Chapter 32

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

“Arjuna said, ‘What is that Brahman, what is Adhyatma, what is action, Obest of male beings? What also has been said to be Adhibhuta, and what iscalled Adhidaiva? Who is here Adhiyajna, and how, in this body, O slayerof Madhu? And how at the time of departure art thou to be known by thosethat have restrained their self’?–

“The Holy One said, ‘Brahman is the Supreme and indestructible. Adhyatmais said to be its own manifestation. The offering (to any godhead in asacrifice) which causeth the production and development of all–this iscalled action.[213] Remembering me alone in (his) last moments, he that,casting off his body, departeth (hence), cometh into my essence. There isno doubt in this. Whichever form (of godhead) one remembereth when onecasteth off, at the end, (his) body, unto that one he goeth, O son ofKunti, having habitually meditated on it always. Therefore, think of meat all times, and engage in battle. Fixing thy mind and understanding onme, thou wilt, without doubt, come even to me. Thinking (of the Supreme)with a mind not running to other objects and endued with abstraction inthe form of uninterrupted application, one goeth, O son of Pritha, untothe Divine and Supreme male Being. He who at the time of his departure,with a steady mind, endued with reverence, with power of abstraction, anddirecting the life-breath called Prana between the eye-brows, thinketh ofthat ancient seer, who is the ruler (of all), who is minuter than theminutest atom, who is the ordainer of all, who is inconceivable in form,and who is beyond all darkness, cometh unto that Divine and Supreme MaleBeing, I will tell thee in brief about that seat which persons conversantwith the Vedas declare to be indestructible, which is entered by asceticsfreed from all longings, and in expectation of which (people) practisethe vows of Brahmacharins. Casting off (this) body, he who departeth,stopping up all the doors, confining the mind within the heart, placinghis own life-breath called Prana between the eye-brows, resting oncontinued meditation, uttering this one syllable Om which is Brahman, andthinking of me, attaineth to the highest goal.[214] He who alwaysthinketh of me with mind ever withdrawn from all other objects, unto thatdevotee always engaged on meditation, I am, O Partha, easy of access.High-souled persons who have achieved the highest perfection, attainingto me, do not incur re-birth which is the abode of sorrow and which istransient, All the worlds, O Arjuna, from the abode of Brahman downwardshave to go through a round of births, on attaining to me, however, O sonof Kunti, there is no re-birth.[215] They who know a day of Brahman toend after a thousand Yugas, and a night (of his) to terminate after athousand Yugas are persons that know day and night.[216] On the advent of(Brahman’s) day everything that is manifest springeth from theunmanifest; and when (his) night cometh, into that same which is calledunmanifest all things disappear. That same assemblage of creatures,springing forth again and again, dissolveth on the advent of night, andspringeth forth (again), O son of Pritha, when day cometh, constrained(by the force of action, etc.)[217]. There is, however, another entity,unmanifest and eternal, which is beyond that unmanifest, and which is notdestroyed when all the entities are destroyed. It is said to beunmanifest and indestructible. They call it the highest goal, attainingwhich no one hath to come back. That is my Supreme seat. That SupremeBeing, O son of Pritha, He within whom are all entities, and by whom allthis is permeated, is to be attained by reverence undirected to any otherobject. I will tell thee the times, O bull of Bharata’s race, in whichdevotees departing (from this life) go, never to return, or to return.The fire, the Light, the day, the lighted fortnight, the six months ofthe northern solstice, departing from here, the persons knowing Brahma gothrough this path to Brahma.[218] Smoke, night, also the dark-fortnight(and) the six months of the southern solstice, (departing) through thispath, devotee, attaining to the lunar light, returneth. The bright andthe dark, these two paths, are regarded to be the eternal (two paths) ofthe universe. By the one, (one) goeth never to return; by the other, one(going) cometh back. Knowing these two paths, O son of Pritha, no devoteeis deluded. Therefore, at all times, be endued with devotion, O Arjuna.The meritorious fruit that is prescribed for the (study of the) Vedas,for sacrifices, for ascetic austerities and for gifts, a devotee knowingall this (that hath been said here), attaineth to it all, and (also)attaineth the Supreme and Primeval seat.’

Chapter 33
Chapter 31
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