Santhi Parva

Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 02 Apr 2010 07:36 and updated at 02 Apr 2010 07:36


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Section 214

CCXV Bhishma said, Living creatures, by being attached to objects of the senses which are always fraught with evil, become helpless. Those high-souled persons, however, who are not attached to them, attain to the highest end. The man of intelligence, beholding the world over-whelmed with the evils constituted by birth, death, decrepitude, sorrow, disease, and anxieties, should exert themselves for the attainment of Emancipation. He should be pure in speech, thought, and body; he should be free from pride. Of tranquil soul and possessed of knowledge, he should lead a life of mendicancy, and pursue happiness without being attached to any worldly object.

Again, if attachment be seen to possess the mind in consequence of compassion to creatures, he should, seeing that the universe is the result of acts, show indifference in respect of compassion itself Whatever good, acts are performed, or whatever sin is perpetrated, the doer tastes the consequences. Hence, one should, in speech, thought, and deed, do only acts that are good He succeeds in obtaining happiness who practises abstention from injuring others, truthfulness of speech, honesty towards all creatures, and forgiveness, and who is never heedless. Hence one, exercising one's intelligence, should dispose one's mind, after training it, on peace towards all creatures That man who regards the practice of the virtues enumerated above as the highest duty, as conducive to the happiness of all creatures, and as destructive of all kinds of sorrow, is possessed of the highest knowledge, and succeeds in obtaining happiness. Hence as already said, one should, exercising one's intelligence, dispose one's mind, after training it, on peace towards all creatures. One should never think of doing evil to others. One should not covet what is far above one's power to attain. One should not turn one's thoughts towards objects that are non-existent.

One should, on the other hand, direct one's mind towards knowledge by such persistent efforts as are sure to succeed With the aid of the declarations of the Srutis and of persistent efforts calculated to bring success, that Knowledge is sure to flow. One that is desirous of saying good words or observing a religion that is refined of all dross, should utter only truth that is not fraught with any malice or censure. One that is possessed of a sound heart should utter words that are not fraught with dishonesty, that are not harsh, that are not cruel, that are not evil, and that are not characterised by garrulity. The universe is bound in speech. If disposed to renunciation of all worldly objects then should one proclaim which a mind fraught with humility and a cleansed understanding, one's own evil acts He who betakes himself to action, impelled thereto by propensities fraught with the attribute of Passion, obtains much misery in this world and at last sinks into hell. One should, therefore, practise self-restraint in body, speech, and mind. Ignorant persons bearing the burdens of the world are like robbers laden with their booty of straggling sheep secreted from herds taken out for pasture. The latter are always regardful of roads that are unfavourable to them owing to the presence of the king's watch

Indeed, as robbers have to throw away their spoil if they wish for safety, even so should a person cast off all acts dictated by Passion and Darkness if he is to obtain felicity. Without doubt, a person that is without desire, free from the bonds of the world, contented to live in solitude, abstemious in diet, devoted to penances and with senses under control, that has burnt all his sorrows by the acquisition of knowledge, that takes a pleasure in practising all the particulars of yoga discipline, and that has a cleansed soul, succeeds, in consequence of his mind being withdrawn into itself, in attaining to Brahma or Emancipation One endued with patience and a cleansed soul, should, without doubt, control one's understanding. With the understanding thus disciplined, one should next control one's mind, and then with the mind overpower the objects of the senses. Upon the mind being thus brought under control and the senses being all subdued, the senses will become luminous and gladly enter into Brahma. When one's senses are withdrawn into the mind, the result that occurs is that Brahma becomes manifested in it. Indeed, when the senses are destroyed, and the soul returns to the attribute of pure existence, it comes to be regarded as transformed into Brahma. Then again, one should never make a display of one's yoga power. On the other hand, one should always exert to restrain one's senses by practising the rules of yoga.

Indeed, one engaged in the practice of yoga rules should do all those acts by which one's conduct and disposition may become pure Without making one's yoga powers the means of one's subsistence one should rather live upon broken grains of corn, ripe beans, dry cakes of seeds from which the oil has been pressed out, pot-herbs, half-ripe barley, flour of fried pulses, fruits, and roots, obtained in alms Reflecting upon the characteristics of time and place, one should according to one's inclinations observe, after proper examination, vows and rules about fasts. One should not suspend an observance that has been begun. Like one slowly creating a fire, one should gradually extend an act that is prompted by knowledge. By doing so, Brahma gradually shines in one like the Sun. The Ignorance which has Knowledge for its resting ground, extends its influence over all the three states of waking, dreaming and dreamless slumber. The Knowledge, again, that follows the Understanding, is assailed by Ignorance The evil-hearted person fails to obtain a knowledge of the Soul in consequence of taking it as united with the three states although in reality it transcends them all. When, however, he succeeds in apprehending the limits under which the two, viz, union with the three states and separation from them, are manifested, it is then that he becomes divested of attachment and attains to Emancipation.

When such an apprehension has been attained, one transcends the effects of age, rises superior to the consequences of decrepitude and death, and obtains Brahma which is eternal, deathless, immutable, undeteriorating

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