Markandeya Puranam

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ALARKA said: – “O reverend Sir, I wish to know, in sooth, of the conduct of the Yogin as well as of the ways of Brahman following which he does not meet with deterioration”. (1)

Dattatreya said: – “Honour and dishonour are the instruments of success and anxiety to mankind. When they bear opposite meanings they bring on the accomplished state to the Yogin. (2) Honour and dishonour are spoken of as poison and ambrosia; of them dishonour is ambrosia and honour is the deadly venom. (3) He should not place his footsteps without carefully examining, the ground, should not drink water that is not cleansed by cloth, should not speak a word that is not purified by truth, and should not engage in a thought that is not purified by intellect. (4) For accomplishing this object a Yogin should not resort to hospitality, the performance of Sraddhas, sacrifices, festivities and singing parties in honour of deities and great men. (5) When the house of a house-holder is freed of smoke and fire and after all of them have taken their meals the Yogin should go out for alms – and this not thrice a day and nor even daily. (6) Without desecrating the ways of the good the Yogins should so act that they may be dishonoured and discomfited by men. (7) He should beg alms of the householders and priests -of these the first is spoken of as the best. (8) A Yogin should always go to the householders who are modest, reverential, self-controlled, well-read in the Vedas and high-souled, (9) and who again belong to the higher order, are not touched by any sin and are not fallen. To beg alms from persons of inferior orders is considered as the most contemptible life. (10) Yavagu, Takra, milk, Yavaka, fruits, roots, Priyangu, Karna, Pipyaka and Sakhis are the foods. (11) These are the pure foods for the Yogins and lead to the accomplishment of their objects. These should be procured by alms and they should live on them with great concentration of mind and devotion. (12) Before taking his meals he should observe silence and restrain his self and then saying Pranaya1 (he should sip water) – this has been laid down as the first oblation. (13) Then saying Apanaya, Samanaya, Udanaya and Vyanaya he should offer the second, third, fourth and fifth oblations. (14) Then separating (his body) by Pranayama (suppression of vital breaths) he should eat according to his desire; then again sipping water he should touch his heart. (15) Absence of the desire of stealing, life

of unlimited reach of the organs, as touching the moon with the tip of the finger; that of irresistible will (as, sinking into earth as easily as into water); that perfect dominion over the inner organs of the body; and that of mastery over all beings, animate and inanimate. These strange effects, attributed to Yoga practices, are the secret of the power which this doctrine has at all times exercised over the Hindu mind. 1 These are the five vital breaths, namely Prana, Apana, Samana, Udana and Vyana.

M.N.Dutt – 77 – Markandeya Puranam

of celibacy, renunciation, absence of covetousness and harmlessness are the five observances of a mendicant. (16) Absence of anger, to minister to the preceptor, purity, the restriction of diet and the daily study of the Vedas – these have been spoken of as the five regulations (to be observed by) them. (17) He should seek to acquire that knowledge which is the essence of all and the instrument of the accomplishment of all objects – the variety of knowledge (however) impedes Yoga. (18) One who thirsts after knowledge thinking this should be known! this should be known! does not attain to knowledge even within a thousand Kalpas1. (19) Being disassociated, conquering anger, restricting diet and restraining senses and forming the gateway by intellect one should engage his mind in Dhyana or contemplation. (20) Resorting to mountain caves, forests or lonely places, a Yogin, intent on practising Yoga, should always engage in contemplation. (21) He who has been able to control the three Dandas or staff namely words, actions and mind, is called Tridandi and is a great Yogin. (22) O king, who is liked and who again is disliked by him who considers this universe, existent and non-existent, at one with Gunas and divorced from them, and identical with himself? (23) He, whose intellect has been purified, who considers a brick bat and gold in the same light, who, concentrating himself in all elements, sees only the eternal and undecaying Brahman, the stay of all, as existing, is never born again. (24) The Vedas and all the sacrificial rites are superior to all other things – above it is the recitation (of Mantras) and above is the road of knowledge and above it is Dhyana or contemplation which is freed from association and attachment. By this one can attain to the eternal Brahman. (25) By being self controlled, intent upon meditating upon Brahman, assiduous, pure, whole-mindedly devoted and of restrained senses, one, who acquires this Yoga, attains to the union of the soul with the Supreme Soul and then to liberation proceeding therefrom. (26)