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Chapter 253

Mahabharata English - SANTI PARVA

“Vyasa said, ‘Those that are conversant with the scriptures behold, withthe aid of acts laid down in the scriptures, the Soul which is clothed ina subtile body and is exceedingly subtile and which is dissociated fromthe gross body in which it resides.[1087] As the rays of the Sun thatcourse in dense masses through every part of the firmament are incapableof being seen by the naked eye though their existence is capable of beinginferred by reason, after the same manner, existent beings freed fromgross bodies and wandering in the universe are beyond the ken of humanvision.[1088] As the effulgent disc of the Sun is beheld in the water ina counter-image, after the same manner the Yogin beholds within grossbodies the existent self in its counter-image.[1089] All those soulsagain that are encased in subtile forms after being freed from the grossbodies in which they resided, are perceptible to Yogins who havesubjugated their senses and who are endued with knowledge of the soul.Indeed, aided by their own souls, Yogins behold those invisible beings.Whether asleep or awake, during the day as in the night, and during thenight as in day time, they who apply themselves to Yoga after casting offall the creations of the understanding and the Rajas born of acts, asalso the very puissance that Yoga begets, succeed in keeping their lingaform under complete control.[1090] The Jiva that dwells in such Yogins,always endued with the seven subtile entities (viz., Mahat,consciousness, and the five tanmatras of the five elemental entities),roves in all regions of bliss, freed from decrepitude and death. I say’always’, and ‘freed from death’ only in accordance with the common formof speech, for in reality, that linga form is terminable.[1091] That man,however, who (without having been able to transcend them) is under theinfluence of his mind and understanding, discriminates, even in hisdreams, his own body from that of another and experiences (even then)both pleasure and pain.[1092] Yes, in even his dreams he enjoys happinessand suffers misery; and yielding to wrath and cupidity, meets withcalamities of various kinds. In his dreams he acquires great wealth andfeels highly gratified: accomplishes meritorious acts, and (sees andhears, etc.) as he does in his wakeful hours. Wonderful it is to notethat jiva, which has to lie within the uterus and amid much internalheat, and which has to pass a period of full ten months in that place, isnot digested and reduced to destruction like food within the stomach. Menoverwhelmed by the qualities of Rajas and Tamas never succeed inbeholding within the gross body: the Jiva-soul which is a portion of theSupreme Soul of transcendent effulgence and which lies within the heartof every creature. They who betake themselves to the science of Yoga forthe purpose of obtaining (a knowledge) of that Soul transcending theinanimate and gross body, the imperceptible linga body, and the karanabody that is not destroyed on the occasion of even the universaldestruction.[1093] Amongst the duties that have been laid down for thedifferent modes of life including the fourth mode (or Sannyasa), these towhich I have adverted, which have yoga for their foremost, and whichimply a cessation of every operation of the Mind and the understanding,have been laid down by Sandilya (in the Chandogya Upanishad).[1094]Having comprehended the seven subtile entities (viz., the senses, theobjects of the mind, Mind, Understanding, Mahat, Unmanifest or Prakriti,and Purusha), having comprehended also the Supreme cause of the universewith the six attributes (viz., omniscience, contentment, unlimitedcomprehension, independence, eternal wakefulness, and omnipotence), andlastly having understood that the universe is only a modification ofAvidya endued with the three qualities, one succeeds in beholding (guidedby the scriptures), high Brahma.'”[1095]

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