Chapter 44

Mahabharata English - ASWAMEDHA PARVA

“Brahmana said, ‘I shall now tell you truly about all that which has abeginning, middle, and end, and which is endued with name andcharacteristics, together with the means of apprehension. It has beensaid that the Day was first, Then arose Night. The Months are said tohave the lighted fortnights first. The constellations have Sravana fortheir first; the Seasons have that of dews (viz., Winter) for theirfirst. Earth is the source of all smells; and Water of all tastes. Thesolar light is the source of all colours: the Wind of all sensations oftouch. Likewise, of sound the source is space (or Ether). These are thequalities of elements. I shall, after this, declare that which is thefirst and the highest of all entities. The sun is the first of alllighted bodies. Fire is said to be the first of all the elements. Savitriis the first of all branches of learning. Prajapati is the first of allthe deities. The syllable Om is the first of all the Vedas, and thelife-wind Prana is the first of all winds. All that is called Savitriwhich is prescribed in this world.[130] The Gayatri is the first of allmetres; of all (sacrificial) animals the first is the goat. Kine are thefirst of all quadrupeds. The twiceborn ones are the first of all humanbeings. The hawk is the first of all birds. Of sacrifices the first isthe pouring of clarified butter on the fire. Of all reptiles the first, Oforemost of regenerate ones, is the snake. The Krita is the first of allthe Yugas; there is no doubt in this. Gold is the first of all preciousthings. Barley is the first of all plants. Food is the first of allthings to be eaten or swallowed. Of all liquid substances to be drunk,water is the foremost. Of all immobile entities without distinction,Plaksha is said to be the first, that ever holy field of Brahman. Of allthe Prajapatis I am the first. There is no doubt in this. Ofinconceivable soul, the self-existent Vishnu is said to be mysuperior.[131] Of all the mountains the great Meru is said to be thefirst-born. Of all the cardinal and subsidiary points of the horizon, theeastern is said to be the foremost and first-born. Ganga of three coursesis said to be the firstborn of all rivers. Likewise, of all wells andreservoirs of waters, the ocean is said to be the first-born. Iswara isthe supreme Lord of all the deities and Danavas and ghostly beings andPisachas, and snakes and Makshasas and human beings and Kinnaras andYakshas. The great Vishnu, who is full of Brahma, than whom there is nohigher being in the three worlds, is the first of all the universe. Ofall the modes of life, that of the householder is the first. Of thisthere is no doubt. The Unmanifest is the source of all the worlds as,indeed, that is the end of every thing. Days end with the sun’s settingand Nights with the sun’s rising. The end of pleasure is always sorrow,and the end of sorrow is always pleasure. All accumulations haveexhaustion for their end, and all ascent have falls for their end. Allassociations have dissociations for their end, and life has death for itsend. All action ends in destruction, and all that is born is certain tomeet with death. Every mobile and immobile thing in this world istransient. Sacrifice, gift, penances, study, vows, observances,–allthese have destruction for their end. Of Knowledge, there is no end.Hence, one that is possessed of a tranquil soul, that has subjugated hissenses, that is freed from the sense of meum, that is devoid of egoism,is released from all sins by pure knowledge.'”

Chapter 45
Chapter 43
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