Vaishampayana said, “Janamejaya! Thereafter, Dhrutharashtra, the intelligent great king respecting and honouring the words of the wise Vidura in the hope of receiving the highest exalted knowledge and wisdom posed the following questions to Sanatsujatha Paramarshi in exclusivity”.
Dhrutharashtra said, “Respected Sanatsujatha Paramarshi, I am hearing that it is your belief and proclamation that there is nothing called death. Also, I have heard that devathas and asuras have followed and abided by the principles of Brahmacharya to escape from the jaws of death. Between these two, which is superior and the truth?
Sanatsujatha Paramarshi said, “Hey King! There are two sides to this matter. There is death and it remains far from those who follow and abide by the principles of Brahmacharya and hence, this is one side and “there is no death” which is the other side. But, I will speak of this matter the way it is and therefore, please hear from Me and do not doubt My erudition.
Kshatriya! Understand that the two aforesaid aspects of the question to be the truth. Some scholars have accepted the sovereignty of death under the influence of illusion but it is My belief that pramad – lack of discrimination, foolishness, carelessness, delirium and hallucinations is only death and apramad – awareness and being in control of one’s senses is deathlessness and ambrosia.
It is because of pramad – lack of discrimination, foolishness, carelessness, delirium and hallucinations that the asuragana – those born as asuras fell into the trap of death while it is because of apramad – awareness and being in control of one’s senses that helped the devathagana – those born as devathas attain the brahmaswaroopa – the form of Brahman.
Some people under the influence of illusion speak of death as “yama” and believe deathlessness and ambrosia to be those who sincerely and unfailingly abide by the principles of Brahmacharya. They believe that Yamadeva resides in the Pithruloka ruling the kingdom. He is considered to be kind and merciful and generous to those who do good for the universe and considered to be a bad omen to those who are sinners.
[Sanatsujatha Parva – Chapters 42 of Udyoga Parva – Slokas 1 – 6]