Yoga Vásishtha Maharamayana
Selections from the Yoga Vásishtha Maharamayana
Selections from the
Yoga Vásishtha Maharamayana
Into English, with notes, by Vihari Lala Mitra
Utpatti-Khanda: Evolution of the World
Chapter III: Causes of Bondage in the Body
Rāma said:—It is even so as you have said, that the mind is a pure essence, and has no connection with the earth and other material substances; and that it is verily Brahmā itself.
2. Now tell me, O Brāhman! Why the remembrance of his former states (in the past and previous Kalpas), is not (to be reckoned as) the cause of his birth, as it is in the case of mine and yours and of all other beings.
3. Vasishtha replied:—Whoever had a former body, accompanied with the acts of his prior existence, retains of course its reminiscence, which is the cause of his being (reborn on earth).
4. But when Brahmā is known to have no prior acts, how is it possible for him to have his reminiscence of any thing?
5. Therefore he exists without any other cause except the causation of his own mind. It is by his own causality that the Divine spirit is self-born, and is himself his own spirit.
6. He is everlasting, and his body is born of itself from the self-existent Brahma. This unborn or self-born Brahmā has no material body whatever, except his subtile ātivāhika or linga deha.
7. Rāma said:—The everlasting body is one thing (called the Sūkshma sarīra or subtile or immaterial body), and the mortal body is another (called the sthūladeha or the gross and material frame). Now tell me sir, whether all created beings have a subtile body also as that of Brahmā?
8. Vasishtha replied:—All created beings that are produced of a cause, have two bodies (the sūkshma and the sthūla or the subtile and the gross). But the unborn being which is without a cause, has one body only (which is called the ātivāhika or the everlasting spiritual body).
9. The increate Brahmā is the cause of all created beings, but the uncreated spirit having no cause for itself, has one body for it.
10. The prime lord of creatures has no material body; but manifests himself in the vacuous form of his spiritual body.
11. His body is composed of the mind alone, and has no connection with the earth or any other material substance. He is the first lord of creatures, that stretched the creation from his vacuous body (or spiritual essence).
12. All these are but forms of the images or ideas in his vacuous mind, and having no other patterns or originals in their nature. And that every thing is of the same nature with its cause, is a truth well known to all (from the identity of the effect and its material cause).
13. He is an inexistent being and of the manner of perfect intelligence. He is purely of the form of the mind, and has an intellectual and no material entity.
14. He is prime (cause) of all material productions in the physical world, and is born of himself with his prime mobile force in the form of the mind.
15. It was by the first impulse given by the prime moving power, that this expanse of creation came to be spread in the same ratio, as the currents of air and water (or the velocity of winds and tides), are in proportion to the impetus given to them.
16. This creation shining so bright to our sight, has caught its light from the luminous mind of the formless Brahmā, and appears as real to our conceptions (as they are ideal in the Divine mind).
17. Our vision in a dream is the best illustration of this (unreality of worldly things): as that of the enjoyment of connubial bliss in dreaming. It is then that an unreal object of desire, presents itself as an actual gain to our fond and false imagination.
18. The vacuous, immaterial and formless spirit, is now represented as the self-born and corporeal lord of creatures in the form of the first male. (Protogonus or the only begotten son of God).
19. He remains undiscerned in his state of pure intelligence; but becomes manifest to all by the evolution of his volition. He is indiscernible in his absolute state (of inaction); but becomes conspicuous to us in the display of his nature (in creation).
20. Brahmā is the divine power of volition (or the will of God). He is personified as the first male agent of creation, but devoid of a corporeal body. He is only of the spiritual form of the mind, and the sole cause of the existence of the triple world.
21. It is his volition that makes the self-born (Brahmā) to exert his energies, as human desires impel all mankind to action: and the vacuous mind manifests itself as a mountain of desires.
22. It then forgets its everlasting and incorporeal nature, and assumes to itself the solid material body, and shows itself in the shape of a delusive apparition (in his creation).
23. But Brahmā, who is of an unsullied understanding, is not involved in oblivion of himself, by the transformation of his unknowable nature to the known state of volition (or change of the nirguna to saguna).
24. Being unborn of material substance, he sees no apparition like others, who are exposed by their ignorance to the misleading errors of falsehood, appearing in the shape of a mirage before them.
25. As Brahmā is merely of the form of the mind, and not composed of any material substance, so the world being the product of the eternal mind, is of the same nature with its original archetype.
26. Again as the uncreated Brahmā is without any accompanying causality with himself, so his creation has no other cause beside himself (i.e. there is no secondary cause of the universe).
27. Hence there is no difference in the product from its producer; because it is certain, that the work must be as perfect as its author (so says the Sruti:—Pūrnat pūrnam etc.).
28. But there is nothing as a cause and effect to be found in this creation, because the three worlds are but the prototypes of the archetype of the divine mind.
29. The world is stretched out in the model of the Divine mind, and not formed by any other holy spirit. It is as immanent in the mind of God, as fluidity is inherent in water.
30. It is the mind which spreads out this extended unreality of the world like castles in the air, and builds Utopian cities (by its imagination only).
31. There is no such thing as materiality, which is as false a conception as that of a snake in a rope. Hence it is no way possible for Brahma and other beings to exist as individual bodies.
32. Even spiritual bodies are inexistent to enlightened understandings. As for the material body, it has no room in existence. (Matter or a corporeal substance or an unseen substratum is a non-entity. Berkeley).
33. Man (manu) who derives his name from his mind (mana) is a form of the volitive soul called Verinchi (Lat. vir—inchoare the inchoative spirit of Brahma); and has for his dominion the mental or intellectual world mano-rajyam (Lat. mentis regio vel regnum) where all things are situated in the form of realities.
34. The mind is the creative Brahma called Verinchitvas (Lat. Virinchoativus), by the exercise of its inherent sankalpa or the volition of incipience or creation—sisriksha; and displays itself in the form of the visible universe by development of its own essence.
35. This Virinchi or the creative power is of the form of the mind manas, as the mind itself is of the form of Virinchi also. It has no connection with any material substance, which is a mere creation of the imagination. (That is to say, matter is an imaginary substance or substratum of qualities only).
36. All visible things are contained in the bosom of the mind, as the lotus-bud and blossom reside in the seed of the lotus. Hence there is no difference between the mental and visible appearances of things, nor has any one ever doubted of it any where.
37. Whatever things you see in a dream, whatever desires you have at heart and all the ideals of your fancy, together with your ideas, notions and impressions of the visibles, know your mind to be the receptacle of them all.
38. But the visible objects relating to the option of the mind (i.e. which are desirable, to every one), are as baneful to their beholder, as an apparition is to a child (i.e. they are equally tempting and misleading to all).
