Mahabhart Maha bharat
Shanthi parva
Fifth chapter (first part).

Vaisampayana told Janamejaya the story of Mahabharata.

King Dharmaja asked his grandsire Bhishma thus:
“O Grandsire! when Pususha who is staying in this body, will become great and when he will have his down-fall. Kindly tell me.” asked Dharmaja.

“O Dharmaja! Now I will narrate the conversation between Sree(Lakshmi) and Chakra(Indra).

One day, Saint Narada was taking holy bath in the river Mandakini. By that time, Indra took his bath and was performing morning rituals. While Narada and Indra were talking with each other, there arrived a lady, endued with splendid beauty. Indra with folded hands, greeted her and asked her:

“Who are you? Where are you going?” asked Indra.

“O Indra! I am Lakshmi. I am also called Sree. I was born from lotus flower. Formerly, I dwelt with Asuras. However, Asuras have assumed adverse natures. Hence I left them and wish to reside with you.” said Lakshmi.

“Lakshmi! In consequence of what behaviour of Asuras, you dwelt with them so far? What did you not see there for which you have come here, having deserted Asuras.” asked Indra.
O Indra! so far, Asuras were engaged in making charities, studying Vedas, respecting guests and other good deeds. Now Asuras developed pride and egoism and they have abandoned all their good qualities. Hence I deserted Asuras. I have come to you.

I would like to stay with those who respect and worship elders and their preceptors, who worship Deities and Pitaras, who always speak truth, who engage in making charities, who do not aspire for others’ wealth and wives, who worship Brahmins, who do not sleep during day times, who are compassionate towards aged, distressed and ladies, who observe cleanliness at all times, and who take food only after offering to guests. I would always like to stay with them always.

I never like to stay with those who abandon Dharma, who are addicted to Kama, Krodha, who are overpowered with pride, who neglect to worship guests, who are not generous and charitble, who are harsh in speech, and who are indulged in cruel activities.

As enunciated in Vedas, I like wisdom, morals, devotion, reverence, tolerance, peace and good behaviour. These seven qualities are dearer to me. I am the eighth of them. Having observed their cruel behaviour, I abandoned Asuras. Having known that you are endowed with the above good qualities, I have come to you.” said Lakshmi.

Along with Lakshmi, Indra left for Swarga. Therefore, Dharmaja, you have come to know the places where Lakshmi stys.” said Bhishma.

“O Grandsire Bhishma! by learning which and by observing what, people will attain Moksha.” asked Dharmaja.

“Dharmaja! In this connection, I will tell you a story. In the past, Saint Jaigishavya told Devala thus:

“ I like the Dharma which is liked by peaceloving and soft spoken. I will explain to you about such Dharma. It is the behaviour of wise and learned to remain equal with regard to those who praise or scold him, who does good or bad to him, who beats or worships him. One should not feel unhappy if he is unable to get what he desires. He should feel contented with what he has. He should not feel sorry if his desires are not accomplished.

Overjoy, egoism, envy, aggrandizement, wrong-doing etc., are bad qualities. A person who controls his sense organs never feels whether he is honoured or blamed. He treats everything equally. Even divine personalities would like to make friendship with such persons” said Jaigeeshavya to Devala.

“Dharmaja! you have heard the teachings of Jaigeeshavya. Try to follow them” said Bishma.

“O Grandsire! who is liked by one and all. Kindly tell me,” asked Dharmaja.

“O Dharmaja! I will tell you about the conversion between Sri Krishna and Ugrasena. Once Ugrasena asked Sri Krishna thus:

“ Krishna! All people in the world worship Narada with great devotion and reverence. Is he such a great personality. What is the greatness in Narada. Kindly tell me” asked Ugrasenh.

“Narada is endued with studying of Vedas, following customs and practices enunciated in Vedas. Inspite of that, he does not have a pinch of egoism. Narada is endued with great virtuesbut he is so simple in his attire and language. Narada is not possessed of envy, pride, aggrandizement etc. He is distinguished by his energy, by fame, by intelligence, by knowledge, by humility, by birth, by penances and by age. For these, he is worshipped with respect. He is pure in body and mind. He is soft spoken. He does not know about envy and jealousy. Therefore, Narada is worshipped by one and all.” said Krishna to Ugrasena.

Therefore, Dharmaja you got an answer to your question.” said Bhishma.

“O Grandsire Bhishma! kindly tell me about division of time, about the duration of Yugs and about the origin and end of all creatures.” asked Dharmaja.

“Dharmaja! In the past, Veda Vyasa told his son Suka about this. I will tell you about their conversation.

There is a form blazing with effulgence which is the basis for time and five elements. It is the super consciousness. But it remains inactive as a witness. I will tell you now about division of Time.

18 minutes equal to one Kashta. 30 Kashts are one KaLa. 360 KaLas are one Muhurtha. 30 Muhurthas are equal to one day. 30 days are one month. Two months are one season. 6 seasons are one year. Three such seasons are one path(Ayana). There are two paths. Northern path and southern path. (Uttara Ayana and Dakshina Ayana.) Sages and Saints call Uttara Ayana as Agni and Dakshina Ayhana as smoke. Uttara Ayana is auspicious and Dakshina Ayana is inauspicious.

