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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.
was?  Indeed, the only inference that can be drawn is that the entire chain of existences of a particular being is not really a chain of connected links (but that existences in succession are unconnected with one another).[806] Then, again if the being that is the result of a rebirth be really different from what it was in a previous phase of existence, it may be asked what satisfaction can arise to a person from the exercise of the virtue of charity, or from the acquisition of knowledge or of ascetic power, since the acts performed by one are to concentrate upon another person in another phase of existence (without the performer himself being existent to enjoy them?) Another result of the doctrine under refutation would be that one in this life may be rendered miserable by the acts of another in a previous life, or having become miserable may again be rendered happy.  By seeing, however, what actually takes place in the world, a proper conclusion may be drawn with respect to the unseen.[807] The separate Consciousness that is the result of rebirth is (according to what may be inferred from the Buddhistic theory of life) different from the Consciousness that had preceded it in a previous life.  The manner, however, in which the rise or appearance of that separate Consciousness is explained by that theory does not seem to be consistent or reasonable.  The Consciousness (as it existed in the previous life) was the very reverse of eternal, being only transitory, extending as it did till dissolution of the body.  That which had an end cannot be taken as the cause for the production of a second Consciousness appearing after the occurrence of the end.  If, again, the very loss of the previous Consciousness be regarded as the cause of the production of the second Consciousness, then upon the death of a human body being brought about by a heavy bludgeon, a second body would arise from the body that is thus deprived of animation.[808] Once more, their doctrine of extinction of life (or Nirvana or Sattwasankshaya) is exposed to the objection that that extinction will become a recurring phenomenon like that of the seasons, or the year, or the yuga, or heat, or cold, or objects that are agreeable or disagreeable.[809] If for the purpose of avoiding these objections, the followers of this doctrine assert the existence of a Soul that is permanent and unto which each new Consciousness attaches, they expose themselves to the new objection that that permanent substance, by being overcome with decrepitude, and with death that brings about destruction, may in time be itself weakened and destroyed.  If the supports of a mansion are weakened by time, the mansion itself is sure to fall down at last.[810] The senses, the mind, wind, blood, flesh, bones (and all the constituents of the body), one after another, meet with destruction and enter each into its own productive cause.[811] If again the existence of an eternal Soul be asserted that is immutable, that is the refuge of the understanding,
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