From Mahabharat: A Wise Dialogue

From Mahabharat: A Wise Dialogue

This dialogue is from Mahabharat, a 100,000 verse Hindu epic written in Sanskrit and composed thousands of years ago.

This conversation is also referred to as Yaksha Prashna (questions by Yaksha) or the legend of virtuous crane, since it involves Yaksha (spirit) disguised as a bird crane, questioning a righteous prince Yudhisthira.

Of the approximately125 questions on gods, metaphysics, philosophy and similar topics, asked by the crane and answered by the prince, I have selected a few to share with you.

Here are 32 of these questions and answers.

1)What is swifter than the wind?

Answer: Mind

2) What is more numerous than the grass?

Answer: Thoughts

3) What is the best of all wealth?

Answer: Learning

4) What is the most valuable possession?

Answer: Knowledge

5) What is the best of all gains?

Answer: Health

6) What is the best of all happiness?

Answer: Contentment

7) Which enemy is invincible?

Answer: Anger

8) Which disease is incurable?

Answer: Covetousness

9) Which men are noble?

Answer: Those who desire well being of all

10) Which men are ignoble?

Answer: Those who are not merciful

11) Who is the friend of a traveller?

Answer: His companion

12) Who is the friend of one who is sick?

Answer: A Physician

13) What when renounced, makes one agreeable?

Answer: Pride

14) What when renounced, makes one happy?

Answer: Greed 

15) What when renounced, make one wealthy?

Answer: Desire

16) What when renounced, makes one happy?

Answer: Wrath

17) How does one acquire wisdom?

Answer: By serving the elderly

18) Who is truly happy?

Answer: He who has no debts

19) What is the greatest wonder?

Answer: Every day people die. But the wish to live forever stays

20) What is the best of all praiseworthy things?

Answer: Skill

21) What does one gain that speaks agreeable words?

Answer: They become agreeable to all

22) What does one gain that always acts with judgment?

Answer: They obtain whatever they seek

23) What does one gain that has many friends?

Answer: They live happily

24) What is that which if controlled, leads not to regret?

Answer: Mind

25) With whom an alliance can never break?

Answer: With the good

26) What is true restraint?

Answer: Restraint of mind

27) What constitutes mercy?

Answer: Wishing happiness to all

28) What is charity?

Answer: Protecting all creatures

29) What is patience?

Answer: Control of the senses

30) What is true ignorance?

Answer: Not knowing one’s duties

31) What is idleness?

Answer: Not discharging one’s duties

32) What is wickedness?

Answer: Speaking bad of others


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