Chapter 71 to 137

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Markandeya said: – In the days of yore, the Patriarch Ruchi, being shorn of attachments, pride and fear and restraining his sleep, travelled all over the earth. (1) Seeing him divorced from fire, home, hermitage and company and living on one meal his departed manes said to that ascetic: (2) “O child, why dost thou not go through the most sacred marriage which is the source of heaven and emancipation and the absence of which brings on fetters. (3) Having worshipped the gods, the manes, the Rishis and the guests a householder enjoys the various lokas. (4) (By not taking a (wife) you are being daily fettered by the debts due to the gods, manes, humanity and other creatures. (5) He should worship the deities with the exclamations of Swaha the manes with those of Swadha and the guests with food. (6) Without having engendered progeny and brought about the satisfaction of the gods and manes how dost thou, out of foolishness, aspire to a better state? (7) We perceive the various miseries that will befall you for leading a single life. You will attain to hell after death and suffer miseries even in your next birth.” (8)

Ruchi said: – Marriage leads to excessive misery, hell and wretched existence; it is for this I did not marry before. (9) The control of the self by various good processes is the instrument of emancipation and not marriage. (10) To wash daily the soul that is sullied with the mire of egotism, with the water of eternal consciousness shorn of attachment is the most excellent course. (11) Therefore having controlled the senses the wise should wash their souls sullied with the mire of actions begotten in various births with the water of good desire.” (12)

The Manes said: – “Of course it is proper that one, having controlled his senses, should wash his soul. But, O child, will the path in which you are now stationed, lead to liberation? (13) As ones’ sin is destroyed by making gifts divorced from the desire of fruits so the pristine actions are destroyed by going through the result, good or bad. (14) He, who thus engages in charitable works, is not fettered (by actions); one, by thus engaging in action without desire,

is freed from all bonds. (5) Thus pristine actions are destroyed by day and night going through happiness and misery; the ways of mankind are thus identical with virtue and vice. (16) In this way the wise wash their souls and guard them against bonds for which the soul is not deprived of conscience and accordingly is not sunk in the mire of sin.” (17)

Ruchi said: – O ancestors, the road of action, has been mentioned in the Vedas as ignorance then how do you engage me in that action? (18)

The Manes said: – True it is ignorance, but that ignorance is engendered by action is false; on the other hand without doubt action produces knowledge. (19) The self-restraint, that is undergone by the wicked for emancipation without having made arrangements for the satisfaction of their duties, brings on, on the contrary, a worse state. (20) O child, you have made up your mind to wash thy soul but (on the contrary) you are being consumed by sins begotten by the negligence of duties. (21) If administered by proper means ignorance conduces to the well-being of mankind like poison; it never brings on bonds for them. (22) Therefore O child, marry properly; let not your life prove futile by wending the way not approved of by mankind. (23)

Ruchi said: – O ancestors, I am now an old man, who will confer a wife on me? Besides I am a poor man so it is very difficult for me to take a wife. (24)

The Manes said: – O child, if you do not hear us, we shall fall down and along with us you will be subjected to a wretched state. (25)

Markandeya said: – O foremost of Munis, having said this, the manes disappeared before the very eyes of Ruchi, like a light put out by the wind. (26)