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Chapter 27

Mahabharata English - ASWAMEDHA PARVA

“The Brahmana said, ‘Having crossed that impassable fastness (the world)which has purposes for its gadflies and mosquitoes, grief and joy for itscold and heat, heedlessness for its blinding darkness, cupidity anddiseases for its reptiles, wealth for its one danger on the road, andlust and wrath its robbers, I have entered the extensive forest of(Brahman)’.

“The wife of the Brahmana said, ‘Where is that foremost, O thou of greatwisdom? What are its trees? What its rivers? What its mountains andhills? How far is that forest?’

“The Brahmana said, ‘There exists nothing that is separate from it. Thereis nothing more delightful than it. There is nothing that is unseparatedfrom it. There is nothing more afflicting than it. There is nothingsmaller than that. There is nothing vaster than that. There is nothingminuter than that. There is no happiness that can resemble it. Regeneratepersons, entering into it, at once transcend both joy and sorrow. They(then) never stand in fear of any creature, nor does any creature standin fear of them. In that forest are seven large trees, seven fruits, andseven guests. There are seven hermitages, seven (forms of) Yogaconcentration, and seven (forms) of initiation. Even this a descriptionof that forest.[76] The trees which stand filling that forest, produceexcellent flowers and fruits of five colours. The trees which stand therefilling that forest, produce flowers and fruits that are of excellentcolours and that are, besides, of two kinds. The trees which stand therefilling that forest, produce flowers and fruits that are endued withfragrance and that are, besides, of two colours. The trees which standthere filling that forest, produce flowers and fruits that are possessedof fragrance and that are, besides, of one colour. The two trees whichstand filling that forest, produce many flowers and fruits that are ofunmanifest colours. There is one fire here, possessed of a good mind.That is connected with Brahmana. The five senses are the fuel here. Theseven forms of Emancipation flowing from them are the seven forms ofInitiation. The qualities are the fruits, and the guests eat thosefruits. There, in diverse places, the great Rishis accept hospitality.When they, having been worshipped, become annihilated, then anotherforest shines forth. In that forest, Intelligence is the tree;Emancipation is the fruit; Tranquillity is the shade of which it ispossessed. It has knowledge for its resting house, contentment for itswater, and the Kshetrajna for its sun. Its end cannot be ascertainedupwards, downwards, or horizontally. Seven females always dwell there,with faces downwards, possessed of effulgence, and endued with the causeof generations. They take up all the different tastes from all creatures,even as inconstancy sucks up truth. In that itself dwell, and from thatemerge, the seven Rishis who are crowned with ascetic success, with thoseseven having Vasishtha for their foremost. Glory, effulgence, greatness,enlightenment, victory, perfection, and energy, these seven always followthis same like rays following the sun. Hills and mountains also existthere, collected together; and rivers and streams bearing waters in theircourse, waters that are born of Brahma. And there happens a confluencealso of streams in the secluded spot for sacrifice. Thence those that arecontented with their own souls proceed to the Grandsire. Those whosewishes have been reduced, whose wishes have been directed to excellentvows, and whose sins have been burnt off by penances, merging themselvesin their souls, succeed in attaining to Brahman. Tranquillity is praisedby those who are conversant with the forest of knowledge. Keeping thatforest in view, they take birth so as not to lose courage. Even such isthat sacred forest that is understood by Brahmanas, and understanding it,they live (in accordance with the ordinance), directed by theKshetrajna.'”

Chapter 28
Chapter 26
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