The Mahabharata Home
"Bhishma said, 'Beholding his disciple returned from his mission, Devasarman of great energy addressed him in words which I shall recite to thee O king!'
"Davasarman said, 'What hast thou seen, O Vipula, in course of thy progress, O disciple, through the great forest' 'They whom thou hast seen knew thee, O Vipula. I, as also my spouse Ruchi, know how thou hadst acted in the matter of protecting Ruchi.'
"Vipula said, 'O regenerate Rishi, who are those two whom I first saw? Who also are those other six whom I saw subsequently? All of them know me: who, indeed, are they to whom thou alludest in thy speech to me?'
"Devasarman said, The first couple, O regenerate one, whom thou sawest, are Day and Night. They are ceaselessly moving like a circle. Both of them know the transgression of which thou hast been guilty, those other men (six in number) whom, O learned Brahmana, thou sawest playing cheerfully at dice, are the six Seasons. They also are acquainted with thy transgressions. Having committed a sin in secrecy, no sinful man should cherish the assuring thought that his transgression is known only to himself and not to any one else. When a man perpetrates a sinful deed in secret, the Seasons as also Day and Night behold it always. Those regions that are reserved for the sinful shall be thine (for what thou hast done) What thou hadst done thou didst not tell me. That thy sin was not known to any one, was thy belief, and this conviction had filled thee with joy. Thou didst not inform the preceptor of the whole truth, choosing to hide from him a material portion. The Seasons, and Day and Night, whom thou hast heard speak in that strain, thought it proper to remind thee of thy transgression. Day and Night and the Seasons are ever conversant of all the good and the bad deeds that are in a man. They spoke to thee in that way, O regenerate one, because they have full knowledge of what thou hadst done but which thou hadst not the courage to inform me of, fearing thou hadst done wrong. For this reason those regions that are reserved for the sinful will be thine as much. Thou didst not tell me what
thou hadst done. Thou weft fully capable, O regenerate one, of protecting my spouse whose disposition by nature, is sinful. In doing what thou didst, thou didst not commit any sin. I was, for this, gratified with thee! O best of Brahmanas, if I had known thee to have acted wickedly, I would without hesitation, have cursed thee. Women become united with men. Such union is very desirable with men. Thou hadst, however, protected my wife in a different spirit. If thou hadst acted otherwise, a curse would have been uttered upon thee. Even this is what I think. Thou hadst O son, protected my spouse. The manner in which thou didst it hath now become known to me as if thou hadst thyself informed me of it. I have, O son, become gratified with thee. Relieved of all anxiety, thou shalt go to heaven!' Having said these words unto Vipula, the great Rishi Devasarman, ascended to heaven with his wife and his disciple and began to pass his time there in great happiness. In course of conversation, O king, on a former occasion, the great ascetic Markandeya had narrated to me this history on the banks of the Ganga. I, therefore, recite to thee. Women should always be protected by thee (from temptations and opportunities of every kind). Amongst them both kinds are to be seen, that is, those that are virtuous and those that are not so. Those women that are virtuous are highly blessed. They are the mothers of the universe (for they it is that cherish all creatures on every side). They, it is, O king, that uphold the earth with all her waters and forests. Those women that are sinful, that are of wicked behaviour, that are the destroyers of their races, and that are wedded to sinful resolves, are capable of being ascertained by indications, expressive of the evil that is in them, which appear, O king, on their bodies. It is even thus that high-souled persons are capable of protecting women. They cannot, O tiger among kings, be protected in any other way. Women, O chief of men, are fierce. They are endued with fierce prowess. They have none whom they love or like so much as they that have sexual congress with them. Women are like those (Atharvan) incantations that are destructive of life. Even after they have consented to live with one, they are prepared to abandon him for entering into engagements with others. They are never satisfied with one person of the opposite sex, O son of Pandu! Men should feel no affection for them. Nor should they entertain any jealousy on account of them, O king! having a regard only for the considerations of virtue, men should enjoy their society, not with enthusiasm and attachment but with reluctance and absence of attachment. By acting otherwise, a man is sure to meet with destruction, O delighter of the Kurus. Reason is respected at all times and under all circumstances. Only one man, viz., Vipula, had succeeded in protecting woman. There is none else, O king, in the three worlds who is capable of protecting women.'"
Next: Section XLIV