THE Sanatsugâtîya, A Spiritual Dialogue
Notes: Page numbers and booksmarks to page references removed. Some archaic expression in English transliteration changed according to current usage.
If, O Vidura! there is anything not (yet) said by you in (your) discourse, then do impart it to me who wish to hear, for you have spoken marvellous (things).
O Dhritarâshtra! the ancient youth Sanatsugâta, (otherwise called) Sanâtana 1, who declared that death exists not--he, O descendant of Bharata! the best of all talented men, will explain all the doubts of your mind, both those (which are) secret 2, and those openly declared.
What, do you not yourself know more about this (subject), that Sanâtana should explain (it) to me? Explain (it) yourself, O Vidura! if there is any remnant of intelligence (left) in you. Vidura said:
1 am born of a Sûdra womb, and do not like to say more than what (I have said). But the intelligence of that youth, I believe to be eternal 1. He who has come of a Brâhmana womb, even though he may proclaim a great mystery, does not thereby become liable to the censure of the gods. Therefore do I say this to you.
Do you, O Vidura! speak to the ancient Sanâtana for me, so that there may be a meeting even here, between (myself in) this body (and him).
Vaisampâyana 2 said:
(Then) Vidura meditated on that sage whose vows are laudable 3. And he, too, O descendant of Bharata! knowing of such meditation, made his appearance. And he 4, too, received him with the ceremonies prescribed in the ordinances. After he had been comfortably seated, and had taken rest, Vidura then spoke to him: 'Venerable sir! there is some doubt in Dhritarâshtra's mind, which cannot be explained by me. Do you be pleased to explain (it) to him. Hearing it (explained), this lord of men may cross beyond all misery, so that gain and loss 1, (what is) agreeable and (what is) odious, old age and death, fear and vindictiveness, hunger and thirst, frenzy and worldly greatness, disgust and also laziness, desire and wrath, ruin and prosperity, may not trouble him.'
Then the talented king, Dhritarâshtra, bowed 2 to those words uttered by Vidura, and, in a secluded place 3, interrogated Sanatsugâta regarding the highest knowledge 4, wishing to become (a) high-souled (man) 5.
O Sanatsugâta! which of the two is correct, your teaching 6, about which I have heard, that death exists not, or that 7 the gods and demons practised the life of Brahma k ârins 1, for freedom from death?
Some (say), that freedom from death (results) from action 2; and others that death exists not. Hear me explain (this), O king! have no misgiving about it 3. Both truths, O Kshatriya! have been current from the beginning 4. The wise maintain what (is called) delusion (to be) death. I 5 verily call heedlessness death, and likewise I call freedom from heedlessness immortality. Through heedlessness, verily, were the demons 6 vanquished; and through freedom from heedlessness the gods attained to the Brahman. Death, verily, does not devour living creatures like a tiger; for, indeed, his form is not to be perceived. Some 1 say that death is different from this, (named) Yama, who dwells in the self 2 the (practice of the) life of Brahma k ârins (being) immortality. That god governs his kingdom in the world of the Pit ri s, (being) good to the good, and not good to (those who are) not good. That death, (or) heedlessness, develops in men as desire, and afterwards as wrath, and in the shape of delusion 3. And then travelling in devious paths 4 through egoism, one does not attain to union 5 with the self. Those who are deluded by it 6, and who remain under its influence, depart from this (world), and there again fall down 7. Then, the deities 8 gather around them. And then he undergoes death after death 9. Being attached to the fruit of action, on action presenting itself, they follow after it 10, and do not cross beyond death. And the embodied (self), in consequence of not understanding union 1 with the real entity, proceeds on all hands 2 with attachment to enjoyments. That 3, verily, is the great source of delusion to the senses; for by contact 4 with unreal entities, his migrations 5 are (rendered) inevitable; because having his inner self contaminated by contact with unreal entities, he devotes himself to objects of sense on all sides, pondering on them (only). (That) pondering, verily, first. ruins 6 him; and soon afterwards desire and wrath, after attacking him. These 7 lead children to death. But sensible men cross beyond death by their good sense. He who pondering (on the self) destroys 8 (the) fugitive (objects of sense), not even thinking of them through contempt (for them), and who being possessed of knowledge destroys desires in this way, becomes, as it were, the death of death (itself), and swallows (it) up 9. The being who pursues desires, is destroyed (in pursuing) after the desires 1. But casting away desires, a being gets rid of all taint 2 whatever, This body, void of enlightenment 3, seems (to be) a hell for (all) beings. Those who are avaricious run about 4, going headlong to a ditch. A man, O Kshatriya! who contemns everything else 5 learns nothing. To him (the body is) like a tiger made of straw 6. And this internal self (joined to) delusion and fear 7 in consequence of wrath and avarice, within your body, that verily is death 8. Understanding death 9 to be thus produced, and adhering to knowledge, one is not afraid of death 10 in this (world). In his province death is destroyed, as a mortal (is destroyed) on arriving in the province of death.
The good, eternal, and most holy worlds 11, which are mentioned (as attainable) by the twice-born by means of worship 1, those, say the Vedas, are the highest aim 2. How is it, then, that one who understands this does not resort to action?
(Thinking) so, an ignorant man does resort to action. The Vedas likewise do lay down various benefits 3 (for him). But that 4 (man) comes not hither 5. (Becoming) the supreme self 6, he attains the supreme, by the (right) path destroying the wrong paths 7.
There is great danger 2 in attributing distinctions to it. The everlasting 3 (principles) exist by connexion with the beginningless 4 (principle). So that his greatness is not lost at all 5, and beings exist by connexion with the beginningless 4 (principle). That which is the real--the supreme Being 6--is eternal. He creates the universe by means of changes 7, for such is his power held to be; and for such connexions of things the Vedas are (authority) 8.
Since some practise piety 1 in this world, and some likewise practise impiety in this world; is the piety destroyed by the sin, or else. does the piety destroy sin?
Sanatsu gâta said:
Whichever 2 he adheres to, the man of understanding always destroys both by means of knowledge; (that is) settled 3. Likewise, in the other case 4, the embodied (self) obtains merit; and to such a one sin (also) accrues; (that too is) settled 3. Departing (from this world), he enjoys by his actions both (kinds of) fruit, which are not enduring 5--of actions (which are) pure, and of (those which are) sinful. The man of understanding casts aside sin by piety in this (world), for know that his piety is more powerful 6. Those Brâhmanas, in whom there is emulation 7 about (their) piety, as there is in strong men about (their) strength, after departing from this world, become glorious in heaven 8. And to those in whom there is no emulation about (their) piety, that (piety) is a means of (acquiring) knowledge 1. Such Brâhmanas released from this (world), go to the heaven which is free from the threefold source of pain 2. People who understand the Vedas call his conduct good. (But) people closely connected 3, as well as strangers, do not pay much regard to him. Wherever he may believe food and drink for a Brâhmana to exist in abundance, like water on grass in the autumn, there would he live and not be vexed 4. (To him) only that person is good, and no other (as a companion), who does nothing in excess, and who occasions fear and injury to a taciturn man 5. And his food is acceptable to the good, who does not vex the self of a taciturn man, and who does not destroy the property of a Brâhmana 6. A Brâhmana should hold, that living in the midst of kinsmen, his actions should be always unknown 7; and he should not think 1 (about them). What Brâhmana ought to think of the inner self, which is void of symbols 2, immovable, pure, and free from all pairs of opposites, in this way 3? What sin is not committed by that thief, who steals away his own self 4, who regards his self as one thing, when it is a different thing. The far-seeing Brâhmana, who knows the Brahman, is not wearied 5, he receives nothing 6; he is honoured, free from trouble 7, and wise, but acts as if he was not wise 8. As dogs eat what is vomited, so do they, enjoying their own bravery 9, eat what is vomited, always with disaster (to themselves). Those twice-born persons, who are not first 1 in respect of human wealth, but who are first in the Vedas 2, are unconquerable, not to be shaken 3; they should be understood to be forms of the Brahman. Whosoever may in this (world) know all the gods 4---doers of favours--he is not equal to a Brâhmana, (nor even) he, 5 for whom he exerts himself. The man who makes no efforts 6, and is respected, does not, being respected, think himself. respected 7, nor does he become vexed in consequence of disrespect. One who is respected 8 should think it to be a natural operation of people, like their opening or closing of the eyelids, that the learned respect him in this world. One who is not respected should think, that the deluded people who do not understand piety, and who are devoid of (knowledge of) the world and the Sâstras, will never respect one who is worthy of respect. Respect and taciturnity 9, verily, never dwell together; for this world is (the field) for respect, the next for taciturnity, as is understood 10. For worldly wealth dwells in the sphere of respect 1, and that, too, is an obstacle 2. While the Brahmic wealth 3, O Kshatriya! is difficult to be attained by any one devoid of knowledge. The ways (to it) are stated by the good to be of various descriptions, and difficult to reach--truth, straightforwardness, modesty 4, restraint (of senses), purity, knowledge, which are the six impediments (in the way) of respect and delusion.
Who possesses this taciturnity 5, and which of the two 6 is taciturnity? Describe, O learned person! the condition of taciturnity here. Does a learned man reach taciturnity 7 by taciturnity? And how, O sage! do they practise taciturnity in this world Sanatsugâta said:
Since the Vedas, together with the mind 1, fail to attain to him, hence (is he) taciturnity 2--he about whom the words of the Vedas were uttered 3, and who, O king! shines forth as consubstantial 4 with them.
Does 5 the twice-born person who studies the Rik and the Ya g us texts, and the Sâma-veda, committing sinful (acts), become tainted, or does he not become tainted?
Not the Sâman texts, nor yet the Rik Texts, nor the Ya g us texts 6 save him, O acute sir! from sinful action. I do not tell you an untruth. The Kh andas do not save a sinful deceitful 1 man who behaves deceitfully 2. At the time of the termination (of his life), the Kh andas abandon 3 him, as birds who have got wings (abandon their) nest.
If, O acute sir! the Vedas are not able to save one who understands the Vedas, then whence is this eternal talk 4 of the Brâhmanas?
O you of great glory! this universe becomes manifest through his special forms--names 5 and the rest. The Vedas proclaim (his form) after describing (it) well 6, and (they 7 also) state his difference from the universe. For that 8 are this penance and sacrifice prescribed. By these a learned man acquires merit, and afterwards destroying sin by merit 9, he has his self illuminated by knowledge. By knowledge the learned man attains the self 1. But, on the other hand, one who wishes for the fruit--heaven 2--takes with him 3 all that he has done in this (world), enjoys it in the next, and then returns to the path 4 (of this world). Penance is performed in this world; the fruit is enjoyed elsewhere. But the penance of Brâhmanas is further developed 5; that of others remains only as much (as when first performed).
How does the pure penance become developed and well developed 6? O Sanatsugâta! tell (me.) how I should understand that, O Lord!
This penance, free from sin 7, is called pure 8; and this pure penance becomes developed and well developed, not otherwise 9. All this 10, O Kshatriya! has for its root that penance about which you question me. By penance 1, those conversant with the Vedas attained immortality, after departing from this world.
1 have heard about penance free from sin, O Sanatsugâta! Tell me what is the sin (connected) with penance, so that I may understand the eternal mystery 2.
