Vaisampayana told Janamejaya the story of Maha Bharata.
“O Dharmaja! as far as my knowledge goes, I told you what all you have asked. If you still have any doubts, kindly ask me. I will explain.” told Bhishma.
“O grandsire Bhishma! so far, you enlightened me about Dharma which is applicable for Kings. Now I request you to kindly explain about human beings and their welfare and the dharma applicable to them. What is the foremost dharma in all Dharmas?” asked Dharmaja.
“O son of Dharma! In this world, the Dharma was spread in many ways. All dharmas are to be followed. But the wise and learned will believe that Moksha is the best of all. Moksha is nothing but treating pleasures and sorrows and likes and dislikes equally. I will now tell you a story.
In the ancient past, there was a king called Senajit. He lost his son. At that time, a brahmin came to him. Having found the King in great grief, the Brahmin asked the king:
“O King! why are you grieving for your son. One who is born shall have to die. It is the Dharma prevailing in this universe. It is not that your son alone met his death. If so, why are you grieving like a fool?” asked Brahmin.
“What you said is correct. Tell me how to eradicate this grief from my mind?” asked the King.
“O King! in a stream, several logs of wood will be floating. Some logs come together and again separate themselves. In the same manner, in one’s life, wife and children and relatives come together and separated by death. It is foolish to grieve for their death. When your body itself is not eternal, how can you grieve for the bodies of your wife and children. Hence dont develop excessive love and affection towards your wife and children. When you do not develop affection towards your kith and kin, you will not grieve for their departure. Therefore, dont grieve for your son’s death.
In a man’s life, both pleasure and sorrow will be coming and going, one after the other. No one suffers sorrow for ever and no one enjoys happiness for ever. Wise will never feel happy during pleasures and feel sorrow during sufferings. Generlly, human being feels that the animate and inanimate objects in the outside world are of his own. When they are separated from him, he feels sorrow. If he is not attached to them, there is no scope for sorrow. The attachment of a human being with several animate and inanimate objects in this universe are the result of his deeds in his past life.
Whether he is learned or illiterate, attachments and detachments show equal influence. One has to face the problems with courage by visualising both pleasures and sorrows equally. If we discard desires, sorrow will never come nearer to us.
This fact is evident from the words of Pingala, a prostitute. In the past, there was a prostitute by name Pingala. She fell in love with a man and she was waiting for his arrival. He never returned. She thought for herself thus:
“I have become mad by waiting for my lover. But my lover is not equally mad for my sake. Why should I feel sorry for his absence. I will control my sense organs. Instead of feeling for his absence, I can treat those who come to me as my true lovers. Why should I aspire for those who do not come to me. That aspiration will ruin my life. I will forget him from today onwards and live with which I am having.”
Thereofore, O King! stop lamenting for those who left you and satisfy with those who are with you” said the Brahmin.
O Dharmaja! try to understand the innermeaning in this story and live happily with which you have. The pleasures, wealth and happiness you are enjoying is no way equal than contentment.” said Bhishma.
“O Grandsire Bhishma! what would be the behaviour of the human beings in case of complete destruction of this universe.” asked Dharmaja.
“O Dharmaja! in this connection, I will narrate another story. In a village, there was a Brahmin. He got a son called Wise. Wise studied all Vedas and Sastras. One day Wise asked his father “O father! day by day, the life of human beings is diminishing. Everybody is aware of this. In this regard, what would be the behaviour of human beings to have a better living.” asked Wise.
“O my son! there is only one way. Marrying at appropriate time, begetting children, performing Yajnas and Yagas, going to Vanaprastha and at last attaining Moksha. In this manner, one can overcome the death” said the Brahmin.
“O father! you are telling all these things as if the death is under your control. From the moment, human being comes out of his mother’s womb, death will be behind him always. The life of human being will be diminishing, minute by minute. While the human being is under the influence of his wife and children, one day or other, death will swallow him. While the human being is making plans for his future life basing upon his past life, suddenly death will succumb him. Therefore, it is evident that human being is under the control of time but time is not under the control of human being.
Death is impartial. Either he is brave or coward; wise or unwise; weak or mighty; when time comes, he will be succumbed to death. Therefore, man will find pleasure in discarding the desires. Entangling in the passion for desires is itself death. The truth that nothing is mine, is eternal. The awareness that the entire world is nothing but delusion, will save him from death. One should feel pleasure or sorrow equally. Then only he will live peacefully.
Getting married, begetting children, performing Yagas and retiring to forests is not a solution to get rid of death. While performing Yajnas and Yagas, killing of animals is compulsory. How can one get Moksha by killing animals in Yagas. Besides that, egoism--I am performing Yajnas and Yagas--- will be developed. By any stretch of imagination, it cannot be said that performing of Yajnas and yagas is a path for Moksha. One can attain Moksha by controlling his mind, speach and sense organs.
Therefore, in order to attain eternal happiness, shed the Kama, krodha, lobha, moha, mada, matsarya; settle down in a lonely place; detach yourself from the outside world; engage in meditation with pure mind and try to know yourself.” said Wise, the brahmin boy to his father.
Therefore, Dharmaja! try to understand the inner meaning of the conversation between the father and son and realise the eternal truth.” said Bhishma.
“O Grandsire Bhishma! in this world, there are rich and poor. Of them, who is feeling happy and who is leading miserable life. Tell me.” asked Dharmaja.
“O Dharmaja! if you put both wealth and poverty in the scales, the scales will lean towards poverty. Now I will tell you the characteristics of rich and poor.
One who possess wealth and property will always be afflicted with fear. He will always be afraid of thieves, fire accidents. He will always be at death knell. Therefore, a rich will never be happy and peaceful. Besides that, for the sake of money, he will be angry upon others unnecessarily. Not satisfied with what he has, he will be aspiring for more wealth and spoil his mind. In order to safeguard his wealth, he will always be with agitated mind. Therefore, rich will never be happy.
On the contrary, a poor will move happily any where and everywhere without fear. He will never be angry upon others and never cheat anybody. He will always be with stable mind. Therefore, poor without money is greater than rich. Rich may lose his wealth at any moment or gradually. If he is aware of this fact, he will be happy. Realising the truth that wealth is not eternal and it is a cause for misery, one will get eternal happiness.” said Bhishma.
