In Naimisaranya, on the occasion of Satra Yaga, Sooti (the story teller) told Saint Sounaka and other sages and Saints, the story of Mahabharata, as told by Saint Vaisampayana to King Janamejaya, on the occasion of Sarpa yaga.
While preaching again the essence of Geeta to Arjuna, Sri Krishna told Arjuna a conversation between a wife and husband of Brahmin community.
“O Arjuna! in the ancient past, there was a Brahmin. One day, his wife asked him to tell her about veda philosophy. The husband told his wife about Veda Philosophy.
“All works or actions done through seeing and hearing and doing are Karmas. Generally karmas are performed due to ignorance only for the sake of some result or other. None can abstain from doing some Karma or other as it is but natural. If any body keeps quiet without doing anything, he is called an idiot.
But renunciation of all Karmas is called Brahmapada. As far as I am concerned, I always keep Brahma in Atma and worship. It is called Nishkarma. (not doing any karma). Whatever work you do in the outside world, is Karma. Abstaining from doing any Karma is impossible.
Both Agni and Soma create this world. Brahma worships Akshara Tatva. I now tell you about Akshara Tatva. This Akshara Prabhara Tatva is not made up of five elements nor its attributes. Hence this Akshara Parabrahma Tatva cannot be beheld through sense organs. Only through intellect only, one can behold Brahma.
The five Vayus viz., Prana, Apana, Vyana, Udana and Samaana also grew from Brahma and again join with Brahma. Udana runs between Prana and Apaana. During sleep, between Praana and Apaana, vyaana and samaana joins with Prana and Udaana. While human being sleeps in Udaana, Praana and Apaana never leave him.
These five vayus, combined with mind and intellect, are the tongues of Agni called Vaisvaanara. Hence Agni is called sapta jihva(seven tongues). In the bodies of humans, Agni shines as Atma. Smelling, eating, seeing, touching, hearing, thinking, learning are nothing but fuel to the holy fire, lighting in our body. Smeller, eater, perceiver, toucher, listner, thinker, learner are all priests, performing Homa in our body. Daily, by doing karmas, we perform Homa in our body. It is called Saptahotra method.
Agni, called Vaisvanara, got ten faces. They are sides, Vayu, Sun, Moon, earth, agni, Indra, Vishnu, Brahma, Mitra, Varuna. These are the faces of Vaisvanara Agni. Sound, form, touch, taste, smell, talk, doing, coming and going, working and enjoying etc., are the fuel for these ten faces. The above said fuel items are burnt in Vaisvanara Agni Homa, by the following priests viz., eyes, nose, ears, skin, tongue, feet, hands, anus and genital organs. This is called Dasahotra method.
Having knowledge about the above two methods, Yogi daily performs Yaga by making Jeevatma as Upadrashta (chief priest). At last, he emancipates himself from this birth and death cycle. Being ignorant about the above two methods, people are going round this birth and death cycle for ever.
Omkara was born from speech. Following Omkara, mind tries to attain Dharma, Ardha, Kama and Moksha.” said the Brahmin to his wife.
“Unless one intends with mind to talk , words cannot come out of mouth. In that case, how mind works according to speech.” asked his wife.
“What you said is correct. Everybody thinks like that. But speech and mind are connected with each other. One cannot speak without intending to speak.
Once speech and mind went to Brahma and solicited his advise about who is greater among them. Brahma said that mind is greater. Sarasvati took objection as she was the deity of speech.
“O my lord Brahma! when I, controller of speech, am here, how can you say that mind is greater” asked Sarasvati.
Brahma pacified Sarasvati with his tact. “O Saraswati! mind is of two kinds. Stable mind and fickle mind. Stable mind stays with me whereas fickle mind stays with you. All letters, arts, mantras etc. born out of your grace, are called fickle mind. But stable mind is greater than fickle mind.” said Brahma. Unable to say anything, Sarasvati kept quiet.” said the Brahmin.
The Brahmin continued to say to his wife: “speech is created out of inhalation and exhalation by the movement of Prana and Apana. Prana is itself Brahma. Prana joins with Apana. Then, speech, leaving its natural sound, joins with five elements and spreads all over the body with the influence of Vyana.Then Mind becomes stable. Keeping mind stable is the way to attain salvation.