39. The ideal of the phenomenal drisyadhi, developes itself as the germ contained in the seed and becomes in its proper time and place a large tree (comparable with the great arbor of the world known as sansāramahī ruha or Vriksha).
40. If there is no rest with what is real, there can be no peace with the phenomenals which are full of troubles, and give no solace to the mind. It is impossible that the feeling of the perception of visibles will be ever lost to their perceiver (observer), though its subsidence only is said to constitute liberation.
Chapter IX: On The Supreme Cause of All (Parama Kárana)
Vasishtha continued:— They are truly delighted and gratified (in their souls), who are ever devoted with all their hearts and minds in holy conversation among themselves.
2. Those that are devoted to the acquisition of knowledge and investigation of spiritual science, enjoy the same bliss of liberation in their living state, as it is said to attend on disembodied souls.
3. Rāma said:—Tell me O Brāhman! the distinct natures of the living and disembodied liberations, that I may try to learn the same, with an understanding enlightened by the light of Sāstras (literally, having the eye-sight of Sāstras).
4. Vasishtha said:—Who ever remains as he is, (i.e. without any perturbation in his worldly course), and continues intact as vacuity amidst society: such a one is called the living liberated (Jīvan mukta).
5. Who so is employed in his intellection only and seems to be sleeping in his waking state, though while conducting his worldly affairs: such a one is called the living liberated.
6. Whose countenance is neither flushed nor dejected in pleasure or pain, (in joy or grief and such other reverses); and who remains contented with what he gets: such a one is called liberated while he is living.
7. Whose waking is as a state of sound sleep, and who is not awake to the accidents of the waking state, and whose waking state is insensible of the desires incident to it: such a one is called liberated in his life.
8. Who though actuated by the feelings of affection, enmity, fear and the like, is at rest, and as clear and undisturbed as vacuity within himself: such a one is called liberated while he is alive.
9. Who has not an air of pride in him, and is not conceited (with a notion of his greatness) when he does or refrains to do anything: such a one is called self-liberated in his life time.
10. Who at one glance or winking of his eye, has a full view of the whole creation and final destruction of the world, like the Supreme self (to which he is assimilated): such a one is said to be liberated in his life time.
11. Who ever is not feared by nor is afraid of any body, and who is freed from the emotions of joy, anger and fear: such a one is liberated in life.
12. Who is quiet and quietly disposes his business of this world, and who though he stands as an individual in the sight of men, attaches no individuality to himself; and who though a sentient being, is insensible to all impressions: such is the living liberated soul.
13. Who being full of all possessions, and having every thing present before him, remains cold and apathetic to them, as if they were useless to him: such a man is liberated in his life.
14. Now leaving the subject of “living liberation,” I will tell you what they call the “disembodied liberation,” which like a breath of wind enters into the soul, after it has fled from the mortal body.
15. The disembodied free spirit neither rises nor sets (like the sun), nor is it subject to wane (like the moon); it is neither manifest nor hidden; it is not at a distance, nor is it in me, thee or in any other person.
16. It shines forth in the form of the sun, and preserves the world in the manner of Vishnu. It creates the world in the shape of the lotus-born Brahmā, and destroys all as Rudra or Siva.
17. It takes the form of the sky supported on the shoulders of air, which supports all living beings, the gods, sages and demigods in the three worlds. It takes the form of boundary mountains and separates the different regions (of the earth and skies).
18. It becomes the earth and supports these numerous sets of beings, it takes the forms of trees, plants and grass, and yields fruits and grains for supportance (of all living creatures).
19. It takes the forms of fire and water and burns and melts in them by itself. It sheds ambrosia in the form of the moon, and causes death in the shape of poison.
20. It becomes light wherewith it fills the space of the firmament, and spreads darkness in the form of Erebus (tama or Teom). It becomes vacuum (vyom or beom) to leave empty space for all, while in the form of hills it obstructs their free passage on earth.
21. In the form of the fleet mind, it moves the self-moving animals, and in that of dull matter it settles the unmoving immovables. It girds the earth by its form of the ocean, as a bracelet encircles the arm.
22. The bodiless spirit takes upon it the great body of the sun, and illumes all the worlds with their minute particles, while it remains quiet in itself.
23. Whatever is shining in this universe or ever was or is to be so, in any of the three—past, present and future times, know them all O Rāma! as forms of the Divine Spirit (which is free to take any shape it likes).
Chapter X: Description of the Chaotic State
Rāma said:—That which remains incident to the Universal dissolution (mahā-pralaya), is commonly designated by the term “formless void.”
2. How then said you, there was no void, and how could there be no light nor darkness neither?
3. How could it be without the intellect and the living principle, and how could the entities of the mind and understanding be wanting in it?
4. How could there be nothing and not all things? Such like paradoxical expressions of yours, have created much confusion in me.
5. Vasishtha said:—You have raised a difficult extra-question, Rāma! but I shall have no difficulty to solve it, as the sun is at no pains to dispel the nocturnal gloom.
6. On the occasion or the termination of a great kalpa age, when there remains That Entity (the Tat sat) of God, it cannot be said to be a void, as I will now explain to you. Attend Rāma and hear.
7. Like images carved in bas-relief upon a pillar, was this world situated in relievo of That Entity, and cannot be said to have been a void.*
* The pre-existent substratum is the Noumenon underlying all phenomena. It is the support of qualities, and something in which all accidents inhere. Berkeley.
8. Again when there was the representation of the plenitude under the appellation of the world at any place, (in the essence of God), and be it real or unreal, it could not have been a void and vacuity.
9. As a pillar with carved or painted figures, cannot be said to be devoid of them; so Brahma exhibiting the worlds contained in him, can not become a void. (i.e.—As a pillar is not devoid of figures which has carved images on it; so Brahma is not a void, having the worlds contained in him. This is a negative enthymem).
10. But the world contained in Brahma, becomes both something and nothing; as billows in calm waters may either exist or not exist. (So the appearance and disappearance of the worlds in Brahma, like those of the little billows in a quiet lake, prove their existence and non-existence at the same time, as it is predicated of the Chaos or the Mahāpralaya. Gloss).*
* It contradicts the well known axiom of Locke, that, “it is impossible for the same thing to be and not be at the same time.”
11. Again it happens that certain figures are marked on some insensible trees in some places by the hand of time, which people mistake for images; so it comes to pass that certain figures of evanescent matter, occur in the eternal mind, which men mistake for the real world.
12. This comparison of the figured pillar and tree and the world, is a partial and not complete simile; the similitude here referring only to the situation of the transient world in the substance of the permanent Brahma, (like the appearance of false figures in the firmly fixed pillar and on the standing tree).
