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.

“Bhrigu said, ’All things that belong to the category of the Infinite or the Vast receive the appellation of Great.  It is for this reason that these five elements have come to be called Great creatures.  Activity is wind.  The sound that is heard is space.  The heat that is within it is fire.  The liquid juices occurring in it are water.  The solidified matter, viz., flesh and bones, are earth.  The bodies (of living creatures) are thus made of the five (primeval) elements.  All mobile and immobile objects are made of these five elements.  The five senses also of living creatures partake of the five elements.  The ear partakes of the properties of space, the nose of earth; the tongue of water; touch of wind; and the eyes of light (of fire).’

“Bharadwaja said, ’If all mobile and immobile objects be composed of these five elements, why is it that in all immobile objects those elements are not visible?  Trees do not appear to have any heat.  They do not seem to have any motion.  They are again made up of dense particles.  The five elements are not noticeable in them.  Trees do not hear:  they do not see; they are not capable of the perceptions of scent or taste.  They have not also the perception of touch.  How then can they be regarded as composed of the five (primeval) elements?  It seems to me that in consequence of the absence of any liquid material in them, of any heat, of any earth, of any wind, and of any empty space, trees cannot be regarded as compounds of the five (primeval) elements.’

“Bhrigu said, ’Without doubt, though possessed of density, trees have space within them.  The putting forth of flowers and fruits is always taking place in them.  They have heat within them in consequence of which leaf, bark, fruit, and flower, are seen to droop.  They sicken and dry up.  That shows they have perception of touch.  Through sound of wind and fire and thunder, their fruits and flowers drop down.  Sound is perceived through the ear.  Trees have, therefore, ears and do hear.  A creeper winds round a tree and goes about all its sides.  A blind thing cannot find its way.  For this reason it is evident that trees have vision.  Then again trees recover vigour and put forth flowers in consequence of odours, good and bad, of the sacred perfume of diverse kinds of dhupas.  It is plain that trees have scent.[555] They drink water by their roots.  They catch diseases of diverse kinds.  Those diseases again are cured by different operations.  From this it is evident that trees have perceptions of taste.  As one can suck up water through a bent lotus-stalk, trees also, with the aid of the wind, drink through their roots.  They are susceptible of pleasure and pain, and grow when cut or lopped off.  From these circumstances I see that trees have life.  They are not inanimate.  Fire and wind cause the water thus sucked up to be digested.  According, again, to the quantity of the water taken up, the tree advances in growth and becomes humid.  In

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