Speech which comes out is Ghoshini and speech which does not come out is Aghoshini. Aghoshini is better than Ghoshini. Speech is indestrucible. It has no decay. Sound has no form but it shines bright. That is Brahma Tatva.
Sense organs, mind and intellect are supported by Jeevatma. But they perform their own duties, without interfering with each other. Tongue tastes but cannot see. In the same manner, other sense organs cannot perform other duties, except of their own. Eyes can see a form but not other sense organs. Ears receive sound but not other sense organs. Mind acts in two ways viz., learning and doubting. Other sense organs cannot learn or doubt. Similarly, power of discretion and distinguish between good and bad is the work of intellect which cannot be discharged by other sense organs.
Once there was a conversation between mind and other sense organs. Sense organs said to mind:
“O mind! you and we are equals. What is your greatness?” asked sense organs.
“O sense organs! You cannot function of your own accord. I, through you, discharge all functions. You have no independent status. Without me, nose cannot smell, tongue cannot taste; eyes cannot see and ears cannot hear. Without me, you are useless. Therefore, I am greater than you.” said the mind.
“No No. Simply because you are acting through us, how can you attain greatness. Without sense organs, you cannot feel, smell, taste or hear and enjoy. Without the presence of any one of us, you are useless. You cannot make other sense organ to discharge other’s function. You cannot make nose to see or you cannot make eye to smell. Because of us only, you are feeling and enjoying. Therefore, you are not at all greater than us. Besides that, if the mind is unable to do anything, with our vitality, we are making you to function.By any stretch of imagination, it cannot be said that you can function independently without us. With our vitality through you only body is enjoying sensual pleasures. Hence, there is no question of greatness.” said the sense organs.
Unable to say anything mind kept quiet.” said the Brahmin to his wife.
“I also tell you one more thing. Once, all the five airs viz., Prana, Apana, Vyana, Udaana and Samana went to Brahma and asked him about who is greater among themselves. Brahma smiled and said:
“Without which air, other airs cannot function, that air is greater.” said Brahma.
Then every air said that without it, others cannot function.
“I know that much. Amongst you, everyone is specialised. Without one, others cannot function. But one thing is certain. You all cannot function at a time. You function one after other. When one air is functioning, that air is greater. When all airs function amicably, you are all great.” said Brahma.
He continued to say: “In this connection I tell about a conversation between Saint Narada and Devamatha. Once a Brahmin called Devamatha asked Saint Narada thus:
“O Saint Narada! in every physical body of human being, there are five airs viz., Prana, Apaana, Vyana, Udaana, Samaana. moving throughout the body. But while the child was in mother’s womb, which air starts to function first.” asked the Brahmin.
Narada said thus: “O brahmin! to form a fetus, male and female shall join together. Samana air in male in the form of semen and Vyana air in female in the form of blood, join together and a fetus is created. Then Prana and Apana enters the fetus. Then fetus starts inhalation and exhalation. Prana air goes down and Apana air goes up. While the child grows in womb, Vyana, Udaana and samaana enters the body of child. Then all the five airs spread all over the body of child. With the movement of five airs, Agni (heat) is generated all over the body. This heat is called Udaana.
I told you about Prana and Apaana airs. They are also called day and night, good and bad, truth and falsehood, etc. duals. Between Prana and Apaana airs, Udaana air in the form of heat, moves speedily. Only doctors know about these airs and heat element in our body.” said Narada to Brahmin.” said Brahmin to his wife.
Brahmin continued to say: “O my wife! I also
tell you one secret. One who creates this Universe is Karta (subject).
The act of creation is Karma. Instruments useful for creation are Karana.
Entire creation depends upon these three elements. Nose etc. sense organs
are called Karanas. Smelling, hearing, tasting, seeing etc are Karmas.
Jeeva performs these Karmas. While performing Karmas, Jeeva enjoys sensual
pleasures. But Jeeva, abandoning these pleasures, can turn towards Moksha
path. Jeeva enjoys sensual pleasures with the aid of Karana, karma and
kartha. But Jeeva, without joining them, burns sensual pleasures in
the fire of Atma, as a result of which ignorance ends.
