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worshipped. Those who, whatever the symbols and modes of
life to Avhich they adhere, have acquired an understanding
having tranquillity for its essence, attain to that one entity
even as numerous rivers all meeting the Ocean.S* This path

* Nilakantha's reaiing is erroneous. 'Brahma-lab hasya' should be
•Brahmanabhasya.' So also 'durvarasya' is incorrect. 'Nemi' may also
mean the line or track that is made by a wheel as it moves. If taken in
this sense, itwoaldmean 'that is confined to, or that cannot deviate
from, the track constituted by goodness. The nave, Brahma, is, of
course, the Vedas. — T.

t The sense seems to be this. The sovereignty of the whole Earth
or of Heaveti, and this knowledge of my identity with the universe.
Of these two alternatives, I would freely choose the latter. Hence, he
says, — 'This knowledge is my wealth ' — T.

X These are different modes of life. — T.

$ The sense is this : the knowledge to be acquired is that all is one.
Diverse ways there are for acquiring it. Those, agaiu, that have attain
ed to tranquillity have acquired it. — T.

Parva.] acwamedha. pirva^ 83

is traversable with the aid of the understanding and not of
the body. Actions have both beginning and end, and the
body has actions for its bonds.*^ Hence, blessed lady, thou
needst have no apprehension in respect of the world hereafter
With thy heart intent upon the real entity, it is my soul into
which thou wilt come ! — ' "*

Section XXXIV.

•' 'The Brahmana's wife said, — This is incapable of being,
understood by a person of little intelligence as also by one
whose soul has not been cleansed. My intelligence is very
little, and contracted, and confused.^ Do thou tell me the
ifieans by which the knowledge (of which thou speakest) may
be acquired, I wish to learn from thee the source from which
this knowledge flows. — ^

" 'The Brahmana said, — Know that intelligence devoted to
Brahma is the lower Arani ; the preceptor is the upper Arani ;
penances and conversance with the scriptures are to cause the
attrition. From this is produced the fire of knowledge. — ^

" 'The Brahmana's wife said, — As regards this symbol of
Brahma, which is designated Kshetrajna, where, indeed, occurs
a description of it by which it is capable of being seized ? — *

" 'The Brahmana said, — He is without symbols, and with-
out qualities. Nothing exists that may be regarded as his
cause. I shall, however, tell thee the means by which he can
be seized or not.^ A good means may be found ; which is
perceived as (flowers are perceived) by bees. That means
consists of an understanding cleansed by action. Those whose
understandings have not been so cleansed; regard that entity,
through their own ignorance, as invested with the properties
of knowledge and others.-f® It is not laid down that this

* Actions are perishable and can lead to no lasting resnlt. It is by
the understanding that that knowledge, leading to what is permanent,
is to be attained. — T.

t I expand this Verse a little for making it intelligible. A literal
version would run as follows : — 'Good raeans may be seen, perceived as
by bees. Action (-cleansed) understanding ; through folly it is invested

84 MAHABHARATA. [Anugitci

should be done, or that this should not be done, in the rules
for achieving Emancipation, — those, that is, in which a know-
ledge of the soul arises only in him who sees and hears.*^
One should comprehend as many parts, unmanifest and mani-
fest, by hundreds and thousands, as one is capable of com-
prehending here.^ Indeed,, one should comprehend diverse
objects of diverse import, and all objects of direct perception.
Then will come, from practice (of contemplation and self-res-
traint, &c.), that above which nothing exists.-|- — '^

"The holy one continued, — 'Then the mind of that Brah-
mana's wife, upon the destruction of the Kshetrajna, became
that which is beyond Kshetrajna, in consequence of the know-
ledge of Kshetra.'t^"

"Arjuna said, — 'Where, indeed, is that Brahmana's wife,
O Krishna, and where is that foremost of Brahmanas, by both
of whom was such success attained. Do thou+ tell me about
them, O thou of unfading glory !'^^

with the symbols of knowledge.' 'Karmabudhih' never means 'action
and knowledge' as rendered by Telang. 'Abudhitwat' means throngh
ignorance.' This ignorance is of those persons whose understandings
have not been cleansed by action. — T.

