to be attached to the objects of the senses; never
languishes in sorrow or rejoices in happiness.
When overwhelmed with even great afflictions, such
a person never gives way to grief. That person
is a very superior one whom even great success cannot
gladden and even dire calamities cannot afflict, and
who bears pleasure and pain, and that which is between
them both, with an unmoved heart. Into whatever
condition a person may fall, he should summon cheerfulness
without yielding to sorrow. Indeed, even thus
should one drive off from one’s self one’s
swelling grief that is born in one’s mind and
that is (if not dispelled) sure to give pain.
That assembly of learned persons engaged in the discussion
of duties based upon both the Srutis and the Smritis
is not a good assembly,—indeed, that does
not deserve to be called by the name of assembly,—entering
which a wicked man does not become penetrated with
fear (born of his wicked deeds). That man is
the foremost of his species who having dived into and
enquired after righteousness succeeds in acting according
to the conclusions to which he arrives. The acts
of a wise man are not easily comprehensible.
He that is wise, is never Stupefied when afflictions
come upon him. Even if he falls away from his
position like Gautama in his old age, in consequence
of the direct calamity, he does not suffer himself
to be stupefied. By any of these, viz
mantras, strength, energy, wisdom, prowess, behaviour,
conduct, or the affluence of wealth, can a person
acquire that which has not been ordained to be acquired
by him? What sorrow then is there for the non-acquisition
of that upon which one has set one’s heart?
Before I was born, they that have the matter in their
hands had ordained what I am to do and suffer.
I am fulfilling what was thus ordained for me.
What then can death do to me? One obtains only
that which has been ordained to be obtained. One
goes thither whither it was ordained that one is to
go. Those sorrows and joys are obtained that
are ordained to be obtained. That man who knowing
this fully, does not suffer himself to be stupefied,
and who is contented under both happiness and sorrow,
is regarded as the foremost of his species.’”
“Yudhishthira said, ’What, indeed, is
good for a man that is sunk in dire distress, when
loss of friends or loss of kingdom, O monarch has
occurred? In this world, O bull of Bharata’s
race, thou art the foremost of our instructors.
I ask thee this. It behoveth thee to tell me what
“Bhishma said, ’For one that has been
deprived of sons and wives and pleasures of every
kind and wealth, and that has been plunged into dire
distress, fortitude is of the highest good, O king!
The body is never emaciated of one that is always
possessed of fortitude. Grieflessness bears happiness
within it, and also health that is a superior possession.
In consequence again of this health of body, once may