From The Mahabharata
Santi Parva Section CXC
Translated by Sri Kisari Mohan Ganguli
You have said that happiness is the highest object. I do not comprehend this. This attribute of the soul that (you say) is so desirable is not sought by the Rishis who are regarded to be engaged in something promising a higher reward. It is heard that the Creator of the three worlds, viz., the puissant Brahma, lives alone, observant of the vow of Brahmacharya (celibacy). He never devotes himself to the happiness obtainable from the gratification of desire. Also, the divine Master of the universe, the lord of Uma (Siva), reduced Kama (the deity of desire) to extinction. For this reason, we say that happiness is not acceptable to high-souled people. Nor does it appear to be a high attribute of the Soul.
I cannot put faith in what thy divine self has said, viz., that there is nothing higher than happiness. That there are two kinds of consequences in respect of our acts, viz., the springing of happiness from good acts and of sorrow from sinful acts, is only a saying that is current in the world.
Brigu said: On this it is said as follows:
From Untruth springs Darkness. They that are overwhelmed by Darkness pursue only Unrighteousness and not Righteousness, being overmastered by wrath, covetousness, malice, falsehood, and similar evils. They never obtain happiness either here or hereafter.
On the other hand, they are afflicted by various kinds of disease and pain and trouble. They are tortured by Death, imprisonment, and diverse other griefs of that kind, and by the sorrows, attending on hunger and thirst and toil. They are pained by the numerous bodily griefs that arise from rain and wind and burning heat and exceeding cold.
They are also overwhelmed by numerous mental griefs caused by loss of wealth and separation from friends, as also by griefs caused by decrepitude and death. They that are not touched by these diverse kinds of physical and mental afflictions, know what happiness is.
These evils are never found in heaven. There delicious breezes blow. In heaven there is also perpetual fragrance. In heaven there is no hunger, no thirst, no decrepitude, no sin. In this world there is both happiness and misery. In hell there is only misery. Therefore, happiness is the highest object of acquisition.
The Earth is the progenitrix of all creatures. Females partake of her nature. The male animal is like Prajapati himself. The vital seed, it should be known, is the creative energy. In this way did Brahman ordain in days of old that the creation should go on. Each, affected by his own acts, obtains happiness or misery.
From The Bhagavad Gita, Ch. 18, Verse 10
The man of renunciation, pervaded by purity, intelligent and
with his doubts cut asunder, does not hate a disagreeable
work nor is he attached to an agreeable one.
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