"Bhishma said, 'All immobile and mobile beings, distributed into four classes, have been said to be of unmanifest birth and unmanifest death. Existing only in the unmanifest Soul, the Mind is said to possess the attributes of the unmanifest. 2 As a vast tree is ensconced within a small unblown Aswattha flower and becomes observable only when it comes out, even so birth takes place from what is unmanifest. A piece of iron, which is inanimate, runs towards a piece of loadstone. Similarly, inclinations and propensities due to natural instincts, and all else, run towards the Soul in a new life. 3 Indeed, even as those propensities and possessions born of Ignorance and Delusion, and inanimate in respect of their nature, are united with Soul when reborn,
after the same manner, those other propensities and aspirations of the Soul that have their gaze directed towards Brahma become united with it, coming to it directly from Brahma itself. 1 Neither earth, nor sky, nor heaven, nor things, nor the vital breaths, nor virtue and vice, nor anything else, existed before, save the Chit-Soul. Nor have they any necessary connection with even the Chit-Soul defiled by Ignorance. 2 The Soul is eternal. It is indestructible. It occurs in every creature. It is the cause of the Mind. It is without attributes, This universe that we perceive hath been declared (in the Vedas) to be due to Ignorance or Delusion. The Soul's apprehensions of form, etc., are due to past desires. 3 The Soul, when it becomes endued with those causes (viz., desire), is led to the state of its being engaged in acts. In consequence of that condition (for those acts again produce desires to end in acts anew and so on),--this vast wheel to existence revolves, without beginning and without
end. 1 The Unmanifest, viz., the Understanding (with the desires), is the nave of that wheel. The Manifest (i.e., the body with the senses) constitutes its assemblage of spokes, the perceptions and acts from its circumference. Propelled by the quality of Rajas (Passion), the Soul presides over it (witnessing its revolutions). Like oilmen pressing oilseeds in their machine, the consequences born of Ignorance, assailing the universe (of creatures) which is moistened by Rajas, press or grind it in that wheel. In that succession of existences, the living creature, seized by the idea of Self in consequence of desire, engages itself in acts. In the union of cause and effect, those acts again become (new causes). 2 Effects do not enter into causes. Nor do causes enter into effects. In the production of effects, Time is the Cause. The primordial essences (eight in number as mentioned before), and their modifications six-(teen in number), fraught with causes, exists in a state of union, in consequence of their being always presided over by the Soul. Like dust following the wind that moves it, the creature-Soul, divested of body, but endued still with inclinations born of Passion and Darkness and with principles of causes constituted by the acts of the life that is over, moves on, following the direction that the Supreme Soul gives it. The Soul, however, is never touched by those inclinations and propensities. Nor are these touched by the Soul that is superior to them. The wind, which is naturally pure, is never stained by the dust it bears away. 3 As the wind is truly separate from the dust it bears away, even so, the man of wisdom should know, is the connection between that which is called existence or life and the Soul. No one should take it that the Soul, in consequence of its apparent union with the body and the senses and the other propensities and beliefs and unbeliefs, is really endued therewith as its necessary and absolute qualities. On the other hand, the Soul should be taken as existing in its own nature. Thus did the divine Rishi solve the doubt that had taken possession of his disciple's mind. Notwithstanding all this, people depend upon means consisting of acts and scriptural rites for casting off misery and winning happiness. Seeds that are scorched by fire do not put forth sprouts. After the same manner, if everything that contributes to misery be consumed by the fire of true knowledge, the Soul escapes the obligation of rebirth in the world.'