The Mahabharata Home
"The Brahmana said, 'There is one Ruler. There is no second beside him. He that is Ruler resides in the heart. I shall speak now of him. Impelled by Him, I move as directed, like water along an inclined plane. There is one Preceptor. There is no second beside him. He resides in the heart, and of him I shall now speak. Be instructed by that preceptor; they who are always endued with feelings of animosity are like snakes. There is one kinsman. There is no second beside him. He resides in the heart of him I shall now speak. Instructed by him, kinsmen become possessed of kinsmen, and the seven Rishis, O son of Pritha, shine in the firmament. There is one dispeller. There is no second beside him. He resides in the heart. Of him I shall now speak. Having lived with that instructor under the proper mode of living, Sakra attained to the sovereignty of all the worlds. 4 There is one enemy. There is no second beside him. He resides in the heart. Of him I shall now speak. Instructed by that preceptor all snakes in the world are always endued
with feelings of animosity. In this connection is cited the ancient story of the instruction of the snakes, the deities, and the Rishis by the Lord of all creatures. The deities and the Rishis, the snakes, and the Asuras, seated around the Lord of all creatures, asked him, saying,--Let that which is highly beneficial for us be declared. Unto them that enquired about what is highly beneficial, the holy one uttered only the word Om, which is Brahman in one syllable. Hearing this, they ran away in various directions. Amongst them that thus ran in all directions from desire of self-instruction, the disposition first arose in snakes of biting. Of the Asuras, the disposition, born of their nature for ostentations, pride arose. The deities betook themselves to gifts, and the great Rishis to self-restraint. Having repaired to one teacher, and having been instructed (refined) by one word, the snakes, the deities, the Rishis, and the Danavas, all betook themselves to diverse different dispositions. It is that one who hears himself when speaking, and apprehends it duly. Once, again, is that heard from him when he speaks. There is no second preceptor. 1 It is in obedience to his counsels that action afterwards flows. The instructor, the apprehender, the hearer, and the enemy, are pleased within the heart. By acting sinfully in the world it is he that becomes a person of sinful deeds. By acting auspiciously in the world, it is he who becomes a person of auspicious deeds. It is he who becomes a person of unrestrained conduct by becoming addicted to the pleasures of sense, impelled by desire. It is he who becomes a Brahmacharin by always devoting himself to the subjugation of his senses. It is he, again, that casts off vows and actions and takes refuge on Brahman alone. By moving in the world, identifying himself the while with Brahman, he becomes a Brahmacharin. Brahman. is his fuel; Brahman is his fire; Brahman is his origin; Brahman is his water; Brahman is his preceptor: he is rapt in Brahman. Brahmacharyya is even so subtle, as understood by the wise. Having understood it, they betook themselves to it, instructed by the Kshetrajna!'" 2
46:4 Srota here means preceptor or dispeller of doubts. Amaratwam is the status of the immortal head of all.
47:1 I think Telang is not correct in his rendering of this verse. What is stated here is plain, viz., that it is He who is the preceptor and the disciple. Ayam srinoti,--'prochyamanam grihnati,--'tat prichcchatah ato bhuyas anye srinanti is the grammar of the construction. The conclusion then comes--'gururanyo na vidyate'.
47:2 One who understands the truth.
Next: Section XXVII