Chapter 39

Mahabharata English - ASWAMEDHA PARVA

“Brahmana said, ‘The qualities are incapable of being declared ascompletely separate from one another. Passion and Goodness and Darknessare seen existing in a state of union. They are attached to one another.They depend on one another. They have one another for their refuge. Theylikewise follow one another. As long as goodness exists, so long doesPassion exist. There is no doubt in this. As long as Darkness andGoodness exist, so long does Passion exist. They make their journeytogether, in union, and moving collectively. They, verily, move in body,when they act with cause or without cause. Of all these which act withone another, however, much they may differ in their development, themanner in which their increase and diminution take place will now bedeclared. There where Darkness exists in an increased measure, in thelower creatures (for example), Passion exists in a smaller measure andGoodness in a measure that is still less. There where Passion exists in acopious measure, in creatures of middle course, Darkness exists in asmaller measure and Goodness in a measure that is still less. There whereGoodness exists in a copious measure, in creatures of upward courses,Darkness should be known to exist in a small measure and Passion in ameasure that is still less. Goodness is the spring that causes themodifications of the senses. It is the great enlightener. No duty hasbeen laid down that is higher than Goodness. They who abide in Goodnessproceed upwards. They who abide in Passion remain in the middle. They whoabide in Darkness, being characterised by qualities that are low, sinkdownwards. Darkness occurs in the Sudra; Passion in the Kshatriya; andGoodness, which is the highest, in the Brahmana. The three qualitiesexist even thus in the three orders. Even from a distance, the threequalities of darkness and Goodness and Passion, are seen to exist in astate of union and more collectively. They are never seen in a state ofseparation.[110] Beholding the sun rising, men of evil deeds becomeinspired with fear. Travellers on their way become afflicted with heat,and suffer distress. The Sun is Goodness developed, men of evil deedsrepresent Darkness; the heat which travellers on their way feel is saidto be a quality of Passion. The sun representing light is Goodness; theheat is the quality of Passion; the shading (or eclipse) of the sun onParvana days should be known to represent Darkness. Even thus, the threequalities exist in all luminous bodies. They act by turns in diverseplaces in diverse ways. Among immobile objects, the quality of Darknessexists in a very large measure. The qualities appertaining to Passion arethose properties of theirs which undergo constant changes. Theiroleaginous attributes appertain to Goodness.[111] The Day should beunderstood as threefold. The Night has been ordained to be threefold. Soalso are fortnight, months, years, seasons, and conjunctions.[112] Thegifts that are wide are threefold. Threefold is sacrifice that flows.Threefold are the worlds; threefold the deities; threefold is knowledge;and threefold the path or end. The past, the Present. and the Future;Religion, Wealth. and Pleasure. Prana, Apana, and Udana; these also arefraught with the three qualities. Whatever object exists in this world,everything in it is fraught with the three qualities. The three qualitiesact by turns in all things and in all circumstances. Verily, the threequalities always act in an unmanifest form. The creation of those three,viz., Goodness, Passion, and Darkness is eternal. The unmanifest,consisting of the three qualities, is said to be darkness, unperceived,holy, Constant. unborn, womb, eternal. Nature, change or modification,destruction, Pradhana, production, and absorption, undeveloped, not small(i.e., vast), unshaking, immovable, fixed, existent, and non-existent.All these names should be known by those who meditate on mattersconnected with the soul. That person who accurately knows all the namesof the unmanifest, and the qualities, as also the pure operations (of thequalities), is well conversant with the truth about all distinctions andfreed from the body, becomes liberated from all the qualities and enjoysabsolute happiness.'”

Chapter 40
Chapter 38
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