The twelve beginning with wrath, and likewise the seven cruelties, are the defects (connected) with it; and there are (stated) in the Sâstras twelve merits (connected) with it, beginning with knowledge, which are known to the twice-born, and may be developed. Wrath, desire 3, avarice, delusion 4, craving 5, mercilessness, censoriousness, vanity, grief 6, attachment 7, envy 8, reviling others--these twelve should always be avoided by a man of high qualifications 1. These, O king of kings! attend each and every man, wishing to find some opening 2, as a hunter (watches) animals. [Boastful, lustful, haughty, irascible, unsteady 3, one who does not protect (those dependent 4 on him), these six sinful acts are performed by sinful men who are not afraid (even) in the midst of great danger 5.] One whose thoughts are (all) about enjoyments, who prospers by injuring (others), who repents of generosity, who is miserly, who is devoid of the power 6 (of knowledge), who esteems the group 7 (of the senses), who hates his wife 8--these seven, different (from those previously mentioned), are the seven forms of cruelty. Knowledge, truth, self-restraint, sacred learning, freedom from animosity (towards living beings), modesty 9, endurance 10, freedom from censoriousness, sacrifice, gift, courage} 11, quiescence 12,these are the twelve great observances 13 of a Brâhmana. Whoever is not devoid of these twelve can govern this whole world, and those who are possessed of three, two, or even one (of these) become, in (due) course, distinguished (for knowledge) and identified with the Brahman 1. [Self-restraint, abandonment 2, and freedom from heedlessness--on these depends immortality. And the talented Brâhmanas say that truth is chief over them.] Self-restraint has eighteen defects; if (any one of them is) committed, it is an obstacle (to self-restraint), They are thus stated. 'Untruthfulness, backbiting, thirst 3, antipathy (to all beings), darkness 4, repining 5, hatred 6 of people, haughtiness, quarrelsomeness, injuring living creatures, reviling others, garrulity, vexation 7, want of endurance 8, want of courage 9, imperfection 10, sinful conduct, and slaughter. That is called self-restraint by the good, which is free from these defects. Frenzy has eighteen defects 11; and abandonment is of six kinds. The contraries of those which have been laid down 12 are stated to be the defects of frenzy. Abandonment of six kinds is excellent. Of those six, the third is hard to achieve. With it one certainly crosses beyond all misery without distinction 1. That being achieved, (everything) is accomplished 2. The (first is the) giving away of sons and wealth to a deserving man who asks (for them); the second is gifts at Vedic ceremonies, and gifts at ceremonies laid down in the Sm ri tis 3. The abandonment of desires, O king of kings! by means of indifference (to worldly objects) is laid down as the third 4. With these one should become free from heedlessness. That freedom from heedlessness, too, has eight characteristics, and is (a) great (merit). Truthfulness, concentration, absorbed contemplation, reflexion 5, and also indifference (to worldly objects), not stealing 6, living the life of a Brahma k ârin, and likewise freedom from all belongings 1. Thus have the defects of self-restraint been stated; one should avoid those defects. Freedom from (those) defects is freedom from heedlessness; and that, too, is deemed to have eight characteristics 2. Let truth be your (very) self, O king of kings! On truth all the worlds rest 3. Truth is said to be their main (principle). Immortality, depends on truth 4. Getting rid of (these) defects, one should practise the observance of penance. This is the conduct prescribed by the Creator. Truth is the solemn vow of the good. The pure penance, which is free from these defects, and possessed of these characteristics, becomes developed, and well developed 5. I will state to you, in brief, O king of kings! what you ask of me. This (observance) 6 is destructive of sin, and pure, and releases (one) from birth and death and old age 7. If one is free from the five senses, and also from the mind 8, O descendant of Bharata! also from (thoughts regarding) the past and the future 9, one becomes happy.
Some people make great boasts in consequence of (their knowing) the Vedas with the Âkhyânas as the fifth 1; others, likewise, are (masters) of four Vedas; others, too, of three Vedas; others are (masters) of two Vedas, and of one Veda; and others of no Veda 2. Tell me which of these is the greatest, whom I may know (to be) a Brâhmana.
Through ignorance of the one Veda 3--the one truth--O king of kings! numerous Vedas came into existence. Some 4 only adhere to the truth. The fancies of those who have fallen away from the truth are abortive, and through ignorance of the truth, ceremonies become amplified 5. One should under stand a Brâhmana, who (merely) reads much, to be a man of many words 6. Know him only to be the (true) Brâhmana, who swerves not from the truth 7. O you who are the highest among men 8! the Kh andas, indeed, refer of themselves 9 to it. Therefore, studying them, the learned persons who understand the Kh andas, attain to the Veda, not that which is to be known 1. Among the Vedas, there is none which understands 2. By the unintelligent 3, one understands not the Veda, nor the object of knowledge 4. He who knows the Veda knows the object of knowledge. He who knows the object of knowledge 5 knows not the truth. He who understands the Vedas understands also the object of knowledge; but that 6 is not understood by the Vedas or by those who understand the Vedas. Still the Brâhmanas who understand the Vedas, understand the Veda by means of the Vedas 7. As the branch of a tree with regard to the part of a portion of the glorious 8 one, so, they declare, are the Vedas with regard to the subject of understanding the supreme self. I understand him to be a Brâhmana who is ingenious, and explains 1 (Vedic texts). He who apprehends (those texts) thus 2, does verily know that supreme (principle). . One should not go in search of it among (things) antagonistic 3 to it at all. Not looking (for him there) one sees that Lord by means of the Veda 4. Remaining quiet, one should practise devotion, and should not even form a wish in the mind 5. To him, the Brahman presents 6 itself, and directly afterwards he attains to the perfect 7 (one). By taciturnity 8, verily, does one become a sage; (one does) not (become) a sage by dwelling in a forest 9. And he is called the highest sage, who understands that indestructible (principle). One is called an analyser 10 (also) in consequence of analysing all objects. The analysis (is) from that as the root; and as he makes (such an) analysis, hence is he so (called). The man who sees the worlds directly sees everything 1. A Brâhmana, verily, adhering to the truth, understands it, and becomes omniscient. I say to you, O learned person! that adhering to knowledge and the rest 2 in this way, one sees the Brahman, O Kshatriya! by means of a course (of study) in the Vedas 3.
O Sanatsugâta! since you have spoken these words of highest significance, relating to the Brahman, and of numerous forms 4, give me that advice which is excellent, and difficult to obtain in the midst of these created objects 1. Such is my request, O youth!
This Brahman, O king! about which you question me with such perseverance, is not to be attained by anybody who is in a hurry. When the mind is absorbed in the understanding 2, then can that knowledge, which must be deeply pondered over, be attained by living the life of a Brahma k ârin 3. For you are speaking of that primordial knowledge 4, which consists in the truth; which is obtained by the good by living the life of Brahma k ârins 5; which being obtained, men cast off this mortal world; and which knowledge, verily, is to be invariably (found) in those who have been brought up under preceptors 6.
Since that knowledge is capable of being truly acquired by living the life of a Brahma k ârin, therefore tell me, O Brâhmana! of what description the life of a Brahma k ârin is 7.
Those who entering (as it were) the womb 8 of a preceptor, and becoming (as it were) a fœtus, practise the life of Brahma k ârins, become even in this world authors of Sâstras 1, and they repair to the highest truth 2 after casting off (this) body. They subjugate desires here in this world, practising forbearance in pursuit of the Brahmic state 3; and with courage, they even here remove the self out of the body 4, like the soft fibres from the Muñga. Father and mother, O descendant of Bharata! only form the body. But the birth 5 obtained from the preceptor, that verily is true 6, and likewise immortal. He perfects 7 (one), giving (one) immortality. Recognising what he has done (for one), one should not injure him. The disciple should always make obeisance to the preceptor 8; and, free from heedlessness, should always desire sacred instruction. When the pure man obtains knowledge by this same course of discipleship 9, that is the first quarter of his life as a Brahma k ârin. As (is) his conduct always towards his preceptor, so likewise should he behave towards the preceptor's wife, and so likewise should he act towards the preceptor's son--(that) is said to be the second quarter. What one, recognising what the preceptor has done for one, and understanding the matter 1 (taught), feels with a delighted heart regarding the preceptor--believing that one has been brought into existence 2 by him--that is the third quarter of life as a Brahma k ârin. One should do what is agreeable to the preceptor, by means of one's life and riches, and in deed, thought, and word 3--that is said to be the fourth quarter. (A disciple) obtains a quarter by time 4, so likewise a quarter by associating with the preceptor, he also obtains a quarter by means of his own energy; and then he attains to a quarter by means of the Sâstras. The life as a Brahma k ârin of that man, whose beauty 5 consists in the twelve beginning with knowledge, and whose limbs are the other (qualifications mentioned), and who has strength 1, bears fruit, they say, by association with a preceptor, in (the shape of) contact with that entity--the Brahman. Whatever wealth may come to man who lives in this way, he should even pay that over to the preceptor. He would thus be adopting the conduct of the good which is of many merits; and the same conduct is (to be adopted) towards the preceptor's son. Living thus, he prospers greatly 2 on all sides in this world; he obtains sons and position; the quarters 3 and sub-quarters shower (benefits 4) on him, and men pass their lives as Brahma k ârins under him. By this life as a Brahma k ârin, the divinities obtained their divinity. And the sages, too, became great by living the life of Brahma k ârins. By this same (means), too, the Apsarasas, together with the Gandharvas, achieved for themselves beautiful forms. And by this life as a Brahma k ârin, the sun illuminates (the universe). That man of knowledge, O king! who practising penance, may by penance pierce through or tear off his body, crosses beyond childhood 5 by means of this (life as a Brahma k ârin), and at the time of the termination (of life) obstructs death 6. Those who understand this (life as a Brahma k ârin) attain to a condition like that of those who as (for what they want) from the wish-giving stone 1, when they obtain the thing desired. By performing action, O Kshatriya! people conquer (for themselves only) perishable worlds 2. (But) the man of understanding attains by knowledge to the everlasting glory--for there is no other way to it 3.
Where a Brâhmana possessed of knowledge, perceives it, does it appear as white 4, as red, or again as black, or again as grey or tawny? What is the colour of that immortal, indestructible goal?
It appears not as white, as red, nor again as black, nor again as grey, nor tawny 5. It dwells not on earth, nor in the sky; nor does it bear a body in this ocean 6 (-like world). It is not in the stars, nor does it dwell in the lightning; nor is its form 7 to be seen in the clouds, nor even in the air, nor in the deities; it is not to be seen in the moon, nor in the sun. It is not to be seen in Rik texts, nor in Ya g us texts; nor yet in the Atharvan texts, nor in the pure Sâman texts; nor yet, O king, in the Rathantara or Brihadratha 1 hymns. It is seen in the self of a man of high vows 2. It is invincible, beyond darkness 3, it comes forth from within 4 at the time of destruction. Its form is minuter than the minutest (things), its form is larger even than the mountains 5. That is the support 6 (of the universe); that is immortal; (that is) all things perceptible 7. That is the Brahman, that is glory 8. From that all entities were produced 9, in that they are dissolved. All this shines forth as dwelling in it in the form of light 10. And it is perceived by means of knowledge 11 by one who understands the self; on it depends this whole universe. Those who understand this become immortal.
1 Grief and wrath, and avarice, desire, delusion, laziness, want of forgiveness, vanity, craving, friendship 2, censoriousness, and reviling others--these twelve great enormities are destructive of a man's life. These, O king of kings! attend on each and every man. Beset by these, a man, deluded in his understanding, acts sinfully. A man full of attachments, merciless, harsh (of speech), talkative, cherishing wrath in his heart, and boastful--these are the men of cruel qualities; (such) persons, even obtaining wealth, do not always enjoy (it) 3.
One whose thoughts are fixed on enjoyments, who is partial 1, proud 2, boastful when he makes a gift, miserly, and devoid of power 3, who esteems the group (of the senses), and who hates (his) wife--thus have been stated the seven (classes of) cruel persons of sinful dispositions. Piety, and truthfulness, and penance, and self-restraint, freedom from animosity, modesty, endurance, freedom from censoriousness, liberality, sacred learning, courage, forgiveness--these are the twelve great observances of a Brâhmana. Whoever does not swerve from these twelve may govern this whole world. And one who is possessed of three, two, or even one, of these, must be understood to have nothing of his own 4. Self-restraint, abandonment, freedom from delusion, on these immortality depends 5. These are possessed by those talented Brâhmanas to whom the Brahman is the principal 6 (thing). A Brâhmana's speaking ill of others, whether true or false, is not commended. The men who act thus have their places in hell. Frenzy has eighteen defects--as already described here--hatred of men, factiousness 1, censoriousness, untruthful speech, lust, wrath, wand of self-control 2, speaking ill of others, backbiting, mismanagement in business 3, quarrelsomeness, animosity, troubling living creatures, want of forgiveness, delusion, flippancy, loss of reason 4, censoriousness 5; therefore a wise man should not be subject to frenzy, for it is always censured. Six characteristics should be understood as (belonging) to friendship--that one should rejoice at (anything) agreeable, and feel grieved at (anything) disagreeable; that with a pure heart one, when asked by a deserving (man), should give to him who asks what can 6 certainly be given, (though it) may be beneficial to oneself, and even though it ought not to be asked, (namely) ones favourites, sons, wealth, and one's own wife; that one should not dwell there where one has bestowed (all one's) wealth, through a desire (to get a return for one's liberality); that one should enjoy (the fruit of one's 1 own) toils (only); and that one should forego one's own profit 2. Such a man, possessed of wealth, and possessed of merits, is a liberal man of the quality of goodness 3; such a one diverts the five elements from the five 4 (senses). This 5 pure penance, acquired out of desire 6 by those who are. fallen off from the truth, even though developed, leads upwards 7; since sacrifices are performed owing to a misapprehension of the truth 8. (The sacrifices) of some are by the mind, of others by speech, and also by deed. The man void of fancies takes precedence over the man perfected by fancies,--especially among Brâhmanas 1. And hear this further from me. One should teach this great and glorious 2 (doctrine); (other doctrines) the wise call mere arrangements of words. On this, concentration of mind 3, all this 4 depends. Those who know this become immortal. Not by meritorious action only, O king! does one conquer the truth 5. One may offer offerings, or sacrifice. By that the child(-like man) does not cross beyond death; nor, O king! does he obtain happiness in his last moments 6. One should practise devotion quietly, and should not be active even in the mind 7; and then one should avoid delight and wrath (resulting) from praise and censure 8. I say to you, O learned person! that adhering to this 9, one attains the Brahman and perceives it, O Kshatriya! by a course (of study) of the Vedas.
