From Mahabharatam

Adhyatma -Self – Spiritual Science
From The Mahabharata
Santi Parva, Section CCXLVIII
Translated by Sri Kisari Mohan Ganguli

[‘Notes’ are comments by the scholar and
translator Sri Kisari Mohan Ganguli]
Vyasa said: The mind creates (within itself) numerous ideas (of objects or existent things). The Understanding settles which is which. The heart discriminates which is agreeable and which is disagreeable. These are the three forces that impel to acts. The objects of the senses are superior to the senses. The mind is superior to those objects. The understanding is superior to mind. The Soul is regarded as superior to Understanding. (As regards the ordinary purposes of man) the Understanding is his Soul. When the Understanding, of its own motion, forms ideas (of objects) within itself, it then comes to be called Mind.
[Note: In the original, the word Atman is used in various senses. Sometimes it stands for the Jiva-soul (embodied soul), sometimes for the Supreme Soul, sometimes for essence or the principal portion of anything, sometimes for one’s own self, and sometimes even for the person or body. It is not difficult to distinguish in which sense the word is used in what place.]
In consequence of the senses being different from one another (both in respect of their objects and the manner of their operation), the Understanding (which is one and the same) presents different aspect in consequence of its different modifications. When it hears, it becomes the organ of hearing, and when it touches, it becomes the organ of touch. Similarly, when it sees, it becomes the organ of vision, and when it tastes, it becomes the organ of taste, and when it smells, it becomes the organ of scent. It is the Understanding that appears under different guises (for different functions) by modification.
It is the modifications of the Understanding that are called the senses. Over them is placed as their presiding chief (or overseer) the invisible Soul. Residing in the body, the Understanding exists in the three states (of Sattwa, Rajas, and Tamas). Sometimes it obtains cheerfulness, sometimes it gives way to grief; and sometimes its condition becomes such that it is united with neither cheerfulness nor grief. The Understanding, however, whose chief function (as already said) is to create entities, transcends those three states even as the ocean, that lord of rivers, prevails against the mighty currents of the rivers that fall into it.
[Note: Vela is tide or current. The Understanding, although it exists with the three states of Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas, can yet transcend them by Yoga. The ordinary and extraordinary states of the understanding are spoken of in this verse.]
When the Understanding desires for anything,
it comes to be called by the name of Mind.The senses again, though (apparently different) should all be taken as included within the Understanding. The senses, which are engaged in bearing impressions of form, scent etc., should all be subdued. When a particular sense becomes subservient to the Understanding, the latter though in reality not different (from that sense), enters the Mind in the form of existent things. Even this is what happens with the senses one after another (separately and not simultaneously) with reference to the ideas that are said to be apprehended by them.
[Note: If I have understood this verse correctly, the theory of perception laid down is a sort of idealism which has not, perhaps, its counterpart in European metaphysics. The senses are first said to be only modifications of the understanding. The mind also is a modification of the same. A particular sense, say the eye, becomes subservient to the understanding at particular moment. As soon as this happens, the understanding, though in reality it is only the eye, becomes united with the eye, and entering the mind raises an image there, the consequence of which is that that image is said to be seen. External world there is, of course, as independent of mind and understanding. That which is called a tree is only an idea or image created in the mind by the understanding with the aid of sense of vision.]
All the three states that exist (viz., Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas), inhere to these three (viz., Mind, Understanding, and Consciousness) and like the spokes of a car-wheel acting in consequence of their attachment to the circumference of the wheel, they follow the different objects (that exist in Mind, Understanding, and Consciousness).
