Santhi Parva

Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 02 Apr 2010 08:08 and updated at 02 Apr 2010 08:08


<<<< Previous Section Current Parva All Parvas Next Section >>>>

Section 262

CCLXIII Jajali said, This course of duty that thou, O holder of scales, preachest, closes the door of heaven against all creatures and puts a stop to the very means of their subsistence.

From agriculture comes food. That food offers subsistence even to thee. With the aid of animals and of crops and herbs, human beings, O trader, are enabled to support their existence. From animals and food sacrifices flow. Thy doctrines smack of atheism. This world will come to an end if the means by which life is supported have to be abandoned' Tuladhara said, I shall now speak on the object of the means of sustenance. I am not, O Brahmana, an atheist. I do not blame Sacrifices. The man, however, is very rare that is truly conversant with Sacrifice.

I bow to that Sacrifice which is ordained for Brahmanas. I bow also to them that are conversant with that Sacrifice. Alas, the Brahmanas, having given up the Sacrifice that is ordained for them, have betaken themselves to the performance of Sacrifices that are for Kshatriyas Many persons of faith, O regenerate one, that are covetous and fond of wealth, without having understood the true meaning of the declarations of the Srutis, and proclaiming things that are really false but that have the show of truth, have introduced many kinds of Sacrifices, saying, This should be given away in this Sacrifice. This other thing should be given away in this other Sacrifice. The first of this is very laudable' The consequence, however, of all this, O Jajali, is that theft and many evil acts spring up It should be known that only that sacrificial offering which was acquired by righteous means can gratify the gods. There are abundant indications in the scriptures that the worship of the deities may be accomplished with vows, with libations poured on the fire, with recitations or chanting of the Vedas, and with plants and herbs. From their religious acts unrighteous persons get wicked offspring.

From covetous men are born children that are covetous, and from those that are contented spring children that are contented. If the sacrificer and the priest suffer themselves to be moved by desire of fruit in respect of the Sacrifices they perform or assist in, their children take the stain. If, on the other hand, they do not yield to desire of fruit, the children born to them become of the same kind. From Sacrifices spring progeny like clear water from the firmament. The libations poured on the sacrificial fire rise up to the Sun. From the Sun springs rain. From rain springs food. From food are born living creatures. In former days, men righteously devoted to Sacrifices used to obtain therefrom the fruition of all their wishes. The earth yielded crops without tillage.

The blessing uttered by the Rishis produced herbs and plants The men of former times never performed Sacrifices from desire of fruits and never regarded themselves as called upon to enjoy those fruits. Those who somehow perform sacrifices, doubting the while their efficacy take birth in their next lives as dishonest, wily, and greedy men exceedingly covetous of wealth. That man who by the aid of false reasoning holds up all the authoritative scriptures as fraught with evil, is certain to go, for such sinful act of his, into the regions of the sinful. Such a man is certainly possessed of a sinful soul, O foremost of Brahmanas, and always remains here, bereft of wisdom That man who regards those acts obligatory which have been laid down in the Vedas and directed to be accomplished every day, who is penetrated with fear if he fails to accomplish them any day, who takes all the essentials of Sacrifice as identical with Brahma, and who never regards himself as the actor, is truly a Brahmana If the acts of such a person become incomplete, or if their completion be obstructed by all unclean animals, even then those acts are, as heard by us, of superior efficacy. If, however, those acts are done from desire of fruit and their completion be obstructed by such impediments, then expiation would become necessary. They who covet the acquisition of the highest object of life viz, Emancipation, who are bereft of cupidity in respect of all kinds of worldly wealth, who discard all provision for the future, and who are freed from envy, betake themselves to practice of truth and self-restraint as their Sacrifice They that are conversant with the distinction between body and soul, that are devoted to Yoga, and that meditate on the Pranava, always succeed in gratifying others

The universal Brahma viz, Pranava, which is the soul of the deities, dwells in him who is conversant with Brahma. When, therefore, such a man eats and is gratified, all the deities, O Jajali, become gratified and are contented As one who is gratified with all kinds of taste feels no desire for any particular taste, after the same manner one who is gratified with knowledge hath everlasting gratification which to him is a source of perfect bliss. Those wise men who are the refuge of righteousness and whose delight is in righteousness, are persons that have certain knowledge of what is to be done and what should not be done. One possessed of such wisdom always regards all things in the universe to have sprung from his own Self Some that are endued with knowledge, that strive to reach the other shore of this ocean of life, and that are possessed of faith, succeed in attaining to the region of Brahman, which is productive of great blessings, highly sacred, and inhabited by righteous persons, a region which is freed from sorrow, whence there is no return, and where there is no kind of agitation or pain. Such men do not covet heaven. They do not adore Brahma in costly sacrifices. They walk along the path of the righteous. The Sacrifices they perform are performed without injury to any creature