“O Grandsire, Bhishma! When a person, who always aspires for wealth and riches, will get happiness.” asked Dharmaja.
“O Dharmaja! I will narrate you one story. In a village, there was a brahmin, called Manki. He was having two calves. He tied them with a rope around their necks. One day, those two calves ran towards a camel, lying there. The calves tried to jump upon the camel. When the calves were on either side of the camel, the camel rose to its feet. Both the calves were hanging and the rope tied around their necks throttled. Both the calves died. Manki was very much distressed, beholding the death of the calves.
“I wanted to earn money with these two calves. But I realised that without the blessings of God I cannot earn a single coin. Blessings of God are compulsory to have peace of mind. Unless we discard our desires, peace of mind is impossible. How to discard our desires? The root for the desires is our mind and sense organs. We have to control our sense organs and remain speechless. But, maintaining silence is not a solution. We have to discard our desires.
To fulfil our desires, we require money. Mere having money does not bring happiness, because we may not have enough money which we desire. Therefore, we make trials to earn money. By simply making trials, we may not get enough money. Even if we earn enough money, what shall we do? We have to strive hard to protect that money from thieves. Therefore, troubles follow money. Even we do not get sufficient money also, we feel distressed. Therefore, wehther we acquire wealth or not, distress is certain.
Therefore, real happiness lies in discarding the desires. Even if we earn sufficient money, we are not contented. We aspire for more money. We have to strive hard both for acquiring wealth and keeping it safe. Not satisfied with which we are having, we will aspire for more wealth. Therefore, desires are the roots for all these aspirations and ambitions because desires have no end. Whether it is easy or difficult, we try to fulful our desires and land in troubles.
I bought the calves only to earn money. They died without fulfillling my desire. The desire to acquire wealth is extinguished in my mind. Now I am peaceful.” so thinking, Manki discarded his desires and spent the rest of his life peacefully.” said Bhishma.
“O Grandsire! by adopting which dharma, one will get rid of all his woes and attain salvation.” asked Dharmaja.
“Dharmaja! In this connection, I will tell you the story of Ajagara. In the ancient past, Prahlada requested a Brahmin to teach him about Sama (peace). The Brahmin told thus: “O king Prahlada! in this universe, daily there are several births and deaths. Knowing fully well that this life is not eternal, human beings are always craving to live eternally.
While there were floods to a river, several logs of wood will be floating in that stream. Some times, they come together and immediately they separate. In this creation also, wife, children, relatives are coming together and separating, without our interference. One should realise this truth and live happily. As far as I am concerned, I am living peacefully, without developing affection or illwill upon my kith and kin. I will never aspire for my more wealth. I never feel distressed. I will try to get rid of that distress. I will never give importance for tasty food. I will consume whatever I get. I will sleep either on a soft bed or on a hard surface. I will wear costly clothes or remain in rags.
Remaining as an anaconda without caring for pleasures or sorrows and riches and poverty is called Ajagara Vrata. Without aspiring for pleasures and living with contentment is Ajagara Vrata. Living with contentment, maintaining cleanliness is called Ajagara Vrata. We will perform this Vrata only with Jnana. One who performs this Vrata will never be attained with sin. He will live without fear or misery. He will attain Moksha.” said Bhishma.
“O Grand sire! Which of these four viz., the riches of his relatives, the results of his past deeds, the riches of his own and his own wisdom, will get name and fame to a human being.” asked Dharmaja.
“Dharmaja! out of one’s own wisdom and intelligence, he will get name and fame. Therefore, wisdom and intelligence is quite essential for a humanbeing.” said Bhishma.
“O son of Ganges! Human beings will be making charities, performingTapas, serving their parents and elders, with great devotion. How those deeds are useful for the human beings and in which manner.” asked Dharmaja.
“O Dharmaja! pleasures and sorrows will be following
one after other. If he is pious and virtuous, he will be enjoying pleasures,
one after other. If he is wicked, sorrows will afflict him one after other.
There are bad and wicked in this universe. Instead of serving the society,
they will cause harm and hardship to the society.
Generally human beings will have good character. But there are some bad and wicked here and there. Generally, the society will consider the good and virtuous as inefficient and useless. Righteous people will never care for the society and move in a right path. They will enjoy the results of their righteousness in the form of pleasures. Therefore, Dharmaja, righteous and virtuous life will always yield good results.” said Bhishma.
“O Grandsire! who created this world and how?” asked Dharmaja.
“O Dharmaja! I will now tell you the conversation between Bhrigu and Bharadwaja.
Lord Vishnu is all-pervasive. He has no beginning or end. Vishnu intended to create and created avyakta. From out of avyakta, Mahat Tatva or Prikriti Tatva was born. From out of Prakriti, a lotus was born. From out of that Lotus, Brahma was born. Brahma created the space. From out of space, water was created. From out of water, Agni, out of Agni, vayu and with the combination of Agni and Vayu, earth was created.
All these five elements are embedded in Brahma. In fact, the entire nature itself is Brahma. The hills and mountains are the bones of Brahma. The earth is nothing but flesh and all oceans are blood. The space is stomache and Vayu is prespiration. Agni is the heat and Sarits are veins. Sun and moon are two eyes and the upper lokas are head and undergound are his feet. Four sides are four hands. In this manner, from out of Vishnu, this nature was born.
The five elements are eternal and there are no boundaires for the five elements. We cannot say that air, fire and earth are here and not there. They are anywhere and everywhere. Like Vishnu, the five elements are omnipresent and all-pervasive.
Then Saint Bharadwaja asked Bhrigu: “You told me that Brahma was born out of Lotus. Who created that Lotus?” asked Bharadwaja.
“O Bharadwaja! we thought that Vishnu is all pervasive. Brahma was created by Vishnu. When Vishnu has no form, Brahma was the first creature. Lotus was his seat. Lotus means the earth. Therefore, there are no first and second in creation. The highest mountain on earth is Meru. If the entire earth is Lotus flower, Meru is Karnika (centre mound). From out of that Lotus (earth) the living and non living were created.” said Bhrigu.
