Once, Yayati requested Matali to describe the various sinful and virtuous deeds, which a man normally commits in his life.
Matali replied—‘One who criticizes the vedas and follows the religion of other’s after abandoning his own or torments virtuous people is a grave sinner. Similarly, not respecting one’s parents, not giving ‘Dakshaina’ to a brahmin after the completion of a shradha ceremony, studying the scriptures in an impure physical state are some other sinful deeds.
‘One who obstructs a hungry man from having his food or thirsty person from quenching his thirst commits a sin similar to that of killing a brahmin.
Matali described some other types of sins —
Back biting, seeing faults with others and demeaning their efforts, acquiring other’s land by unfair means, killing innocent animals, having illicit relationship with women other than one’s wife, telling lies, showing disrespect to the guests etc, are considered to be sinful deeds.
Describing about the various types of virtuous deeds, Matali said —
Non-violence, forgiveness, truthfulness, devotion towards god, benevolence, abstinence, oblation and meditation are some of the virtuous deeds. Donating food-grains, domesticated animals like horse, cow etc., giving water to a thirsty person are some other types of virtuous deeds. A person who donates wooden sandals a needy brahmin attains to the heaven. Worshipping Lord Shiva or Lord Vishnu enables a man to attain to the Shivaloka or Vishnuloka respectively.