The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,886 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3.
consciousness, and other attributes of the usual kind, and that is dissociated from all these, such an assertion would be exposed to a serious objection, for then all that is usually done in the world would be unmeaning, especially with reference to the attainment of the fruits of the charity and other religious acts.  All the declarations in the Srutis inciting to those acts, and all acts connected with the conduct of men in the world, would be equally unmeaning, for the Soul being dissociated from the understanding and the mind, there is no one to enjoy the fruits of good acts and Vedic rites.[812] Thus diverse kinds of speculations arise in the mind.  Whether this opinion is right or that is right, there is no means of settling.  Engaged in reflecting on those opinions, particular persons follow particular lines of speculation.  The understandings of these, directed to particular theories, become wholly taken up with them and are at last entirely lost in them.  Thus all men are rendered miserable by pursuits, good or bad.  The Vedas along, bringing them back to the right path, guide them along it, like grooms conducting their elephants.[813] Many men, with weakened minds, covet objects that are fraught with great happiness.  These, however, have soon to meet with a much larger measure of sorrow, and then, forcibly torn from their coveted meat, they have to own the sway of death.  What use has one, who is destined to destruction and whose life is unstable, with kinsmen and friends and wives and other possessions of this kind?  He who encounters death after having cast off all these, passes easily out of the world and has never to return.  Earth, space, water, heat and wind, always support and nourish the body.  Reflecting upon this, how can one feel any affection for one’s body?  Indeed, the body, which is subject to destruction, has no joy in it.  Having heard these words of Panchasikha that were free from deception, unconnected with delusion (because discouraging sacrifices and other Vedic acts), highly salutary, and treating of the Soul, king Janadeva became filled with wonder, and prepared himself to address the Rishi once more.’”


“Bhishma said, ’Janadeva of the race of Janaka, thus instructed by the great Rishi Panchasikha, once more asked him about the topic of existence or nonexistence after death.’

“Janadeva said, ’O illustrious one, if no person retains any knowledge after departing from this state of being, if, indeed, this is true, where then is the difference between Ignorance and Knowledge?  What do we gain then by knowledge and what do we lose by ignorance?  Behold, O foremost of regenerate persons, that if Emancipation be:  such, then all religious acts and vows end only in annihilation.  Of what avail would then the distinction be between heedfulness and heedlessness?  If Emancipation means dissociation from all objects of pleasurable enjoyment or an association with objects that are not lasting, for what then would men cherish a desire for action, or, having set themselves to action, continue to devise the necessary means for the accomplishment of desired ends?  What then is the truth (in connection with this topic)?’

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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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