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.

“Yudhishthira said, ’Tell me the distinguishing characteristics of the mind and the intellect.  The knowledge of it is ordained as the chief duty of persons meditating on the Supreme Spirit.’

“The snake replied, ’Through illusion, the soul becomes subservient to the intellect.  The intellect, though known to be subservient to the soul, becomes (then) the director of the latter.  The intellect is brought into play by acts of perception; the mind is self-existent.  The Intellect does not cause the sensation (as of pain, pleasure, &c), but the mind does.  This, my son, is the difference between the mind and the intellect.  You too are learned in this matter, what is your opinion?’

“Yudhishthira said, ’O most intelligent one, you have fine intelligence and you know all that is fit to be known.  Why do you ask me that question?  You knew all and you performed such wonderful deeds and you lived in heaven.  How could then illusion overpower you?  Great is my doubt on this point.’  The snake replied, ’Prosperity intoxicates even the wise and valiant men.  Those who live in luxury, (soon) lose their reason.  So, I too, O Yudhishthira, overpowered by the infatuation of prosperity, have fallen from my high state and having recovered my self-consciousness, am enlightening thee thus!  O victorious king, thou hast done me a good turn.  By conversing with thy pious self, my painful curse has been expiated.  In days of yore, while I used to sojourn in heaven in a celestial chariot, reveling in my pride, I did not think of anything else, I used to exact tribute from Brahmarshis, Devas, Yakshas, Gandharvas, Rakshasas, Pannagas and all other dwellers of the three worlds.  O lord of earth, such was the spell of my eyes, that on whatever creature, I fixed them, I instantly destroyed his power.  Thousands of Brahmarshis used to draw my chariot.  The delinquency, O king, was the cause of my fall from my high prosperity.  Among them, Agastya was one day drawing my conveyance, and my feet came in contact with his body; Agastya then pronounced (this curse) on me, in anger, “Ruin seize thee, do thou become a snake.”  So, losing my glory, I fell down from that excellent car and while falling, I beheld myself turned into a snake, with head downwards.  I thus implored that Brahmana, “May this curse be extinguished, O adorable one!  You ought to forgive one who has been so foolish from infatuation.”  Then he kindly told me this, as I was being hurled down (from heaven), “The virtuous king Yudhishthira will save thee from this curse, and when, O king, horrible sin of pride will be extinguished in thee, thou shalt attain salvation.”  And I was struck with wonder on seeing (this) power of his austere virtues; and therefore, have I questioned thee about the attributes of the Supreme Spirit and of Brahmanas.  Truth, charity, self-restraint, penance, abstention from doing injury to any creature, and constancy in virtue, these, O king, and not his race of family connections, are the means, by which a man must always secure salvation.  May this brother of thine, the mighty Bhimasena, meet with good luck and may happiness abide with thee!  I must go to Heaven again.’”

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