it is the eternal andinvariable duty of all householders.”

Chapter 212
Chapter 214
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