It is also called Yoga yajna. The reward for such Yajna is abandoning desires. Then the Almighty God feels happy and bestows Moksha. If jeeva entangles in sensual pleasures and worldly affairs, he binds himself by all of them and destroys himself.
O my lady! God rules this universe. I follow his rule. God is the teacher for this Universe. I follow his teachings. According to Brahma, Akshara Upasana is best of all. I follow Akshara Upasana. I am trying to cross this Samsaara forest. So far I have crossed darkness of anger, snakes of greediness, fort of desires. Now I am in the middle of forest.
In that forest, there is no distinction between young and old, pleasures and sorrows, fear or favour. Trees in that forest bear five coloured fruits which are so sweet. Great sages and saints move in that forest and perform Tapas. Sun is the master of that forest. Saints perform Tapas on the hillocks in the forest. Those sages are glorious endowed with control of mind and control of sense organs. I am also moving like those saints without any attachment. I never perform any act, with any kind of desire. Hence I am not bound by Karma.
Inspite of our best efforts, we cannot avoid any thing which is bound to happen. Hence, it is mere waste to worry about future. Having known about this, I move in outside world as a drop of water on lotus leaf. O my wife! in this connection, I tell you a conversation between a Chief Priest of Yajna and a Yogi.
Chief Priest of Yajna was making ready a goat for
sacrifice. Beholding that, a Yogi told the priest thus:
“O Yogi! I suppose you have not read Vedas. This is the ritual enunciated in Veda. After sacrifice, this goat attains divinity.” said Priest.
“What you said may be correct and this goat may attain divinity. But what benefit you derive by killing this goat.” asked Yogi.
“I do not understand what you said. Killing Goats in Yajna is a ritual enunciated in Vedas. By following this ritual, the goats are killed and priests are killing goats to attain divinity. Is it wrong?” asked the priest.
“What you said is not correct. Repeatedly Vedas preached that killing animals is great sin. That much I know.” said Yogi.
“If what we do is violence, what you are doing. Are you not subjecting your body to violence by observing Prana Yama and Upavasas.” said Priest.
“Prana Yama and fasting are part of Tapas. I am well accomplished in Tapas. I realised Akshara Tatva. I destroyed Kshara Tatva with my knowledge. I abandoned sensual pleasures. I am performing Tapas and Prana Yama seeking Moksha. Saying that performing Tapas and Prana Yama amounts to violence is nothing but foolishness.” said the Yogi.
“O Yogi! I do not know all those things. I am performing Yajna. Killing animals during Yaga is a ritual enunciated in Vedas. I follow that ritual. I never attain any sin by killing animals during Yaga. Besides that I attain higher regions.” said priest.
“O Priest of Yajna! My Tapo Yajna is greater than your Karma Yajna tainted with violence.” said Yogi.
At last, priest accepted the philosophy of Yogi.
O mywife! in this connection I also tell you another story. In the past, there was a king called Kartha Verya Arjuna. He caused much harm to a brahmin called Parasu Rama. In retaliation, Parasurama cut the hands of Karta Veerya Arjuna and killed him. In turn, sons of Kaarta Veerya Arjuna killed the father of ParasuRama while Parasu Rama was out of Ashram. Enraged with great wrath, Parasurama killed all the sons of Karva Veerya Arjuna. He also destroyed the entire Kshatriya community by waging war against them 21 times. Then only his grudge against Kshatriyas subsided.
All the Pitaras appeared before Parasurama and told him: “O Parasu Rama, You are a Brahmin. Why have you resorted to this kind of violence. Is it not wrong?” said Pitaras.
“O Pitaras! killing of Kshatriyas is nothing but Yajna. I performed it. All these Kshatriyas are goats ready for sacrifice. Hence I killed them. Killing goats during Yajna is enunciated in Vedas. I followed Veda Dharma. Kindly dont obstruct me.” prayed Parasurama.
“O Parasurama! out of all Yajnas, Tapo Yajna is best. Perform Tapo Yajna by performing Tapas and maintaining peace. God bless you. In fact, you have to destroy not the outside enemies, but inside enemies viz., anger, greediness, desires, hatredness etc. But they are not killed by weapons. Only by performing Tapas, one can kill those enemies. Therefore, you also perform Tapas and destroy your inner enemies and enjoy eternal pleasures.” said Pitara.