13. But this appearance of the world is not caused by another (as in the case of the pillar, figures and pictures carved and painted by the hands of the statuary and painter). It rises, lasts and sets spontaneously and of itself in the self-same essence of Brahma, (as the figures in the tree or the waves of the Ocean). It is the property of the divine soul and mind to raise and set such imageries in them by turns, like the creations of our imagination.*
* The unknown substance is the known cause, a spiritual substance—God. Berkeley.
14. The meaning of the word void (sūnya) instead of no void (asūnya) or existence, is a fiction as false as inanity is a nullity in nature. Something must come out of something, and never from a void nothing; and how can nothing be reduced to nothing in the end—mahāpralaya. (sūnyatā sūnyate katham)? (Ex nihilo nihil fit, et in nihilum nihil reverti posse).
15. In answer to your second question it has been said “there was darkness neither.” Because the divine light of Brahma (which existed before creation), was not like the light of a material luminary (which is followed by darkness). The everlasting light was not to be obscured by darkness, like the sunshine, or moon-light or the blazing of fire or the twinkling of stars or our eyes.
16. It is the absence of the light of the great celestial luminaries, that is called darkness, and there being no material property in the immaterial essence of God, there could be no such light or darkness with him before creation.
17. The light of the vacuous Brahma is an internal perception of the soul, and is only felt and perceived within one’s self, and never externally by any body; nor is this spiritual light ever clouded by any mist or darkness of temporal objects.
18. The indestructible Brahma is beyond and free from external and visible light and darkness; and is above the region of vacuum which is contained, as it were, within his bosom, and contains the universe as sheathed within its hollow womb.
19. As there is no difference between the outside and inside of a fruit (both of which is the same thing); so there is no shade of difference betwixt Brahma and the universe (the one pervading and the other pervaded by his spirit).
20. As the billow is contained in and composed of the water and the pot of the earth, so the world being contained in Brahma, it can not be said as null and void, but full of the spirit of God.
21. The comparison of earth and water does not agree corporeally with the spiritual essence of God, whose vacuous spirit contains and comprises the whole (Visva) within itself, as those elements do their component parts and productions.
22. Now as the sphere of the intellect is clearer and brighter far than the spheres of air and empty space; so the sense and idea of the word world as situated in the divine mind, is clearer in a far greater degree than this visible world appears to us.
23. (In answer to the third question with regard to the want of intellect), it is said thus:—As the pungency of pepper is perceived by one who tastes it, and not by him who has never tasted it; so the minutiae of the Intellect are known in the intellectual sphere by a cultivated intelligence, and by none who is without it.
24. Thus the Intellect appears as no intellect to one who is devoid of intelligence in himself, (i.e. one having the Intellect, does not perceive it without a cultivated understanding). So this world is seen in the spirit of God or otherwise, according as one has cultivated or neglected his spiritual knowledge.
25. The world as it is, is seen either in its outward figure or in a spiritual light, as other than or the same with Brahma (by the materialist and spiritualist); but the Yogi views it in its fourth (turīya) state of susupta or utter extinction in his unconscious soul.
26. Therefore the Yogi, though leading a secular life, remains somnolent (Susupta) in his soul, and tranquil (Sānta) in his mind. He lives like Brahma unknown to and unnoticed by others, and though knowing all and full of thoughts in himself, he is as a treasury of Knowledge, unknown to the rest of mankind.
27. (In answer to the question how corporeal beings could proceed from the incorporeal Brahma).
Vasishtha says:—As waves of various shapes rise and fall in the still and shapeless breast of the sea, so innumerable worlds of various forms, float about in the unaltered and formless vacuity of Brahma’s bosom.
28. From the fullness of the Divine soul (Brahmātmā), proceeds the fullness of the living soul (Jīvātmā), which is formless also (nirākriti). This aspect of Brahma is said to be owing to the purpose of manifesting himself (as living in all living beings).
29. So the totality of worlds proceeding from the plenum of Brahma, there remains the same sum total also as the plenitude of Brahma himself.
30. Considering the world as synonymous with Brahma in our minds, we find their identity (in the same manner), as one finds by taste the pepper and its pungency to be the same thing.
31. Such being the state of the unreality of the mind and its cognizables, their reflexions upon each other (i.e. of the mind upon the object and those of the object on the mind), are equally untrue as the shadow of a shadow. (Here is an utter negation of perception and perceptibles. There being no material subtratum, the shadowy scene of the world is a mere mental synthesis. Berkeley).*
* The venerable Vasishtha would not raise the question “where is the shadow of a shadow?” (prativimbasya prativambam kutak), had he known the discoveries of the modern science of Optics, and the achievements of photography and phonography, the refractions of prismatic lens and the vibrations of musical wires.
32. Know Brahma to be smaller than the smallest atom, and minutest of minutest particles. He is purer than air, and more tranquil than the subtile ether which is embosomed in him.
33. Unbounded by space and time, his form is the most extensive of all. He is without beginning and end, and an ineffable light without brightness in it. (He is the light of lights).
34. He is of the form of intellect—chit and life eternal, without the conditions and accidents of vitality—jīvatā. The Divine Mind has its will eternal, and is devoid of the desires of finite minds—chittata.
35. Without the rise of the intellect (i.e. its development), there is neither vitality nor understanding, no intellection nor any organic action or sensation, and no mental desire or feeling whatever; (all of which are but products of the intellect or Ego).
36. Hence the Being that is full of these powers (and without which no power has its display), and who is without decline or decay, is seen by us to be seated in his state of tranquil vacuity, and is rarer than the rarefied vacuum of the etherial regions.
37. Rāma said:—Tell me again and more precisely of the form of this transcendental Being, who is of the nature of infinite intelligence, and which may give more light to my understanding.
38. Vasistha said:—I have told you repeatedly, that there is one supreme Brahma, the cause of causes, who remains alone by himself, when the universe is finally dissolved or absorbed in him. Hear me describe Him fully to you.
39. That which the Yogi sees within himself after forgetting his personality, and repressing the faculties and functions of his mind, in his Samādhi—meditation, is verily the form of the unspeakable Being.
40. As the Yogi who is absorbed in his meditation in absence of the visible world, and in privation of the viewer and visibles, and sees the light shining in himself, even such is the form of that Being.
41. Who having forgotten the nature of the living soul—jīva, and his proclivity towards the intelligibles, remains in the pure light and tranquil state of his intellect (as in Yoga), such is the form of the Supreme Spirit.
42. He who has no feeling of the breathing of the winds, or of the touch or pressure of any thing upon his body; but lives as a mass of intelligence in this life; is verily the form of the Supreme.