“O Bhrigu! from which these five elements were created?” asked Bharadwaja.
“O Bharadwaja! Vayu is constantly moving. Akash is the form of sound. Water is in liquid form. Agni is in the form of heat. Earth is in solid form. With these five elements, moveables and non -moveables were created.” said Bhrigu.
“O Bhrigu! how these five elements act in non-living
beings.” asked Bharadwaja.
“O Bhrigu! the natural characteristics of earth etc., are sound, light, heat, smelling etc. How they will be enjoyed by humans. Kindly tell me.” asked Bharadwaja.
“O Bharadwaja! desires come out of mind and those desires will be fulfilled through sense organs. Human being enjoys the pleasures and sorrows through sense organs. Jeeva in the form of Kshetrajna is spread through out the body. That Jeeva is above the sense organs and its pleasures and sorrows, just witnessing what is happening. Jeeva will always be looking at the supreme consciousness which is his original status. The wise and learned will realise the original status of Jeeva. They will be above these wordly pleasures and live virtuous life with peace of mind. At the end they will attain Moksha.
At the inception, Lord Brahma created Brahmins as an embodiment of truth, dharma, virtues and tapas. Then Kshatriyas, Vysyas and Soodras were created. Brahma fixed certain colours to them. White colour for Brahmins, red colour for Kshatriyas, ellow colour for Vysyas and black colour for Soodras. Specific duties also were entrusted to those four castes(colours or groups).
If anybody abandons his own duty and adopt the duty of other castes, he has to remain in that caste only. If anybody follows the duties of more than one caste, it amounts to debauchery. As per the duties entrusted to them, people will be regarded higher caste and lower caste.
Amongst all Dharmas, truth is greatest. Truth is Brahma, Truth is Tapas. Truth will create people. Out of Truth only, this creation sustains. But falsehood overtakes the Truth. Truth and falsehood resembles Dharma and Adharma; light and dark; heaven and hell; pleasure and sorrow; awareness and ignorance; etc. Therefore, falsehood is the form of sorrow. To eradicate that, wise and learned will live a pious and righteous life.
Pains are of two kinds. Diseases and old age. These are bodily pains. The other is sorrow caused due to the death of our kith and kin. This is mental agony. If the human being lives above these two, he will feel eternal happiness and at last attain Moksha.” said Bhrigu.
Then Bharadwaha asked about Ashrama Dharmas. Bhrigu said thus: “O Bhardwaja! the characteristics of bachelor are--- devotion towards his Guru, studying Vedas, leading pious life with cleanliness and humbleness. The household may earn money throgh lawful means. He should worship guests and enjoy the pleasures of eating and drinking, under control. During Vanaprastha, one should consume roots, leaves and fruits and sleep on ground. A Sanyasi shall lead an austere life and eat whtever he gets by begging. If a person follows these four Ashrams, desirelessly, he will attain Moksha.” said Bhrigu.
“I heard that there is another world (para loka). What is the difference between this physical world and the other world.” asked Bharadwaja.
“O Bharadwaja! there is vast difference between the pleasures enjoyed in this world and the other world. In this world, human being derives pleasures from magnificent buildings, beautiful beds, highest seats, gorgeous clothes, beautiful flowers, nice music and dances, gardens, beautiful ladies etc. But you will find comparative merits in the above worldly pleasures. But in heaven, there are no comparative merits except eternal happiness.
But who are afflicted with evil and wicked ideas will go to hell where there is unended suffering and sorrow. Those who have no desire on worldly pleasures will not be afflicted either with Punya or Papa. They will enjoy eternal plesure.” said Bhrigu.
Being satisfied with those answers, Bharadwaja went away.” said Bhishma.
“O Grandsire! Kindly tell me about customs and practices in the society.” asked Dharmaja.
“O Dharmaja! It is desirable to main good conduct and character. The following are the good habits: Bathing in a river early in the morning and offering water to Sun; not to sleep either at the time of sunrise or sunset; taking food only after taking bath and performing Sandhya Vandanam; worshipping the food before eating; not to sleep with wet feet etc. are good habits.
One should not gaze at ladies without clothes. Intercourse with ladies shall be done in closed doors. Serving teachers and worshipping Brahmins will increase his life span.” said Bhishma.
“O Grandisre! I would like to know about ‘Adhyaatma Vidya’ and its importance” asked Dharmaja.
“O Dharmaja! I already told you that earth, water, light, air and space are the five elements. Our sense organs are the instruments for these five elements. Mind is the basis for sense organs. Intellect will help the mind to arrive at a right decision. In this manner, human being will be moving in the outside world for fulfilling his desires.
The human being can control his mind and sense organs, and abandon the desires with the help of intellect. The jeeva in the body is called Atma, Kshetrjna, Bhootaatma, Purusha, Parameswara etc. With his previous experience, Purusha recognises the worldly objects. But mostly he is deceived being unaware of the truth that all these worldly objects are illusory and due to this illusion only, he could not recognise the supreme consciousness.
Ignorance itself is delusion (maya). Sat, Rajas and Tamas are the forms of delusion. First we have to discard Rajs and Tamas and follow only Satva. In course of time, we should also abandon Satva and attain Moksha. Satva is enjoyable. Rajas is full of sorrow. Tamas supresses our intellect. We should not be influenced by these three elements.
Now I will tell you about Yoga. One should keep his mind stable and concentrated . The nature of mind is fickleness, like drop water on lotus leaf. Breathing is the movement of mind. Therefore, we have to control breating. It is difficult to control the mind and breathing but we can do it with constannt practice. For that, we have to observe Yama, Niyama etc. If we control our breating in an order, the thoughts arising in our mind also will become thin and thinner. Breathing will be in regular order. It is the way to attain salvation where we can enjoy eternal peace.” said Bhishma. “O Grandsire! kindly tell me about the higher regions one will attain by performing Japa regularly.” asked Dharmaja.
“O Dharmaja! I will tell you a conversation between Yama, Mrutyu, Kaala (time), Ikshvaku and a brahmin. Japa was accepted by Vedas. While performing Japa, one should be clean and neat, sit on a mat woven with holy grass(darbh), and control his mind and sense organs. He should remove all vices like egoism, envy, jealousy etc. from his mind. Such a person will conquer the entire universe with his japa and at last attain Moksha. If he performs Japa without observing cleanliness and neatness and with evil and wicked ideas, he will be thrown into hell.
