Mahabharata, Book 14: Aswamedha Parva
Janamejaya said, “When the high-souled Kesava and Arjuna after slaying their enemies repaired to the assembly rooms, what conversation, O regenerate one, took place between them?”
Vaisampayana said, “The son of Pritha (Arjuna), having recovered his own kingdom, joyously spent his time, without doing anything else, in the company of Krishna, his heart filled with delight, in that palace of celestial beauty. One day, those two listlessly proceeded to a particular part of the palace that looked, O king, like a veritable portion of Heaven. Themselves filled with delight, they were then surrounded by their relatives and attendents. Pandu’s son, Arjuna, filled with joy in the company of Krishna, surveyed that delightful mansion, and then addressed his companion, saying, ‘O—mighty-armed one, thy greatness became known to me upon the approach of the battle. O son of Devaki, thy form also, as the Lord of the universe, then became known to me! What thy holy self said unto me at that time, O Kesava, through affection, has all been forgotten by me, O chief of men, in consequence of the fickleness of my mind. Repeatedly, however, have I been curious on the subject of those truths. Thou again, O Madhava, wilt repair to Dwaraka soon.’”
Vaisampayana continued, “Thus addressed by him, Krishna of mighty energy, that foremost of speakers, embraced Phalguna and replied unto him as follows.
“Vasudeva said, ‘I made thee listen to truths that are regarded as mysteries. I imparted to thee truths that are eternal. Verily, I discoursed to thee on Religion in its true form and on all the eternal regions. It is exceedingly disagreeable to me to learn that thou didst not, from folly, receive what I imparted. The recollection of all that I told thee on that occasion will not come to me now. Without doubt, O son of Pandu, thou art destitute of faith and thy understanding is not good. It is impossible for me, O Dhananjaya, to repeat, in detail, all that I said on that occasion. That religion (about which I discoursed to thee then) is more than sufficient for understanding Brahma. I cannot discourse on it again in detail. I discoursed to thee on Supreme Brahma, having concentrated myself in Yoga. I shalt now, however, recite to thee an old history upon the same topic. O foremost of all persons, observant of duty, listen to everything I now say, so that, with an understanding adapted to my teaching, thou mayst succeed in attaining to the highest end. O chastiser of foes, on one occasion, a Brahmana came to us from the regions of Heaven. Of irresistible energy, he came from the regions of the Grandsire. He was duly reverenced by us. Listen. O son of Pritha, without yielding to scruples of any kind, to what he, O chief of Bharata’s race, said, in answer to our enquiries, agreeably to heavenly forms.’
“The Brahmana said, ‘That which thou askest me, O Krishna, connected with the religion of Moksha (Emancipation), led by thy compassion for all creatures (and not for thy own good),—that, indeed, which destroys all delusion, O thou that art possessed of supreme puissance1 I shall now tell thee duly, O slayer of Madhu. Do thou listen with concentrated attention as I discourse to thee, O Madhava. A Brahmana of the name of Kasyapa, possessed of penances and the foremost of all persons conversant with duties, came to a certain other Brahmana who had become conversant with all the mysteries of religion.2 Indeed, the latter had mastered all the knowledge which the scriptures teach respecting the departure and reappearance of beings and possessed that direct knowledge of all things which Yoga gives. He was well skilled in the truths of all topics relating to the world. He had mastered the truth about pleasure and pain. He knew the truth about birth and death, and understood the distinctions between merit and demerit. He was a beholder of the ends attained to by embodied creatures high and low in consequence of their acts. He lived like one emancipated from the world. Crowned with ascetic success and possessed of perfect tranquillity of soul, he had all his senses under complete control. He seemed to blaze with the resplendence of Brahma and was capable of going everywhere at will. He knew the science of disappearing at will from before the eyes of all. He used to rove in the company of invisible Siddhas and celestial musicians. He used to sit and converse with them on some spot retired from the bustle of humanity. He was as unattached to all things as the wind. Kasyapa having heard of him truly, desired to see him. Possessed of intelligence, that foremost of all Brahmanas, approached the sage. Himself possessed of penances, Kasyapa, moved by the desire of acquiring merit, fell, with a rapt heart, at the feet of the sage when he had seen all those wonderful attributes. Filled with wonder at the sight of those extraordinary accomplishments, Kasyapa began to wait upon that foremost of all Brahmanas, with the dutiful reverence of a disciple waiting upon his preceptor and succeeded in propitiating him. By his devotion, O scorcher of foes, rendering to hint the obedience due from a disciple to a preceptor, Kasyapa gratified that Brahmana who possessed all these accomplishments and was endued, besides, with scriptural learning and excellent conduct. Gratified with Kasyapa, that Brahmana one day addressed him cheerfully and spoke as follows, with an eye to the highest success. Listen to those words, O Janarddana, as I repeat them.
“—‘The ascetic crowned with success said,—“By diverse acts, O son, as also by the aid of merit, mortal creatures attain to diverse ends here and residence in Heaven. Nowhere is the highest happiness; nowhere can residence be eternal. There are repeated falls from the highest regions acquired with such sorrow. In consequence of my indulgence in sin, I had to attain to diverse miserable and inauspicious ends, filled as I was with lust and wrath, and deluded by cupidity. I have repeatedly undergone death and rebirth. I have eaten diverse kinds of food, I have sucked at diverse breasts. I have seen diverse kinds of mothers, and diverse fathers dissimilar to one another. Diverse kinds of happiness have been mine and diverse kinds of misery, O sinless one. On diverse occasions have I been separated from what was agreeable and united with what was disagreeable. Having earned wealth with great toil I have had to put up with its loss. Insults and excessive misery I have received from king and relatives. Mental and physical pain, of great severity, have been mine. Humiliations I have undergone, and death and immurement under circumstances of great severity. Falls into Hell have been mine, and great tortures in the domains of Yama. Decrepitude and diseases have repeatedly assailed me, and calamities, as frequent, in copious measure. In this world I have repeatedly undergone all those afflictions that flow from a perception of all pairs of opposites. After all this, one day, overwhelmed with sorrow, blank despair came upon me. I took refuge in the Formless. Afflicted as I was with great distress, I gave up the world with all its joys and sorrows.3 Understanding then this path, I exercised myself in it in this world. Afterwards, through tranquillity of soul, I attained to this success that thou seest. I shall not have to come to this world again (after my departure hence). Verily, till I attain to absorption into eternal Brahman, till, in fact, the final dissolution of the universe, I shall look on those happy ends that will be mine, and on those beings that constitute this universe.4 Having acquired this excellent success, I shall, after departing from this world, proceed, to what is above it (i.e., Satyaloka) and thence to what is higher (i.e., absorption into Brahman). Verily, I shall attain to the condition, which is unmanifest aspect of Brahman. Let no doubt be thine as regards this. O scorcher of foes, I shall not return to this world of mortal creatures. O thou of great wisdom, I have become gratified with thee. Tell me what I shall do for thee. The time has come for the accomplishment of that purpose for which thou hast come hither. Verily, I know that object for which thou hast sought me. I shall soon depart from this world. Hence it is that I have given thee this hint. O thou of great wisdom and experience, I have been highly gratified with thee for thy behaviour. Do thou question me. I shall discourse on what is beneficial to thee, agreeably to thy desire. I think thy intelligence is great. Indeed, I applaud it much, for it was with the aid of that intelligence that thou wert able to recognise me. Surely, O Kasyapa, thou art possessed of great intelligence.”’
“Vasudeva said, ‘touching the feet of that sage, the Brahmana asked him some questions that were exceedingly difficult to answer. That foremost of all righteous persons then discoursed on those duties that were referred to.’
“Kasyapa said, ‘How does the body dissolve away, and how is another acquired? How does one become emancipated after passing through a repeated round of painful rebirths? Enjoying Prakriti for sometime, how does Jiva cast off the particular body (which Prakriti gives)? How does Jiva, freed from the body, attain to what is different from it (viz., Brahman)? How does a human being enjoy (and endure the fruits of) the good and bad acts done by him? Where do the acts exist of one that is devoid of body?’5
“The Brahmana said,—‘Thus urged by Kasyapa, the emancipated sage answered those questions one after another. Do thou listen to me, O scion of the Vrishi race, as I recite to thee the answers he made.’
“—The Emancipated sage said, ‘Upon the exhaustion of those acts capable of prolonging life and bringing on fame which are done in a particular body that Jiva assumes, the embodied Jiva, with the span of his life shortened, begins to do acts hostile to life and health. On the approach of destruction, his understanding turns away from the proper course. The man of uncleansed soul, after even a correct apprehension of his constitution and strength and of the season of both his own life and of the year, begins to eat at irregular intervals and to eat such food as is hostile to him.6 At such a time he indulges in practices that are exceedingly harmful. He sometimes eats excessively and sometimes abstains altogether from food. He eats bad food or bad meat or takes bad drinks, or food that has been made up of ingredients incompatible with one another. He eats food that is heavy in excess of the measure that is beneficial, or before the food previously taken has been digested. He indulges in physical exercise and sexual pleasure in excess of the due measure, or through avidity for work, suppresses the urgings of his corporeal organism even when they become pronounced. Or, he takes food that is very juicy, or indulges in sleep during daytime. Food that is not properly digested, of itself excites the faults, when the time comes.7 From such excitement of the faults in his body, he gets disease ending in death itself. Sometimes the person engages in perverse or unnatural acts like hanging (for bringing about his death). Through these causes the living body of the creature dissolves away. Understand correctly the manner as I declare it to thee.8 Urged on by the Wind which becomes violent, the heat in the body, becoming excited and reaching every part of the body one after another, restrains all the (movements of the) vital breaths. Know truly that excited all over the body, the heat becomes very strong, and pierces every vital part where life may be said to reside. In consequence of this, Jiva, feeling great pain, quickly takes leave of its mortal casement. Know, O foremost of regenerate persons, that when the vital parts of the physical organism become thus afflicted, Jiva slips away from the body, overwhelmed with great pain. All living creatures are repeatedly afflicted with birth and death. It is seen, O chief of Brahmanas, that the pain which is felt by a person when casting off his bodies is like what is felt by him when first entering the womb or when issuing out of it. His joints become almost dislocated and he derives much distress from the waters (of the womb).9 Urged on by (another) violent wind, the wind that is in the body becomes excited through cold, and dissolves away the union of matter (called the body) into its respective elements numbering five.10 That wind which resides in the vital breaths called Prana and Apana occurring within this compound of the five primal elements, rushes upwards, from a situation of distress, leaving the embodied creature. It is even thus that the wind leaves the body. Then is seen breathlessness. The man then becomes destitute of heat, of breath, of beauty, and of consciousness. Deserted by Brahman (for Jiva is Brahman), the person is said to be dead. By those ducts through which he perceives all sensuous objects, the bearer of the body no longer perceives them. It is the eternal Jiva who creates in the body in those very duets the life-breaths that are generated by food. The elements gathered together become in certain parts firmly united. Know that those parts are called the vitals of the body. It is said so in the Sastras. When those vital parts are pierced, Jiva, rising up, enters the heart of the living creature and restrains the principle of animation without any delay. The creature then, though still endued with the principle of consciousness, fails to know anything. The vital parts being all overwhelmed, the knowledge of the living creature becomes overwhelmed by darkness. Jiva then, who has been deprived of everything upon which to stay, is then agitated by the wind. He then, deeply breathing a long and painful breath, goes out quickly, causing the inanimate body to tremble. Dissociated from the body, Jiva, however, is surrounded by his acts. He becomes equipped on every side with all his auspicious acts of merit and with all his sins. Brahmanas endued with knowledge and equipped with the certain conclusions of the scriptures, know him, from indications, as to whether he is possessed of merit or with its reverse. Even as men possessed of eyes behold the fire-fly appearing and disappearing amid darkness, men possessed of the eye of knowledge and crowned with success of penances, behold, with spiritual vision, Jiva as he leaves the body, as he is reborn, and as he enters the womb. It is seen that Jiva has three regions assigned to him eternally. This world where creatures dwell is called the field of action. Accomplishing acts good or bad, all embodied creatures attain to the fruits thereof. In consequence of their own acts, creatures acquire even here superior or inferior enjoyments. Doers of evil deeds here, in consequence of those acts of theirs, attain to Hell. This condition of sinking with head downwards, in which creatures are cooked, is one of great misery. It is such that a rescue therefrom is exceedingly difficult. Indeed; one should strive hard for saving oneself from this misery. Those regions where creatures dwell when they ascend from this world I shall now declare truly. Do thou listen to me with attention. By listening to what I say, thou shalt attain to firmness of understanding and a clear apprehension of (good and bad) acts. Know that even those are the regions of all creatures of righteous deeds, viz., the stellar worlds that shine in the firmament, the lunar disc, and the solar disc as well that shines in the universe in its own light. Upon the exhaustion, again, of their merits, they fall away from those regions repeatedly. There, in Heaven itself, is distinction of inferior, superior, and middling felicity. There, in Heaven itself, is discontent at sight of prosperity more blazing than one’s own. Even these are the goals which I have mentioned in detail. I shall, after this, discourse to you on the attainment by Jiva of the condition of residence in the womb. Do thou hear me, with concentrated attention, O regenerate one, as I speak to thee!’
“—The Brahmana said, ‘The acts, good and bad, that a Jiva does are not subject to destruction. Upon attainment of body after body, those acts produce fruits corresponding with them.11 As a fruit-bearing tree, when the season comes of productivity, yields a large quantity of fruit, similarly merit, achieved with a pure heart, yields a large crop (of felicity). After the same fashion, sin, done with a sinful heart, produces a large crop of misery. The Soul (or Jiva), placing the mind ahead, addresses himself to action. Hear then how Jiva, equipt with all his acts and overwhelmed with lust and wrath, enters the womb. The vital seed, mixed with blood, enters the womb of females and becomes the field (of Jiva), good or bad, born of (his) acts. In consequence of his subtlety and the condition of being unmanifest, Jiva does not become attached to anything even after attaining to a body. Therefore, he is called Eternal Brahman.12 That (viz., Jiva or Brahman) is the seed of all creatures. It is in consequence of Him that living creatures live. That Jiva, entering all the limbs of the foetus part by part, accepting the attribute of mind, and residing within all the regions that belong to Prana, supports (life). In consequence of this, the foetus becoming endued with mind begins to move its limbs.13 As liquified iron, poured (into a mould), takes the form of the mould, know that the entrance of Jiva into the foetus is even such. As fire, entering a mass of iron, heats it greatly, do thou know that the manifestation of Jiva in the foetus is such. As a lamp, burning in a room, discovers (all things within it), after the same manner mind discovers the different limbs of the body.14 Whatever acts, good or bad, Jiva does in a former body, have certainly to be enjoyed or endured by him. By such enjoyment and endurance former acts are exhausted, and other acts, again, accumulate, till Jiva succeed in acquiring a knowledge of the duties included in that contemplation which leads to Emancipation. Regarding this, I shall tell thee those acts by which Jiva, O best of men, while coursing through a repeated round of re-births, becomes happy, Gifts, observances of austerity, Brahmacharyya, bearing Brahman according to the ordinances laid down, self-restraint, tranquillity, compassion for all creatures, restraint of passions, abstentions from cruelty as also from appropriating what belongs to others, refraining from doing even mentally all acts that are false and injurious to living creatures on the Earth, reverently serving mother and father, honouring deities and guests, worship of preceptors, pity, purity, constant restraint of all organs, and causing of all good acts, are said to constitute the conduct of the good. From observance of such conduct, arises Righteousness which protects all creatures eternally. Such conduct one would always behold among persons that are good. Verily, such conduct resides there eternally. That course of practices to which persons of tranquil souls adhere indicates Righteousness. Among them is thrown that course of practices which constitutes eternal Righteousness. He who would betake himself to that Righteousness would never have to attain to a miserable end. It is by the conduct of the good that the world is restrained in the paths of Righteousness when it falls away. He that is a Yogin is Emancipated, and is, therefore, distinguished above these (viz., the good).15 Deliverance from the world takes place, after a long time, of one who acts righteously and well on every occasion as he should. A living creature thus always meets with the acts done by him in a former life. All these acts constitute the cause in consequence of which he comes into this world in a state different from his true form.16 There is a doubt in the world as regards the question. By what was the acceptance (by Jiva) of a body first determined. The Grandsire of all the worlds, viz., Brahma having first formed a body of his own, then created the three worlds, in their entirety, of mobile and immobile creatures. Having first himself assumed a body, he then created Pradhana. That Pradhana is the material cause of all embodied creatures, by whom is all this covered and whom all came to know as the highest. This that is seen is said to be destructible; while the other is immortal and indestructible. This that (is seen) is said to be Kshara (the destructible); that, however, which is Para (the other) is the Immortal, (as also) Akshara (the Indestructible). Of each Purusha taken distributively, the whole is duality among these three.17 Seen first (to appear in an embodied form) Prajapati (then) created all the primal elements and all immobile creatures. Even this is the ancient audition. Of that (acceptance of body), the Grandsire ordained a limit in respect of time, and migrations among diverse creatures and return or rebirth. All that I say is proper and correct, like to what a person who is endued with intelligence and who has seen his soul, would say on this topic of previous births.18 That person who looks upon pleasure and pain as inconstant, which, indeed, is the correct view, who regards the body as an unholy conglomeration, and destruction as ordained in action, and who remembers that what little of pleasure there is, is really all pain, will succeed in crossing this terrible ocean of worldly migration that is so difficult to cross. Though assailed by decrepitude and death and disease, he that understands Pradhana beholds with all equal eye that Consciousness which dwells in all beings endued with consciousness. Seeking the supreme seat, he then becomes utterly indifferent to all (other) things. O best of men, I shall now impart instruction to thee, agreeably to truth, concerning this. Do thou, O learned Brahmana, understand in completeness that which constitutes the excellent knowledge, as I declare it, of that indestructible seat.—’
“—The Brahmana said, ‘He who becomes absorbed in the one receptacle (of all things), freeing himself from even the thought of his own identity with all things,—indeed, ceasing to think of even his own existence,—gradually casting off one after another, will succeed in crossing his bonds.19 That man who is the friend of all, who endures all, who is attached to tranquillity, who has conquered all his senses, who is divested of fear and wrath, and who is of restrained soul. succeeds in emancipating himself. He who behaves towards all creatures as towards himself, who is restrained, pure, free from vanity and divested of egoism is regarded as emancipated from everything. He also is emancipated who looks with an equal eye upon life and death, pleasure and pain, gain and loss, agreeable and disagreeable. He is in every way emancipated who does not covet what belongs to others, who never disregards any body, who transcends all pairs of opposites, and whose soul is free from attachment. He is emancipated who has no enemy, no kinsman, and no child, who has cast off religion, wealth, and pleasure, and who is freed from desire or cupidity. He becomes emancipated who acquires neither merit nor demerit, who casts off the merits and demerits accumulated in previous births, who wastes the elements of his body for attaining to a tranquillised soul, and who transcends all pairs of opposites. He who abstains from all acts, who is free from desire or cupidity, who looks upon the universe as unenduring or as like an Aswattha tree, ever endued with birth, death and decrepitude, whose understanding is fixed on renunciation, and whose eyes are always directed towards his own faults, soon succeeds in emancipating himself from the bonds that bind him.20 He that sees his soul void of smell, of taste and touch, of sound, of belongings, of vision, and unknowable, becomes emancipated.21 He who sees his soul devoid of the attributes of the five elements to be without form and cause, to be really destitute of attributes though enjoying them, becomes emancipated.22 Abandoning, with the aid of the understanding, all purposes relating to body and mind, one gradually attains to cessation of separate existence, like a fire unfed with fuel.23 One who is freed from all impressions, who transcends all pairs of opposites, who is destitute of all belongings, and who uses all his senses under the guidance of penances, becomes emancipated.24 Having become freed from all impressions, one then attains to Brahma which is Eternal and supreme, and tranquil, and stable, and enduring, and indestructible. After this I shall declare the science of Yoga to which there is nothing superior, and how Yogins, by concentration, behold the perfect soul.25 I shall declare the instructions regarding it duly. Do thou learn from me those doors by which directing the soul within the body one beholds that which is without beginning and end.26 Withdrawing the senses from their objects, one should fix the mind upon the soul; having previously undergone the severest austerities, one should practise that concentration of mind which leads to Emancipation.27 Observant of penances and always practising concentration of mind, the learned Brahmana, endued with intelligence, should observe the precepts of the science of Yoga, beholding the soul in the body. If the good man succeeds in concentrating the mind on the soul, he then, habituated to exclusive meditation, beholds the Supreme soul in his own soul. Self-restrained, and always concentrated, and with all his senses completely conquered, the man of cleansed soul, in consequence of such complete concentration of mind, succeeds in beholding the soul by the soul. As a person beholding some unseen individual in a dream recognises him, saying,—This is he,—when he sees him after waking, after the same manner the good man having seen the Supreme Soul in the deep contemplation of Samadhi recognises it upon waking from Samadhi.28 As one beholds the fibrous pith after extracting it from a blade of the Saccharum Munja, even so the Yogin beholds the soul, extracting it from the body. The body has been called the Saccharum Munja, and the fibrous pith is said to stand for the soul. This is the excellent illustration propounded by persons conversant with Yoga. When the bearer of a body adequately beholds the soul in Yoga, he then has no one that is master over him, for he then becomes the lord of the three worlds.29 He succeeds in assuming diverse bodies according as he wishes. Turning away decrepitude and death, he neither grieves nor exults. The self-restrained man, concentrated in Yoga, can create (for himself) the godship of the very gods. Casting off his transient body he attains to immutable Brahma.30 No fear springs up in him at even the sight of all creatures falling victims to destruction (before his eyes). When all creatures are afflicted,—he can never be afflicted by any one. Devoid of desire and possessed of a tranquil mind, the person in Yoga is never shaken by pain and sorrow and fear, the terrible effects that flow from attachment and affection. Weapons never pierce him; death does not exist for him. Nowhere in the world can be seen any one that is happier than he. Having adequately concentrated his soul, he lives steadily on himself. Turning off decrepitude and pain and pleasure, he sleeps in comfort. Casting off this human body he attains to (other) forms according to his pleasure. While one is enjoying the sovereignty that Yoga bestows, one should never fall away from devotion to Yoga.31 When one, after adequate devotion to Yoga, beholds the Soul in oneself, one then ceases to have any regard for even him of a hundred sacrifices (Indra).32 Hear now how one, habituating oneself to exclusive meditation, succeeds in attaining to Yoga. Thinking of that point of the compass which has the Sun behind it, the mind should be fixed, not outside, but in the interior of that mansion in which one may happen to live. Residing within that mansion, the mind should then, with all its outward and inward (operations), behold in that particular room in which one may stay. At that time when, having deeply meditated, one beholds the All (viz., Brahman, the Soul of the universe), there is then nothing external to Brahman where the mind may dwell. Restraining all the senses in a forest that is free from noise and that is uninhabited, with mind fixed thereon, one should meditate on the All (or universal Brahman) both outside and inside one’s body. One should meditate on the teeth, the palate, the tongue, the throat, the neck likewise; one should also meditate on the heart and the ligatures of the heart!’33
“The Brahmana continued, ‘Thus addressed by me, that intelligent disciple, O slayer of Madhu, once more asked me about this religion of Emancipation that is so difficult to explain. How does this food that is eaten from time to time become digested in the stomach? How does it become transformed into juice? How, again, into blood? How does it nourish the flesh, the marrow, the sinews, the bones? How do all these limbs of embodied creatures grow? How does the strength grow of the growing man? How occurs the escape of all such elements as are not nutritive, and of all impurities separately? How does this one inhale and again, exhale? Staying upon what particular part does the Soul dwell in the body? How does Jiva, exerting himself, bear the body? Of what colour and of what kind is the body in which he dwells again (leaving a particular body)? O holy one, it behoveth thee to tell me all this accurately, O sinless one,—even thus was I interrogated by that learned Brahmana, O Madhava. I replied unto him, O thou of mighty arms, after the manner I myself had heard, O chastiser of all foes. As one placing some precious object in one’s store-room should keep one’s mind on it, so, placing the mind within one’s own body, one should then, restraining all the senses, seek after the Soul, avoiding all heedlessness. One would, becoming always assiduous in this way and gratified with one’s own self, within a very short time attain to that Brahma by beholding which one would become conversant with Pradhana.34 He is not capable of being seized by the eye; nor even by all the senses.35 It is only with the lamp of the mind that great Soul can be seen. He has hands and feet on all sides; he has ears on all sides; he dwells, pervading all things in the world.36 Jiva beholds the Soul as extracted from the body (like the stalk from a blade of Saccharum Munja, when knowledge comes). Then casting off Brahma as invested with form, by holding the mind in the body, he beholds Brahma as freed from all attributes.37 He sees the Soul with his mind, smiling as it were at the time. Depending upon that Brahma, he then attains to Emancipation in me.38 O foremost of regenerate ones, all this mystery has now been declared by me. I ask thy permission, for I shall leave this spot. Do thou (also) go withersoever thou pleasest. Thus addressed by me, O Krishna, on that occasion, that disciple of mine, endued with austere penances, that Brahmana of rigid vows, went away according to his pleasure.’