For human beings living on this earth, thirty days equal to one month. But for Pitaras, one month is equal to one day. For human beings, 365 days is one year whereas for Divine bodies, one year is equal to one day. Now I will tell you about Yugas.

For divine bodies, 12,000 years are four yugas. The first is Krita Yuga. Its duration is 4,800 years. (4/10th of 12,000). The second is Treta Yuga. Its duration is 3,6000 (3/10th of 12,000). The third is Dwapara Yuga. Its duration is 2,400 (2/10th of 12,000). The last is Kali Yuga. Its duration is 12,000 (1/10th of 12,000). (4800+3600+2400+1200=12000).

These are divine years. If we mulltiply them with 360, we will get human years. (As has been said earlier, 360 days on earth are equal to one day for divine bodies. To get human years we have to multiply divine years with 360).

In the above manner, Krita Yuga is 17,28,000 years (4800x360); Treta Yuga is 12,96,000 (3600x360); Dwapara Yuga is 8,64,000 (2400x360)); and Kali yuga is 4,32,000 (1200x360). These are human years. There is an intervening period between the Yugas. As per the divine years, this intervening period between Krita and Treta is 400 years, between Treta and Dwapara is 300 years, between Dwapara and Kali 200 years and between Kali and Krita is 100 years. If we calculate in human years, these intervening years for Krita, Treta, Dwapara and Kali yugas are 1,44,000, 1,08,000, 72,000 and 36,000 years respectively. From Yuga to Yuga, Dharma, Justice, life span, physical strength will be diminishing for human beings.

All the four yugas are called one Maha Yuga. 1000 such Maha Yugas are equal to one day time for Brahma. Similrly, such 1000 Maha Yugas are equal to one night for Brahma. While Brahmaleeps, there will be a Maha Pralaya to this universe. Soon after he wakes up, Brahma will again start creation. In this manner, creation will be going on eternally.

(This activity of Brahma is equal to human activity. Daily we sleep at night. During sleep, our sense organs and limbs will cease to work. As we close our eyes, we cannot see the outside world. Entire darkness. It is equal to Pralaya. Next morning, when we open our eyes, the entire world will appear before us. We are creating our own world. Therefore in our life, daily while going to sleep there is Pralaya and while waking up there is creation. If one does not wake up next day, it is death.).

From Brahma Tatva, Mahat Tatva was created. From Mahat Tatva, mind, space, wind, fire, water and earth, were created from one out of the other. To these five elements, sound, touch, taste, form and smell were the main qualities. Purusha, illumining in our body is Brahma. He is true and eternal. He is omni present. He is Atman. He is detached from the outside world. This Atman is pervasive in divine bodies, saints, birds, snakes, humans, mountins, rivers, forests and oceans.

The behaviour of humans is quite strange. Some people think that they derive fruits from out of their own deeds. Some others think that God will give them fruits for their deeds. Some more people think that they derive fruits from the five elements. Those who are engaged in Satva, they look at this world equally. They will never experience either pleasure or sorrow. Tapas is greater than all. To perform Tapas, control of sense organs, mental peace are most important. Studying Vedas adds strength to Tapas and yields good results.

Brahma is of two kinds. Sabda Brahma and Para Brahma. Sadhaka will first worship Sabda Brhma and then attain Para Brahma. This Para Brahma is the creator and destroyer. But Para Brahma will never entangle in any activity.

So far I told you about creation. Now I will you about destruction.

At the time of Pralaya Time, all the living and non living creatures in this universe will be absorbed into this earth. The bodies created out of this earth will be taken back into the earth. The entire universe will be filled with water. Water will merge into fire and the fire will take the form of wind and the attributes of wind will be taken by space. Mind which in itself is unmanifest withdraws all that is manifest ie, space etc. The moon, having made mind withdraw its attributes into itself, swallows it up. Then all the Samkalpas born out of mind swallow the moon. The wisdom and knowledge swallow all Samkalpas. Then that wisdom and knowledge also merge into time. At last, the time also ceases to exist. There remains only Unmanifest Supreme Brahma. All this destruction activity will be done by Brahma.

Vyasa continued to say: Soon after a Brahmin was born, Jataka Karma (name giving ceremony) will be performed. Then the Upanayana Samskara will be performed..The Brahmin will attain dwijatva. After that, Brahmin will approach Guru to study Vedas and other Sastras. With the permission of guru, he will marry and enter into Grihastha Ashram. During Grihastha Ashram, he will discharge his divine debts and Pitara debts by performing Yajnas, studying Vedas, teaching Vedas to others, making charities, receiving chrities etc.

Then Suka asked his father “O Saint Vyasa! what is the best path to attain Brahma; whether by performing Yanjas, acquiring wisdom; and practising Yoga or Sankhya. What is the best of all?” asked Sukha.

