Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lecture (Chapter) 18: Of Forsaking the Fruits of Action for Obtaining Eternal Salvation.


I wish much to comprehend the principle of Sănnyās, and also of Tyāg, each separately.


The bards conceive (114) that the word Sănnyās implieth the forsaking of all actions which are desirable; and they call Tyāg, the forsaking of the fruits of every action.

(114 The Bards conceive, etc.— [Due to its length this note is presented at the end. —gdw])

Certain philosophers have declared that works are as much to be avoided as crimes; whilst others say that deeds of worship, mortifications, and charity should not be forsaken. Hear what is my decree upon the term Tyāg.

Tyāg, or forsaking, is pronounced to be of three natures. But deeds of worship, mortification, and charity are not to be forsaken: they are proper to be performed. Sacrifices, charity, and mortifications are purifiers of the philosopher. It is my ultimate opinion and decree, that such works are absolutely to be performed, with a forsaking of their consequences and the prospect of their fruits. The retirement from works, which are appointed to be performed, is improper.

The forsaking of them through folly and distraction of mind, ariseth from the influence of the Tămă-Gŏŏn.

The forsaking of a work because it is painful, and from the dread of bodily affliction, ariseth from the Răjă-Gŏŏn; and he who thus leaveth undone what he ought to do, shall not obtain the fruit of forsaking.

The work which is performed because it is appointed and esteemed necessary to be done, and with a forsaking of the consequences and the hope of a reward, is, with such a forsaking, declared to be of the Sătwă-Gŏŏn.

The man who is possessed of the Sătwă-Gŏŏn is thus a Tyāgēē, or one who forsaketh the fruit of action. He is of a sound judgment, and exempt from all doubt; he complaineth not in adversity, nor exulteth in the success of his undertakings.

No corporeal being is able totally to refrain from works. He is properly denominated a Tyāgēē who is a forsaker of the fruit of action.

The fruit of action is threefold: that which is coveted, that which is not coveted, and that which is neither one nor the other. Those who do not abandon works obtain a final release; not those who withdraw from action, and are denominated Sănnyāsēēs.

Learn, O Ărjŏŏn, that for the accomplishment of every work five agents (115) are necessary, as is further declared in the Sānkhyă and Vēdānt-Sāstrăs:—attention and supervision, the actor, the implements of various sorts, distinct and manifold contrivances, and lastly the favor of Providence.

(115 Five agents, etc.—The five agents here implied, are probably the soul, as supervisor; the mind, as actor or director; the organs, as implements, etc.)

The work which a man undertaketh, either with his body, his speech, or his mind, whether it be lawful or unlawful, hath these five agents engaged in the performance. He then who after this, because of the imperfection of his judgment, beholdeth no other agent than himself, is an evil-thinker and seeth not at all. He who hath no pride in his disposition, and whose judgment is not affected, although he should destroy a whole world, neither killeth, nor is he bound thereby (116).

(116 Nor is he bound thereby.—He is not confined to mortal birth.)

In the direction of a work are three things: Gnān, Gnēyă, and Părĕĕgnātā (117).

(117 Gnān, Gnēyă, and Părĕĕgnātā.—Wisdom, the object of wisdom, and the superintending spirit.)

The accomplishment of a work is also threefold: the implement, the action, and the agent. The Gnān, the action, and the agent are each distinguished by the influence of the three Gŏŏn. Hear in what manner they are declared to be after the order of the three Gŏŏn.

That Gnān, or wisdom, by which one principle alone is seen prevalent in all nature, incorruptible and infinite in all things finite; is of the Sătwă-Gŏŏn.

That Gnān, or wisdom, is of the Răjă-Gŏŏn, by which a man believeth that there are various and manifold principles prevailing in the natural world of created beings.

That Gnān, or wisdom, which is mean, interested in one single object alone as if it were the whole, without any just motive or design, and without principle or profit, is pronounced to be of the Tămă-Gŏŏn.

The action which is appointed by divine precept, is performed free from the thought of its consequences and without passion or despite, by one who hath no regard for the fruit thereof, is of the Sătwă-Gŏŏn.

