Chapter 35 - Mere Learning Is Not Enough
KING Brihadyumna, a disciple of the sage Raibhya, performed a great sacrifice at which he requested his teacher to let his two sons Paravasu and Arvavasu officiate. With the permission of their father, both of them went joyfully to the capital of the king.
While arrangements were being made for the sacrifice, Paravasu desired one day to go and see his wife and, walking alone all night, he reached his hermitage before dawn. Near the hermitage, he saw in the twilight, what seemed to him a beast of prey crouching for a spring and, hurling his weapon at it, killed it.
But to his horror and grief, he discovered that he had killed his own father clad in skins, mistaking him for a wild denizen of the forest. He realised that the fatal mistake was the effect of the curse of Bharadwaja.
When he had hastily performed the funeral rites of his father, he went to Arvavasu and told him the doleful tale. He said: "But this mishap should not interfere with the sacrifice of the king. Please do the rites on my behalf in expiation of the sin I have unwittingly committed. There is, mercifully, atonement for sins committed in ignorance. If you can be my substitute here for undergoing the expiation I shall be able to go and assist in conducting the king's sacrifice. I can officiate unaided, which is a thing you cannot do as yet."
The virtuous brother agreed and said: "You may attend to the king's sacrifice. I shall do penance to free you from the terrible taint of having killed a father and a brahmana."
The virtuous Arvavasu, accordingly, took upon himself the expiatory rites on behalf of his brother. That done, he came to the court of the king to join his brother and assist in the sacrifice.
The sin of Paravasu was not washed off, since expiation cannot be by proxy. It tainted his mind with wicked designs.
Becoming jealous of the radiance on his brother's face, Paravasu decided to dishonor him by casting on him an unjustice as a person and accordingly, when Arvavasu entered the hall, Paravasu loudly exclaimed so that the king might hear:
"This man has committed the sin of killing a brahmana and how can he enter this holy sacrificial place?"
Arvavasu indignantly denied the accusation but none heeded him, and he was ignominiously expelled from that hall of sacrifice by the orders of the king.
Arvavasu repeatedly protested his innocence. "It is my brother who has committed the sin and even then it was through a mistake. I have saved him by performing expiatory rites."
This made matters worse for him for nobody believed that the expiation he had undergone was not for his own crime and everyone thought that he was adding false accusation against a blameless brother, to his other sins.
The virtuous Arvavasu who, besides being falsely accused of a monstrous crime, was also slandered as a liar, retreated to the forest in despair of finding justice in the world and betook himself to rigorous austerities.
The gods were gracious and asked him: "O virtuous soul, what is the boon you seek?" High thinking and deep meditation had in the meantime cleansed his heart of all anger at his brother's conduct; and so, he only prayed that his father might be restored to life and that his brother might be freed from wickedness and the sins that he had committed.
Lomasa narrated this story to Yudhishthira at a place near Raibhya's hermitage and said: "O Pandavas, bathe here and wash off your passions in this holy river."
Arvavasu and Paravasu were both sons of a great scholar. Both of them learnt at his feet and became eminent scholars themselves.
But learning is one thing and virtue is quite another. It is true that one should know the difference between good and evil, if one is to seek good and shun evil. But this knowledge should soak into every thought and influence every act in one's life.
Then indeed knowledge becomes virtue. The knowledge that is merely so much undigested information crammed into the mind, cannot instill virtue.
It is just an outward show like our clothes and is no real part of us.