[Note: The speaker here combats the theory that the qualities of Sattwa, Rajas, and Tamas inhere to the objects themselves of the senses. His own view is that they inhere to the Mind, the Understanding, and Consciousness. The qualities may be seen to exist with objects, but in reality they follow objects in consequence of their permanent connection with the mind, the understanding, and consciousness, which have agency in the production of objects. The commentator cites the instance of a wife’s beautiful and symmetrical limbs. These excite pleasure in the husband, envy in a co-wife, and desire (mixed with pain at its not being gratified) in a weak hearted gazer. All the while the limbs remain unchanged. Then again, the husband is not always pleased with them, nor is the co-wife always filled with envy at their sight, nor is the gazer always agitated. Like the spokes of a wheel which are attached to the circumference and which move with circumference, the qualities of Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas, attached to the mind, understanding and consciousness, move along with them, i.e., follow those objects in the production of which the mind etc., are causes.]
The mind must make a lamp of the senses for dispelling the darkness that shuts out the knowledge of the Supreme Soul. This knowledge that is acquired by Yogis with the aid of all especial agency of Yoga, is acquired without any especial efforts by men that abstain from worldly objects. The universe is of this nature (viz., it is only a creation of the understanding). The man of knowledge, therefore, is never stupefied (by attachment to things of this world). Such a man never grieves, never rejoices, and is free from envy (at seeing another possessing a larger share of earthly objects).
The Soul is incapable of being seen with the aid of the senses whose nature is to wander among all (earthly) objects of desire. Even righteous men, whose senses are pure, fail to behold the Soul with their aid, what then should be said of the vicious whose senses are impure? When, however, a person with the aid of his mind, tightly holds their reins, it is then that his Soul discovers itself like an object (unseen in darkness) appearing to the view in consequence of the light of a lamp. Indeed, as all things become visible when the darkness that envelopes them is dispelled, even the soul becomes visible when the darkness that covers it is removed. [Note: As soon as the darkness of the understanding is dispelled and true knowledge succeeds, the Soul becomes visible.]
As an acquatic fowl, though moving on the water is never drenched by that element, after the same manner the Yogi of freed soul is never soiled by the imperfections of the three attributes (of Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas). After the same manner, the man of wisdom, by even enjoying all earthly objects without being attached to any of them, is never soiled by faults of any kind that arise in the case of others from such enjoyment. He who avoids acts after having done them duly (i.e., who adopts the Sannyasa or the last mode of life of Renunciation, after having duly gone through the preceding modes), and takes delight in the one really existent entity, viz., the Soul, who has constituted himself the soul of all created beings, and who succeeds in keeping himself aloof from the three attributes, obtains an understanding and senses that are created by the Soul.
The qualities (Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas) are incapable of apprehending the Soul. The Soul, however, apprehends them always. The Soul is the witness that beholds the qualities and duly calls them up into being. Behold, this is the difference between the understanding and the Soul both of which are exceedingly subtle. One of them creates the qualities. The other never creates them. Though they are different from each other by nature, yet they are always united. The fish living in the water is different from the element in which it lives. But as the fish and the water forming its home are always united, after the same manner Sattwa and Kshetrajna (Soul) exist in a state of union. The gnat born within a rotten fig is really not the fig but different from it. Nevertheless, as the gnat and the fig are seen to be united with each other, even so are Sattwa, and Kshetrajna. As the blade in a clump of grass, though distinct from the clump, nevertheless exists in a state of union with it, even so these two, though different from each other, each existing in its own self, are to be seen in a state of constant union.
Understanding creates all objects
From The Mahabharata, Santi Parva, Section CCXLIX
Vyasa said: The objects by which one is surrounded are created by the understanding. The Soul without being connected with them, stands aloof, presiding over them. It is the understanding that creates all objects The three primary qualities (Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas) are continually being transformed (for the production of objects). The Kshetrajna or Soul, endued with puissance, presides over them all, without, however, mingling with them.