Once, there was a Brahmin called Kousika. He performed Japa about Deity Savitri. Savitri appeared before him and blessed him with higher regions. Kousika continued his Japa for hundred more years. Deity of Dharma appeared before him.
“Kousika! It is time for you to go to higher regions.” said Deity of Dharma.
“For performing Japa, this body is essential. Therefore, for the sake of higher regions, I cannot leave this body” said Kousika.
“Kousika! if not today, some day or other, you have to abandon this body. Leaving higher regions, why you intend to remain in this mortal body.” asked the deity of Dharma.
“Whatever it be, I cannot leave this body which is essential for my Japa.” said Kousika firmly.
“Kousika! Deity Mrutyu, Yama and Kala Purusha
are waiting for you” said Deity Dharma.
“It is time for you to proceed to higher regions.” said Kala Purusha.
“I have come to take you away from this world”
At that time, King Ikshvaku, while proceeding on pilgrimage, arrived there. Kousika welcomed him.
“O King, what can I offer you within my limits.” asked Kousika.
“We are Kshatriyas. We will never receive anything from others. I will give you whatever you want.” said Ikshvaaku.
“I donot want anything as I abandoned everything in this outside world. You are my guest. You have to ask. I will give. You need not feel for this. I am giving you as my guest not as charity” said Kousika.
“If you desire so, you can give me the fruits of your Japa. First tell me what you have derived from your Japa.” asked Ikshvaku.
“I have not performed Japa desiring anything. Hence I do not know what fruits I have derived from my Japa. First you receive the fruits of my Japa and then enquire about its effect.” asked Kousika.
“Kousika! without knowing the effect of your Japa, how can I receive it. I dont want it.” said Ikshavaku.
“No no. I promised to give the fruits of my Japa. You promised to take it. How can you refuse now.It is against Satyavrata for both of us. Truth is eternal. I cannot transgress truth.” said Kousika.
Having heard their conversation, Deity Dharma said: “O King! you have to receive the fruits of his Japa.” said Dharma.
“In such a case, Kousika has to receive whatever I give.” said Iksvaku.
“No No I do not want anything. I never receive anything” said Kousika.
“O Brahmin Kousika! I will give you a suitable gift. I am giving you the fruits of all my virtuous deeds.” said King Ikshavaku.
Kousika grew angry. “If you dont receive what I give, I will curse you” said Kousika.
“Oh what is this. I never received anything from anybody. Now I have to receive from this Brahmin” so thinking, King Ikshavaku stretched his hand to receive. Kousika gave him the fruits of his Japa performed by him for so many years. In return, Kousika received the fruits of all the virtuous deeds performed by King Ikshavaku.
“O King! You have received the fruits of my Japa. Though it is not necessary for me, I also received the fruits of your virtuous deeds. You can go” said Kousika.
Then Kousika left his body through Brahma Randhra. A light came out of his body. Brahma welcomed him. The Atma of Kousika entered the face of Brahma.
Lord Brahma said: “Those who perform Japa with utmost devotion will attain Moksha like Kousika” .
Then King Ikshvaku also left his body and attained salvation. Therefore, King Dharmaja! one will get salvation if he performs Japa with utmost devotion.” said Bhishma.
“O Grandsire Bhishma! I heard that Jnana Yoga is best of all Yogas. Kindly tell me about Jnana Yoga” asked Dharmaja.
“Dharmaja! I will narrate the conversation between Manu and Brihaspati. At the request of Manu, Brihaspati told Manu about Jnana Yoga. Jnana Yoga is nothing but performing virtuous deeds with great devotion. Generally, human beings will be performing Karmas to acquire what they like very much and to abandon what they do not like. In that process, initially pleasure and happiness will be there. Later it will transform into sorrow. But who does Karma without aspiring for its result will not be influenced by the resultant pleasures or sorrows. He will be beyond Kama and Krodha etc. Then only he will accomplish Jnana Yoga and later Moksha.
Para Tatva has no form. It is without sound and light. It is not visible for naked eye or felt by sense organs. Paratatva has no masculine or feminine or neutral characteristics. It is shining in the form of Jnana. This Jnana will make the sense organs and mind shine. Intellect will be assisting mind and sense organs in their day to day affairs. This Para Tatva spread all throughout our body. It will be known by another Tatva only. Simply because, Para Tatva is not seen or felt either by sense organs or by mind, it cannot be said that it is not present. One has to see Para Tatva only through Jnana. Only wise and learned can recognise Para Tatva. When this Para Tatva is covered with ignorance, it is not visible. When the ignorance ends, awareness begins. When the mind is clean, then only it can recognise Para Tatva.
Our sense organs, while coming into contact with the outside world, will be inflicted with sorrows. If we could control our sense organs, we will get eternal peace and happiness. We can control our mind and sense organs through meditation. If we could control our mind beyond Satva, Rajas and Tamas, we will get salvation.
Awareness is always covered with delusion (maya). One cannot define delusion as it has no certain form. If we could keep Satva, Raja and Tamas at a distance, delusion will vanish. In the entire creation, Atma is lying internally.Amongst the five elements, one is greater than the other. Mind is greater than all. Intellect is greater than mind. Above all, Kala (time) remains. All the five elements, mind and intellect are subject to Kala. The supreme consciousness(parama atma) rules Kaala.
Parama Atma has no beginning, middle or end. Parama Atma is imperishable, invisible for sense organs. One who controls mind, intellect, jnana, he will join in Parama Atma One can realise Parama Atma by observing Yama, Niyama, and controlling the mind.” said Bhishma.
“O Grand Sire, I desire to know about Sri Krishna Tatva. Kindly tell me.” asked Dharamaja. “O Dharmaja! I will tell you what I heard from Narada. Sri Krishna is Vishnu Swaroopa. Vishnu created the five elements. One of those elements is Water. Vishnu slept on the water bed. From his novel, arose a lotus. From out of that Lotus, Brahma was born. Brahma created seven sons from out of his mind. They are Mareechi, Atri, Angirasa, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratuvu, and Daksha. Kasyapa was born to Marichi. Through Kasyapa, Divine bodies, Rakshasas, Garudas, Nagas etc., were born.