* What is stated here is this. In the matter of achieving Eman-
cipation, no ordinances have been laid down, positive or negative, like
those in respect of other things. If one wishes to attain to Heaven, he
should do this and abstain from that other. For achieving Emancipa-
tion, however, only seeing and hearing are prescribed. Seeing implies
contemplation, and hearing, the receiving of instructions from the pre-
ceptor. Nilakantha explains hearing as 'Vedantadigravanam' {vide his
comment on the word 'crutam' in Verse 3 above). — T.

t The speaker wishes to inculcate that one should first contemplate
an object of direct perception, such as earth, &c. ; then on such 'unper-
cieved' objects as operations of the mind. Such contemplation will
gradually lead to that which is Supreme. The 'abhyasa' or practice
referred to in the second line is the practice of 'cama,' 'dama,' &c. I do
not think that Telaiig's version of 8 and 9 brings out the meaning
clearly.— T.

X The sense is that when her individual soul became merged into the
Supreme soul, she became identified with Brahma. This was, of course,
due to the knowledge of K^ihetra as something separate from Kbhetra-
jna.— T.

Parva.] acwamedha parva. . 85

"The blessed and holy one said, — 'Know that my mind is
the Brahmana, and that my understanding is the Brahmana's
wife. He who has been spoken of as Kshetrajna is I myself,
O Dhananjaya !' "^^

Section XXXV.

"Arjuna said, — 'It behooveth thee to expound Brahma to
me, — that which is the highest object of knowledge. Through
thy favour, my mind is delighted with these subtle disquisi-

''Vasudeva said, — 'In this connection is recited the old
history of the discourse between a preceptor and his disciple*
on the subject of Brahma." Once on a time, scorcher of
foes, an intelligent disciple questioned a certain Brahmana of
rigid vows who was preceptor, as he was seated (at his ease),
saying, — What, indeed, is the highest good ?^ Desirous of
attaining to that- which constitutes the highest good, I throw
myself at thy feet, holy one ! O learned Brahmana, I
solicit thee, bending my head, to explain to me what I ask !*
— Unto that disciple, O son of Pritha, who said so, the pre-
ceptor said, — regenerate one, I shall explain to thee every-
thing about which thou mayst have any doubts !^ — Thus
addressed, foremost one of Kuru's race, by his preceptor,
that disciple who was exceedingly devoted to his preceptor,
spoke as follows, with joined hands. Do thou hear what he
said, O thou of great intelligence !'*

" 'The Disciple said, — Whence am I ? Whence art thou ?
Explain that which is the highest truth. From what source
have sprung all creatures mobile and immobile V By what
do creatures live ? What is the limit of their life ? What is
truth ? What is penance, learned Brahmana ? What are
called attributes by the good ?^ What paths are to be called
auspicious? What is happiness? What is sin ? holy on6,
O thou of excellent vows, it behooves thee to answer these
questions of mine, learned Rishi, correctly, truly, and ac-
curately ! Who else is there in this world than thee that is
capable of answering these questions ?''''^° Do thou answer


them, foremost of all persons conversant with duties! My
curiosity is great. Thou art celebrated in all the worlds as
one well skilled in the duties relating to Emancipation.^^
There is none else than thou that is competent to remove all
kinds of doubts. Afraid of worldly life, we have become de-
sirous of achieving Emancipation ! — '^^

"Vasudeva said, — 'Unto that disciple who had humbly
sought his instruction and put the questions duly, who was
devoted to his preceptor and possessed of tranquillity, and
who always behaved in a manner that was agreeable (to his
instructor), who lived so constantly by the side of his ins-
tructor as to have almost become his shadow, who was self-res-
trained, and who had the life of" a Yati and a Brahmacharin,
O son of Pritha, that preceptor possessed of intelligence and
observant of vows, duly explained all the questions, O fore-
most one of Kuru's race, O chastiser of all foes I'l^-i*

" 'The preceptor said, — All this was declared (in days of
old) by Brahman himself (the Grandsire of all the worlds).
Applauded and practised by the foremost of Rishis, and
depending on a knowledge of the Vedas, it involves a con-
sideration of what constitutes the real entit3^^^ We regard
knowledge to be the highest object, and renunciation as
the best penance. He who, with certainty, knows the true
object of knowledge which is incapable of being modified
by circumstances, viz., the soul abiding in all creatures,
succeeds in going whithersoever he wishes and comes to be
regarded as the highest. That learned man who beholds
the residence of all things in one place and their severance as
well,""" and who sees unity in diversity, succeeds in freeing
himself from misery. He who does not covet anything and
does not cherish the idea of mineness Avith regard to any-
thing,^^ comes to be regarded, although residing in this world,
as identifiable with Brahma. He who is conversant with the
truth about the qualities of Pradhana (or Nature), acquainted
with the creation of all existent objects,^^ divested of the
idea of mineness, and without pride, succeeds, without doubt,
in emancipating himself. Understanding properly that great
tree which has the unmanifest for its seed-sprout, and the