[Note: Gunan in the first line means Vishayan, in the second line it means Sattwadin, Vikriyatah is vikram bhajamanan. How the understanding creates objects has been explained in previous sections.]
Two opinions
The objects, which the understanding creates, partake of its own nature. Indeed, as the spider creates threads (which partakes of its own material substance), the objects created by the understanding partake of the nature of the understanding. Some maintain that the qualities, when driven away by Yoga or knowledge, do not cease to exist. They say this because when once gone, the indications only of their return are not perceptible. (But that is no evidence of their actual destruction). Others say that when dispelled by knowledge, they are at once destroyed never to return.
[Note: Na nivartante is explained by the commentator as na ghatadivat nasyanti kintu rajjuragadiva badha eva, etc., and he concludes by saying that according to this theory niranvayanasa eva gunanam, or, in other words, that the Gunas (Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas) are not so destroyed by knowledge that they do not return.]
Reflecting upon these two opinions properly, one should strive one’s best according to the way one thinks proper. It is by this way that one should attain to eminence and take refuge in one’s own Soul alone.
[Note: According to the speaker then, there is not much practical difference between the two opinions here adverted to, and one’s course of conduct will not be much affected by either of the theories that one may, after reflection, adopt.]
The Soul is without beginning and without end. Comprehending his Soul properly man should move and act, without giving to wrath, without indulging in joy, and always free from envy. Cutting by this means the knot that is in one’s heart, the knot whose existence is due to the operation of the faculties of the understanding, which is hard (to open or cut), but which nevertheless is capable of being destroyed by knowledge, one should live happily, without giving way to grief (for anything that happens), and with one’s doubts dispelled. Know that they who mingle in the affairs of this world are as distressed in body and mind as persons ignorant of the art of swimming when they slip from the land and fall into a large and deep river. The man of learning, however, being conversant with the truth, is never distressed, for he feels like one walking over solid land. Indeed, he who apprehends his Soul to be such, viz., as presenting only the character of Chit (consciousness), which has knowledge alone for its indication, is never distressed. Indeed, a person, by thus comprehending the origin and end of all creatures, and by thus apprehending their inequalities or distinctions, succeeds in attaining to high felicity.
This knowledge is the possession of a Brahmana (Brahmin) in especial by virtue of his birth. Knowledge of the Soul, and felicity like that which has been adverted to, are each fully sufficient to lead to emancipation.
[Note: Janmasamartham is explained as certain to be acquired by virtue of birth or of the practice of the duties laid down for one’s own order. (The four orders are Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Sudra). Parayanam is moksha-prapakam.]
Indication of a person of knowledge
By acquiring such knowledge one really becomes learned. What else is the indication of a person of knowledge? Having acquired such knowledge, they that are wise among men regard themselves crowned with success and become emancipated. Those things that become sources of fear unto men destitute of knowledge do not become sources of fear unto those that are endued with knowledge. There is no end higher than the eternal end which is obtained by a person possessed of knowledge. One beholds with aversion all earthly objects of enjoyment which are, of course, fraught with faults of every kind. Another, beholding others betake themselves with pleasure to such objects, is filled with sorrow.
As regards this matter, however, they that are conversant with both objects, behold, viz., that which is fictitious and that which is not so, never indulge in sorrow and are truly happy.
[Note: lokam is explained as lokyate iti lokah, i.e., objects of enjoyment such as wife, etc., aturam, is afflicted with faults or defects. Ubhayam kritakritam is as the commentator explains, sokasokarupam or aropitam and anaropitam.]
That which a man does without expectation of fruits destroys his acts of a former life. The acts, however, of such a person both of this and his previous life cannot lead to Emancipation. On the other hand, such destruction of former acts of this life cannot lead to what is disagreeable (viz., hell), even if the man of wisdom engages in acts.