“Vasudeva continued, ‘That best of Brahmanas, O son of Pritha, having said these words unto me, on that occasion, properly relating to the religion of Emancipation, disappeared then and there. Has this discourse been heard by thee, O son of Pritha, with mind directed solely towards it? Even this was what thou didst hear on that occasion while thou wert on thy car. It is my opinion, O son of Pritha, that this is difficult of being comprehended by one whose understanding is confused, or who has acquired no wisdom by study, or who eats food incompatible with his body, or whose Soul is not purified.39 O chief of Bharata’s race, this is a great mystery among the deities that has been declared (to thee). At no time or place, O son of Pritha, has this been heard by man in this world. O sinless one, no other man than thyself is deserving of hearing it. It is not, at this time, capable of being easily understood by one whose inner soul is confused. The world of the deities is filled, O son of Kunti, with those who follow the religion of actions. The cessation of the mortal form (by practising the religion of inaction) is not agreeable to the deities. That goal, O son of Pritha, is the highest which is constituted by eternal Brahman where one, casting off the body, attains to immortality and becomes always happy. By adhering to this religion, even they who axe of sinful birth, such as women and Vaisyas and Sudras, attain to the highest goal. What need be said then, O son of Pritha, of Brahmanas and Kshatriyas possessed of great learning, always devoted to the duties of their own orders and who are intent on (the acquisition of) the region of Brahma? This has been laid down with the reasons (on which it rests); and also the means for its acquisition; and its complete attainment and fruit, viz., Emancipation and the ascertainment of the truth regarding pain. O chief of Bharata’s race, there is nothing else that is fraught with happiness greater than this. That mortal, O son of Pandu, who, endued with intelligence, and faith, and prowess, renounces as unsubstantial what is regarded as substantial by the world, succeeds within a short time in obtaining the Supreme by these means. This is all that is to be said,—there is nothing else that is higher than this. Yoga takes place in his case, O son of Pritha, who devotes himself to its constant practice for a period of six months.’
“Vasudeva said, ‘In this connection is cited the ancient narrative, O son of Pritha, of the discourse that took place between a married couple. A certain Brahmana’s spouse, beholding the Brahmana, her husband who was a complete master of every kind of knowledge and wisdom, seated in seclusion, said unto him,—Into what region shall I go, depending on thee as my husband,—thee that art seated, having cast off all (religious) acts, that art harsh in thy conduct towards me, and that art so undiscerning?40 It has been heard by us that a wife attains to those regions which are acquired by her husband. What, indeed, is the goal that I shall attain, having obtained thee for my husband?—Thus questioned, that Brahmana of tranquil soul then said unto her, smilingly,—O blessed dame, I am not offended with these words of thine, O sinless one. Whatever acts exist that are adopted with the aid of others, that are seen (in consequence of their grossness), and that are true, are done as acts by men devoted to acts.41 Those persons that are destitute of knowledge, only store delusion by acts. Freedom from acts, again, is incapable of being attained in this world for even a moment. From birth to the attainment of a different form, action good or bad, and accomplished by acts, mind, or speech, exists in all beings. Those paths (of action) which are characterised by visible objects (such as Soma-juice and ghee for libations) being destroyed by Rakshasas, turning away from them I have perceived the seat (of the soul) that is in the body, without the aid of the soul.42 There dwells Brahma transcending all pairs of opposites; there Soma with Agni: and there the urger of the understanding (viz., Vayu) always moves, upholding all creatures.43 It is for that seat that the Grandsire Brahman and others, concentrated in Yoga, worship the Indestructible. It is for that seat that men of learning and excellent vows, of tranquil souls, and of senses completely vanquished, strive.44 That is not capable of being smelt by the sense of smell; nor tasted by the tongue; or touched by the organs of touch. It is by the mind that that is attained. It is incapable of being conquered by the eye. It transcends the sense of hearing. It is destitute of scent, taste, touch, and form as attributes. It is that from which proceeds the well-ordained universe, and it is that upon which it rests. The life-breaths called Prana and Apana and Samana and Vyana and Udana flow from it, and it is that into which they again enter. The breaths Prana and Apana move between Samana and Vyana. When the soul sleeps, both Samana and Vyana are absorbed.45 Between Apana and Prana, Udana dwells, pervading all. Hence, Prana and Apana do not desert a sleeping person. In consequence of its controlling all the life-winds, the controlling breath is called Udana. Hence, utterers of Brahman undergo penances which have myself for their goal.46 In the midst of all those life-breaths that swallow up one another and move within the body, blazes forth the fire called Vaiswanara made up of seven flames. The nose, the tongue, the eye, the skin, the ear which numbers the fifth, the mind, and the understanding,—these are the seven tongues of that Vaiswanara’s flame. That which is smelt, that which is seen, that which is drunk, that which is touched, as also that which is heard, that which is thought of, and that which is understood,—these are the seven sorts of fuel for me. That which smells, that which eats, that which sees, that which touches, that which hears numbering the fifth; that which thinks, and that which understands,—these are the seven great officiating priests. Behold, O blessed one, learned sacrificers duly casting seven libations in seven ways in the seven fires, viz., that which is smelt, that which is drunk, that which is seen, that which is touched, as also that which is heard, that which is thought of, and that which is understood, create them in their own wombs.47 Earth, Wind, Ether, Water, and Light numbering as the fifth, Mind, and Understanding—these seven are called wombs (of all things). All the attributes which constitute the sacrificial offerings, enter into the attribute that is born of the fire, and having dwelt within that dwelling became reborn in their respective wombs. Thither also, viz., in that which generates all beings, they remain absorbed during the period for which dissolution lasts. From that is produced smell, from that is produced taste, from that is produced colour, and from that is produced touch; from that is produced sound; from that arises doubt; and from that is produced resolution. This is what is known as the sevenfold creation. It is in this very way that all this was comprehended by the ancients. By the three full and final libations, the full become full with light.’
“The Brahmana said, ‘In this connection is cited the following ancient story. Do thou understand, of what kind the institution is of the ten Hotris (sacrificing priests). The ear, the skin, the two eyes, the tongue, the nose, the two feet, the two hands, the genital organ, the lower duct, and speech,—these, O beautiful one, are the ten sacrificing priests. Sound and touch, colour and taste, scent, speech, action, motion, and the discharge of vital seed, of urine and of excreta, are the ten libations. The points of the compass, Quarters, Wind, Sun, Moon, Earth, Fire, Vishnu, Indra, Prajapati, and Mitra,—these, O beautiful one, are the ten (sacrificial) fires. The ten organs (of knowledge and action) are the sacrificing priests. The libations, O beautiful one, are ten. The objects of the senses are the fuel that are cast into these ten fires,48 as also the mind, which is the ladle, and the wealth (viz., the good and bad acts of the sacrificer). What remains is the pure, highest knowledge. We have heard that all this universe was well differentiated (from Knowledge). All objects of knowledge are Mind. Knowledge only perceives (i.e., discovers the Mind without being attached to it). The knower (or Jiva), encased in subtle form, lives within the gross body that is produced by the vital seed. The bearer of the body is the Garhapatya fire. From that is produced another. Mind is the Ahavaniya fire. Into it is poured the oblation. From that was produced the Veda (or Word); (then was born Mind); Mind (desirous of creation) sets itself on the Veda (or the Word). Their arises form (or colour) undistinguished by particular colours. It runs towards the Mind.’49
“The Brahmana’s wife said, ‘Why did Word first arise and why did Mind arise afterwards, seeing that Word starts into existence after having been thought upon by Mind? Upon that authority can it be said that Mati (Prana) takes refuge in Mind. Why, again, in dreamless slumber, though separated from Mind, does not Prana apprehend (all objects)? What is that which restrains it then?’50
“The Brahmana said, ‘The Apana breath, becoming the lord (i.e., bringing the Prana under its control), in consequence of such lordship over it, makes it identical with itself. That restrained motion of the Prana breath (which for the time becomes identical with that of the Apana) has been said to be the motion of the mind. Hence the mind is dependent upon Prana, not Prana upon the mind. Therefore, in dreamless slumber, upon the disappearance of mind, Prana does not disappear. But since thou askest me a question about word and mind, I shall, therefore, relate to thee a discourse between them. Both Word and Mind, repairing to the Soul of matter,51 asked him,—Do thou say who amongst us is superior. Do thou, O puissant one, dispel our doubt.—On that occasion, the holy one made this answer.—The mind undoubtedly (is superior). Unto him Word said,—“I yield to thee the fruition of all thy desires!”’52
“The Brahmana said, ‘Know that I have two minds, immovable and movable. That which is immovable is, verily, with me; the movable is in your dominion.53 That mind is verily called movable which, in the form of Mantra, letter, or voice, is referable to your dominion. Hence, thou art superior (to the other mind which concerns itself with only the external world). But since, coming of thy own accord, O beautiful one, thou enterest into the engagement (about the fruition of all wishes), therefore, filling myself with breath, I utter thee.54 The goddess Word used always to dwell between Prana and Apana. But, O blessed one, sinking into Apana, though urged upwards, in consequence of becoming dissociated from Prana, she ran to Prajapati and said,—Be gratified with me, O holy one.—The Prana appeared, once more fostering Word. Hence, Word, encountering deep exhalation, never utters anything. Word always flows as endued with utterance or unendued with it.55 Amongst those two, Word without utterance is superior to Word with utterance. Like a cow endued with excellent milk, she (Word without utterance) yields diverse kinds of meaning. This one always yields the Eternal (viz., Emancipation), speaking of Brahman. O thou of beautiful smiles, Word is a cow, in consequence of her puissance which is both divine and not divine. Behold the distinction of these two subtle forms of Word that flow.’56
“The Brahmana’s wife said, ‘What did the goddess of Word then say, in days of old, when, though impelled by the Wish to speak, Speech could not come out?’
“The Brahmana said, ‘The Word that is generated in the body by Prana, then attains to Apana from Prana. Then transformed into Udana and issuing out of the body, envelops all the quarters, with Vyana. After that, she dwells in Samana. Even in this way did Word formerly speak. Hence Mind, in consequence of being immovable, is distinguished, and the goddess Word, in consequence of being movable, is also distinguished.’
“The Brahmana said, ‘In this connection is cited the ancient story, O blessed one, of what the institution is of the seven sacrificing priests. The nose, the eye, the tongue, the skin, and the ear numbering the fifth, the mind, and the understanding,—these are the seven sacrificing priests standing distinctly from one another. Dwelling in subtle space, they do not perceive one another. Do thou, O beautiful one, know these sacrificing priests that are seven by their nature.’
“The Brahmana’s wife said, ‘How is it that dwelling in subtle space, these do not perceive one another? What are their (respective) natures, O holy one? Do thou tell me this, O lord.’
“The Brahmana said, ‘Not knowing the qualities (of any object) is ignorance (of that object); while knowledge of the qualities is (called) knowledge (of the object which possesses those qualities). These seven never succeed in apprehending or knowing the qualities of one another. The tongue, the eye, the ear too, the skin, the mind, and the understanding, do not succeed in apprehending smells. It is the nose alone that apprehends them. The nose, the tongue, the ear also, the skin, the mind, and the understanding, never succeed in apprehending colours. It is the eye alone that apprehends them. The nose, the tongue, the eye too, the ear, the understanding, and the mind, never succeed in apprehending sensations of touch It is the skin alone that apprehends them. The nose, the tongue, the eye, the skin, the mind, and the understanding, never succeed in apprehending sounds. It is the ear alone that apprehends them. The nose, the tongue, the eye, the skin, the ear, and the understanding never succeed in apprehending doubt. It is the mind that apprehends it. The nose, the tongue, the eye, the skin, the ear, and the mind, never succeed in apprehending determination (certainty in respect of knowledge). It is the understanding alone that apprehends it. In this connection, is cited, O beautiful lady, this ancient narrative of a discourse between the senses and the mind.’
“The mind said, ‘The nose does not smell without me. (Without me) the tongue does not apprehend taste. The eye does not seize colour, the skin does not feel touch, the ear does not apprehend sound, when deprived of me. I am the eternal and foremost one among all the elements. It always happens that destitute of myself, the senses never shine, like habitations empty of inmates or fires whose flames have been quenched. Without me, all creatures fail to apprehend qualities and objects, with even the senses exerting themselves, even as fuel that is wet and dry (failing to ignite a fire).’
“Hearing these words, the Senses said, ‘Even this would be true as thou thinkest in this matter, if, indeed, thou couldst enjoy pleasures without either ourselves or our objects.57 What thou thinkest, would be true, if, when we are extinct, there be gratification and support of life, and a continuation of thy enjoyments, or, if, when we are absorbed and objects are existing, thou canst have thy enjoyments by thy desire alone, as truly as thou hast them with our aid. If, again, thou deemest thy power over our objects to be always complete, do thou then seize colour by the nose, and taste by the eye. Do thou also take smell by the ear, and sensations of touch by the tongue. Do thou also take sounds by the skin, and likewise touch by the understanding. They that are powerful do not own the dominion of any rules. Rules exist for those only that are weak. Do thou seize enjoyments unenjoyed before; it behoves thee not to enjoy what has been tasted before (by others). As a disciple repairs to a preceptor for the sake of (acquiring) the Srutis, and then, having acquired the Srutis, dwells on their import (by obeying their injunctions), even so dost thou regard as thine those objects which are shown by us, past or future, in sleep or in wakefulness. Of creatures, again, that are of little intelligence, when their mind becomes distracted and cheerless, life is seen to be upheld upon our objects discharging their functions.58 It is seen also that a creature, after having formed even innumerable purposes and indulged in dreams, when afflicted by the desire to enjoy, runs to objects of sense at once.59 One entering upon enjoyments depending on mental purposes alone and unconnected with actual objects of sense, always meets with death upon the exhaustion of the life-breaths, like an enkindled fire upon the exhaustion of fuel. True it is that we have connections with our respective attributes; true it is, we have no knowledge of one another’s attributes. But without us thou canst have no perception. Without us no happiness can come to thee.’
“The Brahmana said, ‘In this connection, O blessed lady, is cited the ancient story of what kind the institution is of the five sacrificing priests. The learned know this to be a great principle that Prana and Apana and Udana and Samana and Vyana are the five sacrificing priests.’
“The Brahmana’s wife said, ‘That naturally there are seven sacrificing priests is what was my former conviction. Let the great principle be declared to ‘me as to how, verily, the number is five of the sacrificing priests.’
“The Brahmana said, ‘The wind nursed by Prana afterwards takes birth in Apana. The wind nursed in Apana then becomes developed into Vyana. Nursed by Vyana, the wind is then developed into Udana. Nursed in Udana, the wind is then generated as Samana. Those good beings in days of yore asked the first-born Grandsire, saying—Do thou say who amongst us is the foremost. He (whom thou wilt indicate) will be our chief.’
“Brahmana said, ‘He upon whose extinction all the life-breaths become extinct in the bodies of living creatures, he upon whose moving they move, is verily the foremost (among you). Do ye go where ye like.’
“Prana said, ‘Upon my extinction all the life-breaths become extinct in the bodies of living creatures. Upon my moving they once more move. I am (therefore) the foremost. Behold, I go into extinction!’
“The Brahmana continued, ‘Prana then became extinct and once more moved about. Then Samana and Udana also, O blessed one, said these words—Thou dost not dwell here, pervading all this, as we do. Thou art not the foremost amongst us, O Prana. (Only) Apana is under thy dominion. Prana then moved about, and unto him Apana spoke.’
“Apana said, ‘When I become extinct, all the life-winds become extinct in the bodies of living creatures. When I move about, they again move about. I am, therefore, the foremost. Behold, I go into extinction!’
“The Brahmana continued, ‘Unto Apana who said so, both Vyana and Udana said—O Apana, thou art not the foremost. (Only) Prana is under thy dominion. Then Apana began to move about. Vyana once more addressed him saying, I am the foremost of all (the life-winds). Listen, for what reason. When I become extinct, all the life-winds become extinct in the bodies of living creatures. When I move about, they once more move about. I am (therefore) the foremost. Behold, I go into extinction!’
“The Brahmana continued, ‘Then Vyana went into extinction and once more began to move about. At this, Prana and Apana and Udana and Samana addressed him, saying, ‘Thou art not the foremost among us, O Vyana! (Only) Samana is under thy dominion—Vyana then began to move about and Samana said unto him,—I am the foremost of you all. Listen, for what reason. When I become extinct, all the life-winds become extinct in the bodies of living creatures. When I begin to move about, they once more move about. Hence, I am the foremost. Behold, I go into extinction! Then Samana began to move about. Unto him Udana said, I am the foremost of all the life-winds. Listen, for what reason. When I become extinct, all the life-winds become extinct in the bodies of living creatures. When I move about they once more move about. Hence, I am the foremost. Behold, I go into extinction!—Then Udana, after having gone into extinction, began once more to move about, Prana and Apana and Samana and Vyana said, unto him, O Udana, thou art not the foremost one among us, only Vyana is under thy dominion.’
