Markandeya Puranam

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Jara said: – Then having saluted the high-souled Brahmana Dattatreya, bending low with humility, he said these words in reply. (1) ”For my seeing correctly, O Brahman, I see that I have no pain. Those who do not see (things) correctly, are always immersed in an ocean of grief. (2) To whatever object the mind of a person is attached, it extracts sorrow therefrom and gives it to its owner. (3) The measure of sorrow that is felt when a domesticated cock is eaten up by a cat, differs from what is felt at the cat eating up a sparrow or a mouse, because neither is cherished attachment for. (4) I am neither miserable nor happy, for I am above Prakriti. The material, which is subjugated by matter, is subject to pleasure or pain2.” (5)

Dattatreya said: – O foremost of men, it is even what has been described by you. The consciousness of self is the root of pain, and the absence of it, brings about its cessation. (6) From the instant of my questioning, you have acquired such an excellent understanding, that by it the consciousness of self will be dissipated like cotten fibres. (7) The mighty tree of ignorance is in the heart; it has originated from the root of ego; it has the consciousness of self for its trunk, the house and land for its branches, children, wife etc. for its twigs; wealth and corn are its large leaves; it does not grow up soon; virtue and sin are its flowers;

1 The three pains according to the Sankhya philosophy are: 1. Adhyatmika i.e., those proceeding from mind and body. 2. Adhidaivika – supernatural. 3. Adhibhoutika – proceeding from accident etc. 2 Prakriti, according to the Sankhya system of philosophy, is the material nature. Purusha is the soul. Sankhya system completely disavows the creation by volition. It is by the union of Praktiti (nature) with Purusha (soul) that creation is made. The material or Sthula-Sarira (body), which is composed of five elements, is subject to pleasure or pain.

happiness and misery are the great fruits; the relations formed out of ignorance, are the water that nourishes it; it is surrounded by a number of bees in the shape of desire for actions, and it stands in the way of liberation. (8-10) How can they attain to emancipation, who, exhausted with walking in the road of the world and subjected to happiness begotten by ignorance, seek the shade of this tree? (11) Those only, who can cut off this tree of self-consciousness with the axe of knowledge whetted well on the stone of the company of the good, can go by this road. (12) Reaching the forest of Brahman, cool, freed from dust and thorns, the wise, divorced from feelings, attain to the most excellent liberation. (13) None of us, O king, either yourself or myself, is identical with elements and senses and is gross; nor any one of us is composed of Tanmatras1 or Manas2. (14) None amongst us, O emperor, do I see identical with Pradhana3; the soul4 transcends the body whereas all other objects, the combination of elements, are composed of Gunas5 (essential ingredients).” (15)

Alarka said: – By your favour, O reverend Sir, I have attained to this most excellent knowledge which creates the notion of distinction between self consciousness and the principle of greatness. (17) But my mind being drawn to the objects of sense I am unable to attain to a state of equipoise. Nor can I make out how shall I liberate myself from the fetters of nature. (18) Tell me, O Brahman, how shall I not be subject to re-birth; how shall I be free from Gunas and how shall I be united with the eternal.6 (19) Tell me, O Brahman, O you of great wisdom, this Yoga. I beg you with humility. Association with the good is always beneficial to mankind. (20)