Saint Vyasa said thus: “What you said are all good. Purusha can attiain Brahman by performing Tapas, controlling sense organs, abandoning Raga and Dvesha and greediness; constant learning etc. By constant practice, one can control his mind. With stable mind, sense organs stop functioning. Then, one can attain Brahman. Wisdom is unmanifest. But through wisdom, we can behold and have knowledge about Parama Atma. Brahmins, endued with humbleness and education, view at good and bad equally and are capable of attaining Brahman.

In the entire universe, in all the living beings, God illumines as Atman. The entire universe is embedded in Paramatma himself. One who realises this truth,he will attain Para Brahma. Atman is both mortal and immortal. Mortal means, in every human being, death is lurking to take away the life. Hence it is mortal. Immortal means, attainment of heaven. Hence it is immortal. Wise and learned will treat mortal and immortal eqully.

The entire universe is ruled by Time. One who conquers Time, he will attain Para Brahma. This body is like a city with nine gates. In this city, Atman illumines itself. Yogins call this Atman as immortal. Only Yogin who leads his life with detatchment realises Atman. For such Yogins, Kama, Krodha, fear, slumber, greediness are prohibited. Yogins should relinquish them immediately. Wise will relinquish desires tainted with Kama.

By developing Satva, wiseman conquers passions and slumber. He will abandon greediness by serving elders and learned. By controlling sense organs, wiseman will conquer his anger. With stable mind, he will abandon his fear. During this process, even if a single sense organ looses its control, the entire knowledge he acquires, will vanish. Therefore, yogi should first control his mind and then his sense organs.

Whether he is felicitated or abused, yogi should not mind them. Yogi should avoid living in towns and cities and retire to forests for peaceful meditation. Yogi should give equal importance either to gold or to stone. Path of Karma is called Pravruthi and the other path is Nivruthi. Path of Pravruthi develops attachment with the outside world. Path of Nivruthi detaches mind from the outside world. Therefore, wise should leave Karma path and follow Jnana path.

But some say that Karma path is best. They cannot get rid of this birth and death rotation. By following Karma Yoga, mind will be purified. But Karma Yoga is subject to ignorance and delusion. Therefore, relinquishing Karma is the best way to attain Moksha” said Vyasa.

Then Suka asked his father Vyasa “O Saint Vyasa! who can learn Adhyatma Vidya?”

Saint Vyasa said thus: “During Vanaprastha, one should live in forests and live by begging and avoid living amidst folks. He should be above praises and insults. Then only one can learn Adhyatma Vidya.” said Vyasa.

“O Saint Vyasa! However high he may be, one cannot relinquish Karma totally. What would be the position in such a situaion?” asked Suka.

“O my son Suka! Brahmacharis, household, Vanaprastha, Yatis should discharge all Karmas meant for them. To attain Moksha, these four paths are four steps. Assume that human being lives for one hudred years, one should spend the first 25 years in Brahmacharya. While serving his precepts, he should learn Vedas and Sastras. During Brahmacharya, one should be away from sensual desires.

On completion of education, Brahmachari should offer Guru Dakshina and with the permission of Guru (teacher), get himself married. He should perform Yajnas, Yagas and worship guests and respect his relations. He should always speak truth and regard his wife and children. He should get his sons educated. These household duties will occupy another 25 years.

On completion of 50 years, he should retire to forests, either with wife or without wife and spend his life by consuming roots, fruits, leaves and nuts. He should serve the Saints doing penance in forests.

After spending 25 years in forests, he should spend the last 25 years in Sanyasa Ashram. During this Ashram, one should relinquish all kinds of Karmas. He should not quarrel with anybody. He should not receive anything from others. He should shave his head and live alone under trees and inside caves. He should not be influenced by Kama and Krodha. He should eat whatever he gets and sleep whereever he stays. He should be compassionate towards all living creatures. Such a sanyasi is called Yati.

Now I will explain you about Antaryaga (inner penance). A yogi who performs Antaryaga will burn his life in his innerself, as result of which he will get rid of all his sins. Atman is like a bird. It is invisible. It is manifest only to Yogins.

Time resembles a wheel. Six seasons are its edges. 12 months are its teeth. Time occupies entire universe and rotates speedily. Jeevatma in our body is a chariot. Sense organs are horses tied to that chariot. Mind is the charioteer. If the horses (senses) go out of control, the chariot will be dragged sideways. Therefore, always sense organs shall be under control.

Yogi who seeks Moksha gives away all his desires and keeps his mind in Satva. By taking limited food, his mind remains stable. O my son Suka! I taught you the essense of Vedas. You also distribute this knowledge to the fit and eligible . If you entertain any more doubts, you can ask me” said Vyasa.

“O my father Vyasa! I could not understand what you said so far. Kindly tell me in detail” asked Suka. Vyasa continued to say:

“The Creator, through the five elements, creates this universe. Again he will absorb the universe into himself through five elements. This process will be going on eternally. This creation will begin when Maya (delusion) covers Paramatma. Soon after Maya uncovers Parama Atma, the entire universe will be pulled back into Parama Atma, like tortoise withdraws its limbs into its shell.