Hence, O lady! Tapo yajna is best of all.
Generally, human beings are endowed with three attributes, Satva, Rajas and Tamas. Happiness and peacefulness are the qualities of Satva. Anger, sorrow, overambition are the qualities of Rajas. Passion, sleep and dreams are qualities of Tamas. We have to use suitable weapons to destroy those qualities. Control of sense organs is a must. Then only one can proceed towards Moksha.
To know about the chief enemy in the path of Moksha, I now tell you Ambareesha Geeta. In the past, there was a king called Ambareesha. He was wellversed in Rajaneethi. He conquered all his enemies and rules his kingdom to the satisfaction of his people. One day, beholding his courtiers, he said thus:
“O wise and learned! I conquered all my enemies. But I do not consider it a great victory. The reason being that I could not so far conquer my inner enemies. Without conquering my inner enemies, how can I get complete victory.” said Ambareesha.
Though he was an emperor endowed with royal pleasures, he eschewed all his royal pleasures and did tapas to conquer his inner enemies and succeeded.
O my wife! in the same manner, conquering inner enemies is essential. In this connection, I also tell you about a conversation between King Janaka and a Brahmin. Once a brahmin was expelled by King Janaka, from the country for his misbehaviour. That brahmin asked King Janaka thus:
“O King Janaka! you expelled me from your kingdom. Kindly tell me how far your kingdom extends. I will go beyond that point.”asked the brahmin.
King Janaka could not answer his question. “O Brahmin! this kingdom is not of mine. It is my ancestral property. How can I say this kingdom is mine. In a fit of anger, I expelled you from Kingdom. When I myself do not know how far my kingdom extends, how can I expel you from my kingdom.” said King Janaka.
“O King Janaka! This city is yours. This kingdom is yours. You are the king of this kingdom. How can you rule this kingdom, without possessing it. Kindly tell me that secret.” asked Brahmin.
“O Brahmin! This Kingdom, these people, are there even prior to my birth. They remain even after my death. How can I say that this kingdom is mine. I am just enjoying the kingdom. I am ruling the people, with detatchment.” said King Janaka.
Then that brahmin appeared before King Janaka in his original form as Yama Dharma Raja.
“O King Janaka! I am Yama. I have come to test you. You are wise and learned. You are a detatched Karma Yogi. Prosper yourself with peace and happiness.” blessed Yama and went away.
Hence O my wife! I also intend to leave this house and Samsara and retire to forests. Having known my intention, you are trying to stop me by asking several questions about Adhyatma. I also told you many things about Adhyatma. I cannot remain in Samsara any more. Now I am a real brahmin. I follow Brahmacharya and realise myself. But in your eyes, I am ordinary brahmin. But I practised Yoga. I cannot limit myself to this house and samsara. This universe is mine. I am omnipresent. I now refuse even the rank of Indra. This bent of mind itself is equivalent to all riches.
God is all pervasive through out the universe. Everybody shall ultimately join God but none can join God with this mortal body. All Karmas done with this body bind Jeeva. Now I cut all my bondages. Now I have no fear of death. Give up the idea of stopping me and join me for liberation.” said the Brahmin.
The wife of that brahmin also agreed with his preachings. The brahmin continued to say:
“O my wife! Wife and husband are made for each other. For making fire, two pieces of wood are essential. If one piece of wood is husband, the other piece is wife. If both are rubbed togehter, fire comes out.That fire is awareness.” said the Brahmin.
His wife also followed the husband and both of them attained liberation.” said Krishna to Arjuna.
Then Arjuna asked Krishna: “O Krishna! You told me about the brahmin wife and husband. I want to know more about them.” asked Arjuna.
Krishna smiled and said: “O Arjuna! Brahmin husband is no other than my mind and his wife is no other than my intellect. I am the Parama Atma, beyond the sense organs.” said Krishna.
“O Krishna! with your grace and kindness, I have become wiser. But I want to know about Para Brahma. Kindly tell me about it.” asked Arjuna.
“What is meant by well-being (hitamu) and what is the easiest way to attain well-being (Hitamu).” asked the Brahmin along with sages and saints.
