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Sun of the Sun - from the Mahabharata

The Sun of the Sun


PRIDE AND FRIENDSHIP

SANATSUJATA said:

Sorrow, anger, greed, lust, ignorance, indolence, malice, self- importance, ceaseless craving for profit, attachment, envy and evil speech -- these twelve, O King, are grave defects that are destructive to human lives. Each of these, O King, await opportunities to assault mankind. Tormented by them, men lose their senses and commit sinful deeds. He who is greedy, he who is fierce, he who is harsh of speech, he who is garrulous, he who is given to nursing anger, he who is boastful -- these six of wicked disposition, on obtaining riches, cannot treat others with courtesy. He who considers sensory gratification as the goal of life, he who never spends, he who is weak in mind, he who is given to self-adoration, and he who hates his own wife -- these are listed as wicked men of sinful ways.

Righteousness, truth, asceticism, self-conquest, contentment, modesty, renunciation, love of others, giving, familiarity with the scriptures, patience and forgiveness -- these twelve are the practices of a Brahmana. He who does not fall off from these twelve can hold sway over the entire earth. He who is imbued with three or two or even one of these never considers anything as his own to the exclusion of others. Self-conquest, renunciation and knowledge -- in these reside emancipation. These are the graces of Brahmanas suffused with wisdom and viewing brahman as the highest of all objects of attainment. It is not commendable for a Brahmana to speak ill of others, whether truly or falsely; those who do this abide in hell.

Pride (mada) has eighteen flaws which have yet to be enumerated by me. They are ill will towards others, throwing obstructions in the way of righteous deeds, condemnation, falsehood in speech, lust, anger, dependence, speaking ill of others, fault-finding and gossip, waste of wealth, combativeness, insolence, cruelty to living beings, malice, ignorance, disregard of those who are worthy of respect, loss of the sense of right and wrong, and ever seeking to injure others. A wise man, therefore, should never give way to mada, for the accompaniments of mada are blameworthy.

Friendship is deemed to possess six signs: first of all, friends delight in the prosperity of friends and, secondly, are distressed at their adversity. Thirdly, if anyone asks for anything dear to his heart, but which should not be asked, a true friend surely gives away even that. Fourthly, a true friend who is of righteous disposition, when asked, can relinquish his very prosperity, his beloved sons and even his own wife. Fifthly, a friend should not dwell in the house of a friend on whom he may have bestowed everything, but should enjoy what he earns himself. Sixthly, a friend ceases not to sacrifice his own good.

The man of riches who seeks to gain those good qualities, and who becomes charitable and righteous, withholds his five senses from their respective objects. Such restraint of the senses is asceticism. When it grows in extent, it is capable of winning regions of bliss hereafter. Those who have fallen off from patience acquire such asceticism in consequence of the purpose they cherish. Owing to his ability to grasp that Truth from which sacrifices flow, the yogin is capable of performing mental sacrifices. Another performs sacrifices by words (japa), and still another by work. Truth resides in him who knows brahman as vested with attributes. It dwells more securely in him who knows brahman as divested of attributes.

Listen now to something else from me. This exalted and esteemed philosophy must be taught. All other systems are only a farrago of words. The entire cosmos is established in this philosophy of yoga. Those who are acquainted with it are not subject to death. O King, one cannot through work, however well done, attain to Truth. The man who is destitute of knowledge, even if he pours libations of homa or performs sacrifices, can never, O King, attain immortality through work. Nor does he enjoy great happiness at the end. Subduing all the external senses, solitary, one should seek brahman. Renouncing work, one must not exert oneself mentally. One must also avoid experiencing delight when extolled or anger when blamed. O Kshatriya, by conducting oneself in this manner, according to the successive steps indicated in the Vedas, one may even here attain brahman. This, O learned One, is all I have to tell you.

