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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 2,413 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3.

“Asita said, ’Those from which the Supreme Soul, when the time comes, moved by the desire of existence in manifold, forms, creates all creatures, are said by persons conversant with objects to be the five great essences.[1309] (After this) Time, impelled by the Understanding creates other objects from those (five primal essences).’[1310] He that says that there is anything else besides these (i.e., the five primal essences, Kala, and the Understanding), says what is not true.  Know, O Narada, that these five are eternal, indestructible, and without beginning and without end.  With Kala as their sixth, these five primal essences are naturally possessed of mighty energy.  Water, Space, Earth, Wind, and Heat,—­these are those five essences.  Without doubt, there is nothing higher or superior to these (in point of puissance or energy).  The existence of nothing else (than five) can be affirmed by any one agreeably to the conclusions derivable from the Srutis or arguments drawn from reason.  If any one does assert the existence of anything else, then his assertion would verily be idle or vain.  Know that these six enter into the production of all effects.  That of which are all these (which thou perceivest) is called Asat.[1311] These five, and Kala (or Jiva), the potencies of past acts, and ignorance,—­these eight eternal essences are the causes of the birth and destruction of all creatures.[1312] When creatures are destroyed it is into these that they enter; and when they take birth, it is again from them they do so.  Indeed, after destruction, a creature resolves itself into those five primal essences.  His body is made of earth; his ear has its origin in space; his eye hath light for its cause; his life (motion) is of wind, and his blood is of water, without doubt.  The two eyes, the nose, the two ears, the skin, and the tongue (constituting the fifth), are the senses.  These, the learned know, exist for perception of their respective objects.[1313] Vision, hearing, smelling, touching, and tasting are the functions of the senses.  The five senses are concerned with five objects in five ways.  Know, by the inference of reason, their similitude of attributes.[1314] Form, scent, taste, touch, and sound, are the five properties that are (respectively) apprehended by the five senses in five different ways.  These five properties, viz., form, scent, taste, touch, and sound, are not really apprehended by the senses (for these are inert), but it is the Soul that apprehends them through the senses.  That which is called Chitta is superior to the multitude of senses.  Superior to Chitta is Manas.  Superior to Manas is Buddhi, and superior to Buddhi is Kshetrajna.[1315] At first a living creature perceives different objects through the senses.  With Manas he reflects over them, and then with the aid of Buddhi he arrives at certitude of knowledge.  Possessed of Buddhi, one arrives at certainty of conclusions in respect of objects perceived through the senses.  The five

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