Section CCXVI - Importance of Practising Sinless Brahmacarya and Understanding Dreams

| Posted in: Hinduism Itihasa

Book index: Mahabharata (English)
This page contains a summary of the Mahabharata Section CCXVI 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 discusses the practice of sinless Brahmacarya and the importance of abandoning sleep in order to avoid being influenced by the attributes of Passion and Darkness in dreams. He explains that dreams are a result of the mind's creative power, based on past impressions and desires, and that the mind plays a significant role in shaping our dream experiences. The mind continues to function even when the senses are suspended, leading to the manifestation of dreams. The dreams we experience are influenced by past actions and the attributes of Goodness, Passion, and Darkness, leading to feelings of happiness or misery.

Bhishma emphasizes the importance of understanding the nature of dreams, which are a reflection of the mind's impressions and desires. He explains that the mind exists unobstructedly in all things, and that all elements and objects exist within the soul. In dreamless slumber, the mind enters the soul and attains a state of pure Consciousness, transcending both Consciousness and all things in the universe. The yogin who desires divine attributes should cultivate a pure mind and transcend darkness or ignorance to become possessed of transcending effulgence.

Bhishma discusses the difference between the deities and the Asuras, with the former embodying the qualities of Goodness while the latter are associated with Darkness. Brahma, which has Knowledge as its attribute and is pure effulgence, transcends all qualities and is difficult to attain. Those who understand Brahma attain the highest end and become immortal. Bhishma concludes by highlighting the importance of withdrawing the senses and the mind to comprehend the indestructible nature of Brahma.

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 CCXVI - Importance of Practising Sinless Brahmacarya and Understanding Dreams, have a look at the following articles:

Section CCXVI, 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 CCXVI:

What is the importance of abandoning sleep for a yogin?

A yogin must seek to abandon sleep to practice sinless Brahmacarya. By devoting oneself to knowledge, constantly being awake is possible. Dreams are a result of the mind's creative power, influenced by past impressions.

How are impressions of past lives reflected in dreams?

Dreams are based on past desires and attachments, manifesting as images. The mind, influenced by past actions and attributes, creates dreams during sleep. The mind holds all impressions and causes them to surface during dreams.

How can one attain Supreme Brahma transcending darkness?

By crossing ignorance or darkness, one can attain transcending effulgence. Through penance and adopting a pure mind, one can reach Supreme Brahma. Brahma, pure in knowledge and deathlessness, is difficult to attain but leads to the highest end.

Daily life: Importance of Practising Sinless Brahmacarya and Understanding Dreams:

The passage discusses the philosophical views and practices for reaching a higher state of consciousness and understanding as expressed by Bhishma in the context of yogic and spiritual disciplines. To apply these concepts in everyday life, we start by recognizing the importance of controlling our mind and desires, especially as they manifest in dreams, which can reflect our deepest impressions and past experiences. This control begins with observing and managing our thoughts and actions to cultivate a more disciplined and focused mind.

Practicing mindfulness and meditation can be effective ways to keep our minds alert and awake, reducing the distractions caused by unnecessary desires and the illusions of the material world. By continuously engaging in learning and reflection, we nurture a state of constant awareness that transcends the need for physical sleep and dreams filled with desires and attachments. Through such practices, an individual can gradually diminish the impact of past impressions and cultivate a mindset oriented towards purity and higher knowledge.

This journey requires a consistent effort to transcend the innate tendencies of passion and darkness, moving towards the light of wisdom and self-realization. By viewing the mind as a door to the soul, we strive to reach a state of consciousness where we become witnesses to our thoughts and experiences, allowing us to rest in the true essence of our being. Ultimately, understanding and experiencing the soul as the foundation of all existence leads to liberation and unity with the universal consciousness, where distinctions between the self and the universe dissolve.

In essence, by cultivating a disciplined mind, practicing meditation, and focusing on self-knowledge, we embark on a transformative journey towards understanding the soul's pure consciousness. This path not only elevates our spiritual awareness but also enhances our daily lives by instilling a sense of peace, clarity, and purpose.

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