As I discuss in this question, by far the most popular school of Hindu philosophy is the Vedanta school, which bases its tenets on the doctrines laid out in the Brahma Sutras, a work by the sage Vyasa that summarizes and systematizes the philosophical teachings of the Upanishads. You can read the Brahma Sutras here.

In any case, in Adhyaya 3 Pada 3 Sutra 26 of the Brahma Sutras, Vyasa says this:

Topic-15: Rejection and Reception of Merit
26. But where only the rejection of virtue and vice is spoken of, the reception of these by others has to be inferred, on account of the term reception being a counter-correlative of rejection. And this is on the analogy of kusas, metres, praise and recitation, as has been explained (by Jaimini).

Now most commentators interpret this Sutra as referring to the fact that when a person gets Moksha, their good karma and bad karma gets transferred to their friends and enemies respectively; see Adi Shankaracharya's commentary here and Ramanujacgarya's commentary here. But as with many things, the Dvaita philosopher Madhvacharya interprets this Sutra very differently. Madhvacharya thinks it's saying that after Moksha, liberated souls continue to meditate upon Brahman; here's what he says in this except from his commentary on the Brahma Sutras.

Just as the twice-born after the performance of the (daily) study enjoined upon them, viz., Brahma Yagna, they recite the praises (Yajus and other mantras) and the songs (of Sama Veda) wearing merely at their pleasure the Kusa Pavitra on their finger ; so ... also meditation, etc., in the world of heaven (are performed by the blessed of their own accord). For all the other injunctions are only subservient to the injunction (statement) referring to final beatitude, viz., "He who knows Brahman attains to the Highest (Brahman) " (Tait. III. 10). And this optional performance of devotion etc., by the released is spoken of in such texts as, " He remains singing the Saman " (Tait III. 10) ; also in the Brahma Tarka, "Indeed even those that have attained to heavenly bliss perform of their own accord the meditation of Hari, just as Brahmins after their regular duty recite the Vedas, observing the rule of wearing Kusa grass, etc., (sitting with their face to the east, etc.)." Further the Bharata says "Krishna the Lord of perfect bliss is worshipped by the released from whom all wrong knowledge is swept."

I discuss the Taittiriya Upanishad's description of liberated souls praising Vishnu using the Purushagati Saman in my question and answer here. But my question is, where does the Mahabharata say that liberated souls worship Krishna?

Now in principle, one could check the Mahabharata Tatparya Nirnaya, Madhvacharya's commentary on the Mahbharata. But as I discuss in this question, Madhvacharya's scriptural quotes are notoriously hard to track down in actual copies of texts we have in our possession. And so I am virtually certain that Madhvacharya doesn't mention this putative quote in his Mahabharata commentary.

In any case, is anyone familiar with this Mahabharata quote?

  • 1
    I think it is just a random quote since Mahabharata is full of Krsna's praise so someone would have just said ''you are worshipped by the Nityasuris, who are of pure heart.''
    – Surya
    Apr 3, 2016 at 9:45
  • @Surya Based on past experience, I predict that if you look through every single verse of the Mahabharata, in every available recension include Calcutta and Bengal, you'll never find that specific quote given by Madhvacharya. Apr 3, 2016 at 13:57
  • @Surya In fact with Madhvacharya, I've found that a good rule of thumb is if he doesn't specify what scripture a quote comes from, you can probably find the quote in some known scripture. But if he tells you the source of a quote, then you'll almost never find it: either he names a scripture which is not available to us, or he names a scripture that we do have but his quote won't be found in any available manuscripts of that scripture. Apr 3, 2016 at 14:04
  • Why blame poor Madhvacharya? :D Plus, isn't there a quote like that? I thought given Krsna's position, he would have been surely praised in this way at least once by Vyasa, Narada, Vaishampayana, Bheeshma, Maitreya, Markandeya, Lomasha and others (even Indra praised him...).
    – Surya
    Apr 3, 2016 at 14:20
  • @Surya I'm sure there's lots of verses that say Vishnu is praised by the gods and the like, I just doubt that Madhvacharya's specific quote about liberated souls is in the Mahabharata. Apr 3, 2016 at 14:27

1 Answer 1


Perhaps the following SECTION CLVIII from the Anushasan Parva of the Mahabharat narrated to Yuddhishthir by Bhishma Pitamah is what you are looking for. I am giving accompanying verses also so that the background is clear with the relevant portions in bold:

I know Krishna truly. I know who he is and what his ancient might is. O chief of the Kauravas, Kesava is of immeasurable soul. Whenever doubts arise, it is he who upholds Righteousness then.

It is Krishna who created the earth, and sky, and the heavens. Indeed, the earth has sprung from Krishna's body. Of terrible prowess and existing from the beginning of time, it is Krishna who became the mighty Boar and raised the submerged Earth.

It is He who created all the points of the compass, together with all the mountains. Below Him are the welkin, heaven, the four cardinal points, and the four subsidiary points.

It is from him that the entire creation has flowed. It is He who has created this ancient universe. In His navel appeared a Lotus. Within that Lotus sprang Brahma himself of immeasurable energy. It is He who is the Ancient God. It is He who ruled the Asuras in the form of their Emperor (Valin). It is He who is the Creator of all beings. It is He who is also the future of all created Beings. It is He who is also the protector of this universe fraught with the seed of destruction.

He is the Enhancer of Wealth; He is the one victorious Being in the universe. In Sacrifices, eloquent men hymn His praises. The singers of Samans praise Him by reciting the Rathantaras. The Brahmanas praise Him with Vedic Mantras.

It is unto Him that the sacrificial priests pour their libations. The deities with Indra at their head hymned His praise when He lifted up the Govardhana mountains for protecting the cow-herds of Brindavana against the incessant showers that Indra poured in rage.

It is unto Him that people dedicate diverse kinds of food. It is unto Him that the warriors dedicate all kinds of their vehicles at the time of war. He is eternal, and it is under that illustrious one that the welkin, earth, heaven, all things exist and stay.

Month after month, the sacrificer ordains Him as a sacrifice. Regenerate persons conversant with the Vedas sing His praises in sacrifices of all kinds.

In the Section CLXVII more supporting lines are given that help understand why he would say so:

"Bhishma said, 'O holy one, O god of all gods, O thou that art worshipped by all the deities and Asuras, O thou that didst cover the three worlds with three steps of thine, salutations to thee, O wielder of the conch, the discus, and the mace! Thou art Vasudeva, thou art of golden body, thou art the one Purusha (or active agent), thou art the creator (of the universe), thou art of vast proportions. Thou art Jiva. Thou art subtle. Thou art the Supreme and eternal Soul. Do thou, O lotus-eyed one, rescue me, O foremost of all beings! Do thou, give me permission, O Krishna, to depart from this world.

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