Mahabharata Anusasana Parva - Translation by KM Ganguly

Mahabharata Adiparva

Section XVI

"Upamanyu said, 'There was in the Krita age, O sire, a Rishi celebrated under the name of Tandi. With great devotion of heart he adored, with the aid of Yoga-meditation, the great God for ten thousand years. Listen to me as I tell thee fruit or reward he reaped of such extraordinary devotion. He succeeded in beholding Mahadeva and praised him by uttering some hymns. Thinking, with the aid of his penances, of Him who is the supreme Soul and who is immutable and undeteriorating, Tandi became filled with wonder, and said these words,--I seek the protection of Him whom the Sankhyas describe and the Yogins think of as the Supreme, the Foremost, the Purusha, the pervader of all things, and the Master of all existent objects, of him who, the learned say, is the cause of both the creation and the destruction of the universe; of him who is superior to all the celestials, the Asuras, and the Munis, of him who has nothing higher, who is unborn, who is the Lord of all things, who has neither beginning nor end, and who is endued with supreme puissance, who is possessed of the highest felicity, and who is effulgent and sinless.--After he had said these words, Tandi beheld before him that ocean of penances, that great Deity who is immutable and undeteriorating, who is without compare, who is inconceivable, who is eternal, and who is without any change, who is indivisible, who is whole, who is Brahma, who transcends all attributes, and who is endued with attributes, who is the highest delight of Yogins, who is without deterioration, who is called Emancipation, who is the refuge of the Mind, of Indra, of Agni, of the god of wind, of the entire universe, and of the Grandsire Brahma; who is incapable of being conceived by the Mind, who is without mutation of any kind, who is pure, who is capable of being apprehended by understanding only and who is immaterial as the Mind; who is difficult of comprehension, who is incapable of being measured, who is difficult of being attained by persons of uncleansed souls, who is the origin of the universe, and who transcends both the universe and the attribute of darkness; who is ancient, who is Purusha, who is possessed of effulgence, and who is higher than the highest. The Rishi Tandin, desirous of beholding Him who making himself endued with life-breaths, resides in what results from it viz., Jiva, in the form of that effulgence which is called the Mind, passed many years in the practice of the severest austerities, and having succeeded in beholding Him as the reward of those penances, he praised the great God in the following terms.'

"Tandi said, 'Thou art the holiest of holies  and the refuge of all, O foremost of all beings endued with intelligence. Thou art the fiercest energy of all kinds of energy. Thou art the austerest penance of all penances. Thou, O puissant one, art the liberal giver of blessings. Thou art the supreme Truth. Salutations to thee, O thou of a thousand rays, and, O refuge of all felicity. Thou art the giver of that Nirvana which, O puissant one, Yatis, standing in fear of birth and death, strive for so hard. The Grandsire Brahma, he of a hundred sacrifices, (viz., Indra) Vishnu, the Viswadevas, the great Rishis, are incapable of comprehending thee and thy real nature. How then can persons like ourselves hope to comprehend thee? From thee flows everything. Upon thee rests everything. Thou art called Kala, thou art called Purusha, thou art called Brahma. Celestial Rishis conversant with the Puranas, say that thou hast three bodies viz., those pertaining to Kalas, those pertaining to Purusha and those pertaining to Brahma or the three forms namely Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra. Thou art Adhi-Purusha, (occupying the physical flame from head to foot) thou art Adhyatma, thou art Adhibhuta, and Adhi-Daivata, thou art Adhi-loka, Adhi-Vijnanam and Adhi-Yajna.  Men of wisdom, when they succeed in knowing thee that residest in themselves and that art incapable of being known by the very gods, become freed from all bonds and pass into a state of existence that transcends all sorrow.  They that do not wish to know thee, O thou of great puissance, have to undergo innumerable births and deaths. Thou art the door of heaven and of Emancipation. Thou art he that projectest all beings into existence and withdrawest them again into thyself. Thou art the great giver. Thou art heaven, thou art Emancipation, thou art desire (the seed of action). Thou art wrath that inspires creatures. Thou art Sattwa, thou art Rajas, thou art Tamas, thou art the nether regions, and thou art the upper regions. Thou art the Grandsire Brahma, thou art Bhava, thou art Vishnu, thou art Skanda, thou art Indra, thou art Savitri, thou art Yama, thou art Varuna, Soma, thou art Dhatri, thou art Manu, thou art Vidhatri and thou art Kuvera, the Lord of treasures. Thou art Earth, thou art Wind, thou art Water, thou art Agni, thou art Space, thou art Speech, thou art the Understanding, thou art Steadiness, thou art Intelligence, thou art the acts that creatures do, thou art Truth, thou art Falsehood, thou art existent and thou art non-existent. Thou art the senses, thou art that