Foremost of all Duties
From The Mahabharata
Santi Parva, Section CCL
Translated by Sri Kisari Mohan Ganguli

Suka said: Let thy reverence tell me of that which is foremost of all duties, indeed, of that duty above which no higher one exists in this world.
Vyasa said: I shall now tell thee of duties having a very ancient origin and laid down by the Rishis, duties that are distinguished above all others. Listen to me with undivided attention. The senses that are maddening should carefully be restrained by the understanding like a sire restraining his own inexperienced children liable to fall into diverse evil habits. The withdrawal of the mind and the senses from all unworthy objects and their due concentration (upon worthy objects) is the highest penance. That is the foremost of all duties. Indeed, that is said to be the highest duty.
Directing by the aid of the understanding, the senses having the mind for their sixth, and without, indeed, thinking of worldly objects which have the virtue of inspiring innumerable kinds of thought, one should live contented with one’s own self. When the senses and the mind, withdrawn from the pastures among which they usually run loose, come back for residing in their proper abode, it is then that thou wilt behold in thy own self the Eternal and Supreme Soul.
[Note: Gocharaebhyah, literally, pastures, is used here to signify all external and internal objects upon which the senses and the mind are employed. Their proper home or abode is said to be Brahman.]
Those high-souled Brahmanas (Brahmins) that are possessed of wisdom succeed in beholding that Supreme and Universal Soul which is like unto a blazing fire in effulgence. As a large tree endued with numerous branches and possessed of many flowers and fruits does not know in which part it has flowers and in which it has fruits, after the same mannerthe Soul as modified by birth and other attributes, does
not know whence it has come and whither it is to go. There is, however, an inner Soul, which beholds (knows) everything.
[Note: The ‘inner Soul’ is, perhaps, the Soul or Chit as unmodified by birth and attributes.]

One sees the Soul oneself with the aid of the lighted lamp of knowledge. Beholding, therefore, thyself with thy own self,cease to regard thy body as thyself and attain thou to omniscience. Cleansed of all sins, like unto a snake that has cast off its slough, one attains to high intelligence here and becomes free from every anxiety and the obligation of acquiring a new body (in a subsequent birth). Its current spreading in diverse directions, frightful is this river of life bearing the world onward in its course. The five senses are its crocodiles. The mind and its purposes are the shores. Cupidity and stupefaction of judgment are the grass and straw that float on it, covering its bosom. Lust and wrath are the fierce reptiles that live in it. Truth forms the tirtha (place of pilgrimage) by its miry banks. Falsehood forms its surges, anger its mire. Taking its rise from the Unmanifest, rapid is its current and incapable of being crossed by persons of uncleansed souls. Do thou, with the aid of the understanding cross that river having desires for its alligators. The world and its concerns constitute the ocean towards which that river runs. Genus and species constitute its unfathomable depth that none can understand. One’s birth, O child, is the source from which that stream takes its rise. Speech constitutes its eddies. Difficult to cross, only men of learning and wisdom and understanding succeed in crossing it. Crossing it, thou wilt succeed in freeing thyself from every attachment, acquiring a tranquil heart, knowing the Soul, and becoming pure in every respect.
Relying them on a purged and elevated understanding, thou wilt succeed in becoming Brahman’s self. Having dissociated thyself from every worldly attachment, having acquired a purified Soul and transcending every kind of sin, look thou upon the world like a person looking from the mountain top upon creatures creeping below on the earth’s surface. Without giving way to wrath or joy, and without forming any cruel wish, thou wilt succeed in beholding the origin and the destruction of all created objects. They that are endued with wisdom regard such an act to be the foremost of all things. Indeed, this act of crossing the river of life is regarded by the foremost of righteous persons, by ascetics conversant with the truth, to be the highest of all acts that one can accomplish.
This knowledge of the all-pervading Soul is intended to be imparted to one’s son. It should be inculcated unto one that is of restrained senses, that is honest in behaviour, and that is docile or submissive. This knowledge of the Soul, of which I have just now spoken to thee, O child, and the evidence of whose truth is furnished by the Soul itself, is a mystery, indeed, the greatest of all mysteries, and the very highest knowledge that one can attain. Brahman has no sex, male, female or neuter. It is neither sorrow nor happiness. It has for its essence the past, the future and the present. Whatever one’s sex, male or female, the person that attains to the knowledge of Brahman has never to undergo rebirth. This duty (of Yoga) has been inculcated for attaining to exemption from rebirth.
[Note: Abhavapratipattyartham is explained by the commentator as ‘for the attainment of the unborn or the soul’.]
These words that I have used for answering
thy question lead to Emancipation
in the same way as the diverse other sages that have treated of this subject. I have expounded the topic to thee after the manner in which it should be expounded. Those opinions sometimes become productive of fruit and sometimes not. (The words, however, that I have used are of a different kind, for these are sure to lead to success).

