Sacred Texts  Hinduism  Mahabharata  Index  Previous  Next 

p. 144


"Duryodhana said, 'The son of Pritha are all as other men, and are, in fact, of earthly birth as other men. Why then dost thou think that they are sure to win victory? Both ourselves and they are equal in energy, in prowess, in age, in intelligence, in knowledge of the scriptures, in weapons, in the art of war, in lightness of hand, and in skill. All of us are of the of same species, all being men by birth. How then, O grandsire, dost thou know that victory will be theirs? I do not seek the accomplishment of my aims by relying upon thee, or Drona, or Kripa or Valhika, or upon the other kings. Myself, and Karna, the son of Vikartana, and my brother Dussasana, will slay in battle the five sons of Pandu by sharpened arrows. Then shall we, O king, gratify Brahmanas by performing great sacrifices of diverse kinds, with abundant Dakshinas, and by gifts of kine and horses and wealth. When my troops will drag by the aid of their mighty arms the Pandavas in battle, like hunters dragging a herd of deer by a net, or whirlpools drawing a crewless boat, then the sons of Pandu, beholding us their foe, supported by crowds and cars and elephants, will give up their pride, and not they alone but Kesava also.' Hearing this, Vidura said, 'Venerable persons of infallible knowledge say that in this world self-restraint is highly beneficial. In the case of Brahmana especially, it is his duty. He whose self-restraint followeth charity, asceticism, knowledge, and study of the Vedas, always winneth success, forgiveness, and the fruit of his gifts. Self-restraint enhanceth energy, and is an excellent and holy attribute. Freed from sin and his energy increased by Self-restraint, one acquireth even Brahma through it. People are always afraid of those that are without self-restraint, as if the latter were very Rakshasas. And it is for keeping these under check that the self-Existent created the Kshatriyas. It hath been said that Self-restraint is an excellent vow for all the four modes of life. I regard those attributes as its indications which woe their origin to self-restraint, Those indications are forgiveness, firmness of mind, abstention from injury, an equal regard for all things, truthfulness of speech, simplicity, control over the senses, patience, gentleness of speech, modesty, steadiness, liberality, mildness, contentment, and faith, he that hath self-restraint casteth off Just, avarice, pride, wrath, sleep, boastfulness, self-esteem, malice, and sorrow. Purity and absence of crookedness and fraud, are the distinctive marks of a man of self-restraint. He that is not covetous, that is satisfied with a little, that regardeth not objects provoking lust, and that is as grave as the ocean, is known as a man of self-restraint. He that is well-behaved, of good disposition and contented soul, that knoweth his own self is possessed of wisdom, winneth great regard here and attaineth to a blissful state hereafter. Possessed of mature wisdom, he that hath no fear of other creatures and whom other creatures fear not, is said to be the foremost of men. Seeking the good of all, he is a universal friend,

p. 145

and no one is made unhappy by him. Endued with gravity, like that of the ocean and enjoying contentment in consequence of his wisdom, such a man is always calm and cheerful. Regulating their conduct according to the acts practised by the righteous olden times and before their eyes, they that are self-restrained, being devoted to peace, rejoice in this world. Or, abandoning Action, because contented in consequence of Knowledge, such a person, with his senses under control moveth quickly in this world, waiting for the inevitable hour and absorption into Brahma. And as the track of feathery creatures in the sky is incapable of being perceived, so the path of the sage enjoying contentment in consequence of Knowledge is not visible. Abandoning, the world he that betaketh himself, in pursuit of emancipation, to the Sannyasa mode of life, hath bright and eternal regions assigned to him in heaven.'"

Next: Section LXIV