Section CCXIII - Bhishma on the Attributes of Passion, Darkness, and Goodness

| Posted in: Hinduism Itihasa

Book index: Mahabharata (English)
This page contains a summary of the Mahabharata Section CCXIII including examples of moral lessons in daily life. The Maha-Bharata is one of the largest epics ever written containing roughly 100,000 Sanskrit verses. It deals with the legendary history of ancient India and contains a large number of interwoven tales.

Short summary of the chapter:
Bhishma explains that from the attributes of Passion and Darkness arise delusion, wrath, cupidity, fear, pride, and selfishness. These lead to various acts and bonds of affection, resulting in joy, sorrow, and the cycle of birth and death. Women are described as instruments that set the stream of Creation into motion, and men are warned not to pursue them excessively. Offspring are said to come from the vital seed, but should not be regarded with attachment as they are not truly one's own.

The Soul is explained to go through birth and rebirth due to past actions and the influence of time, receiving a body and senses in the mother's womb based on past thoughts and desires. Sorrow arises from accepting a body, but can be ended by renouncing attachments and achieving Emancipation. The senses, originating and ending in the attribute of Passion, are to be controlled with the help of scriptures to avoid being overwhelmed by desires. By making the senses weak, the embodied Soul can escape the cycle of rebirth.

Bhishma emphasizes the importance of purity in order to gain knowledge of the Supreme Soul, which is described as resplendent, unchanging, and pervading all things. He warns against falling into maya, leading to ignorance, wrath, desire, cupidity, and various acts. The cycle of birth and death results from these actions, as the Soul takes on a body and experiences sorrow. By understanding and overcoming the influences of Passion and Darkness, one can achieve Emancipation and freedom from the cycle of rebirth.

Full English translation:

This page is merely a summary which is automatically generated. If you are looking for authentic sources such as the Sanskrit text or the Full English translation of Mahabharata Section CCXIII - Bhishma on the Attributes of Passion, Darkness, and Goodness, have a look at the following articles:

Section CCXIII, online text

English translation by Kisari Mohan Ganguli.

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Mahabharata (English Summary)

by Kisari Mohan Ganguli | ISBN-10: 8121505933

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FAQ of Mahabharata, Section CCXIII:

What are the attributes that arise from Passion and Darkness according to Bhishma?

Passion leads to delusion, wrath, cupidity, fear, and pride. Darkness brings about wrath, desire, cupidity, delusion, vanity, and selfishness. These attributes cloud one's knowledge and lead to acts and sorrow.

Daily life: Bhishma on the Attributes of Passion, Darkness, and Goodness:

The story shared by Bhishma encapsulates a profound journey from entanglement in worldly desires to the ultimate liberation of the soul through wisdom and renunciation. In our daily life, this can be translated into a conscious practice of observing and managing our emotions and desires, recognizing their roots in deeper attributes of passion and ignorance. By developing an awareness of how these emotions, like anger and greed, cloud our judgment, we can work towards mitigating their impact by fostering a state of calm and purity.

To embrace this wisdom, one must start by cultivating an environment for self-reflection to understand the transient nature of worldly attachments and the perpetual cycle of birth, death, and rebirth they entail. This involves a sincere effort to look beyond the immediate gratification of senses and to seek a deeper, more meaningful connection with the essence of life which is untainted and eternal.

Implementing this teaching requires us to acknowledge the role of actions and their consequences in shaping our lives. By acting with mindfulness and detachment from the outcome, we can avoid creating further karmic debts. This path leads to the weakening of desires and a gradual detachment from the physical and mental sorrows tied to our existence, steering us towards a state of liberation or emancipation from the cycle of rebirth, where true peace and happiness reside.

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