[Note: the commentator explains the first line thus: Yatha sarvani matani tatha etani vachansi mw. He takes the words: Yatha tatha kathitani maya as implying that ‘I have treated of the topic Yathatathyena’.]
For this reason, O good child, a preceptor, when asked by a contented, meritorious, and self-restrained son or disciple, should, with a delighted heart, inculcate, according to their true import, these instructions that I have inculcated for the benefit of thee, my son!’

From the Mahabharata
Anusasana Parva, Section LVII
Translated by sri Kisari Mohan Ganguli

By making gifts one acquires all kinds of enjoyable articles. By making gifts one simply increases one’s wealth. By making gifts one acquires great fame in consequence of one’s high achievements.
 Those who make gifts obtain happiness
hereafter and much prosperity here.

Maheswara said(to Uma):
The householder should always make gifts according to the measure of his power. He should also perform sacrifices frequently after the same manner. Indeed, he who wishes to achieve his own good should always achieve meritorious acts. The householder should acquire wealth by righteous means. The wealth thus acquired should be carefully divided into three portions, keeping the requirements of righteousness in view. With one of those portions he should accomplish all acts of righteousness. With another he should seek to gratify his cravings for pleasure. The third portion he should lay out for increasing.

Alluring Adornment
From The Mahabharata
Vana Parva, Section XLVI
Translated by Sri Kisari Mohan Ganguli

Vaisampayana said: One day, knowing that Arjuna’s glances were cast upon Urvasi, Indra (the lord of heaven), calling Chitrasena to himself, addressed him in private saying, "O king of Gandharvas, I am pleased; go thou as my messenger to that foremost of Apsaras, Urvasi, and let her wait upon that tiger among men, Arjuna. Tell her, saying these words of mine, as through my instrumentality Arjuna has learnt all the weapons and other arts, worshipped by all, so should thou make him conversant with the art of acquitting one’s self in female company."

Thus addressed by Indra, the chief of the Gandharvas, in obedience to that command of Indra, soon went to Urvasi that foremost of Apsaras. And as he saw her, she recognised him and delighted him by the welcome she offered and the salutation she gave. And seated at ease he then smilingly addressed Urvasi, who also was seated at ease, saying, "Let it be known, O thou of fair hips, that I come hither despatched by the one sole lord of heaven (Indra) who asks of thee a favour. He who is known amongst gods and men for his many inborn virtues, for his grace, behaviour, beauty of person, vows and self-control, who is noted for prowess and respected by the virtuous, and ready witted; who is endued with genius and splendid energy, is of a forgiving temper and without malice of any kind; who has studied the four Vedas with their branches, and the Upanishads, and the Puranas also; viz., (that person is) Arjuna, who is known to thee, O Urvasi. Know thou that hero is to be made to taste the joys of heaven. Commanded by Indra, let him today obtain thy feet. Do this, O amiable one, for Arjuna is inclined to thee."

Thus addressed, Urvasi of faultless features assumed a smiling face, and receiving the words of the Gandharva with high respect, answered with a glad heart.

Urvasi said: Hearing of the virtues that should adorn men, as unfolded by thee, I would bestow my favours upon any one who happened to possess them. Why should I not then, choose, Arjuna for a lover? At the command of Indra, and for my friendship for thee, and moved also by the numerous virtues of Arjuna, I am already under the influence of the god of love. Go thou, therefore, to the place thou desirest. I shall gladly go to Arjuna.

Vaisampayana said: Having thus sent away the Gandharva successful in his mission, Urvasi of luminous smiles, moved by the desire of possessing Arjuna, took a bath. And having performed her ablutions, she decked herself in charming ornaments and splendid garlands of celestial odour. And inflamed by the god of love, and her heart pierced through and through by the shafts shot by Manmatha keeping in view the beauty of Arjuna, and her imagination wholly taken up by the thoughts of Arjuna, she mentally sported with him on a wide and excellent bed laid over with celestial sheets.

