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Chapter 26

Mahabharata English - ASWAMEDHA PARVA

“The Brahmana said, ‘There is one Ruler. There is no second beside him.He that is Ruler resides in the heart. I shall speak now of him. Impelledby Him, I move as directed, like water along an inclined plane. There isone Preceptor. There is no second beside him. He resides in the heart,and of him I shall now speak. Be instructed by that preceptor; they whoare always endued with feelings of animosity are like snakes. There isone kinsman. There is no second beside him. He resides in the heart ofhim I shall now speak. Instructed by him, kinsmen become possessed ofkinsmen, and the seven Rishis, O son of Pritha, shine in the firmament.There is one dispeller. There is no second beside him. He resides in theheart. Of him I shall now speak. Having lived with that instructor underthe proper mode of living, Sakra attained to the sovereignty of all theworlds.[73] There is one enemy. There is no second beside him. He residesin the heart. Of him I shall now speak. Instructed by that preceptor allsnakes in the world are always endued with feelings of animosity. In thisconnection is cited the ancient story of the instruction of the snakes,the deities, and the Rishis by the Lord of all creatures. The deities andthe Rishis, the snakes, and the Asuras, seated around the Lord of allcreatures, asked him, saying,–Let that which is highly beneficial for usbe declared. Unto them that enquired about what is highly beneficial, theholy one uttered only the word Om, which is Brahman in one syllable.Hearing this, they ran away in various directions. Amongst them that thusran in all directions from desire of self-instruction, the dispositionfirst arose in snakes of biting. Of the Asuras, the disposition, born oftheir nature for ostentations, pride arose. The deities betook themselvesto gifts, and the great Rishis to self-restraint. Having repaired to oneteacher, and having been instructed (refined) by one word, the snakes,the deities, the Rishis, and the Danavas, all betook themselves todiverse different dispositions. It is that one who hears himself whenspeaking, and apprehends it duly. Once, again, is that heard from himwhen he speaks. There is no second preceptor.[74] It is in obedience tohis counsels that action afterwards flows. The instructor, theapprehender, the hearer, and the enemy, are pleased within the heart. Byacting sinfully in the world it is he that becomes a person of sinfuldeeds. By acting auspiciously in the world, it is he who becomes a personof auspicious deeds. It is he who becomes a person of unrestrainedconduct by becoming addicted to the pleasures of sense, impelled bydesire. It is he who becomes a Brahmacharin by always devoting himself tothe subjugation of his senses. It is he, again, that casts off vows andactions and takes refuge on Brahman alone. By moving in the world,identifying himself the while with Brahman, he becomes a Brahmacharin.Brahman. is his fuel; Brahman is his fire; Brahman is his origin; Brahmanis his water; Brahman is his preceptor: he is rapt in Brahman.Brahmacharyya is even so subtle, as understood by the wise. Havingunderstood it, they betook themselves to it, instructed by theKshetrajna!'”[75]

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