The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,273 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1.

“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.’

“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, revelling 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

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