Yaksha-Yudhishthir Samvad

Posted: 2015-04-19T06:39:50Z
Welcome friends Hug as there was a demand, I finally created this separate thread for Yaksha Prashna so that all analyses stay here in one place. Before we continue the discussion, let's keep the full question-answer session in front of our eyes. Hope we all will feel bliss from this conversation between Dharma and Dharmaputra!

Conversation of Lord Dharma and His son:

Yaksha: What is it that makes the Sun rise? Who keeps him company? Who causes him to set? And in whom is he established?

Yudhi: Brahma makes the Sun rise: the Gods keep him company: Dharma causes him to set: and he is established in truth.

Yaksha: By what does one become learned? By what does he attain what is very great? How can one have a second? And, O king, how can one become wise?

Yudhi: It is by the Srutis that a person becomes learned; it is by ascetic austerities that one acquires what is very great: it is by intelligence that a person acquires a second and it is by serving the old that one becomes wise.

Yaksha: What constitutes the divinity of the Brahmanas? What even is their practice that is like that of the pious? What also is the human attribute of the Brahmanas? And what practice of theirs is like that of the impious?

Yudhi: The study of the Vedas constitutes their divinity: their asceticism constitutes behaviour that is like that of the pious; their liability to death is their human attribute and slander is their impiety.

Yaksha: What institutes the divinity of the Kshatriyas? What even is their practice that is like that of the pious? What is their human attribute? And what practice of theirs is like that of the impious?

Yudhi: Arrows and weapons are their divinity: celebration of sacrifices is that act which is like that of the pious: liability to fear is their human attribute; and refusal of protection is that act of theirs which is like that of the impious.

Yalsha: What is that which constitutes the Sama of the sacrifice? What the Yajus of the sacrifice? What is that which is the refuge of a sacrifice? And what is that which sacrifice cannot do without?

Yudhi: Life is the Sama of the sacrifice; the mind is the Yajus of the sacrifice: the Rik is that which the refuge of the sacrifice is; and it is Rik alone which sacrifice cannot do without.

Yaksha: What is of the foremost value to those that cultivate? What is of the foremost value to those that sow? And what is of the foremost value to those that bring forth?

Yudhi: That which is of the foremost value to those that cultivate is rain: that of the foremost value to those that sow is seed: that of the foremost value to those that bring forth is offspring.

Yaksha: What person is not alive?

Yudhi: The one enjoying all the objects of the senses, endued with intelligence, regarded by the world and liked by all beings, though breathing, doth not offer anything to these five, viz., gods, guests, servants, Pitris, and himself, though endued with breath, is not yet alive.

Yaksha: What is weightier than the earth itself? What is higher than the heavens?' What is fleeter than the wind? And what is more numerous than grass?

Yudhi: The mother is weightier than the earth; the father is higher than the heaven; the mind is fleeter than the wind; and our thoughts are more numerous than grass.

Yaksha: What is that which does not close its eyes while asleep; what is that which does not move after birth? What is that which is without heart? And what is that which swells with its own impetus?

Yudhi: A fish does not close its eyes while asleep: an egg does not move after birth: a stone is without heart: and a river swells with its own impetus.

Yaksha: Who is the friend of the exile? Who is the friend of the householder? Who is the friend of him that ails? And who is the friend of one about to die?

Yudhi: The friend of the exile in a distant land is his companion, the friend of the householder is the wife; the friend of him that ails is the physician: and the friend of him about to die is charity.

Yaksha: Who is the guest of all creatures? What is the eternal duty? What is Amrita? And what is this entire Universe?

Yudhi: Agni is the guest of all creatures: the milk is kind of amrita: Homa is the eternal duty: and this Universe consists of air alone.

Yaksha: What is that which sojourns alone? What is that which is re-born after its birth? What is the remedy against cold? And what is the largest field?

Yudhi: The sun sojourns alone; the moon takes a new birth: fire is the remedy against cold: and the Earth is the largest field.

Yaksha: What is the highest refuge of virtue? What of fame? What of heaven? And what, of happiness?

Yudhi: Liberality is the highest refuge of virtue: gift, of fame: truth, of heaven: and good behaviour, of happiness.

Yaksha: What is the soul of man? Who is that friend bestowed on man by the Gods? What is man's chief support? And what also is his chief refuge?

