UDYOGA PARVA XLI-XLVI
XLI Inquiry Into Death
Dhritarashtra said: O Vidura, if anything is still left unspoken by you, say it now, as I amready to listen. The discourse is truly delightful.Vidura said: O Dhritarashtra, O thou of the Bharata race, Rishi Sanatsujata, immortal andageless, living a life of perpetual continence, has said that there is no death. He, foremostamong the intelligent, will dissolve all the doubts in your mind, whether spoken or silent.Dhritarashtra said: Do you not know what that immortal Rishi will say to me? O Vidura,say so, if indeed you have that degree of wisdom.Vidura said: Born in the Sudra order, I cannot consequently say more than I already have.However, the comprehension of that Rishi, living a life of perpetual continence, isconsidered by me to be infinite. He who is a Brahmana by birth never incurs the censureof the gods even when expounding the profoundest mysteries. For this alone I do notdiscourse upon this theme.Dhritarashtra said: Tell me, O Vidura, how can I in this body meet that immortal andageless being?Vaisampayana said: Vidura then began to meditate upon that Rishi of inviolable vows.Knowing that he was meditated upon, O Bharata, the Rishi appeared. Thereupon Vidurareceived him with the ordained rites. When the Rishi, having rested awhile, was seated atease, Vidura addressed him thus: "O Illustrious One, there is a doubt lingering inDhritarashtra's mind which I cannot dissolve. It is fitting that you should discourse uponit, so that listening to your words, this chief among men may surmount all his sorrows,and so that loss and gain, the unpleasant and the pleasant, decrepitude and death, fear andenvy, hunger and thirst, pride and prosperity, aversion, sleep, lust and anger, decrease andincrease may all be borne by him! "
XLII Death And Immortality
Vaisampayana said: Having applauded the words spoken by Vidura, the wise andillustrious King Dhritarashtra, desirous of gaining the highest wisdom, questionedSanatsujata in secret. And he thus addressed the Rishi: "O Sanatsujata, I hear that youhold that there is no death. Again it is said that the gods and the asuras perform asceticausterities to avoid death. Which, then, of these two views is correct?"Sanatsujata said: Some say that death may be averted by specific deeds; others hold thatthere is no death; you have asked me which of these is true. Listen, O King, as I discourseon this so that your doubts may be dispelled. Know, O Kshatriya, that both views arecorrect. The learned think that death results from nescience. I say that nescience is deathand its absence is immortality. It is through ignorance that the asuras became subject todefeat and death, and it is from the absence of ignorance that the gods attained the state of Brahman. Death does not devour creatures like a tiger; its form itself is inscrutable.Besides, some imagine Yama to be death. This, however, is due to feebleness of mind.The pursuit of Brahman, or self-knowledge, is indeed immortality.Yama holds sway in the region of the pitris, being the source of bliss to the virtuous andof woe to the sinful. It is at his behest that death, in the form of wrath, ignorance andgreed, occurs among men. Stirred by pride, men ever tread the path of unrighteousness. None of them succeeds in knowing his true nature. With clouded understanding, and