That pure 1, great light 2, which is radiant; that great glory 3; that, verily, which the gods worship 4; that by means of which the sun shines forth 5--that eternal divine being is perceived by devotees. From (that) pure (principle) the Brahman 6 is produced; by (that) pure (principle) the Brahman is developed 7; that pure (principle), not illumined among all radiant (bodies), is (itself) luminous and illuminates (them) 8. That eternal divine being is perceived by devotees. The perfect is raised out of the perfect. It (being raised) out of the perfect is called the perfect. The perfect is withdrawn from the perfect, and the perfect only remains 9. That eternal divine being is perceived by devotees. (From the Brahman), the waters 1 (are produced); and then from the waters, the gross body. In the space within that 2, dwelt the two divine (principles). Both enveloping the quarters and sub-quarters, support earth and heaven 3. That eternal divine being is perceived by devotees. The horse 4(-like senses) lead towards heaven him, who is possessed of knowledge and divine, (who is) free from old age, and who stands on the wheel of this chariot(-like body), which is transient, but the operations of which are imperishable 5. That eternal divine being 6 is perceived by devotees. His form has no parallel 7; no one sees him with the eye 8. Those who apprehend him by means, of the understanding, and also the mind and heart, become immortal 9. That eternal divine being is perceived by devotees. The currents of twelve collections 1, supported by the Deity, regulate the honey 2; and those who follow after it move about in (this) dangerous (world). That eternal divine being 3 is perceived by devotees. The bee 4 drinks that accumulated honey for half a month 5. The Lord created the oblation for all beings 6. That eternal divine being is perceived by devotees. Those who are devoid of wings 7, coming to the A s vattha of golden leaves 1, there become possessed of wings, and fly away happily 2. That eternal divine being 3 is perceived by devotees. The upward life-wind swallows up the downward life-wind; the moon swallows up the upward life-wind; the sun swallows up the moon 4; and another 5, swallows up the sun. Moving about above the waters, the supreme self 6 does not raise one leg 7. (Should he raise) that, which is always performing sacrifices 8, there will be no death, no immortality 9. That eternal divine being 10 is perceived by devotees. The being which is the inner self, and which is of the size of a thumb 1, is always migrating in consequence of the connexion with the subtle body 2. The deluded ones do not perceive that praiseworthy lord, primeval and radiant, and possessed of creative power 3. That eternal divine being is perceived by devotees. Leading mortals to destruction by their own action 4, they conceal themselves like serpents in secret recesses, 5. The deluded men then become more deluded 6. The enjoyments afforded by them cause delusion, and lead to worldly life 7. That eternal divine being 8 is perceived by devotees. This 9 seems to be common to all mankind--whether possessed of resources 10 or not possessed of resources--it is common to immortality and the other 11. Those who are possessed (of them) 12 attain there to the source of the honey 13. That eternal divine being is perceived by devotees. They go, pervading both worlds by knowledge 1. Then the Agnihotra though not performed is (as good as) performed 2. Your (knowledge) of the Brahman, therefore, will not lead you to littleness 3. Knowledge is (his) 4 name. To that the talented ones attain. That eternal divine being is perceived by devotees. The self of this description absorbing the material cause 5 becomes great. And the self of him who understands that being is not degraded here 6. That eternal divine being is perceived by devotees. One should ever and always be doing good. (There is) no death, whence (can there be) immortality 7? The real and the unreal have both the same real (entity) as their basis. The source of the existent and the non-existent is but one 8. That eternal divine being is perceived by devotees. The being who is the inner self, and who is of the size of a thumb, is not seen, being placed in the heart 1. He is unborn, is moving about day and night, without sloth. Meditating on him, a wise man remains placid 2. That eternal divine being is perceived by devotees. From him comes the wind 3; in him, likewise, is (everything) dissolved. From him (come) the fire and the moon; and from him comes life 4. That is the support (of the universe); that is immortal; that is all things perceptible 5; that is the Brahman, that glory. From that all entities were produced; and in that (they) are dissolved 6. That eternal divine being is perceived by devotees. The brilliant (Brahman) supports the two divine principles 7 and the universe, earth and heaven, and the quarters. He from whom the rivers flow in (various) directions, from him were created the great oceans 8. That eternal divine being is perceived by devotees. Should one fly, even after furnishing oneself with thousands upon thousands of wings, and even though one should have the velocity of thought 9, one would never reach the end of the (great) cause 10. That eternal divine being is perceived by devotees. His form dwells in the unperceived 1; and those whose understandings are very well refined 2 perceive him. The talented man who has got rid (of affection and aversion) perceives (him) by the mind. Those who understand him 3 become immortal. When one sees this self in all beings stationed in various places 4, what should one grieve for after that 5? The Brâhmana has (as much interest) in all beings, as in a big reservoir of water, to which waters flow from all sides 6. I alone am your mother 7, father, and I too am the son. And I am the self of all this--that which exists and that which does not exist 1. (I am) the aged grandfather of this, the father, and the son, O descendant of Bharata! You dwell in my self only 2. You are not mine, nor I (yours). The self only is my seat 3; the self too is (the source of) my birth 4. I am woven through and through 5 (everything). And my seat is free from (the attacks of) old age 6. I am unborn, moving about day and night, without sloth. Knowing (me), verily, a wise man remains placid 7. Minuter than an atom 8, possessed of a good mind 9, I am stationed within all beings 10. (The wise) know the father of all beings to be placed in the lotus 11(-like heart of every one).
THE Sanatsugâtîya, is, like the Bhagavadgîtâ, one of the numerous episodes of the Mahâbhârata 1. It is true, that it, has never commanded anything like that unbounded veneration which has always been paid in India to the Bhagavadgîtâ. Still it is sometimes studied even in our days, and it has had the high distinction of being commented on by the great leader of the modern Vedântic school-- Sankarâcârya 2. The Dhritarâshtra purports to be a dialogue mainly between Sanatsugâta on the one side and Dhritarâshtra on the other. Sanatsugâta, from whom it takes its name, is said to be identical with Sanatkumâra, a name not unfamiliar to students of our Upanishad literature. And Dhritarâshtra is the old father of those Kauravas who formed one of the belligerent parties in the bellum plusquam civile which is recorded in the Mahâbhârata. The connexion of this particular episode with the main current of the narrative of that epos is one of the loosest possible character--much looser, for instance, than that of the Bhagavadgîtâ. As regards the latter, it can fairly be contended that it is in accordance with poetical justice for Arjuna to feel despondent and unwilling to engage in battle, after actual sight of 'teachers, fathers, sons,' and all the rest of them, arrayed in opposition to him; and that therefore it was necessary for the poet to adduce some specific explanation as to how Arjuna was ultimately enabled to get over such natural scruples. But as regards the Sanatsugâtîya, even such a contention as this can have no place. For this is how the matter stands. In the course of the negotiations for an amicable arrangement 1 between the Pândavas and the Kauravas, Sañjaya, on one occasion, came back to Dhritarâshtra with a message from the Pândavas. When he saw Dhritarâshtra, however, he said that he would deliver the message in the public assembly of the Kauravas the next morning, and went away after pronouncing a severe censure on Dhritarâshtra for his conduct. The suspense thus caused was a source of much vexation to the old man, and so he sent for Vidura, in order, as he expresses it, that Vidura might by his discourse assuage the fire that was raging within him. Vidura accordingly appears, and enters upon an elaborate prelection concerning matters spiritual, or, perhaps, more accurately quasi-spiritual, and at the outset of the Sanatsugâtîya he is supposed to have reached a stage where, as being born a S ûdra, he hesitates to proceed. After some discussion of this point, between Vidura and Dhritarâshtra, it is determined to call in the aid of Sanatsugâta, to explain the spiritual topics which Vidura felt a delicacy in dealing with; and Sanatsugâta is accordingly introduced on the scene in a way not unusual in our epic and purâ n ic literature, viz. by Vidura engaging in some mystic process of meditation, in response to which Sanatsugâta appears. He is received then with all due formalities, and after he has had some rest, as our poem takes care to note, he is catechised by Dhritarâshtra; and with one or two exceptions, all the verses which constitute the Sanatsugâtîya are Sanatsugâta's answers to Dhritarâshtra's questions 2.
This brief statement of the scheme of this part of the Mahâbhârata shows, as already pointed out, that the connexion of the Sanatsugâtîya with the central story of that epic is very loose indeed; and that it might have been entirely omitted without occasioning any æsthetical or other defect. And therefore, although there is nothing positive tending to prove the Sanatsugâtîya to be a later addition to the original epos, still the misgivings which are often entertained upon such points may well, in this case, be stronger than in the case of the Bhagavadgîtâ. The text, too, of the Sanatsugâtîya is not preserved in nearly so satisfactory a condition as that of the Gîtâ. I have had before me, in settling my text, the editions of the Mahâbhârata respectively printed and published at Bombay 1, Calcutta, and Madras, and three MSS., one of which was most kindly and readily placed at my disposal by my friend Professor Ramakrishan Gopal Bhandarkar; the second by another friend, Professor Âbâgî Vishnu Kâthavate; and the third was a copy made for me at Sâgar in the Central Provinces, through the good offices of a third friend, Mr. Vâman Mahâdeva Kolhatkar. The copy lent me by Professor Bhândârkar comes from Pu n a, and that lent by Professor K Athavale also from Puna. This last, as well as the Sâgar copy, and the edition printed at Madras, contains the commentary of Sankarâcârya. And the text I have adopted is that which is indicated by the commentary as the text which its author had before him. But the several copies of the commentary differ so, much from one another, that it is still a matter of some doubt with me, whether I have got accurately the text which S ankara commented upon. For instance, the Sâgar copy entirely omits chapter V, while the other copies not only give the text of that chapter, but also a commentary upon it which calls itself Sankarâcârya's commentary 2. Again, take the stanzas which stand within brackets at pp. 167, 168 3 of our translation. There is in none of the copies we have, any commentary of Sankarâcârya on them. And yet the stanzas exist in the text of the Mahâbhârata as given in those copies which do contain S ankara's commentary. The matter is evidently one for further investigation. I have not, however, thought it absolutely necessary to make such an investigation for the purposes of the present translation. But to be on the safe side, I have retained in the translation everything which is to be found in those copies of the Sanatsugâtîya which also contain S ankara's commentary. As to other stanzas--and there are some of this description--which other MSS. or commentators vouch for, but of which no trace is to be found in the MSS. containing Sankara's commentary 1, I have simply omitted them.
These facts show that, in the case of the Sanatsugâtîya, the materials for a trustworthy historical account of the work are not of a very satisfactory character. The materials for ascertaining its date and position in Sanskrit literature are, indeed, so scanty, that poor as we have seen the materials for the Bhagavadgîtâ to be, they must be called superlatively rich as compared with those we have now to deal with. As regards external evidence on the points now alluded to, the first and almost the last fact falling under that head, is the fact of the work being quoted from and commented upon by Sankarâcârya. In his commentary on the S vetâ s vatara-upanishad 2, S ankara cites the passage about the flamingo at p. 189, introducing it with the words, 'And in the Sanatsugâta also.' In the same 3 commentary, some other passages from the Sanatsugâtîya are also quoted, but without naming the work except as a Sm ri ti, and mixing up together verses from different parts of the work.
