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Chapter 251

Mahabharata English - SANTI PARVA

“Vyasa said, ‘One should not show any affection for scents and tastes andother kinds of enjoyment. Nor should one accept ornaments and otherarticles contributing to the enjoyment of the senses of scent and taste.One should not covet honour and achievements and fame. Even this is thebehaviour of a Brahmana possessed of vision.[1068] He that hath studiedall the Vedas, having waited dutifully on his preceptor and observed thevow of Brahmacharya, he that knows all the Richs, Yajuses, and Samans, isnot a regenerate person.[1069] One that behaves towards all creatures asif one is their kinsman, and one that is acquainted with Brahma, is saidto be conversant with all the Vedas. One that is divested of desire(being contented with knowledge of the Soul), never dies. It is by such abehaviour and such a frame of mind that one becomes a truly regenerateperson.[1070] Having performed only various kinds of religious rites anddiverse sacrifices completed with gift of Dakshina, one does not acquirethe status of a Brahmana if he is devoid of compassion and hath not givenup desire.[1071] When one ceases to fear all creatures and when allcreatures cease to fear one, when one never desires for anything norcherishes aversion for anything, then he is said to attain to the statusof Brahma. When one abstains from injuring all creatures in thought,speech, and act, then he is said to acquire the status of Brahma. Thereis only one kind of bondage in this world, viz., the bondage of desire,and no other. One that is freed from the bondage of desire attains to thestatus of Brahma. Freed from desire like the Moon emerged from murkyclouds, the man of wisdom, purged of all stains, lives in patientexpectation of his time. That person into whose mind all sorts of desireenter like diverse streams falling into the ocean without being able toenhance its limits by their discharge, succeeds in obtainingtranquillity, but not he who cherishes desire for all earthly objects.Such a person becomes happy in consequence of the fruition of all hiswishes, and not he who cherishes desire for earthly objects. The latter,even if he attains to heaven, has to fall away from it.[1072] The Vedashave truth for their recondite object. Truth hath the subjugation of thesenses for its recondite object. The subjugation of the senses hathcharity for its recondite object. Charity hath penance for its reconditeobject. Penance hath renunciation for its recondite object. Renunciationhath happiness for its recondite object. Happiness hath heaven for itsrecondite object. Heaven hath tranquillity for its reconditeobject.[1073] For the sake of contentment thou shouldst wish to obtain aserene understanding which is a precious possession, being indicative ofEmancipation, and which, scorching grief and all purposes or doubtstogether with thirst, destroys them completely in the end.[1074] Onepossessed of those six attributes, viz., contentment, grieflessness,freedom from attachment, peacefulness, cheerfulness, and freedom fromenvy, is sure to become full or complete.[1075] They that, transcendingall consciousness of body, know the Soul which resides within the bodyand which is understood by only persons of wisdom with the aid of the sixentities (already mentioned, viz., the Vedas and truth, etc.) whenendowed with only the attribute of Sattwa, and with the aid also of theother three (viz., instruction, meditation and Yoga), succeed inattaining to Emancipation.[1076] The man of wisdom, by understanding theSoul which presides within the body, which is divested of the attributesof birth and death, which exists in its own nature, which beinguninvested with attributes requires no act of purification, and which isidentical with Brahma, enjoys beatitude that knows no termination. Thegratification that the man of wisdom obtains by restraining his mind fromwandering in all directions and fixing it wholly on the Soul is such thatits like cannot be attained by one through any other means. He is said tobe truly conversant with the Vedas who is conversant with that whichgratifies one whose stomach is empty, which pleases one who is indigent,and which invigorates one whose limbs are dry. Suspending his senses thathave been duly restrained from unworthy indulgence, he who lives engagedin Yoga meditation, is said to be a Brahmana. Such a person is said to bedistinguished above others. Such a person is said to derive his joys fromthe Soul. With reference to one who lives after having weakened desireand devoting himself to the highest topic of existence, it should be saidthat his happiness is continuously enhanced like the lunar disc (in thelighted fortnight).[1077] Like the Sun dispelling darkness, felicitydispels the sorrows of that Yogin who transcends both the gross and thesubtile elements, as also Mahat and the Unmanifest.[1078] Decrepitude anddeath cannot assail that Brahmana who has got beyond the sphere of acts,who has transcended the destruction of the Gunas themselves, and who isno longer attached to worldly objects.[1079] Indeed, when the Yogin,freed from everything, lives in a state transcending both attachment andaversion, he is said to transcend even in this life his senses and alltheir objects. That Yogin, who having transcended Prakriti attains to theHighest Cause, becomes freed from the obligation of a return to the worldin consequence of his having attained to that which is thehighest.'”[1080]

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