acts, and not owing to the merits of father or mothers.
And there is neither sweat, nor stench, nor urine
there. And there, O Muni
, dust doth not
soils one’s garments. And their excellent
garlands, redolent of divine fragrance, never fade.
And, O Brahmana, they yoke such cars as this (that
I have brought). And, O mighty sage, devoid of
envy and grief and fatigue and ignorance and malice,
men who have attained heaven, dwell in those regions
happily. And, O bull among Munis
and higher over such regions there are others endued
with higher celestial virtues. Of these, the beautiful
and resplendent regions of Brahma are the foremost.
Thither, O Brahmana, repair Rishis
been sanctified by meritorious acts. And there
dwell certain beings named Ribhus
are the gods of the gods themselves. Their regions
are supremely blessed, and are adored even by the
deities. These shine by their own light, and bestow
every object of desire. They suffer no pangs
that women might cause, do not possess worldly wealth,
and are free from guile. The Ribhus
not subsist on oblations, nor yet on ambrosia.
And they are endued with such celestial forms that
they cannot be perceived by the senses. And these
eternal gods of the celestials do not desire happiness
for happiness’ sake, nor do they change at the
revolution of a Kalpa
. Where, indeed, is
their decrepitude or dissolution? For them there
is neither ecstasy, nor joy, nor happiness. They
have neither happiness nor misery. Wherefore should
they have anger or aversion then, O Muni
O Mudgala, their supreme state is coveted even by
the gods. And that crowning emancipation, hard
to attain, can never be acquired by people subject
to desire. The number of those deities is thirty-three.
To their regions repair wise men, after having observed
excellent vows, or bestowed gifts according to the
ordinance. Thou also hast easily acquired that
success by thy charities. Do thou, by effulgence
displayed by virtue of thy ascetic austerities, enjoy
that condition obtained by thy meritorious acts.
Such, O Brahmana, is the bliss of heaven containing
“’"Thus have I described unto thee the
blessing of the celestial regions. Do thou now
hear from me some of the disadvantages thereof.
That in the celestial regions a person, while reaping
the fruit of the acts he hath already performed, cannot
be engaged in any others, and that he must enjoy the
consequences of the former until they are completely
exhausted, and, further, that he is subject to fall
after he hath entirely exhausted his merit, form,
in my opinion, the disadvantages of heaven. The
fall of a person whose mind hath been steeped in happiness,
must, O Mudgala, be pronounced as a fault. And
the discontent and regret that must follow one’s
stay at an inferior seat after one hath enjoyed more
auspicious and brighter regions, must be hard to bear.
And the consciousness of those about to fall is stupefied,