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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.
where life may be said to reside.  In consequence of this, Jiva, feeling great pain, quickly takes leave of its mortal casement.  Know, O foremost of regenerate persons, that when the vital parts of the physical organism become thus afflicted, Jiva slips away from the body, overwhelmed with great pain.  All living creatures are repeatedly afflicted with birth and death.  It is seen, O chief of Brahmanas, that the pain which is felt by a person when casting off his bodies is like what is felt by him when first entering the womb or when issuing out of it.  His joints become almost dislocated and he derives much distress from the waters (of the womb).[14] Urged on by (another) violent wind, the wind that is in the body becomes excited through cold, and dissolves away the union of matter (called the body) into its respective elements numbering five.[15] That wind which resides in the vital breaths called Prana and Apana occurring within this compound of the five primal elements, rushes upwards, from a situation of distress, leaving the embodied creature.  It is even thus that the wind leaves the body.  Then is seen breathlessness.  The man then becomes destitute of heat, of breath, of beauty, and of consciousness.  Deserted by Brahman (for Jiva is Brahman), the person is said to be dead.  By those ducts through which he perceives all sensuous objects, the bearer of the body no longer perceives them.  It is the eternal Jiva who creates in the body in those very duets the life-breaths that are generated by food.  The elements gathered together become in certain parts firmly united.  Know that those parts are called the vitals of the body.  It is said so in the Sastras.  When those vital parts are pierced, Jiva, rising up, enters the heart of the living creature and restrains the principle of animation without any delay.  The creature then, though still endued with the principle of consciousness, fails to know anything.  The vital parts being all overwhelmed, the knowledge of the living creature becomes overwhelmed by darkness.  Jiva then, who has been deprived of everything upon which to stay, is then agitated by the wind.  He then, deeply breathing a long and painful breath, goes out quickly, causing the inanimate body to tremble.  Dissociated from the body, Jiva, however, is surrounded by his acts.  He becomes equipped on every side with all his auspicious acts of merit and with all his sins.  Brahmanas endued with knowledge and equipped with the certain conclusions of the scriptures, know him, from indications, as to whether he is possessed of merit or with its reverse.  Even as men possessed of eyes behold the fire-fly appearing and disappearing amid darkness, men possessed of the eye of knowledge and crowned with success of penances, behold, with spiritual vision, Jiva as he leaves the body, as he is reborn, and as he enters the womb.  It is seen that Jiva has three regions assigned to him eternally.  This world where creatures dwell is called the field
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