Dhrutharashtra said, “O Venerable Sanatsujatha Paramarshi! The supreme ultimate omniscient omnipresent Vidya about Brahman that you are elucidating is exceedingly rare for people with desirous nature and intentions to receive. Youthful One! My sincere request to you is to give an exposition on this divine superlative subject again”.
Sanatsujatha Paramarshi said, “Hey King! You have expressed your pleasure and excitement while posing your questions repeatedly but it should be known that one cannot attain Brahman in a hurry. When the mind is in a state of dissolution with the intellect, then the state opposite to existence and being is called Brahmavidya and this is attained by following Brahmacharya“.
Dhrutharashtra said, “If this Sanatana Vidya can be attained only through Brahmacharya while one is in consonance with that infinite Brahman, where one is immersed and absorbed in his ātmā while performing his duties as well as those actions and inactions which are not worthy of commencing, then how do people like me attain this Amruta-tattva of Brahman?”
Sanatsujatha Paramarshi said, “Now I will speak about the ancient Vidya of the Immutable Brahman that is attained by men through their intellect and Brahmacharya. Upon attaining this Avyakta Vidya that is deemed by the wise old Gurus as the Truth that exists, the wise man will shed this body that is susceptible to death forever”.
Dhrutharashtra said, “O Brahman! If this Brahmavidya can be attained easily only through Brahmacharya, then I request you to please tell me first how to observe this Brahmacharya?”
Sanatsujatha Paramarshi said, “Those who enter the ashram of an Acharya and through the service performed by them become very close devotees of the Acharya and strictly observe and follow Brahmacharya, they only become śāstrakāra – legislators and attain the Yogapurush Paramātmā upon leaving the mortal coil.
Those people who win over their desirous nature and intentions while remaining in the present in this universe and tolerate all types of dualities so as to attain brāhmi–sthitih – the state of being established in Brahman separate the ātmā from the body similar to how a rope made of grass is untied while remaining in the state of sattvaguna.
Hey Bharata! Both Mother and Father give birth to this body and the birth taken with the upadesh of the Acharya is considered to be exceedingly pure and immortal.
The Acharyas who reveal satya through expositions of the Paramārtha – the highest truth and exhibit mastery over the Immortal and safeguard the varnashramas of brahmin and others are to be considered as Mother-Father and one should remember and be grateful for the help rendered and should never cause them any harm.
A student observing Brahmacharya should offer salutations to the true Guru, should be rid of pramad and be pure both inside and outside, should put his effort into studying the Vedas, should not insult or humiliate and should not give anger any place in the mind. This is the first step of Brahmacharya.
The path of those students who become pure by performing their rightful and chosen duties, actions and inactions to earn a living and attain knowledge is also considered to be the first step of Brahmacharya.
If one puts their prāna – life force, wealth, mind and speech as well as duties, actions and inactions to please the Acharya, then that is to be known as the second step of Brahmacharya.
The wife and the sons of the Guru should be treated and looked upon with the same amount of devotion and respect as shown to the Guru. This is also called as the second step of Brahmacharya.
The third step of Brahmacharya is achieved when a student remembers and ponders over the timely help and assistance rendered by the Acharya and is grateful and contemplates over the benefits and fruits accrued from that help with great pleasure and is thankful to the Acharya for the progressive state that he has reached.
The scholar should not leave the ashram without permission, without reciprocating in kind and without offering the appropriate Gurudakshina for the help and assistance rendered by the Acharya. The scholar should never think that he is doing a favour to the Guru and those thoughts should never translate into spoken words. This is the fourth step of Brahmacharya.
Certain portions and their essence of the Sanatana Vidya are picked up by a man through time, some portions are picked up through the Guru and some others are picked up by one’s own enthusiasm and interest and some others through subject matter in corroborating scriptures.
The aforementioned twelve forms of qualities as per dharma and all those forms that are deemed as appropriate and in accordance with dharma are said to be attained through the relationship of Brahmacharya-Acharya and through the understanding and knowledge of the Vedas.
A brahmachari who is observing Brahmacharya should surrender all the wealth and belongings received through begging and charity to the Acharya. By doing so, the student will be endowed with the many qualities of satpurushas and attain their principles and behaviour. He should exhibit the same outlook even towards the sons of the Guru.
A student who observes and practises this moral conduct in the ashram of the Guru will achieve great heights in this universe. On entering Grihasthashram, he will have many sons and achieve eminence. There will be happiness raining on him from all different directions and many people who are familiar with him will observe Brahmacharya living in close proximity with him.
The devathas attained their celestial states by observing this Brahmacharya and similarly the great fortunate wise sages attained Brahmaloka.
Its effect is the reason for Gandharvas and Apsaras to be born as light bodies. The sun is competent to spread its light and radiance across all worlds because of the splendour of this Brahmacharya.
Similar to how one seeks his desires to be fulfilled from chintamani in the preparation of quicksilver, Brahmacharya also bestows one’s heartfelt desires. Thinking thus, sages and devathas and others observed Brahmacharya and attained that perception and feeling.
Hey King! A brahmachari who takes refuge in Brahmacharya and performs tapas as per the prescribed rules and regulations and purifies his whole body is seen by the wise ones as an innocent child in whom raag-dvesh is absent and will be victorious over death in his last moments.
O King! A man with desirous intentions and nature will attain hellish worlds through his previous good deeds, but a wise man who knows and realizes Brahman will attain the Omnipresent Omniscient Paramātmā – the Supreme Self through that knowledge. There is no other way except knowledge for liberation.”
Dhrutharashtra said, “What is the form of Satyaswaroopa Paramātmā that is the Ambrosia and the eternal Paramapada that the wise men attain sakshatkara with? Is it white in colour or red or black or darkish blue or gold where greenish colour manifests from it?”
Sanatsujatha Paramarshi said, “White, red, black, rust as well as myriad hues comparable to the dazzling light of the sun are manifested and hence, Brahman‘s real and true form is not on earth or in the sky. The waters of the oceans also do not wear its form.
This Brahman‘s form is not in the stars and not in the refuge of light and neither is it seen in the clouds. Similarly, it is not seen in air or in the celestial beings or in the moon and sun.
Hey King! It has not been clearly explained about either in the Richa of the Rig Veda or in the mantras of the Yajur Veda or in the Suktas of the Atharva Veda or in the pure Sama Veda. Its revelation is not done even in Ratantar and Bahradrath of the Sama as well as in the great proclamations as this Brahman is true and eternal.
None can cross or go beyond the form of Brahman. IT always remains above the darkness of ignorance. Even Time that is the destroyer of all beings becomes absorbed into Brahman at the time of Mahapralaya. Brahman‘s form is extremely guarded and secret and comparable to a razor’s edge and more magnificent than the mountains.
IT is the foundation for all, IT is the Ambrosia, IT is the universe, IT is glory and IT is Brahman. This whole creation manifests from IT and becomes absorbed into IT.
The wise men say that the universe bound to duties, actions and inactions is the measure of the sound/speech but Brahman, who is the cause for the entire universe to manifest is bereft of disease, unhappiness and sin and the superior glory and splendour of IT spreads everywhere. Those who know and realize this Brahman who is the true cause become immortal and liberated.”
[Sanatsujatha Parva – Chapters 44 of Udyoga Parva – Slokas 1 – 31]