by Kisari Mohan Ganguli | 2,566,952 words | ISBN-10: 8121505933
The English translation of the Mahabharata is a large text describing ancient India. It is authored by Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa and contains the records of ancient humans. Also, it documents the fate of the Kauravas and the Pandavas family. Another part of the large contents, deal with many philosophical dialogues such as the goals of life. Book...
"Tuladhara said, ’see with your own eyes, O Jajali, who, viz., those that are good or those that are otherwise, have adopted this path of duty that I have spoken of. You shalt then understand properly how the truth stands. Behold, many birds are hovering in the sky. Amongst them are those that were reared on your head, as also many hawks and many others of other species. Behold, O Brahmana, those birds have contracted their wings and legs for entering their respective nests. Summon them, O regenerate one! There those birds, treated with affection by you, are displaying their love for you that art their father. Without doubt, you are their father, O Jajali! Do you summon your children.'
"Bhishma continued, 'Then those birds, summoned by Jajali, made answer agreeably to the dictates of that religion which is not fraught with injury to any creature. All acts that are done without injuring any creature become serviceable (to the doer) both here and hereafter. Those acts, however, that involve injury to others, destroy faith, and faith being destroyed, involves the destroyer in ruin. The sacrifices of those that regard acquisition and non-acquisition in the same light, that are endued with faith that are self-restrained, that have tranquil minds, and that perform sacrifices from a sense of duty (and not from desire of fruit), become productive of fruit. Faith with respect to Brahma is the daughter of Surya, O regenerate one. She is the protectress and she is the giver of good birth. Faith is superior to the merit born of (Vedic) recitations and meditation. An act vitiated by defect of speech is saved by Faith. An act vitiated by defect of mind is saved by Faith. But neither speech nor mind can save an act that is vitiated by want of Faith. Men conversant with the occurrences of the past recite in this connection the following verse sung by Brahman. The offerings in sacrifices of a person that is pure (in body and acts) but wanting in Faith, and of another that is impure (in respect of their worthiness of acceptance). The food, again, of a person conversant with the Vedas but miserly in behaviour, and that of a usurer that is liberal in conduct, the deities after careful consideration, had held to be equal (in respect of their worthiness of acceptance). The' Supreme Lord of all creatures (viz., Brahman) then told them that they had committed an error. The food of a liberal person is sanctified by Faith. The food, however, of the person that is void of Faith is lost in consequence of such want of Faith. The food of a liberal usurer is acceptable but not the food of a miser. Only one person in the world, viz., he that is bereft of Faith, is unfit to make offerings to the deities. The food of only such a man is unfit to be eaten. This is the opinion of men conversant with duties. Want of Faith is a high sin. Faith is a cleanser of sins. Like a snake casting off its slough, the man of Faith succeeds in casting off all his sin. The religion of abstention with Faith is superior to all things considered sacred. Abstaining from all faults of behaviour, he who betakes himself to Faith, becomes sanctified. What need has such a person of penances, or of conduct, or of endurance? Every man has Faith. Faith, however, is of three kinds, viz., as affected by Sattva, by Rajas and by Tamas, and according to the kind of Faith that one has, one is named. Persons endued with goodness and possessed of insight into the true import of morality have thus laid down the subject of duties. We have, as the result of our enquiries, got all this from the sage Dharmadarsana. O you of great wisdom, betake thyself to Faith, for you shalt then obtain that which is superior. He who has Faith (in the declarations of the Srutis), and who acts according to their import (in the belief that they are good for him), is certainly of righteous soul. O Jajali, he who adheres to his own path (under the influence of Faith) is certainly a superior person.'
"Bhishma continued, 'After a short while, Tuladhara and Jajali, both of whom had been endued with great wisdom, ascended to heaven and sported there in great happiness, having reached their respective places earned by their respective acts. Many truths of this kind were spoken of by Tuladhara. That eminent person understood this religion (of abstention from injury) completely. These eternal duties were accordingly proclaimed by him. The regenerate Jajali, O son of Kunti, having heard these words of celebrated energy, betook himself to tranquillity. In this way, many truths of grave import were uttered by Tuladhara, illustrated by examples for instruction. What other truths dost you wish to hear?'"
Footnotes and references:
The two negatives in the second line amount to an affirmative assertion.
'Defects of speech' are the incorrect utterance of mantras. 'Defects of mind' are such as listlessness, haste, etc.
The commentator is entirely silent upon this verse. The two Bengali versions have proceeded in two different ways. The four classes of persons indicated in the previous verses are (1) he that is destitute of faith but is (outwardly) pure, (2) he that has faith but is not (outwardly) pure, (3) a miserly person possessed of learning, and (4) a usurer endued with liberality. The answer of Brahman, without touching other points, refers particularly to faith. The liberal man’s food is sanctified by faith. The food of him that has no faith is lost. For this reason, the liberal man’s food, even if he happens to be a usurer, is worthy of acceptance, and not so the food of the miser even though he may be possessed of Vedic lore.
This concludes Section CCLXIV of Book 12 (Shanti Parva) of the Mahabharata, of which an English translation is presented on this page. This book is famous as one of the Itihasa, similair in content to the eighteen Puranas. Book 12 is one of the eighteen books comprising roughly 100,000 Sanskrit metrical verses.