The Brāhmaṇa said:
There are, verily, three foes in (this) world, and they are stated to be (divided) ninefold, according to qualities. Exultation, pleasure, joy, these three are qualities appertaining to the quality of goodness. Grief, wrath, persistent hatred, these are stated to be qualities appertaining to the quality of passion. Sleep, sloth, and delusion, these three qualities are qualities appertaining to the quality of darkness. Cutting these off by multitudes of arrows, a courageous man, free from sloth, having a tranquil self, and senses controlled, is energetic about subjugating others. On this, people who know about ancient times celebrate verses which were sung of old by the king Ambarīṣa, who had become tranquil (in mind). When vices were in the ascendant, and good (men) were oppressed, Ambarīṣa, of great glory, forceably possessed himself of the kingdom. He (then) restraining his own vices, and honouring good men, attained high perfection, and sang these verses: 'I have conquered most vices; destroyed all foes; but there is one, the greatest, vice which should be destroyed and which I have not destroyed--that (vice), being impelled by which, a creature does not attain freedom from desire, and being troubled by desire, understands (nothing) while running into ditches; (that vice), being impelled by which, a man even does what ought not to be done. That avarice--cut (it) off, cut (it) off with sharp swords. For from avarice is born desire; then anxiety comes into existence; and he who desires, mostly acquires qualities appertaining to the quality of passion. Obtaining those, he mostly acquires qualities appertaining to the quality of darkness. When the bodily frame is destroyed, he, owing to these qualities, is born again and again, and engages in action. And at the expiration of life, again with his body dismembered and scattered about, he meets death, and again birth. Therefore, properly perceiving this, and restraining avarice by courage, one should wish for sovereignty in the self. This is sovereignty; there is no other sovereignty here. The self properly understood is itself the sovereign.' Such were the verses sung with regard to the great sovereignty, by the glorious Ambarīṣa, who destroyed the one (chief vice), avarice.
Footnotes and references:
Nīlakaṇṭha says exultation is when one is sure of obtaining what is desired, pleasure when it is obtained, and joy when the thing obtained is enjoyed. Arjuna Miśra takes a different distinction; but our copy of his commentary is not quite intelligible in p. 301 the beginning. Pleasure he takes to mean 'pride felt in supposing oneself to possess some merit,' and joy that produced when impending danger is averted. As to the next triad, the text is again unsatisfactory. The text printed in the edition which contains Nīlakaṇṭha's commentary, is 'desire, anger,' &c. There is nothing about them in the commentary. Arjuna Miśra's text is the one we have adopted. He says, 'grief, pain caused by loss of what is desired; anger, the pain caused by the counteraction of one's attempts to injure another; persistent hatred, the pain caused by believing another to be doing harm to oneself.' Persistent hatred is Nīlakaṇṭha's interpretation. I think his interpretation is preferable. The two triads seem to be based on one principle of gradation. The distinctive marks of the three qualities are pleasure, pain, and delusion respectively, and those characterise the three triads stated in the text. See Śānti Parvan (Mokṣa), chap. 194, st. 27 seq.
Tranquillity and so forth, Nīlakaṇṭha; practising yoga or concentration of mind, Arjuna Miśra.
I. e. external, says Arjuna Miśra; external foes of one's own emancipation is, I presume, what is meant.
Arjuna Miśra says, I his own and those of others.' Nīlakaṇṭha takes good to mean not men, but tranquillity, &c. The next sentence seems rather to militate against this view, which in itself is not a well-founded one.
For the good of the people, says Arjuna Miśra.
I. e. base actions, Nīlakaṇṭha.
Avarice, according to Arjuna Miśra, is the belief that one has not got that which one has, and desire is the wish for more and more. Avarice seems, however, to be the general frame of mind, always wishing for something, never being contented, and desire is the wish for a specific object.
Which are sources of delusion. Cf. a similar doctrine at Āpastamba II, 5, 140.
Nīlakaṇṭha compares Taittirīya, p. 26.