Chapter 352

Mahabharata English - SANTI PARVA

‘Brahma said,–‘Listen, O son, as to how that Purusha is indicated. He iseternal and immutable. He is undeteriorating and immeasurable. Hepervades all things.[1918] O best of all creatures, that Purusha cannotbe seen by thee, or me, or others. Those that are endued with theunderstanding and the senses but destitute of self-restraint andtranquility of soul cannot obtain a sight of him. The Supreme Purusha issaid to be one that can be seen with the aid of knowledge alone. Thoughdivested of body, He dwells in every body. Though dwelling, again, inbodies, He is never touched by the acts accomplished by those bodies. Heis my Antaratma (inner soul). He is thy inner soul. He is the all-seeingWitness dwelling within all embodied creatures and engaged in markingtheir acts. No one can grasp or comprehend him at any time. The universeis the crown of his head. The universe is his arms. The universe is hisfeet. The universe is his eyes. The universe is his nose. Alone andsingle, he roves through all Kshetras (Bodies) unrestrained by anylimitations on his will and as he likes. Kshetra is another name forbody. And because he knows all Kshetras as also all good and bad deeds,therefore he, who is the soul of Yoga, is called by the name ofKshetrajna.[1919] No one succeeds in perceiving how he enters intoembodied creatures and how he goes out of them. Agreeably to the Sankhyamode, as also with the aid of Yoga and the due observance of theordinances prescribed by it, I am engaged in thinking of the cause ofthat Purusha, but alas, I am unable to comprehend that cause, excellentas it is. I shall, however, according to the measure of my knowledge,discourse to thee upon that eternal Purusha and his Oneness and supremegreatness. The learned speak of him as the one Purusha. That one eternalBeing deserves the appellation of Mahapurusha (the great supremePurusha). Fire is an element, but it may be seen to blaze up in athousand places under thousand different circumstances. The Sun is oneand single, but his rays extend over the wide universe. Penances are ofdiverse kinds, but they have one common origin whence they have flowed.The Wind is one, but it blows in diverse forms in the world. The greatOcean is the one parent of all the waters in the world seen under diversecircumstances. Divested of attributes, that one Purusha is the universedisplayed in infinitude. Flowing from him, the infinite universe entersinto that one Purusha again who transcends all attributes, when the timeof its destruction comes. By casting off the consciousness of body andthe senses, by casting off all acts good and bad, by casting off bothtruth and falsehood, one succeeds in divesting oneself of attributes. Theperson who realises that inconceivable Purusha and comprehends hissubtile existence in the quadruple form of Aniruddha, Pradyumna,Sankarshana, and Vasudeva, and who, in consequence of such comprehension,attains to perfect tranquillity of heart, succeeds in entering into andidentifying himself with that one auspicious Purusha. Some personspossessed of learning speak of him as the supreme soul. Others regardedhim as the one soul. A third class of learned men describe him as thesoul.[1920] The truth is that he who is the Supreme Soul is alwaysdivested of attributes. He is Narayana. He is the universal soul, and heis the one Purusha. He is never affected by the fruits of acts even asthe leaf of the lotus is never drenched by the water one may throw uponit. The Karamta (acting Soul) is different. That Soul is sometimesengaged in acts and when it succeeds in casting off acts attains toEmancipation or identity with the Supreme Soul. The acting Soul is enduedwith the seven and ten possessions.[1921] Thus it is said that there areinnumerable kinds of Purushas in due order. In reality, however, there isbut one Purusha. He is the abode of all the ordinances in respect of theuniverse. He is the highest object of knowledge. He is at once the knowerand the object to be known. He is at once the thinker and the object ofthought. He is the eater and the food that is eaten. He is the smellerand the scent that is smelled. He is at once he that touches and theobject that is touched. He is the agent that sees and the object that isseen. He is the hearer and the object that is heard. He is the conceiverand the object that is conceived. He is possessed of attributes and isfree from them. What has previously, O son, been named Pradhana, and isthe mother of the Mahat tattwa is no other than the Effulgence of theSupreme Soul; because He it is who is eternal, without destruction andany end and ever immutable. He it is who creates the prime ordinance inrespect of Dhatri himself. Learned Brahmanas call Him by the name ofAniruddha. Whatever acts, possessed of excellent merits and fraught withblessings, flow in the world from the Vedas, have been caused byHim.[1922] All the deities and all the Rishis, possessed of tranquilsouls, occupying their places on the altar, dedicate to him the firstshare of their sacrificial offerings.[1923] I, that am Brahma, theprimeval master of all creatures, have started into birth from Him, andthou hast taken thy birth from me. From me have flowed the universe withall its mobile and immobile creatures, and all the Vedas, O son, withtheir mysteries. Divided into four portions (viz., Aniruddha, Pradyumna,Sankarshana, and Vasudeva), He sports as He pleases. That illustrious anddivine Lord is even such, awakened by His own knowledge. I have thusanswered thee, O son, according to thy questions, and according to theway in which the matter is expounded in the Sankha system and the Yogaphilosophy.”

Chapter 353
Chapter 351
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