to be due to the action of the Manifest and the Unmanifest.
The learned say that Brahma is freed from good and
evil, is self-dependent, the highest of the high,
Eternal, and Pure. Do thou, therefore, O monarch,
become Pure! The giver, the receiver of the gift,
the gift itself, and that which is ordered to be given
away, are all to be deemed as the unmanifest Soul.
The Soul is the Soul’s one possession. Who,
therefore, can be a stranger to one? Do thou
think always in this way. Never think otherwise.
He who does not know what is Prakriti possessed of
attributes and what is Purusha transcending attributes,
only he, not possessed as he is of knowledge, repairs
to sacred waters and performs sacrifices. Not
by study of the Vedas, not by penances, not by sacrifices
O son of Kuru, can one attain to the status of Brahma.
Only when one succeeds in apprehending the Supreme
or Unmanifest, one comes to be regarded with reverence.
They who wait upon Mahat attain to regions of Mahat.
They who wait upon Consciousness, attain to the spot
that belongs to Consciousness. They who wait
upon what is higher attain to places that are higher
than these. Those persons, learned in the scriptures,
who succeed in apprehending Eternal Brahma who is
higher than Unmanifest Prakriti, succeed in obtaining
that which transcends birth and death, which is free
from attributes, and which is both existent and non-existent
I got all this knowledge from Janaka. The latter
had obtained it from Yajnavalkya. Knowledge is
very superior. Sacrifices cannot compare with
it. With the aid of Knowledge one succeeds in
crossing the world’s ocean which is full of
difficulties and dangers. One can never cross
that ocean by means of sacrifices. Birth and
death, and other impediments, O king, men of knowledge
say, one cannot pass over by ordinary exertion.
Men attain to heaven through sacrifices, penances,
vows, and observances. But they have again to
fall down therefrom on the Earth. Do thou, therefore,
adore with reverence that which is Supreme, most pure,
blessed, stainless, and sacred, and which transcends
all states (being Emancipation itself). By apprehending
Kshetra, O king, and by performing the Sacrifice that
consists in the acquisition of Knowledge, thou wilt
really be wise. In former time, Yajnavalkya did
that good to king Janaka which is derivable from a
study of the Upanishads. The Eternal and Immutable
Supreme was the topic about which the great Rishi had
discoursed to the king of Mithila. It enabled
him to attain to that Brahma which is auspicious,
and immortal, and which transcends all kinds of sorrow.”
“Yudhishthira said, ’Having acquired great
power and great wealth, and having obtained a long
period of life, how may one succeed in avoiding death?
By which of these means, viz., penances, or the
accomplishment of the diverse acts (laid down in the
Vedas), or by knowledge of the Srutis, or the application
of medicines, can one succeed in avoiding decrepitude