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p. 287



1. The laying of the formerly-described sacrificial fires 1 is indeed the sacrifice of Brahman. Therefore let the sacrificer, after he has laid those fires, meditate on the Self. Thus only does the sacrificer become complete and faultless.

But who is to be meditated on? He who is called Prâna (breath). Of him there is this story:

2. A King, named Brihadratha, having established his son in his sovereignty 2, went into the forest, because he considered this body as transient, and had obtained freedom from all desires. Having performed the highest penance, he stands there, with uplifted arms, looking up to the sun. At the end of a thousand (days) 3, the Saint Sâkâyanya 4, who knew the Self, came near 5, burning with splendour,

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like a fire without smoke. He said to the King: 'Rise, rise! Choose a boon!'

The King, bowing before him, said: 'O Saint, I know not the Self, thou knowest the essence (of the Self). We have heard so. Teach it us.'

Sâkâyanya replied: 'This was achieved of yore; but what thou askest is difficult to obtain 1. O Aikshvâka, choose other pleasures.'

The King, touching the Saint's feet with his head, recited this Gâthâ:

3. 'O Saint, What is the use of the enjoyment of pleasures in this offensive, pithless body--a mere mass of bones, skin, sinews, marrow 2, flesh, seed, blood, mucus, tears, phlegm, ordure, water 3, bile, and slime! What is the use of the enjoyment of pleasures in this body which is assailed by lust, hatred, greed, delusion, fear, anguish, jealousy, separation from what is loved, union with what is not loved 4, hunger, thirst, old age, death, illness, grief, and other evils!

4. And we see that all this is perishable, as these flies, gnats, and other insects, as herbs and trees 5,

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growing and decaying. And what of these? There are other great ones, mighty wielders of bows, rulers of empires, Sudyumna, Bhûridyumna, Indradyumna, Kuvalayâsva, Yauvanâsva, Vadhryasva, Asvapati 1, Sasabindu, Hariskandra, Ambarîsha 2, Nahusha, Anânata, Saryâti, Yayâti, Anaranya 3, Ukshasena 4, &c., and kings such as Marutta, Bharata (Daushyanti), and others, who before the eyes of their whole family surrendered the greatest happiness, and passed on from this world to that. And what of these? There are other great ones. We see the destruction 5 of Gandharvas, Asuras 6, Yakshas, Râkshasas, Bhûtas, Ganas, Pisâkas, snakes, and vampires. And what of these? There is the drying up of other great oceans, the falling of mountains, the moving of the pole-star, the cutting of the wind-ropes (that hold the stars), the submergence of the earth, and the departure of the gods (suras) from their place. In such a world as this, what is the use of the enjoyment of pleasures, if he who has fed 7 on them is seen 8 to return (to this world) again

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and again! Deign therefore to take me out! In this world I am like a frog in a dry well. O Saint, thou art my way, thou art my way.'


287:1 The performance of all the sacrifices, described in the Maitrâyana-brâhmana, is to lead up in the end to a knowledge of Brahman, by rendering a man fit for receiving the highest knowledge. See Manu VI, 82: 'All that has been declared (above) depends on meditation; for he who is not proficient in the knowledge of the Self reaps not the full reward of the performance of rites.'

287:2 Instead of virâgye, a doubtful word, and occurring nowhere else, m. reads vairâgye.

287:3 Or years, if we read sahasrasya instead of sahasrâhasya.

287:4 The descendant of Sâkâyana. Saint is perhaps too strong; it means a holy, venerable man, and is frequently applied to a Buddha.

287:5 Both M. and m. add muneh before antikam, whereas the commentary has râah.

288:1 Though the commentator must have read etad vrittam purastâd duhsakyam etat praam, yet praam as a neuter is very strange. M. reads etad vrittam purastât, dussakama prikkha praam; m. reads etad vratam purastâd asakyam mâ prikha prasñam aikshvâka, &c. This suggests the reading, etad vrittam purastâd duhsakam mi prikkha praam, i.e. this was settled formerly, do not ask a difficult or an impossible question.

288:2 Read maggâ.

288:3 M. adds vâta before pitta; not m.

288:4 An expression that often occurs in Buddhist literature. See also Manu VI, 62: 'On their separation from those whom they love, and their union with those whom they hate; on their strength overpowered by old age, and their bodies racked with disease.'

288:5 The Sandhi vanaspatayodbhûta for vanaspataya udbhûta is anomalous. M. reads vanaspatayo bhûtapradhvamsinah.

289:1 M. carries on asvapatisasabinduhariskandrâmbarîsha.

289:2 After Ambarîsha, M. reads Nabhushânanutusayyâtiyayâtyanaranyâkshasenâdayo. Nahusha (Naghusha?) is the father of Saryâti; Nâbhâga, the father of Ambarîsha. These names are so carelessly written that even the commentator says that the text is either khândasa or prâmâdika. Anânata is a mere conjecture. It occurs as the name of a Rishi in Rig-veda IX, 111.

289:3 Anaranya, mentioned in the Mahâbhârata, I, 230.

289:4 M. reads anaranyâkshasena.

289:5 M. and m. read nirodhanam.

289:6 M. adds Apsarasas.

289:7 AL and m. read âsritasya, but the commentator explains asitasya.

289:8 Here we have the Maitrâyana Sandhi, drisyatâ iti, instead of drisyata iti; see von Schroeder, Maitrâyanî Samhitâ, p. xxviii. M. and m. read drisyata.

Next: Second Prapâthaka