The action which is performed by one who is fond of the gratification of his lusts, or by the proud and selfish, and is attended with unremitted pains, is of the Răjă-Gŏŏn.

The action which is undertaken through ignorance and folly, and without any foresight of its fatal and injurious consequences, is pronounced to be of the Tămă-Gŏŏn.

The agent who is regardless of the consequences, is free from pride and arrogance, is endued with fortitude and resolution, and is unaffected whether his work succeed or not, is said to be of the Sătwă-Gŏŏn.

That agent is pronounced to be of the Răjă-Gŏŏn who is a slave to his passions, who longeth for the fruit of action, who is avaricious, of a cruel disposition, of impure principles, and a slave to joy and grief.

The agent who is unattentive, indiscreet, stubborn, dissembling, mischievous, indolent, melancholy, and dilatory, is of the Tămă-Gŏŏn.

Hear also what are the threefold divisions of understanding and firmness, according to the influence of the three Gŏŏn, which are about to be explained to thee distinctly and without reserve.

The understanding which can determine what it is to proceed in a business, and what it is to recede; what is necessary and what is unnecessary; what is fear and what is not; what is liberty and what is confinement, is of the Sătwă-Gŏŏn.

The understanding which doth not conceive justice and injustice; what is proper and what is improper; as they truly are, is of the Răjă-Gŏŏn.

The understanding which, being overwhelmed in darkness, mistaketh injustice for justice, and all things contrary to their true intent and meaning, is of the Tămă-Gŏŏn.

That steady firmness, with which a man, by devotion, restraineth every action of the mind and organs, is of the Sătwă-Gŏŏn.

That interested firmness by which a man, from views of profit, persisteth in the duties of his calling, in the gratification of his lusts, and the acquisition of wealth, is declared to be of the Răjă-Gŏŏn.

That stubborn firmness, by which a man of low capacity departeth not from sloth, fear, grief, melancholy, and intoxication, is of the Tămă-Gŏŏn.

Now hear what is the threefold division of pleasure.

That pleasure which a man enjoyeth from his labour, and wherein he findeth the end of his pains; and that which, in the beginning, is as poison, and in the end as the water of life, is declared to be of the Sătwă-Gŏŏn, and to arise from the consent of the understanding.

That pleasure which ariseth from the conjunction of the organs with their objects, which in the beginning is as sweet as the water of life, and in the end as a poison, is of the Răjă-Gŏŏn.

That pleasure which in the beginning and the end tendeth to stupify the soul, and ariseth from drowsiness, idleness, and intoxication, is pronounced to be of the Tămă-Gŏŏn.

There is not any thing either in heaven or earth, or amongst the hosts of heaven, which is free from the influence of these three Gŏŏn or qualities, which arise from the first principles of nature.

The respective duties of the four tribes of Brāhmăn (118), Kshētrĕĕ (119), Vīsyă, and Sōōdră (120), are also determined by the qualities which are in their constitutions.

(118 Brāhmăn —is a derivative from the word Brăhm, the Deity, and signifies a Theologist or Divine.)

(119 Kshētrĕĕ —is derived from the word Kshētră, land.)

(120 Vīsyă and Sōōdră —are of doubtful origin.)

The natural duty of the Brāhmăn is peace, self-restraint, zeal, purity, patience, rectitude, wisdom, learning, and theology.

The natural duties of the Kshētrĕĕ are bravery, glory, fortitude, rectitude, not to flee from the field, generosity, and princely conduct.

The natural duty of the Vīsyă is to cultivate the land, tend the cattle, and buy and sell.

The natural duty of a Sōōdră is servitude.

A man being contented with his own particular lot and duty obtaineth perfection. Hear how that perfection is to be accomplished.

The man who maketh an offering of his own works to that being from whom the principles of all beings proceed, and by whom the whole universe was spread forth, by that means obtaineth perfection.

