“Yudhishthira said, ‘If Brahmanas that are in the observance of a vow(viz., fast) eat, at the invitation of a Brahmana, the Havi (offered at aSraddha), can they be charged with the transgression or a violation oftheir vow, or should they refuse the invitation of a Brahmana when suchinvitation is received by them? Tell me this, O grandsire!’
“Yudhishthira said, ‘O foremost one of Bharata’s race, do thou relate tome all the duties of the household mode and tell me all that a man shoulddo in order to attain to prosperity in this world.’
“Bhishma said, ‘After Nimi had acted in the way described above, all thegreat Rishis began to perform the sacrifice in honour of the Pitris(called the Sraddha) according to rites laid down in the ordinance.
“Yudhishthira said, ‘By whom was the Sraddha first conceived and at whattime? What also is its essence?
“Yudhishthira said, ‘It behoves thee, O foremost one of Kuru’s race, totell me unto what kind of Brahmanas, O grandsire, should the offers madeat Sraddhas be given away.’
“Bhishma continued, ‘Listen to me, O Yudhishthira, as I tell thee whatthose optional Sraddhas are that should be performed under the differentconstellations and that were first spoken of by Yama unto kingSasavindu.
“Yudhishthira said, ‘O thou of great puissance, tell me what that objectis which, if dedicated to the Pitris, becomes inexhaustible! What Havi,again, (if offered) lasts for all time? What, indeed, is that which (ifpresented) becomes eternal?'”
“Yudhishthira said, ‘Thou hast discoursed to me, O thou of righteoussoul, on the duties of the four orders. Do thou, after the same manner, Qking, discourse to me now on all the ordinances respecting the Sraddha(of deceased ancestors).’
“Yudhishthira said, ‘Thou hast, O grandsire, discoursed to me, in detailon the merits that attach to the gift of gold agreeably with theordinances laid down in the scriptures as indicated in the auditions ofthe Veda.
‘The Deities said, ‘The Asura named Taraka who has received boons fromthee, O puissant one, is afflicting the deities and the Rishis. Let hisdeath be ordained by thee. O Grandsire, great has been our fear from him.O illustrious one, do thou rescue us. We have no other refuge than thee.’