Through the five elements, its characteristics, and sense organs, desires will be created. We got five sense orgns, mind and intellect. The eighth element is Jeeva (Kshetrajna). We will entertain thoughts in our mind. Whether those thoughts are good or bad, intellect will decide. Those thoughts will be put into action by sense organs. This entire process is being witnessed by Kshetrajna, unattached.Stability is the attribute of Satva. Feeling sorrow and distress always is the attribute of Rajas. Being lazy without doing any work is the attribute of Tamas. On the basis of these three attributes, our sense organs will be working. Sense organs, desires, mind, intellect, Atman--one is greater than the other.

Intellect is widely spread in all these elements. Intellect will be discharing the duties of seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, feeling, through sense orgns. The intellect is overjoys at sometimes and feel distressed at other times. At times, intellect remain stable without joy or sorrow. The saint who is well versed with the nature of intellect, relinquishes his interest on sense organs and look into himself and have the Darsan of Atman. In that state, there are no feelings of joys or sorrows. Even if he is moving in the outside world, the desires will never touch his Atman.

The three elements, Satva, Rajas and Tamas create joys and sorrows. But Atman will be looking at them unattached. If the human being abandons these three elements and looks into himself, he will attain Moksha.

For a Brahmin, control of sense organs is a great wealth. A Brahmin who controls his sense organs will never feel fear, sorrow, pride or joy. Controlling of mind and realising Atman are the qualities of wise and learned.” said Vyasa.

“O Saint Vyasa! out of all Dharmas, what is the greatest Dharma?” asked Suka.

“Control of sense organs is the greatest Dharma. After controlling the sense organs with mind, one has to attach mind with the intellect. Then he will be able to behold Para Tatva. Plants cannot smell its own flowers. Trees cannot taste its own fruits. Similarly, one cannot behold the true nature of his own Antaratma. Therefore, one has to control his sense organs and dissolve mind with intellect and behold Paratatva.

The root cause for the fall of a human being is greediness. Nobody knows when it has sprouted. If greediness is a pond, thoughts are its bund. Anger is the silt and desires are snakes moving in the pond. Passions are the grass and water plants covering the pond. Ignorant people cannot recognise that pond. Only with truth, one can recognise that pond of greediness. You dont be influenced by greediness. You look at this world like a person on the uphill looking at the objects at the foot of the hill. Therefore, out of all Dharmas, control of sense organs is the greatest Dhrma.

O my son Suka! Brahminism cannot be attained by studying Vedas and performing Yajnas and Yagas. With peace of mind only, Brahminism will be attained. A Brahmin is not afraid of others and others are not afraid of him. Kama is the greatest bondage. If one abandons Kama, his Atman will shine like a moon without clouds. One who conquers Kama and worships Paratatva, he will enjoy eternal pleasure and happiness.

There is no old age for a brahmin who relinquishes sensual desires, attachment with the outside world, and the three elements. Death will never dare to come near him. Those who study Vedas and with stable mind will only realise that this body and Atman are not one and they are different. As sun is shining in water, Atman will be shining through intellect. Only Satviks will realise this truth. There are no day and night for Sun. He shines always. Similarly, for a Yogi there are no awareness or ignorance. He will be shining with eternal wisdom. Such Yogi, even if he is moving in the outside world, he will remain in Samadhi State. His senseorgans will never act in the outside world.

From the seeds of Moha, plant of Kama will sprout. The water is carelessness. Jealousy are the leaves of that plant. Egoism is the stem of that plant. Sorrows are the branches. That plant grow out of the fruits of past deeds done in his previous births. Ambitions are the creepers of that tree. If anybody who climbs that tree for its fruits, his fall is certain. If that tree is cut with the sword of detachment he will he relieved of all his sorrows.

O my son Suka! the human body is a city. Intellect is the king of that city. Mind is the minister. Sense organs are the citizens. Sabda, Sparsha, Roopa, Rasa and Gandha are the priests. That city is controlled by Lords like Rajas and Tamas. If the King do not possess intellect and wisdom, he becomes a slave to Rajas and Tamas and that city will be ruined. If the King, without caring for Rajas and Tamas, unites with mind and acts wisely, he can conquer Rajas and Tamas and attain eternal happiness.” said Bhishma to Dharmaja, the conversation between Vyasa and Suka.

“O Grandsire Bhishma! Several Kings who are possessed of great vigour and valour and will power have died in this great battle. However mighty they may be, they could not conquer Mrutyu. Why? What is Mrutyu? How it kills the creatures? “ asked Dharmaja.

“O Dharmaja! in the past, there was a king called Anukampana. His son died in a battle. Anukampana was lamenting for his son. Narada arrived there. Anukampana told Narada about his grief. Narada told him a story.