Brahma said thus: “In the beginning, the entire Universe was born with Satva quality. For some time, all animate objects move in Satva. One by one, Rajas and Tamas occupy the body and jeeva. Studying Vedas, performing Tapas and meditating about Brahma are Satva qualities. Satva quality is a splendid and marvellous quality. Hence all Yogis, eschewing Kama and Krodha, follow Satva quality.
I now tell you the path to follow Satva. There are four Ashrams. Brahma Charya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and Sanyasa. These are four legs to Dharma. These four dharmas are followed by all castes. By observing these four Ashrams, one can attain Moksha. If one is unable to get self realisation within these four Ashrams, he cannot attain Moksha for ever. This path is applicable to one and all.
Whether they are Marut, Aditya, divine bodies etc. self realisation is the only path to attain Moksha. Self realisation means knowing about the 24 elements. I tell you about the 24 elements. Earth, space, fire, water and air are the five elements. Their attributes are five. Sense organs are 10. Mind, intellect and Ahankara are three. Praktiri-1. Total 24 elements.
Whoever understands about birth and death secret, abandons ignorance and realises about the true nature of these 24 elements, as a result of which, all his bondages dispel themselves and he travels towards Moksha.
Human body has nine holes. Mind, through these nine holes with the influence of satva, rajas and tamas, connects itself with the outside world. Hence the body is visible but the inner self is invisible. Therefore, one has to abandon the delusion on this visible body and try to behold the innerself. But it is highly difficult and impossible.
Whoever controls sense organs and mind and also Satva, Rajas and Tamas qualities, he can follow the path of Moksha. Satva, Rajas and Tamas qualities work together. One depend on the other. One follows another. One cooperates with another. Hence identifying and avoiding satva, rajas and tamas qualities is highly difficult. If one is restrained, another will raise. If Tamas is suppressed, Rajas increases. If Satva is followed, Tamas also follows Satva.
Greediness, sorrow, delusion, sleep, fear, aggrandizement, interest in committing crimes, over anger, cheating others, envy, hatredness etc. are the qualities of Tamas. Those who are born as snakes, scorpions, animals, pigs, dogs, fish, hens, mosquitoes, trees etc. are those who were influenced by Tamas in their last birth. One who realises this fact, keep himself away from Tamas.
Strength, vigour, valour, pride, arrogance, pleasures and sorrows, friendship, overambitious, uneasiness, quarrelsome nature, envy, harsh talk, abusing others; lusting other ladies; telling lies; boasting himself; and encouraging those who boast are all the qualities of Rajas.Those who were influenced by Rajas quality in the previous birth, are endowed with wealth and riches in this birth. They are mostly interested in worldly pleasures. If they realise that these pleasures in this birth are due to Rajas quality in previous birth, they slowly come out of those Rajas qualities and try to acquire Satva quality.
Eternal happiness, glory, soft spoken, kindness, forgiveness, truthfulness, clenaliness, courage, free from greediness; patience, nonviolence, virtuous behaviour, not envious towards others; avoiding unnecessary hurry, equality among all, concentration on the works, abandoning cruelty, respecting others are all Satva qualities. Those who were influenced by Satva in their previous birth, do not have egoism, over ambition, greediness, lust, passion in this birth. They are always virtuous and devotees of God.
One who realises about the qualities of Satva, Rajas and Tamas, keeps himself away from these three qualities. As has been said already, these three qualities are not separate. They unite with each other. The Samsara is run with these three qualities. If first quality dominates the second, the third one is suppressed. Tamas flows downwards. Rajas is in middle. Satva flows upwards. It is highly difficult to come out of the influence of these qualities. But one has to abandon these three qualities in order to attain Moksha.
To come out of the influence of these three qualities, one has to relinquish overambition and greediness. If human beings are influenced by Satva, they attain heavenly pleasures; those who influenced by Rajas take birth on earth and those who are infleunced by Tamas take birth as animals and beasts and undergo hell on earth.
In their daily life, human beings perform Karmas for the sake of Dharma, Ardha and Kama. These Karmas are influenced by Satva, Rajas and Tamas. Human beings shall take care that Karmas they perform are not tainted with Satva, Rajas and Tamas. He shall remain Nirguna.
