The Mahabharata Home
"Bhrigu said, 'Truth is Brahma; Truth is Penance; it is Truth that creates all creatures. It is by Truth that the whole universe is upheld; and it is with the aid of Truth that one goes to heaven. Untruth is only another form of Darkness. It is Darkness that leads downwards. Those who are afflicted by Darkness and covered by it fail to behold the lighted regions of heaven. It has been said that Heaven is Light and that Hell is Darkness. The creatures that dwell in the universe may obtain both heaven and hell. In this world also, truth and untruth lead to opposite courses of conduct and opposite indications, such as Righteousness and Unrighteousness, light and darkness, pleasure and pain. Amongst these, that which is Truth is Righteousness; that which is Righteousness is Light; and that which is Light is Happiness. Similarly, that which is Untruth is Unrighteousness; that which is Unrighteousness is Darkness; and that which is Darkness is Sorrow or Misery. In this respect it is said that they that are possessed of wisdom, beholding that the world of lire is overwhelmed with sorrow, both bodily and mental, and with happiness that is sure to end in misery, never suffer themselves to be stupefied. He that is Wise will strive to rescue himself from sorrow. The happiness of living
creatures is unstable both here and hereafter. 1 The happiness of creatures that are overwhelmed by Darkness disappears like the splendour of the Moon when afflicted by Rahu. 2 Happiness is said to be of two kinds, viz., bodily and mental. Both in this and the other world, the visible and the invisible fruits (of action) are specified (in the Vedas) for the sake of happiness. 3 There is nothing more important than happiness and among the fruits or consequences of the triple aggregate. Happiness is desirable. It is an attribute of the Soul. Both Virtue and Profit are sought for its sake. Virtue is its root. This, indeed, is its origin. All acts have for their end the attainment of happiness.'
"Bharadwaja said, 'You have said that happiness is the highest object, I do not comprehend this. This attribute of the soul that (you say) is so desirable is not sought by the Rishis who are regarded to be engaged in something promising a higher reward. It is heard that the Creator of the three worlds, viz., the puissant Brahman, lives alone, observant of the vow of Brahmacharya. He never devotes himself to the happiness obtainable from the gratification of desire. Also, the divine Master of the universe, the lord of Uma, reduced Kama (the deity of desire) to extinction. For this reason, we say that happiness is not acceptable to high-souled people. Nor does it appear to be a high attribute of the Soul. I cannot put faith in what thy divine self has said, viz., that there is nothing higher than happiness. That there are two kinds of consequences in respect of our acts, viz., the springing of happiness from good acts and of sorrow from sinful, acts, is only a saying that is current in the world.'
"Bhrigu said, 'On this it is said as follows: from Untruth springs Darkness. They that are overwhelmed by Darkness pursue only Unrighteousness and not Righteousness, being overmastered by wrath, covetousness, malice, falsehood, and similar evils. They never obtain happiness either here or hereafter, On the other hand, they are afflicted by various kinds of disease and pain and trouble. They are also tortured by Death, imprisonment, and diverse other griefs of that kind, and by the sorrows, attending on hunger and thirst and toil. They are also pained by the numerous bodily griefs that arise from rain and wind and burning heat and exceeding cold. They are also overwhelmed by numerous mental griefs caused by loss of wealth and separation from friends, as also by griefs caused by decrepitude and death. They that are not touched by these diverse kinds of physical and mental afflictions, know what happiness is. These evils are never found in heaven. There delicious breezes blow. In heaven there is also perpetual fragrance. In heaven there is no hunger, no thirst, no decrepitude, no sin. In this world there is both happiness and misery. In hell there is only misery. Therefore,
happiness is the highest object of acquisition. The Earth is the progenitrix of all creatures. Females partake of her nature. The male animal is like Prajapati himself. The vital seed, it should be known, is the creative energy. In this way did Brahman ordain in days of old that the creation should go on. Each, affected by his own acts, obtains happiness or misery.'" 1
36:1 The felicity that is obtained in heaven is not everlasting, being limited in point of duration by the degree or measure of merit that is achieved here.
36:2 The Pauranic theory of both the solar and the lunar eclipse is that the Sun and the Moon are sought to be devoured by the Daitya, Rahu.
36:3 The sense seems to be that Vedas declare those fruits in order that men may strive for them when they lead to happiness.
37:1 Nearly the whole of this section is prose.
Next: Section CXCI