The duties of a man’s own particular calling, although not free from faults, is far preferable to the duty of another, let it be ever so well pursued. A man by following the duties which are appointed by his birth, doeth no wrong. A man’s own calling, with all its faults, ought not to be forsaken. Every undertaking is involved in its faults, as the fire in its smoke. A disinterested mind and conquered spirit, who, in all things, is free from inordinate desires, obtaineth a perfection unconnected with works, by that resignation and retirement which is called Sănnyās; and having attained that perfection, learn from me, in brief, in what manner he obtaineth Brăhm, and what is the foundation of wisdom.

A man being endued with a purified understanding, having humbled his spirit by resolution, and abandoned the objects of the organs; who hath freed himself from passion and dislike; who worshippeth with discrimination, eateth with moderation, and is humble of speech, of body, and of mind; who preferreth the devotion of meditation, and who constantly placeth his confidence in dispassion; who is freed from ostentation, tyrannic strength, vain-glory, lust, anger, and avarice; and who is exempt from selfishness, and in all things temperate, is formed for being Brăhm. And thus being as Brăhm, his mind is at ease, and he neither longeth nor lamenteth. He is the same in all things, and obtaineth my supreme assistance; and by my divine aid he knoweth, fundamentally, who I am, and what is the extent of my existence; and having thus discovered who I am, he at length is absorbed in my nature.

A man also being engaged in every work, if he put his trust in me alone, shall, by my divine pleasure, obtain the eternal and incorruptible mansions of my abode.

With thy heart place all thy works on me; prefer me to all things else; depend upon the use of thy understanding, and think constantly of me; for by doing so thou shalt, by my divine favor, surmount every difficulty which surroundeth thee. But if, through pride, thou wilt not listen unto my words, thou shalt undoubtedly be lost. From a confidence in thy own self-sufficiency thou mayst think that thou wilt not fight. Such is a fallacious determination, for the principles of thy nature will impel thee. Being confined to action by the duties of thy natural calling, thou wilt involuntarily do that from necessity, which thou wantest, through ignorance, to avoid.

Eĕswăr resideth in the breast of every mortal being, revolving with his supernatural power all things which are mounted upon the universal wheel of time. Take sanctuary then, upon all occasions, with him alone, O offspring of Bhărăt; for by his divine pleasure thou shalt obtain supreme happiness and an eternal abode.

Thus have I made known unto thee a knowledge which is a superior mystery. Ponder it well in thy mind, and then act as it seemeth best unto thee.

Attend now to these my supreme and most mysterious words, which I will now for thy good reveal unto thee, because thou art dearly beloved of me. Be of my mind, be my servant, offer unto me alone and bow down humbly before me, and thou shalt verily come unto me; for I approve thee, and thou art dear unto me. Forsake every other religion, and fly to me alone. Grieve not then, for I will deliver thee from all thy transgressions.

This is never to be revealed by thee to any one who hath not subjected his body by devotion, who is not my servant, who is not anxious to learn; nor unto him who despiseth me.

He who shall teach this supreme mystery unto my servant, directing his service unto me, shall undoubtedly go unto me; and there shall not be one amongst mankind who doeth me a greater kindness; nor shall there be in all the earth one more dear unto me.

He also who shall read these our religious dialogues, by him I may be sought with the devotion of wisdom. This is my resolve.

The man too who may only hear it without doubt, and with due faith, may also be saved, and obtain the regions of happiness provided for those whose deeds are virtuous.

Hath what I have been speaking, O Ărjŏŏn, been heard with thy mind fixed to one point? Is the distraction of thought, which arose from thy ignorance, removed?


By thy divine favor, my confusion of mind is lost, and I have found understanding. I am now fixed in my principle, and am freed from all doubt; and I will henceforth act according to thy words.


In this manner have I been an ear-witness of the astonishing and miraculous conversation that hath passed between the son of Văsŏŏdēv, and the magnanimous son of Pāndŏŏ; and I was enabled to hear this supreme and miraculous doctrine, even as revealed from the mouth of Krĕĕshnă himself, who is the God of religion, by the favor of Vyās (121).

