are not masters of their own weal or woe. They
go to heaven or hell urged by God Himself. Like
light straws dependent on strong winds, all creatures,
O Bharatas, are dependent on God! And God himself,
pervading all creatures and engaged in acts right and
wrong, moveth in the universe, though none can say
This is God!
This body with its physical attributes
is only the means by which God—the Supreme
Lord of all maketh (every creature) to reap fruits
that are good or bad. Behold the power of illusion
that hath been spread by God, who confounding with
his illusion, maketh creatures slay their fellows!
behold those differently.
They appear to them in a different light, even like
the rays of the Sun (which to ordinary eyes are only
a pencil of light, while to eyes more penetrating
seem fraught with the germs of food and drink).
Ordinary men behold the things of the earth otherwise.
It is God who maketh them all, adopting different processes
in their creation and destruction. And, O Yudhishthira,
the Self-create Grandsire, Almighty God, spreading
illusion, slayeth his creatures by the instrumentality
of his creatures, as one may break a piece of inert
and senseless wood with wood, or stone with stone,
or iron with iron. And the Supreme Lord, according
to his pleasure, sporteth with His creatures, creating
and destroying them, like a child with his toy (of
soft earth). O king, it doth seem to me that God
behaveth towards his creatures like a father or mother
unto them. Like a vicious person, He seemeth
to bear himself towards them in anger! Beholding
superior and well-behaved and modest persons persecuted,
while the sinful are happy, I am sorely troubled.
Beholding this thy distress and the prosperity of
Suyodhana, I do not speak highly of the Great Ordainer
who suffereth such inequality! O sir, what fruits
doth the Great Ordainer reap by granting prosperity
to Dhritarashtra’s son who transgresseth the
ordinances, who is crooked and covetous, and who injureth
virtue and religion! If the act done pursueth
the doer and none else, then certainly it is God himself
who is stained with the sin of every act. If
however, the sin of an act done doth not attach to
the doer, then (individual) might (and not God) is
the true cause of acts, and I grieve for those that
have no might!’”
“Yudhishthira said, ’Thy speech, O Yajnaseni,
is delightful, smooth and full of excellent phrases.
We have listened to it (carefully). Thou speakest,
however, the language of atheism. O princess,
I never act, solicitous of the fruits of my actions.
I give away, because it is my duty to give; I sacrifice
because it is my duty to sacrifice! O Krishna,
I accomplish to the best of my power whatever a person
living in domesticity should do, regardless of the
fact whether those acts have fruits or not. O
thou of fair hips, I act virtuously, not from the