Three lessons from the Mahabharata

The following sastric reference indicates three things:

1) the nature of the disposition of Brahmanas versus Kshatriyas. Brahmanas have soft hearts but use sharp words while Kshatriyas speak sweetly but their hearts are like razors.

2) A curse is only effective if based on truth

3) Why women should braid their hair while cooking, doing puja or near areas wear cooking and puja are going on.

Mahabharata Adi Parva book 3

“And Utanka being told this, said unto the Queen, ‘Lady, be under no apprehension. Takshaka, Chief of the serpents, is not able to overtake me.’ And having said this, and taking leave of the Queen, he went back into the presence of Paushya, and said, ‘Paushya, I am gratified.’ Then Paushya said to Utanka, ‘A fit object of charity can only be had at long intervals. Thou art a qualified guest, therefore do I desire to perform a sraddha. Tarry thou a little. And Utanka replied, ‘Yes, I will tarry, and beg that the clean provisions that are ready may be soon brought in.’ And the king having signified his assent, entertained Utanka duly. And Utanka seeing that the food placed before him had hair in it, and also that it was cold, thought it unclean. And he said unto Paushya, ‘Thou givest me
food that is unclean, therefore shalt thou lose thy sight.’ And Paushya in answer said, ‘And because dost thou impute uncleanliness to food that is clean, therefore shalt thou be without issue.’ And Utanka thereupon rejoined, ‘It behoveth thee not, after having offered me unclean food, to curse me in return. Satisfy thyself by ocular proof.’

“And Paushya seeing the food alleged to be unclean satisfied himself of its uncleanliness. And Paushya having ascertained that the food was truly unclean, being cold and mixed with hair, prepared as it was by a woman with unbraided hair, began to pacify the Rishi Utanka, saying, ‘Sir, the food placed before thee is cold, and doth contain hair, having been prepared without sufficient care. Therefore I pray thee pardon me. Let me not become blind.’ And Utanka answered, ‘What I say must come to pass. Having become blind, thou mayst, however, recover the sight before long.

Grant that thy curse also doth not take effect on me.’ And Paushya said unto him, ‘I am unable to revoke my curse. For my wrath even now hath not been appeased. But thou knowest not this. For a Brahmana’s heart is soft as new-churned butter, even though his words bear a sharp-edged razor. It is otherwise in respect of these with the Kshatriya. His words are soft as new-churned butter, but his heart is like a sharp-edged tool, such being the case, I am unable, because of the hardness of my heart, to neutralise my curse. Then go thou thy own way.’ To this Utanka made answer, “I showed thee the uncleanliness of the food offered to me, and I was even now pacified by thee. Besides, saidst thou at first that because I imputed uncleanliness to food that was clean I should be without issue. But the food truly unclean, thy curse cannot affect me. Of this I am sure.‘ And Utanka having said this departed with the ear-rings.

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