Friday, April 1, 2011

Lecture (Chapter) 16: Of Good and Evil Destiny.


The man who is born with divine destiny is endued with the following qualities: exemption from fear, a purity of heart, a constant attention to the discipline of his understanding; charity, self-restraint, religion, study, penance, rectitude, freedom from doing wrong, veracity, freedom from anger, resignation, temperance, freedom from slander, universal compassion, exemption from the desire of slaughter, mildness, modesty, discretion, dignity, patience, fortitude, chastity, unrevengefulness, and a freedom from vain-glory: whilst those who come into life under the influence of the evil destiny are distinguished by hypocrisy, pride, presumption, anger, harshness of speech, and ignorance. The divine destiny is for Mōksh, or eternal absorption in the divine nature; and the evil destiny confineth the soul to mortal birth. Fear not, Ărjŏŏn, for thou art born with the divine destiny before thee. Thus there are two kinds of destiny prevailing in the world. The nature of the good destiny hath been fully explained. Hear what is the nature of the evil.

Those who are born under the influence of the evil destiny know not what it is to proceed in virtue, or recede from vice; nor is purity, veracity, or the practice of morality to be found in them. They say the world is without beginning, and without end, and without an Eĕswăr; that all things are conceived by the junction of the sexes; and that love is the only cause. These lost souls, and men of little understandings, having fixed upon this vision, are born of dreadful and inhuman deeds for the destruction of the world. They trust to their carnal appetites, which are hard to be satisfied; are hypocrites, and overwhelmed with madness and intoxication. Because of their folly they adopt false doctrines, and continue to live the life of impurity. They abide by their inconceivable opinions, even unto the day of confusion, and determine within their own minds that the gratification of the sensual appetites is the supreme good. Fast bound by the hundred cords of hope, and placing all their trust in lust and anger, they seek by injustice the accumulation of wealth, for the gratification of their inordinate desires. “This, to-day, hath been acquired by me. I shall obtain this object of my heart. This wealth I have, and this shall I have also. This foe have I already slain, and others will I forthwith vanquish. I am Eĕswăr, and I enjoy; I am consummate, I am powerful, and I am happy; I am rich, and I am endued with precedence amongst men; and where is there another like unto me? I will make presents at the feasts and be merry.” In this manner do those ignorant men talk, whose minds are thus gone astray. Confounded with various thoughts and designs, they are entangled in the net of folly; and being firmly attached to the gratification of their lusts, they sink at length into the Nărăk of impurity. Being self-conceited, stubborn, and ever in pursuit of wealth and pride, they worship with the name of worship and hypocrisy, and not according to divine ordination; and, placing all their trust in pride, power, ostentation, lust, and anger, they are overwhelmed with calumny and detraction, and hate me in themselves and others: wherefore I cast down upon the earth those furious abject wretches, those evil beings who thus despise me, into the wombs of evil spirits and unclean beasts. Being doomed to the wombs of Ăsŏŏrs from birth to birth, at length not finding me, they go unto the most infernal regions. There are these three passages to Nărăk (or the infernal regions); lust, anger, and avarice, which are the destroyers of the soul; wherefore a man should avoid them; for, being freed from these gates of sin, which arise from the influence of the Tămă-Gŏŏn, he advanceth his own happiness; and at length he goeth the journey of the Most High. He who abandoneth the dictates of the Sāstră to follow the dictates of his lusts, attaineth neither perfection, happiness, nor the regions of the Most High. Wherefore, O Ărjŏŏn, having made thyself acquainted with the precepts of the Sāstră, in the establishment of what is fit and unfit to be done, thou shouldst perform those works which are declared by the commandments of the Sāstră.

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