Yudhi: The son is a man's soul: the wife is the friend bestowed on man by the Gods; the clouds are his chief support; and gift is his chief refuge.

Yaksha: What is the best of all laudable things? What is the most valuable of all his possessions? What is the best of all gains? And what is the best of all kinds of happiness?

Yudhi: The best of all laudable things is skill; the best of all possessions is knowledge: the best of all gains is health: and contentment is the best of all kinds of happiness.

Yaksha: What is the highest Dharma in the world? What is that virtue which always bears fruit? What is that which if controlled, leads not to regret? And who are they with whom an alliance cannot break?

Yudhi: The highest of Dharma is to refrain from cruelty (aanrishamsya): the rites ordained in the Three (Vedas) always bear fruit: the mind, if controlled, leads to no regret: and an alliance with the good never breaks.

Yaksha: What is that which, if renounced, makes one agreeable? What is that which, if renounced, leads to no regret? What is that which, if renounced, makes one wealthy? And what is that which if renounced, makes one happy?

Yudhi: Pride, if renounced, makes one agreeable; wrath, if renounced leads to no regret: desire, if renounced, makes one wealthy: and greed, if renounced, makes one happy.

Yaksha: For what does one give away to Brahmanas? For what to mimes and dancers? For what to servants? And for what to king?

Yudhi: It is for religious merit that one gives away to Brahmanas: it is for fame that one gives away to mimes and dancers: it is for supporting them that one gives away to servants: and it is for obtaining relief from fear that one gives to kings.

Yaksha: With what is the world enveloped? What is that owing to which a thing cannot discover itself? For what are friends forsaken? And for what does one fail to go to heaven?

Yudhi: The world is enveloped with darkness. Darkness doth not permit a thing to show itself. It is from greed that friends are forsaken. And it is attachment with the world for which one fails to go to heaven.

Yaksha: For what may one be considered as dead? For what may a kingdom be considered as dead? For what may a Sraddha be considered as dead? And for what, a sacrifice?

Yudhi: For want of wealth may a man be regarded as dead. A kingdom for want of a king may be regarded as dead. A Sraddha that is performed with the aid of a priest that hath no learning may be regarded as dead. And a sacrifice in which there are no gifts to Brahmanas is dead.

Yaksha: What constitutes the way? What has been spoken of as water? What, as food? And what, as poison?

Yudhi: They that are good constitute the way. Space has been spoken of as water. The cow is food. Desire is poison.

Yaksha: What has been said to be the sign of asceticism? And what is true restraint? What constitutes forgiveness? And what is shame?

Yudhi: Performing in one's own duty is asceticism: the restraint of the mind is of all restraints the true one: forgiveness consists in enduring enmity; and shame, in withdrawing from all unworthy acts.

Yaksha: What is said to be knowledge? What is tranquility? What constitutes mercy? And what has been called simplicity?

Yudhi: True knowledge is that of Divinity. True tranquility is that of the heart. Mercy consists in wishing happiness to all. And simplicity is equanimity of heart.

Yaksha: What enemy is invincible? What constitutes an incurable disease for man? What sort of a man is called pious and what impious?

Yudhi: Anger is an invincible enemy. Greed constitutes an incurable disease. He is pious that desires the good of all creatures, and he is impious who is unmerciful.

Yaksha: What is ignorance? And what is pride? What also is to be understood by idleness? And what has been spoken of as grief?

Yudhi: True ignorance consists in not knowing one's duties. Pride is a consciousness of one's being himself an actor or sufferer in life. Idleness consists in not discharging one's duties, and ignorance in grief.

Yaksha: What has steadiness been said by the Rishis to be? And what is patience? What also is a real bath? And what is charity?

Yudhi: Steadiness consists in one's staying in one's own duties (swadharma), and true patience consists in the subjugation of the senses. A true bath consists in washing the mind clean of all impurities, and charity consists in protecting all creatures.

Yaksha: What man should be regarded as learned, and who should be called an atheist? Who also is to be called ignorant? What are the sources of desire? And what is envy?

Yudhi: He is to be called learned who knows his duties. An atheist is he who is ignorant and so also he is ignorant who is an atheist. Desire is due to objects of possession, and envy is nothing else than grief of heart.

Yaksha: What is pride, and what is hypocrisy? What is the grace of the Gods, and what is wickedness?

