The Anugita

1882 | 64,929 words

Volume 8, The Sacred Books of the East. This part Contains the english translation of the Anugita (a portion of the Ashvamedhika Parva from the Mahabharata)....

Chapter XXIII

Brahman said:

Now I shall proceed to describe the third--the best--quality, beneficial to all creatures, and unblamable, the duty of the good. joy[1], pleasure, nobility, enlightenment and happiness also, absence of stinginess, absence of fear, contentment, faith, forgiveness, courage, harmlessness, equability, truth, straightforwardness, absence of wrath, absence of calumniation, purity, dexterity, valour. He who possesses the piety of concentration of mind, (holding) knowledge to be vain[2], (good) conduct vain, service vain, and labour vain, he attains the highest in the next world. Devoid of (the notion that this or that is) mine, devoid of egoism, devoid of expectations, equable everywhere, not full of desires, (to be) such is the eternal duty of the good. Confidence, modesty[3], forgiveness, liberality, purity, freedom from laziness, absence of cruelty, freedom from delusion, compassion to (all) creatures, absence of backbiting, joy, contentment, joviality, humility, good behaviour, purity in all action for (acquiring) tranquillity[4], righteous feelings, emancipation[5], indifference[6], life as a Brahmacārin, abandonment on all hands, freedom from (the notion that this or that is) mine, freedom from expectations[7], unbroken piety[8], (holding that) gifts (are) vain, sacrifices vain, learning vain, vows vain, receipt of gifts vain, piety vain, penance vain. Those talented Brāhmaṇas in this world, whose conduct is of this description, who adhere to the quality of goodness, abiding in the seat of the Brahman[9], perceive (everything) aright. Getting rid of all sins, and free from grief, those talented men reach heaven, and create (various) bodies[10]. The power of governing, self-restraint, minuteness[11], these those high-souled ones make (for themselves) by (the operations of their own) minds like the gods dwelling in heaven. They are said to have their currents upwards[12], and to be gods, and of the quality of goodness[13]; and having gone to heaven they verily change in various ways, by means of nature[14]. They obtain and divide[15] whatever they desire. Thus, O chiefs of the twice-born! have I described to you the conduct of the quality of goodness. Understanding this according to rule, one obtains whatever one desires. The qualities of goodness have been specifically described, and the operation of the qualities has been accurately stated. The man who always understands these qualities, enjoys the qualities[16], but is not attached to the qualities.

Footnotes and references:


Cf. p. 300 supra, and Sānti Parvan (Mokṣa), chap. 194, st. 34; chap. 214, st. 36, For nobility, Arjuna Miśra has manifestation of joy.


Such is Nīlakaṇṭha's reading, and be takes knowledge to mean mere knowledge derived from books, &c. Arjuna Miśra has a different reading for vain, which he interprets to mean 'wish for fruit.'


See Sanatsugātīya, p. 162.


I. e. pure and straightforward conduct in the performance of whatever is done for attaining final emancipation.


Of other people from sorrow, Arjuna Miśra.


The state of being unconcerned, udāsīna, Nīlakaṇṭha.


Cf. Gītā, p. 60, inter alia.


Arguna Miśra understands the original here to mean 'not being under the control of another.'


I. e. the source of the Vedas, according to Nīlakaṇṭha. The Supreme is called Brahmayoni, the original word here, at Śvetāśvatara, p. 327 p. 354, where Brahman is rendered to mean Prakṛti by Śaṅkara. See Sanatsujātīya, p. 186, note  6, and Taittirīya-āraṇyaka, p. 894. As to the probable sense here, see p. 339, note  2 infra.


I. e. for themselves. Cf. p. 345 infra; Yoga-sūtras, p. 227 and Brihadāraṇyaka, p. 849.


These include, according to Nīlakaṇṭha, the other qualities of the same class unnamed here, for which see Yoga-sūtra III, 44 (p. 207). The power of governing, i. e. producing, destroying, or combining worldly objects as one pleases; self-restraint, i. e. in the presence of tempting objects; minuteness = power of becoming as minute as one pleases. The other qualities are lightness, largeness, and heaviness; power of attracting everything so as to be near oneself (e. g. touching the moon with the finger), power of obtaining one's wish.


Cf. p. 321 supra and note  5. Arjuna Miśra, and Nīlakaṇṭha also, here render it by 'those who go upwards.' As to which, see Gītā, p. 109.


Cf. for this sense, which is given by Arjuna Miśra, Sāṅkhyasāra, p. 19.


Nīlakaṇṭha says this means that they change their minds for purposes of enjoyment by means of the impression of previous enjoyments. The changes, however, seem to be those above referred to-minuteness, &c., and the acquisition of other bodies. As to nature, cf. Gītā, pp. 58 and 112, with the correction made at p. 318 supra.


This is not quite clear. Does it mean distribute among themselves or others?


Cf. Gītā inter alia, p. 104.

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