Sun was the son of Kasyapa. Moon was the son of Atri. From out of Sun and Moon, Kshatriya clans were created. (Soorya Vamsa and Chandra Vamsa.). Both Soorya Vamsa and Chandra Vamsa kshatriyas ruled this earth for so many years. Several sub clans were created from out of Soorya Vamsa and Chandra Vamsa. Out of internal differences between them, the kings fought with each other and died. Thus the burden of earth was lessened by Vishnu.
O Dharmaja! it is our ignorance to treat Sri Krishna as an ordinary human being. Sri Krishna is won by his devotees. Sri Krishna will always be blessing his devotees and fulful their desires.” said Bhishma.
Both Bhishma and Dharmaja bowed before Sri Krishna who was standing there. Then Dharmaja asked Bhishma “O Grandsire! what is the path to attain salvation. Kindly tell me.” asked Dharmaja.
“O Dharmana! I will tell what Vishnu told Narada. “O Narda! one should have three qualities to worship me. First and foremost is devotion. Second is concentration. Third is control of sense organs. A man of pure mind will have these three qualities. To eradicate evils from his mind, one should think about me. A mantra, beginning with Om followed by Nama, coupled with letters praising my qualities, should be chanted with pure and concentrated mind. Then they should read Anusmruthi. With this, human beings will attain Dharma, Ardha, Kama and Moksha.
Then Vishnu told Narada about Anusmrithi.
I will pray with folded hands, Avyaya, Bhaktavatsala, Vishnu, Parama Pususha, Avyakta, Pundarikasha, Bhuvana Sakshi, Nitya, Purana purusha, Sahasraksha, Akshara, Lokaikanadha, Bhavya, Bhoota Bhavya Bhavatprabhu, Sarvatomukha, Bhoota Sampravarti, Amruta, Achyuta, Ananta, Hrishikesha, Ravisahasra nibhu, Hiranya Garbha, Abjnadha, Satya, Adyantarahita, Bhoogarbha, Bhaktigamya, Achala, Sookshma, Varenya, Sahasra Seersha, Abhayakara, Aseersha, Narayana, Sanatana, Yogamurthin, Lokaatirikta, Dhruva, Eswara, Hari.
I will pray Him who is the supreme consciousness, from whose naval Brhma was born and from whom all this universe was created.
I will pray Vishnu who is Nitya Satya Svaroopa and who is moveable and immoveable in this world and who will remain constant even during Maha Pralaya.
I will pray the son of Vasudeva who is Kala Purusha, who is Parjanya, and who does all things in this universe. I will pray that Self-illuminatory who illumines Agni, Sun, Moon, planets, starts etc.
I will pray Vishnu who is Yajnadhara, Pancha Yajnasvaroopa, who is the abode for Lakshmi, who is basis for Yoga.
I will pray Vishuna who is Agamana, Pandha, Akhila Jagadharaja, Nirakara, Kalajnana, Nirguna.
I will pray Him who is visible and invisible, and Bhakta Pradheena.
I will join my Atma with Vishnu who is controlling the entire universe, who is enjoying this Prikriti with his five faces, who is enjoying Satva, Rajas and Tapas.
I will Pray that supreme consciousness after joining whom none will return back and who is shining in sun and moon and stars.He is the beginning of Guna and Nirguna and invisible.
I will pray Him who is the Lord of Lakshmi, and who is aja, sookshma, and all pervasive.
O Narayana! unless we are aware of you, we will not get rid of this Samsara. You are not visible for our sense organs and mind. What is the way out? Wise and learned relinquish their egoism, Kama and likes and dislikes and pray you with utmost devotion. Those who lead their life without aspiring for any fruits, and those who desroy the results of their deeds in the fire of wisdom, and those who lead their life above these duals, they only can realise you.
You are all pervasive but you have no body. You are alwlays protecting sages and saints who are above the duals. This nature, wisdom, egoism, five elements, sense organs are all illumined through you only because you are all pervasive. You are in this Universe and the Universe is in yours. You maintain unity in diversity. As a thread binds all beads, you are pervaded in this entire universe.
You have no reason to born, as you are not born. You are the creator and destroyer. You are the supreme consciousness as well as the limited consciousness in this entire universe.
O Mukunda! I have no likes and dislikes towards others. Everybody is equal to me. I am not afflicted with egoism, and other bad qualities. I have no inclination to enjoy sensual pleasures. Kindly bless me with death. Let my body mix with the five elements. Let there not be again birth and death for my soul. Let me join Hari after my death so that I may not return back again through another body. Let the fruits of my deeds in previous birth available to me so that I will get rid of all my debts in this world.
O Vasudeva! my mind is filled with your name and form. Bless me with your kindness. Vasudeva! dont forget me. You are Avyava, sanatna, agrahya, chinmaya. I will worship you in my mind always. You are Parmatma, Narayana without beginning or end. Whoever worships you in his mind always, will get rid of all his sins and remains in pece.
One who reads this Anusmruthi during deity worship, Pitru ceremonies etc., with utmost devotion and concentration, he will attain higher regions.” said Vishnu to Narada and asked Narada to teach this Anusmruthi to those who are virtuous and with pure heart.
O Dharmaja! This is what was told by Vishnu to Narada.” said Bhishma.
“O Grandsire Bhishma! kindly tell me about the Path to Moksha” asked Dharmaja.
“Dharmaja! in this connection, I will tell you one story called Varshneya Adhyatmyamu. In the past, one saint called Varshneya was sitting in front of his cottage. One of his students asked him about the Path to Moksha.
“You have wisdom and devotion in abundance.You are eligible tobe taught about Moksha. Listen carefully. This Kaala Chakra (Time wheel) is rotating endlessly. We do not know when it began to rotate and we also do not know when it will stop. During this rotation, births and deaths will be occurring regularly and uninterruptedly. During Pralayam, the entire creation will be destroyed except Paramatma.
