The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,884 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1.

“Saunaka said, ’Alas, this world is full of contradictions!  That which shameth the good, gratifieth the wicked!  Alas, moved by ignorance and passion and slaves of their own senses, even fools perform many acts of (apparent merit) to gratify in after-life their appetites!  With eyes open are these men led astray by their seducing senses, even as a charioteer, who hath lost his senses, by restive and wicked steeds!  When any of the six senses findeth its particular object, the desire springeth up in the heart to enjoy that particular object.  And thus when one’s heart proceedeth to enjoy the objects of any particular sense a wish is entertained which in its turn giveth birth to a resolve.  And finally, like unto an insect falling into a flame from love of light, the man falleth into the fire of temptation, pierced by the shafts of the object of enjoyment discharged by the desire constituting the seed of the resolve!  And thenceforth blinded by sensual pleasure which he seeketh without stint, and steeped in dark ignorance and folly which he mistaketh for a state of happiness, he knoweth not himself!  And like unto a wheel that is incessantly rolling, every creature, from ignorance and deed and desire, falleth into various states in this world, wandering from one birth to another, and rangeth the entire circle of existences from a Brahma to the point of a blade of grass, now in water, now on land, and now against in the air!

’This then is the career of those that are without knowledge.  Listen now to the course of the wise they that are intent on profitable virtue, and are desirous of emancipation!  The Vedas enjoin act but renounce (interest in) action.  Therefore, shouldst thou act, renouncing Abhimana,[5] performance of sacrifices, study (of the Vedas), gifts, penance, truth (in both speech and act), forgiveness, subduing the senses, and renunciation of desire,—­these have been declared to be the eight (cardinal) duties constituting the true path.  Of these, the four first pave the way to the world of the pitris.  And these should be practised without Abhimana.  The four last are always observed by the pious, to attain the heaven of the gods.  And the pure in spirit should ever follow these eight paths.  Those who wish to subdue the world for purpose of salvation, should ever act fully renouncing motives, effectually subduing their senses, rigidly observing particular vows, devotedly serving their preceptors, austerely regulating their fare, diligently studying the Vedas, renouncing action as mean and restraining their hearts.  By renouncing desire and aversion the gods have attained prosperity.  It is by virtue of their wealth of yoga[6] that the Rudras, and the Sadhyas, and the Adityas and the Vasus, and the twin Aswins, rule the creatures.  Therefore, O son of Kunti, like unto them, do thou, O Bharata, entirely refraining from action with motive, strive to attain success in yoga and by ascetic austerities.  Thou hast already achieved such success so far as thy debts to thy ancestors, both male and female concerned, and that success also which is derived from action (sacrifices).  Do thou, for serving the regenerate ones endeavour to attain success in penances.  Those that are crowned with ascetic success, can, by virtue of that success, do whatever they list; do thou, therefore, practising asceticism realise all thy wishes.”

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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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