Chapter 43

Mahabharata English - ASWAMEDHA PARVA

“Brahmana said, ‘Among men, the royal Kshatriya is (endued with) themiddle quality. Among vehicles, the elephant (is so); and among denizensof the forest the lion; among all (sacrificial) animals, the sheep; amongall those that live in holes, is the snake; among cattle, the bovinebull; among females, the mule.[125] There is no doubt in this that inthis world, the Nyagrodha, the Jamvu, the Pippala, the Salmali, andSinsapa, the Meshasringa, and the Kichaka, are the foremost ones amongtrees.[126] Himavat, Patipatra, Sahya, Vindhya, Trikutavat, Sweta, Nila,Bhasa, Koshthavat, Guruskandha, Mahendra and Malayavat,–these are theforemost of mountains. Likewise the Maruts are the foremost of the Ganas.Surya is the lord of all the planets, and Chandramas of all theconstellations. Yama is the lord of the Pitris; Ocean is the lord of allrivers. Varuna is the king of the waters. Indra is said to be the king ofthe Maruts. Arka is the king of all hot bodies, and Indra of all luminousbodies. Agni is the eternal lord of the elements, and Vrihaspati of theBrahmanas. Soma is the lord of (deciduous) herbs, and Vishnu is theforemost of all that are endued with might. Tashtri is the king ofRudras, and Siva of all creatures. Sacrifice is the foremost of allinitiatory rites, and Maghavat of the deities. The North is the lord ofall the points of the compass; Soma of great energy is the lord of alllearned Brahmanas. Kuvera is the lord of all precious gems, and Purandaraof all the deities. Such is the highest creation among all entities.Prajapati is the lord of all creatures. Of all entities whatever, I, whoam full of Brahman, am the foremost. There is no entity that is higherthan myself or Vishnu. The great Vishnu, who is full of Brahman, is theking of kings over all. Know him to be the ruler, the creator, theuncreated Hari. He is the ruler of men and Kinnaras and Yakshas andGandharvas, and Snakes and Rakshasas, and deities and Danavas and Nagas.Among those that are followed by persons full of desire is the greatgoddess Maheswari of beautiful eyes. She is otherwise called by the nameof Parvati. Know that the goddess Uma is the foremost and the mostauspicious of women. Among women that are a source of pleasure, theforemost are the Apsaras who are possessed of great splendour.[127] Kingsare desirous of acquiring piety, and Brahmanas are causeways of piety.Therefore, the king should always strive to protect the twice-born ones.Those kings in whose dominions good men languish are regarded as bereftof the virtues of their order. Hereafter they have to go into wrongpaths. Those kings in whose dominions good men are protected, rejoice inthis world and enjoy happiness hereafter. Verily, those high-souled onesattain to the highest seat. Understand this, ye foremost of regenerateones. I shall after this state the everlasting indications of duties.Abstention from injury is the highest duty. Injury is an indication ofunrighteousness. Splendour is the indication of the deities. Men haveacts for their indications. Ether (or space) has sound for itscharacteristic. Wind has touch for its characteristic. The characteristicof lighted bodies is colour, and water has taste for its characteristic.Earth, which holds all entities, has smell for its characteristic. Speechhas words for its characteristic, refined into vowels and consonants.Mind has thought for its characteristic. Thought has, again, been said tobe the characteristic of the understanding. The things thought of by themind are ascertained with accuracy by the understanding. There is nodoubt in this, viz., that the understanding, by perseverance, perceivesall things. The characteristic of mind is meditation. The characteristicof the good man is to live unperceived.[128] Devotion has acts for itscharacteristic. Knowledge is the characteristic of renunciation.Therefore keeping knowledge, before his view, the man of understandingshould practise renunciation. The man who has betaken himself torenunciation and who is possessed of knowledge, who transcends all pairsof opposites, as also darkness, death, and decrepitude, attains to thehighest goal. I have thus declared to you duty what the indications areof duty. I shall, after this, tell you of the seizure (comprehension) ofqualities. Smell, which appertains to earth, is seized by the nose. Thewind, that dwells in the nose is likewise appointed (as an agent) in theperception of smell. Taste is the essence of water. That is seized by thetongue. Soma, who resides in the tongue, is appointed likewise in theperception of taste. The quality of a lighted body is colour. That isseized by the eye. Aditya who always resides in the eye has beenappointed in the perception of colour. Touch always appertains to thewind (as its quality). That is perceived by the skin. The wind thatalways resides in the skin has been appointed in apprehending touch. Thequality of ether is sound. That is seized by the ear. All the quarters,which reside in the ear, have been appointed in apprehending sound. Thequality of the mind is thought. That is seized by the understanding. Theupholder of consciousness, residing in the heart, has been appointed inapprehending the mind. The understanding is apprehended in the form ofdetermination or certitude, and Mahat in the form of knowledge. Theunperceived (Prakriti) has been, it is evident, appointed for the seizureof all things after certitude. There is no doubt in this.[129] TheKshetrajna which is eternal and is destitute of qualities as regards itsessence, is incapable of being seized by symbols. Hence, thecharacteristic of the Kshetrajna, which is without symbols, is purelyknowledge. The unmanifest resides in the symbol called Kshetra, and isthat in which the qualities are produced and absorbed. I always see,know, and hear it (though) it is hidden. Purusha knows it: therefore ishe called Kshetrajna. The Kshetrajna perceives also the operations of thequalities and absence of their operations. The qualities, which arecreated repeatedly, do not know themselves, being unintelligent, asentities to be created and endued with a beginning, middle, and end. Noone else attains, only the Kshetrajna attains, to that which is thehighest and great and which transcend the qualities and those entitieswhich are born of the qualities. Hence one who understands duties,casting off qualities and the understanding, and having his sinsdestroyed, and transcending the qualities, enters the Kshetrajna. Onethat is free from all pairs of opposites, that never bends his head toany one, that is divested of Swaha, that is immovable, and homeless, isthe Kshetrajna. He is the Supreme Lord.”‘

Chapter 44
Chapter 42
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