Again the creation will begin and living and non-living beings will be created. Sages and Saints derive Vedas and Sastras from Paramatma. After obtaining Vedas and Sastras from Paramatma, sages and saints will interpret Vedas, Sastras, legal jurisprudence, customs and practices to be performed in this world. Gradually from Guru to Sishya, this knowledge will be spread all over the world.
By combination of Prakriti with Purusha, chaitnya was created. From chaitanya, wisdom was born. From wisdom, egoism, from egoism space, from space wind, from wind fire, from fire water and from water earth were created. Wisdom is also called Maha Tatva. From Maha Tatva, ten sense organs, five elements, one mind total 16 Vikritis were created. These 16 Vikritis formed into the body of Paramatma.
This human body is a city with nine gates.Paramatma is spread throughout the city. He is called Purusha. This Purusha is immortal without disease and death. He is pure and perfect. Through Purusha only, body will be acting in the outside world through sense organs. The entire creation is visible from invisible. Births and deaths are witnessed by Purusha.
O Dharmanandana! This time is rotating like a wheel with avyakta as axis and seven edges. 16 Vikaras are its circles. On this circle, eternal Atma is sitting. The entire creation, both moveables and immoveables, are within the time frame.While the human being is acting in outside world, Atma will be influenced by Satva, Rajas and Tamas. But the wise and learned will never be influenced by them and act wisely.
Generally, human beings will be craving for worldly pleasures. They cannot lead a virtuous life. Even wise men also will be influenced by Kama, Krodha and fear. However peaceloving he may be, unless he does not discard love towards his body, he cannot relinquish Kama, Krodha and Lobha.
This samsara is like a forest. Human being will be wandering in this forest. How long he may travel, he cannot reach the other side of the forest. Egoism is the basis for five elements, ten sense organs and satva, rajas, tamas. Pleasantness is the characteristic of Satva. Likes nd dislikes, greediness and aggrandizement are the characteristics of Rajas. Egoism, sorrow etc are the characteristics of Tamas.
To acquire knowledge, these three are hurdles. First we have to discard Rajas and Tamas, and fill the mind with Satva, because Satva will help a person to acquire knowledge. We will act in the outside world with egoism. Hence all our deeds are filled with egoism. We will keep constant contact with the outside world. These contacts (vasanas) are causes to have another birth.
Birth means, physical and biological combination of man and woman. Human being will be in the womb of mother for nine months and after coming out, will be entangled in this Samsara. The root cause for this Samsara is hope and ambition. This ambition will grow with the help of a woman. If we are able to cut this hope and ambition at the inception, we can attain Moksha.
Vedas define our egoism as Jeeva. Jeeva will be performing Karmas, bound by time. Jeeva will enjoy the pleasures with the help of mind and sense organs. Unless we relinquish likes and dislikes, we cannot come out of Samsara.
In this universe, human life is greatest of all. Out of humans, Brahmins are greatest. Of those Brahmins, who studied Vedas are best. Of those, who acquired knowledge and intelligence are best. Wisdom is like an eye for human being. Without Jnana, he is blind. Of all the Dhrmas, tolerance, truth, cleanliness and Brahmacharya are best. Everybody shall follow the above Dharmas scrupulously.
Handsome youth shall not engage in talking with beautiful ladies and waiting for them. There is every possibility of those young ladies stealing the minds of handsome youth. One should realise that the body of a beautiful lady which is the abode for sensual pleasures, is nothing but flesh, bones and blood. In such a case, they will not be attracted by ladies.
Control of sense organs is most important. In our body, ten veins and sense organs will be working constantly. Besides these, one more invisible Nadi is shining in our heart. One should have inner vision to be away from sensual pleasures. The sperm ejaculated from a man is called Indriyam. The sperm is the root for all the body elements. It was originally belonged to Indra. Hence sperm is called Indriyam.
The invisible form of Indriyam is mind. Only wise and learned may control their mind. Therefore, human being shall himself keep away from sensual desires, control his sense organs, and perform Yama, Niyama etc with greatest devotion. Sensual desires are very bad. Once we succumb to those sensual desires, our life will be ruined.
Birth and death, in between diseases and old age, are the sorrows in our life. The intelligent will always strive hard to attain moksha and he will never entangle in this birth and death circle. Wise and learned keep their speech, mind and body clean, relinquish egoism, likes and dislikes, show mercy towards others, and lead a peaceful life. But some fake Sanyasis will be pretending as if they controlled their sense organs, speech, mind and body but strive hard to earn money by any means. Be ware of these fake sanyasis.
All the deities and divine bodies will bless those who are virtuous, and controlling their mind and sense organs. With the blessings of deities, Yoga Tantras will be accomplished by Sadhaka. After such accomplishment, Sadhaka shall relinquish all desires and meditate with pure mind.
He should consume only vegetables acquired by begging. Even while acting in outside world, he should not be entangled in the worldly objects. Then only he will attain Para Brahma Tatva which is eternal. Yogi or Sadhaka shall always be in the awakened state. He should not be either in sleep or dream.
While human being is in deep sleep, all the sense organs will be taking rest. Only mind will work in dreams. In dreams, he will experience which he already experienced in his day to day life. Sleep means, after days hard work, sense organs will be taking rest. Dream means, those sense organs will experience past experiences in illusory form. In this dream stage, Atma will be witnessing all the experiences. People believe dreams as good or bad omans. While human being is in dreams, the out side world will not be visible. But Atma will be shining eternally. Therefore , duirng dreams, human being will be acting with greater intelligence.
There are three stages. Awakened, dream and deep sleep. Sadhaka shall keep himself awy from these three stages. Mrutyu (death) is visible. Divinity is invisible. Unless Sadhaka knows about these two, he cannot attain Moksha. Agama Sastras say that Prakrithi Dharma means present, past and future which were created by Brahma; and Nivruthi Dharma is the path of Moksha. Atma resides in our body as Kootastha Chaitanya. Satva, Rajas and Tamas are the garments covering Atma and they will conceal Atma.
Of all the Tapas, Brahma Charya and non-violance are the greatest Tapas. If Sadhaka follows these two Dhrmas, he will shine with greatest wisdom. This Samsara is bound by desires and ambitions. To get rid of this Samsara, Tapas is the only way. In this manner, the saint told his Sishya.