“The Brahmana continued, ‘Unto them assembled together, the Lord of creatures, Brahma, said, ‘No one of you is superior to others. Ye are all endued with particular attributes. All are foremost in their own spheres, and all possess special attributes. Thus said unto them, that were assembled together, the Lord of all creatures. There is one that is unmoving, and one that is moving. In consequence of special attributes, there are five life-winds. My own self is one. That one accumulates into many forms. Becoming friendly unto one another, and gratifying one another, depart in peace. Blessings to ye, do ye uphold one another!’
“The Brahmana said, ‘In this connection is cited the ancient story of the discourse between Narada and the Rishi Devamata.’
“Devamata said, ‘What verily, comes first into existence, of a creature that takes birth? Is it Prana, or Apana, or Samana, or Vyana, or Udana?’
“Narada said, ‘By whatever the creature is created, that first comes unto him which is other (or separate from him). The life winds are to be known as existing in pairs, viz., those that move transversely, upwards, and downwards.’
“Devamata said, ‘By whom (among the life-winds) is a creature produced? Who (amongst) them comes first? Do thou tell me what the pairs are of the life-winds, that move transversely, upwards, and downwards.’
“Narada said, ‘From Sankalpa (wish) arises Pleasure. It also arises from sound. It arises also from taste; it arises too from colour. From the semen, united with blood, first flows Prana. Upon the semen being modified by Prana, flows Apana. Pleasure arises from the semen as well. It arises from taste also. This is the form (effect) of Udana. Pleasure is produced from union. Semen is generated by desire. From desire is produced the menstrual flow. In the union of semen and blood, generated by Samana and Vyana, the pair that consists of Prana and Apana, enters, moving transversely and upwards, Vyana and Samana both form a pair that moves transversely. Agni (fire) is all the deities. Even this is the teaching of the Veda. The knowledge of Agni arises in a Brahmana with intelligence. The smoke of that fire is of the form of (the attribute called) Darkness. The attribute that is known by the name of Passion is in its ashes. The quality of goodness arises from that portion of the fire into which the oblation is poured.60 They that are conversant with sacrifices know that Samana and Vyana are from the attribute of Goodness. Prana and Apana are portions of the oblation (of clarified butter). Between them is the Fire. That is the excellent form (or seat) of Udana, as the Brahmanas know. Listen as I say which is distinct from the pairs. Day and Night constitute a pair. Between them is the Fire. That is the excellent seat of Udana as the Brahmanas know. The existent and the non-existent form a pair. Between them is the Fire. That is the excellent seat of Udana as the Brahmanas know. First is Samana; then Vyana. The latter’s function is managed through it (viz., Samana). Then, secondly, Samana once more comes into operation. Only Vyana exists for tranquillity. Tranquillity is eternal Brahman. This is the excellent seat of Udana as the Brahmanas know.’61
“The Brahmana said, ‘In this connection is recited the ancient story of what the institution is of the Chaturhotra (sacrifice). The ordinances are now being duly declared of that in its entirety. Listen to me, O amiable lady, as I declare this wonderful mystery. The agent, the instrument, the action and Emancipation,—these, O beautiful lady, are the four sacrificing priests by whom the universe is enveloped. Hear in its entirety the assignment of causes (relating to this topic). The nose, the tongue, the eye, the skin, the ear numbering the fifth, the mind, and the understanding,—these seven should be understood as being caused by (the knowledge of) qualities. Smell, taste, colour, sound, touch, numbering the fifth, the objects of the mind, and the objects of the understanding, these seven are caused by action. He who smells, he who eats, he who sees, he who speaks, he who hears, numbering the fifth, he who thinks, and he who understands—these seven should be known as caused by the agent. Possessed of qualities, these enjoy their own qualities, agreeable or disagreeable.62 As regards the Soul, that is destitute of qualities. These seven are the causes of Emancipation. With them that are learned and possessed of sufficient understanding, the qualities, which are in the position of deities, eat the oblations, each in its proper place, and agreeably to what has been ordained. The person who is destitute of learning, eating diverse kind of food, becomes seized with the sense of mineness.63 Digesting food for himself, he becomes ruined through the sense of mineness. The eating of food that should not be eaten, and the drinking of wine, ruin him. He destroys the food (he takes), and having destroyed that food, he becomes destroyed himself. The man of learning, however, being possessed of puissance, destroys his food for reproducing it. The minutest transgression does not arise in him from the food he takes. Whatever is thought of by the mind, whatever is uttered by speech, whatever is heard by the ear, whatever is seen by the eye, whatever is touched by the (sense of) touch, whatever is smelt by the nose, constitute oblations of clarified butter which should all, after restraining the senses with the mind numbering the sixth, be poured into that fire of high merits which burns within the body, viz., the Soul.64 The sacrifice constituted by Yoga is going on as regards myself. The spring whence that sacrifice proceeds is that which yields the fire of knowledge. The upward life-wind Prana is the Stotra of that sacrifice. The downward life-wind Apana is its Sastra. The renunciation of everything is the excellent Dakshina of that sacrifice. Consciousness, Mind, and Understanding—these becoming Brahma, are its Hotri, Adhwaryyu, and Udgatri. The Prasastri, his Sastra, is truth.65 Cessation of separate existence (or Emancipation) is the Dakshina. In this connection, people conversant with Narayana recite some Richs. Unto the divine Narayana were animals offered in days of yore.66 Then are sung some Samanas. On that topic occurs an authority. O timid one, know that the divine Narayana is the soul of all.’
“The Brahmana said, ‘There is one Ruler. There is no second beside him. He that is Ruler resides in the heart. I shall speak now of him. Impelled by Him, I move as directed, like water along an inclined plane. There is one Preceptor. There is no second beside him. He resides in the heart, and of him I shall now speak. Be instructed by that preceptor; they who are always endued with feelings of animosity are like snakes. There is one kinsman. There is no second beside him. He resides in the heart of him I shall now speak. Instructed by him, kinsmen become possessed of kinsmen, and the seven Rishis, O son of Pritha, shine in the firmament. There is one dispeller. There is no second beside him. He resides in the heart. Of him I shall now speak. Having lived with that instructor under the proper mode of living, Sakra attained to the sovereignty of all the worlds.67 There is one enemy. There is no second beside him. He resides in the heart. Of him I shall now speak. Instructed by that preceptor all snakes in the world are always endued with feelings of animosity. In this connection is cited the ancient story of the instruction of the snakes, the deities, and the Rishis by the Lord of all creatures. The deities and the Rishis, the snakes, and the Asuras, seated around the Lord of all creatures, asked him, saying,—Let that which is highly beneficial for us be declared. Unto them that enquired about what is highly beneficial, the holy one uttered only the word Om, which is Brahman in one syllable. Hearing this, they ran away in various directions. Amongst them that thus ran in all directions from desire of self-instruction, the disposition first arose in snakes of biting. Of the Asuras, the disposition, born of their nature for ostentations, pride arose. The deities betook themselves to gifts, and the great Rishis to self-restraint. Having repaired to one teacher, and having been instructed (refined) by one word, the snakes, the deities, the Rishis, and the Danavas, all betook themselves to diverse different dispositions. It is that one who hears himself when speaking, and apprehends it duly. Once, again, is that heard from him when he speaks. There is no second preceptor.68 It is in obedience to his counsels that action afterwards flows. The instructor, the apprehender, the hearer, and the enemy, are pleased within the heart. By acting sinfully in the world it is he that becomes a person of sinful deeds. By acting auspiciously in the world, it is he who becomes a person of auspicious deeds. It is he who becomes a person of unrestrained conduct by becoming addicted to the pleasures of sense, impelled by desire. It is he who becomes a Brahmacharin by always devoting himself to the subjugation of his senses. It is he, again, that casts off vows and actions and takes refuge on Brahman alone. By moving in the world, identifying himself the while with Brahman, he becomes a Brahmacharin. Brahman. is his fuel; Brahman is his fire; Brahman is his origin; Brahman is his water; Brahman is his preceptor: he is rapt in Brahman. Brahmacharyya is even so subtle, as understood by the wise. Having understood it, they betook themselves to it, instructed by the Kshetrajna!’69
“The Brahmana said, ‘Having crossed that impassable fastness (the world) which has purposes for its gadflies and mosquitoes, grief and joy for its cold and heat, heedlessness for its blinding darkness, cupidity and diseases for its reptiles, wealth for its one danger on the road, and lust and wrath its robbers, I have entered the extensive forest of (Brahman).’
“The wife of the Brahmana said, ‘Where is that foremost, O thou of great wisdom? What are its trees? What its rivers? What its mountains and hills? How far is that forest?’
“The Brahmana said, ‘There exists nothing that is separate from it. There is nothing more delightful than it. There is nothing that is unseparated from it. There is nothing more afflicting than it. There is nothing smaller than that. There is nothing vaster than that. There is nothing minuter than that. There is no happiness that can resemble it. Regenerate persons, entering into it, at once transcend both joy and sorrow. They (then) never stand in fear of any creature, nor does any creature stand in fear of them. In that forest are seven large trees, seven fruits, and seven guests. There are seven hermitages, seven (forms of) Yoga concentration, and seven (forms) of initiation. Even this a description of that forest.70 The trees which stand filling that forest, produce excellent flowers and fruits of five colours. The trees which stand there filling that forest, produce flowers and fruits that are of excellent colours and that are, besides, of two kinds. The trees which stand there filling that forest, produce flowers and fruits that are endued with fragrance and that are, besides, of two colours. The trees which stand there filling that forest, produce flowers and fruits that are possessed of fragrance and that are, besides, of one colour. The two trees which stand filling that forest, produce many flowers and fruits that are of unmanifest colours. There is one fire here, possessed of a good mind. That is connected with Brahmana. The five senses are the fuel here. The seven forms of Emancipation flowing from them are the seven forms of Initiation. The qualities are the fruits, and the guests eat those fruits. There, in diverse places, the great Rishis accept hospitality. When they, having been worshipped, become annihilated, then another forest shines forth. In that forest, Intelligence is the tree; Emancipation is the fruit; Tranquillity is the shade of which it is possessed. It has knowledge for its resting house, contentment for its water, and the Kshetrajna for its sun. Its end cannot be ascertained upwards, downwards, or horizontally. Seven females always dwell there, with faces downwards, possessed of effulgence, and endued with the cause of generations. They take up all the different tastes from all creatures, even as inconstancy sucks up truth. In that itself dwell, and from that emerge, the seven Rishis who are crowned with ascetic success, with those seven having Vasishtha for their foremost. Glory, effulgence, greatness, enlightenment, victory, perfection, and energy, these seven always follow this same like rays following the sun. Hills and mountains also exist there, collected together; and rivers and streams bearing waters in their course, waters that are born of Brahma. And there happens a confluence also of streams in the secluded spot for sacrifice. Thence those that are contented with their own souls proceed to the Grandsire. Those whose wishes have been reduced, whose wishes have been directed to excellent vows, and whose sins have been burnt off by penances, merging themselves in their souls, succeed in attaining to Brahman. Tranquillity is praised by those who are conversant with the forest of knowledge. Keeping that forest in view, they take birth so as not to lose courage. Even such is that sacred forest that is understood by Brahmanas, and understanding it, they live (in accordance with the ordinance), directed by the Kshetrajna.’
“The Brahmana said, ‘I do not smell scents. I do not perceive tastes. I do not see colours. I do not touch. I do not likewise hear the diverse sounds (that arise). Nor do I entertain purposes of any kind. It is Nature that desires such objects as are liked; it is Nature that hates such objects as are disliked. Desire and aversion spring from Nature, after the manner of the upward and the downward life-winds when souls have entered animate bodies. Separated from them are others; in them are eternal dispositions; (these as also) the soul of all creatures, Yogins would behold in the body. Dwelling in that, I am never attached to anything through desire and wrath, and decrepitude and death. Not having any desire for any object of desire, and not having any aversion for any evil, there is no taint on my natures, as there is no taint of a drop of water on (the leaves of) the lotus. Of this constant (principle) which looks upon diverse natures, they are inconstant possessions.71 Though actions are performed, yet the assemblage of enjoyments does not attach itself to them, even as the assemblage of rays of the sun does not attach to the sky. In this connection is recited an ancient story of a discourse between an Adhwaryu and a Yati. Do thou hear it, O glorious lady. Beholding an animal sprinkled with water at a sacrificial ceremony, a Yati said unto the Adhwaryu seated there these words in censure,—This is destruction of life! unto him the Adhwaryu said in reply,—This goat will not be destroyed. The animal (sacrificed) meets with great good, if the Vedic declaration on this subject be true. That part of this animal which is of earth will go to earth. That part of this one which is born of water, will enter into water. His eye will enter the sun; his ear will enter the different points of the horizon; his life-winds will enter the sky. I who adhere to the scriptures incur no fault (by assisting at the killing of this animal).’
“The Yati said, ‘If thou beholdest such good to the goat in this dissociation with (his) life-winds, then this sacrifice is for the goat. What need hast thou for it? Let the brother, father, mother, and friend (of this goat) give thee their approval in this. Taking him (to them) do thou consult them. This goat is especially dependent. It behoveth thee to see them who can give their consent in this. After hearing their consent; the matter will become fit for consideration. The life-winds of this goat have been made to return to their respective sources. Only the inanimate body remains behind. This is what I think. Of those who wish to enjoy felicity by means of the inanimate body (of an animal) which is comparable with fuel, the fuel (of sacrifice) is after all the animal himself. Abstention from cruelty is the foremost of all deities. Even this is the teaching of the elders. We know this is the proposition, viz.,—No slaughter (of living creatures).—If I say anything further, (it will then appear that) diverse kinds of faulty actions are capable of being done by thee. Always abstaining from cruelty to all creatures is what meets with our approbation. We establish this from what is directly perceptible. We do not rely on what is beyond direct perception.’
“The Adhwaryu said, ‘Thou enjoyest the properties of smell which belong to the earth. Thou drinkest the tastes which appertain to water. Thou seest colours which belong to lighted bodies. Thou touchest the properties which, have their origin in wind. Thou hearest the sounds which have their origin in space (or ether). Thou thinkest thoughts with the mind. All these entities, thou art of opinion, have life. Thou dost not then abstain from taking life. Really, thou art engaged in slaughter. There can be no movement without slaughter. Or, what dost thou think, O regenerate one.’
“The Yati said, ‘The Indestructible and the Destructible constitute the double manifestation of the soul. Of these the Indestructible is existed. The Destructible is said to be exceedingly non-existent.72 The life-wind, the tongue, the mind, the quality of goodness, along with the quality of passion, are all existent. The Atman is above these forms and hence is without duality and hope. As regards one that is freed from these existent objects, that transcends all pairs of opposites, that does not cherish any expectation, that is alike to all creatures, that is liberated from the idea of meum, that has subjugated his self, and that is released from all his surroundings,—for him no fear exists from any source!’73
“The Adhwaryu said, ‘O foremost of intelligent men, one should reside with those that are good. Hearing thy opinion my understanding shines with light. O illustrious one, I come to thee, believing thee to be a god; and I say I have no fault, O regenerate one, by performing these rites with the aid of Mantras!’74
“The Brahmana continued, ‘With this conclusion, the Yati remained silent after this. The Adhwaryu also proceeded with the great sacrifice, freed from delusion. The Brahmanas understand Emancipation, which is exceedingly subtle, to be of this kind and having understood it, they live accordingly directed by the Kshetrajna, that beholder of all topics.’
“The Brahmana said, ‘In this connection is cited the ancient story, O lady, of the discourse between Karttaviryya and the Ocean. There was a king of the name of Karttaviryya-Arjuna who was endued with a thousand arms. He conquered, with his bow, the Earth, extending to the shores of the ocean. It has been heard by us that, once on a time, as he was walking on the shores of the sea, proud of his might, he showered hundreds of shafts on that vast receptacle of waters. The Ocean, bowing down unto him, said, with joined hands,—Do not, O hero, shoot thy shafts (at me)! Say, what shall I do to thee. With these mighty arrows shot by thee, those creatures which have taken shelter in me are being killed, O tiger among kings. Do thou, O lord, grant them security.’
“Arjuna said, ‘If any wielder of the bow exists that is equal to me in battle, and that would stand against me in the field, do thou name him to me!’
“The Ocean said, ‘If thou hast heard, O king, of the great Rishi Jamadagni, his son is competent to duly receive thee as a guest.’—Then that king proceeded, filled with great wrath. Arrived at that retreat, he found Rama himself. With his kinsmen he began to do many acts that were hostile to Rama, and caused much trouble to that high-souled hero. Then the energy, which was immeasurable of Rama blazed forth, burning the troops of the foe, O lotus-eyed one. Taking up his battle-axe, Rama suddenly put forth his power, and hacked that thousand-armed hero, like a tree of many branches. Beholding him slain and prostrated on the earth, all his kinsmen, uniting together, and taking up their darts, rushed at Rama, who was then seated, from all sides. Rama also, taking up his bow and quickly ascending on his car, shot showers of arrows and chastised the army of the king. Then, some of the Kshatriyas, afflicted with the terror of Jamadagni’s son, entered mountain-fastnesses, like deer afflicted by the lion. Of them that were unable, through fear of Rama, to discharge the duties ordained for their order, the progeny became Vrishalas owing to their inability to find Brahmanas.75 In this way Dravidas and Abhiras and Pundras, together with the Savaras, became Vrishalas through those men who had Kshatriya duties assigned to them (in consequence of their birth), falling away (from those duties). Then the Kshatriyas that were begotten by the Brahmanas upon Kshatriya women that had lost their heroic children, were repeatedly destroyed by Jamadagni’s son. The slaughter proceeded one and twenty times. At its conclusion a bodiless voice, sweet and proceeding from heaven, and which was heard by all people, spoke to Rama, ‘O Rama, O Rama, desist! What met it dost thou see, O son, in thus destroying repeatedly these inferior Kshatriyas?’76 In this way, O blessed dame, his grandsires, headed by Richika, addressed that high-souled one, saying. ‘Do thou desist.’ Rama, however, unable to forgive the slaughter of his sire, replied unto those Rishis saying, ‘It behoves you not to forbid me.’ The Pitris then said, ‘O foremost of all victorious men, it behoves thee not to slay these inferior Kshatriyas. It is not proper that thyself, being a Brahmana, should slay these kings.’
“The Pitris said, ‘In this connection is cited this old history. Having heard it, thou shouldst act according to it, O foremost of all regenerate persons. There was a royal sage of the name Alarka endued with the austerest of penances. He was conversant with all duties, truthful in speech, of high soul, and exceedingly firm in his vows. Having, with his bow, conquered the whole Earth extending to the seas, and thereby achieved an exceedingly difficult feat, he set his mind on that which is subtle. While sitting at the root of a tree, his thoughts, O thou of great intelligence, abandoning all those great feats, turned towards that which is subtle.’
“Alarka said, ‘My mind has become strong. Having conquered the mind, one’s conquest becomes permanent. Though surrounded by foes, I shall (henceforth) shoot my arrows at other objects. Since in consequence of its unsteadiness, it sets all mortals to accomplish acts, I shall shoot very sharp-pointed shafts at the mind.’
“The mind said, ‘These arrows, O Alarka, will never pierce me through. They will pierce only thy own vital parts, Thy vital parts being pierced, thou shalt die. Do thou look out for other arrows with which to destroy me.’ Hearing these words and reflecting upon them, he said as follows.
“Alarka said, ‘Smelling very many perfumes, the nose hankers after them only. Hence I shall shoot whetted arrows at the nose.’
“The nose said, ‘These arrows will never cross through me, O Alarka. They will pierce only thy own vital parts, and thy vital parts being pierced, thou shalt die. Do thou look for other arrows with which to destroy me.’
“Hearing these words and reflecting upon them, he said as follows.
“Alarka said, ‘This one (viz., the tongue), enjoying savoury tastes, hankers after them only. Hence I shall shoot whetted shafts at the tongue.’
“The tongue said, ‘These arrows, O Alarka, will not cross through me. They will only pierce thy own vital parts and thy vital parts being pierced, thou shalt die. Do thou look for other arrows with which to destroy me.’ Hearing these words and reflecting upon them, he said as follows.
“Alarka said, ‘The skin, touching diverse objects of touch, hankers after them only. Hence, I shall tear off the skin with diverse arrows equipt with the feathers of the Kanka.’
“The skin said, ‘These arrows will not, O Alarka, cross through me. They will pierce thy own vital parts only, and thy vital parts being pierced, thou shalt die. Do thou look for other arrows with which to destroy me.’ Hearing these words and reflecting on them, he said as follows.
