Dialogues of Krishna and Arjuna
The Eighteen Lectures
TRANSLATED FROM THE ORIGINAL
IN THE ANCIENT LANGUAGE OF THE BRAHMAN
By CHARLES WILKINS 1785
L E C T U R E. 08.
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what is that Brahman? What is Adhyātmam?, What is Karma?, O first of men ? What also is Adhibhūtam called? What is Adhidaivam? How is Adhiyajñam, and who is here in this body? How art thou to be known in the hour of departure by men of subdued minds?
Brahman is that which is supreme and without corruption ; Adhyātmam is Svabhāva or particular constitution, disposition, quality, or nature; Karma is that emanation from which proceedeth the generation of natural beings; Adhibhūtam is the destroying nature; Adhidaivam is Puruṣa; and Adhiyajñam, or superintendent of worship, is myself in this body. At the end of time, he, who having abandoned his mortal frame, departeth thinking only of me, without doubt goeth unto me; or else, whatever other nature he shall call upon, at
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the end of life, when he shall quit his mortal shape, he shall ever go unto it. Wherefore at all times think of me alone and fight. Let thy mind and understanding be placed in me alone, and thou shalt, without doubt, go unto me. The man who longeth after the Divine and Supreme Being, with his mind intent upon the practice of devotion, goeth unto him. The man who shall the last hour call up the ancient Prophet, the prime director, the most minute atom, the preserver of all things, whose countenance is like the sun, and who is distinct from darkness, with a steady mind attached to his service, with the force of devotion, and his whole soul fixed between his brows, goeth unto that divine Supreme Being, who is called Paramaṁ Puruṣaṁ.
I will now summarily make thee acquainted with that path which the doctors of the Vēdās call never-failing; which the men of subdued minds and conquered passions enter; and which, desirous of knowing, they live the lives of Brahmacharyas or godly pilgrims. He who, having closed up all the doors of his faculties, locked up his mind in his own breast, and fixed his spirit in his head, standing firm in the exercise of devotion, repeating in silence Om the mystic sign of Brahman, thence called "Ekākṣar" shall, on his quitting this mortal >
Note: The life of a Brāhmaṇa (These are four:ब्रह्मचर्य the life of a student; गार्हस्थ्य the life of a house-holder; वानप्रस्थ the life of an anchorite or hermit, and न्यास the life of a Bhikṣu or beggar. Kṣatriyas (and Vśiyas also) can enter, upon the first three Āśramas. Krishnaraj notes.) एकाक्षरं Ekākṣar = Monosyllable. Sanskrit Dictionary.
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>frame calling upon me, without doubt go the journey of supreme happiness. He who thinketh constantly of me, his mind undiverted by another object, I will at all times be easily found by that constant adherent to devotion ; and those elevated souls, who have thus attained supreme perfection, come unto me, and are no more born in the finite mansion of pain and sorrow. Know, O Arjuna, that all the regions between this and the abode of Brahman afford but a transient residence ; but he who findeth me, returneth not again to mortal birth.
They who are acquainted with day and night, know that the day of Brahman is as a thousand revolutions of the Yugās , and that his night extendeth for a thousand more. On the coming of that day, all things proceed from invisibility to visibility; so, on the approach of night, they are all dissolved away in that which is called invisible. The universe, even, having existed, is again dissolved; and now again, on the approach of day, by divine necessity, it is reproduced. That which, upon the dissolution of all things else, is not destroyed, is superior and of another nature from that visibility: it is invisible and eternal. He who is thus called invisible and incorruptible, is even he who is called the Supreme Abode; which men having once obtained, they never more return to earth: that is my mansion. That Supreme Being is to be obtained by him who worshippeth no other Gods. In him is included all nature; by him all things are spread abroad.
I will now speak to thee of that time in which should a devout man die, he will never return; and of that time, in which dying, he shall return again upon the earth. Those holy men who are acquainted with Brahman, departing this life in the fiery light of day, in the bright season of the moon, within the six months of the sun's northern course, go unto him ; but those who depart in the gloomy night of the moon's dark season, and whilst the sun is yet within the southern path of his journey, ascend for a while into the regions of the moon, and again return to mortal birth. These two, light and darkness, are esteemed the world's eternal ways: he who walketh in the former path returneth not ; whilst he who walketh in the latter cometh back again upon the earth. A Yogi, who is acquainted with these two paths of action, will never be perplexed; wherefore, O Arjuna, be thou at all times employed in devotion. The fruit of this surpasseth
all the rewards of virtue pointed out in the Vedas, in worshipping, in mortifications, and even in the gifts of charity. The devout Yogi, who knoweth all this, shall obtain a supreme and prior place.