THE PRIMAL SEED

SANATSUJATA said:

The primal Seed of the cosmos is devoid of accidents, is pure Knowledge, and blazes forth with effulgence. It directs the senses, and it is in consequence of that Seed that Surya shines. That Eternal One suffused with divinity is beheld by yogins. Owing to that Seed, brahman becomes capable of creation, and it is through It that brahman grows in expansion. It is that Seed which, entering into luminous bodies, gives forth light and heat. Without deriving Its light and heat from any other source, It is self-luminous and is an object of awe to all luminous bodies. The Eternal One suffused with divinity is seen by yogins.

The body, comprising the five grosser elements which have sprung from the five subtler ones -- the latter, in their turn, originating from one homogeneous substance called brahman -- is upheld in consciousness by both the immanent Soul imbued with life and Ishvara. Brahman, on the other hand, which is never bereft of consciousness and is the Sun of the Sun, upholds these two and also the earth and heaven. The Eternal One suffused with divinity is seen by yogins. That Seed upholds the two gods, the earth and heaven, the directions and the entire cosmos. It is from that Seed that the directions and the rivers spring, and from it also the vast seas derive their origin.

The Eternal One suffused with divinity is seen by yogins. The body is like a car destined to be destroyed. Its acts, however, are undying. Tied to the wheels of that car, the senses, like steeds, lead the man to wisdom through the region of consciousness towards that Uncreate and Unalterable One, which is suffused with divinity and is seen by yogins. The form of that One cannot be intimated through any comparison. None ever sees Him by the eye. They who know Him by means of meditation, by the mind and the heart, become freed from death.

The Eternal One suffused with divinity is seen by yogins. The stream of illusion is terrifying; guarded by the gods, it has twelve fruits. Drinking of its waters and seeing many sweet things in its midst, men swim along to and fro. This stream flows from that Seed. That Eternal One suffused with divinity is seen by yogins. Destined to travel to and fro, the immanent Soul, having reflected, enjoys only half the fruits of its acts. It is that immanent Soul which is Ishvara, pervading everything in the cosmos. It is Ishvara who has ordained sacrifices. The Eternal One suffused with divinity is seen by yogins. Souls devoid of aberrations, resorting to avidya, which is like unto a tree of golden foliage, assume accidents and take birth in different orders according to their propensities.

The Eternal One suffused with divinity is seen by yogins. Contingencies elevate the cosmos in its fullness from that brahman which is full. Those contingencies also, in their fullness, arise from brahman in its fullness. When one succeeds in removing all accretions from brahman, which is ever full, that which remains is brahman in its fullness. That Eternal One suffused with divinity is seen by yogins. It is from that Seed that the five elements have arisen, and it is in It that the power abides for regulating them. It is from that Seed that both the consumer and the consumed have sprung, and it is in It that living organisms with the senses repose. Everything should be considered to have sprung from It. That Seed called TAT in the Vedas we cannot describe.

The Eternal One suffused with divinity is seen by yogins. The vital air called apana is swallowed up by the air called prana; prana is swallowed up by the volition, the volition by the intellect, and the intellect by the Supreme Soul. The Eternal One suffused with divinity is seen by yogins. The Supreme Soul with its four legs, called waking, dreaming, profound sleep and turiya, like unto a swan treading above the fathomless ocean of temporal affairs, does not put forth one leg which is hidden deep. For him who sees that leg as put forth for the purpose of guiding the other three, both death and emancipation are the same.

The Eternal One suffused with divinity is seen by yogins. Of the measure of the thumb, ever full, and distinct from this eternal organism, coming in contact with the vital airs, the volition, the intellect and the ten senses, it moves to and fro. That Supreme Controller, worthy of reverential hymns, capable of everything when covered with contingencies, the prime cause of all, is manifest as knowledge in immanent souls. Fools alone do not see Him; that Eternal One suffused with divinity is seen by yogins. Among individuals there are those who have gained mastery over their minds, and those who have not. Yet in all the Supreme Soul may be seen equally. Indeed, it resides equally in him who is emancipated and in him who is not, with only this difference, that those who are emancipated obtain honey flowing in a thick jet.