“Alarka said, ‘Hearing diverse sounds, (the ear) hankers after them only. Hence, I shall shoot whetted shafts at the ear.’
“The ear said, ‘These arrows will not, O Alarka, cross through me. They will pierce thy own vital parts only, and thy vital parts being pierced, thou shalt die. Do thou then look for other arrows with which to destroy me.’ Hearing these words and reflecting upon them, he said as follows.
“Alarka said, ‘Seeing many colours, the eye hankers after them only. Hence, I shall destroy the eye with sharp-pointed arrows.’
“The eye said. ‘These arrows will not, O Alarka, cross through me at all. They will pierce thy own vital parts only, and thy vital parts being pierced, thou shalt die. Do thou then look for other arrows with which to destroy me!’ Hearing these words and reflecting upon them, he said as follows.
“Alarka said, ‘This (viz., the understanding) forms many determinations with the aid of ratiocination. Hence, I shall shoot whetted arrows at the understanding.’
“The understanding said, ‘These arrows will not, O Alarka, cross through me at all. They will pierce thy vital parts only, and thy vital parts being pierced, thou shalt die. Do thou then look for other arrows with which to destroy me!’
“The Brahmana continued, ‘Then Alarka, employing himself, even there, on penances difficult to perform and exceedingly austere, failed to obtain, by the high power (of his penances) arrows for casting at these seven. Endued with puissance, he then, with mind well concentrated, began to reflect. Then O best of regenerate ones, Alarka, that foremost of intelligent men, having reflected for a long time, failed to obtain anything better than Yoga. Setting his mind on one object, he remained perfectly still, engaged in Yoga.77 Endued with energy, he quickly slew all the senses with one arrow, having entered by Yoga into his soul and thereby attained to the highest success. Filled with wonder, that royal sage then sang this verse: Alas, it is a pity that we should have accomplished all acts that are external! Alas, that we should have, endued with the thirst for enjoyment, courted (the pleasures of) sovereignty before now! I have learnt this afterwards. There is no happiness that is higher than Yoga.—Do thou know this, O Rama. Cease to slay the Kshatriyas. Do thou practise the austerest of penances. Thou wilt then attain to what is good.—Thus addressed by his grandsires, Jamadagni’s son practised the austerest penances, and having practised them, that highly blessed one attained to that success which is difficult to reach.’
“The Brahmana said, ‘There are three foes in the world. They are said to be ninefold, agreeably to their qualities. Exultation, satisfaction, and joy,—these three qualities appertain to Goodness.78 Cupidity, wrath, and hatred, these three qualities are said to appertain to Passion. Lassitude, procrastination, and delusion, these three qualities appertain to darkness. Cutting these with showers of arrows, the man of intelligence, free from procrastination, possessed of a tranquil soul, and with his senses under subjection, ventures to vanquish others.79 In this connection, persons conversant with (the occurrence of) ancient cycles recite some verses which were sung in days of old by king Amvarisha who had acquired a tranquil soul. When diverse kinds of faults were in the ascendant and when the righteous were afflicted, Amvarisha of great fame put forth his strength for assuming sovereignty.80 Subduing his own faults and worshipping the righteous, he attained to great success and sang these verses.—I have subdued many faults. I have killed all foes. But there is one, the greatest, vice which deserves to be destroyed but which has not been destroyed by me! Urged by that fault, this Jiva fails to attain to freedom from desire. Afflicted by desire, one runs into ditches without knowing it. Urged by that fault, one indulges in acts that are forbidden. Do thou cut off, cut off, that cupidity with sharp-edged swords. From cupidity arise desires. From desire flows anxiety. The man who yields to desire acquires many qualities that appertain to passion. When these have been acquired, he gets many qualities that appertain to Darkness. In consequence of those qualities, he repeatedly takes birth, with the bonds of body united, and is impelled to action. Upon the expiration of life, with body becoming dismembered and scattered, he once meets with death which is due to birth itself.81 Hence, duly understanding this, and subduing cupidity by intelligence, one should desire for sovereignty in one’s soul. This is (true) sovereignty. There is no other sovereignty here. The soul, properly understood, is the king. Even these were the verses sung by king Ambarisha of great celebrity, on the subject of sovereignty which he kept before him,—that king who had cut off the one foremost fault viz., cupidity.’
“The Brahmana said, ‘In this connection is cited the old narrative, O lady, of the discourse between a Brahmana and (king) Janaka. King Janaka (on a certain occasion), desirous of punishing him, said unto a Brahmana who had become guilty of some offence, “Thou shalt not dwell within my dominions.” Thus addressed, the Brahmana replied unto that best of kings, saying, “Tell me, O king, what the limits are of the territories subject to thee. I desire, O lord, to dwell within the dominions of another king. Verily, I wish to obey thy behest, O lord of Earth, agreeably to the scriptures.”—Thus addressed by that celebrated Brahmana, the king, hearing repeated and hot sighs, said not a word in reply. Like the planet Rahu overwhelming the Sun, a cloudedness of understanding suddenly overwhelmed that king of immeasurable energy as he sat plunged in thought. When that cloudedness of understanding passed away and the king became comforted, he spoke after a short while these words unto that Brahmana.’
“Janaka said, ‘Although a (large) inhabited tract is subject to me within this ancestral kingdom of mine, yet I fail to find my dominion, searching through the whole Earth. When I failed to find it on the Earth, I then searched Mithila (for it). When I failed to find it in Mithila, I then searched for it among my own children. When I failed to find it even there, a cloudedness of understanding came over me. After that cloudedness of understanding passed away, intelligence came back to me. Then I thought that I have no dominion, or that everything is my dominion. Even this body is not mine, or the whole Earth is mine. At the same time, O best of regenerate persons, I think that that is as much mine as it is of others. Do thou, therefore, dwell (here) as long as thy choice leads thee, and do thou enjoy as long as thou pleasest.’
“The Brahmana said, ‘When there is a large inhabited tract in thy ancestral kingdom, tell me, depending upon what understanding, has the idea of meum been got rid of by thee. What also is that understanding depending upon which thou hast come to the conclusion that everything constitutes thy dominion? What, indeed, is the notion through which thou hast no dominion, or everything is thy dominion?’
“Janaka said, ‘All conditions here, in all affairs, have been understood by me to be terminable. Hence, I could not find that which should be called mine.82 (Considering) whose is this, I thought of the Vedic text about anybody’s property, I could not, therefore, find, by my understanding, what should be (called) mine.83 Depending upon this notion, I got rid of idea of mineness. Hear now what that notion is depending upon which I came to the conclusion that I have dominion everywhere. I do not desire for my own self those smells that are even in my nose. Therefore, the earth, subjugated by me, is always subject to me. I do not desire for my own self those tastes that exist in contact with even my tongue. Therefore, water, subjugated by me, is always subject to me.84 I do not desire for my own self the colour or light that appertains to my eye. Therefore, light subjugated by me, is always subject to me. I do not desire for my own self those sensations of touch which are in contact with even my skin. Therefore, the wind, subjugated by me, is always subject to me. I do not desire for my own self those sounds which are in contact with even my ear. Therefore sounds, subjugated by me, are always subject to me. I do not desire for my own self the mind that is always in my mind. Therefore the mind, subjugated by me, is subject to me. All these acts of mine are for the sake of the deities, the Pitris, the Bhutas, together with guests.’85—The Brahmana then, smiling, once more said unto Janaka,—‘Know that I am Dharma, who have come here today for examining thee. Thou art verily the one person for setting this wheel in motion, this wheel that has the quality of Goodness for its circumference, Brahmin for its nave, and the understanding for its spokes, and which never turns back!’86
“The Brahmana said, ‘I do not, O timid one, move in this world in that manner which thou, according to thy own understanding, censurest. I am a Brahmana possessed of Vedic knowledge, I am emancipated. I am a forest recluse. I am an observer of the duties of a house-holder. I observe vows. I am not what thou seest me in good and bad acts. By me is pervaded everything that exists in this universe. Whatever creatures exist in the world, mobile or immobile, know that I am the destroyer of them all, even as fire is (the destroyer) of all kinds of wood. Of sovereignty over the whole Earth or over Heaven (on the one hand), or this knowledge (of my identity with the universe), this knowledge is my wealth.87 This is the one path for Brahmanas, by which they who understand it proceed to house-holds, or abodes in the forest, or residence with preceptors, or among mendicants.88 With numerous unconfused symbols, only one knowledge is worshipped. Those who, whatever the symbols and modes of life to which they adhere, have acquired an understanding having tranquillity for its essence, attain to that one entity even as numerous rivers all meeting the Ocean.89 The path is traversable with the aid of the understanding and not of this body. Actions have both beginning and end, and the body has actions for its bonds.90 Hence, O 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.’
“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 means 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 Brahman, 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 Brahman, 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 without 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; viz., perception of hearing, etc. 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.91 It is not laid down that this should be done, of that this should not be done, in the rules for achieving Emancipation,—those, that is, in which a knowledge of the soul arises only in him who sees and hears.92 One should comprehend as many parts, unmanifest and manifest by hundreds and thousands, as one is capable of comprehending 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-restraint, etc.), that above which nothing exists.’93
“The holy one continued, ‘Then the mind of that Brahmana’s wife, upon the destruction of the Kshetrajna, became that which is beyond Kshetrajna, in consequence of the knowledge of Kshetra.’94
“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.’
“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!’
“Arjuna said, ‘It behoveth thee to expound Brahma to me,—that which is the highest object of knowledge. Through thy favour, my mind is delighted with these subtle disquisitions.’
“Vasudeva said,—‘In this connection is recited the old history of the discourse between a preceptor and his disciple on the subject of Brahman. Once on a time, O scorcher of foes, an intelligent disciple questioned a certain Brahmana of rigid vows who was his 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, O 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 preceptor said,—“O regenerate one, I shall explain to thee everything about which thou mayst have any doubts.”—Thus addressed, O 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, ‘Where am I? Whence art thou? Explain that which is the highest truth. From what source have sprung all creatures mobile and immobile? By what do creatures live? What is the limit of their life? What is truth? What is penance, O learned Brahmana? What are called attributes by the good? What paths are to be called auspicious? What is happiness? What is sin? O holy one, O thou of excellent vows, it behoves thee to answer these questions of mine, O learned Rishi, correctly, truly, and accurately. Who else is there in this world than thee that is capable of answering these questions? Do thou answer them, O 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 desirous 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 instructor as to have almost become his shadow, who was self-restrained, and who had the life of a Yati and Brahmacharin, O son of Pritha, that preceptor possessed of intelligence and observant of vows, duly explained all the questions, O foremost one of Kuru’s race, O chastiser of all foes.’
“The preceptor said, ‘All this was declared (In days of old) by Brahma 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 consideration of what constitutes the real entity. 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 with regard to anything, comes to be regarded, although residing in this world, as identifiable with Brahman, 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 understanding for its trunk, and high consciousness 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 Brahman, 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, present, and future, etc, 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 Vasishtha and Kasyapa, and Viswamitra, 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 regenerate persons, placing the sage son of Angiras at their head, proceeded to the region of the Grandsire. There they beheld Brahma perfectly cleansed of all sin. Bowing their heads unto that high-souled one who was seated at his 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 is Emancipation? What is birth and what is 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.’
“Brahma said, ‘It is from Truth that all creatures, mobile and immobile, have been born. They live by penance (of action). Understand this, O ye of excellent vows. In consequence of their own actions they live, transcending: their own origin.95 For Truth, when united with qualities, becomes 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 wisdom in order to achieve an identity with Brahman. I shall speak now of that path which is the highest and which is exceedingly difficult 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.96 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 regenerate classes. The domestic mode of life is ordained for all the orders. They that are possessed of wisdom say that Religion 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 (consciousness 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.’97
“Brahma said, ‘That which is unmanifest, which is indistinct, all-pervading, everlasting, immutable, should be known to become the city (or mansion) of nine portals, possessed 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.98 The three ducts that are in it support it constantly. These are the three Nadis. They run continually, and have the three qualities for their essence: Darkness, Passion, and Goodness. These are called the (three) 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 Darkness is restrained, Passion is seen to flow. There where Passion 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 Darkness and it appears also as confined with others. Passion is said to have activity for its essence. It is the cause of successive 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. Complete delusion, ignorance; illiberality, indecision in respect of action, sleep, haughtiness, fear, cupidity, grief, censure of good acts, loss of memory,—unripeness of judgment, absence of faith, violation of all rules of conduct, want of discrimination, blindness, vileness of behaviour, 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 association, 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, illiberality, vanity, delusion, wrath, unforgiveness, hostility towards all creatures, are regarded as the characteristics of Darkness. Whatever undertakings exist that are unmeritorious (in consequence of their being vain or useless), what gifts there are that are unmeritorious (in consequence of the unworthiness of the donees, the unreasonableness of the time, the impropriety of the object, etc.), vain eating,—these also appertain to Darkness. Indulgence in calumny, unforgiveness, animosity, vanity, and absence of faith are also said to be characteristics of Darkness. 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) the brute creation. They become immobile entities, or animals, or beasts of burden; or carnivorous creatures, or snakes, or worms, insects, and birds; or creatures, 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 exhibiting 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 ascending 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 audition.99 Born in orders other than humanity and growing old in their respective acts, even thus they become human beings that are, 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 Sudra order, and other (consequences of) qualities that appertain to Darkness and that abide in it in course of migrations in this world.100 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 blinding 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 colour (nature), its characteristics, and its source, I have, ye learned Brahmanas, declared to you, accurately and in due order, everything about (the quality of) Darkness. 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.’
“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 appertain to Passion, Injuring (others), beauty, toil, pleasure and pain, cold and heat, lordship (or power), war, peace, arguments, dissatisfaction, endurance,101 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,102 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, harbouring of thirst or desire, cleverness or dexterity of conduct, policy heedlessness, contumely, possessions, and diverse decorations that prevail in the world among men, women, animals, inanimate things, houses, grief, incredulousness, vows and regulations, actions with expectation (of good result), diverse acts of public charity, the rites in respect of Swaha salutations, rites of Swadha and Vashat, officiating at the sacrifices of others, imparting of instruction, performance of sacrifices, study, making of gifts, acceptance of gifts, rites of expiation, auspicious acts, the wish to have this and that, affection generated by the merits of the object for which or whom it is felt, treachery, deception, disrespect and respect, theft, killing, desire of concealment, vexation, wakefulness, ostentation, haughtiness, attachment, devotion, contentment, exultation, gambling, indulgence in scandal, all relations arising out of women, attachment to dancing, instrumental music and songs—all these qualities, ye learned Brahmanas, have been said to belong to Passion. Those men on Earth who meditate on the past, present, and the future, who are devoted to the aggregate of three, viz., Religion, Wealth, and Pleasure, who acting from impulse of desire, exult on attaining to affluence in respect of every desire, are said to be enveloped by Passion. These men have downward courses. Repeatedly reborn in this world, they give themselves up to pleasure. They covet what belongs to this world as also all those fruit, that belong to the world hereafter. They make gifts, accept gifts, offer oblations to the Pitris, and pour libations on the sacrificial fire. The qualities of Passion have (thus) been declared to you in their variety. The course of conduct also to which it leads has been properly described to you. The man who always understands these qualities, succeeds in always freeing himself from all of them which appertain to Passion.’
“Brahmana said, ‘I shall, after this discourse to you on that excellent quality which is the third (in the order of our enumeration). It is beneficial to all creatures in the world, and unblamable, and constitutes the conduct of those that are good. Joy, satisfaction, nobility, enlightenment, and happiness, absence of stinginess (or liberality), absence of fear, contentment, disposition for faith, forgiveness, courage, abstention from injuring any creature, equability, truth, straightforwardness, absence of wrath, absence of malice, purity, cleverness, prowess, (these appertain to the quality of Goodness). He who is devoted to the duty of Yoga, regarding knowledge to be vain, conduct to be vain, service to be vain, and mode of life to be vain, attains to what is highest in the world hereafter. Freedom from the idea of meum, freedom from egoism, freedom from expectations, looking on all with an equal eye, and freedom from desire,—these constitute the eternal religion of the good. Confidence, modesty, forgiveness, renunciation, purity, absence of laziness, absence of cruelty, absence of delusion, compassion to all creatures, absence of the disposition to calumniate, exultation, satisfaction, rapture, humility, good behaviour, purity in all acts having for their object the attainment of tranquillity, righteous understanding, emancipation (from attachments), indifference, Brahmacharyya, complete renunciation, freedom from the idea of meum, freedom from expectations, unbroken observance of righteousness, belief that gifts are vain, sacrifices are vain, study is vain, vows are vain, acceptance of gifts is vain, observance of duties is vain, and penances are vain—those Brahmanas in this world, whose conduct is marked by these virtues, who adhere to righteousness, who abide in the Vedas, are said to be wise and possessed of correctness of vision. Casting off all sins and freed from grief, those men possessed of wisdom attain to Heaven and create diverse bodies (for themselves). Attaining the power of governing everything, self-restraint, minuteness, these high-souled ones make by operations of their own mind, like the gods themselves dwelling in Heaven. Such men are said to have their courses directed upwards. They are veritable gods capable of modifying all things. Attaining to Heaven, they modify all things by their very nature. They get whatever objects they desire and enjoy them.103 Thus have I, ye foremost of regenerate ones, described to you what that conduct is which appertains to the quality of goodness. Understanding these duly, one acquires whatever objects one desires. The qualities that appertain to goodness have been declared particularly. The conduct which those qualities constitute has also been properly set forth. That man who always understands these qualities, succeeds in enjoying the qualities without being attached to them.’
“Brahmana said, ‘The qualities are incapable of being declared as completely separate from one another. Passion and Goodness and Darkness are seen existing in a state of union. They are attached to one another. They depend on one another. They have one another for their refuge. They likewise follow one another. As long as goodness exists, so long does Passion exist. There is no doubt in this. As long as Darkness and Goodness exist, so long does Passion exist. They make their journey together, in union, and moving collectively. They, verily, move in body, when they act with cause or without cause. Of all these which act with one another, however, much they may differ in their development, the manner in which their increase and diminution take place will now be declared. There where Darkness exists in an increased measure, in the lower creatures (for example), Passion exists in a smaller measure and Goodness in a measure that is still less. There where Passion exists in a copious measure, in creatures of middle course, Darkness exists in a smaller measure and Goodness in a measure that is still less. There where Goodness exists in a copious measure, in creatures of upward courses, Darkness should be known to exist in a small measure and Passion in a measure that is still less. Goodness is the spring that causes the modifications of the senses. It is the great enlightener. No duty has been laid down that is higher than Goodness. They who abide in Goodness proceed upwards. They who abide in Passion remain in the middle. They who abide in Darkness, being characterised by qualities that are low, sink downwards. Darkness occurs in the Sudra; Passion in the Kshatriya; and Goodness, which is the highest, in the Brahmana. The three qualities exist even thus in the three orders. Even from a distance, the three qualities of darkness and Goodness and Passion, are seen to exist in a state of union and more collectively. They are never seen in a state of separation.104 Beholding the sun rising, men of evil deeds become inspired with fear. Travellers on their way become afflicted with heat, and suffer distress. The Sun is Goodness developed, men of evil deeds represent Darkness; the heat which travellers on their way feel is said to be a quality of Passion. The sun representing light is Goodness; the heat is the quality of Passion; the shading (or eclipse) of the sun on Parvana days should be known to represent Darkness. Even thus, the three qualities exist in all luminous bodies. They act by turns in diverse places in diverse ways. Among immobile objects, the quality of Darkness exists in a very large measure. The qualities appertaining to Passion are those properties of theirs which undergo constant changes. Their oleaginous attributes appertain to Goodness.105 The Day should be understood as threefold. The Night has been ordained to be threefold. So also are fortnight, months, years, seasons, and conjunctions.106 The gifts that are wide are threefold. Threefold is sacrifice that flows. Threefold are the worlds; threefold the deities; threefold is knowledge; and threefold the path or end. The past, the Present. and the Future; Religion, Wealth. and Pleasure. Prana, Apana, and Udana; these also are fraught with the three qualities. Whatever object exists in this world, everything in it is fraught with the three qualities. The three qualities act by turns in all things and in all circumstances. Verily, the three qualities always act in an unmanifest form. The creation of those three, viz., Goodness, Passion, and Darkness is eternal. The unmanifest, consisting of the three qualities, is said to be darkness, unperceived, holy, Constant. unborn, womb, eternal. Nature, change or modification, destruction, Pradhana, production, and absorption, undeveloped, not small (i.e., vast), unshaking, immovable, fixed, existent, and non-existent. All these names should be known by those who meditate on matters connected with the soul. That person who accurately knows all the names of the unmanifest, and the qualities, as also the pure operations (of the qualities), is well conversant with the truth about all distinctions and freed from the body, becomes liberated from all the qualities and enjoys absolute happiness.’
