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Maarkandeya Muni-9
Morality and Virtue of Women: Story of Kaushik Braahman-2

[3-210] Maarkandeya Jee said - "The Braahman asked the fowler - "O Knower of Religion, It is said that there are 5 great elements, please describe the properties in full detail of any one to me." The fowler said - "Air, Water, Space, Earth and Fire - all have properties overlapping each other. I describe them to you. The Earth has 5 qualities, Water has 4 qualities, Fire has 3 qualities, Air has 2 qualities, and Sky has only 1 quality.
Sound, touch, form, odor and taste - these five qualities belong to Earth,
Sound, touch, form and taste, are the properties of Water,
Sound, touch and form are the three properties of Fire
Sound and touch are the two properties of Air, and
Sound is the property of Sky.
And, O Braahman, these 15 properties inherent in five elements, exist in all substances of which this universe is composed. And they are not opposed to one another; they exist in proper combination.

When this whole Universe is thrown into a state of confusion, then every corporeal being assumes another corpus. It arises and perishes in due order. Everything is made up of the five elements. Whatever can be perceived by senses, is said to be Vyakt (knowable or comprehensible); and whatever is not known by senses and can only be guessed is called A-Vyakt. He who is bound to his previous life Karm, although highly skilled in spiritual wisdom, is aware of his soul's objective existence; but who is not affected by his surroundings is never subjected to ills. As you have asked me about the results of self-discipline, self-discipline can be acquired only by suppressing one's senses. Our senses are at the roots of our spiritual advancement or degradation. Who controls his senses never commits sins. A man has been compared with a chariot, his soul to a charioteer, and his senses as horses to pull that chariot. A man who has controlled his senses drives his chariot without confusion, like a quiet charioteer with well controlled horses. When our senses go wild, we should patiently try to control them. When a man's mind is overpowered even one of his senses, he loses his reason and becomes like a ship tossed by the storm in high waves."

[3-211] Maarkandeya Jee continued - "After the fowler had told the Braahman all this, the Braahman asked him - "Please tell me the virtues of Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas." The fowler said - "Listen O Braahman, Tamas is characterized by illusion (spiritual), Rajas incites (men to action), and Sattwa is a great grandeur - the greatest among all. If a man is of Sattwa Gun and is influenced by worldliness, he suffers misery; if he hates worldliness when he realizes its importance. His pride decreases, his conflicting moral sentiments are reconciled, and he may attain the status of even Braahman. Now what else what do you wish to know?"

[3-212] The Braahman said - "How is that the Fire along with earthly element matter becomes necessary for living beings? How the Air excite to action?" Maarkandeya Jee said - "For this question, the fowler replied - "This breathing Air causes the action in the body; and the soul being present in both of them acts through them. The past, present and future all are associated to soul, and it is the creature's highest possession. It is the animating principle of all the creatures, and it is the eternal Purush (spirit) it is the intelligence and the ego. While He is sitting there, it sustains itself by the subtle element of Praan, and then each creature goes its own way by the action of another subtle Air called Samaan. this Samaan Air is transformed into Apaan and carries the refuse matter of the body to the kidneys and intestines. That same air is present in the three elements of efforts, exertion and power - and in this state it is called Udaan Air by learned people and when it manifests in the joints then it is called Vyaan Air. The internal heat is diffused over all the tissues of the body. Supported by all these airs, it transforms our food of our system. By the combination of all airs, a reaction occurs and a heat is generated thereby and it helps in digesting our food. The Praan and Apaan Vaayu are interposed within Samaan and Udaan airs and the heat generated through this grows our body (consisting of the 7 substances, bones muscles etc).

And that portion goes up to as far as rectum and is called Apaan. Above the navel is the region of undigested food and below it is the region of digested food. Praan and other airs are seated in the navel. Our arteries carry the best essence of food and are acted upon the 10 Praan. This is the way by which Yogee find the Supreme Spirit. Praan and Apaan airs are present in the bodies of all creatures. Know that the spirit is embodied in this worldly body, in 11 conditions of the animal system; and although it is eternal, its normal state is according to its accompaniments as a drop of water moves on the lotus leaf.

Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas are the attributes of all life; and the life is the attribute of Spirit; and the Spirit is the attribute of the Supreme Spirit. Inert, insensible matter is the seat of the living principle, which is active in itself and induces activity in others. That thing by which the seven worlds are incited to action is called the most high by men of high spiritual insight. Thus in all these elements, the eternal spirit does not show itself, but is perceived by the learned in spiritual science by reason of their high and keen perception. Greed and anger must be suppressed by all means, because this act is considered the most sacred and precious virtue to cross this world. Leniency is the best of virtues, and forbearance is the best of powers, knowledge of our spiritual nature is the best of all knowledge, and truthfulness is the best of all religious obligations. The telling of truth is good, and the knowledge of truth may also be good, but what conduces to the greatest good of all creatures, is known as the highest truth. He whose actions are performed not with the object of securing any reward or blessing, who has sacrificed all to the requirements of his renunciation, is a real Sanyaasee and is really wise.