This is really all the external evidence, that I am aware of, touching the date of the Sanatsugâtîya. There is, however, one other point, which it is desirable to notice, though not, perhaps, so much because it is of any very great value in itself, as because it may hereafter become useful, should further research into the Mahâbhârata and other works yield the requisite. information. There are, then, eight stanzas in the thirty-sixth, thirty-seventh, thirty-ninth, and fortieth chapters of the Udyoga Parvan of the Mahâbhârata (the Sanatsugâtîya commencing at the forty-first chapter), seven of which are quoted in the Pañ k atantra 1, and the eighth in the Mahâbhâshya 2 of Patañ g ali. Of course, it almost goes without saying, that neither the Pañcatantra nor the Mahâbhâshya mentions the source from which they derive the verses in question. But I do not think it unallowable to make the provisional assumption, that they were derived from the Mahâbhârata, so long as we cannot produce any other, and more likely, source. It is true, that Professor Weber has, in another connexion, impugned the cogency of this argument. He seems to think, that the probability--in the case he was actually dealing with--of the Râmâyana having borrowed from the Mahâbhâshya, is quite as strong as the probability of the Mahâbhâshya having borrowed from the Râmâyana 3. And doubtless, he would by parity of reason contend, in the case before us, that the probabilities, as between the Mahâbhârata on the one hand, and the Mahâbhâshya and the Pañ k atantra on the other, bear the same mutual relation. I cannot accept this view. I am not now concerned to discuss the merits of the conclusion in support of which Professor Weber has advanced this argument 4. I am only considering, how far it affects the question now before us. And as to that question, I may say, that the Pañ k atantra expressly introduces the stanzas now under consideration with some such expression as, 'For it has been said,' indicating clearly that it was there quoting the words of another. And so, too, does the Mahâbhâshya, where the passage we refer to runs as follows: '(It is) laid down, (that there is) a sin in one of tender age not rising to receive (an elderly person), and (that there is) merit in rising to receive. How? Thus, "The life-winds of a youth depart upwards, when an elderly man approaches (him). By rising to receive (him), and salutation, he obtains them again."' It appears to me, that the indications of this being a quotation in the Bhâshya are very strong. But apart from that, I do demur to the proposition, that the probabilities are equal, of a work like the Mahâbhârata or Râmâyana borrowing a verse from the Mahâbhâshya, and vice versa. It appears to me perfectly plain, I own, that the probability of a grammatical work like the Bhâshya borrowing a verse from a standard work like the Bhârata or Râmâyana for purposes of illustration is very much the stronger of the two. And this, quite independently of any inquiry as to whether the Bhâshya does or does not show other indications of acquaintance with the Bhârata or the Râmâyana .
If these arguments are correct, it seems to me that they carry us thus far in our present investigation--namely, that we may now say, that we have reason to believe some parts, at all events, of the thirty-sixth, thirty-seventh, thirty-eighth, and fortieth chapters of the Udyoga Parvan of the Mahâbhârata to have probably been in existence prior to the sixth century A. C. 1; and that some parts of the thirty-seventh chapter were probably extant in the time of Patañgali, viz. the second century B. C. 2 Now, internal evidence does not yield any indications tending to show that the several chapters here referred to must have been prior in time to the chapters composing the Sanatsugâtîya, which come so soon after them in the Mahâbhârata. On the contrary, it is, not too much to maintain, that to a certain extent the style and language of the Sanatsugâtîya is, if anything, rather indicative of its priority in time over the five chapters immediately preceding it. And, therefore, so far as this argument goes, it enables us--provisionally only, it must be remembered--to fix the second century B.C. as a terminus ad quem for the date of the Sanatsugâtîya.
This is all the external evidence available for a discussion of the question--when the Sanatsugâtîya was composed. We now turn to the internal evidence. Standing by itself, internal evidence is not, in my opinion, of much cogency in any case. Still in ascertaining, as best we can, the history of our ancient literature, even this species of evidence is not to be despised; it must only be used and received with caution. Under this head, then, we may note first the persons who are supposed to take part in the dialogue. Sanatsugâta 1--or Sanatkumâra--as already pointed out, is a name already familiar to the readers of one of our older Upanishads--the Chândogya. Dhritarâshtra is not known in the Upanishads, but he is an important personage in the epic literature. And it is to be remarked, that his character as disclosed in the Sanatsugâtîya is not at all similar to that which has attached itself to his name, alike in the later literature of our country, and in that popular opinion which was probably formed by this later literature. In the dialogue before us, he figures as an earnest inquirer after truth; he is described as the 'talented king Dhritarâshtra;' and is addressed by Sanatsugâta as, 'O acute sir!' 'O learned person!' True it is, that Nîlaka nth a in one place, as we have noticed in our note there 2, endeavours to bring out the later view of Dhritarâshtra's character 3; but it seems to me that that endeavour, based as it is on a forced and farfetched interpretation of a single word in our poem, is an unsuccessful one. None of the questions, which Dhritarâshtra puts to Sanatsugâta in the course of their dialogue, indicates the avaricious old man who wished to deprive his innocent nephews of their just rights in the interests of his own wicked and misguided sons. They rather indicate the bona fide student of spiritual lore, and thus point to what is, perhaps, an earlier view of Dhritarâshtra's character.
If we look next to the general style of this poem, we find that it has none of that elaboration which marks what I have called the age of Kâvyas and Nâtakas. The remarks on this topic in the Introduction to the Gîtâ apply pretty accurately to this work also. We observe here the same paucity of long-drawn compounds, the same absence of merely ornamental adjectives, the same absence of figures and tropes 1; in one word, the same directness and simplicity of style. Furthermore, there is a somewhat greater want of finish about the syntax of our poem than there is even in the Gîtâ. Such constructions as we find inter alia at chapter II, stanza 2, or 25, or at chapter III, stanza 14, or chapter IV, stanza 12, or in the early verses of the last chapter, indicate a period in the history of the language, when probably the regulations of syntax were not quite thoroughly established in practice.
If we turn to the metre of the poem, an analogous phenomenon strikes us there. Similar irregularities in the collocation of long and short syllables, similar superfluities and deficiencies of syllables, meet us in the Sanatsugâtîya and the Bhagavadgîtâ. And in the former work, as in the latter, the irregularities are less observable in the Anush t ubh 2 than in the other metres used. Probably the explanation, apart from the great elasticity of that metre, is that the Anush t ubh had been more used, and had in consequence become comparatively more settled in its scheme even in practical composition.
Looking now more particularly to the language of the work before us, we find one word to be of most frequent occurrence, namely, the word vai, which we have rendered 'verily.' It is not a common word in the later literature, while in the Upanishad literature we meet with great frequency, not merely vai, but the words, which I think are cognate with it, vâ and vâva. The former word, indeed, appears to me to stand in some passages of the Upanishads for vai by euphonic alterations. Thus in the passage tva m vâ aham asmi bhagavo devate, aha m vai tvam asi, it is difficult not to suppose that the vâ of the first part of the sentence is the same word as the vai of the second part, only altered according to the rules of Sandhi in Sanskrit.
A second point of similarity between the language of the Upanishads and that of the Sanatsugâtîya is to be found in the phrase, 'He who knows this becomes immortal.' This sentence, or one of like signification, is, as is well known, of common occurrence in the Upanishads and in the Brâhmanas. In the Bhagavadgîtâ, the verses towards the end, which come after Krishna's summing-up of his instruction, seem to be of a somewhat analogous, though in some respects different, nature. And in the Purâ n as we meet sometimes with elaborate passages extolling the merits of a particular rite, or a particular pilgrimage, and so forth. This form of the Phala s ruti, as it is called, appears to have been developed in process of time from the minute germ existing in the Brâhmanas and the Upanishads. In the Sanatsugâtîya, however, we are almost at the beginning of those developments; indeed, the form before us is identically the same as that which we see in the works where it is first met with. It is a short sentence, which, though complete in itself, still appears merely at the end of another passage, and almost as a part of such other passage.
There is one other point of a kindred nature which it may be well to notice here. As in the Gîtâ, so in the Sanatsugâtîya, we meet with a considerable number of words used in senses not familiar in the later literature. They are collected in the Index of Sanskrit words in this volume; but a few remarks on some of them will not, it is thought, be entirely out of place here. The word mârga 1--in the sense of 'worldly life'--is rather remarkable. Sankara renders it by 'the path of sa m sâra' or worldly life, And he quotes as a parallel the passage from the Chândogya-upanishad which speaks of returning to the 'path.' There, however, Sankara explains it to mean the 'path by which the self returns to worldly life,' namely, from space to the wind and so forth into vegetables, and food, ultimately appearing as a fœtus. Another remarkable word is 'varga,' which occurs twice in the Sanatsugâtîya. S ankara and Nîlaka nth a differ in their explanations of it, and Nîlakanth a indeed gives two different meanings to the word in the two passages where it occurs. We may also refer here specially to utsa, ri tvi g , and matvâ. In Boehtlingk and Roth's Lexicon the only passages cited under 'utsa' are from Vedic works, except two respectively from Su s ruta and the Dasakumâra Carita. One passage, however, there cited, viz. Vishnohpade parame madhva utsah , is plainly the original of the passage we are now considering. As to ritvig in the sense it bears here, we see, I think, what was the earlier signification of that word before it settled down into the somewhat technical meaning in which it is now familiar. And matvâ in the sense of 'meditating upon' is to be found in the Upanishads, but not, I think, in any work of the classical literature. These words, therefore, seem to indicate that the Sanatsugâtîya was composed at a stage in the development of the Sanskrit language which is a good deal earlier than the stage which we see completely reached in the classical literature.
Coming now to the matter of the Sanatsugâtîya, it appears to me, that we there see indications pointing in a general way to the same conclusion as that which we have here arrived at. There is, in the first place, a looseness and want of rigid system in the mode of handling the subject, similar to that which we have already observed upon as characterising the Bhagavadgîtâ. There is no obvious bond of connexion joining together the various subjects discussed, nor are those subjects themselves treated after any very scientific or rigorous method. Again, if the fourth chapter is a genuine part of the Sanatsugâtîya, we have an elaborate repetition, in one part, of what has been said in another part of the work, with only a few variations in words, and perhaps fewer still in signification. As, however, I am not at present prepared to stand finally by the genuineness of that chapter I do not consider it desirable to further labour this argument than to point out, that similar repetitions, on a smaller scale, perhaps, are not uncommon in our older literature 1.
Coming now to the manner in which the Vedas are spoken of in the work before us, there are, we find, one or two noteworthy circumstances proper to be considered here. In the first place, we have the reference to the four Vedas together with Âkhyânas as the fifth Veda. This is in conformity with the old tradition recorded in the various works to which we have referred in our note on the passage. The mention of the Atharva-veda, which is implied in this passage, and expressly contained in another, might be regarded as some mark of a modern age. But without dwelling upon the fact, that the Atharva-veda, though probably, modern as compared with the other Vedas, is still old enough to date some centuries before the Christian era 2, it must suffice to draw attention here to the fact that the Chândogya-upanishad mentions that Veda, and it is not here argued that the Sanatsugâtîya is older than the Chândogya-upanishad. We have next to consider the reference to the Sâman hymns as 'vimala,' or pure. The point involved in this reference has been already sufficiently discussed in the Introduction to the Gîtâ 3; and it is not necessary here to say more than that, of the two classes of works we have there made, the Sanatsugâtîya appears from the passage under discussion to rank itself with. the class which is prior in date.
The estimate of the value of the Vedas which is implied in the Sanatsugâtîya appears to coincide very nearly with that which we have shown to be the estimate implied in the Bhagavadgîtâ. The Vedas are not here cast aside as useless any more than they are in the Bhagavadgîtâ. For, I do not think the word An ri kas which occurs in one passage of the work can be regarded really as referring to those who entirely reject the Vedic revelation. Without going as far as that, the Sanatsugâtîya seems certainly to join the Bhagavadgîtâ in its protest against those men of extreme views, who could see nothing beyond the rites and ceremonies taught in the Vedas. A study of the Vedas is, indeed, insisted on in sundry passages of the Sanatsugâtîya. But it is equally maintained, that the performance of the ceremonies laid down in the Vedas is not the true means of final emancipation. It is maintained, that action done with any desire is a cause of bondage to worldly life; that the gods themselves are ordinary creatures who have reached a certain high position owing to the practice of the duties of Brahma k ârins, but that they are not only not superior to, but are really under the control of, the man who has acquired the true knowledge of the universal self. On all these points, we have opinions expressed in the Sanatsugâtîya, which conclusively establish an identity of doctrine as between the Upanishads and the Bhagavadgîtâ 1 on the one hand, and the Sanatsugâtîya on the other. Lastly, we have an explicit statement, that the mere study of Vedic texts avails nothing, and that sin is not to be got rid of by one who merely 'studies the Rik and the Ya g us texts, and the Sâma-veda.' It is not necessary to repeat here the chronological deductions which may be based upon this relation between the Sanatsugâtîya and the Vedas. We have already argued in the Introduction to the Bhagavadgîtâ, that such a relation points to a period of Indian religious history prior to the great movement of Gautama Buddha 2.
