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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 1,319 pages of information about The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 4.
Affectionate towards his devotees, he bestows happiness upon them with a cheerful soul.  This great god loves to reside in crematoria and there he burns and consumes all corpses.  Those persons that perform sacrifices on such grounds attain at the end to those regions which have been set apart for heroes.  Employed in his legitimate function, he it is That is regarded as the Death that resides in the bodies of all creatures.  He is, again, those breaths called Prana and Apana in the bodies of all embodied beings.  He has many blazing and terrible forms.  All those forms are worshipped in the world and are known to Brahmanas possessed of knowledge.  Amongst the gods he has many names all of which are fraught with grave import.  Verily, the meanings of those names are derived from either his greatness or vastness, or his feats, or his conduct.  The Brahmanas always recite the excellent Sata-rudriya in his honour, that occurs in the Vedas as also that which has been composed by Vyasa.  Verily, the Brahmanas and Rishis call him the eldest of all beings.  He is the first of all the deities, and it was from his mouth that he created Agni.  That righteous-souled deity, ever willing to grant protection to all, never gives up his suppliants.  He would much rather abandon his own life-breaths and incur all possible afflictions himself.  Long life, health and freedom from disease, affluence, wealth, diverse kinds of pleasures and enjoyments, are conferred by him, and it is he also who snatches them away.  The lordship and affluence that one sees in Sakra and the other deities are, verily his.  It is he who is always engaged in all that is good and evil in the three worlds.  In consequence of his fullest control over all objects of enjoyment he is called Iswara (the Supreme Lord or Master).  Since, again, he is the master of the vast universe, he is called Maheswara.  The whole universe is pervaded by him in diverse forms.  It is that deity whose mouth roars and burns the waters of the sea in the form of the huge mare’s head!’"[618]

SECTION CLXII

“Vaisampayana said, ’After Krishna, the son of Devaki, had said these words, Yudhishthira once more asked Bhishma the son of Santanu, saying, ’O thou of great intelligence; O foremost of all persons conversant with duties, which, indeed, of the two, direct perception and the scriptures, is to be regarded as authority for arriving at a conclusion?’

“Bhishma said, ’I think, there is no doubt in this.  Listen to me, O thou of great wisdom!  I shall answer thee.  The question thou hast asked is certainly proper.  It is easy to cherish doubt.  But the solution of that doubt is difficult.  Innumerable are the instances, in respect of both direct perception and audition (or the scriptures), in which doubts may arise.  Certain persons, who delight in the name of logicians, verily imagining themselves to be possessed of superior wisdom, affirm

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