The Mahabharata Home
"Vasudeva said, "There are two kinds of ailments, physical and mental. They are produced by the mutual action of the body and mind on each other, and they never arise without the interaction of the two. The ailment that is produced in the body, is called the physical ailment, and that which has its seat in the mind, is known as the mental ailment. The cold, the warm (phlegm and bile) as well as the windy humours, O king, are the essential transformations generated in the physical body, and when these humours are evenly distributed, and are present in due proportions, they are said to be symptomatic of good health. The warm humour is acted upon (allayed) by the cold, and the cold by the warm. And Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas are the attributes of the soul, and it is said by the learned that their presence in due proportions indicates health (of the mind). But if any of the three preponderates, some remedy is enjoined (to restore the equilibrium). Happiness is overcome by sorrow, and sorrow by pleasure. Some people while afflicted by sorrow, desire to recall (past) happiness, while others, while in the enjoyment of happiness, desire to recall past sorrow. But thou, O son of Kunti, dost neither desire to recall thy sorrows nor thy happiness; what else dost thou desire to recall barring this delusion of sorrow? Or, perchance, O son, of Pritha, it is thy innate nature, by which thou art at present overpowered. Thou dost not desire to recall to thy mind the painful sight of Krishna standing in the hall of assembly with only one piece of cloth to cover her body, and while she was in her menses and in the presence of all the Pandavas. And it is not meet that thou shouldst brood over thy departure from the city, and thy exile with the hide of the antelope for thy robe, and thy wanderings in the great forest, nor shouldst thou recall to thy mind the affliction from Jatasura, the fight with Chitrasena, and thy troubles from the Saindhavas. Nor it is proper, O son of Pritha, and conqueror of thy foes, that thou shouldst recall the incident of Kichaka's kicking Draupadi, during the period of thy exile passed in absolute concealment, nor the incidents of the fight which took place between thyself and Drona and Bhishma. The time has now arrived, when thou must fight the battle which each must fight single-handed with his mind. Therefore, O chief of Bharata's race, thou must now prepare to carry the struggle against thy mind, and by dint of abstraction and the merit of thine own Karma,
thou must reach the other side of (overcome) the mysterious and unintelligible (mind). In this war there will be no need for any missiles, nor for friends, nor attendants. The battle which is to be fought alone and single-handed has now arrived for thee. And if vanquished in this struggle, thou shalt find thyself in the most wretched plight, and O son of Kunti, knowing this, and acting accordingly, shalt thou attain success. And knowing this wisdom and the destiny of all creatures, and following the conduct of thy ancestors, do thou duly administer thy kingdom."
Next: Section XIII