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Chapter 34

Mahabharata English - ASWAMEDHA PARVA

“The Brahmana’s wife said, ‘This is incapable of being understood by aperson of little intelligence as also by one whose soul has not beencleansed. My intelligence is very little, and contracted, and confused.Do thou tell me the means by which the knowledge (of which thou speakest)may be acquired. I wish to learn from thee the source from which thisknowledge flows.’

“The Brahmana said, ‘Know that intelligence devoted to Brahman, is thelower Arani; the preceptor is the upper Arani; penances and conversancewit tithe scriptures are to cause the attrition. From this is producedthe fire of knowledge.’

“The Brahmana’s wife said, ‘As regards this symbol of Brahman, which isdesignated Kshetrajna, where, indeed, occurs a description of it by whichit is capable of being seized?’

“The Brahmana said, ‘He is without symbols, and without qualities.Nothing exists that may be regarded as his cause. I shall, however, tellthee the means by which he can be seized or not. A good means may befound; viz., perception of hearing, etc. as flowers are perceived bybees. That means consists of an understanding cleansed by action. Thosewhose understandings have not been so cleansed, regard that entity,through their own ignorance, as invested with the properties of knowledgeand others.[97] It is not laid down that this should be done, of thatthis should not be done, in the rules for achieving Emancipation,–those,that is, in which a knowledge of the soul arises only in him who sees andhears.[98] One should comprehend as many parts, unmanifest and manifestby hundreds and thousands, as one is capable of comprehending here.Indeed, one should comprehend diverse objects of diverse import, and allobjects of direct perception. Then will come, from practice (ofcontemplation and self-restraint, etc.), that above which nothingexists.'[99]

“The holy one continued, ‘Then the mind of that Brahmana’s wife, upon thedestruction of the Kshetrajna, became that which is beyond Kshetrajna, inconsequence of the knowledge of Kshetra.'[100]

“Arjuna said, ‘Where, indeed, is that Brahmana’s wife, O Krishna, andwhere is that foremost of Brahmanas, by both of whom was such successattained. Do thou, tell me about them, O thou of unfading glory.’

“The blessed and holy one said, ‘Know that my mind is the Brahmana, andthat my understanding is the Brahmana’s wife. He who has been spoken ofas Kshetrajna is I myself, O Dhananjaya!”‘

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