The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 2 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,393 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 2.

6.  The Rishi answers—­There is a great objection in admitting the complete or essential identity of things different, i.e., the ordinary soul and Supreme Soul being different, their identity cannot be admitted.  As regards creatures, they flow continually from Anadi-yoga, i.e., the union of the Supreme Soul (which in itself is Unconditioned) with the conditions of space, time etc.; i.e., there is this much of identity, therefore between the ordinary and the Supreme Soul, but not a complete or essential identity.  It is also in consequence of this that the superiority of the Supreme Soul is not lost (the opposite theory would be destructive of that superiority).  The favourite analogy of the thinkers of this school for explaining the connection of the Supreme Soul with the universe is derived from the connection of Akasa with Ghatakasa, i.e., space absolute and unconditioned and space as confined by the limits of a vessel.  The latter has a name, is moved when the vessel is moved, and is limited in space; while space itself, of which the vessel’s space forms a part, is absolute and unconditioned, immovable, and unlimited.

7.  Cars, elephants, horses, infantry, vehicles other than cars, and warriors fighting from the backs of camels.

8.  Called also the Badava fire.

9.  The allusion is to the incarnation of Vishnu as the Horse-necked, Nilakantha explains suvarnakhyam Jagat to be Veda prancha i.e., the whole Vedas with all their contents, According to him, the sense of the passage is that Vishnu in that form swells with his own voice the Vedic notes chanted by the Brahmanas.

10.  Patauti Jalam sravantiti patalam.  Thus Nilakantha.

11.  Literally, one that hath a beautiful or excellent face.

12.  The story of Viswamitra’s promotion to the status of a Brahmana is highly characteristic.  Engaged in a dispute with the Brahmana Rishi Vasishtha, Viswamitra who was a Kshatriya king (the son of Kusika) found, by bitter experience, that Kshatriya energy and might backed by the whole science of arms, availed nothing against a Brahmana’s might, for Vasishtha by his ascetic powers created myriads and myriads of fierce troops who inflicted a signal defeat on the great Kshatriya king.  Baffled thus, Viswamitra retired to the breast of Himavat and paid court to Siva.  The great God appeared and Viswamitra begged him for the mastery of the whole science of weapons.  The god granted his prayer.  Viswamitra then came back and sought an encounter with Vasishtha, but the latter by the aid only of his Brahmanical (bamboo) stick baffled the fiercest weapons of Viswamitra, of even celestial efficacy.  Humiliated and disgraced, Viswamitra set his heart on becoming a Brahmana.  He gave up his kingdom and retiring into the woods with his queen began to practise to severest austerities.  After the expiration of ten thousand years, the Creator Brahma appeared before him and addressed him as a royal Rishi.  Dispirited at this, he devoted himself to still severer austerities.  At last, at Dharma’s command (as here referred to) the great Kshatriya king became a Brahmana.  This, in the Hindu scriptures, is the sole instance of a person belonging to a lower order becoming a Brahmana by ascetic austerities.

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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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