of Self in consequence of desire, engages itself in
acts. In the union of cause and effect, those
acts again become (new causes). Effects do not
enter into causes. Nor do causes enter into effects.
In the production of effects, Time is the Cause.
The primordial essences (eight in number as mentioned
before), and their modifications six-(teen in number),
fraught with causes, exists in a state of union, in
consequence of their being always presided over by
the Soul. Like dust following the wind that moves
it, the creature-Soul, divested of body, but endued
still with inclinations born of Passion and Darkness
and with principles of causes constituted by the acts
of the life that is over, moves on, following the
direction that the Supreme Soul gives it. The
Soul, however, is never touched by those inclinations
and propensities. Nor are these touched by the
Soul that is superior to them. The wind, which
is naturally pure, is never stained by the dust it
bears away. As the wind is truly separate from
the dust it bears away, even so, the man of wisdom
should know, is the connection between that which is
called existence or life and the Soul. No one
should take it that the Soul, in consequence of its
apparent union with the body and the senses and the
other propensities and beliefs and unbeliefs, is really
endued therewith as its necessary and absolute qualities.
On the other hand, the Soul should be taken as existing
in its own nature. Thus did the divine Rishi
solve the doubt that had taken possession of his disciple’s
mind. Notwithstanding all this, people depend
upon means consisting of acts and scriptural rites
for casting off misery and winning happiness.
Seeds that are scorched by fire do not put forth sprouts.
After the same manner, if everything that contributes
to misery be consumed by the fire of true knowledge,
the Soul escapes the obligation of rebirth in the world.’
“Bhishma said, ’Persons engaged in the
practice of acts regard the practice of acts highly.
Similarly, those that are devoted to Knowledge do
not regard anything other than Knowledge. Persons
fully conversant with the Vedas and depending upon
the utterances contained in them, are rare. They
that are more intelligent desire the path of abstention
from acts as the better of the two, viz., heaven
and emancipation. Abstention from acts is observed
by those that are possessed of great wisdom.
That conduct, therefore, is laudable. The intelligence
which urges to abstention from acts, is that by which
one attains to Emancipation. Possessed of body,
a person, through folly, and endued with wrath and
cupidity and all the propensities born of Passion and
Darkness, becomes attached to all earthly objects.
One, therefore, who desires to destroy one’s
connection with the body, should never indulge in any
impure act. On the other hand, one should create
by one’s acts a path for attaining to emancipation,