And when the twilight had deepened and the moon was up, that Apsara of high hips set out for the mansions of Arjuna. And in that mood and with her crisp, soft and long braids decked with bunches of flowers, she looked extremely beautiful. With her beauty and grace, and the charm of the motions of her eye-brows and of her soft accents, and her own moon like face, she seemed to tread, challenging the moon himself. And as she proceeded, her deep, finely tapering bosoms, decked with a chain of gold and adorned with celestial unguents and smeared with fragrant sandal paste, began to tremble. And in consequence of the weight of her bosoms, she was forced to slightly stoop forward at every step, bending her waist exceedingly beautiful with three folds.

And her loins of faultless shape, the elegant abode of the god of love, furnished with fair and high and round hips and wide at their lower part as a hill, and decked with chains of gold, and capable of shaking the saintship of anchorites, being decked with thin attire, appeared highly graceful. And her feet with fair suppressed ankles, and possessing flat soles and straight toes of the colour of burnished copper and dorsum high and curved like tortoise back and marked by the wearing of ornaments furnished with rows of little bells, looked exceedingly handsome.

And exhilarated with a little liquor which she had taken, and excited by desire, and moving in diverse attitudes and expressing a sensation of delight, she looked more handsome than usual. And though heaven abounded with many wonderful objects, yet when Urvasi proceeded in this manner, the Siddhas and Charanas and Gandharvas regarded her to be the handsomest object they had cast their eyes upon. And the upper half of her body clad in an attire of fine texture and cloudy hues, she looked resplendent like a digit of the moon in the firmament shrouded by fleecy clouds.

And endued with the speed of the winds or the mind, she of luminous smiles soon reached the mansion of Arjuna, the son of Pandu. And, Urvasi of beautiful eyes, having arrived at the gate of Arjuna’s abode sent word through the keeper in attendance. And on receiving permission, she soon entered that brilliant and charming palace. But, upon beholding her at night in his mansion, Arjuna, with a fear-stricken heart stepped up to receive her with respect and as soon as he saw her, the son of Pritha, from modesty, closed his eyes. And saluting her, he offered the Apsara such worship as is offered unto a superior. And Arjuna said, ‘O thou foremost of the Apsaras, I reverence thee by bending my head down. O lady, let me know thy commands. I wait upon thee as thy servant.’

Vaisampayana continued: Hearing these words of Arjuna, Urvasi became deprived of her senses. And she soon represented unto Arjuna all that had passed between her and the Gandharva, Chitrasena.

And Urvasi said: O best of men, I shall tell thee all that hath passed between me and Chitrasena, and why I have come hither. On account of thy coming here, O Arjuna, Mahendra had convened a large and charming assembly, in which celestial festivities were held. Unto that assembly came, O best of men, the Rudras and the Adityas and the Aswins and the Vasus. And there came also numbers of great Rishis and royal sages and Siddhas and Charanas and Yakshas and great Nagas. And, O thou of expansive eyes, the members of the assembly resplendent as fire or the sun or the moon, having taken their seats according to rank, honour and prowess, the Gandharvas began to strike the Vinas (stringed musical instrument like the Sitar) and sing charming songs of celestial melody.

And, O perpetuator of the Kuru race, the principal Apsaras also commenced to dance. Then, O son of Pritha, thou hadst looked on me only with a steady gaze. When that assembly of the celestials broke, commanded by thy father, the gods went away to their respective places. And the principal Apsaras also went away to their abodes, and others also, O slayer of foes, commanded by thy father and obtaining his leave. It was then that Chitrasena sent to me by Indra, and arriving at my abode, O thou of eyes like lotus leaves, he addressed me, saying, "O thou of the fairest complexion, I have been sent unto thee by the chief of the celestials. Do thou something that would be agreeable to Mahendra and myself and to thyself also. O thou of fair hips, seek thou to please Arjuna, who is brave in battle even like Indra himself, and who is always possessed of magnanimity." Even these, O son of Pritha, were his words. Thus, O sinless one, commanded by him and thy father also, I came to thee in order to wait upon thee, O slayer of foes. My heart hath been attracted by thy virtues, and am already under the influence of the god of love. And, O hero, even this is my wish, and I have cherished it for ever!