The Eternal One suffused with divinity is seen by yogins. When one accomplishes life's journey, having attained the knowledge of Self and Not-Self, it matters little whether the agnihotra is performed or not. O King, let not such words as "I am thy servant" fall from their lips. The Supreme Soul has another name -- pure Knowledge. They alone who have subdued their minds obtain Him. The Eternal One suffused with divinity is seen by yogins. Even such is He. Luminous and replete, all living beings are absorbed into Him. He who knows that embodiment of fullness attains his object even here.

The Eternal One suffused with divinity is seen by yogins. That which flies away, stretching forth thousands of wings, yea, if propelled by the speed of thought must still return to the central spirit within the living organism. The Eternal One suffused with divinity is seen by yogins. His form cannot be an object of sight. They alone who are pure-hearted can see Him. When one seeks the good of all, succeeds in subduing the mind and never allows his heart to be captured by grief, then one is deemed to have purified his heart. Those again who can renounce the world and all its cares become immortal. The Eternal One suffused with divinity is seen by yogins. Just as serpents hide themselves in holes, so too there are persons who, observing the dictates of their preceptors or by their own conduct, conceal their vices from the scrutiny of others. Those who are of little sense are deceived by these. Indeed, conducting themselves outwardly without any impropriety, these deceive their victims, leading them to hell.

The Eternal One suffused with divinity is seen by yogins. He who is emancipated thinks, "This transient organism can never make me surrender to joy and grief and the other attributes intrinsic to it; nor can there be, in my case, anything like birth and death; and furthermore, when brahman, which has no opposing force to contend with and which is alike at all times and all places, constitutes the refuge of both realities and unrealities, how can emancipation be mine? It is I alone who art the origin and the end of all causes and effects." The Eternal One suffused with divinity is seen by yogins. Knowing brahman, the person who is equal to brahman itself is neither exalted by good deeds nor defiled by bad deeds. It is only in ordinary persons that deeds, good or bad, produce different results. The individual who knows brahman should be viewed as identical with amrita or the state called kaivalya, which is incapable of being swayed by either virtue or vice. One must, therefore, dispose one's mind in the manner indicated and attain that essence of sweetness or brahman.

The Eternal One suffused with divinity is seen by yogins. Slander grieves not the heart of the person who knows brahman, nor does the thought that I have not studied the Vedas, or I have not performed my agnihotra. The knowledge of brahman rapidly imparts to him the wisdom which they alone obtain who have subdued their minds. The Eternal One suffused with divinity is seen by yogins. He, therefore, who sees his own Self in everything has no longer to grieve, for they alone have to grieve who are engaged in diverse occupations in this world. Just as one's needs may be met in a well as in a huge reservoir or vast expanse, so too the diverse ends of the Vedas may all be derived by him who knows the Soul.

Dwelling in the heart, of the measure of the thumb, the Illustrious One -- the embodiment of fullness -- is not an object of sight. Unborn he moves, awake day and night. He who knows Him becomes learned as well as full of joy. I am known as the mother and the father. I am also the son. Of all that was, and of all that will be, I am the Soul. O Bharata, I am the aged grandsire, I am the father, I am the son. You abide in my soul, yet you are not mine nor am I yours. The Soul is the cause of my birth and gestation. I am the warp and woof of the cosmos. That upon which I repose is indestructible. Unborn I move, awake day and night. Knowing me, one becomes both learned and full of joy. Subtler than the subtle, with excellent eyes capable of looking into the past and the future alike, brahman is awake in every being. Those who know Him know that the Universal Father dwells in the heart of every created thing.

Rendition by Punarvasu

Mahabharata
Sanat Sujata Parva Udyoga Parva
Udyoga Parva XLV, XLVI

Hermes, November 1988

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