The Brāhmaṇa said:
On this, too, they relate this ancient story (in the shape of) a dialogue, O you of a pure heart! between a Brāhmaṇa and Janaka. King Janaka, by way of punishment, said to a Brāhmaṇa who had fallen into some offence: 'You should not live within my dominions.' Thus spoken to, the Brāhmaṇa then replied to that best of kings: 'Tell me, O king! how far (extend) the dominions which are subject to you. I wish, O Lord! to live in the dominions of another king, and, O master of the earth! I wish to do your bidding according to the Śāstras.' Thus spoken to by that glorious Brāhmaṇa, the king then heaved frequent and warm sighs, and said nothing in reply. While that king of unbounded power was seated, engaged in meditation, a delusion suddenly came upon him, as the planet upon the sun. Then when the delusion had gone off, the king recovered himself, and after a short while spoke these words to the Brāhmaṇa.
Though this country, which is the kingdom of my father and grandfather, is subject (to me), I cannot find my domain, searching through the (whole) earth. When I did not find it on the earth, I looked for Mithilā; when I did not find it in Mithilā, I looked for my own offspring. When I did not find it among them, then came the delusion on me. Then on the expiration of the delusion, intelligence again came to me. Now I think that there is no domain (of mine), or that everything is my domain. Even this self is not mine, or the whole earth is mine. And as mine, so (is it) that of others too, I believe, O best of the twice-born! Live (here, therefore) while you desire, and enjoy while you live.
The Brāhmaṇa said:
Tell me, what belief you have resorted to, by which, though this country, which is the kingdom of your father and grandfather, is subject to you, you have got rid of (the notion that this or that is) mine. What conviction have you adopted, by which verily you consider your whole domain as not (your) domain, or all as your domain?
I understand (all) conditions here, in all affairs, to be terminable, hence I could not find anything that should be (called) mine. (Considering) whose this was, (I thought of) the Vedic text about anybody's property, (hence) I could not find by my intelligence anything that should be (called) mine. Resorting to this conviction, I have got rid of (the notion that this or that is) mine. Now hear the conviction, holding which, my domain (appears to me to be) everywhere. I do not desire for myself even smells existing in the nose. Therefore the earth being conquered is a ways subject to me. I do not desire for myself tastes even dwelling in the mouth. Therefore water being conquered is always subject to me. I do not desire for myself the colour (or) light appertaining to the eye. Therefore light being conquered is always subject to me. I do not desire for myself the (feelings of touch.) which exist in the skin. Therefore air being conquered is always subject to me. I do not desire for myself sounds even though existing in the ear. Therefore sounds being conquered are always subject to me. I do not desire for myself the mind always within me. Therefore the mind being conquered is always subject to me. All these actions of mine are, verily, for this purpose, (namely) for the gods, the Pitṛs, the Bhūtas, together with guests. Then the Brāhmaṇa, smiling, again said to Janaka: 'Know me to be Dharma, come here to-day to learn (something) about you. You are the one person to turn this wheel, the nave of which is the Brahman, the spoke the understanding, and which does not turn back, and which is checked by the quality of goodness as its circumference.'
Footnotes and references:
On getting rid of the notion that this, that, and the other thing is one's own,--Arjuna Miśra. Nīlakaṇṭha agrees, and adds also on the subject of cutting off avarice.
That is to say, Rāhu.
Meaning, apparently, that over which he and no one else has power. He contracts his vision gradually, and finds nothing at all which he can call his own to the exclusion of others. He explains, further on, bow he arrives at the alternative conviction stated towards the close of this speech. In the Bṛhadāraṇyaka (p. 916) he is said to have offered his kingdom to Yājñavalkya and himself as his slave, after learning the Brahma-vidyā. See too Muir, Sanskrit Texts, vol. iv, p. 426 seq.
See Śānti Parvan (Mokṣa) I, 13.
Conditions of indigence or affluence, Nīlakaṇṭha. Arjuna Miśra's reading is different.
There is a familiar verse, ascribed to Janaka, which says, 'If p. 205 Mithilā is on fire, nothing of mine is; burnt (in it).' The verse occurs in the Mahābhārata, Śānti Parvan (Mokṣa Dharma), chap. 178, st. 2, and also chap. 276, St. 4. See too Muir, Sanskrit Texts, Vol. i, p. 429.
This is not clear. I have followed. Nīlakaṇṭha's text. Arjuna Miśra's is in the earlier part more intelligible, 'Whose is this to-day, whose to-morrow?' But I cannot find that there is any Vedic text to this effect. Nīlakaṇṭha cites on his text Īśopaniṣad, p. 5. The meaning here seems to be, 'When I considered as to whom the things I saw in my thoughts belonged to, I remembered the Vedic text that one should not wish too obtain another's property, and so, thinking about the matter with that caution, I could not make out that there was anything which I could call my own.'
This is the alternative conclusion he has come to.
The sense of smell enjoys the smell, my self has nothing to do with it. Cf. Gītā, p. 55, also Maitrī, pp. 112, 113.
Whenever there is any smell, it is supposed that particles of earth are there; so the meaning here is 'all things having the quality of smell are subject to me,' and so throughout. The objects of sense are all used for the purposes of the prescribed actions, the benefits of which accrue to gods, &c. Cf. Gītā, pp. 53, 54, and see also pp. 84, 85.
I. e. to put him to the test. Such examinations are often referred to in our later literature.
I. e. Veda, says Arjuna Miśra.
I. e. says Arjuna Miśra, which leads to the seat from which there is no return. Cf. Gītā, p. 112.
The wheel is the yoga, says Arjuna Miśra. The expression is noteworthy, as being that used of Buddha's teaching. See on that Davids' Buddhism, p. 45.