There is, however, this difference, perhaps, to be noted between the Gîtâ and the Sanatsugâtîya-namely, that the latter work seems to afford more certain indications of the recognition, at the date of its composition, of a jñânakânda as distinguished from a Karmakâ nd a in the Vedas, than, we have seen, are contained in the Bhagavadgîtâ 3. The passage, for instance, which speaks of the Kh andas as referring 'of themselves' to the Brahman, and the passage which refers to an understanding of the Brahman by means of the Vedas, according to the principle of the moon and the branch--these seem rather to point to a portion of the Vedas which was regarded as giving instruction in true knowledge, as distinguished from merely laying down various sacrifices and ceremonials for special purposes. In fact, in one passage we have the germ of the whole Vedântic theory as afterwards settled. For there we are told, that sacrifices and penances are laid down as the preliminary steps towards the acquisition of true knowledge. By those sacrifices one is purified of one's sins, and then acquires a. knowledge of the supreme self as described in the Vedas--which, I apprehend, must mean the Upanishads.
There is but one other point on which we need say anything further. And that is connected with the definition of a Brâhmana. That definition appears to me, to point to an earlier stage in religious progress than is indicated in Âpastamba and Manu. The true Brâhmana is he who is attached to the Brahman. Perhaps, this marks some little advance beyond the more general doctrine of the Gîtâ, but it is still very far short of the petrified doctrine, if I may so call it, of the later law-givers. The Brâhmana has not yet degenerated into the mere receiver of fees and presents, but is still in possession of the truth.
We thus see, that the external and internal evidence bearing upon the question of the position of the Sanatsugâtîya in Sanskrit literature, seems to point to nearly the same period and place for it as for the Bhagavadgîtâ. It is plain enough, that the evidence under both heads is extremely scanty and meagre. But such as it is, it appears to us to justify a provisional conclusion, that the Sanatsugâtîya dates from a period prior to the rise of Buddhism, and forms part of that same movement in the religious history of ancient India of which the Gîtâ is another embodiment. More than this, we are not at present in a position to assert. To this extent, the evidence enables us, I think, to go. And we accordingly hold, that unless other and further evidence requires a reversal of this judgment, the Sanatsugâtîya may be treated as a work nearly contemporary with the Bhagavadgîtâ, and occupying generally the same point of view.
One word, finally, about the translation. As stated already, the text adopted is that which appears to have been before Sankarâcârya. And the translation follows mainly his interpretations in his commentary. Sometimes we have followed Nîlaka nth a, whose commentary has been consulted as well as a very incorrect copy of another commentary by one Sarva g ña Nârâya n a, contained in the MS. from Puna lent me by Professor Bhâ nd ârkar. In some places even the commentators have failed to clear up obscurities, and there we have given the best translation we could suggest, indicating the difficulties. There has been an endeavour made here, as in the case of the Bhagavadgîtâ, to keep the translation as close and faithful to the text as the exigencies of the English language permitted. 'The exegetical notes are mostly taken from the commentaries, even where the name of the commentator is not specified; while the references to parallel passages have been collected, mostly by myself, in the same way as in the case of the Bhagavadgîtâ.
Suggestions for Further Reading
135:1 Mahâbhârata, Udyoga Parvan, Adhyâya 41-46.
135:2 Mâdhavâ k ârya, in speaking of S ankara's works, describes him as having commented on the Sanatsugâtîya, which is 'far from evil (persons)' [asatsudûra m ]. S ankara-vi g aya, chapter VI, stanza 62.
136:2 After this dialogue is over, the dawn breaks, and Dhritarâshtra and the Kaurava princes meet in general assembly.
137:1 This contains Nîlaka nth a's commentary, but his text avowedly includes the text of S ankara, and verses and readings contained in more modern copies.
137:2 The commentary on the sixth chapter, however, takes up the thread from the end of the fourth chapter.
138:3 p. 252. See, too, S ârîraka Bhâshya, p. 828.
139:1 Cf. Kosegarten's Pañ k atantra, p. 28 (I ,28, Bombay S. C. ed.), with Udyoga Parvan, chap. XL, st. 7 (Bombay ed.); Pañ k atantra, pp. 112 and 209 (II, 10; IV, 5, Bombay ed.), with Udyoga Parvan, chap. XXXVIII, 9; p. 35 (I, 37, Bombay ed.) with chap. XXXVI, st. 34; p. 140 (II, 40, Bombay ed.) with chap. XXXVII, st. 15; p. 160 (III, 62, Bombay ed.) with chap. XXXVII, st. 17, 18; p. 106 (II, 2, Bombay ed.) with chap. XXXVI, st. 59.
139:2 Udyoga Parvan, chap. XXXVIII, st. 1, and Mahâbhâshya VI, 1-4, p. 35 (Banâras ed.).
139:3 See Indian Antiquary IV. 247. The parallel from Mâdhava which Professor Weber adduces is quite inconclusive, and as far as it goes appears to me to militate against the Professor's own view.
139:4 I may, however, admit at once, that I ought not to have expressed myself as strongly as I did in the note which Professor Weber criticises.
141:1 See Hall's Sânkhyasâra, preface, pp. 14, 15.
141:3 Nîlaka nth a himself, however, treats Dhritarâshtra's question later on as showing that he had attained indifference to worldly concerns. That question does not occur in S ankara's text, but is given at p. 158 infra.
142:1 The five similes which occur, and which are nearly all that occur, in the poem, are the very primitive ones--of the hunter, of water on grass, the tiger of straw, death eating men like a tiger, dogs eating what is vomited, a branch of a tree and the moon, and birds and their nests.
142:2 Cf. as to this the N ri si m ha Tâpinî, p. 105.
143:1 I give no references here, as they can be found in the Index of Sanskrit words at the end of this volume.
149:1 So Nîlaka nth a. S ankara says Sanatsugâta is Sanatkumâra, and the component parts of the name he paraphrases by 'born from Brahman.' For Sanâtana, see B ri hadâra ny aka, p. 506, and note 1, p. 141 supra.
149:2 I. e. relating to subjects which may be freely discussed by all, and those which may not. Nîlaka nth a adopts a different reading, which he interprets to mean 'doctrines exoteric and esoteric,' e. g. self-restraint, &c., and the acquisition of mystic power, &c., respectively. The expression 'doubts of the mind' occurs. however, further on.
150:1 I. e., I suppose, never-failing, and such as can deal with all sorts of topics. Sanatkumâra, it need scarcely be stated, is the teacher of Nârada in the famous dialogue in the Kh ândogyopanishad, p. 473.
150:2 Vaisampâyana is the narrator of the grand story of which pieces like the present form parts.
150:4 The pronouns here are too numerous. Does 'he' here refer to Dhritarâshtra? Vidura seems more likely, though the express mention of him in the next sentence might be treated as pointing the other way.
151:1 Comp. Gîtâ passim; disgust, scil. that resulting from a general dissatisfaction with everything. As to 'ruin and prosperity,' Nîlaka nth a adds, 'and their causes, sin and merit.'
151:2 Literally 'respected.' Nîlaka nth a says it means rejoiced over, for Dhritarâshtra thought, that, in spite of his treachery he was safe, as death was taught by Sanatsugâta to have no existence.
151:4 I. e. knowledge concerning the supreme Self.
151:5 S ankara's construction seems different, but is not quite clear. He says, 'wishing to become--Brahman--the meaning is wishing to acquire the self lost through ignorance.'
151:6 I. e. imparted to your pupils, S ankara adds; 'heard,' scil. from Vidura.
152:1 See Gîtâ, p. 69 supra; Ka th opanishad, p. 102; Pra s na, p. 162. As to the gods being afraid of death, see Chândogya, p. 50; and N ri si m ha Tâpinî, p. 32; and as to gods and demons practising the life of Brahma k ârins, see Chândogya, p. 571; and cf. B ri hadâra n yaka, p. 964.
152:2 I. e. action prescribed in the Vedas.
152:3 I. e. as to how I shall be able to reconcile the seeming contradiction between the 'two truths.'
152:4 I. e. of creation.
152:5 Sanatsugâta says he differs from 'the wise;' delusion = thinking the not-self to be the self; heedlessness = falling off from one's natural condition as the Brahman--which is the cause of delusion ( S ankara). See p. 153 infra; Ka th a, 152; and Taittirîya-upanishad, p. 80.
152:6 S ankara suggests that demons might mean creatures attached to worldly objects; and gods those who are pleased in their own self; and he cites a stanza in support of this suggestion. The allusion, however, seems to be plainly to the story at Chândogya, p. 571 seq., where the idea and expression of 'being vanquished' also occurs (p. 583). That word S ankara interprets in connexion with his suggested interpretation to mean 'are born in lower species.' See Chândogya, p. 585, and Maitrî, p. 211, about asuras or demons. It is interesting to note that in the Introduction to the Mahâbhâshya, there is an allusion to a story of the 'demons' being 'vanquished' in consequence of their grammatical blunders.
153:1 Those deluded by worldly objects; 'this' means 'heedlessness.'
153:2 S ankara cites a stanza from Manu, which says that king Yama Vaivasvata dwells in the heart of every one. Cf. Aitareya-upanishad, p. 187. The following clause he understands to contain two epithets of Yama, meaning 'immortal, and intent on the Brahman.' I follow Nîlaka nth a, but not very confidently.
153:3 Here we have the developments, the varying forms, of death or heedlessness.
153:5 Concentration of mind on the self or Brahman.
153:6 I. e. the egoism spoken of before.
153:9 Cf. Ka th a, p. 129, and B ri hadâra n yaka, p. 889.
153:10 I. e. the fruit. Cf. Ka th a, p. 155, and Mu nd aka, p. 317.
154:1 I. e. its identity with the Brahman.
154:2 I. e. in various forms of life, Nîlaka nth a.
154:3 The going about in search of enjoyments.
154:4 The contact leads to pondering on them, and that to desire, &c., as described further on.
154:5 Through various lives. Birth and death are certain for him.
154:7 I. e. the pondering, desire, wrath, &c. As to I children,' cf. Ka th a, pp. 96 and 123, where bâla is contrasted with dhîra, as here. The 'good sense' is of help in withstanding the temptations of worldly objects.
154:8 Destroys = abandons; pondering, just before this, is rendered by S ankara to mean 'thinking of the objects as transient, impure,' &c.
154:9 S ankara cites on this a stanza of unknown authorship, which says, 'The learned and clever man who knows the self, and by discrimination destroys all objects of sense, is said to be the death of death.' See too p. 178 infra.
155:1 On this Nîlaka nth a quotes these lines, 'The antelope, elephant, butterfly, bee, and fish--these five are destroyed by the five,' i. e. the five objects of sense, sound, &c. See S ânti Parvan (Moksha Dharma), chap. 174, st. 45.
155:2 I. e. misery, Nîlaka nth a; merit or sin, S ankara.
155:3 I. e. void of discrimination between the real and unreal, Nîlaka nth a; result of ignorance, S ankara. 'A hell, as being full of filth,' says S ankara, 'such as, phlegm, blood, excretions.' Cf. Maitrî, p. 48.
155:4 As blind men groping about fall into a ditch, so do these, S ankara.
155:5 I. e. other than the sensuous objects he loves; 'learns nothing' about the supreme Self which he disregards.
155:6 Useless for any good purpose.
155:7 Cf. Taittirîya-upanishad, p. 102.
155:9 I. e. heedlessness and its developments as stated.
155:10 S ankara cites on this Taittirîya-upanishad, p. 78
155:11 Such as Satyaloka, &c.
156:1 G yotish t oma, A s vamedha, and other rites.
156:2 As leading to final emancipation.
156:3 I. e. objects for which various ceremonies (or 'actions') should be performed.
156:4 I. e. the man of knowledge.
156:6 Knowing the supreme self is identical with becoming the supreme self, Mu nd aka, p. 323.
156:7 I. e. getting rid of the paths which keep one away from the Brahman by means of contemplation of the Brahman, &c. Nîlaka nth a renders 'right path' to mean the Sushum n â passage by which the soul proceeds to final emancipation, see Chândogya, p. 570; Ka th a, p. 157.
156:8 S ankara says: 'Having shown that true death is heedlessness, and having shown that heedlessness in its forms of anger &c. is the cause of all evil, and having also shown that death is destroyed by true knowledge, and having shown further that heaven &c. are really not man's highest goal; the author has also implied the unity of the supreme and individual self. On that arises a doubt, which is stated in this passage.'
156:9 All this = all the developments of the Brahman, i. e. space, wind, fire, water, earth, vegetation, food, living creatures; see Taittirîyopanishad, p. 68.
157:1 What is the purpose of its existence, and what misery does it undergo on entering the course of worldly life?