43. Again that state of the mind, which a man of sense enjoys in his long and sound sleep, that is undisturbed by dreams and gnats, is verily the form of the Supreme.
44. That which abides in the hearts of vacuum, air and stone, and is the intellect of all inanimate beings, is the form of the Supreme.
45. Again whatever irrational and insensible beings live by nature, as without the soul and mind (as vegetables and minerals), the tranquil state of their existence is the nature of the Supreme Soul.
46. That which is seated in the midst of the intellectual light of the soul, and what is situated in the midst of the etherial light of the sun, and that which is in the midst of our visual light, is verily the form of the Supreme. (This passage admits of an occult interpretation in the Yoga system).
47. The soul which is the witness of our knowledge, of solar and visual lights and darkness, is without beginning and end, and is the form of the Supreme.
48. He who manifests this world to us, and keeps himself hidden from view, be he the same with or distinct from the world, is the form of the Supreme.
49. Who though full of activity, is sedate as a rock, and who though not a vacuum (being the plenum of all), appears yet as an empty vacuity, such is the form of the Supreme.
50. He who is the source and terminus of our triple consciousness of the knower, known and knowledge (i.e. from whom they rise and in whom they set by turns); is most difficult of attainment.
51. He who shines forth with the lustre of the triple conditions of the knowable, knower and their knowledge, and shows them to us as a large insensible mirror, is verily the form of the Supreme, who is here represented not as the cause—nimitta, but as the source—vivarta of the triple category.
52. The mind that is liberated from bodily activities (as in the waking Jagrat state) from its dreaming (as in the swapna or sleeping state), and is concentrated in the intellect (as in the state of susupti or sound sleep), and abides alike in all moving as well as unmoving bodies (as in the turīya or fourth state of the soul), is said to remain in the end of our being.
53. The intelligent mind which is as fixed as an immovable body, and freed from the exercise of its faculties, is comparable with the Divine Mind.*
* The gods Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, Sun, Indra and all others, are assimilated into the Supreme Spirit in their state of rest. He is beyond all attribute and out of the sphere of the universe, and is of the form of an immutable Intellect.
Chapter XII: The Idealistic Theo-Cosmogony of Vedánta
Vasishtha said:— From the state of perfect quiescence and tranquillity of the supremely Holy spirit, the universe rose to being in the manner, which you must hear with your best understanding and attention.
2. As sound sleep displays itself in visionary dreams, so does Brahma manifest himself in the works of creation, of which he is the soul and receptacle: (i.e. who contains and forms and enlivens the whole).
3. The world, which of its nature is continually progressive in its course, is identic with the essence of that Being, whose form is selfsame with the ineffable glory of his eternally gemming Intellect (chin-mani).
4. This chit or Intellect, then (i.e. after its inert quiescence), gets of itself an intellection (chetyā) in itself, before assuming to itself consciousness or the knowledge of egoism. (This is the first stage of the percipient soul).
5. Then this thinking Intellect (chetya-chit), gets the notions (bodhas) of some faint images (ūhita-rūpas), which are purer and lighter than air, and which have received their names and forms afterwards. (The innate ideas are born in it before the embryonic mind or soul).
6. Afterwards this transcendent essence (Intellect), becomes an intelligent principle (sacheta), and eager for intelligence (chetana). It is now worthy of its name as Intellect or chit, on account of its attaining to what is called intelligence.
7. Lastly it takes the form of gross consciousness (ghana-samvedana), and receives the name of the living soul—jīva. It now loses its divine nature by reflecting on itself: (i.e. its own personality).
8. This living principle, is then involved in thoughts relating to the world only; but depends by its nature on the divine essence: (as the fallacy of the snake, depends on the substance of the rope).*
* The living soul is the creative spirit of God, represented by the divine hypostasis of Hiranyagarbha or Demiurgus, which is dependent on the Supreme spirit.
9. Afterwards there rises a void space into being, called Kham—vacuum (Arabic Khāviyetun), which is the seed or source of the property of sound, and which became expressive of meaning afterwards. (It is called ākāsa or sky-light from kāsa to shine, as light was the first work of God).
10. Next in order are produced the elements of egoism and duration in the living soul; (i.e. the simultaneousness of the ideas of self-entity and duration in the living principle). And these two terms, are the roots of the subsistence of future worlds (i.e. the individuality and durability of things).
11. This ideal knowledge, of the unreal forms of the net-work of world, in divine Spirit, was made to appear as a reality by the Omnipotent power (i.e. the ideal world appeared afterwards as real).
12. Thus the ideal self-consciousness became the seed (or root) of the tree of desires, which were vacillated by egoism in the form of air.
13. The intellect in the form of the airy ego, thinks on the element of sounds (sabda tanmātram); it becomes by degrees denser than the rarefied air, and produces the element of mind.
14. Sound is the seed (or root) of words, which were afterwards diversified in the forms of names or nouns and significant terms; and the assemblage of words, as shoots of trees, is varied in padas or inflected words, vākyas or sentences, and the collections of Vedas and Sāstras.
15. It is from this Supreme spirit, that all these worlds derived their beauty afterwards; and the multitude of words (which sprang from the sounds), and were full of meaning, became widely spread at last.
16. The Intellect having such a family as its offspring, is expressed by the word jīva (zoa) or the living soul, which became afterwards the arbor (or source) of all forms of beings, known under a variety of expressions and their significations (i.e. the living god Brahmā became the cause of the formal world, from the tanmātra elements produced by Brahma).
17. The fourteen kinds of living beings, which fill the cells in the bowels of all worlds, sprang afterwards from this living soul. (These include all vegetable and animal life and all such as increase in bulk and growth).
18. It was then, that the Intellect by a motion and inflation of itself, and at an instantaneous thought, became the element tanmātra of touch and feeling (the air), which was yet without its name and action. (The Spirit breathed breathless. Sruti). This breath caused air, which expanded itself and filled all bodies, which are objects of touch and feeling.
19. The air, which is the seed (root) of the tree of tangibles, then developed itself into branches, composed of the (49) various kinds of winds, that are the causes of the breathings and motions of all beings.
20. Then the Intellect produced at pleasure and from its idea of light, the elemental essence of lustre, which received afterwards its different names (from the light of the sun and moon and the stars, as also from those of fire and lightning).
21. Then the sun, fire, lightning and others, which are the seeds (or roots) of the tree of light, caused the various colours of bodies that filled the world. (That light is the cause of colour, was known to the ancient Rishi).
22. It reflected on the want of fluidity, and produced the liquid body of waters, whose taste constitutes the element (tanmātra) of flavour.
23. The desire of the soul for different flavours (rasas), is the seed of the tree of taste, and it is by the relish of a variety of tastes, that the world is to go on in its course.
