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Chapter 48

Mahabharata English - ASWAMEDHA PARVA

“Brahmana said, ‘Some regard Brahman as a tree. Some regard Brahman as agreat forest. Some regard Brahman as unmanifest. Some regard it astranscendant and freed from every distress. They think that all this isproduced from and absorbed into the unmanifest. He who, even for theshort space of time that is taken by a single breath, when his end comes,becomes equable, attaining to the self, fits himself for immortality.Restraining the self in the self, even for the space of a wink, one goes,through the tranquillity of the self, to that which constitutes theinexhaustible acquisition of those that are endued with knowledge.Restraining the life-breaths again and again by controlling themaccording to the method called Pranayama, by the ten or the twelve, heattains to that which is beyond the four and twenty. Thus having firstacquired a tranquil soul, one attains to the fruition of all one’swishes.[144] When the quality of Goodness predominates in that whicharises from the Unmanifest, it becomes fit for immortality. They who areconversant with Goodness applaud it highly, saying that there is nothinghigher than Goodness. By inference we know that Purusha is dependent onGoodness. Ye best of regenerate ones, it is impossible to attain toPurusha by any other means. Forgiveness, courage, abstention from harm,equability, truth, sincerity, knowledge, gift, and renunciation, are saidto be the characteristics of that course of conduct which arises out ofGoodness. It is by this inference that the wise believe in the identityof Purusha and Goodness, There is no doubt in this. Some learned men thatare devoted to knowledge assert the unity of Kshetrajna and Nature. This,however, is not correct. It is said that Nature is different fromPurusha: that also will imply a want to consideration. Truly, distinctionand association should be known (as applying to Purusha and Nature).Unity and diversity are likewise laid down. That is the doctrine of thelearned. In the Gnat and Udumbara both unity and diversity are seen. As afish in water is different from it, such is the relation of the two(viz., Purusha and Nature). Verily, their relation is like that of waterdrops on the leaf of the lotus.'”

“The preceptor continued, ‘Thus addressed, those learned Brahmanas, whowere the foremost of men, felt some doubts and (therefore) they once morequestioned the Grandsire (of all creatures).'”[145]

Chapter 49
Chapter 47


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