These men know trees and herbs and fruits and roots as the only sacrificial offerings. Covetous priests, for they are desirous of wealth, never officiate at the sacrifices of these poor men. These regenerate men, although all their acts have been completed, still perform sacrifices from desire of doing good to all creatures and constituting their own selves as sacrificial offerings For this reason, grasping priests officiate at the Sacrifices of only those misguided persons who, without endeavouring to attain to Emancipation, seek for heaven. As regards those, however, that are really good, they always seek, by accomplishing their own duties, to cause others to ascend to heaven. Looking at both these kinds of behaviour, O Jajali, I have abstained from injuring any creature in the world and have come to regard all creatures with an equal heart Endued with wisdom, many foremost of Brahmanas perform Sacrifices which with respect to their fruits are of two kinds, for some of them lead to Emancipation whence there is no return, and others lead to regions of bliss whence there is return. By performing those Sacrifices, they proceed, O great ascetic, along paths trodden by the gods. Of one class of Sacrificers viz, they who sacrifice from desire of fruit there is return from the region which they reach. Of those, however, that are truly wise viz, those who sacrifice without being urged thereto by desire of fruit, there is no return.

Although both classes of sacrificers, O Jajali, proceed along the path trodden by the deities in consequence of the sacrifices they perform, yet such is the difference between their ultimate ends In consequence of the success that attends the purposes formed in the mind of such men, bulls, without being forced thereto, willingly set their shoulders to the plough for assisting at tillage and to the yoke for dragging their cars, and kine pour forth milk from udders untouched by human hands. Creating sacrificial stakes and other necessaries of Sacrifice by simple flats of the will, they perform many kinds of Sacrifice well-completed with abundant presents One who is of such a cleansed soul may slaughter a cow as an offering in Sacrifice They, therefore, that are not of that kind should perform Sacrifices with herbs and plants and not animals. Since Renunciation hath such merit, it is for that reason that I have kept it before my eyes in speaking to thee The gods know him for a Brahmana who has given up all desire of fruit, who hath no exertion in respect of worldly acts, who never bows down his head unto any one, who never utters the praises of others, and who is endued with strength though his acts have all been weakened What, O Jajali, will be the end of him who doth not recite the Vedas, unto others, who doth not perform Sacrifices properly, who doth not make gifts unto deserving Brahmanas, and who followeth an avocation in which every kind of desire is indulged? By properly reverencing, however, the duties that appertain to Renunciation, one is sure of attaining to Brahma Jajali said, We had never before, O son of a trader, heard of these recondite doctrines of ascetics that perform only mental Sacrifices.

These doctrines are exceedingly difficult of comprehension. It is for this reason that I ask thee about them. The sages of olden days were not followers of those doctrines of Yoga. Hence, the sages that have succeeded them have not propounded them for general acceptance If thou sayest that only men of brutish minds fail to achieve sacrifices in the soil of the Soul, then, O son of a trader, by what acts would they succeed in accomplishing their happiness? Tell me this, O thou of great wisdom! Great is my faith in thy words Tuladhara said, Sometimes sacrifices performed by some persons do not become sacrifices in consequence of the absence of faith of those that perform them. These men, it should be said, are not worthy of performing any sacrifice internal or external. As regards the faithful, however, only one thing, viz, the cow, is fit for upholding all sacrifices by means of full libations of clarified butter, milk, and curds, the hair at end of her tail, her horns, and her hoofs

The Vedas declare that sacrifices cannot be performed by an unmarried man. In performing sacrifices, however, according to the mode I have pointed out viz, by abstaining from slaughter of animals and dedicating only clarified butter, etc, one may make Faith one's wedded wife, for dedicating such innocent offerings to the deities. By duly reverencing such sacrifices, one is sure to attain to Brahma To the exclusion of all animals which are certainly unclean as offering in sacrifices, the rice-ball is a worthy offering in sacrifices. All rivers are as sacred as the Saraswati, and all mountains are sacred. O Jajali, the Soul is itself a Tirtha. Do not wander about on the earth for visiting sacred places. A person, by observing these duties that I have spoken of and that do not involve injury to other creatures, and by seeking the acquisition of merit agreeably to his own ability, certainly succeeds in obtaining blessed regions hereafter Bhishma continued, These are the duties, O Yudhishthira, which Tuladhara applauded, duties that are consistent with reason, and that are always observed by those that are good and wise

<<<< Previous Section Current Parva All Parvas Next Section >>>>

Share:- Facebook

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License