24. Then the self-willed Brahmā, wishing to produce the visible earth, caused the property of smell to appertain to it from his own element of it.
25. He made his elementary solidity, the seed or source of the tree of forms (morphology); as he made his own element of rotundity the substratum of the spherical world.
26. Those elements being all evolved from the Intellect, are again involved of themselves in it, as the bubbles of water rise and subside in itself.
27. In this manner, all those beings remain in their combined states, until their final dissolution into their simple and separate forms.
28. All those things, which are but forms and formations of pure Intellect, remain within the sphere of Divine Intelligence, as the germs of the big banian tree, reside in the forms of pollen and the seed.
29. These sprouted forth in time, and burst out into a hundred branches: and after having been concealed in an atom, became as big as they were to last for ever.
30. Such is the growth and multiplication of things by pervasion of the Intellect, until they are put to a stop by its contraction and when weakened in their bodies by its desertion, they droop down in the end.
31. Thus is this class of elementary tanmātras, produced in the Intellect out of its own volition, and are manifested in the form of formless minutiae to sight.* (trasaranus).
* Tanmātra or tat-mātra might be rendered from its affinity as “that matter,” but the idealistic theory of vedānta being opposed to that of the materialistic, it expresses only the idea and not the matter.
32. These five-fold elements are verily the only seeds of all things in the world. They are the seeds of the primary momentum that was given to them (in the beginning). In our notions, they are the seeds of elementary bodies, but in their real nature, they are the increate ideal shapes of the Intellect replenishing the world.
Chapter LX: On Duration and Time and Thoughts of the Mind
16. Vasishtha said:—Know sinless Rāma! that whosoever thinks of anything in any manner at any place or time, he comes to feel the same in the same manner, and in the same place and time.
17. Take for instance the destructive poison, which becomes as ambrosia to venomous insects, that take it for their dainty nourishment; and so is an enemy turning to a friend by your friendly behaviour unto him. (In both cases the evil turns to good by our taking it as such).
18. And the manner in which all beings consider themselves, and all others for a length of time; the same they seem to be by their mode and habit of thinking, as if it were by an act of destiny (i.e., they consider their thoughts of things as their destined nature, which is not so in reality; for fair is foul and foul is fair; according as our judgments declare).
19. The manner in which the active intellect represents a thing in the soul, the same is imprinted in the consciousness of its own nature. (Here the Chit is said to be the intellectus agens and consciousness—Samvid—the intellectus patiens. The motion of the mind gives us the impressions of the swiftness and slowness of time).
20. When our consciousness represents a twinkling of the eye as a Kalpa, we are led to believe a single moment an age of long duration. (As a short nap appears an age in dreaming), and (a long age as a moment as in the case of the seven sleepers of Kehef).
21. And when we are conscious of or think a Kalpa age as a twinkling, the Kalpa age is thought to pass as a moment; and so a long night in our unconscious sleep, appears as a moment upon waking.
22. The night appears a longsome age, to the long suffering sick, while it seems as a moment, in the nightly revels of the merry; so a moment appears as an age in the dream, and an age passes off as a moment in the state of insensibility. (The length and shortness of duration, depending on our consciousness and insensibility of the succession of our ideas. See Locke and Kant on our idea of time).
23. The notions of the resurrection of the dead, and of one’s metempsychosis, and being re-born in a new body; of his being a boy, youth or old man; and of his migrations to different places at the distance of hundreds of leagues, are all but the phenomena of sleep, and retrospective views in a dream.
24. King Haris Chandra is said, to have thought a single night as a dozen of years; and the prince Lavana to have passed his long life of a hundred years as the space of a single night. (So the seven sleepers of Kehef passed a long period as one night, and so of others).*
* The reader is referred to the following passage in the story of Rip Van Winkle in Irving’s Sketch-Book. “To him the whole twenty years, had been but as one night”. The strange events that had taken place during his torpor were, that there had been a revolutionary war, when his country had thrown off the yoke of old England, and that instead of being a subject of George the third, he was now a free citizen of the United States, pp. 32-33.
25. What was a moment to Brahmā, was the whole age of the life-time of Manu (Noah); and what is a day to Vishnu, constitutes the long period of the life-time of Brahmā. (This alluded to the comparative differences in the cycles of planetary bodies presided by the different deities; such as Jupiter’s cycle of 60 years round the sun, is but one year to the presiding god of that planet).
26. The whole life-time of Vishnu, is but one day of the sedate Siva; for one whose mind is motionless in his fixed meditation, is unconscious of the change of days and nights and of seasons and years. (Since the meditative mind is insensible of the fluctuation of its ideas, or that there is an utter quietus of them in the quietism of the Yogi’s mind).
27. There is no substance nor the substantive world, in the mind of the meditative Yogi (who views them in their abstract light); and to whom the sweet pleasures of the world, appear as bitter, as they are thought to be the bane of his true felicity.
28. The bitter seems to be sweet, by being thought to be so; and what is unfavorable, becomes favorable as that which is friendly comes to be unfriendly by being taken in their contrary senses. (The mind can make a heaven of hell and a hell of a heaven. Milton).
29. Thus Rāma! it is by habitual meditation, that we gain the abstract knowledge of things; as on the other hand we forget what we learnt, by want of their recapitulation. (Habit is second nature, and practice is the parent of productions).
30. These by their habitude of thinking, find every thing in a state of positive rest; while the unthinking fall into the errors of the revolutionary world, as a boat-passenger thinks the land and objects on the shore, to be receding from and revolving around him.
31. Thus the unthinking part of mankind, and those wandering in their error, think the world to be moving about them; but the thinking mind, sees the whole as an empty void, and full of phantoms, as one sees in his dream.
32. It is the thought (erroneous conception), that shows the white as black and blue; and it is the mistake of judgement, that makes one rejoice or sorrow at the events of life.
33. The unthinking are led to imagine a house where there is none; and the ignorant are infatuated to the belief of ghosts, as they are the killers of their lives.
34. It is reminiscence or memory, which raises the dream as her consort; and which represents things as they are presented to it, by the thoughts of the waking state.
35. The dream is as unreal as the empty vacuity, abiding in the hollow receptacle of the intellectual soul; it overspreads the mind like the shadow of a cloud, and fills it with images like those of a puppet-show under the magic lantern.
36. Know the phenomena of the revolving worlds, to be no more in reality, than mere resultants of the vibrations of the mind, in the empty space of the soul; and as the motions and gestures of the fancied hobgoblins, to the sight of children.
37. All this is but a magical illusion, without any substance or basis of itself; and all these imposing scenes of vision, are but the empty and aerial sights of dreams.