(121 By the favor of Vyās—who had endued Sănjăy with an omniscient and prophetic spirit, by which he might be enabled to recount all the circumstances of the war to the blind Dhrĕĕtărāshtră.)

As, O mighty Prince! I recollect again and again this holy and wonderful dialogue of Krĕĕshnă and Ărjŏŏn, I continue more and more to rejoice; and as I recall to my memory the more than miraculous form of Hărĕĕ (122), my astonishment is great, and I marvel and rejoice again and again!

(122 Hărĕĕ.—One of the names of the Deity.)

Wherever Krĕĕshnă the God of devotion may be, wherever Ărjŏŏn the mighty bowman may be, there too, without doubt, are fortune, riches, victory, and good conduct. This is my firm belief.

The End of the Gēētā.

Continuation of Note 78

An Episode From the Măhābhārăt,

Book I. Chap. 15.

[follows Note 78 in original text - gdw]

“There is a fair and stately mountain, and its name is Mērŏŏ, a most exalted mass of glory, reflecting the sunny rays from the splendid surface of its gilded horns. It is cloathed in gold, and is the respected haunt of Dēws and Găndhărvs. It is inconceivable, and not to be encompassed by sinful man; and it is guarded by dreadful serpents. Many celestial medicinal plants adorn its sides, and it stands, piercing the heavens with its aspiring summit, a mighty hill inaccessible even by the human mind! It is adorned with trees and pleasant streams, and resoundeth with the delightful songs of various birds.

The Sŏŏrs, and all the glorious hosts of heaven, having ascended to the summit of this lofty mountain, sparkling with precious gems, and for eternal ages raised, were sitting, in solemn synod, meditating the discovery of the Ămrĕĕtă, or water of immortality. The Dēw Nārāyăn being also there, spoke unto Brăhmā, whilst the Sŏŏrs were thus consulting together, and said, “Let the ocean, as a pot of milk, be churned by the united labour of the Sŏŏrs and Ăsŏŏrs; and when the mighty waters have been stirred up, the Ămrĕĕtă shall be found. Let them collect together every medicinal herb, and every precious thing, and let them stir the ocean, and they shall discover the Ămrĕĕtă.”

There is also another mighty mountain whose name is Măndăr, and its rocky summits are like towering clouds. It is cloathed in a net of the entangled tendrils of the twining creeper, and resoundeth with the harmony of various birds. Innumerable savage beasts infest its borders, and it is the respected haunt of Kĕĕnnărs, Dēws, and Ăpsărs. It standeth eleven thousand Yōjăn above the earth, and eleven thousand more below its surface.

As the united bands of Dēws were unable to remove this mountain, they went before Vĕĕshnŏŏ, who was sitting with Brăhmā, and addressed them in these words: “Exert, O masters, your most superior wisdom to remove the mountain Măndăr, and employ your utmost power for our good.”

Vĕĕshnŏŏ and Brăhmā having said, “It shall be according to your wish,” he with the lotus eye directed the King of Serpents to appear; and Anăntă arose, and was instructed in that work by Brăhmā, and commanded by Nārāyăn to perform it. Then Anăntă, by his power, took up that king of mountains, together with all its forests and every inhabitant thereof; and the Sŏŏrs accompanied him into the presence of the Ocean, whom they addressed, saying, “We will stir up thy waters to obtain the Ămrĕĕtă.” And the Lord of the waters replied—“Let me also have a share, seeing I am to bear the violent agitations that will be caused by the whirling of the mountain.” Then the Sŏŏrs and the Ăsŏŏrs spoke unto Kōōrmă-rāj, the King of the Tortoises, upon the strand of the ocean, and said—“My Lord is able to be the supporter of this mountain.” The Tortoise replied, “Be it so:” and it was placed upon his back.

So the mountain being set upon the back of the Tortoise, Eĕndră began to whirl it about as it were a machine. The mountain Măndăr served as a churn, and the serpent Vāsŏŏkĕĕ for the rope; and thus in former days did the Dēws, the Ăsŏŏrs, and the Dānŏŏs, begin to stir up the waters of the ocean for the discovery of the Ămrĕĕtă.