A Muni who desires to obtain Moksh (salvation), which is very difficult to attain, must be constant in austerities, forbearing, self-restrained, and must give up that longing fondness which binds him to the things of this earth. They call these the attributes of the Supreme Spirit. The Gun (qualities or attributes) that we are conscious of, reduce themselves to A-Gun (non-Gun) in Him; He is not bound by anything, and is perceptible only by the expansion and development of our spiritual vision; as soon as the illusion of ignorance is dispelled, this supreme unalloyed beatitude is attained. By foregoing the objects of both pleasure and pain and by renouncing the feelings which bind him to the things of this earth, a man may attain Brahm (Supreme Spirit or salvation). I have told you what you wanted to know, now tell me what do you want to know."

[3-213] Maarkandeya Jee said - "When the fowler had explained all the theories of salvation, Kaushik Braahman got very pleased and said - "It seems that you have full knowledge of religion." The fowler said - "You can also know all this with your own eyes, as I can see it and by the reason by which I have attained this state. Please come to my house inside and see my father and mother." Maaarkandeya Jee continued - "The Braahman entered his house of four greatly furnished large rooms and saw his parents sitting there, in that magnificent house, wearing white clothes after finishing their meal. The fowler bowed his head on their feet and they blessed him with long prosperous life, lots of knowledge and fulfillment of his desires. They said - "You are a very obedient son and you have been looking after us every well. You have no other Deity to worship except us. You have controlled all your senses and that is how you have become a Braahman. As Parashuraam has pleased his parents, so has you." The fowler introduced the Braahman to them, and both asked of each others welfare. The fowler further said to the Braahman - "As people worship 33 Crore Devtaa, I worship my parents. Only they are my supreme gods. My wife, my children and I all always attend to them. The two parents, the sacred fire, the soul and the spiritual preceptor - these five are of the highest respect who seeks prosperity.

[3-214] Maarkandeya Jee continued - "The fowler said to Braahman - "You also mark this quality by which my spiritual vision is extended. That is why that lady rushed you to Mithilaa to know the mysteries of religion. She was devoted to her husband." The Braahman said - "She is devoted to her husband, and you are devoted to your parents, now I have understood that you are of very high quality." The fowler said - "Now I tell you what you should do. You have made a mistake by leaving your house without their permission for the purpose of learning of Ved. Your parents must be very sad without you. Go back to your home and console them. You go back even today." The Braahman said - "You are right, god bless you with prosperity, I am very pleased with you." The fowler said - "Go to your parents and serve them, that is the only highest virtue."

Braahman said - "I am very fortunate that by just single event I have met you and been associated with you. There is scarcely any man who knows religion as you have explained to me. I go back to my parents. I am very fortunate to secure your friendship. You have saved me to go into Hell, as King Yayaati was saved by his four grandsons. I think it was destined like this. As it is very difficult to know all this for a Shoodra, I don't consider you a Shoodra. You must have been born as Shoodra by your some past Karm. I wish to know this mystery. Please tell me about this."

The fowler said - "Listen to the previous story. In my previous life I was born in a Braahman family. I studied Ved and Vedaang, but by my own fault I have fallen to this state. A king was my friend and he was skilled in archery, so in his companionship I also learnt archery and went on a hunting spree with him. He killed many wild animals and when I shot an arrow, it hit a Rishi and the Rishi cried - "I have not harmed anyone then who is that sinner who has shot me like this?" In fact I shot the arrow thinking him a deer. I asked his forgiveness that I did this unknowingly." But he cursed me that in my next life I will be born in a Shoodra class."

[3-215] The fowler continued - "I asked his forgiveness and tried to please him but he said - "My words cannot go false but for the kindness, I can do this much for you that in spite of being born in a Shoodra caste, you will be a pious man, serve your parents and by serving them attain a great spiritual perfection. You will remember of the events of your past life, shall go to Heaven and then will reborn as a Braahman." Then I pulled out the arrow from his body, took him to his hermitage. Thus I have told you about the reason why I am born as a Shoodra and why I will go to Heaven and will be born as Braahman." The Braahman said - "All is the game of Karm, so do not be sorry for that. Even now I consider you a Braahman. For the Braahman who is vain and haughty, who is addicted to vices and wedded to evil and degrading practices, is like a Shoodra. On the other hand, I consider a Shoodra who is always adorned with these virtues - righteousness, self-restraint, and truthfulness, as a Brahmana. A man becomes a Braahman by his character; by his own evil Karm a man attains an evil and terrible doom." The fowler replied - "Be it so." and the Braahman went away to his home and the fowler also returned to the service of his parents."

Maarkandeya Jee said - "O Yudhishthir, I have told you the history of full moral instructions which you asked me to tell you - the virtue of women's devotion to their husbands." Yudhishthir said - "O best of Rishi, You have kindly told me very good stories of morality, but I am still not satisfied with these stories."


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Created by Sushma Gupta On 05/27/04
Modified on 02/10/13