always attains to That which is higher than the Understanding;
while upon their separation the mind always acquires
that which is below the Understanding. That person,
who, in conformity with the method already described,
becomes engaged in destroying earthly objects, attains
to absorption into the body of Brahma. Though
the Soul is unmanifest; yet when clothed with qualities,
its acts become unmanifest. When dissolution (of
the body) comes, it once more becomes manifest.
The Soul is really inactive. It exists, united
with the senses that are productive of either happiness
or sorrow. United with all the senses and endued
with body, it takes refuge in the five primal elements.
Through want of power, however, it fails to act when
deprived of force by the Supreme and Unchangeable.
No man sees the end of the earth but knows this, viz
that the earth’s end Will surely come.
Man, agitated here (by attachments), is surely led
to his last refuge like the wind leading a vessel
tossed on the sea to a safe harbour at last.
The Sun, spreading his rays, becomes the possessor
of an attribute, (viz., the lighter of the world):
withdrawing his rays (at the hour of setting), he
once more becomes an object divested of attributes.
After the same manner, a person, abandoning all distinctions
(attachments), and betaking himself to penances, at
last enters the indestructible Brahma which is divested
of all attributes. By discerning Him who is without
birth, who is the highest refuge of all righteous
persons, who is self-born, from whom everything springs
and unto whom all things return, who is unchangeable,
who is without beginning, middle, and end, and who
is certainty’s self and supreme, a person attains
to immortality (Emancipation).’”
“Yudhishthira said, ’O grandsire, O thou
of great wisdom, I desire to hear in detail, O chief
of the Bharatas, of that lotus-eyed and indestructible
one, who is the Creator of everything but who has been
created by none, who is called Vishnu (in consequence
of his pervading everything), who is the origin of
all creatures and unto whom all creatures return,
who is known by the names of Narayana and Hrishikesa
and Govinda and Kesava, and who is incapable of being
vanquished by any one.’
“Bhishma said, ’I have heard of this subject
from Jamadagni’s son Rama, while he discoursed
on it, from the celestial Rishi Narada, and from Krishna-Dwaipayana.
Asita-Devala, O son, Valmiki of austere penances, and
Markandeya, speak of Govinda as the Most Wonderful
and the Supreme. Kesava, O chief of Bharata’s
race, is the divine and puissant Lord of all.
He is called Purusha, and pervades everything, having
made himself many. Listen now, O Yudhishthira
of mighty arms, to those attributes which great Brahmanas
say are to be met with in the high-souled wielder
of Saranga. I shall also, O prince of men, recite
to thee those acts which persons conversant with old