157:2 'The danger,' says S ankara, 'is that of contravening Vedic texts such as "I am the Brahman," "Thou art that," &c.' May it not rather be that pointed out at Ka th opanishad, p. 129, viz. never attaining final emancipation? Cf. also N ri si m ha Tâpinî, p. 223.
157:3 The individual selfs, S ankara.
157:4 Nature or mâyâ.
157:5 The appearance of degradation to an inferior state being delusive.
157:6 The original word implies the possession of ai s varya, dharma, ya s as, s rî, vairâgya, moksha. See S vetâ s vatara, p. 329 (where the list is slightly different). For another definition, see Maitrî, p. 6 (gloss).
157:8 S ankara says: 'The question of Dhritarâshtra having suggested a difference between two principles, one of which constrains, and the other of which is constrained, the answer is--Such a difference ought not to be alleged, as it involves "danger." Then the question arises, How is the difference, which does appear to be explained? The reply is, It is due to the beginningless principle--delusion or ignorance. The next sentence shows that the universe as it appears is also a result of delusion.' Nîlaka nth a says expressly, changes = delusion. He renders the original which we have translated by 'beginningless' first, to mean 'collection of objects of enjoyments.' S ankara's explanation seems tautological as regards the words 'connexion with the beginningless,' which occur twice in the above. Nîlaka nth a's p. 158 is not quite clear. May the expression on the second occasion mean, that the connexion by which beings are stated before to exist has had no beginning--has existed from eternity? The translation should then run thus: 'And beings exist by a connexion which had no beginning;' (see Sâriraka Bhâshya, p. 494.) Connexions of things = creation of universe by his power.
158:1 E. g. Agnish t oma, &c., S ankara.
158:2 I. e. impiety or piety, sin or merit.
158:3 In S rutis and Sm ri tis, which S ankara quotes. Chândogya, p. 622; Mu nd aka, p. 309; B ri hadâra n yaka, p. 911. See, too, Maitrî, p. 131.
158:4 Of the man devoid of knowledge.
158:7 The feeling of one's own superiority over others in piety.
159:1 According to the Vedântic theory, the acts of piety purify the inner man, and are thus a stepping-stone to knowledge. See Introduction, p. 147 supra. Cf. Gîtâ, p. 122; and B ri hadâra n yaka, p. 899.
159:2 I. e. physical, mental, and such as is caused by superhuman agency. This is S ankara's explanation. It is somewhat far fetched, but I can find none better. Cf. Gîtâ, p. 49. And see also B ri hadâra n yaka, p. 876, and the commentary of S ankara there with Ânandagiri's gloss.
159:3 E. g. wife, children, &c.
159:4 I. e. vexed as to how his livelihood is to be earned, &c.
159:5 Excess, e.g. too much obsequiousness towards a 'taciturn man,' owing to his holiness, &c. Taciturn man = ascetic. Injury = disrespect, &c. Perhaps the protest against worldliness is here carried to an extreme. S ankara cites Manu as a parallel, 'A Brâhmana should be afraid of (worldly) respect as of poison.'
159:7 I. e. he should not parade his actions. S ankara compares Vasish th a and a Vedic text. See, too, the quotation at Taitt. Âra n . p. 902.
160:1 Cf. Gîtâ, p. 103. S ankara suggests an alternative explanation of this stanza, which will make it mean that one performing the operations of the senses, should devote oneself nevertheless to the unknown principle, and not consider the senses to be the self.
160:2 I. e. beyond the reach of inference; 'subtle,' says S ankara. Cf. S vetâ s vatara, p. 364; B ri hadâra n yaka, p. 855; Maitrî, p. 182; and Ka th a, p. 149, where S ankara suggests a somewhat different meaning. As to immovable, cf. Î s a, p. 10, and Gîtâ, p. 104. S ankara renders it by 'void of activity;' and pure he paraphrases by 'free from ignorance and other taints.'
160:3 It is difficult to say what 'in this way' refers to. S ankara renders it by 'as possessing qualities appertaining to the two kinds of body.' On S ankara's suggested meaning of the stanza preceding (see note 1), it would refer to the confusion of the senses with the self.
160:4 Such a person is called a destroyer of his own self at Î s opanishad, p. 9.
160:5 I. e. by the troubles of worldly life.
160:7 Anger and other obstacles to concentration of mind.
160:9 I. e. singing the praises of their own greatness and worth, instead of keeping their 'conduct unknown.'
161:1 Highly esteemed for or strongly attached to, S ankara. Human wealth = wife, offspring, property, &c. Cf. Chândogya, p. 319; B ri hadâra n yaka, p. 262.
161:2 I. e. veracity and other duties taught by the Vedas.
161:3 'They need fear nought,' says Nîlaka nth a.
161:4 I. e. may sacrifice to them, S ankara.
161:6 I. e. one who is 'taciturn' and does not parade his greatness.
161:7 He does not care for the respect shown him.
161:8 Because he knows the Brahman.
161:9 I. e. restraint of all senses, not of speech only. For the contrast compare that between s reya and preya at Ka th a, p. 92.
162:1 I. e. they both follow on devotion to worldly life.
162:2 I. e. in the way to final emancipation.
162:3 The enjoyment of supreme felicity, Brahmânanda ( S ankara); the greatness consisting of a knowledge of Rik , Ya g us, S âman, and the substance of their teaching, which is worthy of a Brâhmana (Nîlakan th a). See, too, Anugîtâ, p. 232.
162:4 Modesty = being ashamed of doing wrong; restraint (of senses) =mental restraint; and purity is both internal and external,-- S ankara; knowledge is, of course, knowledge of the Brahman.
162:5 I. e. that spoken of in the last chapter.
162:6 Viz. mere silence, or the contemplation of the self after restraining all the senses. In the B ri hadâra n yaka-upanishad, S ankara (p. 605) renders the original word, mauna, to mean, 'The fruit of the destruction of the consciousness of anything other than the self.' And his commentator makes it clearer thus: 'The conviction in the mind that one is the self--the supreme Brahman--and that there is nothing close existing but oneself.'
162:7 I. e. the highest seat--the Brahman; for mind, sense, &c. are all non-existent there. Cf. Ka th a, p. 151, and Maitrî, p. 161
163:1 Cf. Kenopanishad, p. 39; Ka th a, p. 152; Taittirîya, p. 119.
163:2 'Taciturnity is his name,' says Nîlaka nth a.
163:3 Or, says S ankara, 'who is the author of the Vedas.'
163:4 I. e. 'with the Vedas,' says Nîlaka nth a, Om, the quintessence of the Vedas, being a name of the Brahman (as to which cf. Gîtâ, p. 79, and Maitrî, p. 84). S ankara takes the whole expression to mean g yotirmaya, consisting of light. Nîlaka nth a says this stanza answers the five following questions put in the stanza preceding, viz. of what use is taciturnity? which of the two is taciturnity? &c., as above. The first four questions are answered by the first two lines of this stanza--the substance of the answer being, that the use of taciturnity is to attain the seat which is not to be grasped even by the mind, that taciturnity includes both restraint of mind and of the external senses. By means of such restraint, the external and internal worlds cease to be perceived as existing, and the highest goal is attained.
163:5 This question arises naturally enough on Nîlaka nth a's interpretation of the preceding stanza, the meaning of which is in substance that the Vedas cannot grasp the Brahman fully, but they are of use towards a rudimentary comprehension of it, as is said further on, see p. 172 infra.
163:6 Cf. S vetâ s vatara-upanishad, p. 339; see, too, N ri si m ha Tâpinî, pp. 81-98.
164:1 I. e. one who parades his piety.
164:2 I. e. hypocritically.
164:4 Scil. about the veneration due to one who has studied the Vedas--Nîlaka nth a, citing one or two passages in point.
164:5 The universe consists of 'names and forms,' the reality being the Brahman only. Cf. Chândogya, p. 407 seq.
164:6 S ankara refers to Taittirîya-upanishad, p. 68; Chândogya, p. 596 seq. &c.
164:7 S ankara takes this to mean 'sages,' who, according to him, state the difference. He quotes Parâ s ara for this.
164:8 I.e. the Brahman, that is to say, for attaining to it. Penance = k ândrâya n a and other observances; sacrifice = g yotish t oma, &c.
165:1 Cf. S vetâ s vatara, p. 327; Mu nd aka, p. 323.
165:2 So S ankara. Nîlaka nth a takes the original word to mean 'the group of the senses,' and the whole phrase to mean 'enjoyments of sense.' Nîlaka nth a is supported by a passage further on, p. 167. But as to 'those who wish for heaven,' cf. Gîtâ, pp. 48-84.
165:3 I. e. in the form of merit, &c.
165:6 I am not quite sure about the meaning of the original here. Ri dha, which I have rendered 'developed,' Nîlaka nth a understands to mean 'what is performed merely for show.' What has been rendered 'well developed' in the text, Nîlaka nth a takes to mean performed from some desire,' &c.
165:7 Anger, desire, &c.
165:8 The original is kevala. Nîlaka nth a says it is so called as being a means of kaivalya, 'final emancipation.'
165:9 I. e. not that which is not free from sin, which latter is not developed at all.
165:10 All objects of enjoyment, Nîlaka nth a.
166:1 Cf. B ri hadâra n yaka, p. 899. Tapas is variously rendered. See inter alia, Pra s na, pp. 162-70; S vetâ s vatara, p. 307; Mu nd aka, pp. 270-280, 311-314; Chândogya, p. 136; Anugîtâ, pp. 247, 339.
166:2 I. e. Brahma-vidyâ, or science of the Brahman, Nîlaka nth a; the Brahman itself, S ankara.
166:3 I. e. lust.
166:4 Want of discrimination between right and wrong.
166:5 Desire to taste worldly objects.
166:6 For the loss of anything desired.
166:7 Desire to enjoy worldly objects. The difference between this and craving, according to S ankara, appears to be between merely tasting and continual enjoyment. According to Nîlaka nth a, the former is a desire which is never contented; the latter is merely a general liking.
166:8 Impatience of other people's prosperity; censoriousness being the pointing out of flaws in other people's merits; and reviling being an ignoring of the merits and merely abusing.
167:1 Scil. for attaining to the Brahman.
167:2 Some weak point by which they may attack a man.
167:3 Fickle in friendship, &c.
167:4 Such as a wife, &c.
167:5 Connected with this or the next world, Nîlaka nth a. This and a stanza further on I place within brackets, as it is not quite certain whether S ankara's copy had them, though they are now in some of our copies of the text with his commentary. See Introduction.
167:6 Cf. Mu nd aka, p. 319; Chândogya, p. 494.
167:8 The wife having no other protector.
167:10 Of pairs of opposites, such as heat and cold, &c.
167:11 Restraint of senses in presence of their objects.
167:13 Which are serviceable in attaining the highest goal.
168:3 I. e. for objects of sense.
168:5 Discontent even when one obtains much.
168:6 This is active; antipathy is passive only.
168:7 Of oneself, by brooding on evil. Cf. Taittirîya, p. 119. One copy of S ankara's commentary says this means 'thinking ill of others without cause.'
168:8 Of pairs of opposites.
168:9 Restraint of senses in presence of their objects.
168:10 I. e. of piety, knowledge, and indifference to worldly objects.
168:11 I. e. qualities which destroy it.
168:12 Scil. as defects of self-restraint, viz. untruthfulness, &c.
169:1 Scil. any distinction as to physical, mental, or that which is caused by superhuman agency.
169:2 Literally, 'all is conquered.' Everything that needs to be done is done. Cf. Ka th opanishad, p. 155; Mu nd aka, p. 317.
169:3 Another interpretation of ish t apûrta is 'offerings to gods, and 'offerings to the manes;' a third 'sacrifices, &c., and works of charity, such as digging tanks and wells;' for a fourth, see S ankara on Mu nd aka, p. 291.
169:4 Each of the three classes mentioned contains two sub-classes, and so the six are made up. It is not quite easy to see the two heads under the third class; but perhaps indifference, and the consequent abandonment of desire, may be the two intended. To indicate that, I have adopted the construction which takes the words 'by means of indifference' with abandonment, instead of with 'gifts at Vedic ceremonies,' &c. S ankara seems to understand 'giving away of wealth' with the words 'by means of indifference,' and thus to constitute the second head under the third class. But he is not quite clear.
169:5 Concentration = fixing the mind continuously on some object, such as the being in the sun, &c.; contemplation is that in which one identifies oneself with the Brahman; reflexion as to what one is, whence one comes, and so forth.
