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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.

“Bhishma said, ’Aided by the science of Adhyatma one may know everything.  It is, again, superior to all things.  I shall, with the help of my intelligence, explain to thee that Adhyatma about which thou askest me.  Listen, O son, to my explanation.  Earth, Wind, Space, Water, and Light forming the fifth, are the great essences.  These are (the causes of) the origin and the destruction of all creatures.  The bodies of living creatures (both subtile and gross), O bull of Bharata’s race, are the result of the combination of the virtues of these five.  Those virtues (whose combinations produce the bodies of creatures) repeatedly start into existence and repeatedly merge into the original cause of all things, viz., the Supreme Soul.[1442] From those five primal essences are created all creatures, and into those five great elements all creatures resolve themselves, repeatedly, like the infinite waves of the Ocean rising from the Ocean and subsiding into that which causes them.  As a tortoise stretches forth its legs and withdraws them again into itself, even so the infinite number of creatures spring from (and enter) these five great fixed essences.  Verily, sound springs from Space, and all dense matter is the attribute of earth.  Life is from Wind.  Taste is from Water.  Form is said to be the property of Light.  The entire mobile and immobile universe is thus these five great essences existing together in various proportions.  When Destruction comes, the infinite diversity of creatures resolve themselves into those five, and once more, when Creation begins, they spring from the same five.  The Creator places in all creatures the same five great essences in proportions that He thinks proper.  Sound, the ears, and all cavities,—­these three,—­have Space for their producing cause.  Taste, all watery or juicy substances, and the tongue, are said to be the properties of water.  Form, the eye, and the digestive fire in the stomach, are said to partake of the nature of Light.  Scent, the organ of smelling, and the body, are the properties of earth.  Life, touch, and action are said to be the properties of Wind.  I have thus explained to thee, O king, all the properties of the five primal essences.  Having created these, the Supreme Deity, O Bharata, united with them Sattwa, Rajas, Tamas, Time, Consciousness of functions, and Mind forming the sixth.[1443] That which is called the Understanding dwells in the interior of what thou seest above the soles of the feet and below the crown of the head.  In man the senses (of knowledge) are five.  The sixth (sense) is the Mind.  The seventh is called the Understanding.  The Kshetrajna or Soul is the eighth.  The senses and that which is the Actor should be ascertained by apprehension of their respective functions.  The conditions or states called Sattwa, Rajas, and Tamas, depend upon the senses for their refuge or formation.  The senses exist for simply seizing the impressions of their respective objects.  The

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