Parva.] acwamkdha parva. 87

understanding for its trunk, and high conciousness of self for
its branches, and the senses for the cells whence its twigs
issue, and the (five) great elements for its flower-buds, and
the gross elements for its smaller boughs, which is- always
endued with leaves, which always puts forth flowers, and upon
which all existent objects depend, whose seed is Brahma, and
which is eternal, — and cutting all topics with the sharp sword
of knowledge, one attains to immortality and casts off birth
and death.""""' The conclusions with regard to the past, pre-
sent, and future, &c., and religion, pleasure, and wealth, which
are all well known to conclaves of Siddhas, which appertain to
remote cycles, and which are, indeed, eternal,^* I shall declare
to thee, O thou of great wisdom ! These constitute what is
called Good. Men of wisdom, understanding them in this world,
attain to success."^ In days of old, the Rishis Vrihaspati and
Bharadwaja, and Gautama and Bhargava, and Va^ishtha and
Ka9yapa, and Vi9wamitra and Atri, assembled together for the
purpose of asking one another. They thus assembled together
after having travelled over all paths and after they had got
tired with the acts each of them had done.^®"-'' Those re-
generate persons, placing the sage son of Angiras at their
head, proceeded to the region of the Grandsire. There they
beheld Brahman perfectly cleansed of all sin.^^ Bowing their
heads unto that high-souled one who was seated at their ease
the great Rishis, endued with humility, asked him this grave
question regarding the highest good.^^ — How should a good
man act ? How would one be released from sin ? What paths
are auspicious for us ? What is truth, and what is sin ?'*
By what action are the two paths, northern and southern,
obtained ? What is destruction ? What, Emancipation ?
What is birth and what death of all existent objects ?^^ — I
shall tell thee, O disciple, what the Grandsire, thus addressed,
said unto them, conformably to the scriptures. Do thou
listen ! — '^

" ' — Brahman said, — It is from Truth that all creatures,
mobile and immobile, have been born. They live by penance
(or action). Understand this, ye of excellent vows ! In
couseqaence of their own actions they live, transcending their


own origin. *^^ For Truth, when united with qualities, be-
comes always possessed of five indications. Brahman is Truth.
Penance is truth. Prajapati is truth.^* It is from Truth
that all creatures have sprung. Truth is the universe of
being. It is for this that Brahmanas who are always devoted
to Yoga, who have transcended wrath and sorrow, and who
always regard Religion as the causeway (along which every one
must pass for avoiding the morass below), take refuge in Truth.
I shall now speak of those Brahmanas who are restrained by
one another and possessed of knowledge, of the orders, and of
those who belong to the four modes of life.^^"^^ The wise say
that Religion or duty is one, (though) having four quarters.
Ye regenerate ones, I shall speak to ye now of that path
which is auspicious and productive of good.^^ That path has
constantly been trod over by men possessed of Avisdom in
order to achieve an identity with Brahma. I shall speak now of
that path which is the highest and which is exceedingly diffi-
cult of being understood. ^^ Do you understand, in all its
details, ye highly blessed ones, what is the highest seat. The
first step has been said to be the mode of life that appertains
to Brahmacharins.*" The second step is domesticity. After
this is the residence in the woods. After that it should be known
is the highest step, viz., that relating to Adhyatma.-f" Light,
ether (or space), sun, wind, Indra, and Prajapati, — one sees
these as long as one does not attain to Adhyatma.*^ I shall
declare the means (by which that Adhyatma may be attained.)
Do ye first understand them. The forest mode of life that is
followed by ascetics residing in the woods and subsisting upon
fruits and roots and air is laid down for the three regenei-ate
classes. The domestic mode of life is ordained for all the
orders.*^"** They that are possessed of wisdom say that Reli-

* Their origin is Brahma or Truth. They live, dissociated from
their origin, in consequence of their acts. When their acts cease, they
return to and become merged in Brahma. — T.

t /. e., that course of life which has for its object the acquisition of
knowledge relating to the soul. This, of course, includes the know-
ledge that is needed for achieving identificatiou with the Supreme Souj
or Brahma. — T.