38. Just as the waking man, beholds the wondrous world before him, so also does sleeping man see the same; and both of them resemble the insensible pillar, which finds the images of statues engraved upon it: (because the soul is ever awake in every state of all living bodies).
39. The great monument of the Divine Spirit, has the figure of the created world, carved in itself in the same manner, as I see a troop of soldiers passing before me in my dream. (All these appear to be in action, in their true state of nullity and inaction).
40. So is this waking world asleep in the soul of Brahmā, and rises in his mind as the vegetable world springs from the sap lying hid in the earth, which gives it its growth and vernal bloom.
41. So likewise does the creation lie hid in, and spring from the Supreme Spirit; as the brightness of gold ornaments is contained in, and comes out of the material metal. (The Divine Spirit is both the material and efficient cause of creation—ex quo & a quo.)
42. Every atom of creation, is settled in the plenum of Divine spirit; as all the members of the body, are set in the person of their possessor.
43. The visible world has the same relation, to the bodiless and undivided spirit of God; as one fighting in a dream bears to his antagonist (both believing in their reality, while both of them are unreal in their bodies).
44. Thus the real and unreal, the spirit and the world, all dwindled into vacuum, at the great Kalpānta annihilation of creation, except the intellect of God which comprises the world in itself.
45. The causality of the one (i.e. the spirit of God), and the unreality of the world cannot be true (since nothing unreal can come out of the real). Except Brahm—the all (to pan), there is no other cause, as a Brahmā or any other; the Divine Intelligence is the only cause and constituent of its productions.
Chapter LXXXXII: On the Powers of Mind
Argument: Force of the Faculties of the Mind and Energy of Men.
Vasishtha added:—Now hear, O support of Raghu’s race! what I next proposed to the lotus-born lord Brahmā, after we had finished the preceding conversation.
2. I asked him saying:—Lord! you have spoken before of the irrevocable power of curses and imprecations, how is it then that their power is said to be frustrated again by men.
3. We have witnessed the efficacy of imprecations, pronounced with potent Mantra—anathemas, to overpower the understanding and senses of living animals, and paralyze every member of the body. (This speaks of the incantations and charms of the Atharva Veda).
4. Hence we see the mind and body are as intimately connected with each other, as motion with the air and fluidity with the sesamum seed: (because the derangement of the one is attended by the disorganization of the other: i.e. of the body and mind).
5. Or that there is no body except it but be a creation of the mind, like the fancied chimeras of visions and dreams, and as the false sight of water in the mirage, or the appearance of two moons in the sky.
6. Or else why is it that the dissolution of the one, brings on the extinction of the other, such as the quietus of the mind is followed by the loss of bodily sensations?
7. Tell me, my lord! how the mind is unaffected by the power of imprecations and menace, which subdue the senses and say whether they are both overpowered by these, being the one and same thing.
8. Brahmā replied:—Know then, there is nothing in the treasure-house of this world, which is unattainable by man by means of his exertions in the right way.
9. And that all species of animal being, from the state of the highest Brahmā, down to minute insects, are bicorpori or endowed with two bodies the mental and corporeal (i.e. the mind and the body).
10. The one, that is the mental body, is ever active and always fickle; and the other is the worthless body of flesh, which is dull and inactive.
11. Now the fleshy part of the body which accompanies all animal beings, is overpowered by the influence of curses and charms, practised by the art of incantation—abhichāra Vidyā. (Exorcism, the Mumbo Jumbo of the Tantras).
12. The influence of certain supernatural powers stupifies a man, and makes him dull and dumb. Sometimes one is about to droop down insensible, as spell bound persons are deprived of their external senses, and fall down like a drop of water from a lotus-leaf.
13. The mind which is the other part of the body of embodied beings, is ever free and unsubdued; though it is always under the subjection of all living beings in the three worlds.
14. He who can control his mind by continued patience on one hand, and by incessant vigilance on the other, is the man of an unimpeachable character, and unapproachable by calamity.
15. The more a man employs the mental part of his body to its proper employment, the more successful he is in obtaining the object he has in view. (Omnium vincit vigilentia vel diligentia).
16. Mere bodily energy is never successful in any undertaking (any more than brute force); it is intellectual activity only, that is sure of success in all attempts. (The head must guide the body).
17. The attention of the mind being directed to objects unconnected with matter, it is as vain an effort to hurt it (an immaterial object); as it is to pierce a stone with an arrow (or to beat the air).
18. Drown the body under the water or dip it in the mud, burn it in the fire or fling it aloft in air, yet the mind turneth not from its pole; and he who is true to his purpose, is sure of success. (The word tatkshanāt phalitah or gaining immediate success, is an incredible expression in the text).
19. Intensity of bodily efforts overcomes all impediments, but it is mental exertion alone which leads to ultimate success in every undertaking (for without the right application of bodily efforts under guidance of reason, there can be no expectation of prospering in any attempt).
20. Mark here in the instance of the fictitious Indra, who employed all his thoughts to the assimilation of himself into the very image of his beloved, by drowning all his bodily pains in the pleasure of her remembrance.
21. Think of the manly fortitude of Māndavya, who made his mind as callous as marble, when he was put to the punishment of the guillotine, and was insensible of his suffering. (So it is recorded of the Sophist Mansur, who was guillotined for his faith in the anal Haq “I am the True One,” and of the martyrs who fell victims to their faith in truth).
22. Think of the sage who fell in the dark pit, while his mind was employed in some sacrificial rite, and was taken up to heaven in reward of the merit of his mental sacrifice. (Redemption is to be had by sacrifice of the soul, and not of the body).
23. Remember also how the sons of Indu obtained their Brahmāhood, by virtue of their persevering devotion, and which even I have not the power to withhold (i.e. even Brahmā is unable to prevent one’s rising by his inflexible devotedness).
24. There have been also many such sages and master-minds among men and gods, who never laid aside their mental energies, whereby they were crowned with success in their proper pursuits.
25. No pain or sickness, no fulmination nor threat, no malicious beast or evil spirit, can break down the resolute mind, any more than the striking of a lean lotus-leaf, can split the breast of a hard stone.
26. Those that you say to have been discomfited by tribulations and persecutions, I understand them as too infirm in their faiths, and very weak both in their minds and manliness.
27. Men with heedful minds, have never been entrapped in the snare of errors in this perilous world; and they have never been visited by the demon of despair, in their sleeping or waking states.
28. Therefore let a man employ himself to the exercise of his own manly powers, and engage his mind and his mental energy to noble pursuits, in the paths of truth and holiness.
29. The enlightened mind forgets its former darkness, and sees its objects in their true light; and the thought that grows big in the mind, swallows it up at last, as the fancy of a ghost lays hold of the mind of a child.