Vaisampayana continued: While in heaven, hearing her speak in this strain, Arjuna was overcome with bashfulness. And shutting his ears with his hands,

Arjuna said: O blessed lady, fie on my sense of hearing, when thou speakest thus to me. For, O thou of beautiful face, thou art certainly equal in my estimation unto the wife of a superior. Even as Kunti of high fortune or Sachi the queen of Indra, art thou to me, O auspicious one, of this there is no doubt! That I had gazed particularly at thee, O blessed one, is true. There was a reason for it. I shall truly tell it to thee, O thou of luminous smiles! In the assembly I gazed at thee with eyes expanded in delight, thinking, ‘Even this blooming lady is the mother of the Kaurava race.’ O blessed Apsara, it behoveth thee not to entertain other feelings towards me, for thou art superior to my superiors, being the parent of my race.

Hearing these words of Arjuna,

Urvasi answered: O son of the chief of the celestials, we Apsaras are free and unconfined in our choice. It behoveth thee not, therefore, to esteem me as thy superior. The sons and grandsons of Puru’s race, that have come hither in consequence of ascetic merit do all sport with us, without incurring any sin. Relent therefore, O hero, it behoveth thee not to send me away. I am burning with desire. I am devoted to thee. Accept me, O thou giver of proper respect.

Arjuna replied: O beautiful lady of features perfectly faultless, listen. I truly tell thee. Let the four directions and the transverse directions, let also the gods listen. O sinless one, as Kunti, or Madri, or Sachi, is to me, so art thou, the parent of my race, an object of reverence to me. Return, O thou of the fairest complexion. I bend my head unto thee, and prostrate myself at thy feet. Thou deservest my worship as my own mother; and it behoveth thee to protect me as a son.

Vaisampayana continued: Thus addressed by Arjuna, Urvasi was deprived of her senses by wrath. Trembling with rage, and contracting her brows,

Urvasi cursed Arjuna, saying: Since thou disregardest a woman come to thy mansion at the command of thy father and of her own motion- a woman besides, who is pierced by the shafts of Kama (Cupid or god of love), therefore, O Arjuna, thou shalt have to pass thy time among females unregarded, and as a dancer, and destitute of manhood and scorned as an eunuch.

Vaisampayana continued: Having cursed Arjuna thus, Urvasi’s lips still quivered in anger, herself breathing heavily all the while. And she soon returned to her own abode. And that slayer of foes, Arjuna also sought Chitrasena without loss of time. And having found him, he told him all that had passed between him and Urvasi in the night. And he told Chitrasena everything as it had happened, repeatedly referring to the curse pronounced upon him. And Chitrasena also told everything unto Sakra, who calling his son unto himself in private, and consoling him in sweet words, smilingly said: ‘O thou best of beings, thou hast now vanquished even Rishis by the patience and self-control. But, O giver of proper respect, the curse that Urvasi hath denounced on thee will be to thy benefit, O child, and stand thee in good stead. O sinless one, you will have on earth to pass the thirteenth year of your exile, unknown to all (remaining incognito).It is then that thou shalt suffer the curse of Urvasi. And having passed one year as a dancer without manhood, thou shalt regain thy power on the expiration of the term.

Thus addressed by Sakra, that slayer of hostile heroes, Arjuna, experienced great delight and ceased to think of the curse. And Arjuna, the son of Pandu, sported in regions of heaven with the Gandharva Chitrasena of great celebrity.

The desires of the man that listens to this history of the son of Pandu never run after lustful ends. The foremost of men, by listening to this account of the awfully pure conduct of Arjuna, the son of the lord of the celestials, become void of pride and arrogance and wrath and other faults, and ascending to heaven, sport there in bliss.

Om Tat Sat

(My humble salutations to  Brahmasri Sreeman K M Ganguly and Hinduism com  for the collection)


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