At the inception of creation, Brahma created all this universe and all creatures, living and non living. The creatures were growing fast. The entire earth was filled with creatures as there were no deaths. Brahma was thinking about ways and means to control births. His body was burning. Flames emanated from the body of Brahma were burning the entire universe. Beholding this, Lord Siva came down to Brahma and requested him to extinguish the flames. Brahma acceded to the request of Siva.

At that time, from out the body of Brahma, a lady with reddish eyes was born. She was proceeding towards south. Brahma called her back. “O Mruthyu! I order you to kill all the creatures, whether he is weak or mighty.” ordered Brahma. Mruthyu shed tears from her eyes. “O Brahma! I was born from you. How can I discharge such a cruel task. You can depute me for some other virtuous deed” said Mruthyu. Brahma collected all the tears shed from her eyes in his hands.

“O Mruthyu! I created you only for this purpose. Without saying another word, you should kill all the creatures.” said Brahma.

“O Brahma! while killing all the human beings, I cannot sustain their grief. I am going for penance. Kindly permit me.” asked Mruthyu.

“No. Killing human beings is your foremost task. If you refuse to discharge the duty entrusted to you, it would amount to Adharma. Therefore, you have to discharge your duty.” ordered Brahma.

Without speaking another word, Mruthyu retired to Dhenuka Ashram and did penance for number of years about Brahma. Again Brahma appeared before her.

“O Mruthyu! what is the use of doing penance. Stop this penance and discharge your duty.” said Brahma.“No.I cannot do that. Please excuse me.” said Mruthyu firmly.

“O Mruthyu! I am not telling a lie. Killing of human beings is your duty. By discharging your duty, you will not be tainted with any sin. While you were weeping, I collected all your tears. Now I am sprinkling those tears on the human beings. Those sprinkles transform into dreadful diseases and spread amongst the human beings. Coupled with this, Kama and Krodha are there. The human beings will die with those diseases. You just remove their lives from their bodies after their death. Just you remain neutral. Kama, Krodha and diseases will kill the human beings. But while killing human beings, you will be male while killing male, you will be female while killing female. Hence, you are not tainted with any sin. Besides that, this killing of human beings amounts to Dharma.” said Brahma. With these words, Mruthyu was pacified. With the fear of curse from Brahma, Mruthyu agreed to kill human beings.

Therefore, at the time of death, Atma will leave this body and enters into another body, according to the fruits of their past deeds in previous births.” said Narada to Anukampana.

Dharmaja! after hearing this conversation, your doubts are cleared.” said Bhishma.

“O Grandsire Bhishma! on another occasion, I heard this story. But due to grief, I could not understand it well. Now my doubts are cleared. O Grandsire! righteous people are always afraid of Dharma. Is Dharma so great?” asked Dharmaja.

“O Dharmaja! Some may say that faith and devotion towards Vedas, good customs and beautiful body are Dharma. But some may say that earning wealth is the utmost Dharma. But earning money by illegal and unlawful means is great sin. Earning money without aspiring for others’ money and without telling lies and without doing any illegl activities, is great Dharma.

It is very difficult to describe Dharma. I will tell you what I know about Dharma. By doing which act others will suffer, refraining from doing such acts towards others, is the greatest Dharma. This is the nicety of Dharma.” said Bhishm.

“O Grandsire! out of ignorance, I will be asking such silly questions, repeatedly. Kindly pardon me. You have so far told me about Best Dharma. King tell me about customs and practices and what is the best custom.?” asked Dharmaja.

“Dharmaja! In Veda, several customs and practices were enunciated. Our duty is to follow them scrupulously. Whatever elders practice, we have to follow. That is the best custom and practice. In this connection, I will tell you about a conversation between Saint Jabali and a merchant, Tuladhara.

In the past, Saint Jabali was performing Tapassu. On his head, a parrot built a nest and was living in the nest along with its wife and children. Though Saint Jabali was aware of that, out of compassion, Jabali did not remove the nest and the parrots. Jabali praised himself about his compassion towards parrots.

At that time, AkasaVani said: “O Saint.!none will praise himself. Tuladhara, who is more virtuous and righteous than you, did not boast himself about his own deeds. You are nothing before him.” said Akasavani. Jabali was surprised. He wanted to meet Tuladhara. Jabali was envious towards Tuladhara.Immediately. Jabali went to Tuladhara who was doing business at Varanasi. Everybody was praising Tuladhara as virtuous. Beholding Jabali, Tuladhara received him and honoured him.

“O saint! inspite of parrots building nest on your head, you are moving happily. This itself shows that you have conquered your senses. I respect you very much” said Tuladhar.

“What about you? You are doing business. How can you carry on your business without contravening Dharma. How is it possible?” asked Jabali.

“O saint! while buying or selling, I will never resort to cheating. I will satisfy with reasonable profit. Whether I get profit or loss, I never feel. I regard gold and pebble equally. I never praise nor abuse anybody. I never boast myself. I will never cause harm to anybody. I will be compassionate towards other creatures. I always speak truth. I never aspire for name and fame, wealth and riches. I will never tell others about my help to others. I have neither love nor hatredness towards others. While moving in the outside world, I will move as a drop of water on a lotus leaf.” said Tuladhara.