30. The new reflexion effaces the prior impression from the tablet of the mind, as an earthen pot turning on the potter’s wheel, no more thinks of its nature of dirty clay. (One risen to a high rank or converted to a new creed, entirely forsakes and forgets his former state).
31. The mind, O muni! is transmuted in a moment to its new model; as the inflated or aerated water rises high into waves and ebullitions, glaring with reflexions of sun-light. (Common minds are wholly occupied with thoughts of the present, forgetful of the past and careless of the future).
32. The mind that is averse to right investigation, sees like the purblind, every thing in darkness even in broad day light; and observes by deception two moons for one in the moonshine. (The uninquisitive are blind to the light of truth).
33. Whatever the mind has in view, it succeeds soon in the accomplishment of the same. And as it does aught of good or evil, it reaps the reward of the same, in the gladness or bitterness of his soul.
34. A wrong reflector reflects a thing in a wrong light, as a distracted lover sees a flame in the moonbeams, which makes him burn and consume in his state of distraction. (This is said of distracted lovers, who imagine cooling moon-beams and sandal-paste as hot as fire, and inflaming their flame of love).
35. It is the conception of the mind, that makes the salt seem sweet to taste, by its giving a flavour to the salted food for our zest and delight.
36. It is our conception, that makes us see a forest in the fog, or a tower in the clouds; appearing to the sight of the observer to be rising and falling by turns.
37. In this manner whatever shape the imagination gives to a thing, it appears in the same visionary form before the sight of the mind; therefore knowing this world of your imagination, as neither a reality nor unreality, forbear to view it and its various shapes and colours, as they appear to view.
Chapter CXVII: Different States of Knowledge and Ignorance*
* The Text uses the terms jnāna and ajnāna, which literally signify knowledge and ignorance, and mean to say that, we know the subjective ourselves only (as-ego-sum) and are ignorant of the true nature of the objective, as whether they are or not and what they are. Though it would be more appropriate to use the words nischaya and anischaya or certainty and uncertainty, because we are certain of our own existence, and are quite uncertain of every thing besides, which we perceive in our triple states of waking, dreaming and sound sleep, which incessantly produce and present before us a vast variety of objects, all of which lead us to error by their false appearances.
Argument: The septuple grounds of true and false Knowledge and their mixed modes. And firstly, of self-abstraction or abstract knowledge of one or swarūpa; and then of the different grounds of Ignorance.
Rāma said:—Please sir, tell me in brief, what are the grounds of yoga meditation, which produce the seven kinds of consummation, which are aimed at by the yogi adepts. You sir, who are best acquainted with all recondite truths, must know it better than all others.
2. Vasishtha replied:—They consist of the seven states of ignorance (ajnāna-bhūmi), and as many of knowledge also; and these again diverge into many others, by their mutual intermixture. (Participating the natures of one another, and forming the mixed modes of states of truth and error).
3. All these states (both of right and wrong cognitions), being deep rooted in the nature of man (mahā-satta), either by his habit or of training, made produce their respective fruits or results (tending to his elevation or degradation in this world and the next).
Note. Habit or natural disposition (pravritti) is the cause of leading to ignorance and its resulting error; but good training—sādhana and better endeavours—prayatna, are the causes of right knowledge and elevation.
4. Attend now to the nature of the sevenfold states or grounds of ignorance; and you will come to know thereby, the nature of the septuple grounds of knowledge also.
5. Know this as the shortest lesson, that I will give thee of the definitions of true knowledge and ignorance; that, it is the remaining in one’s own true nature (swarūpa or suiform state), that constitutes his highest knowledge and liberation; and his divergence from it to the knowledge of his ego (egoism—ahanta), is the cause of his ignorance, and leads him to the error and bondage of this world.
6. Of these, they that do not deviate from their consciousness—samvitti of themselves—swarūpa, as composed of the pure ens or essence only (suddha-san-mātra), are not liable to ignorance; because of their want of passions and affections, and of the feelings of envy and enmity in them. (The highest intelligence of one’s self, is the consciousness of his self-existence, or that “I am that I am” as a spiritual being; because the spirit or soul is the true self).
7. But falling off from the consciousness of self-entity—swarūpa, and diving into the intellect—Chit, in search of the thoughts of cognizable objects (chetyārthas), is the greatest ignorance and error of mankind. (No error is greater than to fall off from the subjective and run after the objective).
8. The truce that takes place in the mind, in the interim of a past and future thought of one object to another (arthadar thāntara); know that respite of the mind in thinking, to be the resting of the soul, in the consciousness of its self-entity swarūpa.
9. That state of the soul which is at calm after the setting of the thoughts and desires of the mind; and which is as cold and quiet as the bosom of a stone, and yet without the torpitude of slumber or dull drowsiness; is called the supineness of the soul in its recognition of itself.
10. That state of the soul, which is devoid of its sense of egoism and destitute of its knowledge of dualism, and its distinction from the state of the one universal soul, and shines forth with its unsleeping intelligence, is said to be at rest in itself or swarūpa.
11. But this state of the pure and self-intelligent soul, is obscured by the various states of ignorance, whose grounds you will now hear me relate unto you. These are the three states of wakefulness or jāgrat, known as the embryonic waking (or vijajāgrat), the ordinary waking, and the intense waking called the mahajāgrat (i.e. the hypnotism or hybernation of the soul, being reckoned its intelligent state, its waking is deemed as the ground of its ignorance, and the more it is awake to the concerns of life, the more it is said to be liable to error).
12. Again the different states of its dreaming (swapnam or somnum), are also said to be the grounds of its ignorance and these are the waking dream, the sleeping dream, the sleepy waking and sound sleep or sushupti. These are the seven grounds of ignorance. (Meaning hereby, all the three states of waking, dreaming and sound steep (jāgrat, swapna and sushupta), to be the grounds fertile with our ignorance and error).
13. These are the seven-fold grounds, productive of sheer ignorance, and which when joined with one another, become many more and mixed ones, known under different denominations as you will hear by and by.
14. At first there was the intelligent Intellect (Chaitanya Chit), which gave rise to the nameless and pure intelligence Suddha-Chit; which became the source of the would-be mind and living soul.
15. This intellect remained as the ever waking embryonic seed of all, wherefore it is called the waking seed (Vijajāgrat); and as it is the first condition of cognition, it is said to be the primal waking state.
16. Now know the waking state to be next to the primal waking intelligence of God, and it consists of the belief of the individual personality of the ego and meity,—aham and mama; i.e. this am I and these are mine by chance—prāg-abhāva. (The first is the knowledge of the impersonal soul, and the second the knowledge of personal or individual souls).
