The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Bk. 3 Pt. 2 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 629 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Bk. 3 Pt. 2.
incorporal being’s translation to heaven, its perception by the senses and its enjoyment of the immutable fruits of its actions (here below), can be comprehended.’  The snake replied, ’By his own acts, man is seen to attain to one of the three conditions of human existence, of heavenly life, or of birth in the lower animal kingdom.  Among these, the man who is not slothful, who injures no one and who is endowed with charity and other virtues, goes to heaven, after leaving this world of men.  By doing the very contrary, O king, people are again born as men or as lower animals.  O my son, it is particularly said in this connection, that the man who is swayed by anger and lust and who is given to avarice and malice falls away from his human state and is born again as a lower animal, and the lower animals too are ordained to be transformed into the human state; and the cow, the horse and other animals are observed to attain to even the divine state.[3] O my son, the sentient being, reaping the fruits of his actions, thus transmigrates through these conditions; but the regenerate and wise man reposes his soul in the everlasting Supreme Spirit.  The embodied spirit, enchained by destiny and reaping the fruits of its own actions, thus undergoes birth after birth but he that has lost touch of his actions, is conscious of the immutable destiny of all born beings.[4]’

[3] More literally, the state of the gods.  It may appropriately be remarked here that the ordinary Hindu gods, of the post-Vedic period, like the gods of Ancient Greece and Italy, were simply a class of superhuman beings, distinctly contra-distinguished from the Supreme Spirit, the Paramatman or Parabrahma.  After death, a virtuous man was supposed to be transformed into one of these so-called gods.

    [4] This is the well-known and popular doctrine of
    transmigration of souls.

“Yudhishthira asked, ’O snake, tell me truly and without confusion how that dissociated spirit becomes cognisant of sound, touch, form, flavour, and taste.  O great-minded one, dost thou not perceive them, simultaneously by the senses?  Do thou, O best of snakes, answer all these queries!’ The snake replied, ’O long-lived one, the thing called Atman (spirit), betaking itself to corporeal tenement and manifesting itself through the organs of sense, becomes duly cognisant of perceptible objects.  O prince of Bharata’s race, know that the senses, the mind, and the intellect, assisting the soul in its perception of objects, are called Karanas.  O my son, the eternal spirit, going out of its sphere, and aided by the mind, acting through the senses, the receptacles of all perceptions, successively perceives these things (sound, form, flavour, &c).  O most valiant of men, the mind of living creatures is the cause of all perception, and, therefore, it cannot be cognisant of more than one thing at a time.  That spirit, O foremost of men, betaking itself to the space between the eyebrows, sends the high and low intellect to different objects.  What the Yogins perceive after the action of the intelligent principle by that is manifested the action of the soul.’

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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Bk. 3 Pt. 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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