Mahabharata

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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Will
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Mahabharata

Post by Will » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:42 pm

Truth
The Mahabharata
Santi Parva, Section CLXII
Translated by Sri Kisari Mohan Ganguli
Yudhishthira said: Brahmanas and Rishis and Pitris and the gods all applaud the duty of truth. I desire to hear of truth. Discourse to me upon it, O grandsire! What are the indications, O king, of truth? How may it be acquired? What is gained by practising truth, and how? Tell me all this.

Bhishma said: A confusion of the duties of the four orders is never applauded. That which is called Truth always exists in a pure and unmingled state in every one of those four orders. With those that are good, Truth is always a duty. Indeed, Truth is an eternal duty. One should reverentially bow unto Truth. Truth is the highest refuge (of all). Truth is duty; Truth is penance; Truth is Yoga; and Truth is the eternal Brahman. Truth has been said to be Sacrifice of a higher order. Everything rests upon Truth. I shall now tell thee the forms of Truths one after another, and its indications also in due order. It behoveth thee to hear also as to how Truth may be acquired.

Truth, O Bharata, as it exists in all the world, is of thirteen kinds. The forms that Truth assumes are impartiality, self-control, forgiveness, modesty, endurance, goodness, renunciation, contemplation, dignity, fortitude, compassion, and abstention from injury. These, O great monarch, are the thirteen forms of Truth. Truth is immutable, eternal, and unchangeable. It may be acquired through practices which do not militate against any of the other virtues. It may also be acquired through Yoga.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

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Will
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Re: Mahabharata

Post by Will » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:44 pm

When desire and aversion, as also lust and wrath, are destroyed, that attribute in consequence of which one is able to look upon one’s own self and one’s foe, upon one’s good and one’s evil, with an unchanging eye, is called impartiality.

Self control consists in never wishing for another man’s possessions, in gravity and patience and capacity to allay the fears of others in respect of one’s own self, and immunity from disease. It may be acquired through knowledge. Devotion to the practice of liberality and the observance of all duties are regarded by the wise as constituting goodwill. One comes to acquire universal goodwill by constant devotion to Truth.

As regards non-forgiveness and forgiveness, it should be stated that the attribute through which an esteemed and good man endures both what is agreeable and disagreeable, is said to be forgiveness. This virtue may well be acquired through the practice of truthfulness
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

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No_Mind
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Re: Mahabharata

Post by No_Mind » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:55 pm

How is Mahabharata relevant to Buddhism?

It needs detailed study of a huge epic which Hindus receive from childhood (do not about now but we did)

:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

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Will
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Re: Mahabharata

Post by Will » Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:33 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:55 pm
How is Mahabharata relevant to Buddhism?

:namaste:
Truth and virtues are common to all paths.
Last edited by Will on Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

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Re: Mahabharata

Post by Will » Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:41 pm

That virtue, in consequence of which an intelligent man, contented in mind and speech, achieves many good deeds and never incurs the censure of others, is called modesty. It is acquired through the aid of righteousness. That virtue which forgives for the sake of virtue and profit is called endurance. It is a form of forgiveness. It is acquired through patience, and its purpose is to attach people to one’s self. The casting off of affection as also of all earthly possessions, is called renunciation. Renunciation can never be acquired except by one who is divested of anger and malice.

That virtue in consequence of which one does good, with watchfulness and care, to all creatures is called goodness. It has no particular shape and consists in the divestment of all selfish attachments. That virtue owing to which one remains unchanged in happiness and misery is called fortitude. That wise man who desires his own good always practises this virtue. One should always practise forgiveness and devotedness to truth. That man of wisdom who succeeds in casting off joy and fear and wrath, succeeds in acquiring fortitude. Abstention from injury as regards all creatures in thought, word and deed, kindness and gift, are the eternal duties of those who are good.

These thirteen attributes, though apparently distinct from one another, have but one and the same form, viz., Truth. All these, O Bharata, support Truth and strengthen it. It is impossible, O monarch, to exhaust the merits of Truth. It is for these reasons that the Brahmanas, the Pitris, and the gods, applaud Truth. There is no duty that is higher than Truth, and no sin more heinous than untruth. Indeed, Truth is the very foundation of righteousness.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

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Re: Mahabharata

Post by Will » Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:50 pm

Using Debroy's recent translation from volume 8:
In all the worlds, there are thirteen kinds of truth. There is no doubt that truth is impartiality and self-control. There is also lack of malice, forgiveness, modesty, patience, lack of envy, renunciation, meditation, wisdom, fortitude, constant adherence and non-violence.

There must be impartiality towards the desirable and the undesirable, towards one’s own self and towards the enemy. When preference and aversion are destroyed, desire and anger are also destroyed. Self-control means one doesn’t desire the possessions of others. There is always patience and gravity. There is fearlessness and the pacification of anger. All of these are obtained through knowledge. The learned say that lack of malice manifests itself in generosity and control in the practice of dharma. Those who always base themselves on the truth do not suffer from malice. The virtuous person forgives everyone—those who should be forgiven and those who should not be forgiven, those who are liked and those who are not liked. The virtuous obtain the truth. They do good in secret ways. The modest person never boasts. The dharma of modesty can always be obtained through restraint in speech. The form of forgiveness that is indulged in for the sake of dharma or artha is said to be endurance. This is for the propagation of the worlds and is obtained through patience. If a person renounces affection, if a person renounces objects and if a person gives up love and hatred, he becomes one who renounces—not otherwise. If a person makes efforts to undertake good deeds, without making it obvious and without any attachment, that is said to be nobility among beings. There is fortitude when one does not perform perverse deeds, whether it is in a situation of happiness or unhappiness. A wise person who desires his own prosperity must always pursue this. One must always have sentiments of being forgiving. One must be devoted to the truth. Devoid of delight, fear and anger, a learned person obtains fortitude. Lack of hatred towards all beings, in deeds, thought and words, kindness and generosity—these are the eternal dharma of the virtuous.

These are the thirteen separate characteristics of the truth. O descendant of the Bharata lineage! These forms of truth are worshipped and extended. O descendant of the Bharata lineage! It is impossible to speak about the infinite qualities of the truth. That is the reason truth is praised by the brahmanas, the ancestors and the gods. There is no dharma superior to the truth. There is no sin that is worse than falsehood. Truth is the foundation of dharma. That is the reason truth must not be destroyed.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

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Re: Mahabharata

Post by Will » Mon Feb 19, 2018 10:06 pm

Bhishma praises Krishna:
Lying down on that bed of arrows, he joined his hands in salutation and worshipped Krishna. In a loud voice, he praised Madhusudana, the lord of yoga, Padmanabha, Vishnu, Jishnu, the lord of the universe. He joined his hands in salutation and purified himself. Bhishma was supreme among eloquent ones and had great dharma in his soul. He praised the lord Vasudeva. “O Krishna! I wish to worship you. O Purushottama! May you be pleased with my words, which will be both brief and extensive. You are pure. You are the essence of purity. You are the swan. You are supreme. You are the supreme creator. You are in all atmans and you are the lord of beings. You enter and are established in all beings in the universe. You are the qualities in beings. You are the lord of qualities, like a string which holds gems together. Your limbs constitute the universe. You perform deeds in the universe. Everything in the universe is strung together in you, like a garland strung together by a firm thread. You are Hari. You are the one with one thousand heads. You are the one with one thousand feet and one thousand eyes. You are known as the god Narayana. You are the refuge of the universe.”
Excerpt From: Debroy trans. Volume 8, chapter 1375
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- AN 10.1

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