In human body, Prana, Apaana, Vyaana, udaana and samaana vaayus are moving. Of these Vaayus, Prana is Satva; Apaana is Rajas and Udaana is Tamas. Of these Prana is best of all. If these three qualities remain in our body euqlly, that is Avyakta. That itself is eternal peace and happiness. One who realises about this Avyakta, he is endowed with awareness. He is entitled for Moksha.” said Brahma to saints.
Brahma continued to say: “O Brahmin, sages and saints! Mahat Tatva grows from Avyakta. That Mahat Tatva is also called intellect. With this intellect only, human being sees, hears and perceives. Hence intellect is kept on highest pedestal.
From intellect, Ahankara grows. Ahankara is the root cause for all Karmas. Division of humans into Brahmins, Kshatriya, Vysyas and Sudras, vratas, tapas, yajnas, yagas etc are all caused out of this Ahankara. From Ahankara Tatva, five elements viz., earth, space, air, water and light and their attributes (smell, form, taste, touch and sound) have come up. To enjoy these attributes, human being is immersed in worldly pleasures. All the living beings are immersed in this darkness of passion and lust and cannot comeout for ever. Only wise and learned, by performing Nishkama Karmas and eschewing sensual pleasures, can come out of this darkness.
These worldly pleasures are not eternal and they cannot
stand for ever. Sorrow follows happiness and happiness follows sorrow.
They are coming one after another. These sensual pleasures are root
cause for happiness and sorrows. Passion towards sensual pleasures causes
greediness. Influenced by greediness, human being is deprived of his
intellect and is driven towards sinful acts.
Five elements in the body, speech and mind and intellect are called Antara Atma. These eight elements are called Upaadaana. To know about these eight elements, preachings of elders is necessary. From out of Ahankara, Ten sense organs and mind...total eleven are formed. Uninfluenced with these eleven, intellect act independently. If intellect is used in proper manner, one can know about innerself.
O Saints! so far I told you about living beings. Now I tell about Adhyatma Tatva.
Earth, space, water, air and fire are main five elements.
In this nature, there are three tatvas. They are Adhyatma, Adhibhoota
and Adhi Daivata.
O saints! now I tell about Nivruthi path. (the path that leads the soul towards salvation). How tortoise retracts its organs into its shell, wise and learned shall retract his mind from worldly pleasures and turn it towards Atma. Whoever control his uncontrollable desires, he is great. He abandons satva, rajas and tamas and proceeds towards Moksha.
Control of sense organs is a difficult task. Atma shines beyond sense organs. One who beholds Atma is eligible for Moksha. This physical body is made up of five elements viz., earth, space, water, air and fire. With this physical body, it is highly difficult to cross the ocean of Samsara. Samsara is full of pleasures and sorrows, diseases and pains. Kama and Krodha are the masters of this Samsara. Hence human being shall conquer his desires and anger. Then only he can cross the ocean of Samsara.
As one lamp is lighting numerous lamps, from one Parama Atma, several atmas are shining in several physical bodies. Wise realises this truth and beholds Parama Atma in all human bodies and other living beings. Ignorant always creates differences between one and the other, on account of caste, religion, creed, etc., and suffer always. Parama Atma got several names. They are Varuna, Anila, Agni, Soma, Vishnu, Aja, Siva etc.” said Brahma to divine bodies and sages.
Brahma continued to say: “O sages! The foremost dharma is Ahimsa (nonviolence). Violence is adharma. Splendour and glory is the symptom of divine bodies. Human symptom is doing Karma. Symptom of space is making sound in form of thunders. Symptom of Vaayu is touching objects. Symptom of Lamp is shining in one form. Taste is symptom of water and smell is symptom of earth. Symptom of learning is speaking truth. Symptom of mind is thinking and feeling. Symptom of intellect is doing virtuous deeds. Symptom of Avyakta is leading virtuous life. Symptom of intellect is severing bondages of Karma.
Sannyasa coupled with intelligence leads to Moksha. Yogi who is above duals is not inflicted by disease and death. The Prakriti is Avyakta. It is also called as Kshetra. Prikriti is born out of Satva, Rajas and Tamas. Purusha shining in body is Antaratma (inner self). He knows everything. He is beyond these three attributes. He is stable and not influenced by any power. Jeevatma, renunciating Prikriti and turning towards Paramatma, attains Mukti.
