The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,582 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4.

“Mrityu said, ’We both are not free agents, but are dependent on Kala, and ordained to do our appointed work.  Thou shouldst not find fault with us if thou dost consider this matter thoroughly.’

“The fowler said, ’If ye both, O serpent and Mrityu, be dependent on Kala, I am curious to know how pleasure (arising from doing good) and anger (arising from doing evil) are caused.’

“Mrityu said, ’Whatever is done is done under the influence of Kala.  I have said it before, O fowler, that Kala is the cause of all and that for this reason we both, acting under the inspiration of Kala, do our appointed work and therefore, O fowler, we two do not deserve censure from thee in any way!’

“Bhishma continued, ’Then Kala arrived at that scene of disputation on this point of morality, and spoke thus to the serpent and Mrityu and the fowler Arjunaka assembled together.’

“Kala said, ’Neither Mrityu, nor this serpent, nor I, O fowler, am guilty of the death of any creature.  We are merely the immediate exciting causes of the event.  O Arjunaka, the Karma of this child formed the exciting cause of our action in this matter.  There was no other cause by which this child came by its death.  It was killed as a result of its own Karma.  It has met with death as the result of its Karma in the past.  Its Karma has been the cause of its destruction.  We all are subject to the influence of our respective Karma.  Karma is an aid to salvation even as sons are, and Karma also is an indicator of virtue and vice in man.  We urge one another even as acts urge one another.  As men make from a lump of clay whatever they wish to make, even so do men attain to various results determined by Karma.  As light and shadow are related to each other, so are men related to Karma through their own actions.  Therefore, neither art thou, nor am I, nor Mrityu, nor the serpent, nor this old Brahmana lady, is the cause of this child’s death.  He himself is the cause here.  Upon Kala, O king, expounding the matter in this way, Gautami, convinced in her mind that men suffer according to their actions, spoke thus to Arjunaka.’

“Gautami said, ’Neither Kala, nor Mrityu, nor the serpent, is the cause in this matter.  This child has met with death as the result of its own Karma.  I too so acted (in the past) that my son has died (as its consequence).  Let now Kala and Mrityu retire from this place, and do thou too, O Arjunaka, release this serpent.’

“Bhishma continued, ’Then Kala and Mrityu and the serpent went back to their respective destinations, and Gautami became consoled in mind as also the fowler.  Having heard all this, O king, do thou forego all grief, and attain to peace of mind.  Men attain to heaven or hell as the result of their own Karma.  This evil has neither been of thy own creation, nor of Duryodhana’s.  Know this that these lords of Earth have all been slain (in this war) as a result of acts of Kalas.’”

Vaisampayana said, “Having heard all this, the powerful and virtuous Yudhishthira became consoled in mind, and again enquired as follows.”

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The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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