O Dharmaja! you have also heard those teachings. Try to understand the inner meaning of those teachings and make your life happy.” said Bhishma.
“O Grandsire Bhishma! Kindly tell me how Janaka, king of Midhila, attained Moksha.” asked Dharmaja.
“O Dharmaja! King Janaka was having 100 teachers
who were teaching him about philosophy. One day, Saint Pancha Sikha arrived
at his Court. He held philosophical discussions with those 100 teachers
and defeated them. Janaka was astonished for his wisdom. Janaka prayed
him to teach him about the path to Moksha. Saint Pancha Sikha said thus:
“O Saint Pancha Sikha! Let us assume that due to Vairagya only one will attain Moksha. If the human being relinquishes the sensual pleasures, will he attain Moksha.” asked Janaka.
“O King Janaka! Raptures, satisfaction, joy, happiness, tranquility, are attributes of Satvik. Discontentment, regret, grief, cupidity, and vindictiveness are the attributes of Rajas; Wrong judgment, stupefaction, heedlessness, dreams, and sleepiness are the attributes of Tamas. These three qualities will arise due to some reason or other or even without reason. Those three qualities,at times, rebel against the human being himself.
When our mind is peaceful with joy and pleasure, it is satvic quality. If we are afflicted with sorrow, misery, restlessness and with agitated mind, it is Rajas quality. If we are unable to do any work and remain lazy is the tamas quality. We must keep ourselves away from these three qualities and keep our mind clean and peaceful. Then only he will be emancipated from Samsara and attain Moksha.
Vairagya is the basis for such a status. If we are able to mix these three qualities in Atman, mind will remain peaceful. Therefore, human being shall not go behind pleasures and sorrows and turn his mind inside and join with Atma.” said Pancha Sikha.
Having thus been taught by Pancha Sikha, Janaka developed Vairagya and remained stable and peaceful even when Midhila was burnt.” said Bhishma.
“O Grandsire! kindly tell me who is happy, stable and without fear.” asked Dharmaja.
“O Dharmaja! It is highly essential for the people belonging to four castes to have peace of mind and control of sense organs. Particularly, Brahmins shall have control over sense organs. Nobility, calmness of disposition, contentment, faith, forgiveness, invariable simplicity, absence of excessive talking, humility, reverence for superiors, benevolence, compassion for all creatures, frankness, absention from talking against king, absention from all false and useless discourses, absention from applause and censuring others, keeping control over sense organs are called Damas. Those who are endowed with the above qualities will get peace and prosperity either in this world but also in higher regions.” said Bhishma.
“O Grandsire Bhishma! some will be performing Vratas but they take food in between. Will that act not hamper the performance of Vrata.” asked Dharmaja.
“Dharmaja! Taking food with the permission of
Brahmin Priest does not hamper the performance of Vrata. The good qualities
of a human being are observance of fasting, brahmacharya, abstaining from
consuming meat, taking food after offering to divine bodies and Pitaras,
consuming fresh and qualitative food, having sound sleep etc.
“O Grandsire Bhishma! A human being will experience happiness and sorrow, good and bad , according to his past deeds in his previous birth. But whether that human being is the subject for those deeds is a doubt. Kindly clarify the same” asked Dharmaja.
“Dharmanandana! now I will tell you the conversion
between Indra and Prablada. One day, while Rakshasa King Prahlada was
sitting in his palace, Indra arrived there.
Prahlada smiled and said: “O Indra! riches and poverty are side by side. It is not correct to say that riches will be acquired by efforts only, otherwise not. If the fate favours you, you will get wealth of its own accord, otherwise, you will lose everything you earned. Manual efforts are quite immaterial. Our defeating enemies, our acquiring riches and losing our riches are all created by God.
In a human being, his thoughts will be according to his nature. Mind is not constant, so also our thoughts. One has to control his mind and his thoughts. Thinking that I am the doer of all the deeds is ignorance. If he is the doer of all the deeds, he should get same results for his deeds. But he is not getting. Therefore, either for his deeds or its results, God is the deciding factor.
For a doer who thinks that he is doing, the results of that deed also will be attached to him. But for a doer who thinks that everything is done by God and I am immaterial, the results of those deeds will not be attached to him. Therefore, Devendra! I realised the fact that everything we see and enjoy are not eternal and I never entangled in the bondage of Samsara. Hence I am happy always. If we control our sense organs and keep our mind peaceful, we will enjoy eternal peace.” said Prahlada.
“O Prahlada! How could you get this much of peace in your mind. Kindly tell me.” asked Indra.
“Devendra! I maintain good character. I keep my mind always unagitated. I have inner vision. I am always careful and diligent. I serve elders and old people. These qualities will always favour us. Hence I am living peacefully” said Prahlada. Then Indra went away.” said Bhishma.
“O Grandsire! How and by what reason, a king will be deprived of all his riches and wealth.” asked Dharmaja.
“O Dharmanandana! In this connection, i will narrate the conversation between Indra and Bali. Once Indra went to Brahma and asked him about the whereabouts of Rakshasa King, Bali.
“O Indira! I could grasp your evil mind. Still
I will give you one clue. Bali is in the from of camel, donkey, cow or
horse. But dont kill him. Promise me not to kill him.” said Brahma.
Accordingly Indra promised Brahma and went in search of Bali and found
him in the body of a donkey.
“O Mahendra! you cannot visualise my wealth and riches. I secreted them in a cave of a hill. Now and then I will go there and enjoy my riches. Now you are greater than me. Why you are talking unnecessarily. Proceed in your own way.” said Bali.
“No No. It is not like that. Bali, you are wise and learned. You are above this birth and death circle. But how you have taken birth as a donkey.” asked Indra.
“O Indra! in this world, profits and losses, births and deaths, pleasures and sorrows are coming and going. I am above all. Mruthyu will embrace each and everybody, irrespective of the fact whether he is wise or idiot, mighty or weak, rich or poor. As I am aware of that fact, I am living peacefully. Today, you are heckling me that I am eating grass in the body of donkey. But I am living peacefully. I never get angry with your words. Have you ever talked like this while I was Emperor. You were afraid of me even to stand before me. You know about me. Better know who I am before you talk rubbishly. Mahendra! do not you know that fate is more powerful than all. Dont you have this much of wisdom. Your proudly talk is quite unbecoming of Master of Deities. If I get angry, with a blow of my fist, yourself and your Vajrayudha will be reduced to pieces. Take care.” said Bali with great wrath.
