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Chapter 29

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

“Arjuna said,–‘Thou applaudest, O Krishna, the abandonment of actions,and again the application (to them). Tell me definitely which one ofthese two is superior.

“The Holy One said–‘Both abandonment of actions and application toactions lead to emancipation. But of these, application to action issuperior to abandonment. He should always be known to be an ascetic whohath no aversion nor desire. For, being free from pairs of opposites, Othou of mighty arms, he is easily released from the bonds (of action).Fools say, but not those that are wise, that Sankhya and Yoga aredistinct. One who stayeth in even one (of the two) reapeth the fruit ofboth[181]. Whatever seat is attained by those who profess the Sankhyasystem, that too is reached by those who profess the Yoga. He seeth trulywho seeth Sankhya and Yoga as one.[182] But renunciation, O mighty-armedone, without devotion (to action), is difficult to attain. The asceticwho is engaged in devotion (by action) reacheth the Supreme Being withoutdelay. He who is engaged in devotion (by action) and is of pure soul, whohath conquered his body and subdued his senses, and who indentifiethhimself with all creatures, is not fettered though performing(action).[183] The man of devotion, who knoweth truth, thinking–I amdoing nothing–When seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving,sleeping, breathing, talking, excreting, taking, opening the eyelids orclosing them; he regardeth that it is the senses that are engaged in theobjects of senses.[184] He who renouncing attachment engageth in actions,resigning them to Brahma, is not touched by sin as the lotus-leaf (is nottouched) by water.[185] Those who are devotees, casting off attachment,perform actions (attaining) purity of self, with the body, the mind, theunderstanding, and even the senses (free from desire). He who ispossessed of devotion, renouncing the fruit of action, attaineth to thehighest tranquillity. He, who is not possessed of devotion and isattached to the fruit of action, is fettered by action performed fromdesire. The self-restrained embodied (self), renouncing all actions bythe mind, remains at ease within the house of nine gates, neither actinghimself nor causing (anything) to act.[186] The Lord is not the cause ofthe capacity for action, or of the actions of men, or of the connectionof actions and (their) fruit. It is nature that engages (in action). TheLord receiveth no one’s sin, nor also merit. By ignorance, knowledge isshrouded. It is for this that creatures are deluded. But of whomsoeverthat ignorance hath been destroyed by knowledge of self, that knowledge(which is) like the Sun discloseth the Supreme Being. Those whose mind ison Him, whose very soul is He, who abide in Him, and who have Him fortheir goal, depart never more to return, their sins being all destroyedby knowledge.[187] Those, who are wise cast an equal eye on a Brahmanaendued with learning and modesty, on a cow, an elephant, a dog, and achandala.[188] Even here has birth been conquered by them whose mindsrest on equality; and since Brahma is faultless and equable, therefore,they (are said to) abide in Brahma.[189] He whose mind is steady, who isnot deluded, who knows Brahma, and who rests in Brahma, doth not exult onobtaining anything that is agreeable, nor doth he grieve on obtainingthat is disagreeable. He whose mind is not attached to external objectsof sense, obtaineth that happiness which is in self; and by concentratinghis mind on the contemplation of Brahma, he enjoyeth a happiness that isimperishable. The enjoyments born of the contact (of the senses withtheir objects) are productive of sorrow. He who is wise, O son of Kunti,never taketh pleasure in these that have a beginning and an end. That manwhoever here, before the dissolution of the body, is able to endure theagitations resulting from desire and wrath, is fixed on contemplation,and is happy. He who findeth happiness within himself, (and) who sportethwithin himself, he whose light (of knowledge) is deprived from withinhimself, is a devotee, and becoming one with Brahma attaineth toabsorption into Brahma. Those saintly personages whose sins have beendestroyed, whose doubts have been dispelled, who are self-restrained, andwho are engaged in the good of all creatures, obtain absorption intoBrahma. For these devotees who are freed from desire and wrath, whoseminds are under control, and who have knowledge of self, absorption intoBrahma exists both here and thereafter.[190] Excluding (from his mind)all external objects of sense, directing the visual glance between thebrows, mingling (into one) the upward and the downward life-breaths andmaking them pass through the nostrils, the devotee, who has restrainedthe senses, the mind, and the understanding, being intent onemancipation, and who is freed from desire, fear, and wrath, isemancipated, indeed. Knowing me to be enjoyer of all sacrifices andascetic austerities, the great Lord of all the worlds, and friend of allcreatures, such a one obtaineth tranquillity.’

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