Parva.] acwamedha parva. 89

gion or duty has Faith for its (chief) indication. Thus have
I declared to you the paths leading to the deities. They
are adopted by those that are good and wise by their acts.
Those paths are the causeways of piety.*' That person of
rigid vows who adopts any one of these modes separately,
always succeeds in time to understand the production and
destruction of all creatures.*^ I shall now declare, accurately
and with reasons, the elements which reside in parts in all
objects.*^ The great soul, the unmanifest, egoism (conscious-
ness of identity), the ten and one organs (of knowledge and
action), the five great elements,*^ the specific characteristics
of the five elements, — these constitute the eternal creation.
The number of elements has been said to be four and twenty,
and one (more).*^ That person of wisdom who understands
the production and destruction of all these elements, that
man among all creatures, never meets with delusion.'" He
who understands the elements accurately, all the qualities, all
the deities, succeeds in cleansing himself of all sin. Freed
from all bonds, such a man succeeds in enjoying all regions of
spotless purity. — *' "'*

Section XXXVI.

'* ' — Brahman said, — That which is unmanifest, which is
indistinct, all-pervading, everlasting, immutable, should be
known to become the city (or mansion) of nine portals, pos-
sessed of three qualities, and consisting of five ingredients.^
Encompassed by eleven including Mind which distinguishes
(objects), and having Understanding for the ruler, this is an
aggregate of eleven. f^ The three ducts that are in it support
it constantly. These are the three Nadis. They run con-
tinually, and have the three qualities for their essence.*
Darkness, Passion, and Goodness, these are called the (three)

* The specific characteriestica of the five elements are, as frequently
referrd before, smell attaching to earth, sound to ether, taste to water, &c.
The deities referred to in the last Verse are probably the senses.— T.

t The total eleven is made up of the three qualities, the five elements,
the sroup of organs and senses a.- one, egoism, and the iin .lcr;.tanding.— T.
[ 12 ]

•90 MAHABHARATA. [Anugitci

qualities. These are coupled with one another. They exist,
depending on one another.* They take refuge in one another,
and follow one another. They are also joined with one another.
The five (principal) elements are characterised by (these) three
qualities.'^ Goodness is the match of Darkness. Of Goodness
the match is Passion. Goodness is also the match of Passion,
and of Goodness the match is Darkness.® There where Dark-
ness is restrained, Passion is seen to flow. There where Pas-
sion is restrained, Goodness is seen to flow.'' Darkness should
be known to have the night (or obscurity) for its essence. It
has three characteristics, and is (otherwise) called Delusion.
It has unrighteousness (or sin) also for its indication, and it is
always present in all sinful acts. This is the nature of Dark-
ness and it appears also as confined with others.^ Passion is
said to have activity for its essence. It is the cause of suc-
cessive acts. When it prevails, its indication, among all beings,
is production.® Splendour, lightness, and faith, — these are
the form, that is light, of Goodness among all creatures,
as regarded by all good men.^° The true nature of their
characteristics will now be declared by me, with reasons.
These shall be stated in aggregation and separation. Do ye
understand them." Comi^lete delusion, Ignorance, illiberali-
ty, indecision in respect of action, sleep, haughtiness, fear,
cupidity, grief, censure of good acts,^^ loss of memory, unripe-
ness of judgment, absence of faith, violation of all rules of
conduct, want of discrimination, blindness, vileness of be-
haviour,^^ boastful assertions of performance when there has
been no performance, presumption of knowledge in ignorance,
unfriendliness (or hostility), evilness of disposition, absence of
faith, stupid reasoning,^* crookedness, incapacity for associa-
tion, sinful action, senselessness, stolidity, lassitude, absence
of self-control, degradation,"— all these qualities are known
as belonging to Darkness. Whatever other states of mind,
connected with delusion, exist in the world, all appertain to
Darkness. Frequent ill-speaking of other people, censuring
the deities and the Brahmanas,'«-'' illibcrality, vanity, delu-
sion, wrath, un forgiveness, hostility to\Mr\rds all creatures, are
regarded as the characteristics of Darkness.^^ Whatever un-