which transcends Prakriti, thou art immutable. Thou art superior to the universe of existent objects, thou art superior to the universe of non-existent objects, thou art capable of being conceived, thou art incapable of being conceived. That which is supreme Brahman, that which is the highest entity, that which is the end of both the Sankhyas and the Yogins, is, without doubt, identical with thee. Verily, rewarded have I been today by thee in consequence of thy granting me a sight of thy form. I have attained the end which the righteous alone attain to. I have been rewarded with that end which is solicited by persons whose understandings have been cleansed by Knowledge. Alas, so long I was steeped in Ignorance; for this long period I was a senseless fool, since I had no knowledge of thee that art the Supreme Deity, thee that art the only eternal Entity as can be only known by all persons endued with wisdom. In course of innumerable lives have I at last succeeded in acquiring that Devotion towards thee in consequence of which thou hast shown thyself to me. O thou that art ever inclined to extend thy grace to those that are devoted to thee. He that succeeds in knowing thee is enable to enjoy immortality. Thou art that which is ever a mystery with the gods, the Asuras, and the ascetics. Brahman is concealed in the cave of the heart. The very ascetics are unable to behold or know Him.  Thou art that puissant deity who is the doer of everything and whose face is turned towards every direction. Thou art the Soul of all things, thou seest all things, thou pervadest all things, and thou knowest all things. Thou makest a body for thyself, and bearest that body. Thou art an embodied Being. Thou enjoyest a body, and thou art the refuge of all embodied creatures. Thou art the creator of the life-breaths, thou possessest the life-breaths, thou art one that is endued with life-breaths, thou art the giver of the life-breaths, and thou art the refuge of all beings endued with life-breaths. Thou art that Adhyatma which is the refuge of all righteous persons that are devoted to Yoga-meditation and conversant with the Soul and that are solicitous of avoiding rebirth. Verily, thou art that Supreme Lord who is identical with that refuge. Thou art the giver unto all creatures of whatever ends become theirs, fraught with happiness or misery. Thou art he that ordains all created beings to birth and death. Thou art the puissant Lord who grants success to Rishis crowned with success in respect of the fruition of their wishes. Having created all the worlds beginning with Bhu, together with all the denizens of heaven, that upholdest and cherishest them all, distributing thyself into thy well-known forms numbering Eight.  From thee flows everything. Upon

thee rests all things. All things, again, disappear in thee. Thou art the sole object that is Eternal. Thou art that region of Truth which is sought by the righteous and regarded by them as the highest. Thou art that cessation of individual existence which Yogins seek. Thou art that Oneness which is sought by persons conversant with the soul. Brahma and the Siddhas expounding the mantras have concealed thee in a cave for preventing the deities and Asuras and human beings from beholding thee.  Although thou residest in the heart, yet thou are concealed. Hence, stupefied by thee, deities and Asuras and human beings are all unable to understand thee, O Bhava, truly and in all thy details. Unto those persons that succeed in attaining to thee after having cleansed themselves by devotion, thou showest thyself of thy own accord, O thou that residest in all hearts.  By knowing thee one can avoid both death and rebirth. Thou art the highest object of knowledge. By knowing thee no higher object remains for one to know. Thou art the greatest object of acquisition. The person that is truly wise, by acquiring thee, thinks that there is no higher object to acquire. By attaining to thee that art exceedingly subtile and that art the highest object of acquisition, the man of wisdom becomes immortal and immutable. The followers of the Sankhya system, well conversant with their own philosophy and possessing a knowledge of the attributes (of Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas) and of those called the topics of enquiry,--those learned men who transcend the destructible by attaining to a knowledge of the subtile or indestructible--succeed, by knowing thee, in freeing themselves from all bonds. Persons conversant with the Vedas regard thee as the one object of knowledge, which has been expounded in the Vedantas. These men, devoted to the regulation of the breaths, always meditate on thee and at last enter into thee as their highest end. Riding on the car made of Om, those men enter into Maheswara. Of that which is called the Devayana (the path of the deities) thou art the door called Aditya. Thou art again, the door, called Chandramas, of that which is called the Pitriyana (the path of the Pitris).  Thou art Kashtha, thou art the points of the horizon, thou art the year, and thou art the Yugas. Thine is the sovereignty of the heavens, thine is the sovereignty of the Earth, thou art the Northern and the Southern declensions. The Grandsire Brahma in days of yore uttered thy praises, O thou that art called Nilarohita (blue and red), by reciting diverse hymns and urged thee to create living creatures. Brahmanas conversant with Richs praise thee by uttering Richs, regarding thee as unattached to all things and as divested of all forms. Adhyaryus, in sacrifices, pour libations, uttering Yajushes the while, in