The mighty Ăsŏŏrs were employed on the side of the serpent’s head, whilst all the Sŏŏrs assembled about his tail. Ănăntă, that sovereign Dēw, stood near Nārāyăn.

They now pull forth the serpent’s head repeatedly, and as often let it go; whilst there issued from his mouth, thus violently drawing to and fro by the Sŏŏrs and Ăsŏŏrs, a continual stream of fire, and smoke, and wind; which ascending in thick clouds replete with lightning, it began to rain down upon the heavenly bands, who were already fatigued with their labour; whilst a shower of flowers was shaken from the top of the mountain, covering the heads of all, both Sŏŏrs and Ăsŏŏrs. In the mean time the roaring of the ocean, whilst violently agitated with the whirling of the mountain Măndăr by the Sŏŏrs and Ăsŏŏrs, was like the bellowing of a mighty cloud.—Thousands of the various productions of the waters were torn to pieces by the mountain, and confounded with the briny flood; and every specific being of the deep, and all the inhabitants of the great abyss which is below the earth, were annihilated; whilst, from the violent agitation of the mountain, the forest trees were dashed against each other, and precipitated from its utmost height, with all the birds thereon; from whose violent confrication a raging fire was produced, involving the whole mountain with smoke and flame, as with a dark blue cloud, and the lightning’s vivid flash. The lion and the retreating elephant are overtaken by the devouring flames, and every vital being, and every specific thing, are consumed in the general conflagration.

The raging flames, thus spreading destruction on all sides, were at length quenched by a shower of cloud-borne water poured down by the immortal Ĕĕndră. And now a heterogeneous stream of the concocted juices of various trees and plants ran down into the briny flood.

It was from this milk-like stream of juices produced from those trees and plants, and a mixture of melted gold, that the Sŏŏrs obtained their immortality.

The waters of the ocean now being assimilated with those juices, were converted into milk, and from that milk a kind of butter was presently produced; when the heavenly bands went again into the presence of Brăhmā, the granter of boons, and addressed him, saying—“Except Nārāyăn, every other Sŏŏr and Ăsŏŏr is fatigued with his labour, and still the Ămrĕĕtă doth not appear; wherefore the churning of the ocean is at a stand.” Then Brăhmā said unto Nārāyăn—“Endue them with recruited strength, for thou art their support.” And Nārāyăn answered and said—“I will give fresh vigour to such as co-operate in the work. Let Măndăr be whirled about, and the bed of the ocean be kept steady.”

When they heard the words of Nārāyăn, they all returned again to the work, and began to stir about with great force that butter of the ocean; when there presently arose from out the troubled deep—first the moon, with a pleasing countenance, shining with ten thousand beams of gentle light; next followed Srēē, the Goddess of fortune, whose seat is the white lily of the waters; then Sŏŏrā-Dēvēē, the Goddess of wine, and the white horse called Oochīsrăvă. And after these there was produced, from the unctuous mass, the jewel Kowstŏŏbh, that glorious sparkling gem worn by Nārāyăn on his breast; so Pārĕĕjāt, the tree of plenty, and Sŏŏrăbhĕĕ, the cow that granted every heart’s desire.

The moon, Sŏŏrā-Dēvēē, the Goddess Srēē, and the horse as swift as thought, instantly marched away towards the Dēws, keeping in the path of the sun.

Then the Dēw Dhănwăntărĕĕ, in human shape, came forth, holding in his hand a white vessel filled with the immortal juice Ămrĕĕtă. When the Ăsŏŏrs beheld these wondrous things appear, they raised their tumultuous voices for the Ămrĕĕtă, and each of them clamorously exclaimed—“This of right is mine!”

In the mean time Īrāvăt, a mighty elephant, arose, now kept by the God of thunder; and as they continued to churn the ocean more than enough, that deadly poison issued from its bed, burning like a raging fire, whose dreadful fumes in a moment spread throughout the world, confounding the three regions of the universe with its mortal stench; until Seev, at the word of Brăhmā, swallowed the fatal drug to save mankind; which remaining in the throat of that sovereign Dēw of magic form, from that time he hath been called Nĕĕl-Kănt, because his throat was stained blue.