Parva.] acwamedha parva.' 91

dertakings exist that are unmeritorious (in consequence of
their being vain or useless), what gifts there are that are un-
meritorious (in consequence of the unworthiness of the donees,
the unseasonableness of the time, the impropriety of the
object, &c.), vain eating, — these also appertain to Darkness.^^
Indulgence in calumny, unforgiveness, animosity, vanity, and
absence of faith are also said to be characteristics of Dark-
ness.^" Whatever men there are in this world, who are
characterised by these and other faults of a similar kind, and
who break through the restraints (provided by the scriptures),
are all regarded as belonging to the quality of Darkness.^^ I
shall now declare the wombs where these men, who are always
of sinful deeds, have to take their birth. Ordained to go to
hell, they sink in the order of being. Indeed, they sink into
the hell of (birth in^i the brute creation. 2- They become im-
mobile entities, or animals, or beasts of burden ; or carnivorous
creatures, or snakes, or worms, insects, and birds f^ or crea-
tures of the oviparous order, or quadrupeds of diverse species,
or lunatics, or deaf or dumb human beings, or men that are
afflicted by dreadful maladies and regarded as unclean.^*
These men of evil conduct, always exhibit the indications of
their acts, sink in Darkness. Their course (of migrations) is
always downwards. Appertaining to the quality of Darkness,
they sink in Darkness.^^ I shall, after this, declare what the
means are of their improvement and ascent ; indeed, by what
means they succeed in attaining to the regions that exist
for men of pious deeds.^^ Those men who take birth in
orders other than humanity, by growing up in view of the
religious ceremonies of Brahmanas devoted to the duties of
their own order and desirous of doing good to all creatures,^''
succeed, through the aid of such purificatory rites, in ascend-
ing upwards. Indeed, struggling (to improve themselves), they
at last attain to the same regions with these pious Brahmanas.
Verily, they go to Heaven. Even this is the Vedic audi-
tion.*^^ Born in orders other than humanity and growing old

* 'Anyatha pratipannah' is explained by Nilakantha as 'born in
other orders,' Telancj takes it as 'Behaving in a contrary way.' How

92 MAHiBnARATAi [AuugitS

in their respective acts, even thus they become human beings
that arc, of course, ordained to return.^^ Coming to sinful
births and becoming Chandalas or human beings that are deaf
or that lisp indistinctly, they attain to higher and higher
castes, one after another in proper turn,*® transcending the
Cudra order, and other (consequences of ) qualities that apper-
tain to Darkness and that abide in it in course of migrations
in this world. *^^ Attachment to objects of desire is regarded as
great delusion. Here Rishis and Munis and deities become
deluded, desirous of pleasure.^^ Darkness, delusion, the great
delusion, the great obscurity called wrath, and death, that
blindkig obscurity, (these are the five great afflictions). As
regards wrath, that is the great obscurity (and not aversion
or hatred as is sometimes included in the list).*^ With respect
then to its color (nature), its characteristics, and its source,
I have, ye learned Brahmanas, declared to you, accurately
and in due order, everything about (the quality of) Dark-
ness.^* Who is there that truly understands it ? Who is
there that truly sees it ? That, indeed, is the characteristic
of Darkness, viz., the beholding of reality in what is not
real.^'^ The qualities of Darkness have been declared to you
in various ways. Duly has Darkness, in its higher and lower
forms, been described to you. That man who always bears in
mind the qualities mentioned here, will surely succeed in
becoming freed from all characteristics that appertain tO'
Darkness.—' "««

Section XXXVII.

" 'Brahman said, — Ye best of beings, I shall now declare
to you accurately what (the quality of ) Passion is. Ye highly
blessed ones, do you understand what those qualities are that

can goats and sheep behave othorwiae V The sense seems to be that those
born as goats, succeed in ascending upwards through the efi5cacy of the
religious acts of the Brahmanas. By becoming sacrificial victims they
regain their true position. — T.

* Qualities abiding in Darkness &c,, imply those qualities that are
permanently attached to Darkness. — T.

farva.] acwaMedha parva. 93-

appertain to Passion.* Injuring (others), beauty, toil, plea-
sure and pain, cold and heat, lordship (or power), war, peace,
argument, dissatisfaction, endurance,*'' might, valour, pride,,
wrath, exertion, quarrel (or collision), jealousy, desire, malice,
battle, the sense of meum or mineness, protection (of others),*
slaughter, bonds, and affliction, buying and selling, lopping
off, cutting, piercing, and cutting off the coat of mail that
another has worn,f* fierceness, cruelty, villifying, pointing
out the faults of others, thoughts entirely devoted to worldly
affairs, anxiety, animosity, reviling of others, false speech,
false or vain gifts, hesitancy and doubt, boastfulness of speech,
dispraise and praise, laudation, prowess, defiance,^"" attendance
(as on the sick and the weak), obedience (to the commands
of preceptors and parents), service or ministrations, harbour-
ing of thirst or desire, cleverness or dexterity of conduct,

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