“O Tuladhara! In your words, you never told about Yajnas, Yagas,Tapas etc. But those who studied Vedas stressed about them. Dont you treat them as Dharmas and proper Karmas.” asked Jabali.

“O Saint! Yajnas, Yagas, and Tapas will be performed with pride and egoism only to accomplish their specified desires. In my view, they are useless and divine bodies never accept them. By performing Yajnas and Yagas and Tapas, births and deaths are imminent and nothing else. One who performs Satyavrata and remains ever-contented, he will have eternal happiness.” said Tuladhara.

“O Tuladhara! You are always engaged in doing Karmas. What the the reason?” asked Jabali.

“ The happiness felt by one who always follows Dharma, who always makes friendship with Dharma and who always perform Karma with purefied heart, I will feel such happiness while performing my Karma. In this land, all are holy rivers. All are pure for a purified heart. I will do what I have to do and dedicate the result to God. Hence I am not tainted with the results of those deeds. Karmas which are performed aspiring for some result are always tainted with sorrow. Hence I never aspire for the result of Karma. This is the Dharma which I know. I do not know whether it is right or wrong. I have to enquire elders about this.

So far, those parrots are living on your head. You nourished them as their father. They are flying happily. Kindly call them near you.” said Tuladhara.

Jabali called those parrots. They never came near Jabali.

“O Saint! we are the messengers of Dharma. At the instance of Dharma, we have come to you. We will clear your doubt. One who bears hatredness and envy towards others, he will always be inclined to quarrel with others. Violence will follow. Therefore, Saints shall drive away envy and hatredness from their minds. Envy always destroys Dharma. Without Dharma, man cannot live. Therefore human beings shall abandon envy.

By Satva, Sradha will be developed. By developing Sradha, man will develop knowledge and intelligence. Therefore, everyman shall have Sradha. Tapas and Yaga without Sradha are useless. Sradha is nothing but wealth. It will keep our mind intact without taking sideways. Sradha is nothing but the pleasantness of Jeevaatma.

To perform Yaga, Sradha and Suchi are most important. Suchi without Sradha and Sradha without Suchi are useless. A human being endued with Sradha is the best of all. A person who gives money for interest and lives on that interest by making charities to others is equivalent to a greedy person who studied Vedas. A person who makes charities at the time of Yaga is best of all. A man without Sradha will not have an intention to make charity. A man with Sradha will never allow envy or hatredness to enter his mind. Therefore, a man with Sradha is greatest of all.” said those parrots to Jabali.

On hearing those words of parrots, Jabali told Tuladhara: “O great man! I thought I know everything. Hence I never heard anything spoken to by great saints. Hence I am tainted with the fault of praising myself. With your words, I know what I am. Henceforth, I will live peacefully.” said Jabali.

O Dharmaja! have you heard the conversation between Jabali and Tuladhara. You have to comprehend those principles and follow them” said Bhishma.

“O Grandsire! I got another silly doubt. Is it better to take more time or less time to discharge a duty.” asked Dharmaja.

“O Dharmaja! Whatever be the task, one has to think twice or thrice and take a decision whether to do or not to do. Such tasks yield good results. But some may not have patience. They will always be eager to do some thing or other. In this connection I will tell you a story of Chirakari son of Methaathithi.
Chirakari is a person of calm and quiet nature. Once, Methathithi ws enraged with great wrath against his wife, mother of Chirakari. Unable to control his wrath, Methathithi directed his son Chirakari to kill his mother and went away.

Chirakari began to think about the direction of his father. The word of father shall not be violated. Hence he should kill his mother. But killing mother is a great sin. Trying to pacify his father amounts to violation of his direction which is a sin. It is the duty of every son to safeguard his mother. Viewing from any angle, son cannot act independently. Hence Chirakari was trying to find a way out.

If he kills his mother as per the direction of his father, he will surely go to hell. Even if he violates the word of his father, hell is certain. Mother is earth. Father is seed. Due to father and mother only, the Vamsa will continue. Therefore, who should be ignored is a problem.

Son is the replica of father. Unless son obeys the word of father, he cannot attain higher regions. Tapas, Dharma, education are all the replicas of father. If the son pleases father, divine bodies also feel happy.

Viewing from the angle of mother, son is born from the womb of mother, with tiny hands, legs, head, nose and ears. At the time of delivery, mother suffers a lot. Mother gives more importance to the amenities of her son than herself. There is no other God than mother. Mother always thinks about her children and suffers herself for the welfare of children. Therefore, all scriptures gave much importance to mother.

Whether the son is young or old, mother’s love does not diminish. Mother is the basis for the entire universe. However rich or poor he may be, mother’s love is unchanged. No human being derives the pleasure of sleeping on the lap of mother, elsewhere. If the mother is lost, he feels as if he lost the entire world. The entire world appears tobe empty. His mind will be disturbed. Whether he is rich or poor, mighty or weak, wise or unwise, mother is his wealth. If the mother is alive, he possesses all kinds of wealth and happiness.

