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Chapter 276

Mahabharata English - SANTI PARVA

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Cruel and sinful that we are, alas, we have slainbrothers and sires and grandsons and kinsmen and friends and sons. How, Ograndsire, shall we dispel this thirst for wealth. Alas, through thatthirst we have perpetrated many sinful deeds.’

“Bhishma said, ‘In this connection is cited the old narrative of what wassaid by the ruler of the Videhas unto the enquiring Mandavya. The rulerof the Videhas said, ‘I have nothing (in this world), yet I live in greathappiness. If the whole of Mithila (which is said to be my kingdom) burnin a conflagration, nothing of mine will be burnt down. Tangiblepossessions, however valuable, are a source of sorrow to men ofknowledge; while possessions of even little value fascinate thefoolish.[1320] Whatever happiness exists here, derivable from thegratification of desire, and whatever heavenly happiness exists of highvalue, do not come up to even a sixteenth part of the felicity thatattends the total disappearance of desire. As the horns of a cow growwith the growth of the cow itself, after the same manner the thirst forwealth increases with increasing acquisitions of wealth. Whatever theobject for which one feels an attachment, that object becomes a source ofpain when it is lost. One should not cherish desire. Attachment to desireleads to sorrow. When wealth has been acquired, one should apply it topurposes of virtue. One should even then give up desire.[1321] The man ofknowledge always looks upon other creatures even as he looks uponhimself. Having cleansed his soul and attained to success, he casts offeverything here.[1322] By casting off both truth and falsehood, grief andjoy, the agreeable and disagreeable, fearlessness and fear, one attainsto tranquillity, and becomes free from every anxiety. That thirst (forearthly things) which is difficult of being cast off by men of foolishunderstanding, which wanes not with the wane of the body, and which isregarded as a fatal disease (by men of knowledge), one who succeeds incasting off is sure to find felicity. The man of virtuous soul, bybeholding his own behaviour that has become bright as the moon and freefrom evil of every kind, succeeds in happily attaining to great fame bothhere and hereafter.’ Hearing these words of the king, the Brahmana becamefilled with joy, and applauding what he heard, Mandavya betook himself tothe path of Emancipation.'”

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Chapter 277
Chapter 275
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