We invoke dead saints, we worship the Virgin Mary, we fast, we perform penances to merit heaven, and all the time the Bible tells us that there is but one Mediator between God and man, Jesus Christ, and that by repentance and through faith in Him can we alone become righteous and meet to enter the kingdom or heaven. I cannot tell you one-half of the objections I have to remain here.
These two cheerfully addressed me saying, Let thy penances increase without any obstruction. Having obtained the permission of all of them, I thought of Garuda. Arrived at Himavat, I dismissed him. There on that foremost of mountains, I beheld many wonderful sights. I saw an excellent, wonderful, and agreeable retreat for the practice of penances.
"Sauti said, 'The illustrious Sesha amongst them, of great renown, leaving his mother practised hard penances, living upon air and rigidly observing his vows. He practised these ascetic devotions, repairing to Gandhamadana, Vadri, Gokarna, the woods of Pushkara, and the foot of Himavat.
Reaching the other end of blazing penances, that lord of Earth, endued with great splendour, attained to the region of Purandara where he continued to live in his company. On many occasions, while visiting the region of Indra, O king, I saw the monarch, whose sins had all been burnt off by penances, residing in Indra's abode.
When darkness or ignorance has been transcended, the embodied Soul becomes Supreme Brahma, the cause of the universe. The deities have penances and Vedic rites. This, viz., Brahma, which has been said to have Knowledge only for its attribute, is difficult of attainment by either the deities or the Asuras.
Understanding that the gods had become exceedingly cheerless, the ascetic did this through compassion. He put forth his energy and burnt, without any exertion, those Danavas called Khalins. Possessed of wealth of penances, the Rishi brought the River Ganga, who had gone to Kailasa, to that spot. Indeed, Ganga appeared, piercing through the waters of the lake. The lake was penetrated by that river.
She was indeed almost a nun; going daily to church, performing cloistral penances, and practising economy that she might have means to help the poor. "Could there be, up to this point, a saintlier life or one more tried than that of this noble woman, so gentle under misfortune, so brave in danger, and always Christian?" said Monsieur Alain, appealing to Godefroid.
As butter from curds and fire from wood, even hath this been raised for the sake of my son, this that constituteth the knowledge of all truly wise men. This discourse, O son, fraught with solid instruction, is intended for delivery unto Snatakas. It should never be imparted to one that is not of tranquil soul, or one that is not self-restrained, or one that hath not undergone penances.
"'Bhishma said, "I tell thee, O Yudhishthira, that one attains to a region of felicity that corresponds with the kind of penances that one observes. This is what I hold, O son of Kunti, that there is no penance that is superior to abstention from food! It has been heard by us, O Bharata, that Bhagiratha attained to that region which transcends that of the deities, of kine, and of the Rishis.
We accuse ourselves to the confessor, for we know it is a sin, but he treats it as a childish fault, and absolves us without imposing any penances." "He knows human nature, and makes allowances for your sad position." "He is an old man, very learned, and of ascetic habits, but he is all indulgence. It will be a sad day when we lose him."