“Brahmana said, ‘From the unmanifest first sprang Mahat (the Great Soul) endued with great intelligence, the source of all the qualities. That is said to be the first creation. The Great Soul is signified by these synonymous words—the Great Soul, Intelligence, Vishnu, Jishnu, Sambhu of great valour, the Understanding, the means of acquiring knowledge, the means of perception, as also fame, courage, and memory. Knowing this, a learned Brahmana has never to encounter delusion. It has hands and feet on every side, it has ears on every side. It stands, pervading everything in the universe. Of great power, that Being is stationed in the heart of all. Minuteness, Lightness and Affluence, are his. He is the lord of all, and identical with effulgence, and knows not decay. In Him are all those who comprehend the nature of the understanding, all those who are devoted to goodness of disposition, all those who practise meditation, who are always devoted to Yoga, who are firm in truth, who have subdued their senses, who are possessed of knowledge, who are freed from cupidity, who have conquered wrath, who are of cheerful hearts, who are endued with wisdom, who are liberated from ideas of meum (and teum), and who are devoid of egoism. All these, freed from every kind of attachment, attain to the status of Greatness. That person who understands that holy and high goal, viz., the Great Soul, becomes freed from delusion. The self-born Vishnu becomes the Lord in the primary creations. He who thus knows the Lord lying in the cave, the Supreme, Ancient Being, of universal form, the golden one, the highest goal of all persons endued with understanding,—that intelligent man lives, transcending the understanding.’
“Brahmana said, ‘That Mahat who was first produced is called Egoism. When it sprang up as I, it came to be called as the second creation. That Egoism is said to be the source of all creatures, for these have sprung from its modifications. It is pure effulgence and is the supporter of consciousness. It is Prajapati. It is a deity, the creator of deities, and of mind. It is that which creates the three worlds. It is said to be that which feels—I am all this.—That is the eternal world existing for those sages who are contented with knowledge relating to the soul, who have meditated on the soul, and who have won success by Vedic study and sacrifices. By consciousness of soul one enjoys the qualities. That source of all creatures, that creator of all creatures, creates (all creatures) even in this way. It is that which causes all changes. It is that which causes all beings to move. By its own light it illuminates the universe likewise.’
“Brahmana said, ‘From Egoism were verily born the five great elements. They are earth, air, ether, water, and light numbering the fifth. In these five great elements, in the matter of the sound, touch, colour, taste, and smell, all creatures become deluded. When at the close of the destruction of the great elements, the dissolution of the universe approaches, ye that are possessed of wisdom, a great fear comes upon all living creatures. Every existent object is dissolved into that from which it is produced. The dissolution takes place in an order that is the reverse of that in which creation takes place. Indeed, as regards birth, they are born from one another. Then, when all existent objects, mobile and immobile, become dissolved, wise men endued with powerful memory never dissolve. Sound, touch, colour, taste, and smell numbering the fifth, are effects. They are, however, inconstant, and called by the name of delusion. Caused by the production of cupidity, not different from one another, without reality, connected with flesh and blood, and depending upon one another, existing outside the soul, these are all helpless and powerless. Prana and Apana, and Udana and Samana and Vyana,—these five winds are always closely attached to the soul. Together with speech, mind, and understanding, they constitute the universe of eight ingredients. He whose skin, nose, ear, eyes, tongue, and speech are restrained, whose mind is pure, and whose understanding deviates not (from the right path), and whose mind is never burnt by those eight fires, succeeds in attaining to that auspicious Brahman to which nothing superior exists. Those which have been called the eleven organs and which have sprung from Egoism, I shall now, ye regenerate ones, mention particularly. They are the ear, the skin, the two eyes, the tongue, the nose numbering the fifth, the two feet, the lower duct, the organ of generation, the two hands, and speech forming the tenth. These constitute the group of organs, with mind numbering as the eleventh. One should first subdue this group. Then will Brahman shine forth (in him). Five amongst these are called organs of knowledge, and five, organs of action. The five beginning with the ear are truly said to be connected with knowledge. The rest, however, that are connected with action, are without distinction. The mind should be regarded as belonging to both. The understanding is the twelfth in the top. Thus have been enumerated the eleven organs in due order. Learned men, having understood these, think they have accomplished everything. I shall, after this, enumerate all the various organs. Space (or Ether) is the first entity. As connected with the soul, it is called the ear. As connected with objects, that is sound. The presiding deity (of this) is the quarters. The Wind is the second entity. As connected with the soul, it is known as the skin. As connected with objects, it is known as objects of touch; and the presiding deity there is touch. The third is said to be Light. As connected with the soul, it is known as the eye. As connected with objects, it is colour; and the sun is its deity. The fourth (entity) should be known as Water. As connected with the soul, it is said to be the tongue. As connected with objects, it is taste, and the presiding deity there is Soma. The fifth entity is Earth. As connected with the soul, it is said to be the nose. As connected with objects, it is scent; and the presiding deity there is the wind. Thus has the manner been declared of how the five entities are divided into sets of three. After this I shall declare everything about the diverse (other) organs. Brahmanas conversant with the truth say that the two feet are mentioned as connected with the soul. As connected with objects, it is motion; and Vishnu is there the presiding deity. The Apana wind, whose motion is downward, as connected with the soul, is called the lower duct. As connected with objects, it is the excreta that is ejected; and the presiding deity there is Mitra. As connected with the soul, the organ of generation is mentioned, the producer of all beings. As connected with objects, it is the vital seed; and the presiding deity is Prajapati. The two hands are mentioned as connected with the soul by persons conversant with the relations of the soul. As connected with objects, it is actions; and the presiding deity there is Indra. Next, connected with the soul is speech which relates to all the gods. As connected with objects, it is what is spoken. The presiding deity there is Agni. As connected with the soul, the mind is mentioned, which moves within the soul of the five elements.107 As connected with objects, it is the mental operation; and the presiding deity is Chandramas (moon). As connected with the soul is Egoism, which is the cause of the whole course of worldly life. As connected with objects, it is consciousness of self; and the presiding deity there is Rudra. As connected with the soul is the understanding, which impels the six senses. As connected with objects, it is that which is to be understood, and the presiding deity there is Brahma. Three are the seats of all existent objects. A fourth is not possible. These are land, water, and ether. The mode of birth is fourfold. Some are born of eggs; some are born of germs which spring upwards, penetrating through the earth; some are born of filth; and some are born of fleshy balls in wombs. Thus is the mode of birth seen to be of four kinds, of all living creatures. Now, there are other inferior beings and likewise those that range the sky. These should be known to be born of eggs as also those which crawl on their breasts. Insects are said to be born of filth, as also other creatures of a like description. This is said to be the second mode of birth and is inferior. Those living creatures that take birth after the lapse of some time, bursting through the earth, are said to be germ-born beings, ye foremost of regenerate persons. Creatures of two feet or of many feet and those which move crookedly, are the beings born of wombs. Among them are some that are deformed, ye best of men. The eternal womb of Brahma should be known to be of two kinds, viz., penance and meritorious acts. Such is the doctrine of the learned.108 Action should be understood to be of various kinds, such as sacrifice, gifts made at sacrifices, and the meritorious duty of study for every one that is born; such is the teaching of the ancients. He who duly understands this, comes to be regarded as possessed of Yoga, ye chief of regenerate persons. Know also that such a man becomes freed too from all his sins. I have thus declared to you duly the doctrine of Adhyatma.109 Ye Rishis conversant with all duties, a knowledge of this is acquired by those who are regarded as persons of knowledge. Uniting all these together, viz., the senses, the objects of the senses, and the five great entities, one should hold them in the mind.110 When everything is attenuated (by absorption) in the mind, one no longer esteems the pleasures of life. Learned men, whose understandings are furnished with knowledge, regard that as true happiness.111 I shall after this, tell thee of renunciation with respect to all entities by means, gentle and hard, which produces attachment to subtle topics and which is fraught with auspiciousness. That conduct which consists in treating the qualities is not qualities, which is free from attachment, which is living alone, which does not recognise distinctions, and which is full of Brahman, is the source of all happiness.112 The learned man who absorbs all desires into himself from all sides like the tortoise withdrawing all its limbs, who is devoid of passion, and who is released from everything, becomes always happy. Restraining all desires within the soul, destroying his thirst, concentrated in meditation, and becoming the friend of good heart towards all creatures, he succeeds in becoming fit for assimilation with Brahman. Through repression of all the senses which always hanker after their objects, and abandonment of inhabited places, the Adhyatma fire blazes forth in the man of contemplation. As a fire, fed with fuel, becomes bright in consequence of the blazing flames it puts forth, even so, in consequence of the repression of the senses, the great soul puts forth its effulgence. When one with a tranquil soul beholds all entities in one’s own heart, then, lighted by one’s own effulgence, one attains to that which is subtler than the subtle and which is unrivalled in excellence. It is settled that the body has fire for colour, water for blood and other liquids, wind for sense of touch, earth for the hideous holder of mind (viz., flesh and bones, etc.), space (or ether) for sound; that it is pervaded by disease and sorrow; that it is overwhelmed by five currents; that it is made up of the five elements; that it has nine doors and two deities;113 that it is full of passion; that it is unfit to be seen (owing to its unholy character); that it is made up of three qualities; that it has three constituent elements, (viz., wind, bile and phelgm); that it is delighted with attachments of every kind, that it is full of delusions.114 It is difficult of being moved in this mortal world, and it rests on the understanding as its support. That body is, in this world, the wheel of Time that is continually revolving.115 That (body), indeed, is a terrible and unfathomable ocean and is called delusion. It is this body which stretches forth, contracts, and awakens the (whole) universe with the (very) immortals.116 By restraining the senses, one casts off lust, wrath, fear, cupidity, enmity, and falsehood, which are eternal and, therefore, exceedingly difficult to cast off.117 He who has subjugated these in this world, viz., the three qualities and the five constituent elements of the body, has the Highest for his seat in Heaven. By him is Infinity attained. Crossing the river, that has the five senses for its steep banks, the mental inclinations for its mighty waters, and delusion for its lake, one should subjugate both lust and wrath. Such a man freed from all faults, then beholds the Highest, concentrating the mind within the mind and seeing self in self. Understanding all things, he sees his self, with self, in all creatures, sometimes as one and sometimes as diverse, changing form from time to time.118 Without doubt he can perceive numerous bodies like a hundred lights from one light. Verily he is Vishnu, and Mitra, and Varuna, and Agni, and Prajapati. He is the Creator and the ordainer: he is the Lord possessed of puissance, with faces turned in all directions. In him, the heart of all creatures, the great soul, becomes resplendent. Him all conclaves of learned Brahmanas, deities and Asuras, and Yakshas, and Pisachas, the Pitris, and birds, and bands of Rakshasas, and bands of ghostly beings, and all the great Rishis, praise.’
“Brahmana said, ‘Among men, the royal Kshatriya is (endued with) the middle quality. Among vehicles, the elephant (is so); and among denizens of the forest the lion; among all (sacrificial) animals, the sheep; among all those that live in holes, is the snake; among cattle, the bovine bull; among females, the mule.119 There is no doubt in this that in this world, the Nyagrodha, the Jamvu, the Pippala, the Salmali, and Sinsapa, the Meshasringa, and the Kichaka, are the foremost ones among trees.120 Himavat, Patipatra, Sahya, Vindhya, Trikutavat, Sweta, Nila, Bhasa, Koshthavat, Guruskandha, Mahendra and Malayavat,—these are the foremost of mountains. Likewise the Maruts are the foremost of the Ganas. Surya is the lord of all the planets, and Chandramas of all the constellations. Yama is the lord of the Pitris; Ocean is the lord of all rivers. Varuna is the king of the waters. Indra is said to be the king of the Maruts. Arka is the king of all hot bodies, and Indra of all luminous bodies. Agni is the eternal lord of the elements, and Vrihaspati of the Brahmanas. Soma is the lord of (deciduous) herbs, and Vishnu is the foremost of all that are endued with might. Tashtri is the king of Rudras, and Siva of all creatures. Sacrifice is the foremost of all initiatory rites, and Maghavat of the deities. The North is the lord of all the points of the compass; Soma of great energy is the lord of all learned Brahmanas. Kuvera is the lord of all precious gems, and Purandara of all the deities. Such is the highest creation among all entities. Prajapati is the lord of all creatures. Of all entities whatever, I, who am full of Brahman, am the foremost. There is no entity that is higher than myself or Vishnu. The great Vishnu, who is full of Brahman, is the king of kings over all. Know him to be the ruler, the creator, the uncreated Hari. He is the ruler of men and Kinnaras and Yakshas and Gandharvas, and Snakes and Rakshasas, and deities and Danavas and Nagas. Among those that are followed by persons full of desire is the great goddess Maheswari of beautiful eyes. She is otherwise called by the name of Parvati. Know that the goddess Uma is the foremost and the most auspicious of women. Among women that are a source of pleasure, the foremost are the Apsaras who are possessed of great splendour.121 Kings are desirous of acquiring piety, and Brahmanas are causeways of piety. Therefore, the king should always strive to protect the twice-born ones. Those kings in whose dominions good men languish are regarded as bereft of the virtues of their order. Hereafter they have to go into wrong paths. Those kings in whose dominions good men are protected, rejoice in this world and enjoy happiness hereafter. Verily, those high-souled ones attain to the highest seat. Understand this, ye foremost of regenerate ones. I shall after this state the everlasting indications of duties. Abstention from injury is the highest duty. Injury is an indication of unrighteousness. Splendour is the indication of the deities. Men have acts for their indications. Ether (or space) has sound for its characteristic. Wind has touch for its characteristic. The characteristic of lighted bodies is colour, and water has taste for its characteristic. Earth, which holds all entities, has smell for its characteristic. Speech has words for its characteristic, refined into vowels and consonants. Mind has thought for its characteristic. Thought has, again, been said to be the characteristic of the understanding. The things thought of by the mind are ascertained with accuracy by the understanding. There is no doubt in this, viz., that the understanding, by perseverance, perceives all things. The characteristic of mind is meditation. The characteristic of the good man is to live unperceived.122 Devotion has acts for its characteristic. Knowledge is the characteristic of renunciation. Therefore keeping knowledge, before his view, the man of understanding should practise renunciation. The man who has betaken himself to renunciation and who is possessed of knowledge, who transcends all pairs of opposites, as also darkness, death, and decrepitude, attains to the highest goal. I have thus declared to you duty what the indications are of duty. I shall, after this, tell you of the seizure (comprehension) of qualities. Smell, which appertains to earth, is seized by the nose. The wind, that dwells in the nose is likewise appointed (as an agent) in the perception of smell. Taste is the essence of water. That is seized by the tongue. Soma, who resides in the tongue, is appointed likewise in the perception of taste. The quality of a lighted body is colour. That is seized by the eye. Aditya who always resides in the eye has been appointed in the perception of colour. Touch always appertains to the wind (as its quality). That is perceived by the skin. The wind that always resides in the skin has been appointed in apprehending touch. The quality of ether is sound. That is seized by the ear. All the quarters, which reside in the ear, have been appointed in apprehending sound. The quality of the mind is thought. That is seized by the understanding. The upholder of consciousness, residing in the heart, has been appointed in apprehending the mind. The understanding is apprehended in the form of determination or certitude, and Mahat in the form of knowledge. The unperceived (Prakriti) has been, it is evident, appointed for the seizure of all things after certitude. There is no doubt in this.123 The Kshetrajna which is eternal and is destitute of qualities as regards its essence, is incapable of being seized by symbols. Hence, the characteristic of the Kshetrajna, which is without symbols, is purely knowledge. The unmanifest resides in the symbol called Kshetra, and is that in which the qualities are produced and absorbed. I always see, know, and hear it (though) it is hidden. Purusha knows it: therefore is he called Kshetrajna. The Kshetrajna perceives also the operations of the qualities and absence of their operations. The qualities, which are created repeatedly, do not know themselves, being unintelligent, as entities to be created and endued with a beginning, middle, and end. No one else attains, only the Kshetrajna attains, to that which is the highest and great and which transcend the qualities and those entities which are born of the qualities. Hence one who understands duties, casting off qualities and the understanding, and having his sins destroyed, and transcending the qualities, enters the Kshetrajna. One that is free from all pairs of opposites, that never bends his head to any one, that is divested of Swaha, that is immovable, and homeless, is the Kshetrajna. He is the Supreme Lord.’
“Brahmana said, ‘I shall now tell you truly about all that which has a beginning, middle, and end, and which is endued with name and characteristics, together with the means of apprehension. It has been said that the Day was first, Then arose Night. The Months are said to have the lighted fortnights first. The constellations have Sravana for their first; the Seasons have that of dews (viz., Winter) for their first. Earth is the source of all smells; and Water of all tastes. The solar light is the source of all colours: the Wind of all sensations of touch. Likewise, of sound the source is space (or Ether). These are the qualities of elements. I shall, after this, declare that which is the first and the highest of all entities. The sun is the first of all lighted bodies. Fire is said to be the first of all the elements. Savitri is the first of all branches of learning. Prajapati is the first of all the deities. The syllable Om is the first of all the Vedas, and the life-wind Prana is the first of all winds. All that is called Savitri which is prescribed in this world.124 The Gayatri is the first of all metres; of all (sacrificial) animals the first is the goat. Kine are the first of all quadrupeds. The twiceborn ones are the first of all human beings. The hawk is the first of all birds. Of sacrifices the first is the pouring of clarified butter on the fire. Of all reptiles the first, O foremost of regenerate ones, is the snake. The Krita is the first of all the Yugas; there is no doubt in this. Gold is the first of all precious things. Barley is the first of all plants. Food is the first of all things to be eaten or swallowed. Of all liquid substances to be drunk, water is the foremost. Of all immobile entities without distinction, Plaksha is said to be the first, that ever holy field of Brahman. Of all the Prajapatis I am the first. There is no doubt in this. Of inconceivable soul, the self-existent Vishnu is said to be my superior.125 Of all the mountains the great Meru is said to be the first-born. Of all the cardinal and subsidiary points of the horizon, the eastern is said to be the foremost and first-born. Ganga of three courses is said to be the firstborn of all rivers. Likewise, of all wells and reservoirs of waters, the ocean is said to be the first-born. Iswara is the supreme Lord of all the deities and Danavas and ghostly beings and Pisachas, and snakes and Makshasas and human beings and Kinnaras and Yakshas. The great Vishnu, who is full of Brahma, than whom there is no higher being in the three worlds, is the first of all the universe. Of all the modes of life, that of the householder is the first. Of this there is no doubt. The Unmanifest is the source of all the worlds as, indeed, that is the end of every thing. Days end with the sun’s setting and Nights with the sun’s rising. The end of pleasure is always sorrow, and the end of sorrow is always pleasure. All accumulations have exhaustion for their end, and all ascent have falls for their end. All associations have dissociations for their end, and life has death for its end. All action ends in destruction, and all that is born is certain to meet with death. Every mobile and immobile thing in this world is transient. Sacrifice, gift, penances, study, vows, observances,—all these have destruction for their end. Of Knowledge, there is no end. Hence, one that is possessed of a tranquil soul, that has subjugated his senses, that is freed from the sense of meum, that is devoid of egoism, is released from all sins by pure knowledge.’