honour of thee that art the sole object of knowledge, according to the three well-known ways.  Persons of cleansed understandings, that are conversant with Samans, sing thee with the aid of Samans. Those regenerate persons, again, that are conversant with the Atharvans, hymn thee as Rita, as Truth, as the Highest, and as Brahma. Thou art the highest cause, whence Sacrifice has flowed. Thou art the Lord, and thou art Supreme. The night and day are thy sense of hearing and sense of sight. The fortnights and months are thy head and arms. The seasons are thy energy, penances are thy patience, and the year is thy anus, thighs and feet. Thou art Mrityu. thou art Yama, thou art Hutasana, thou art Kala, thou art endued with speed in respect of destruction, thou art the original cause of Time, and thou art eternal Time. Thou art Chandramas and Aditya. with all the stars and planets and the atmosphere that fills space. Thou art the pole-star, thou art constellation called the seven Rishis, thou art the seven regions beginning with Bhu. Thou art Pradhana and Mahat, thou art Unmanifest, and thou art this world. Thou art the universe beginning with Brahman and ending with the lowest forms of vegetation. Thou art the beginning or original cause of all creatures. Thou art the eight Prakritis.  Thou art, again, above the eight Prakritis. Everything that exists, represents a portion of thy divine Self. Thou art that supreme Felicity which is also Eternal. Thou art the end which is attained to by all things. Thou art that highest existence which is sought for by the Righteous. Thou art that state which is freed from every anxiety. Thou art eternal Brahman! Thou art that highest state which constitutes the meditation of persons learned in the scriptures and the Vedangas. Thou art the highest Kashtha, thou art the highest Kala. Thou art the highest Success, and thou art the highest Refuge. Thou art the highest Tranquillity. Thou art the highest cessation of Existence. By attaining to thee, Yogins think that they attain to the highest success that is open to them. Thou art Contentment, thou art Success, thou art the Sruti, and thou art the Smriti. Thou art that Refuge of the Soul after which Yogins strive, and thou art that indestructible Prapti which men of Knowledge pursue. Thou art, without doubt, that End which those persons have in view that are habituated to sacrifices and that pour sacrificial libations, impelled by specific desires, and that make large presents on such occasions. Thou art that high End which is sought for by persons that waste and scorch their bodies with severe penances with ceaseless recitations, with those rigid vows and fasts that appertain to their tranquil lives, and with other means of self-affliction. O Eternal one, thou art that End which is theirs that are unattached to all things and that have relinquished all acts. Thou, O Eternal one, art that End which is theirs that are desirous of achieving

Emancipation from rebirth, that live in dissociation from all enjoyments, and that desire the annihilation of the Prakriti elements. Thou art that high End, O illustrious one, which is indescribable, which is stainless, which is the immutable one, and which is theirs that are devoted to knowledge and science. These are the live Ends that have been declared in the Vedas and the Scriptures and the Puranas. It is through thy grace that persons attain to those Ends, or, if they fail to attain to them, it is through thy grace being denied to them.--It was thus Tandi, who was a vast heap of penances, praised Isana. And he sang also that high Brahman which in ancient days was sung by the Creator himself (in honour of Mahadeva).

"Upamanyu continued, 'Thus praised by that utterer of Brahma, Viz., Tandi, Mahadeva that illustrious and puissant Deity, who was accompanied by his spouse lima, said these words. Tandi had further said,--Neither Brahma, nor Indra nor Vishnu, nor the Viswedevas, nor the great Rishis, know thee. Gratified at this, Siva said the following words.'

"The holy one said, 'Thou shalt be indestructible and eternal. Thou shalt be freed from all sorrow. Great fame shall be thine. Thou shalt be endued with energy. Spiritual knowledge shall be thine. All the Rishis shall seek thee, and thy son, through my grace, shall become the author of Sutras, O foremost of regenerate persons. What wishes of thine shall I grant today? Tell me, O son, what those objects are which thou desirest.--At this, Tandi joined his hands and said--O Lord, let my devotion to thee be steady.'

"Upamanyu continued, 'Having given unto Tandi these boons and having received the adorations of both the deities and the Rishis, the great Deity disappeared there and then. When the illustrious deity, O lord of the Yadavas, thus, disappeared with all his followers, the Rishi came to my asylum and said unto me all that had happened to him. Do thou hear, O foremost of men, all those celebrated names (of Mahadeva) that Tandi said unto me for thy spiritual success. The Grandsire had at one time recited ten thousand names that apply to Mahadeva. In the scriptures, a thousand names occur of that illustrious deity. These names are not known to all. O thou that transcendest destruction, in days of yore, the Grandsire Brahma uttered these names for adoring the high-souled Deity. Having acquired them through the grace of the Grandsire, Tandi communicated them to me!'"