The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 eBook

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

“Bhishma continued, ’Do thou also, O monarch, conduct thyself in that way in which the sire (in this story), conducts himself, devoted to the religion of Truth, after having listened to the speech of his son.’

SECTION CLXXVI

“Yudhishthira said, ’Tell me, O grandsire, whence and how happiness and misery come to those that are rich, as also those that are poor, but who live in the observance of different practices and rites.’[521]

“Bhishma continued, ’In this connection is cited the old narrative of what was sung by Sampaka who had obtained tranquillity and achieved emancipation for himself.  In former times a certain Brahmana, rendered miserable by a bad wife, bad dress, and hunger, and living in the observance of the vow of renunciation, told me these verses,[522] ’Diverse kinds of sorrow and happiness overtake, from the day of birth the person that is born on the earth.  If he could ascribe either of them to the action of Destiny, he would not then feel glad when happiness came or miserable when sorrow overtook him.  Though thy mind is divested of desire, thou bearest yet a heavy load.  Thou dost not seek to achieve thy good (i.e., emancipation).  Art thou not successful in controlling thy mind?  If thou goest about, having renounced home and desirable possessions, thou shalt taste real happiness.  A person divested of everything sleepeth in happiness, and awaketh in happiness.  Complete poverty, in this world, is happiness.  It is a good regimen, it is the source of ’blessings, it is freedom from danger.  This foeless path is unattainable (by persons cherishing desire) and is easily attainable (by those that are freed from desire).  Casting my eyes on every part of the three worlds, I do not behold the person who is equal to a poor man of pure conduct and without attachment (to worldly things).  I weighed poverty and sovereignty in a balance.  Poverty weighed heavier than sovereignty and seemed to possess greater merits.  Between poverty and sovereignty there is this great distinction, viz., that the sovereign, possessed of affluence, is always agitated by anxiety and seems to be within the very jaws of death.  As regards, however, the poor man, who in consequence of the divestment of all wealth has freed himself from hopes and emancipated himself, neither fire, nor foe, nor death, nor robbers, can get the better of him.  The very gods applaud such a man who wanders about according to his sweet will, who lies down on the bare ground with his arm for a pillow, and who is possessed of tranquillity.  Affected by wrath and cupidity, the man of affluence is stained by a wicked heart.  He casts oblique glances and makes dry speeches.—­He becomes sinful, and his face is always darkened with frowns.  Biting his lips, and excited with wrath, he utters harsh and cruel words.  If such a man desires to even make a gift of the whole world, who is there that would like even to look at him?  Constant

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