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Chapter 39

Mahabharata English - BHISHMA PARVA

“The Holy One said, ‘They say that the Aswattha, having its roots aboveand branches below, is eternal, its leaves are the Chhandas. He whoknoweth it, knoweth the Vedas.[279] Downwards and upwards are stretchedits branches which are enlarged by the qualities; its sprouts are theobjects of senses. Downwards its roots, leading to action, are extendedto this world of men.[280] Its form cannot here (below) be thus known,nor (its) end, nor (its) beginning, nor (its) support. Cutting, with thehard weapon of unconcern, this Aswattha of roots firmly fixed, thenshould one seek for that place repairing whither one returneth not again(thinking)–I will seek the protection of that Primeval Sire from whomthe ancient course of (worldly) life hath flowed.–Those that are freefrom pride and delusion, that have subdued the evil of attachment, thatare steady in the contemplation of the relation of the Supreme to theindividual self, from whom desire hath departed, freed from the pairs ofopposites known by the names of pleasure and pain (and the like), repair,undeluded, to that eternal seat. The sun lighteth not that [seat], northe moon, nor fire. Whither going none returneth, that is my supremeseat. An eternal portion of Me is that which, becoming an individual soulin the world of life, draweth to itself the (five) senses with the mindas the sixth which all depend on nature. When the sovereign (of thisbodily frame) assumeth or quitteth (a) body, it departeth taking awaythese, like the wind (taking away) perfumes from their seats. Presidingover the ear, the eye, (the organs of) touch, taste, and smell, and alsoover the mind, he enjoyeth all objects of senses. They that are deludeddo not see (him) when quitting or abiding in (the body), when enjoying orjoined to the qualities. They (however) see that have the eye ofknowledge.[281] Devotees exerting (towards that end) behold him dwellingin themselves. They (however) that are senseless and whose minds are notrestrained, behold him not, even while exerting (themselves).[282] Thatsplendour dwelling in the sun which illumines the vast universe, that(which is) in the moon, and that (which is) in the fire, know thatsplendour to be mine. Entering into the earth I uphold creatures by myforce; and becoming the juicy moon I nourish all herbs.[283] Myselfbecoming the vital heat (Vaiswanara) residing in the bodies of creaturesthat breathe, (and) uniting with the upward and the downwardlife-breaths, I digest the four kinds of food.[284] I am seated in thehearts of all. From Me are memory and knowledge and the loss of both. Iam the objects of knowledge to be known by (the aid of) all the Vedas. Iam the author of the Vedantas, and I alone am the knower of theVedas.[285] There are these two entities in the world, viz., the mutableand the immutable. The mutable is all (these) creatures. The unchangeableone is called the immutable.[286] But there is another, the SupremeBeing, called Paramatman, who was the Eternal Lord, pervading the threeworlds, sustaineth (them) (and) since I transcend the mutable, and amhigher than even the immutable; for this I am celebrated in the world(among men) and in the Veda as Purushottama (the Highest Being). He who,without being deluded, knoweth Me as this Highest Being,–he knowing all,O Bharata, worshippeth Me in every way.[287] Thus, O sinless one, haththis knowledge, forming the greatest of mysteries, been declared by Me(to thee). Knowing this, O Bharata, one will become gifted withintelligence, and will have done all he needs do.’

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