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Udyog Parv
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Udyog Parv

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Vidur Neeti (5) - Sanat-sujaat's Discourse (1)
[These pages on Vidur Neeti are mostly based on Kamala Subramaniam's "Mahabharata" Udyog Parv, Chapter 7, or otherwise from Mahabharata, Udyog Parv Chapter 41-43.]

Dhritraashtra said - "Is there anything which is still unsaid, Vidur? Because I am ready to listen." Vidur said - "Rishi Sanat-sujaat who is leading a perpetual life of celibacy has aid that there is no Death. Only he can satisfy your doubts, expressed or unexpressed." Dhritrashtra asked - "You don't know what that Rishi is going to tell me? If you can say it, say it because you have a great wisdom." Vidur said - ""Mahaaraaj, I am born in Shoodra Varn, therefore I cannot tell you more than this. Aadi Rishi Sanat Sujaat will talk to you on this subject. Only he can open the profoundest mysteries to you, therefore I call him to you." Vidur meditated on the great Rishi and the Rishi came there.

Vidur said to him - "Hey Rishi, The king has a doubt in his mind. Only you can clear it. That is why I have called you here. So that he can conquer what is loss and gain, agreeable and disagreeable, death, fright and jealousy, hunger and thirst, pride and prosperity, dislike, sleep, lust." Dhritraashtra asked- "I have heard that you say that there is no Death, but Devtaa and Asur still practice Tap to avoid Death. Which one is true?"

Sanat-sujaat said - "Some are of opinion that Death can be averted through certain acts; while some say there is no Death. You want to know which one is true? Know O king, Both are true. The learned say that Death results from ignorance, thus ignorance is death. Since knowledge is absence of ignorance, knowledge is immortality. Death does not devour the creature Its shape itself cannot be understood. Besides, some imagine Yam to be death, in fact this is due to the weakness of the mind. The pursuit of Brahman or self-knowledge is immortality.

That imaginary Devtaa Yam lives in the region of Pitar (dead ancestors). He blesses to virtuous and punishes the sinful. It is only at his command that death in the form of wrath, ignorance and anger arise among men. Swayed by the pride men walk on unrighteous paths; and swayed away by passion they cast off their bodies and repeatedly fall into Hell. They are always followed by their senses, it is for this ignorance that receives the names of the "Death".

Who desire for the fruits of their work, proceed to Heaven when the time comes to enjoy them, that is why they cannot avoid death. Because when the good fruits of their work are exhausted, they fall and take rebirth. The creatures, from their inability to attain the knowledge of Brahman and their connection with earthly enjoyment go through numerous cycles of birth and death.

The soul that is naturally and constantly affected by earthly things and enjoyments, is the only cause because of which senses are being led to error. The desire for enjoyment first kills men; lust and wrath soon follow; and these three lead foolish men to death. Those who have conquered their soul, succeed by self-restraint to escape death. Ignorance, assuming the shape of Yam, cannot devour a learned man who has killed his desire by self-restraint. A person who can renounce his desires can certainly drive away all kinds of sins. Thus desire is ignorance, darkness and Hell in all creatures, because by swayed away by them one loses his senses.

What "Death" can do to a person whose souls has not been misled by earthly desires? For him Death is no terror. Knowing that desires arise on the way, if a man relies on his knowledge, he need not fear Death. If the existence of desire (ignorance) is destroyed then there cannot be any Death. As the body is destroyed under the influence of Death; in the same way Death itself is destroyed when comes under the influence of knowledge."

Dhritraashtra said - "Ved say that there are sacred and eternal regions obtainable by prayers and sacrifices? Then why shouldn't a learned person follow that course?" Sanat-sujaat said - "Definitely, the one who is without knowledge will follow the same as indicated by you and the Ved also declare it appropriate; but who he regards his material body to be self, if he succeeds in renouncing desires, he can at once attain Brahm. However, if somebody wants the emancipation without renouncing desires, one must proceed through prescribed course of actions taking care to destroy the chances of his retracing the routes that he has once passed over. (see Note 2 here)

Dhritraashtra said - "In this world, some practice virtue, and some renounce action or Karm (Sanyaas Yog) totally. Respecting those who practice virtue, I ask you, is virtue competent to destroy vice, or is it itself destroyed by vice?" Sanat-sujaat said - "The fruits of virtue and perfect inaction are all right in this respect - for attaining emancipation. Both are sure means to attain it. But the men who are wise attain this by means of knowledge (inaction). On the other hand, materialist acquires it by action, but in this process he may commit sin also. Having obtained again fruits of virtue and vice (which are only transitory), the man of action becomes once more addicted to action as the consequences of his previous virtues and vices. But the same man, if he is intelligent, can destroy his sins by his virtuous acts."

Dhritraashtra asked - "Please tell me about those regions, according to their grades, that are attainable. Tell me about other regions also. I do not want to hear about actions." Sanat-sujaat said - "The Yogee, who practice Yog, go to Brahm Lok. Who perform sacrifices and other Vedic rites, freed from the world go to the Lok of Devtaa (Dev Lok). Others who are conversant with Ved and think that the performance of rites according to Ved is obligatory, perform these rites only for virtue sake not to accomplish any aim. Such persons are not regarded very highly.

Those people living there wherever food and drink for a Braahman is abundant so that they do not trouble households for their food; or those who do not want to disclose their identity and superiority, they are superior to those who do that. The wise call him Braahman who keeps his religious practices unknown to others. A Braahman should never exert, should never accept gifts, should win the respect of the righteous, should be quiet, although well conversant with Ved should seem otherwise, then only he can know Brahm. The person doing all kinds of sacrifices is not equal to who knows Brahm. He is really honored if he is honored by Devtaa.

People act according to their nature as they open and shut their eyelids. The world's esteem and asceticism (the practices of Maun - being quiet) can never exist together. Know that world is for those who are for esteem, while the other world is for those who practice asceticism. The righteous say that there are several gates, all difficult to be guarded, to access the other worlds. These are truth, uprightness, modesty, self-control, purity of mind, and conduct and knowledge of Ved. These SIX destroy vanity and ignorance."


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/9/02
Updated on 11/30/121