Chapter1 - Ganapati
Chapter2 - Devavrata
Chapter3 - Bhishma's Vow
Chapter4 - Amba And Bhishma
Chapter5 - Devayani And Kacha
Chapter6 - The Marriage Of Devayani
Chapter7 - Yayati
Chapter8 - Vidura
Chapter9 - Kunti Devi
Chapter10 - Death Of Pandu
Chapter11 - Bhima
Chapter12 - Karna
Chapter13 - Drona
Chapter14 - The Wax Palace
Chapter15 - The Escape Of The Pandavas
Chapter16 - The Slaying Of Bakasura
Chapter17 - Draupadi's Swayamvaram
Chapter18 - Indraprastha
Chapter19 - The Saranga Birds
Chapter20 - Jarasandha
Chapter21 - The Slaying Of Jarasandha
Chapter22 - The First Honor
Chapter23 - Sakuni Comes In
Chapter24 - The Invitation
Chapter25 - The Wager
Chapter26 - Draupadi's Grief
Chapter27 - Dhritarashtra's Anxiety
Chapter28 - Krishna's Vow
Chapter29 - Pasupata
Chapter30 - Affliction Is Nothing New
Chapter31 - Agastya
Chapter32 - Rishyasringa
Chapter33 - Fruitless Penance
Chapter34 - Yavakrida's End
Chapter35 - Mere Learning Is Not Enough
Chapter36 - Ashtavakra
Chapter37 - Bhima And Hanuman
Chapter38 - I am No Crane
Chapter39 - Wicked Are Never Satisfied
Chapter40 - Duryodhana Disgraced
Chapter41 - Sri Krishna's Hunger
Chapter42 - The Enchanted Pool
Chapter43 - Domestic Service
Chapter44 - Virtue Vindicated
Chapter45 - Matsya Defended
Chapter46 - Prince Uttara
Chapter47 - Promise Fulfilled
Chapter48 - Virata's Delusion
Chapter49 - Taking Counsel
Chapter50 - Arjuna's Charioteer
Chapter51 - Salya Against His Nephews
Chapter52 - Vritra
Chapter53 - Nahusha
Chapter54 - Sanjaya's Mission
Chapter55 - Not a Needle-Point Of Territory
Chapter56 - Krishna's Mission
Chapter57 - Attachment and Duty
Chapter58 - The Pandava Generalissimo
Chapter59 - Balarama
Chapter60 - Rukmini
Chapter61 - Non-Cooperation
Chapter62 - Krishna Teaches
Chapter63 - Yudhishthira Seeks Benediction
Chapter64 - The First Day's Battle
Chapter65 - The Second Day
Chapter66 - The Third Day's Battle
Chapter67 - The Fourth Day
Chapter68 - The Fifth Day
Chapter69 - The Sixth Day
Chapter70 - The Seventh Day
Chapter71 - The Eighth Day
Chapter72 - The Ninth Day
Chapter73 - The Passing Of Bhishma
Chapter74 - Karna and the Grandsire
Chapter75 - Drona in Command
Chapter76 - To Seize Yudhishthira Alive
Chapter77 - The Twelfth Day
Chapter78 - Brave Bhagadatta
Chapter79 - Abhimanyu
Chapter80 - The Death Of Abhimanyu
Chapter81 - A Father's Grief
Chapter82 - The Sindhu King
Chapter83 - Borrowed Armor
Chapter84 - Yudhishthira's Misgivings
Chapter85 - Yudhishthira's Fond Hope
Chapter86 - Karna And Bhima
Chapter87 - Pledge Respected
Chapter88 - Somadatta's End
Chapter89 - Jayadratha Slain
Chapter90 - Drona Passes Away
Chapter91 - The Death Of Karna
Chapter92 - Duryodhana
Chapter93 - The Pandavas Reproached
Chapter94 - Aswatthama
Chapter95 - Avenged
Chapter96 - Who Can Give Solace?
Chapter97 - Yudhishthira's Anguish
Chapter98 - Yudhishthira Comforted
Chapter99 - Envy
Chapter100 - Utanga
Chapter101 - A Pound Of Flour
Chapter102 - Yudhishthira Rules
Chapter103 - Dhritarashtra
Chapter104 - The Passing Away Of The Three
Chapter105 - Krishna Passes Away
Chapter106 - Yudhishthira's Final Trial