169:6 S ankara says this may refer to the 'stealing' mentioned at p. 160. The life of a Brahma k ârin is here taken to mean p. 170 continence by the commentators, as also at Mu nd aka, p. 311 inter alia. See also Chândogya, p. 533.
170:2 The eight mentioned already.
170:3 Cf. Taitt. Âra n . p. 885.
170:4 Cf. Mu nd aka, p. 312; S ânti Parvan (Moksha), chap. 199, st. 64 seq. Immortality = final emancipation.
170:6 Of penance, that is to say.
170:8 Ka th opanishad, p. 151; Maitrî, p. 161. S ankara, seems to take the five and the senses separately; the five meaning the five classes of sensuous objects.
170:9 Past losses and future gains, Nîlaka nth a.
171:1 Cf., as to this, Max Müller's Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p. 38 seq.; and Chândogya, pp. 164, 474, 493; B ri hadâra n yaka, pp. 456, 687, 926; Maitrî, p. 171; Nrisimha Tâpinî, p. 105.
171:2 The original is 'void of Rik s.' The commentators give no explanation. Does it mean those who abandon the karma-mârga? Heretics who reject all Vedas are scarcely likely to be referred to in this way. Nîlaka nth a's interpretation of all this is very different. See his gloss.
171:3 S ankara gives various interpretations of this. Perhaps the best is to take it as meaning knowledge. 'The one knowledge--the one truth'--would then be like the famous text--Taittirîya, p. 56--'The Brahman is truth, knowledge,' &c.
171:5 Those who do not understand the Brahman lose their natural power of obtaining what they wish, and so go in for various ceremonies for various special benefits. Cf. Chândogya, p. 541; Gîtâ, p. 47; and p. 184 infra.
171:6 Cf. B ri hadâranyaka, p. 893.
171:7 Ibid. p. 636.
171:8 Literally, 'highest among bipeds,' a rather unusual expression.
171:9 Nîlaka nth a says, 'The part of the Vedas which teaches the p. 172 knowledge of the supreme is enough by itself for its purpose; it is not like the part about rites, &c., which rites must be performed before they serve any useful purpose.' The G ñânakânda is enough by itself for understanding the Brahman. S ankara compares Gîtâ, p. 113, and Ka th a, p. 102.
172:1 The Veda = the Brahman, as above, cf. S vetâ s vatara, p. 372 and commentary; that which is to be known = the material world, which is a subject for human knowledge.
172:2 Scil. understands the Veda--the Brahman.
172:3 'The mind,' says Nîlaka nth a; literally, 'that which is to be understood.'
172:4 Because a real knowledge of it requires a knowledge of the Brahman. As to the next clause cf. inter alia Chândogya, p. 384; B ri hadâra n yaka, p. 450.
172:5 This is the converse of the last sentence, as to which cf. B ri hadâra n yaka, p. 925.
172:6 The supreme.
172:7 The apparent contradiction is explained in the next sentence.
172:8 I. e. the moon. This refers to the well-known s âkhâ k andranyâya. As the small digit of the moon, which cannot be perceived by itself, is pointed out as being at the tip of a branch of a tree pointing towards the moon, so the Vedas are of use as pointing towards the Brahman, though inaccurately and imperfectly.
173:1 Scil. in the manner just indicated.
173:2 As giving an idea of the Brahman. The first step to a knowledge of the Brahman is to 'hear' about it from Vedic texts. Cf. B ri hadâra n yaka, p. 925.
173:3 Such as the body, the senses, &c., which must be distinguished as quite distinct from the self, though most often confounded with it.
173:4 Such passages, namely, as 'Thou art that, I am the Brahman,' &c.
173:5 About the objects of the senses.
173:6 Cf. Ka th a, p. 55.
173:7 Cf. Chândogya, p. 516. The Bhûman there is the same as the Bahu here, viz. the Brahman. S ankara says expressly in his comment on the Upanishad text, that Bahu and Bhûman, among other words, are synonyms.
173:9 Though this is not unimportant, as may be seen from the contrast between town and forest at Chândogya, p. 340. See also Maitrî, p. 100; Mu nd aka, p. 240. As to the 'highest sage,' see B ri hadâra n yaka, p. 899, where the passage about 'sacrifice, gift, penance' should be compared with Gîtâ, p. 122.
173:10 The construction in the original is not quite clear. I understand the sense to be as follows: In the science of the soul, the p. 174 analyser (the word is the same as the word for grammarian) is he who analyses objects, not words merely. Now the true analysis of objects reduces them all to the Brahman (cf. Chândogya, p. 407; B ri hadâra n yaka, p. 152); and the sage understands this, and makes the analysis accordingly, so he is rightly called an analyser.
174:1 This again is not clear, and the discrepancies of the MSS. make it more perplexing. The meaning, I take to be, that a man may perceive all material things, such as the worlds, Bhûr, &c. (as the commentators put it), but to be really omniscient, you must have knowledge of the truth--the Brahman. See Sabhâ Parvan, chapter V, stanza 7. And see, too, B ri hadâra n yaka, p. 613.
174:4 Does this mean referring to many aspects of the Brahman? S ankara merely says nânârûpâ. Nîlaka nth a takes it differently, and as meaning that in which everything is elucidated; 'relating to the Brahman' Nîlaka nth a takes to mean 'leading to the Brahman,' or 'instrument for attaining to the Brahman.'
175:1 In this material world, the highest knowledge is not to be got. Cf. Ka th a, p. 96.
175:3 Viro k ana and Indra do so according to the Chândogya, p. 570 See also Mu nd aka, p. 311.
175:4 The object of which is the primal Brahman.
175:6 Chândogya, pp. 264-459.
175:7 See Chândogya, p. 553 seq.
175:8 I. e. attending closely upon him; fœtus = pupil.
176:1 Learned, men of knowledge, S ankara.
176:2 The supreme, 'which is described as 'truth, knowledge,' &c. In our ancient works the truth often means the real.
176:4 Cf. Ka th a, p. 158.
176:5 S ankara cites Âpastamba (p. 11) in support of this, and Pra s na-upanishad, p. 256. The consciousness of being one with the Brahman is a new birth. See, too, Mu nd aka, p. 282.
176:6 That birth is not merely delusive, and does not result in death.
176:7 Immortality or final emancipation is not to be achieved without knowledge, which can only be got from a preceptor. And one is not perfect without that immortality; one is limited by the conditions of human existence. See Nirukta (Roth's ed.), p. 41.
176:8 S ankara compares S vetâ s vatara, p. 374. The necessity of having a Guru is often insisted on even in the Upanishads. Cf. Mu nd aka, p. 282; Chândogya, p. 264.
176:9 Stated at the beginning of this speech, S ankara.
177:1 The meaning of the Vedic texts, &c., S ankara in one copy; the highest aim of man, according to another copy.
177:4 Time = maturity of understanding which comes by time; energy = intellectual power; S âstras = consultation about S âstras with fellow-students-- S ankara, who adds that the order is not material as stated, and quotes a stanza which may be thus rendered, 'The pupil receives a quarter from the preceptor, a quarter by his own talent; he receives a quarter by time; and a quarter through fellow-Brahma k ârins.
178:2 Obtains wealth, learning, and greatness,' says a commentator. For similar benefits, cf. Chândogya, p. 122.
178:3 Cf. Chândogya, p. 132.
178:4 'Wealth,' says Nîlaka nth a, as well as another commentator.
178:5 Ignorance; cf. note at p. 154 supra. Nîlaka nth a reads 'reaches' instead of 'crosses beyond,' and interprets 'bâlya' to mean 'freedom from affection, aversion,' &c. Cf. B ri hadâra n yaka, p. 605. As to the divinity of divinities, cf. Taitt. Âra n . p. 886.
179:1 Called K intâma n i. The effect of Brahma k arya is that those who practise it can get what they desire.
179:3 Cf. S vetâ s vatara, p. 327.
179:4 Cf. B ri hadâra n yaka, p. 877.
179:5 Cf. Ka th a, p. 119; and Mu nd aka, p. 267. As to its not dwelling in earth, sky, &c., S ankara refers to Chândogya, p. 518, as implying that.
179:6 Literally, 'it bears no water in the ocean.' 'Water' is said by the commentators to mean the five elements of which the body is composed. See Manu I, 5, and Chândogya, p. 330. In the S vetâ s vatara it signifies mind (See p. 388). For ocean meaning world, or sa m sâra; cf. Aitareya-upanishad, p. 182.
179:7 Here I do not render rûpa by colour, as before.
180:7 So Nîlaka nth a. The original word ordinarily means 'worlds.'
180:8 Cf. S vetâ s vatara, p. 347.
180:9 Cf. the famous passage in the Taittirîya, p. 123: and also Mu nd aka, p. 289.
180:10 The explanations of the commentators are not quite clear as to the word ahnâ, 'in the form of light.' Probably the meaning is: The universe depends on the Brahman, and is, as it were, the light of the Brahman. S ankara compares the passages referred to at Gîtâ, p. 112, note .
180:11 'Not by means of action,' says S ankara.
181:1 The whole of this chapter is wanting in one of our copies of S ankara's commentary. In the copy published in the Mahâbhârata (Madras edition) there is, however, this passage: 'Wrath &c. have been already explained, still there are some differences here and there, and those only are now explained.' The chapter is for the most part a repetition of what we have already had. For such repetitions cf. B ri hadâra n yaka, pp. 317-1016; 444-930. The same copy of S ankara's commentary gives this general statement of the object of this and the next chapter: 'The course of study of the science of the Brahman, in which knowledge is the principal thing, and concentration of mind &c. are subsidiary, has been. described. Now is described the course of study in which concentration of mind is principal, and knowledge subsidiary. The first mode consists in understanding the meaning of the word "you" by means of concentration of mind, and then identifying it with the Brahman by means of a study of the Upanishads; the second, in first intellectually understanding the identity of the individual self and Brahman, by such study of the Upanishads, and then realising the identity to consciousness by contemplation, &c. In both modes the fruit is the same, and the means are the same; and to show this, the merits and defects already stated are here again declared.' This explanation is verbatim the same in Nîlaka nth a's commentary.
181:2 The original is 'pity,' which is explained to mean 'friendship' by S ankara and Nîlaka nth a.
181:3 'Owing to there being in it no enjoyment for the self,' says one p. 182 copy of S ankara's commentary. Another reading, which is in the Madras edition and in Nîlaka nth a, may be rendered, 'even obtaining benefits, they do not respect one (from whom they obtain them).'
182:1 The commentary says the meaning is the same as that of the expression used in the corresponding place before, viz. one who prospers by injuring others.
182:2 One copy of S ankara's commentary takes this to mean one who thinks the not-self to be the self. I adopt the other meaning, however, as agreeing, with that of atimânî, which is the reading of some copies instead of abhimânî.
182:4 One commentator says this means that he should not be supposed to have incurred the demerit of having any attachment to this world. Nîlaka nth a says, he gives up everything in the pursuit of even one of these observances.
182:6 I. e. the goal to be reached. The commentary takes Brahman to mean the Vedas, and the whole, phrase to mean those who devote themselves to the performance of actions stated in the Vedas.
183:1 One copy of S ankara's commentary says this means 'obstructing other people's acts of piety,' &c.
183:2 One copy of S ankara's commentary says this means 'being given up to intoxicating drinks,' &c.; another copy says, doing another's bidding without thought.'
183:3 One copy says this means 'inattention to any work undertaken.,' another renders the original by 'destruction of property, i.e. squandering it on dancers,' &c.
183:4 I. e. discrimination between right and wrong.
183:5 This seems to be some error, for censoriousness' has occurred before. But neither the texts nor the commentaries give any help to correct the error. Perhaps the latter is to be distinguished as referring to the habit, and the former only to sporadic acts, of censoriousness. These qualities, I presume, constitute frenzy; they are not the 'defects.'
183:6 I. e. where the power to give exists.
184:1 Not a friend's.
184:2 For a friend.
184:4 The commentators take this to mean objects of sense, and they interpret 'elements' before to mean senses.
184:5 'Viz. the turning away of the senses from their objects,' says one copy of S ankara.
184:6 Scil. to enjoy the higher enjoyments of superior worlds.
184:7 I. e. to the higher worlds; it does not lead to emancipation here.