“Brahmana said, ‘The wheel of life moves on. It has the understanding for its strength; the mind for the pole (on which it rests); the group of senses for its bonds, the (five) great elements for its nave, and home for its circumference.126 It is overwhelmed by decrepitude and grief, and it has diseases and calamities for its progeny. That wheel relates in time and place. It has toil and exercise for its noise. Day and Night are the rotations of that wheel. It is encircled by heat and cold. Pleasure and pain fire its joints, and hunger and thirst are the nails fixed into it. Sun-shine and shade are the ruts (it causes). It is capable of being agitated during even such a short space of time as is taken up by the opening and the closing of the eyelid. It is enveloped in the terrible waters of delusion. It is ever revolving and void of consciousness. It is measured by months and half-months. It is not uniform (being ever-changing), and moves through all the worlds. Penances and vows are its mud. Passion’s force is its mover. It is illuminated by the great egoism, and is sustained by the qualities. Vexations (caused by the non-acquisition of what is desired) are the fastenings that bind it around. It revolves in the midst of grief and destruction. It is endued with actions and the instruments of action. It is large and is extended by attachments. It is rendered unsteady by cupidity and desire. It is produced by variegated Ignorance. It is attended upon by fear and delusion, and is the cause of the delusion of all beings. It moves towards joy and pleasure, and has desire and wrath for its possession. It is made up of entities beginning with Mahat and ending with the gross elements. It is characterised by production and destruction going on ceaselessly. Its speed is like that of the mind, and it has the mind for its boundary.127 This wheel of life that is associated with pairs of opposites and devoid of consciousness, the universe with the very immortals should cast away, abridge, and check. That man who always understands accurately the motion and stoppage of this wheel of life, is never seen to be deluded, among all creatures. Freed from all impressions, divested of all pairs of opposites, released from all sins, he attains to the highest goal. The householder, the Brahmacharin, the forest recluse and the mendicant,—these four modes of life have all been said to have the householder’s mode for their foundation. Whatever system of rules is prescribed in this world, their observance is beneficial. Such observance has always been highly spoken of. He who has been first cleansed by ceremonies, who has duly observed vows, who belongs in respect of birth to a race possessed of high qualifications, and who understands the Vedas, should return (from his preceptor’s house).128 Always devoted to his wedded spouse, conducting himself after the manner of the good, with his senses under subjugation, and full of faith, one should in this world perform the five sacrifices. He who eats what remains after feeding deities and guests, who is devoted to the observance of Vedic rites, who duly performs according to his means sacrifices and gifts, who is not unduly active with his hands and feet, who is not unduly active with his eye, who is devoted to penances, who is not unduly active with his speech and limits, comes under the category of Sishta or the good. One should always bear the sacred thread, wear white (clean) clothes, observe pure vows, and should always associate with good men, making gifts and practising self-restraint. One should subjugate one’s lust and stomach, practise universal compassion, and be characterised by behaviour that befits the good. One should bear a bamboo-stick, and a water-pot filled with water. Having studied, one should teach; likewise should also make sacrifices himself and officiate at the sacrifices of others. One should also make gifts made to oneself. Verily, one’s conduct, should be characterised by these six acts. Know that three of these acts should constitute the livelihood of the Brahmanas, viz., teaching (pupils), officiating at the sacrifices of others, and the acceptance of gifts from a person that is pure. As to the other duties that remain, numbering three, viz., making of gifts, study, and sacrifice, these are accompanied by merit.129 Observant of penances, self-restrained, practising universal compassion and forgiveness, and looking upon all creatures with an equal eye, the man that is conversant with duties should never be heedless with regard to those three acts. The learned Brahmana of pure heart, who observes the domestic mode of life and practises rigid vows, thus devoted and thus discharging all duties to the best of his power, succeeds in conquering Heaven.’
“Brahmana said, ‘Duly studying thus to the best of his power, in the way described above, and likewise living as a Brahmacharin, one that is devoted to the duties of one’s own order, possessed of learning, observant of penances, and with all the senses under restraint, devoted to what is agreeable and beneficial to the preceptor, steady in practising the duty of truth, and always pure, should, with the permission of the preceptor, eat one’s food without decrying it. He should eat Havishya made from what is obtained in alms, and should stand, sit, and take exercise (as directed).130 He should pour libations on the fire twice a day, having purified himself and with concentrated mind. He should always bear a staff made of Vilwa or Palasa.131 The robes of the regenerate man should be linen, or of cotton, or deer-skin, or a cloth that is entirely brown-red. There should also be a girdle made of Munja-grass. He should bear matted locks on head, and should perform his ablutions every day. He should bear the sacred thread, study the scriptures, divest himself of cupidity, and be steady in the observance of vows. He should also gratify the deities with oblations of pure water, his mind being restrained the while. Such a Brahmacharin is worthy of applause. With vital seed drawn up and mind concentrated, one that is thus devoted succeeds in conquering Heaven. Having attained to the highest seat, he has not to return to birth. Cleansed by all purificatory rites and having lived as a Brahmacharin, one should next go out of one’s village and next live as an ascetic in the woods, having renounced (all attachments). Clad in animal skins or barks of trees he should perform his ablutions morning and evening. Always living within the forest, he should never return to an inhabited place. Honouring guests when they come, he should give them shelter, and himself subsist upon fruits and leaves and common roots, and Syamaka. He should, without being slothful subsist on such water as he gets, and air, and all forest products. He should live upon these, in due order, according to the regulations of his initiation.132 He should honour the guest that comes to him with alms of fruits and roots. He should then, without sloth, always give whatever other food he may have. Restraining speech the while, he should eat after gratifying deities and guests. His mind should be free from envy. He should eat little, and depend always on the deities. Self-restrained, practising universal compassion, and possessed of forgiveness, he should wear both beard and hair (without submitting to the operations of the barber). Performing sacrifices and devoting himself to the study of the scriptures, he should be steady in the observance of the duty of truth. With body always in a state of purity, endued with cleverness, ever dwelling in the forest, with concentrated mind, and senses in subjection, a forest-recluse, thus devoting himself, would conquer Heaven. A householder, or Brahmacharin, or forest-recluse, who would wish to achieve Emancipation, should have recourse to that which has been called the best course of conduct. Having granted unto all creatures the pledge of utter abstention from harm, he should thoroughly renounce all action. He should contribute to the happiness of all creatures, practise universal friendliness, subjugate all his senses, and be an ascetic. Subsisting upon food obtained without asking and without trouble, and that has come to him spontaneously, he should make a fire. He should make his round of mendicancy in a place whence smoke has ceased to curl up and where all the inhabitants have already eaten.133 The person who is conversant with the conduct that leads to Emancipation should seek for alms after the vessels (used in cooking) have been washed. He should never rejoice when he obtains anything, and never be depressed if he obtains nothing. Seeking just what is needed for supporting life, he should, with concentrated mind, go about his round of mendicancy, waiting for the proper time. He should not wish for earnings in common with others, nor eat when honoured. The man who leads the life of mendicancy should conceal himself for avoiding gifts with honour. While eating, he should not eat such food as forms the remains of another’s dish, nor such as is bitter, or astringent, or pungent. He should not also eat such kinds of food as have a sweet taste. He should eat only so much as is needed to keep him alive. The person conversant with Emancipation should obtain his subsistence without obstructing any creature. In his rounds of mendicancy he should never follow another (bent on the same purpose). He should never parade his piety; he should move about in a secluded place, freed from passion. Either an empty house, or a forest, or the foot of some tree, or a river, or a mountain-cave, he should have recourse to for shelter. In summer he should pass only one night in an inhabited place; in the season of rains he may live in one place. He should move about the world like a worm, his path pointed out by the Sun. From compassion for creatures, he should walk on the Earth with his eyes directed towards it. He should never make any accumulations and should avoid residence with friends. The man conversant with Emancipation should every day do all his acts with pure water. Such a man should always perform his ablutions with water that has been fetched up (from the river or the tank).134 Abstention from harm, Brahmacharyya, truth, simplicity, freedom from wrath, freedom from decrying others, self-restraint, and habitual freedom from backbiting: these eight vows, with senses restrained, he should steadily pursue. He should always practise a sinless mode of conduct, that is not deceptive and not crooked. Freed from attachment, he should always make one who comes as a guest eat (at least) a morsel of food. He should eat just enough for livelihood, for the support of life. He should eat only such food as has been obtained by righteous means, and should not pursue the dictates of desire. He should never accept any other thing than food and clothing only. He should, again, accept only as much as he can eat and nothing more. He should not be induced to accept gifts from others, nor should he make gifts to others. Owing to the helplessness of creatures, the man of wisdom should always share with others. He should not appropriate what belongs to others, nor should he take anything without being asked. He should not, having enjoyed anything become so attached to it as to desire to have it once more. One should take only earth and water and pebbles and leaves and flowers and fruits, that are not owned by any body, as they come, when one desires to do any act. One should not live by the occupation of an artisan, nor should one covet gold. One should not hate, nor teach (one that does not seek to be taught); nor should one have any belongings. One should eat only what is consecrated by faith. One should abstain from controversies. One should follow that course of conduct which has been said to be nectarine. One should never be attached to anything, and should never enter into relations of intimacy with any creature. One should not perform, nor cause to perform, any such action as involves expectation of fruit or destruction of life or the hoarding of wealth or articles. Rejecting all objects, content with a very little, one should wander about (homeless) pursuing an equal behaviour towards all creatures mobile and immobile. One should never annoy another being; not should one be annoyed with another. He who is trusted by all creatures is regarded as the foremost of those persons that understand Emancipation. One should not think of the past, nor feel anxious about the future. One should disregard the present, biding time, with concentrated mind.135 One should never defile anything by eye, mind, or speech. Nor should one do anything that is wrong, openly or in secret. Withdrawing one’s senses like the tortoise withdrawing its limbs, one should attenuate one’s senses and mind, cultivate a thoroughly peaceful understanding, and seek to master every topic. Freed from all pairs of opposites, never bending one’s head in reverence, abstaining from the rites requiring the utterance of Swaha, one should be free from mineness, and egoism. With cleansed soul, one should never seek to acquire what one has not and protect what one has. Free from expectations, divested of qualities, wedded to tranquillity, one should be free from all attachments and should depend on none. Attached to one’s own self and comprehending all topics, one becomes emancipated without doubt. Those who perceive the self, which is without hands and feet and back, which is without head and without stomach, which is free from the operation of all qualities, which is absolute, untainted, and stable, which is without smell, without taste, and touch, without colour, and without sound, which is to be comprehended (by close study), which is unattached, which is without flesh, which is free from anxiety, unfading, and divine, and, lastly, which though dwelling in a house resides in all creatures, succeed in escaping death. There the understanding reaches not, nor the senses, nor the deities, nor the Vedas, nor sacrifices, nor the regions (of superior bliss), nor penance, nor vows. The attainment to it by those who are possessed of knowledge is said to be without comprehension of symbols. Hence, the man who knows the properties of that which is destitute of symbols, should practise the truths of piety.136 The learned man, betaking himself to a life of domesticity, should adopt that conduct which is conformable to true knowledge. Though undeluded, he should practise piety after the manner of one that is deluded, without finding fault with it. Without finding fault with the practices of the good, he should himself adopt such a conduct for practising piety as may induce others to always disrespect him. That man who is endued with such a conduct is said to be the foremost of ascetics. The senses, the objects of the senses, the (five) great elements, mind, understanding, egoism, the unmanifest, Purusha also, after comprehending these duly with the aid of correct inferences, one attains to Heaven, released from all bonds. One conversant with the truth, understanding these at the time of the termination of his life, should meditate, exclusively resting on one point. Then, depending on none, one attains to Emancipation. Freed from all attachments, like the wind in space, with his accumulations exhausted, without distress of any kind, he attains to his highest goal.’
“Brahmana said. ‘The ancients who were utterers of certain truth, say that Renunciation is penance. Brahmanas, dwelling in that which has Brahman for its origin, understand Knowledge to be high Brahman.137 Brahman is very far off, and its attainments depends upon a knowledge of the Vedas. It is free from all pairs of opposites, it is divested of all qualities; it is eternal; it is endued with unthinkable qualities: it is supreme. It is by knowledge and penance that those endued with wisdom behold that which is the highest. Verily, they that are of untainted minds, that are cleansed of every sin, and that have transcended all passion and darkness (succeed in beholding it). They who are always devoted to renunciation, and who are conversant with the Vedas, succeed in attaining to the supreme Lord who is identical with the path of happiness and peace, by the aid of penance. Penance, it has been said, is light. Conduct leads to piety. Knowledge is said to be the highest. Renunciation is the best penance. He who understands self through accurate determination of all topics, which is unperturbed, which is identical with Knowledge, and which resides in all entities, succeeds in going everywhere. The learned man who beholds association, and dissociation, and unity in diversity, is released from misery. He who never desires for anything, who despises nothing, becomes eligible, even when dwelling in this world, for assimilation with Brahman. He who is conversant with the truths about qualities of Pradhana, and understands the Pradhana as existing in all entities who is free from mineness and egoism, without doubt becomes emancipated. He who is freed from all pairs of opposites, who does not bend his head to any body, who has transcended the rites of Swadha, succeeds by the aid of tranquillity alone in attaining to that which is free from pairs of opposites, which is eternal, and which is divested of qualities. Abandoning all action, good or bad, developed from qualities, and casting off both truth and falsehood, a creature, without doubt, becomes emancipated. Having the unmanifest for the seed of its origin, with the understanding for its trunk, with the great principle of egoism for its assemblage of boughs, with the senses for the cavities of its little sprouts, with the (five) great elements for its large branches, the objects of the senses for its smaller branches, with leaves that are ever present, with flowers that always adorn it and with fruits both agreeable and disagreeable always produced, is the eternal tree of Brahman which forms the support of all creatures. Cutting and piercing that tree with knowledge of truth as the sword, the man of wisdom, abandoning the bonds which are made of attachment and which cause birth, decrepitude and death, and freeing himself from mineness and egoism, without doubt, becomes emancipated. These are the two birds, which are immutable, which are friends, and which should be known as unintelligent. That other who is different from these two is called the Intelligent. When the inner self, which is destitute of knowledge of nature, which is (as it were) unintelligent, becomes conversant with that which is above nature, then, understanding the Kshetra, and endued with an intelligence that transcends all qualities and apprehends everything, one becomes released from all sins.’
“Brahmana said, ‘Some regard Brahman as a tree. Some regard Brahman as a great forest. Some regard Brahman as unmanifest. Some regard it as transcendant and freed from every distress. They think that all this is produced from and absorbed into the unmanifest. He who, even for the short space of time that is taken by a single breath, when his end comes, becomes equable, attaining to the self, fits himself for immortality. Restraining the self in the self, even for the space of a wink, one goes, through the tranquillity of the self, to that which constitutes the inexhaustible acquisition of those that are endued with knowledge. Restraining the life-breaths again and again by controlling them according to the method called Pranayama, by the ten or the twelve, he attains to that which is beyond the four and twenty. Thus having first acquired a tranquil soul, one attains to the fruition of all one’s wishes.138 When the quality of Goodness predominates in that which arises from the Unmanifest, it becomes fit for immortality. They who are conversant with Goodness applaud it highly, saying that there is nothing higher than Goodness. By inference we know that Purusha is dependent on Goodness. Ye best of regenerate ones, it is impossible to attain to Purusha by any other means. Forgiveness, courage, abstention from harm, equability, truth, sincerity, knowledge, gift, and renunciation, are said to be the characteristics of that course of conduct which arises out of Goodness. It is by this inference that the wise believe in the identity of Purusha and Goodness, There is no doubt in this. Some learned men that are devoted to knowledge assert the unity of Kshetrajna and Nature. This, however, is not correct. It is said that Nature is different from Purusha: that also will imply a want to consideration. Truly, distinction and association should be known (as applying to Purusha and Nature). Unity and diversity are likewise laid down. That is the doctrine of the learned. In the Gnat and Udumbara both unity and diversity are seen. As a fish in water is different from it, such is the relation of the two (viz., Purusha and Nature). Verily, their relation is like that of water drops on the leaf of the lotus.’
“The preceptor continued, ‘Thus addressed, those learned Brahmanas, who were the foremost of men, felt some doubts and (therefore) they once more questioned the Grandsire (of all creatures).’139
“The Rishis said,—‘Which among the duties is deemed to be the most worthy of being performed? The diverse modes of duty, we see, are contradictory. Some say that (it remains) after the body (is destroyed). Others say that it does not exist. Some say that everything is doubtful. Others have no doubts.140 Some say that the eternal (principle) is not eternal. Some say that it exists, and some that it exists not. Some say it is of one form, or two-fold, and others that it is mixed. Some Brahmanas who are conversant with Brahman and utterers of truth regard it to be one. Others, that it is distinct; and others again that it is manifold. Some say that both time and space exist; others, that it is not so. Some bear matted locks on their heads and are clad in deer-skins. Others have shaven crowns and go entirely naked. Some are for entire abstention from bathing, and some for bathing. Such differences of views may be seen among deities and Brahmanas conversant with Brahman and endued with perceptions of truth. Some are for taking food; while some are devoted to fasts. Some applaud action; others applaud perfect tranquillity. Some applaud Emancipation; some, various kinds of enjoyments. Some desire diverse kinds of wealth; some, poverty. Some say that means should be resorted to; others, that this is not so. Some are devoted to a life of abstention from harm; others are addicted to destruction. Some are for merit and glory, others say that this is not so. Some are devoted to goodness; others are established on doubt. Some are for pleasure; some are for pain. Other people say that it is meditation. Other learned Brahmanas say that it is Sacrifice. Others, again, say that it is gift. Others applaud penances; others, the study of the scriptures. Some say that knowledge and renunciation (should be followed). Others who ponder on the elements say that it is Nature. Some extol everything; others, nothing. O foremost one of the deities, duty being thus confused and full of contradictions of various kinds, we are deluded and unable to come to any conclusion. People stand up for acting, saying,—This is good,—This is good—He that is attached to a certain duty applauds that duty as the best. For this reason our understanding breaks down and our mind is distracted. We therefore, wish, O best of all beings, to know what is good. It behoves thee to declare to us, after this, what is (so) mysterious, and what is the cause of the connection between the Kshetrajna and Nature. Thus addressed by those learned Brahmanas, the illustrious creator of the worlds, endued with great intelligence and possessed of a righteous soul, declared to them accurately what they asked.’
“Brahmana said, ‘Well then, I shall declare to you what you ask. Learn what was told by a preceptor to a disciple that came unto him. Hearing it all, do you settle properly (what it should be). Abstention from harming any creature is regarded as the foremost of all duties. That is the highest seat, free from anxiety and constituting an indication of holiness. The ancients who were beholders of the certain truth, have said that knowledge is the highest happiness. Hence, one becomes released of all sins by pure knowledge. They that are engaged in destruction and harm, they that are infidels in conduct, have to go to Hell in consequence of their being endued with cupidity and delusion. Those who, without procrastination, perform acts, impelled thereto by expectation become repeatedly born in this world and sport in joy. Those men who, endued with learning and wisdom, perform acts with faith, free from expectations, and possessed of concentration of mind, are said to perceive clearly. I shall, after this, declare how the association and the dissociation takes place of Kshetrajna and Nature. Ye best of men, listen. The relation here is said to be that between the object and the subject.141 Purusha is always the subject; and Nature has been said to be the object. It has been explained, by what has been said in a previous portion of the discourse where it has been pointed out, that they exist after the manner of the Gnat and the Udumbara. An object of enjoyment as it is, Nature is unintelligent and knows nothing. He, however, who enjoys it, is said to know it. Kshetrajna being enjoyer, Nature is enjoyed. The wise have said that Nature is always made up of pairs of opposites (and consists of qualities). Kshetrajna is, on the other hand, destitute of pairs of opposites, devoid of parts, eternal, and free, as regards its essence, from qualities. He resides in everything alike, and walks, with knowledge. He always enjoys Nature, as a lotus leaf (enjoys) water. Possessed of knowledge, he is never tainted even if brought into contact with all the qualities. Without doubt, Purusha is unattached like the unsteady drop of water on the lotus-leaf. This is the certain conclusion (of the scriptures) that Nature is the property of Purusha. The relation between these two (viz., Purusha and Nature) is like that existing between matter and its maker. As one goes into a dark place taking a light with him, even so those who wish for the Supreme proceed with the light of Nature.142 As long as matter and quality (which are like oil and wick) exist, so long the light shines. The flame, however, becomes extinguished when matter and quality (or oil and wick) are exhausted. Thus Nature is manifest; while Purusha is said to be unmanifest. Understand this, ye learned Brahmanas. Well, I shall now tell you something more. With even a thousand (explanations), one that has a bad understanding succeeds not in acquiring knowledge. One, however, that is endued with intelligence succeeds in attaining happiness, through only a fourth share (of explanations). Thus should the accomplishment of duty be understood as dependent on means. For the man of intelligence, having knowledge of means, succeeds in attaining to supreme felicity. As some man travelling along a road without provisions for his journey, proceeds with great discomfort and may even meet with destruction before he reaches the end of his journey, even so should it be known that ill acts there may not be fruits.143 The examination of what is agreeable and what is disagreeable in one’s own self is productive of benefit.144 The progress in life of a man that is devoid of the perception of truth is like that of a man who rashly journeys on a long road unseen before. The progress, however, of those that are endued with intelligence is like that of men who journey along the same road, riding on a car unto which are yoked (fleet) steeds and which moves with swiftness. Having ascended to the top of a mountain, one should not cast one’s eyes on the surface of the earth.145 Seeing a man, even though travelling on a car, afflicted and rendered insensible by pain, the man of intelligence journeys on a car as long as there is a car path.146 The man of learning, when he sees the car path end, abandons his car for going on. Even thus proceeds the man of intelligence who is conversant with the ordinances respecting truth and Yoga (or Knowledge and Devotion). Conversant with the qualities, such a man proceeds, comprehending what is next and next.147 As one that plunges, without a boat, into the terrible ocean, with only one’s two arms, through delusion, undoubtedly wishes for destruction; while the man of wisdom, conversant with distinctions, goes into the water, with a boat equipt with oars, and soon crosses the lake without fatigue, and having crossed it attains to the other shore and casts off the boat, freed from the thought of meum. This has been already explained by the illustration of the car and the pedestrian. One who has been overwhelmed by delusion in consequence of attachment, adheres to it like a fisherman to his boat. Overcome by the idea of meum, one wanders within its narrow range. After embarking on a boat it is not possible in moving about on land. Similarly, it is not possible in moving about on water after one has mounted on a car. There are thus various actions with regard to various objects. And as action is performed in this world, so does it result to those that perform them. That which is void of smell, void of taste, and void of touch and sound, that which is meditated upon by the sages with the aid of their understanding, is said to be Pradhana. Now, Pradhana is unmanifest. A development of the unmanifest is Mahat. A development of Pradhana when it has become Mahat is Egoism. From egoism is produced the development called the great elements. And of the great elements respectively, the objects of sense are said to be the developments. The unmanifest is of the nature of seed. It is productive in its essence. It has been heard by us that the great soul has the virtues of a seed, and that is a product. Egoism is of the nature of seed and is a product again and again. And the five great elements are of the nature of seed and products. The objects of the five great elements are endued with the nature of seed, and yield products. These have Chitta for their property. Among them, space has one quality; wind is said to have two. Light, it is said, is endued with three qualities; and water as possessed of four qualities. Earth, teeming with mobiles and immobiles, should be known as possessed of five qualities. She is a goddess that is the source of all entities and abounds with examples of the agreeable and the disagreeable. Sound, likewise touch, colour, taste, and smell numbering the fifth,—these are the five qualities of earth, ye foremost of regenerate persons. Smell always belongs to earth, and smell is said to be of various kinds. I shall state at length the numerous qualities of smell. Smell is agreeable or disagreeable, sweet, sour, pungent, diffusive and compact, oily and dry, and clear. Thus smell, which belongs to the earth, should be known as of ten kinds.148 Sound, touch, likewise colour, and taste have been said to be the qualities of water. I shall now speak of the qualities of Taste. Taste has been said to be of various kinds. Sweet, sour, pungent, bitter, astringent, and saline likewise. Taste, which has been said to appertain to water, is thus of six varieties. Sound, touch, and likewise colour,—these are the three qualities which light is said to be possessed of. Colour is the quality of light, and colour is said to be of various kinds. White, dark, likewise red, blue, yellow, and grey also, and short, long, minute, gross, square and circular, of these twelve varieties in colour which belongs to light. These should be understood by Brahmanas venerable for years, conversant with duties, and truthful in speech. Sound and touch should be known as the two qualities of wind. Touch has been said to be of various kinds. Rough, cold and like wise hot, tender and clear, hard, oily, smooth, slippery, painful and soft, of twelve kinds is touch, which is the quality of wind, as said by Brahmanas crowned with success, conversant with duties, and possessed of a sight of truth. Now space has only one quality, and that is said to be sound. I shall speak at length of the numerous qualities of sound. Shadaja, Rishabha, together with Gandhara, Madhyama, and likewise Panchama; after this should be known Nishada, and then Dhaivata.149 Besides these, there are agreeable sounds and disagreeable sounds, compact, and of many ingredients. Sound which is born of space should thus be known to be of ten kinds. Space is the highest of the (five) elements. Egoism is above it. Above egoism is understanding. Above understanding is the soul. Above the soul is the Unmanifest. Above the Unmanifest is Purusha. One who knows which is superior and inferior among existent creatures, who is conversant with the ordinances in respect of all acts, and who constitutes himself the soul of all creatures, attains to the Unfading Soul.’
