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Chapter 34

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

“The Holy One said, ‘Once more still, O mighty-armed one, listen to mysupernal words which, from desire of (thy) good, I say unto thee thatwouldst be pleased (therewith).[229] The hosts of gods know not myorigin, nor the great Rishis, since I am, in every way, the source of thegods and the great Rishis.[230] He that knoweth me as the Supreme Lord ofthe worlds, without birth and beginning, (he), undeluded among mortals,is free from all sins. Intelligence, knowledge, the absence of delusion,forgiveness, truth, self-restraint, and tranquillity, pleasure, pain,birth, death, fear, and also security, abstention from harm, evenness ofmind, contentment, ascetic austerities, gift, fame, infamy, these severalattributes of creatures arise from me. The Seven great Rishis, the fourMaharishis before (them), and the Manus, partaking of my nature, wereborn from my mind, of whom in this world are these offsprings.[231] Hethat knoweth truly this pre-eminence and mystic power of mine, becomethpossessed of unswerving devotion. Of this (there is) no doubt. I am theorigin of all things, from me all things proceed. Thinking thus, thewise, endued with my nature, worship me.[232] Their hearts on me, theirlives devoted to me, instructing one another, and gloryfying me they areever contented and happy.[233] Unto them always devoted, and worshipping(me) with love, I give that devotion in the form of knowledge by whichthey come to me.[234] Of them, for compassion’s sake. I destroy thedarkness born of ignorance, by the brilliant lamp of knowledge, (myself)dwelling in their souls.’

“Arjuna said, ‘Thou art the Supreme Brahma, the Supreme Abode, theHoliest of the Holy, the eternal Male Being Divine, the First of godsUnborn, the Lord. All the Rishis proclaim thee thus, and also thecelestial Rishi Narada; and Asita, Devala, (and) Vyasa; thyself alsotellest me (so). All this that thou tellest me, O Kesava, I regard astrue since, O Holy One, neither the gods nor the Danavas understand thymanifestation. Thou only knowest thyself by thyself. O Best of MaleBeings. O Creator of all things; O Lord of all things, O God of gods, OLord of the Universe, it behoveth thee to declare without anyreservation, those divine perfections of thine by which perfectionspervading these worlds thou abidest. How shall I, ever meditating, knowthee, O thou of mystic powers, in what particular states mayst thou, OHoly One, be meditated upon by me?[235] Do thou again, O Janardana,copiously declare thy mystic powers and (thy) perfections, for I am neversatiated with hearing thy nectar-like words.”

“The Holy One said,–‘Well, unto thee I will declare my divineperfections, by means of the principal ones (among them), O chief of theKurus, for there is no end to the extent of my (perfections).[236] I amthe soul, O thou of curly hair, seated in the heart of every being, I amthe beginning, and the middle, and the end also of all beings. I amVishnu among the Adityas, the resplendent Sun among all luminous bodies;I am Marichi among the Maruts, and the Moon among constellations.[237] Iam the Sama Veda among the Vedas; I am Vasava among the gods; I am themind among the senses; I am the intellect in (living) beings. I amSankara among the Rudras, the Lord of treasures among the Yakshas and theRakshasas; I am Pavaka among the Vasus, and Meru among the peaked(mountains). [238] Know me, O son of Pritha, to be Vrihaspati, the chiefof household priests. I am Skanda among commanders of forces. I am Oceanamong receptacles of water. I am Bhrigu among the great Rishis, I am theOne, undestructible (syllable Om) among words. Of sacrifices I am theJapa-sacrifice.[239] Of immobiles I am the Himavat. I am the figtreeamong all trees, I am Narada among the celestial Rishis. I am Chitrarathaamong the Gandharvas and the ascetic Kapila among ascetics crowned withYoga success. Know me to be Uchchaisravas among horses, brought forth by(the churning for) nectar, Airavata among princely elephants, and theking among men. Among weapons I am the thunderbolt, among cows I am (shecalled) Kamadhuk. I am Kandarpa the cause of reproduction, I am Vasukiamong serpents.[240] I am Ananta among Nagas, I am Varuna among acquaticbeings, I am Aryaman among the Pitris, and Yama among those that judgeand punish.[241] I am Prahlada among the Daityas, and Time among thingsthat count. I am the lion among the beasts, and Vinata’s son among wingedcreatures. Of purifiers I am the wind. I am Rama among wielders ofweapons. I am the Makara among fishes, and I am Jahnavi (Ganga) amongstreams.[242] Of created things I am the beginning and the end and alsothe middle, O Arjuna. I am the knowledge of Supreme Spirit among allkinds of knowledge, and the disputation among disputants.[243] Among allletters I am the letter A, and (the compound called) Dwanda among allcompounds. I am also Time Eternal, and I am the Ordainer with face turnedon every side.[244] I am Death that seizeth all, and the source of all,that is to be. Among females, I am Fame, Fortune, Speech, Memory,Intelligence, Constancy, Forgiveness. Of the Sama hymns, I am theVrihat-sama and Gayatri among metres. Of the months, I am Margasirsha, ofthe seasons (I am) that which is productive of flowers.[245] I am thegame of dice of them that cheat, and the splendour of those that aresplendid. I am Victory, I am Exertion, I am the goodness of the good. Iam Vasudeva among the Vrishnis, I am Dhananjaya among the sons of Pandu.I am even Vyasa among the ascetics, and Usanas among seers. I am the Rodof those that chastise, I am the Policy of those that seek victory. I amsilence among those that are secret. I am the Knowledge of those that arepossessed of Knowledge. That which is the Seed of all things, I am that,O Arjuna. There is nothing mobile or immobile, which can exist withoutme. There is no end, O chastiser of foes, of my divine perfections. Thisrecital of the extent of (those) perfections hath been uttered by me byway (only) of instancing them. Whatever of exalted things (there is) orglorious, or strong, understand thou that everything is born of a portionof my energy. Or rather, what hast thou to do, by knowing all this indetail, O Arjuna? Supporting this entire universe with only a portion (ofmyself), I stand.[246]”

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