But he controlled himself and said: “O Devendra! Take it as a joke. I have no pride or anger in my mind. None is greater than fate. Go and live peacefully.” said Bali peacefully.
At that time, a beautiful lady came out of the body of Bali and went away. “O Bali! who is she?” asked Devendra. “I do not know. Go and ask her” replied Bali. Devendra stopped her and asked her whereabouts.
“O Devendra! I am the Goddess of Riches. There is no wonder that you both donot know about me. None in this universe knows about me. I will stay where there is truth, Dharma, control of sense organs and charitable character. I will stay with a person endowed with such qualities. Previously, Bali was having those characters. Hence I stayed with him. In course of time, Bali was afflicted with corruption, disrespecting brahmins and jealousy. Hence I am leaving him. I would like to stay with you as you are endowed with the above qualities. Unlike Bali you should maintain good character.” said the Goddess of Riches.
Bali intervened and told Mahendra: “O Mahendra! simply because Sun sets on west, does not mean that Sun lost his shining and glory. Next morning, he will rise on east. Simply because I am in the body of donkey, does not mean that I lost my vigour and valour. I will come again and will conquer you in Deva and Asura battle.” said Bali.
“O Bali! Let us see. For the present I have no time to indulge in unnecessary talk with you. As per the word given to Brahma, I am leaving you without killing.” so saying Mahendr went away.
O Dharmaja! you have so far heard the conversion between Indra and Bali. Now I will narrate you the conversation between Indra and Namuchi.
In the past, there was a Rakshasa called Namuchi. He lost all his wealth. But he was not unhappy. He was living at a remote place happily. Indra went to him: “O King of Danavas! you lost all your riches. You are now very poor. None are there to respect you. I hope you are lamenting for your miserable condition.” said Devendr.
“O Devendra! I am not worried about my lost riches. Even if I lament for the lost riches, I cannot regain them. Besides that, sorrow and misery will remain. Devendra! in all the three regions, there is one supreme ruler. As water flows down, we will get what all we have to get. Hence I am feeling happy. If I am destined to get anything, even if I use my courage, vigour and valour, I cannot get it. Wise will realise this and never feel sorrow.” said Namuchi.
Having satisfied with the words of Namuchi, Devendra went back to heaven.” said Bhishma to Dharmaja.
“O Grandsire Bhishma! if a human being is in distress, what would be his behviour . How he will face those problems.” asked Dharmaja.
“Dharmaja! for all kinds of sorrows or miseries, courage is the best medicine. With courage, mind will become strong. In this connection, I will narrate the conversion between Mahendra and Bali.
Battle between Deva and Asura was over. With the aid of Vishnu, Devatas got victory. Devendra, followed by Rudras, Adityas, Maruts, Vasuvus, Gandharvas, Siddhas etc. mounted Airavata (while elephant) was going round the three Lokas. He approached King Bali who was residing in a cave of a hill. Bali did not perturb beholding the splendour and glory of Devendra. Looking at Bali, Devendra said:
“O Bali! what a pity. You lost all your wealth and riches. You are in a very pitiable condition. I am your enemy. Beholding the glory of your enemy, you are not worried. You are not caring even for Devendra. What is the reason? How can you get this stable mind?” asked Devendra.
“O Devendra! you are saying that I am not caring you. Why should I care you? The splendour and glory you are enjoying is nothing before me. But, however high he may be, if fate is against him, he cannot escape this misery. Devendra! have you forgotten your fate when I conquered you and made you my slave. That was not my act. It was all due to fate. Even today, my distress and misery is not due to my defeat at your hands. I am facing this misery with great courage.
Happiness and sorrows will be coming one by one. During happiness, we should not feel that it was due to our own efforts and during sorrows we should not feel distressed. Even our friends, relatives, our riches, our name and fame cannot avert our miserable state. Therefore, we should realise that our wealth and proverty will be coming and going due to passage of time. When time was in my favour, I conquered you. Now as my time is bad, you could defeat me. Either for good or bad, time is the deciding factor.
Devendra! what is the enemity between you and me. Everything happened due to time. Therefore, stop talking unnecessarily. For the present, my time is bad. Whatever you speak, I cannot contradict you. I have no anger upn you. If I am enraged with wrath, i will destroy you and your heaven with my left hand little finger. Time will come for your utter defeat.
You are now the present Indra. In the past, several people occupied Indra Post and gone. In future also, several people will occupy that seat. Not only Indra Post, Brahma Post also was held by several. In course of time, Brahma and Indra will be changing from time to time. Therefore, it is not good on your part to curse me in this manner.
Performing Yajnas and yagas nd Vratas, leading virtuous life or unprecedented down fall is due to the power of time.” said Bali.
With these words of Bali, mind of Mahendra shattered. Suppressing it, Mahendra said: “O Bali! though you are in such a miserable state, your mind is unperturbed and stable. Your courage, intelligence, humbleness and peacefulness are not diminished a little. Can you tell me the reason?” again Devendra provoked Bali with his pungent words.
“O Mahendra! Are you mad? I have not brought courage, intelligence, humbleness and peacefulness from outside. They are inherent in me. I am telling again. Either highest status or lowest miserable stage of a human being will be due to time only. Time is like a river. The river cuts the bund slowly dy by day and completely destroys it. Similarly, Time, with the aid of Lobha, Krodha, Moha and Kama, destroy the human being day by day. Human beings with foolish mind, are not aware of this. Human beings should realise that he is the Atma but not this body. He will acquire the knowledge that Bhava or Abhava are for the body not for Atma.” said Bali.
Devendra was astonished for the mental status of Bali. “O King of Rakshasas! having known fully about time and its effect, you are leading a virtuous life. You are a role model to the entire universe. Your misery does not last long. You will again get back your riches. It is my wish.” so saying Mahendra went away.” said Bhishma to Dharmaja.
In this manner, Saint Vaisampayana told Janamejaya the story of Maha Bharata