“Brahmana said, ‘Since the mind is the ruler of these five elements, in the matter of controlling and bringing them forth, the mind, therefore, is the soul of the elements. The mind always presides over the great elements. The understanding proclaims power, and is called the Kshetrajna.150 The mind yokes the senses as a charioteer yokes good steeds. The senses, the mind, and the understanding are always joined to the Kshetrajna. The individual soul, mounting the chariot to which big steeds are yoked and which has the understanding for the reins, drives about on all sides. With all the senses attached to it (for steeds), with the mind for the charioteer, and the understanding for the eternal reins, exists the great Brahman-car. Verily, that man endued with learning and wisdom who always understands the Brahman-car in this way, is never overwhelmed by delusion in the midst of all entities. This forest of Brahman begins with the Unmanifest and ends with gross objects. It includes mobile and immobile entities, and receives light from the radiance of the sun and the moon, and is adorned with planets and constellations. It is decked, again, on all sides with nets of rivers and mountains. It is always embellished likewise by diverse kinds of waters. It is the means of subsistence for all creatures. It is, again, the goal of all living creatures. In that forest the Kshetrajna always moves about. Whatever entities exist in this world, mobile and immobile, are the very first to be dissolved away. After this (are dissolved) those qualities which compose all entities. After the qualities (are dissolved) the five elements. Such is the gradation of entities. Gods, men, Gandharvas, Pisachas, Asuras, and Rakshasas, have all sprung from Nature, and not from actions, not from a cause. The Brahmanas, who are creators of the universe, are born here again and again. All that springs from them dissolves, when the time comes, in those very five great elements like billows in the ocean. All the great elements are beyond those elements that compose the universe. He that is released from those five elements goes to the highest goal. The puissant Prajapati created all this by the mind only. After the same manner Rishis attained to the status of deities by the aid of penance. After the same manner, those who have achieved perfection, who were capable of the concentration of Yoga, and who subsist on fruits and roots, likewise perceive the triple world by penance. Medicines and herbs and all the diverse sciences are acquired by means of penance alone, for all acquisition has penance for its root. Whatever is difficult of acquisition, difficult to learn, difficult to vanquish, difficult to pass through, are all achievable by penance, for penance is irresistible. One that drinks alcoholic liquors, one that slays a Brahmana, one that steals, one that destroys a foetus, one that violates one’s preceptor’s bed, becomes cleansed of such sin by penance well performed. Human beings, Pitris, deities, (sacrificial) animals, beasts and birds, and all other creatures mobile and immobile, by always devoting themselves to penances, become crowned with success by penance alone. In like manner, the deities, endued with great powers of illusion, have attained to Heaven. Those who without idleness perform acts with expectations, being full of egoism, approach the presence of Prajapati. Those high-souled ones, however, who are devoid of mineness and freed from egoism through the pure contemplation of Yoga, attain to the great and highest regions. Those who best understand the self, having attained to Yoga contemplation and having their minds always cheerful, enter into the unmanifest accumulation of happiness. Those persons who are freed from the idea of mineness as also from egoism and who are reborn after having attained to the fullness of Yoga contemplation, enter (when they depart from such life) into the highest region reserved for the great, viz., the Unmanifest. Born from that same unmanifest (principle) and attaining to the same once more, freed from the qualities of Darkness and Passion, and adhering to only the quality of Goodness, one becomes released from every sin and creates all things.151 Such a one should be known to be Kshetrajna in perfection. He that knows him, knows the Veda.152 Attaining to pure knowledge from (restraining) the mind, the ascetic should sit self-restrained. One necessarily becomes that on which one’s mind is set. This is an eternal mystery. That which has the unmanifest for its beginning and gross qualities for its end, has been said to have Ne-science for its indication. But do you understand that whose nature is destitute of qualities? Of two syllables is Mrityu (death); of three syllable is the eternal Brahman. Mineness is death, and the reverse of mineness is the eternal.153 Some men who are led by bad understanding applaud action. Those, however, that are numbered among the high-souled ancients never applaud action. By action is a creature born with body which is made up of the sixteen.154 (True) Knowledge swallows up Purusha (Self with consciousness of body). Even this is what is highly acceptable to eaters of Amrita.155 Therefore, those whose vision extends to the other end (of the ocean of life) have no attachment for actions. This Purusha, however, is full of knowledge and not full of action.156 He dies not who understands Him that is immortal, immutable, incomprehensible, eternal and indestructible—Him that is the restrained Soul and that transcends all attachments. He who thus understands the Soul to which there is nothing prior which is uncreated, immutable, unconquered, and incomprehensible even to those that are eaters of nectar, certainly becomes himself incomprehensible and immortal through these means. Expelling all impressions and restraining the Soul in the Soul, he understands that auspicious Brahman than which nothing greater exists. Upon the understanding becoming clear, he succeeds in attaining to tranquillity. The indication of tranquillity is like what takes place in a dream.157 This is the goal of these emancipated ones who are intent on knowledge. They behold all those movements which are born of successive developments.158 This is the goal of those who are unattached to the world, This is the eternal usage. This is the acquisition of men of knowledge. This is the uncensured mode of conduct. This goal is capable of being attained by one that is alike to all creatures, that is without attachment, that is without expectations, and that looks equally on all things. I have now declared everything to you, ye foremost of regenerate Rishis. Do you act in this way forthwith; you will then acquire success.’
“The preceptor continued, ‘Thus addressed by the preceptor Brahma, those high-souled sages acted accordingly and then attained to many regions (of great felicity). Do thou also, O blessed one, duly act according to the words of Brahma as declared by me, O thou of pure soul. Thou wilt then attain to success.’
“Vasudeva said,—‘Thus instructed in the principles of high religion by the preceptor, the pupil, O son of Kunti, did everything accordingly, and then attained to Emancipation. Having done all that he should have done, the pupil, O perpetuator of Kuru’s race, attained to that seat repairing whither one has not to grieve.’
“Arjuna said, ‘Who, indeed, was that Brahmana, O Krishna, and who the pupil, O Janarddana. Truly, if it is fit to be heard by me, do thou then tell me, O lord!’
“Vasudeva said, ‘I am the preceptor, O mighty-armed one, and know that the mind is my pupil. Through my affection for thee, O Dhananjaya, I have related this mystery to thee. If thou hast any love for me, O perpetuator of Kuru’s race, do thou then, after having heard these instructions relating to the Soul, always act duly (according to them), O thou of excellent vows. Then when this religion has been duly practised, O mower of foes, thou wilt become freed from all thy sins and attain to absolute emancipation. Formerly, when the hour of battle came, this very religion, O thou of mighty arms, was declared by me (to thee)! Do thou, therefore, set thy mind on it. And now, O chief of Bharata’s race, it is long since that I saw the lord my sire. I wish to see him again, with thy leave, O Phalguna!’
“Vaisampayana continued, ‘Unto Krishna who had said so, Dhananjaya said in reply,—We shall go to-day from this town to the city called after the elephant. Meeting king Yudhishthira of virtuous soul there, and informing him (of thy intention) thou shalt then repair to thy own city!’”
[Here ends the Anugītā]
1. Bhutanam etc. is explained by Nilakantha as no swasya, and the vocative vibho is taken as Paramatman.
2. Agatagamam implies, as explained by the commentator, praptasastrarahasyam.
3. Nirakarasritena is explained by Nilakantha as Asamprajnatas-samadhi-samadhigamya Brhamabhavasritena, implying reliance on Brahman by having recourse to Samadhi or a suspension of all functions of both body and mind (through Yoga) and arrival at that state which is one of perfect unconsciousness.
4. The dissolution here spoken of is the Mahapralaya and not the Khanda or Avantara Pralayas. Till then, the sage will look upon all beings, i.e., their repeated migrations.
5. The commentator explains that altogether seven questions are asked. The first is about the dissolution of the body. The second relates to the manner of re-acquiring a body. The third has reference to the manner in which rebirth may be avoided. The fourth relates to the causes that operate for giving a body to Jiva. By Prakriti is meant Nature or that Nescience which is the cause of body. The fifth relates to the Anyat or Param, viz., how final Emancipation or absorption into Brahman takes place. The sixth pertains to the manner in which the fruits of acts are enjoyed or endured. The seventh enquires after the way in which acts attach to Jiva even when devoid of a body.
6. Kala here means both the season of the year and the age of the person. Food that is beneficial in summer is not so in winter, or that which is beneficial in youth is otherwise at old age. All the texts that I have seen have viditwa and not aviditiwa which Telang takes in his version for the Sacred Books of the East. Kala is always interpreted by the commentators of Charaka as referring to either period of life or period of the year. This, as well as the following verses, relates to the laws of health as expounded by Charaka.
7. The faults are three, viz., Wind, Bile, and Phlegm. When existing in a state of harmony, they produce health. When one is excited or two, or all, indisposition sets in. They are called dosha or faults, because of their liability to be excited and product, disease. Telang, not suspecting that the whole passage is a reproduction of a passage in the ancient work edited by Charaka, misunderstands some expressions and wrongly renders doshan into ‘disorders.’
8. Jivitam in the second line seems to be an objective of sariram in the first.
9. Garbha-sankramane is explained by Nilakantha as ‘entering the foetus in the womb after casting off the body appertaining to the other world. I think Telang is not correct in his version of 19 and 20. Atisarpana can never imply ‘exhaustion’; hence, karmanam can never be the reading he adopts. Besides tadrisam seems to settle the question. The tortures felt at death are similar to those at birth.
10. Sambutatwam is sanhatatwam. Niyachachati is nasyyati Vayu is understood in the second line, or that in the first line of the next verse may be taken as the nom. of niyachachati.
11. Pachante is phalam prayachhanti.
12. Nilakantha explains this verse in a different way. According to him it means,–‘in consequence of his subtlety and imperceptibility, Jiva does not become attached to anything. For this reason, one possessed of a knowledge of Brahman, having become cognisant of Brahman and attained the great object of his desire, succeeds in becoming so (i.e., dissociated from all things). This interpretation seems to be a little far-fetched.
13. Chetasa indicates upadhibhutena, for previously, Jiva was without upadhi. Pranasthaneshu implies Indriyagolokeshu or those vital parts which constitute the seats of the senses. Chetana does not, I think, mean ‘consciousness.’ It implies mind.
14. Causes them to grow. I do not follow Nilakantha here.
15. Nilakantha points out that one of the cha’s indicates the reason or cause. Hence, the use of ‘therefore’ in the text.
16. Vikrita does not necessarily mean degraded. It implies ‘changed or altered.’ Jiva, who is pure and immaculate, takes birth in this world, failing away from his true status of Brahman owing to his acts. Acts, again, are eternal, no beginning being conceivable.
17. Parantwa-maritam-aksharam indicates two things, viz., Amritam and Aksharam. The p. 31 first line speaks of Kshara, or the material case, or body; then of that which is para or other. This other is of two kinds, viz., Amritam or suddha-chaitanyam, implying Brahman in its condition of purity; and Aksharamt or Jiva as existing in the material case. In the second line, trayanam refers to Kshara, Amrita, and Akshara. Mithunam is duality, referring to that which is composed of Kshara and Akshara. What is stated in this verse is that every Purusha is a duality, made up of Kshara and Akshara. Telang gives a different version of the verse. He ignores the word trayanam totally, and takes Mithunam as implying a couple (male and female). All the texts I have seen contain trayanam.
18. Atra purvajamnani (vishaye) yatha kaschit Medhavi etc., (vadet). seems to be the correct order of the words. Telang translates the first line differently.
19. Ekayana is the one receptacle of all things, viz., Brahman. Tushni implies ahamevedam sarvamasmityabhimanamapyakurvan i.e., ‘without even retaining the consciousness of his own identity with everything.’ Kinchikachintayan—i.e., not even thinking that he is existing. Purvam purvam parityajya implies the gradual merging of the grosser in the subtler. i.e., the successive stages of Yoga before absorption into Brahman. I follow Nilakantha.
20. The first half of the second line of 8 is read differently in the Bengal texts. Aswasthamavasam mudham implies “without ease or happiness, endued with slavery and ignorance.”
21. The Soul being destitute of these becomes Chinmatra, i.e., a pure Chit without the attributes superinduced upon it by Ne-science or ignorance.
22. Formlessness implies subtlety. “Without cause” implies increate or as identical with eternal Brahman. Dissociation from attributes while enjoying them implies an emancipate condition.
23. Nirvana, according to orthodox commentators, implies the annihilation or cessation of separate or individual existence by absorption into universal and eternal Brahman.
24. The impressions caused by objects outside self are destroyed by those belonging to contemplation. The latter, again, should be destroyed before absorption into Brahman can occur.
25. Siddham is explained as “destitute of the errors due to Ne-science.”
26. Attnanam is Chittam; atmani is dehe; charayan is antarmukham kritwa; nityam is adyantasunyam. So Nilakantha.
27. “Fixing the mind upon the soul” is that concentration which leads to Emancipation. This becomes possible in consequence of severe austerities undergone previously.
28. I expand the verse a little to make it intelligible. The sense is this: having seen the supreme Soul in Samadhi, upon awaking from it, he recognises it in the universe, i.e., regards the universe to be nothing else than the Supreme Soul.
29. This may also mean “he has none superior to him; not even he that is the Lord of the universe.”
30. The first line seems to be doubtful. The sense, as I understand it, is,—such a person becomes the god of the very gods. The causal verb karayate may be taken as equivalent to karoti.
31. I follow Nilakantha in rendering the second line. The sense is clear, viz., that one should not fall away from the practice of Yoga, tempted by the puissance that Yoga brings. Telang renders the line “one practising concentration should never become despondent.” I think, Nilakantha is right.
32. Nilakantha notes that this indicates that only that Yogin who has not advanced much may be tempted by the desire of enjoyment. He, however, who has adequately devoted himself to Yoga feels no regard for Indra himself but can turn him away like Diogenes dismissing Alexander the Great.
33. I have endeavoured to render verses 33 to 37 as literally as possible, under the guide of Nilakantha, omitting his inferences. The passage relates to the mysteries of Yoga. In the second line of 33, drishtapurvam disam, which has been rendered “that point of the compass which has the Sun behind it,” means the instructions laid down in the Vedanta as based upon Srutis. Drishtam implies “Sruti,” for it is as authoritative as anything seen. “Pura” implies a city, a citadel, or a mansion. Here it refers to the body. The avasatha within the pura refers to the chakra or nervous centres beginning with what is called the muladhara. At the time when Brahman is realised, the whole universe appears as Brahman and so nothing exists, besides Brahman, upon which the mind can then dwell. Telang, I think, is not correct in rendering manaschasya . . . vahyatah as “his mind should not any way wander outside.” The correct version would “the mind is then nowhere,” implying that at that time the mind has nothing else to dwell upon. Kayamabhyantaram is kayamabhi and antaram, i.e., both within and without the body. The several parts of the body named, beginning with teeth, etc, refer to eating and other operations, all of which influence the mind and dispose it for purity and otherwise.
34. i.e., that from which the entire universe has been created.
35. Probably, “by any of the senses.” The plural form occurs in the original.
36. This answers the questions respecting the form of the Soul, says Nilakantha.
37. I render this verse, following Nilakantha’s gloss. The second line of 50, according to that commentator, refers to the ascension of the Yogin from Brahma vested with attributes to Brahma divested of all attributes. The tam does not refer to body, as Telang takes it, but to Brahma as endued with hands and feet on all sides, etc. Deheswam dharayan means ‘restraining the mind within the body’. Kevalam Brahma is Brahma without attributes.
38. The speaker here is the regenerate visitor of Krishna. The latter is repeating the words of that visitor. In this verse, Krishna, forgetting that he is merely reciting the words of another, refers to himself as the Supreme Brahman in whom one must merge for attaining to Emancipation.
39. The second line of 56 is read variously.
40. Avichakshanam is undiscerning, in the sense of the husband’s not knowing that the interrogatrix as wife, has no other refuge than her lord with all his defects.
41. I follow Nilakantha. Telang adopts the views or Arjuna Misra and renders the first line as ‘whatever acts are seized (by the touch, or seen, or heard, etc.’) Grahyam, according to Nilakantha, implies those acts, like Diksha, etc, which are adopted with the aid of others.
42. This seat, says Nilakantha, is called Avimukta and lies between the eyebrows and the nose.
43. Nilakantha interprets this mystically. By Soma he understands the artery or duct called Ida, and by Agni the duct called Pingala. Dhira is Buddipreraka; vyavayam is sancharam. Dhirobhutani dharayan nityam vyavayam kurute is the order of the words. The sense is this: in this spot is seated Brahman; there Ida and Pingala meet; and there also is Vayu which urges the understanding and upholds all living creatures.
44. Yatra is not to be taken as a locative here. It is equivalent to yatah or for which.
45. Tasmin is taken, by Nilakantha as Apana sahite Prane.
46. Utkarshena anayati, hence Udana, says Nilakantha. The sense of the whole passage seems to be this. Worldly life is regulated by the life-breaths. These are attached to the Soul and lead to its individual manifestations. Udana controls all the breaths. Udana is controlled by penance. It is penance then that destroys the round of rebirths and leads to absorption into Brahman.
47. The meaning seems to be this: they who renounce sensuous objects can create them when they like. One casting off smell that has earth for its object can create earth when he likes.
48. What is stated in this passage is, shortly, this: the ear, etc, are the Hotris or sacrificing priests who are to pour libations on the sacrificial fire. The perceptions and functions of those organs constitute the Havi or libations that are to be poured. The points, wind, etc, are the Agni or sacred fires on which they are to be poured. These statements are recapitulated in verse 5. The objects of the senses, of the same as those in verse 3, are the fuel, previously described as Havi or libations, which are to be burnt off by being cast into the fires.