Out of Jyothis, Sun; out of five elements, Agni; out of all arts, Savitri; out of divine bodies, Prajapati; out of Vedas, Omkara; out of five vaayus, Prana; out of all Chandas (metres), Gayatri; out of four leggers, goat and ox, out of human beings, Brahmin; out of all birds, eagle; out of all rituals in Yajna, Havis; out of four Yugas, Kritayuga; out of all metals, gold are famous. Out of all herbts, Yavas; out of all eatables, cooked rice; out of all drinks, pure waters; out of all mountains Meru; out of all trees, Juvvi tree; out of all sides, upper side; out of all rivers, Ganga; out of all water deposits, sea; out of four Ashrams, Grihastha Ashram; out of all Prajapatis, Brahma; out of all Tatvas, Vishnu Tatva; out of all divine bodies, Eswara are famous.
Though we call the God as Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara, the main Paramatma Tatva is one and the same and they are not different. Recognising this oneness itself is Brahma Jnana. As day and night are coming and going, pleasures and sorrows are coming and going in human life. Feeling great during pleasures and feeling sad during troubles is not proper. Every object in this nature is subject to growth and decay. Every pleasure ends with sorrow. Those who realise this truth, treat both pleasure and sorrow equally.
Now I tell you about Ashrams.
Brahmacharya is the first. During Brahmacharya, one has to follow the following: Study of vedas and serving teacher; procuring food by alms for himself and teacher; keeping one stick as Danda in hand; maintaining cleanliness always; keeping away from sensual desires; controlling sense organs; wearing sacred thread always; maintaining minimum talk; speaking truth always; keeping mind peaceful; worshipping sacred fire both morning and evening and abstaining from indulging in sinful acts. One has to follow the above duties during Brahmacharya.
Now I tell you about Grihastha Ashram. Grihasthu, while moving in the outside world, shall follow Nyaya and dharma; shall not look at other ladies with evil intention; lead a virtuous life; perform five yajnas daily; worship guests; wear plain white clothes; giving away what he has, to poor and needy; control sense organs; maintain cleanliness; being friendly with others; study vedas and perform Yajnas and Yagas; possess forgiveness alwlays; maintain impartiality while dealing with others; keeping away from sinful acts. These are the dharmas to be maintained by Grihasthu.
Next comes Vanaprastha. During Vanaprastha, one has to leave towns and villages and retire to forests; perform sacred and sandhya twice a day; maintain brahmacharya; consume fruits, roots, leaves as food; always sleep on floor; worship guests; perform study of vedas and worship of Agnihotra daily; and control sense organs. These are the main duties of Vanaprashta.
One can directly take Sanyasa, without undergoing these three Ashrams, if he is inclined to attain Moksha.
Now I tell you the Sanyasa Dharma. A sanyasi shall be kind towards other creatures; shall not resort to violence; shall not feel sorry for past events; shall not be ambitious about future and think about present only; control sense organs and keep detatched; consume food by alms only, once a day; shall not preserve anything for himself; shall not receive anything from others except food and clothing; shall not be influenced by flattering or appreciations; give up envy and anger; control both mind and sense organs; follow brahmacharya; follow non violence and truthfulness always. These are the Sanyasi Dharmas.
Sanyasi has to stay under trees, at banks of rivers; non inhabitant places; forests, caves and templels. Sanyasi shall not try to earn anything by crookedness. Sanyasi shall not propagate about his greatness and glory and keep detatchment with those who visit him. These are the Dharmas of Sanyasi.
Sanyasa means performing Tapas. By performing Tapas, Sanyasi acquire knowledge to behold Parama Atma. By performing Tapas only, one leaves Rajas and Tamas and follows Satva. That is the first step for salvation. Sanyasi shall abandon duals and strive hard for Moksha.
O brahmin, sages and saints! Samsara is a big tree. The invisible Prakriti is the seed. Intellect is the stem. Ahankara are the branches. Five elements, their attributes are leaves. Sense organs are cavities in tree; good and bad are the fruits and ambitions are the tender leaves. To cut the tree of Samsara, Jnana sword is essential. One who cuts this tree with Jnana sword, he attains Brahma Pada.
To attain Brahma Pada, practice of yoga is essential.