When the Ăsŏŏrs beheld this miraculous deed, they became desperate, and the Ămrĕĕtă and the Goddess Srēē became the source of endless hatred.

Then Nārāyăn assumed the character and person of Mōhĕĕnēē Māyā, the power of inchantment, in a female form of wonderful beauty, and stood before the Ăsŏŏrs; whose minds being fascinated by her presence, and deprived of reason, they seized the Ămrĕĕtă, and gave it unto her.

The Ăsŏŏrs now cloath themselves in costly armour, and, seizing their various weapons, rush on together to attack the Sŏŏrs. In the mean time Nārāyăn, in the female form, having obtained the Ămrĕĕtă from the hands of their leader, the hosts of Sŏŏrs, during the tumult and confusion of the Ăsŏŏrs, drank of the living water.

And it so fell out, that whilst the Sŏŏrs were quenching their thirst for immortality, Rāhŏŏ, an Ăsŏŏr, assumed the form of a Sŏŏr, and began to drink also. And the water had but reached his throat, when the sun and moon, in friendship to the Sŏŏrs, discovered the deceit; and instantly Nārāyăn cut off his head, as he was drinking, with his splendid weapon Chăkră. And the gigantic head of the Ăsŏŏr, emblem of a mountain’s summit, being thus separated from his body by the Chăkră’s edge, bounded into the heavens with a dreadful cry, whilst his ponderous trunk fell cleaving the ground asunder, and shaking the whole earth unto its foundation, with all its islands, rocks, and forests. And from that time the head of Rāhŏŏ resolved an eternal enmity, and continueth, even unto this day, at times to seize upon the sun and moon.

Now Nārāyăn, having quitted the female figure he had assumed, began to disturb the Ăsŏŏrs with sundry celestial weapons; and from that instant a dreadful battle was commenced, on the ocean’s briny strand, between the Ăsŏŏrs and the Sŏŏrs. Innumerable sharp and missile weapons were hurled, and thousands of piercing darts and battle-axes fell on all sides. The Ăsŏŏrs vomit blood from the wounds of the Chăkră, and fall upon the ground pierced by the sword, the spear, and spiked club.—Heads, glittering with polished gold, divided by the Păttĕĕs’ blade, drop incessantly; and mangled bodies, wallowing in their gore, lay like fragments of mighty rocks sparkling with gems and precious ores. Millions of sighs and groans arise on every side; and the sun is overcast with blood, as they clash their arms, and wound each other with their dreadful instruments of destruction.

Now the battle’s fought with the iron-spiked club, and, as they close, with clenched fist; and the din of war ascendeth to the heavens! They cry—“Pursue! strike! fell to the ground!” so that a horrid and tumultuous noise is heard on all sides.

In the midst of this dreadful hurry and confusion of the fight, Năr and Nārāyăn entered the field together. Nārāyăn beholding a celestial bow in the hand of Năr, it reminded him of his Chăkră, the destroyer of the Ăsŏŏrs. The faithful weapon, by name Sŏŏdărsăn, ready at the mind’s call, flew down from heaven with direct and refulgent speed, beautiful, yet terrible to behold. And being arrived, glowing like the sacrificial flame, and spreading terror around, Nārāyăn, with his right arm formed like the elephantine trunk, hurled forth the ponderous orb, the speedy messenger, and glorious ruin of hostile towns; who, raging like the final all-destroying fire, shot bounding with desolating force, killing thousands of the Ăsŏŏrs in his rapid flight, burning and involving, like the lambent flame, and cutting down all that would oppose him. Anon he climbeth the heavens, and now again darteth into the field like a Pĕĕsāch to feast in blood.