49. The Hridaya or heart is the Garhapatya fire. From it is produced another fire, the Ahavaniya, viz., the mind. ‘The heart was pierced. From the heart arose mind, for the mind arose Chandramas,’ is the declaration of the Sruti cited by Nilakantha. The Ahavaniya fire or mind is the mouth. Asyam ahavaniya is the Sruti. Annamayam hi Somya manas, apomayah pranah, tejomayi vak is the Sruti that bears upon this. Food or fire, poured into the mouth develops into speech or word. Vachaspati implies the Veda or word. First arises the word, the mind sets itself upon it, desirous of creation. This corresponds with the Mosaic Genesis.–‘God said; let there be light, and there was light.’ The word was first.
50. The last question seems to be this: in dreamless slumber, the mind disappears totally. If it is the mind upon which Prana rests, why does not Prana also disappear? It is seen to separate itself from mind, for it continues to exist while mind does not exist. If so, i.e., if existing, as it must be admitted to do, why does it not apprehend objects? What is it that restrains its powers of apprehension?
51. Bhutatmanam is ordinary Prajapati. Nilakantha takes it to mean here individual Jiva or self.
52. It is, through words that desirable fruits, visible and invisible, are acquired. Of course, word means both ordinary speech and Vedic Mantras.
53. The speaker is the Brahmana, which Nilakantha explains to mean ‘the Brahmana named Manas or Mind’. Instead of such a learned interpretation, we may take it as implying that the Brahmana is repeating the answer which Bhutatman, i.e., Prajapati or Jiva, made to Word. The Brahmana is the real speaker. He recites the words of Jiva. Immovable, according to Nilakantha, means ‘that which is seizable by the external senses’; and ‘movable’, that which is beyond the ken of the senses, such as heaven, etc. The external world being only a manifestation of the mind, it is spoken of here as identical with it. So, the ideas in the mind which are not due to the senses, are only the mind. This is the movable mind. That mind depends on word or the scriptures.
54. Telang gives a different version of this verse. I offer a verbal tendering, without attempting to explain it.
55. i.e., as noisy or noiseless.
56. I have given as close a verbal rendering of the passage as possible. The sense, however, is not very intelligible to me. The gloss of Nilakantha is as unintelligible as the text. Telang also has given a verbal rendering which differs from the above slightly. His foot-notes do not, I think, bring out the meaning at all. As regards the two vernacular versions, both are useless.
57. The correct reading is cha after arthan and not twam after it. Hence, the Senses say that, without ourselves and without those which are our objects, thou canst not have thy enjoyments.
58. Thus creatures may exist through us, even though mind may be out of order.
59. Both mental purposes and dreams having failed to gratify him.
60. The reading sarvam in the second line is incorrect, though Nilakantha adopts it. The different portions of the fire are indicated as the different attributes. The smoke is of the form of Darkness (Tamas): the ashes are the attributes of Passion; while the blazing flame, that into which the oblation is thrown, is the attribute of Goodness.
61. I give a close rendering of these verses, without endeavouring to bring out the sense as explained by the commentators. The printed texts are not correct. The text adopted by Nilakantha differs from that of Arjuna Misra. The very order of the verses is not uniform in all the texts.
62. “These” refers to action, agent and instrument. The qualities of which they are possessed are goodness, passion, and darkness.
63. What is stated in these two verses is this: it is the Senses that enjoy; and not the Soul. This is well known to those that are learned. On the other hand, those that are not learned, regard this or that to be theirs, when in reality they are different from them. They are their selves, and not their senses, although they take themselves for the latter, ignorantly identifying themselves with things which they are not.
64. What is stated here is this: Restraining the senses and the mind, the objects of those senses and the mind should be poured as libations on the sacred fire of the Soul that is within the body.
65. i.e., truth is the Sastra of the Prasastri.
66. Narayana is taken by Nilakantha to stand here for either the Veda or the Soul. The animals offered up to Narayana in days of old were the senses offered up as sacrifices.
67. Srota here means preceptor or dispeller of doubts. Amaratwam is the status of the immortal head of all.
68. I think Telang is not correct in his rendering of this verse. What is stated here is plain, viz., that it is He who is the preceptor and the disciple. “Ayam srinoti,—prochyamanam grihnati,—tat prichcchatah ato bhuyas anye srinanti” is the grammar of the construction. The conclusion then comes—“gururanyo na vidyate.”
69. One who understands the truth.
70. The seven large trees are the five senses, the mind, and the understanding. The fruits are the pleasures and pains derived from or through them. The guests are the powers of each sense, for it is they that receive those pleasures and pains. The hermitages are those very trees under which the guests take shelter. The seven forms of Yoga are the extinctions of the seven senses. The seven forms of initiation are the repudiation, one after another, of the actions of the seven senses.
71. The correct reading is bhavantyanityah and vahuswabhavan.
72. Swabhava is explained by Nilakantha as sutaram abhava.
73. The sense seems to be this; the life-winds indicate the operations of the several organs of action: the tongue, which stands here for all the organs of perception, of the sensual perceptions; the mind, of all the internal operations; the quality of goodness, of all pleasure; and the quality of passion, of all kinds of pain. These, therefore include the whole external and the internal worlds. He that is free from these, transcends sin, for sin is destroyed by freedom from these, knowledge being the means of attaining to that freedom.
74. “I have no fault etc.”—The sense seems to be that by doing these rites with the aid of Mantras I have done that which has been approved from ages past by those who have always been regarded wise. My eyes, however, have now been opened by thee. I should not be held responsible for what I did while I was ignorant.
75. Kshatriyas always require Brahmanas for assisting them in their acts. These particular Kshatriyas, through fear of Rama, fled to the forests and mountains. They could not, accordingly, find Brahmanas for assisting them. Their children, therefore, fell away from the status of Kshatriyas and became Vrishalas or Sudras.
76. Kshatriya-bandhu always implies low or inferior Kshatriyas, as Brahma-bandhu implies low or inferior Brahmanas. The expression, very probably, is similar to Brahman-sangat in current Bengali. It does not surely mean ‘kinsmen of Kshatriyas’.
77. The vocative, “O foremost of regenerate ones” applies to Jamadagni’s son. The narration is that of the Pitris. All the copies, however, represent this as the Brahmana’s speech to his wife. Indeed, the Brahmana is only reciting to his wife the speech of the Pitris to Rama. The Yoga here spoken of is, as Nilakantha explains the Raja-Yoga. Previously, Alarka had been bent upon Hatha-Yoga which frequently ends in the destruction of the person practising it.
78. Praharsha, rendered ‘exultation’, is explained by Nilakantha as the joy that is felt at the certainty of attaining what is desired. Priti is that satisfaction which is felt when the object desired is attained. Ananda is what arises while enjoying the attained object.
79. The sense seems to be this. Having first conquered the internal foes mentioned, the man of intelligence, bent on effecting his deliverance, should then seek to vanquish all external foes standing in his way.
80. Nilakantha explains that dosha here refers to attachment, cupidity and the rest; while Sadhu implies not men but the virtues of tranquillity and the rest.
81. I think Telang renders this verse wrongly. Samhatadehabandhanah does not mean “with bodily frame destroyed” but “with bodily frame united.” If samhata be taken as destroyed, the compound bhinna-vikirna-dehah in the second line would be a useless repetition. The meaning is that with bodily frame or the bonds of body united, he takes birth. When he dies, that frame becomes dismembered and scattered.
82. The conditions referred to are affluence and indigence, as explained by Nilakantha.
83. This is, rather, obscure. Nilakantha observes that the Vedic text referred to is: ‘Do not covet anybody’s property.’ What Janaka says seems to be this: Thinking of this prohibition about coveting other people’s property, I thought how could it be ascertained what belongs to others.
84. The sense seems to be this: the property of smell attaches to earth. I do not desire smell for my own enjoyment. If it is perceived, it is perceived by the organ of smell. The earth, therefore, is subject to me, not I to the earth. I have transcended my sensations, and, therefore, the objects to which they inhere. The whole world represents only the objects of the sensations. The latter being mastered, the whole world has been mastered by me.
85. i.e., I live and act for these and not my own self.
86. Nilakantha’s reading is erroneous, Brahma-labhasya should be Brahmana-bhasya. 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, it would mean ‘that is confined to, or that cannot deviate from the track constituted by goodness’. The nave, Brahman, is, of course, the Vedas.
87. The sense seems to be this. The sovereignty of the whole Earth or of Heaven, 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.”
88. These are different modes of life.
89. The sense is this: the knowledge to be acquired is that all is one. Diverse ways there are for acquiring it. Those, again, that have attained to tranquillity have acquired it.
90. Actions are perishable and can lead to no lasting result. It is by the understanding that that knowledge, leading to what is permanent, is to be attained.
91. I expand this verse a little for making it intelligible. A literal version would run as follows: Good means may be seen, perceived as by bees. Action is (cleansed) understanding; through folly it is invested with the symbols of knowledge. Karmabudhhi never means ‘action and knowledge’ as rendered by Telang. Abudhitwatt means ‘through ignorance.’ This ignorance is of those persons whose understandings have not been cleansed by action.
92. What is stated here is this. In the matter of achieving Emancipation, 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 the other. For achieving Emancipation, however, only seeing and hearing are prescribed. Seeing implies contemplation, and hearing, the receiving of instructions from the preceptor. Nilakantha explains hearing as Vedantadisravanam (vide his comment on the word ‘srutam’ in verse 3 above).
93. The speaker wishes to inculcate that one should first contemplate an object of direct perception, such as earth, etc. Then on such ‘unperceived’ 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 sama, dama, etc. I do not think that Telang’s version of 8 and 9 brings out the meaning clearly.
94. The sense is that when her individual soul became merged into the Supreme soul, she became identified with Brahman. This, was, of course, due to the knowledge of Kshetra as something separate from Kshetrajna.
95. Their origin is Brahman or Truth. They live, dissociated from their origin, in consequence of their acts. When their acts cease, they return to and become merged in Brahman.
96. i.e., that course of life which has for its object the acquisition of knowledge relating to the soul. This, of course, includes the knowledge that is needed for achieving identification with the Supreme Soul or Brahman.
97. The specific characteristics of the five elements are, as frequently referred before, smell attaching to earth, sound to ether, taste, to water, etc. The deities referred to in the last verse are probably the senses.
98. The total eleven is made up of the three qualities, the five elements, the group of organs and senses as one, egoism and understanding.
99. Anyatha pratipannah is explained by Nilakantha as “born in other orders.” Telang takes it as “Behaving in a contrary way.” “How can goats and sheep behave otherwise?” The sense seems to be that those born as goats, succeed in ascending upwards through the efficacy of the religious acts of the Brahmanas. By becoming sacrificial victims they regain their true position.
100. Qualities abiding in Darkness etc, imply those qualities that are permanently attached to Darkness.
101. Some texts read Santapah and not Sanghatah. The meaning then will be grief or sorrow.
102. This may refer to the exposure of other people’s weaknesses by tearing open their veils or covers.
103. Vibhajanti implies enjoyments in this connection. Telang starts a needless objection to this word.
104. “From even a distance,” implies that upon even a cursory view; without even being examined minutely.
105. What is said here is this: the three qualities exist in even the immobile objects of the universe. As regards Darkness, it predominates in them. As regards Passion, it dwells in such properties of theirs as pungency, sourness, sweetness, etc, which change with time or in consequence of cooking or through admixture. Their only properties are said to appertain to Goodness. Tiryagbhavagatam is explained by Nilakantha as adhikyam gatam. Telang thinks this is unwarrantable. His own version, however, of the first line is untenable. What can be the tiryagbhava or ‘form of lower species’ of immobile objects? Telang frequently forgets that Nilakantha represents a school of interpretation not founded by him but which existed from a time long anterior to him.
106. “Conjunctions” are evidently the periods joining the seasons, i.e., the close of one season and the beginning of another.
107. This probably implies that the mind, through the aid of the senses, enters into all things or succeeds in knowing them.
108. The sense seems to be that through these one succeeds in taking birth as a Brahmana.
109. A repetition occurs here of about 5 verses. The passage is evidently an interpolation originally caused by carelessness.
110. Nilakantha explains that this implies that one should regard these as really undistinguished from the mind. Indeed, created by the mind itself, these should always be taken as having no real existence beyond the mind.
111. “That” here refers to the attenuation of all things by absorption into the mind.
112. Gunagunam is treating the qualities as not qualities; i.e., regarding bravery, magnanimity, etc, as really not merits, for these lead to pride. Ekacharyyam is ekantavasam, i.e., life in seclusion, or living without depending upon others. Anantaram is nirastasamastabheda or non-recognition of all distinctions. Some texts read Brahmamatah meaning “existing among Brahmanas.” Ekapadam sukham is samastasukhagarbham, i.e., the source or fountain of all happiness.
113. The two deities are Jiva and Iswara.
114. The correct reading, in 53 seems to be samsargabhiratam and not samsayabhiratam.
115. In the second line, the correct words are martya and sarva. The sense of the second line seems to be that this body is ceaselessly revolving, for Emancipation is difficult to achieve. Hence this body is, as it were, the wheel of Time. Nilakantha’s explanation does not seem to be satisfactory.
116. I do not think that Telang is correct in his version of this verse. What is said here seems to be this. The body is, as it were the wheel of Time; the body is the ocean of delusion; the body is the creator, destroyer and reawakener of the universe. Through the body creatures act, and hence creation, destruction, and re-creation are due to the body. This accords with what is said elsewhere regarding the body.
117. It would be wrong to take satah as implying “the good,” the finite verses in every text being singular.
118. The correct reading seems to be atmana as the last word of the first line, and not atman.
119. What is said here is that the quality of passion predominates in these.
120. Nyagrodha is the Ficus Bengalensis, Linn. Jamvu is Eugenia Jambolana, Lamk. Pippala is Ficus religiosa, Linn. Salmali is Bombax Malabaricum. Sinsapa is Dalbergia Sissoo, Roxb. Meshasringa is Asclepia geminata, Roxb. Kichaka is a variety of mountain bamboo. Here however it evidently implies the Nimba or Melia Azadirachta, Linn.
121. Nilakantha is for taking the second line as consisting of two propositions. It would be better to take satinam as referring to strinam, and vasumatyah, as an adjective of Apsarasah.
122. The sense seems to be that good men never allow others to know what their acts are. They are strangers to ostentation.
123. The sense seems to be that the knowledge of one’s own identity and of things as discriminated from one another is presided over by Prakriti. If the question is asked whence is the knowledge—“I am so,” and that “this is so,” the answer is that it comes from Prakriti or Nature.
124. As explained by Nilakantha, the word Savitri is used here to imply all forms of worship observed by Brahmanas, etc, and the Mlecchas as well. This turning back to explain a word used before is said to be an instance of “looking back like the lion”.
125. Telang, I think, renders this verse wrongly. In the first line it is said that Brahman is superior to the Prajapatis. In the second it is pointed out that Vishnu is superior to Brahman.
126. It is difficult to understand which part of the wheel is intended to be expressedly ‘bandhanam‘ or the bond; I take it for the spokes. Pariskandha is Samuha or the materials that together compose an object. Here it may be taken for the nave or centre. Home is called the circumference, because, as the circumference limits the wheel, even so home (wife and children) limits the affections and acts of life.
127. The words Kalachakram pravartate have been rendered in the first verse of this lesson. In verse 9, the words asaktaprabhavapavyam are explained by Nilakantha differently. Manas-krantam, I take, is equivalent to “be bounded by the mind.” I do not know whence Telang gets “never fatigued” as the substitute of this word.
128. Implying that he should go to the house of his preceptor, study and serve there, and after completing his course, return for leading a life of domesticity.
129. The sense seems to be that these last three duties are productive of merit and should, therefore, be performed. The first three however, are sources of living.
130. Havishya is food cooked in a particular way and offered to the deities. It must be free from meat. There may be milk or ghee in it, but the cooking must be done in a single pot or vessel continuously; no change of vessels is allowed.
131. Vilwa is the Ægle marmelos, and Palasa is the Butea frondosa of Roxburgh.
132. At first he should live on fruits and roots and leaves, etc. Next on water, and then on air. There are different sects of forests recluses. The course of life is settled at the time of the initiatory rites.
133. What is stated here is this. The Sannyasin should not ask for alms: or, if he ever seeks for aims, he should seek them in a village or house where the cooking has been already done and where every one has already eaten. This limitation is provided as otherwise the Sannyasin may be fed to his fill by the householder who sees him.
134. He should never plunge into a stream or lake or tank for bathing.
135. Kalakankhi implies, probably “simply biding time,” i.e., allowing time to pass indifferently over him.
136. The sense seems to be this; the self or soul is without qualities. He who knows the self, or rather he who pursues the self with the desire of knowing it, should practise the truths of Piety laid down above. They constitute the path that leads to the self.
137. “That which has Brahman for its origin” implies the Vedas.
138. Commentators differ about what is implied by the ten or the twelve. Nilakantha thinks that the ten mean the eight characteristics of Yoga, viz., Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi, and Tarka and Vairagya. The twelve would imply the first eight, and these four, viz., Maitri, Karuna, Mudita, and Upeksha. If ten plus twelve or two and twenty be taken, then that number would be made up by the five modes of Yama, the five of Niyama, the remaining six of Yoga (beginning with Asana and ending with Samadhi), the four beginning with Maitri, and the two, viz., Tarka and Vairagya.
139. What is said in this Lesson seems to be this: the Unmanifest or Prakriti is that condition in which all the three qualities of Goodness, Passion, and Darkness exist in a state of combination. The unmanifest is the condition existing before creation. When one particular quality, viz., Goodness prevails over the others, there arises Purusha, viz., that from whom everything flows. The relation of Purusha and Nature is both unity and diversity. The three illustrations of the Gnat and the Udumbara the fish and water, and water drops and the lotus leaf, explain the relation between Purusha and Nature. He is in Nature, yet different from it. There is both association and dissociation.
140. The doubts appertain to duties, that is whether they should be done or not, and whether they have any effects here and hereafter.
141. The thinking or enjoying agent is subject, and that which is thought or enjoyed is object. Subject and object an two well known words in Sir W. Hamilton’s philosophy. I follow Telang in adopting them.
142. Sattawa pradipa, rendered “light of Nature,” implies, as Nilakantha explains, knowledge, which is a manifestation of Nature. Arjuna Misra’s interpretation seems to be better. He says that knowledge,—that is, knowledge of truth,—is acquired by the self through Nature.
143. The sense seems to be this: one who proceeds, on a journey must provide oneself with the necessary means, otherwise one is sure to feel discomfort or meet with even destruction. So, in the journey of life, one must provide oneself with knowledge as the means. One may then avoid all discomfort and danger. Action does not constitute the proper means. It may or may not produce fruits.
144. i.e., one should not care for the external.
145. i.e., one need not do acts enjoined by the scriptures after one has attained to knowledge which is the highest seat.
146. The sense is this: riding on a car may not always be comfortable. As long as there is a car path, one should travel on one’s car. If, however, the road be such as not to be fit for a car to proceed along it, one should avoid a car in going over it, for the car instead of conducing to comfort, would, on such a path, be productive of only discomfort.
147. i.e., first action with desire: then action without desire; then knowledge, according to Arjuna Misra. Nilakantha explains that action is first, then Yoga; then the state of Hansa or Paramahansa.
148. Katu is not bitter but pungent or sharp, as that which is attached to chillies.
149. These are the notes of the Hindu Gamut.
150. The understanding operates on what is placed before it by the mind. The understanding, therefore, is, as it were, the lord exercising power or sovereignty, being served by the mind.
151. Sarvan srijati i.e., creates all things by attaining to the condition of the universal cause, for the unmanifest is the universal cause. Between such a one and the Supreme Soul there is no difference. Even this is said in the last sentence.
152. The man who reads the book called Veda is not truly conversant with the Veda. He, however, who knows Kshetrajna, is regarded as truly knowing the Veda.
153. The argument is that Mrityu or death being of two syllables, the correspondence is justifiable between it and Mama or mineness which also is of two syllables. So in the case of Brahman and na-mama. Of course, what is meant by mineness being death and not-mineness being Brahman or emancipation, cannot be unintelligible to one who has carefully read the preceding sections.
154. i.e., the five great elements, four organs of knowledge with mind, and the four organs of action.
155. The word Purusha here is used in the sense of dehabhimani Jiva or individual self with consciousness of body. True knowledge destroys this condition of Jiva, for the man of knowledge identifies himself with the universe and thereby assimilates himself to Brahman. By eaters of Amrita are meant they who never take any food without offering portions thereof to the deities, Pitris, and guests. Of course, Yogins of piety are implied by it.
156. Purusha here implies Jiva divested of consciousness of body.
157. The meaning is this: in a dream what is seen is all unreal. So, when tranquillity has been attained, all the surroundings become unreal. Nilakantha gives a slightly different interpretation; it is this: when tranquillity has been attained, the Soul lives without attachment to the body and all external objects. Indeed, the Soul then lives completely in itself even as it works in course of a dream.
158. The sense is that they behold all worldly objects, present, past and future, which are, of course, due to development of previous causes.