The 33 Questions (Yaksha Prashna)

also known as the Dharma Baka Upakhyan: The Story of the Righteous Crane.

In this famous and climactic scene from Mahabharata, the great Indian epic, we see Yudhishthira, the perfect king, answer thirty-three sets of pressing questions posed by a mysterious being in the shape of a crane.

“What is a real ablution? And what is charity?” Yudhishthira answered,—“A true bath consists in washing the mind clean of all impurities, and charity consists in protecting all creatures.”

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Click here for a PDF of the original Sanskrit text.

Translation by Kisari Mohan Ganguli. The entire Mahabharata in Sanskrit and in English is available from Sacred Texts.

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