Narach Philosophy

THE ESSENCE OF THE EPIC: SANTI PARVA AND ANUSASANA PARVA


THE ESSENCE OF THE EPIC: SANTI PARVA

Man has attained to Vedanta or to Yoga which, for practical purposes, is identified with it; and he holds that Knowledge and Action are inseparable, and if a distinction between them is made, then Action and not Knowledge is the goal of life. But Yoga, in its own character, and with reference to Buddhi on which it is based, holds that Knowledge is the final goal; and it is only when Buddhi is for practical purposes identified with the Soul, that it holds, with Vedanta, that Action is the ultimate end.

There is thus a possibility of an ambiguity so far as the Yoga system of thought is concerned; and so Yudhisthira, who personifies Buddhi, the basis of Yoga, desires to have his doubts removed. It is therefore necessary to review the whole position again, and make a brief survey of all systems of Philosophy from Sankhya to Vedanta and also the corresponding systems of Religion. The Santi Parva is the twelfth Parva or section of the Mahabharata; and as this number refers to Buddhi as the highest creative energy of life, we have in this Parva an account of all systems of Philosophy and Religion up to and including Yoga, based on Buddhi.

The Advice of Krshna; Bhishma's Discourse: The best teacher of Philosophy is he who, having accepted a lower system of thought, has been converted to a higher one. That is Bhishma, who has been converted from Nyaya to Vedanta; and so Krshna believes that he is the best person to resolve the doubts of Yudhisthira and asks him to do so.

The Discourse of Bhrgu: We have explained that in our study of anything we must begin at the very bottom, and that in Philosophy is Sankhya-Nyaya, corresponding to which we have the two schools of Jaina religion. This is the discourse of Bhrgu as given by Bhima; and then Bhima in his own discourse which follows, offers his criticism of this system.

The Opinion of Manu: After Sankhya-Nyaya we have Nyaya-Vaisesika, corresponding to which we have the two schools of Buddhism; and a description of this is given in the opinion of Manu, and its criticism in the discourse of Bhishma that follows.

The Discourse of Vyasa; the Names of Mahadeva: We have dealt with Jainism and Buddhism and their corresponding systems of Philosophy. After this we have the religion of Mahadeva and its corresponding system of thought, viz., principal Yoga; and an account of this is given by Vyasa, who personifies Buddhi, the highest energy of this system, and it is followed by a description of Mahadeva in his many names.

The Discourse of Vasistha: Having examined these systems, it is necessary to understand the connection as well as the difference between them. This is given in the discourse of Vasistha.

Narada's Hymn to Narayana; the Vision of Narayana: Then we have to understand that it is by means of Sacrifice that we rise from a lower to a higher system of thought, ending ultimately in Vedanta. This is the idea of Narada's hymn to Narayana and the vision of God.

Brahman's Hymn to Narayana: Finally, we have to understand that the religion of Mahadeva and Vishnu is superior to Buddhism and Jainism, which have Brahman for their supreme deity. This is the idea of the hymn of Brahman addressed to Narayana.

A SUMMARY OF SANTI PARVA:
  1. After this great debate it is necessary to review all that has been done.
  2. We have to begin from the known to the unknown, or the lower to the higher, and so Sankhya-Nyaya, the basis of the two schools of Jainism, is the first to be reviewed.
  3. After this comes Nyaya-Vaiesika, the basis of the two schools of Buddhism.
  4. Then we have to study the religion of Mahadeva, and its corresponding system of thought.
  5. After having examined these systems separately, it is necessary to study them side by side and know the points of agreement and difference between them.
  6. Then we have to understand that we can rise from a lower to a higher system of thought, ending ultimately in Vedanta, through the idea of Sacrifice, which gives us the vision of God.
  7. In conclusion, we have to understand that the religion of Mahadeva and Vishnu is superior to Buddhism and Jainism.

THE ESSENCE OF THE EPIC: ANUSASANA PARVA

We have done with Jainism, Buddhism, and the religion of Mahadeva; now we have to examine the religion of Vishnu, and its range corresponds, as we have explained, to principal Vedanta, embracing the character of the Soul, Buddhi, and the Mind. Beginning at the lower end, we have the Mind, and its deity is Mahadeva; and so we have a description of this God now. Bhishma Adores Krshna after the Mind we have Buddhi which is, for practical purposes, identified with the Soul and so we get a description of Krshna, the supreme deity of Vedanta, the God who dwells in the Heart and Soul and is made manifest in his Buddhi form, in the hymn of adoration addressed by Bhima to Krshna.

The Death of Bhishma: This completes our survey of all systems of Philosophy and Religion. The work of Bhishma is ended now, and so he passes away.

A SUMMARY OF ANUSASANA PARVA:

After dealing with Jainism and Buddhism as well as the religion of Mahadeva, it is necessary to study the religion of Vishnu, and its corresponding system of thought, viz., principal Vedanta.