184:8 Cf. Mu nd aka, p. 277. I must own that I do not quite understand this passage, nor its explanation as given in the commentaries. I do not quite see what the penance here mentioned has to do with sacrifice, and yet the commentators seem to take the words 'since sacrifices,' &c., with what precedes them, not with what follows. Taking them,. however, with what follows, it is difficult to explain the word 'since.' As far as I can understand the passage I take the sense of it to be as follows: The author having said that penance performed out of a particular motive does not lead to final emancipation, he then proceeds to point out that all 'action' or 'sacrifice' is due to an imperfect understanding of the truth (cf. p. 171 supra), being mostly due to some particular motive. Then he goes on to show the different classes of sacrifice, and finally points out that he who is free from desires as superior to one who is actuated by desires. The original for 'misapprehension' is avabodha, which commonly means 'apprehension,' but S ankara finally makes it mean moha or 'delusion.' The original for truth is rendered by Nîlaka nth a to mean 'fancies.' Nîlaka nth a says that the sacrifice by the mind is the highest; that by speech, viz. Brahmaya g ña, G apa, &c., is middling; and that by deed, viz. with clarified butter and other offerings, of the lowest class. 'Perfected by fancies' = one whose fancies are always fulfilled 'through a knowledge,' says Nîlaka nth a, 'of the Brahma as possessing qualities.'
185:1 This also is far from clear. Should it be, 'and a Brâhmana more especially?' This might be taken as referring to one who knows the Brahman as devoid of qualities, as Nîlaka nth a does take it. But his construction is not quite clear.
185:4 'Everything,' says one copy of S ankara's commentary; 'all that is good and desirable,' says another.
185:5 Cf. inter alia, Mu nd aka, pp. 281-314.
185:6 For he has got to undergo migration from one life to another as the result of the action. Cf. B ri hadâra n yaka, p. 856; Mu nd aka. p. 278.
185:9 I. e. the yoga or concentration of mind here described. This stanza, like many others in this chapter, occurs in chapter III with slight variations.
186:1 Free from ignorance and other taints. See Ka th a, p. 144.
186:2 S ankara compares Ka th a, p. 142. See, too, Mu nd aka, p. 303; and note infra.
186:4 S ankara refers to B ri hadâranyaka, p. 887.
186:7 'In the form of Virâ g ,' says S ankara. As to these two, cf. Mu nd aka, pp. 270-272; and S ankara's and Ânandagiri's notes there. See also S vetâ s vatara, pp. 324, 325; and N ri si m ha Tâpinî, pp. 233, 234; Colebrooke, Essays, pp. 344, 368 (Madras reprint). The Virâ g corresponds rather to the gross material world viewed as a whole; the Hira n yagarbha to the subtle elements similarly viewed, an earlier stage in the development. Cf. the Vedântasâra.
186:9 The individual self is part of the supreme (Gîtâ, p. 112); perfect = not limited by space, time, &c.; as being part of a thing perfect in its essence, the individual soul also is perfect. The individual self is withdrawn from the perfect, viz. the whole aggregate of body, senses, &c. presided over by the self, and when so withdrawn it appears to be the pure self only. Cf. B ri hadâra n yaka, p. 948.
187:1 'The five elements,' says S ankara, cf. Aitareya, p. 189; and for 'gross body,' the original is literally 'water;' see supra, p. 179, note 6; and see, too, Îsopanishad, p. 11, and S vetâ s vatara, p. 368, for different but kindred meanings.
187:2 Viz. the lotus-like heart. Cf. Chândogya,. p. 528.
187:3 The two principles between them pervade the universe, the individual self being connected with the material world, the other with heaven; 'divine' is, literally, 'the brilliant,' says S ankara, who quotes Ka th a, p. 305, as a parallel for the whole passage.
187:4 Cf. Ka th a, p. 111; Maitrî, pp. 19-34; and Mahâbhârata Strî Parvan, chap. VII, St. 13. Heaven = the Brahman here (see B ri hadâranyaka, p. 876); divine = not vulgar, or unrefined- S ankara, who adds that though the senses generally lead one to sensuous objects, they do not do so when under the guidance of true knowledge.
187:5 The body is perishable, but action done by the self while in the body leaves its effect.
187:6 To whom, namely, the man of knowledge goes, as before stated.
187:7 Cf. S vetâ s vatara, p. 347.
187:8 Cf. Ka th a, p. 152, and comment there, where the eye is said to stand for all the senses.
187:9 Ka th a, p. 149; S vetâ s vatara, pp. 346-348, also p. 330 (should it be manîshâ there instead of manvi s o ?). The meanings of the three words are difficult to fix accurately. S ankara varies in his interpretations. p. 188 Probably the meaning he gives here is the best. Mind and understanding have been explained at Gîtâ, p. 57. The heart is the place within, where the self is said to be, and it may be taken as indicating the self, the meaning would then be--a direct consciousness in the self of its unity with the Supreme. See, too, Taitt Âra n . p.896.
188:1 The five organs of action, the five senses of perception, the mind and understanding make the twelve.
188:2 Each current has its own honey regularly distributed to it under the supervision of the Deity, the Supreme. Honey = material enjoyment. Cf. Ka th a, p. 126, where S ankara renders it by karmaphala, 'fruit of action.'
188:3 Who supervises the distribution as stated. Cf. Vedânta-sûtra III, 2, 28-31.
188:4 Bhramara, which the commentators interpret to mean 'one who is given to flying about--the individual self.'
188:5 I. e. in one life in respect of actions done in a previous life.
188:6 S ankara says this is in answer to a possible difficulty that action performed here cannot have its fruit in the next world, as the fruit is so far removed in time from the action. The answer is, The Lord, the Supreme, can effect this, and taking his existence into account there is no difficulty. Oblation = food, &c., S ankara. The meaning of the whole passage, which is not very clear, seems to be that the Lord has arranged things so that each being receives some of this honey, this food, which is the fruit of his own action. Then the question arises, Do these beings always continue taking the honey and 'migrating,' or are they ever released? That is answered by the following sentence.
188:7 'The wings of knowledge,' says S ankara, citing a Brâhmana text, those, verily, who have knowledge are possessed of wings, those who are not possessed of knowledge are devoid of wings.'
189:1 So, literally; S ankara explains 'golden' to mean beneficial and pleasant,' by a somewhat fanciful derivation of the word hira n ya. He refers to Gîtâ, p. 111, about the leaves of the A s vattha. Nîlaka nth a takes the leaves to be son, wife, &c., which are 'golden,' attractive at first sight. 'Coming to the A s vattha,' S ankara says, means being born as a Brâhmana,' &c. 'Flying away' = obtaining final emancipation.
189:2 The 'selfs' are compared to birds in the famous passage at Mu nd aka, p. 306 (also S vetâ s vatara, p. 337). See also B ri hadâra n yaka, p. 499.
189:3 Knowledge of whom leads to 'flying away happily.'
189:4 Cf. Chândogya, p. 441. S ankara says that the author here explains the yoga by which the Supreme is to be attained. As to the life-winds, cf. Gîtâ, p. 61. 'The moon,' says S ankara, 'means the mind, and the sun the understanding, as they are the respective deities of those organs' (cf. B ri hadâra n yaka, pp. 521-542, and Aitareya, p. 187, where, however, the sun is said to appertain to the eye).
189:5 I. e. the Brahman; the result is, one remains in the condition of being identified with the Brahman.
189:6 Literally, flamingo. Cf. S vetâ s vatara, pp. 332, 367; see also p. 289; Maitrî, p. 99; and the commentary on S vetâ s vatara, p. 283.
189:8 This is the meaning, though the word in the original is Ri tvi g , which in the later literature only means priest.
189:9 As the whole of the material world is dissolved, when the self is dissevered from the delusion which is the cause of it.
189:10 Viz. who moves about on the waters, as above stated.
190:1 S vetâ s vatara, pp. 330-355; Taitt. Âra n . p. 858, and comments there.
190:2 The life-winds, the ten organs or senses, mind, and understanding. See the same word similarly interpreted at S vetâ s vatara, p. 306, and Sankhya-sûtra III, 9.
190:3 According to S ankara, he who makes the distinct entities, after entering into them; he alludes apparently to Chândogya, p. 407.
190:4 Namely, that of giving the poison of sensuous objects.
190:5 I. e. the eye, ear, &c., like the holes of serpents.
190:6 I. e. can appreciate nought but those sensuous objects.
190:7 One reading is, 'lead to danger' = which means 'to hell,' according to Nîlaka nth a.
190:8 Scil. delusion about whom leads to 'danger' or 'worldly life.'
190:9 The quality of being one with the Brahman in essence.
190:10 Self-restraint, tranquillity, &c.
190:11 I. e. whether in the midst of worldly life, or in the state of perfect emancipation.
190:12 Viz. the resources spoken of before.
190:13 Viz. the supreme Brahman. 'There' S ankara takes to mean 'in the supreme abode of Vish n u.' See Introduction.
191:1 S ankara does not explain this. Nîlaka nth a says pervading = fully understanding; both worlds = the self and the not-self. Is the meaning something like that of the passage last cited by S ankara under Vedânta-sûtra IV, 2, 14?
191:2 He obtains the fruit of it, S ankara. See as to Agnihotra, Chândogya, p. 381 seq.; and Vedânta-sûtra IV, 1, 16.
191:3 I. e. this mortal world, as action &c. would do.
191:4 I. e. of one who understands himself to be the Brahman. See Aitareya-upanishad, p. 246.
191:5 S ankara says, 'the cause in which all is absorbed.' Cf. a similar, but not identical, meaning given to Vai s vânara at Chândogya, p. 264; and see Vedânta-sûtra I, 2, 24. Becomes great = becomes the Brahman, S ankara.
191:6 Even in this body, S ankara; degradation he takes to mean departure from the body, citing Brihadâranyaka, p. 540.
191:7 There is no worldly life with birth and death for one who does good, and thinks his self to be the Brahman; hence no emancipation from such life either.
191:8 The Brahman is the real, and on that the unreal material world is imagined. Cf. Taittirîya, p. 97, and S ankara's comments there, which are of use in understanding this passage.
192:1 Cf. Ka th a, pp. 130, 157; and B ri hadâra n yaka, p. 360.
192:2 Cf. S vetâ s vatara, p. 342; Ka th a, pp. 100, 107; Maitrî, p. 134.
192:3 Cf. Taittirîya, p. 67; Ka th a, p. 146; Mu nd aka, p. 293.
192:4 Ka th a, p. 298; Mu nd aka, p. 288.
192:7 'The individual soul, and God,' say the commentators, the latter being distinct from the supreme self. 'The universe,' says Nîlaka nth a, 'means earth,' &c., by which I suppose he means earth, heaven, quarters, mentioned directly afterwards.
192:8 Ka th a, p. 293.
192:9 This figure is implied in the Îsopanishad, p. 10.
192:10 'Therefore it is endless,' says S ankara; and as to this, cf. Taittirîya, p. 51.
193:1 'In a sphere beyond the reach of perception,' says S ankara, who also quotes Ka th a, p. 149, or S vetâ s vatara, p. 347, where the same line also occurs.
193:2 The original for understandings is sattva, which S ankara renders to mean anta h kara n a. 'Refined,' he says, 'by sacrifices and other sanctifying operations.' In the Ka th a at p. 148 sattva is rendered by S ankara to mean buddhi--a common use of the word.
193:3 'As being,' says S ankara, 'identical with themselves.' It will be noted that the form of expression is slightly altered here. It is not 'those who understand this.'
193:5 Cf. B ri hadâra n yaka, p. 882; S ankara, also refers to Î s opanishad, p. 14.
193:6 The words are pretty nearly the same as at Gîtâ, p. 48. S ankara says, the Brâhmana 'who has done all he need do' has no interest whatever in any being, as he has none in a big reservoir, and he cites Gîtâ, p. 54, in support of this. One copy of S ankara, however, differs from this; that runs thus: 'As a person who has done all he need do, has no interest in a big reservoir of water, so to a Brâhmana who sees the self in all beings, there is no interest in all the actions laid down in the Vedas, &c.; as he has obtained everything by mere perception of the self.' Nîlaka nth a's reading is exactly the same as at Gîtâ, p. 48.
193:7 S ankara says that Sanatsugâta states here his own experiences, like Vâmadeva, (about whom there is a reference at B ri hadâra n yaka, p. 216) and others, to corroborate what he has already said. Cf. also Gîtâ, p. 83, as to the whole passage.
194:3 Cf. Chândogya, p. 518.
194:4 That is to say he is 'unborn,' says Nîlaka nth a. S ankara seems to take 'my' with 'seat' only, and not with birth; for he says, 'everything has its birth from the self.'
194:5 Cf. Mu nd aka, p. 298; Maitrî, p. 84, and comment there.
194:9 I. e. a mind free from affection and aversion, hatred, &c., S ankara.
The Bhagavadgîtâ With The Sanatsugâtîya And The Anugîtâ Translated By Kâshinâth Triambak Telang, Volume 8, The Sacred Books Of The East,