Yudhi: Stolid ignorance is pride. The setting up of a religious standard is hypocrisy. The grace of the Gods is the fruit of our gifts, and wickedness consists in speaking ill of others.

Yaksha: Dharma, Artha, and Kama are opposed to one another. How could things thus antagonistic to one another exist together?

Yudhi: When a wife and Dharma agree with each other, then all the three may exist together.

Yaksha: Who is he that is condemned to everlasting hell?

Yudhi: He that summons a poor Brahmana promising to make him a gift and then tells him that he has nothing to give, goes to everlasting hell. He also must go to everlasting hell, who imputes falsehood to the Vedas, the scriptures, the Brahmanas, the Gods, and the ceremonies in honour of the Pitris, He also goes to everlasting hell who though in possession of wealth, never gives away nor enjoys himself from greed, saying, he has none.

Yaksha: By what, birth, behaviour, study, or learning does a person become a Brahmana?

Yudhi: It is neither birth, nor study, nor learning, that is the cause of Brahmanahood, without doubt, it is behaviour that constitutes it. One's behaviour should always be well-guarded, especially by a Brahmana. He who maintains his conduct unimpaired, is never impaired himself. Professors and pupils, in fact, all who study the scriptures, if addicted to wicked habits, are to be regarded as illiterate wretches. He only is learned who performs his religious duties. He even that has studied the four Vedas is to be regarded as a wicked wretch scarcely distinguishable from a Sudra if his conduct is not good. He only who performs the Agnihotra and has his senses under control, is called a Brahmana!

Yaksha: What does one gain that speaks agreeable words? What does he gain that always acts with judgment? What does he gain that has many friends? And what he, that is devoted to virtue?

Yudhi: He who speaks agreeable words becomes agreeable to all. He that acts with judgment obtains whatever he seeks. He that has many friends lives happily. And he that is devoted to virtue obtains a happy state.

Yaksha: Who is truly happy? What is most wonderful? What is the path? And what is the news?

Yudhi: O amphibious creature, a man who cooks in his own house, on the fifth or the sixth part of the day, with scanty vegetables, but who is not in debt and who is not away from home, is truly happy.

Day after day countless creatures are going to the abode of Yama, yet those that remain behind believe themselves to be immortal. What can be more wonderful than this?

Argument leads to no certain conclusion, the Srutis are different from one another; there is not even one Rishi whose opinion can be accepted by all; the truth about religion and duty is hid in caves: therefore, that alone is the path along which the great have trod.

This world full of ignorance is like a pan. The sun is fire, the days and nights are fuel. The months and the seasons constitute the wooden ladle. Time is the cook that is cooking all creatures in that pan; this is the news.

Yaksha: Who is truly a man, and what man truly possesses every kind of wealth.

Yudhi: The report of one's good action reaches heaven and spreads over the earth. As long as that report lasts, so long is a person is considered a man.

For whom the agreeable and the disagreeable, pleasure and woe, the past and the future, are the same, is said to possess every kind of wealth.

Yaksha: You have truly answered all my questions! Therefore, let only one among your brothers get up with life! Tell me whose life you want.

Yudhi: Let Nakul get up with life!

Yalsha: This Bheem is dear unto thee, and this Arjun also is one upon whom all of you depend! Why, then you wish a step-brother to get up with his life! How can you, forsaking mighty Bheem wish Nakul to live? People said that this Bheem was your dearest brother. Then why do you wish a step-brother to revive? Forsaking this great archer Arjun why do you wish Nakul to revive?

Yudhi: If I don't protect Dharma, then Dharma too will not protect me. So I can never leave Dharma! I have two mothers and I do not discriminate between Kunti and Madri. As Mother Kunti has one son, I want Mother Madri's one son too remains alive. So, O Yaksha, please let Nakul be alive!

Yaksha: You have preferred Aanrishamsya above personal profit and pleasure! Hence, may all your brothers get back their lives!

Edited by Urmila11 - 2015-04-20T05:47:04Z
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Posted: 2015-04-19T07:44:24Z
Urmi, wonderful post , however I wanted to know :
Yudhi: He is to be called learned who knows his duties. An atheist is he who is ignorant and so also he is ignorant who is an atheist. Desire is due to objects of possession, and envy is nothing else than grief of heart.
What is the word used for atheism? Nastika ? 
" envy is grief of heart"! How true 
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Posted: 2015-04-19T11:45:18Z
Originally posted by Maverick_me

Urmi, wonderful post , however I wanted to know :
Yudhi: He is to be called learned who knows his duties. An atheist is he who is ignorant and so also he is ignorant who is an atheist. Desire is due to objects of possession, and envy is nothing else than grief of heart.
What is the word used for atheism? Nastika ? 
" envy is grief of heart"! How true 

Yes didi Nastika is the word. Just checked it.