Viewing from any angle, killing of mother is a great sin. To know this much, one need not study great scriptures. Even a cowherd knows about this truth. How the mind will accept the killing of mother.” Chirakari is thinking in this manner.

Meanwhile, Medhatithi, father of Chirakari was repenting for his hasty decision. “Relly I am hasty. After all for a small mistake, I ordered my son to kill his mother. My son might have killed his mother. No. My son will never take such a hasty step like me. He will never kill his mother.” so thinking, Methathithi was coming back to his house.

Even while coming he was thinking about it. “O my son! Your mother gave birth to you. But I hastily ordered you to kill her. I know you are not so hasty like me. You never kill your mother.” Methathithi reached his house.

At that time, Chirakari was standing with a knife in his hand. Beholding his father, Chirakari greeted his father with folded hands. His wife also saluted her husband. Beholding his wife alive, he was very happy.

“Before doing any work, one should think twice or thrice boldly and then execute it. Such a wise is called Arya and hasty fellow is called Anarya. It will be wise to think whether he is his friend or foe, good or bad and then take a decision.” said Methathithi.

Therefore, Dharmanandana! Any work which is done after due consideration, will yield good results.” said Bhishma.

“O Grandsire Bhishma! Kindly let me know how to punish people and what is the method” asked Dharmaja.

“O Dharmanandana! In the past, there was a conversation between Satyavanta and his father, Dyumatsena. They both discussed about the punishments to be awarded for specific offences.

Dyumatsena: It is proper to impose death sentence.

Satyavanta: How is it possible. If violance is an acceptable deed, which is deed is prohibited.

Dyumatsena: Yes. Thiefs, robbers, decoits, murderers shall be sentenced to death. Otherwise, the entire world will suffer on account of their misdeeds.

Satyavanta: Is sentence of death the only solution? Are there not other methods to punish the culprit.

Dyumatsena: There are. The sentence shall be commensurate with the offence committed. Abusing the culprit in filthy language, admonition, imposing fines, removing limbs from his body, etc. are some other methods of imposing sentences. But if the culprit commits an offence punishable with death, he shall be sentenced to death and not otherwise. While punishing the culprit, the Judge shall not consider whether he is his friend or relation etc. He should be punished impartially.(The above principle is being followed even today. A person who is found guilty of committing murder shall be punished with death or imprisonment for life. The Judge shall specify the reasons for not awarding the sentence of death.)

A King who sits as a Judge shall be honest and he should be a role model to his ministers, sons and other officials. Then only he will be eligible to sit as a Judge. The Judge shall examine the case brought before him thoroughly. He shall not have any favouritism or illfeeling towards the complainant (sufferer) or the accused (culprit). He shall decide the case uninfluenced by Kama and Krodha.

In those circumstances, Judge shall punish a person with death if he commits an offence punishable with death. In such a case, Judge will not be tainted with any sin. Daily we are coming across persons committing murders mercilessly, either under grave and sudden provocation, or for gain or for lust. If we let them off without deterrent punishments, by applying the principle of non-violance, anarchy and misrule will prevail. Non-violence is meant for Brahmin and not for Kshatriyas and Kings. King shall be compassionate towards his subjects and rule them as his own children. For that. punishing culprits severely is must. Then only other people will lead a peaceful and happy life. Ruling his people in the above manner is equivalent to practising non-violance.” said Dyumatsena to his son Satyavanta.

Therefore, Dharmaja! the above principles apply to you also.” said Bhishma.

“O Grandsire Bhishma! Of the two Ashramas viz., Grihastha and Sanyasa, which is better and tobe followed.” asked Dharmaja.

“O Dharmaja! Both can be followed safely. In this connection, I will narrate the conversation between Saint Kapila and a Cow. In the past, Saint Kapila asked a cow thus:

“O Cow! People say you are the embodiment of Vedas. Is it correct?” asked Kapila.

At that time, Saint Syumarasmi was passing that way in invisible form and heard this question. Syumarasmi thought that Saint Kapila has no regard toward Vedas. To teach him a lesson, Saint Syumarasmi entered the body of that Cow and then told Kapila thus:

“O Saint Kapila! Saints generally treat Vedas as mark of ostentation. But Vedas are to be respected and to be studied. Dont you follow Vedas?” asked Sumarasmi.

“O Cow! I never disregarded Vedas nor regarded Vedas. I am neutral towards Vedas. I do not know why you asked this question. I could not read your mind. Any how I will tell to the extent my knowledge goes.

There are four Ashrams Brahmacharya, Grihastha Ashram, Vana Prastha and Sanyasa. They are divine paths. Passing through those divine paths is the duty of human beings. It is the duty of human beings to follow the customs and practices enunciated in Vedas. But you should tell whether killing of animals in Yajnas and Yagas is just and proper.” said Kapil.

