The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,413 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3.
of his instructors on the character of the Soul, and in their doctrines of extinction upon the dissolution of the body or of rebirth after death.  Once upon a time a great ascetic of the name of Panchasikha, the son of Kapila, having roamed over the whole world, arrived at Mithila.  Endued with correct conclusions in respect of all speculations about the diverse duties connected with renunciation, he was above all pairs of opposites (such as heat and cold, happiness and misery), and of doubts he had none.  He was regarded as the foremost of Rishis.  Dwelling wherever he pleased, he desired to place before the reach of all men eternal felicity that is so difficult of attainment.  It seemed that he went about, amazing the world, having assumed the form of none else than that great Rishi, that lord of creatures, whom the followers of the Sankhya doctrine knew by the name of Kapila.  He was the foremost of all the disciples of Asuri and was called the undying.  He had performed a mental Sacrifice that had lasted for thousand years.[794] He was firm in mind, and had completed all the rites and sacrifices that are enjoined in the scriptures and that lead to the attainment of Brahma.  He was fully conversant with the five sheaths that cover the soul.[795] He was devoted to the five acts connected with the adoration of Brahma, and had the five qualities (of tranquillity, self-restraint, etc.).  Known (as already said) by the name of Panchasikha, he had approached one day a large concourse of Rishis following the Sankhya doctrines and enquired of them about the highest object of human acquisition, viz., the Unmanifest or that upon which the five Purushas or sheaths (already named) rest.[796] For the sake of obtaining a knowledge of the Soul, Asuri had enquired of his preceptor.  In consequence of the latter’s instructions and of his own penances, Asuri understood the distinction between the body and the Soul and had acquired celestial vision.[797] In that concourse of ascetics, Asuri made his exposition of the Immutable One, and Indestructible Brahma which is seen in diverse forms.  Panchasikha became a disciple of Asuri.  He lived on human milk.  There was a certain Brahmani of the name of Kapila.  She was the wife of Asuri.[798] Panchasikha was accepted by her as a son and he used to suck her breasts.  In consequence of this, he came to be known as the son of Kapila and his understanding became fixed on Brahma.  All this, about the circumstances of his birth and those that led to his becoming the son of Kapila, was said unto me by the divine Rishi.[799] The latter also told me about the omniscience of Panchasikha.  Conversant with all courses of duty, Panchasikha, after having himself acquired high knowledge, (came to Janaka) and knowing that that king had equal reverence for all his preceptors, began to amaze that century of preceptors (by an exposition of his doctrine fraught), with abundant reasons.  Observing the talent of Kapileya, Janaka became exceedingly attached to him,
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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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