Now the dauntless Ăsŏŏrs strive, with repeated strength, to crush the Sŏŏrs with rocks and mountains, which, hurled in vast numbers into the heavens, appeared like scattered clouds, and fell, with all the trees thereon, in millions of fear-exciting torrents, striking violently against each other with a mighty noise; and in their fall the earth, with all its fields and forests, is driven from its foundation: they thunder furiously at each other as they roll along the field, and spend their strength in mutual conflict.

Now Năr, seeing the Sŏŏrs overwhelmed with fear, filled up the path to heaven with showers of golden-headed arrows, and split the mountain summits with his unerring shafts; and the Ăsŏŏrs, finding themselves again sore pressed by the Sŏŏrs, precipitately flee: some rush headlong into the briny waters of the ocean, and others hide themselves within the bowels of the earth.

The rage of the glorious Chăkră, Sŏŏdărsăn, which for a while burnt like the oil-fed fire, now grew cool, and he retired into the heavens from whence he came. And the Sŏŏrs having obtained the victory, the mountain Măndăr was carried back to its former station with great respect; whilst the waters also retired, filling the firmament and the heavens with their dreadful roarings.

The Sŏŏrs guarded the Ămrĕĕtă with great care, and rejoiced exceedingly because of their success; and Ĕĕndră, with all his immortal bands, gave the water of life unto Nārāyăn, to keep it for their use.”

Note 114

114 The Bards conceive, etc.—The meaning of this period is too evident to require a note. But, in order to shew that the commentators of India are not less fond of searching for mystery, and wandering from the simple path of their author into a labyrinth of scholastic jargon, than some of those of more enlightened nations, who for ages have been labouring to entangle the plain unerring clew of our holy religion, the Translator, in this place, will intrude the following literal version of the comment written upon it by one Srēē-dhăr Swāmēē, whose notes upon the whole are held in as much esteem as the text, which at this day, they say, is unintelligible without them. It can seldom happen that a commentator is inspired with the same train of thought and arrangement of ideas as the author whose sentiments he presumes to expound, especially in metaphysical works. The Translator hath seen a comment, by a zealous Persian, upon the wanton odes of their favorite Poet Hafiz, wherein every obscene allusion is sublimated into a divine mystery, and the host and the tavern are as ingeniously metamorphosed into their Prophet and his holy temple.

Note by Srēē-Dhăr Swāmĕĕ,

To the Passage Above Alluded To.

The Bards, &c.—The Vēds say—“Let him who longeth for children make offerings. Let him who longeth for heaven make offerings, &c. &c.” The Bards understand Sănnyās to be a forsaking, that is, a total abandonment, of such works as are performed for the accomplishment of a wish, such works as are bound with the cord of desire. The Păndĕĕts know, that is, they understand, Sănnyās to imply also a forsaking of all works, together with all their fruits. The disquisitors, that is, such as expound or make clear, call Tyāg a forsaking of the fruit only of every work that is desirable, whether such as are ordained to be performed constantly, or only at stated periods; and not a forsaking of the work itself. But how can there be a forsaking of the fruit of such constant and stated works as have no particular fruit or reward annexed to them? The forsaking of a barren woman’s child cannot be conceived.—It is said—“Although one who longeth for heaven, or for a store of cattle, &c. should all his life perform the ceremonies which are called Săndyā, or feed the fire upon the altar, and in these and the like ceremonies, no particular reward has ever been heard of; yet whilst the law is unable to engage a provident and wary man in a work where no human advantage is to be seen, at the same time it ordaineth that even he who hath conquered the universe, &c. shall perform sacrifices; still for these, and the like religious duties, it hath appointed some general reward.”—But it is the opinion of Gŏŏrŏŏ, that the law intended these works merely for its own accomplishment. Such a tenet is unworthy of notice, because of the difficulty of obliging men to pay attention to those works.—It is also said, that there is a reward annexed to the general and particular duties; that they who perform them shall become inhabitants of the Pŏŏnyă-lōk; that by works the Pĕĕtrĕĕ-lōk is to be attained; that by good works crimes are done away, &c. &c. Wherefore it is properly said,—that they call Tyāg a forsaking of the fruits of every action.”