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Chapter 62

Mahabharata English - SANTI PARVA

“Yudhishthira said, ‘Tell his those duties in respect of persons likeourselves which are auspicious, productive of happiness in the future,benevolent, approved by all, pleasant, and agreeable.’

“Bhishma said, ‘The four modes of life, O puissant one, have been laiddown for the Brahmana. The other three orders do not adopt them, O bestof the Bharatas! Many acts, O king, leading to heaven and especially fitfor the kingly order, have already been declared. Those, however, cannotbe referred to in reply to thy present query, for all of them have beenduly laid down for such Kshatriyas as are not disinclined topitilessness. The Brahmana who is addicted to the practices of Kshatriyasand Vaisyas and Sudras, incurs censure in this world as a person ofwicked soul and goes to hell in the next world. Those names which areapplied among men to slaves and dogs and wolves and (other) beasts, areapplied, O son of Pandu, to the Brahmana who is engaged in pursuits thatare improper for him. That Brahmana who, in all the four modes of life.is duly engaged in the six-fold acts (of regulating the breath,contemplation, etc.), who performs all his duties, who is not restless,who has his passions under control, whose heart is pure and who is everengaged in penances, who has no desire of bettering his prospects, andwho is charitable, has inexhaustible regions of bliss in the other world.Everyone derives his own nature from the nature of his acts, in respectof their circumstances, place, and means and motives. Thou shouldst,therefore, O king, regard the study of the Vedas, which is fraught withsuch high merit, to be equal with the exertion of kingly power, or thepursuits of agriculture, trade, and hunting. The world is set agoing byTime. Its operations are settled by the course of Time. Man does all hisacts, good, bad, and indifferent, entirely influenced by Time.[195] Thoseamongst the good acts of a man’s past life that exert the greatestinfluence on the next, are liable to be exhausted. Men, however, arealways engaged in those acts to which their propensities lead. Thosepropensities, again, lead a living being to every direction.'”[196]

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