While practising yoga, one has to behold Jeevatma. By abandoning sensusal
desires, one attains salvation.
Then, the sages and saints asked Brahma thus: “O Brahma! Dharmas are of several kinds. While following all Dharmas, we are unable to decide which Dharma is best. Therefore, please tell us which Darma is best. Please also tell us the relation between Satva and Purusha.” asked sages and saints.
“O sages! of all dharmas, Ahimsa (non violence) is the best dharma. One who follows non violence attains best intelligence. That is the path for Moksha. One who entangled constantly in desires is caught in the web of worldly pleasures, as a result, keeps himself rotating in birth and death cycle. Desires are natural and performing Karmas to fulfil desires is also common. But those karmas bind the human being if they are done with some profit motive. If Karmas are performed without profit motive, they cannot bind the human being. That is the path for Moksha.
Therefore, while moving in the outside world, one has to behave like a drop of water on lotus leaf. One should not show any interest upon anything. Then only none can bind him. To behold Paratatva, satva is a torch. With the help of satva quality, Yogis realise para tatva and attain Mukti. So, with the help of Satva, one can attain Mukti.Once he realises innerself, he can renunciate satva also and try for Mukti without any attachments.
Before enquiring about desires, one has to know about five elements. One who realises about five elements, he recognises this body as combination of five elements. Then he renunciates love and affection towards this physical body and turns towards innerself. Mind, with the help of intellect, controls the sense organs. Yogi, realising this fact, travels along the Mukti path as Nirguna.
As tides in ocean are raising and falling, both animate and inanimate creatures in this Universe takes birth, grow and die in routine process. This Avyakta Prakriti is generated out of Paramatma. Therefore, this Prakriti is not eternal. One who realises this truth never entangles in passions and desires.
To behold Parama Atma, Tapas is the only means. Therefore, yogi shall acquire the tresure of Tapas. In the ancient past, all Prajapathis performed creation process only with the help of Tapas. Great saints, by performing Tapas in forests, attained knowledge of past, present and future. By Tapas only one can attain perfection in the art he learnt. One can attain any kind of art by Tapas which cannot be attained by any other means.
Tapas keeps away the bad qualities viz., cruelty against brahmins and drinking liquor etc. By means of Tapas, all living beings satisfy themselves. By performing Tapas, Yogis, attain Brahma Pada, by giving up passions, desires and egoism. Before attaining Brahma Pada, one has to give up Rajas and Tamas and follow Satva. Gradually, one has to give up Satva also and attain Nirguna quality. Then only he can join Paramatma.
Prakriti is Avyakta. Human being always moves in Prikriti. Due to Avidya (ignorance) he develops love and affection towards the works he does and binds himself with the results of such works. As a result, he always lands in all sorts of troubles and sorrows. If one does any kind of work without any attachment, the result of that work does not bind him. Therefore, no attachment....no sorrow.
Yogis are of two kinds. Jnana Yogi and Karma Yogi. Jnana Yogi believes that knowledge and intelligence is best whereas Karma Yogis believe in performing Karmas. What Vedas enunciate is: first one has to perform Karmas and worship God with 16 kinds of sevas. Gradually, one has to abandon Karmas and follow Jnana Yoga. Because, Jnana itself is the nature of Purusha (Atma). One who realises this truth, gives up Karma Yoga and follow Jnana yoga and attains Mukti. While performing Karmas in day to day life, one shall not attach himself either such Karmas or with the results of such Karmas.
Therefore, Arjuna, this is the conversation between the teacher and student.” said Krishna to Arjuna.
Now Arjuna entertained a doubt. “O Krishna! who is that Guru and who is that Sishya. Are they so important. Kindly tell me.” asked Arjuna.
Krishna smiled and said: “O Arjuna! dont you understand this much. That Guru is none than mine and the student is my mind. Out of affection towards you, I preached you about Jnana. You follow Adhyatma with pure and dedicated mind. All your worries vanish. All these things were already taught by me at the beginning of war. Again I reiterated them at your request. You control your sense organs and try to know about your innerself with unshaken mind.” said Sri Krishna to Arjuna.
Thus said Soota to saint Sounaka and other sages and saints, as told by Saint Vaisampayana to King Janamejaya, the story of Maha Bharata.