Syumarasmi replied thus: “Brahma created grains and cattle only for the purpose of Yajnas. Besides that, Brahma himself performed Yajnas. Whether he is wise or unwise, both will aspire for heavenly pleasures. Unless they perform Yajnas, they will not attain heaven. Only Grihasthus can perform Yajnas. Then how can you say that performing Yajnas amounts to violence.” said Syumarasmi.

Then Kapila said: “ One who aspires for eternal happiness, never aspires for these temporary pleasures like heavenly pleasures. He is not tainted with desires, sorrows and sensual pleasures. Such a person never aspires for heavenly pleasures. For the sake of eternal happiness, he will relinquish Grihastha Ashram” said Kapila.

“O saint Kapila! all other other Ashrams are treating Grihastha Ashram as base. Has it been said anywhere that one in Grihastha Ashram is not entitled for Moksha. To perform all Dharmas and all rituals, Grihastha Ashram is essential. Poor and lazy always abandon their duties. Will they get higher regions? If one relinquishes studying of Veda, will he not be afflicted with sin? Is it just to ignore studying of Vedas? “ said Syumarasmi.

“Brahmins satisfy their deities by observing customs and practices. Hand, genital organ, stomache and mouth are the open doors. Sadhaka closes these four doors to attain Moksha in the following manner.

Even if gold is poured into heaps before him, he will not touch it with his hand. Even if he is enraged with great wrath,he will never raise his hand to retaliate. In this manner, he closes the door of his hand.

Wise will never touch or think of another lady except his wife. He sticks up to his own wife. He will never touch other ladies. In this manner, he closes the door of his genital organ.

He takes food only for living and not for eating or for taste. He never aspires for anything which he does not deserve. In this manner, he closes the door of his stomache.

The wise will always speak truth and never speak ill of others. He will never enter into unnecessary arguments with others. In this manner he closes the door of his mouth.

A person who is able to close these four doors is called Brahmin. For such a Brahmin, performing Tapas, Yajnas, Yagas, charities, Vratas are unnecessary. Why should he serve Vedas like a slave? One who is above duals, will never aspire for name and fme. He treats the visible nature and invisible Para Brahma equally. He is a true brahmin. Others always entangle in performing Karmas aspiring for some thing or other.” said Kapira.

Then Syumarasmi came out of the Cow with his original form.

“O Saint Kapila! my name is Syumarasmi. With a view to comprehend the niceties of Dharma, I talked to you from the body of this Cow. After comprehending Vedas as an authority, tell me whether we have to either follow or discard Varna Ashrama Dharmas?” asked Syumarasmi.

Saint Kapila said thus: “O Syumarasmi! Wise will never enter into any trouble inspite of doing any act. If he is not wise, he will be easily be succumbed to desires. A person who discarded egoism, anger and desires, never feels either for pleasure or for sorrow. By renunciating everything, he will live happily. All the saints are wise and learned. But only one amongst you will have the idea of oneness. Such a person will never entertain any doubt and not bound by desires.” said Kapila.On hearing these words, Syumarasmi said: “O great Kapila! I realised that by abandoning the path enunciated by Vedas, I will never get Moksha. But I will be troubled if I do not believe Vedas. How is this? Kindly clarify.” asked Syumarasmi.

Kapila said thus: “There are Sabda Brhma and Para Brahma. One who worships Sabdra Brahma will attain Para Brahma. A person who has no desires in his mind, unenviable, and who controls his sense organs will follow the customs and practices enunciated in Vedas with great faith and devotion. Such a person will always be compassionate towards other creatures. Such person will not be tainted with egoism and selfishness. Such peaceloving Brahmins and Kshatriyas, though they are in Grihasta Ashrama, will attain Moksha.

The four Ashrams viz., Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and Sanyasa are four feet of Dharma. On those four feet, Dharma is standinng firmly. Whatever be the Ashram followed by Purusha, he follows the same Dharma. Whoever relinquishes worldly desires and ambitions and lives peacefully, it does not matter whether he is in any Ashram. Great people abandon their desires and enter Sanyasa Ashram. We cannot find fault with them.

Knowledge is the basis for Dharma. Eternal happiness is the root of Dharma. Generosity is the form of Dharma. Therefore, all the four ashrams are adaptable. A person with peace of mind will attain eternal happiness. There is no use of simply studying and chanting Vedas. One should understand the inner meaning of Vedas. A person who does not know the inner meaning of Vedas will only be a reader of Vedas. While reading Veda, it appears as if it is understood well. In fact, it is not understandable.

There are three paths to attain Moksha. One is generosity in giving everything to others; the second is control of sense organs; and the last is eternal happiness. One is greater than the other.” said Kapila.

Syumarasmi appreciated Kapila for his power of understanding and went away.

Therefore, Dharmaja! you also follow the foot steps of Kapila.” said Bhishma.


Maha Bharata,
Shanti Parva,Fifth chapter (First Part) completed.
Om Tatsat Om Tatsat Om Tatsat.