Discussion between Krishna and Garuda on Dharma after Death ||12||

1O Garuda I have thus explained to you the various proclivities of life for the benefit of men and to ward off the stalemate in which the dead may find themselves.
2There are eight million four hundred thousand species of creatures divided into four main classes. They are (1) Andajas (born of egg), (2) Svedajas (sweat-born like bugs, etc. (3) Udbhijjas (born of seeds), (4) Jarayujas (the viviparous.)
3-4The Andajas are of two million one hundred thousand varieties. Similarly, the. Svedajas, Udbhijjas and the Jarayujas in the last of which re included human beings are also enumerated. It is very difficult for the lower animals to get manhood.
5The receptacle of the set of five sense organs can be acquired. through great merits. Mankind is divided into four Varnas-Ksatriyas, Vaishyas, Sudras and also Antyajas (the lowest class).
6The Antyajas are divided into seven groups viz., Washer men, Cobblers, Actors, Varudas, Kaivartas, Bhedas and Bhillas.
7Adding the Mlecchas and Tumbas there are thirteen groups of people. The species of lower strata of animals are thousands.
8Taking food, indulging in sexual intercourse, sleeping, fearing and becoming angry-these are found in all living beings. Here the distinction is impossible.
9-10Bodies are often varieties in view of the divisions such as single-footed, etc. Where the deer Kshsara is found in plenty that region is called Dhammdesa (the land of virtue). O Bird, the deities Brahma and others, the sages and the Pitris, virtue, truthfulness and learning are always present in that land of virtue.
11Among living beings, the animals are the best; among the animals, the intelligent are the best; among the intelligent, men are the best and among men, the brahmins are the best.
12Among the brahmins the scholars, among the scholars those who cultivate Vedic studies, among them those who act according to the injunction and among them the Brahmavadins are the best.
13One is guilty of self-deception who does not strive to gain either heaven or salvation after being born as a man whereby he could gain either.
14A man who has hundred (silver pieces) craves for a thousand; a man who has a thousand, yearns for a lac; a person who has a lac, wishes to rule over a kingdom; a man who rules over a kingdom pines away to become an emperor.
15An emperor wishes to become a Deva (god) and on getting godhood he wishes to be the lord of gods. The lord of gods wishes to go still further and still his thirst for power does not recede.
16A person afflicted by covetous thirst falls into hell. Those who are freed of undue thirst secure a residence in heaven.
17A man depending upon his own self is sure to be happy. The qualities of sound, touch, colour, taste and smell make one dependent on the objects of sense and hence one is sure to be unhappy.
18The deer, the elephant, the moth, the honeybee and the fish-these five are destroyed due to addiction to their five sense organs.
19In infancy one is extremely obsessed with one’s parents; in youth, one is obsessed with one’s wife; later in life one becomes obsessed with one’s sons and grandsons. Never is one obsessed with the Atman.
20It is easy for one bound with iron fetters to wooden pegs to get oneself released. But one bound with the nooses of children and wives is never released.
21It is impossible to escape death whether one is a fool or a scholar, a child or an old man, young (or old and infirm), extremely happy or excessively dejected. He comes and goes. (He dies and is born again.)
22Man is born alone; man dies alone; he enjoys his merits by himself; he reaps the bitter fruits of his sins by himself.
23-25Even as everyone is watching, one leaves off everything and dies. Casting off the dead body along with logs; of wood or clods of earth the kinsmen tum away (from the cremation or burial ground) but the dead man’s virtue or evil definitely follows him. His riches recede from him in the house itself and his kinsmen tum away at the cremation grounds with friends.
26-27The fire consumes the body but the merit and demerit accompany him. The body is burnt by fire but the actions perpetrated by him keep his company.
28-30Auspicious or otherwise, a man has to experience the fruits of his action. If before sunset wealth is not distributed among the suppliants, I do not know to whom it will go in the morning that follows. If some wealth is not handed over to Brahmins and friends or spent in holy rites or pilgrimages, the wealth begins to cry ‘who shall be my lord?’ Whether plentiful or scanty whatever wealth one has, is due to one’s previous merits. Realizing this, one has to spend it away in virtuous rites. It is by wealth that virtue is sustained if the mind is sanctified by faith.
31-33A sacred rite devoid of faith is neither fruitful here nor there. It does not nourish. Virtue is the cause of wealth, love and salvation. Hence, one shall be virtuous. It is by faith that virtue is sustained and not by heaps of riches. Indigent sages endowed with faith have attained heaven. Homas, gifts, penances and actions without faith are base, O bird, and they are not found fruitful, here or in the life after death.