Dharmagyah Pandito gyeya naastiko murkha uchyate
Kamah sansarhetuh cha santaapo matsarah smritah

And yes, that envy thing reminds us of Suyodhan, he too was always unhappy due to his envy. And Yudhi understood this so he kept forgiving.
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Posted: 2015-04-19T11:54:40Z
It is strange that the most philosophical discussions have taken place in the most macabre situations. Be it the Y-Y samavada or the N-Y samavada or even the Bhagavad Gita.
Nachiketa gets the most profound knowledge on Yama's doorstep.
The Y - Y samavada is testimony to Yudhishthira's  steadiness of mind. The fact that he can give the thoughtful answers to deeply pregnant questions, with the dead bodies of  his beloved brothers beside him shows  his mental strength.
The question answer format is a favourite technique in Shashtra; so here too, please ask questions / answer questions, so that our understanding is perfected.
Edited by varaali - 2015-04-19T11:58:15Z
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Posted: 2015-04-19T12:00:05Z

We will take the first question for analysis

The English version has been given above, I will provide the original Sanskrit version here
kim svid Aadityam unnayati  ke cha tasya  abhicharAhA
ka: cha enam astam nayati kasmmin cha prati tishTHa ti
Now the key word here is Unnayati...to make something go up
Aaditya is another name for the sun, true, but if Yaksha wanted to ask about sunrise he would have used the word "udaya" which is more appropriate to sun rise
But the Yaksha uses a different word "Unnayati".
Yudhishthira was smart enough to realise that the question was not so obvious as it seems.
What is the purported meaning ? can anyone guess ? There is no "right" answer, rather how best the question can be undertood.
Awaiting answers from readers.
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Posted: 2015-04-19T21:53:51Z

(The 'sun'/Aditya here has to mean the inner self soul which is the created by Brahma/ supreme soul and the word unnayati means 'upliftment' in this context.
With inner self  awakened by supreme knowledge truth is established)
We get to read something similar in Savitri upakhyana where Savitri answers Yama: " It is the truth of the good that causes brilliance in the sun."
Both Savitri and Yama are talking in spiritual context only .
Who keeps company to Sun? The Gods ; an awakened soul is closer to God and becomes one with the supreme soul.
This is what I have understood.
The same explanation for " Hanuman swallowing the Sun should apply
Tulsidas paying tribute to Bajrangbali " yug sahasra yojan par bhanu leelyo tahi madhur phal janu"
The inner self which is far away from outer self , for,you made ( awakening the soul as easy eating a (sweet) fruit)
There are many other interpretations to all the above "Sun " I have put forth what I understood .. Hope I am on correct path and not confused anybody Tongue
Edited by Maverick_me - 2015-04-19T22:06:29Z
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Posted: 2015-04-19T22:25:10Z
thank you for this sema, your choice of wordings makes it easy to understand.
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Posted: 2015-04-19T23:31:06Z
Okay, so here is my humble attempt to understand the first question:

This first question has a large background. It's based on Metaphysics, Cosmology and Spiritual philosophy. To analysis this, we need to think on Spiritual context.
Katha Upanishada says:
"Yatah cha udeti suryah astam yatra cha gachchati
Tam devaah sarve arpitaastadu naatyeti kashchana
etad vai tat."
[From which the sun rises, and in which it sets, all the Gods are immanent in it. None can surpass it. It is He (Brahman)]
This seems similar with first question. So if sun is soul, then it is He (Brahman) who causes that sunrise, i.e, awakening of soul with true knowledge. Then Gods move around that awakened soul. Soul is established in truth. But when does this soul set? Dharma causes it to set. What does this mean? Awakened soul should get merged with the Brahman, I guess this salvation is metaphored as sunset. So Dharma causes this soul merged with Brahman.

[I'm very ignorant and I know there are several mistakes in my understanding Tongue Knowledgeable people please show me the correct path Embarrassed]
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