Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana Book 5 Chapter 11:1-11

Book 5: Chapter 11

Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 5: Chapter 11: Verses 1-11
Bharata's teaching to king Rahugana

The Brahmana (Bharata) replied : Though ignorant, you make speeches like the rejoinders of learned men. Hence you are in no way the best among those who are exceptionally wise. For the knowers of truth never discuss these mundane relations (e. g., that of master and servant) along with an enquiry into the (absolute) Reality. (That is to say, they never recognize them as an absolute truth.) Even so, O king, in the Vedic texts glorifying heavenly enjoyments and the means of attaining them--extensively figuring in the branch of knowledge (known by the name of Kalpa and) elaborating the numerous rituals connected with household life-an exposition of truth containing no suggestion in favour of injury to life and free from partiality and prejudice does not, as a matter of fact, generally appear. Even the utterances (of the Upanisads) which are (held to be) the most sacred (representing as they do the very crown of the Vedas) have not proved adequate to reveal the truth directly to him by whom the (heavenly) bliss resulting from sacrificial acts pertaining to household life is not spontaneously concluded to be worth throwing away on the analogy of a dream. So long as the mind of a man is dominated by Sattva, Rajas or Tamas, it continues unchecked to yield him (a crop of) virtue or sin through his senses of perception and organs of action. This mind (which is a conditioning vesture of the soul and therefore stands identified with it) is a storehouse of impressions (of virtuous and sinful actions), is attached to the pleasures of sense, tossed about by the three Gunas (modes of Prakrti) and hence liable to disturbances in the form of lust, anger and so on. It is the foremost among the sixteen constituents of the subtle body and, (successively) clothing itself with diverse forms under different names, makes for a higher or lower form of life. Embracing (enveloping) the embodied soul connected with it, the mind-which is an adjunct of the soul, brought forth by Maya (the deluding potency of the Lord), and which inveigles the soul into the whirlpool of birth and death yields at the proper time pleasure and pain and the other inevitable fruit different from both (viz., insensateness). It is only till then (so long as the mind exists) that these phenomena of the waking and dream states ever shine forth and continue to be perceived by the knowing subject. It is therefore that the knowers of truth declare the mind to be the cause of the degraded state of mundane life (the state of being identified with the three Gunas or modes of Prakrti) as well as of the highest state of liberation (which lies beyond the realm of the three Gunas). A mind attached to the pleasures of sense (which are modifications of the three Gunas) leads to misery (in the shape of birth and death); while that which is free from their influence makes for final beatitude. Even as a light so long as it consumes a wick soaked in clarified butter emits a flame crowned with soot, while at other times (when the butter has been consumed) it returns to its original (unmanifest) state, so does a mind attached to the objects of sense as well as to actions flows in various (impure) currents, whereas it returns to its (pure)essence (the quality of Sattva) when it is no longer attached to them.

The five organs of action, the five senses of perception and the ego-sense-these are the eleven currents through which the mind-substance flows. And the wise declare the five forms of organic activity, the five subtle elements and the body as the eleven receptacles into which these currents flow, O valiant king ! Smell, colour, touch, taste and sound are the objects of the (five) senses of perception; defecation, coition, locomotion, speech and grasping or releasing an object--these are the (five) functions of the organs of action; and acknowledging the body as 'mine'--which is the eleventh-is the function of the ego-sense. Others declare awareness of the body as one's own self ( 'I' ) as the twelfth current of the mind (their contention being that it is the sensible alone who acknowledge the body as 'mine' , i.e., something other than their self, the ignorant regarding it as their very self). And they speak of the body (the object of the aforesaid awareness) as the twelfth object (of the activities of the mind). Due to the endless variety of objects, as well as to the very nature of things (which are ever in a state of flux), and to the diversity of predispositions and Karmas (past actions) and the action of time (which disturbs everything), these eleven modifications (currents) of the mind are multiplied (first) into hundreds, (then into) thousands and (eventually into) tens of millions. They (all, however,) proceed from God and have no existence of their own nor do they owe their existence to one another.



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