The Mahabharata Home
"Brahmana said. 'The ancients who were utterers of certain truth, say that Renunciation is penance. Brahmanas, dwelling in that which has Brahman for its origin, understand Knowledge to be high Brahman. 2 Brahman is very far off, and its attainments depends upon a knowledge of the Vedas. It is free from all pairs of opposites, it is divested of all qualities; it is eternal; it is endued with unthinkable qualities: it is supreme. It is by knowledge and penance that those endued with wisdom behold that which is the highest. Verily, they that are of untainted minds, that are cleansed of every sin, and that have transcended all passion and darkness (succeed in beholding it). They who are always devoted to renunciation, and who are conversant with the Vedas, succeed in attaining to the supreme Lord who is identical with the path of happiness and peace, by the aid of penance. Penance, it has been said, is light. Conduct leads to piety. Knowledge is said to be the highest. Renunciation is the best penance. He who understands self through accurate determination of all
topics, which is unperturbed, which is identical with Knowledge, and which resides in all entities, succeeds in going everywhere. The learned man who beholds association, and dissociation, and unity in diversity, is released from misery. He who never desires for anything, who despises nothing, becomes eligible, even when dwelling in this world, for assimilation with Brahman. He who is conversant with the truths about qualities of Pradhana, and understands the Pradhana as existing in all entities who is free from mineness and egoism, without doubt becomes emancipated. He who is freed from all pairs of opposites, who does not bend his head to any body, who has transcended the rites of Swadha, succeeds by the aid of tranquillity alone in attaining to that which is free from pairs of opposites, which is eternal, and which is divested of qualities. Abandoning all action, good or bad, developed from qualities, and casting off both truth and falsehood, a creature, without doubt, becomes emancipated. Having the unmanifest for the seed of its origin, with the understanding for its trunk, with the great principle of egoism for its assemblage of boughs, with the senses for the cavities of its little sprouts, with the (five) great elements for its large branches, the objects of the senses for its smaller branches, with leaves that are ever present, with flowers that always adorn it and with fruits both agreeable and disagreeable always produced, is the eternal tree of Brahman which forms the support of all creatures. Cutting and piercing that tree with knowledge of truth as the sword, the man of wisdom, abandoning the bonds which are made of attachment and which cause birth, decrepitude and death, and freeing himself from mineness and egoism, without doubt, becomes emancipated. These are the two birds, which are immutable, which are friends, and which should be known as unintelligent. That other who is different from these two is called the Intelligent. When the inner self, which is destitute of knowledge of nature, which is (as it were) unintelligent, becomes conversant with that which is above nature, then, understanding the Kshetra, and endued with an intelligence that transcends all qualities and apprehends everything, one becomes released from all sins.'"
81:1 The sense seems to be this; the self or soul is without qualities. He who knows the self, or rather he who pursues the self with the desire of knowing it, should practise the truths of Piety laid down above. They constitute the path that leads to the self.
81:2 'That which has Brahman for its origin' implies the Vedas.
Next: Section XLVIII