17. The glaring or great waking—mahajāgrat, consists in the firm belief that I am such a one, and this thing is mine, by virtue of my merits in this or by-gone times or Karman. (This positive knowledge of one’s self and his properties, is the greatest error of the waking man).
18. The cognition of the reality of any thing either by bias—rudhādhyāsa or mistake—arudha, is called the waking dream; as the sight of two moons in the halo, of silver in shells, and water in the mirage; as also the imaginary castle building of day dreamers.
19. Dreaming in sleep is of many kinds, as known to one on his waking, who doubts their truth owing to their short-lived duration (as it was in the dreaming of Lavana).
20. The reliance which is placed in things seen in a dream, after one wakes from his sleep, is called his waking dream, and lasting in its remembrance only in his mind. (Such is the reliance in divine inspirations and prophetic dreams which come to be fulfilled).
21. A thing long unseen and appearing dimly with a stalwart figure in the dream, if taken for a real thing of the waking state, is called also a waking dream. (As that of Brutus on his seeing the stalwart figure of Caesar).
22. A dream dreamt either in the whole body or dead body of the dreamer, appears as a phantom of the waking state (as a living old man remembers his past youthful person, and a departed soul viewing the body it has left behind).
23. Besides these six states, there is a torpid—jada state of the living soul, which is called his sushupta—hypnotism or sound sleep, and is capable of feeling its future pleasures and pains. (The soul retains even in this torpid state, the self-consciousness of its merit and demerit (as impressions—sanskāras in itself, and the sense of the consequent bliss or misery, which is to attend upon it)).
24. In this last state of the soul or mind, all outward objects from a straw up to a mountain, appear as mere atoms of dust in its presence; as the mind views the miniature of the world in profound meditation.
25. I have thus told you Rāma, the features of true knowledge and error in brief, but each of these states branches out into a hundred forms, with various traits of their own.
26. A long continued waking dream is accounted as the waking state—jāgrat, and it becomes diversified according to the diversity of its objects (i.e. waking is but a continued dreaming).
27. The waking state contains under it the conditions of the wakeful soul of God; also there are many things under these conditions which mislead men from one error to another; as a storm casts the boats into whirlpools and eddies.
28. Some of the lengthened dreams in sleep, appear as the waking sight of day light; while others though seen in the broad day-light of the waking state, are no better than night-dreams seen in the day time, and are thence called our day dreams.
29. I have thus far related to you the seven grades of the grounds of ignorance, which with all their varieties, are to be carefully avoided by the right use of our reason, and by the sight of the Supreme soul in our-selves.
Chapter CXVIII: Directions to the Stages of Knowledge
Argument: Definitions of the seven Grounds of Knowledge, together with that of Adepts—ārūdhasin in Yoga, and also of Liberation.
Vasishtha continued:—O sinless Rāma, attend now to the sevenfold stages of cognoscence, by the knowledge of which you will no more plunge into the mire of ignorance.
2. Disputants are apt to hold out many more stages of Yoga meditation; but in my opinion these (septuple stages) are sufficient for the attainment of the chief good on ultimate liberation. (The disputants are the Patānjala Yoga philosophers, who maintain various modes of discipline, for attaining to particular perfections of consummation—Siddhi; but the main object of this Sāstra is the summum bonum (parama-purushārtha), which is obtainable by means of the seven stages—Bhūmikas which are expounded herein below).
3. Knowledge is understanding, which consists in knowing these seven stages only; but liberation—mukti, which is the object of knowledge (jnāna), transcends the acquaintance of these septuple stages.
4. Knowledge of truth is liberation (moksha), and all these three are used as synonymous terms; because the living being that has known the truth, is freed from transmigration as by his liberation also. (The three words mukti, moksha and jnāna imply the same thing).
5. The grounds of knowledge comprise the desire of becoming good—subhechhā, and this good will is the first step. Then comes discretion or reasoning (vichāranā) the second, followed by purity of mind (tanu-manasa), which is the third grade to the gaining of knowledge.
6. The fourth is self reliance as the true refuge—Sattā-patti, then asansakti or worldly apathy as the fifth. The sixth is padārthabhāva or the power of abstraction, and the seventh or the last stage of knowledge is turya-gati or generalization of all in one.
7. Liberation is placed at the end of these, and is attained without difficulty after them. Attend now to the definitions of these steps as I shall explain them unto you.
8. First of all is the desire of goodness, springing from dispassionateness to worldly matters, and consisting in the thought, “why do I sit idle, I must know the Sāstras in the company of good men”.
9. The second is discretion, which arises from association with wise and good men, study of the Sāstras, habitual aversion to worldliness, and consists in an inclination to good conduct, and the doing of all sorts of good acts.
10. The third is the subduing of the mind, and restraining it from sensual enjoyments; and these are produced by the two former qualities of good will and discretion.
11. The fourth is self-reliance, and dependence upon the Divine spirit as the true refuge of this soul. This is attainable by means of the three qualities described above.
12. The fifth is worldly apathy, as it is shown by one’s detachment from all earthly concerns and society of men, by means of the former quadruple internal delight (which comes from above).
13. By practice of the said fivefold virtues, as also by the feeling of self-satisfaction and inward delight (spiritual joy); man is freed from his thoughts and cares, about all internal and external objects.
14. Then comes the powers of cogitation into the abstract meanings of things, as the sixth step to the attainment of true knowledge. It is fostered either by one’s own exertion, or guidance of others in search of truth.
15. Continued habitude of these six qualifications and incognition of differences in religion, and the reducing of them all to the knowledge of one true God of nature, is called generalization. (Because all things in general, proceed from the one and are finally reduced in to the same).
16. This universal generalization appertains to the nature of the living liberation of the man, who beholds all things in one and in the same light. Above this is the state of that glorious light, which is arrived by the disembodied soul.
17. Those fortunate men, O Rāma, who have arrived to the seventh stage of their knowledge, are those great minds that delight in the light of their souls, and have reached to their highest state of humanity.
18. The living liberated are not plunged in the waters of pleasure and sorrow, but remain sedate and unmoved in both states; they are at liberty either to do or slight to discharge the duties of their conditions and positions in society.
19. These men being roused from their deep meditation by intruders, betake themselves to their secular duties, like men awakened from their slumber (at their own option).
20. Being ravished by the inward delight of their souls, they feel no pleasure in the delights of the world; just as men immerged in sound sleep, can feel no delight at the dalliance of beauties about them.
21. These seven stages of knowledge are known only to the wise and thinking men, and not to beasts and brutes and immovable things all around us. They are unknown to the barbarians and those that are barbarous in their minds and dispositions.
22. But any one that has attained to these states of knowledge, whether it be a beast or barbarian, an embodied being or disembodied spirit, has undoubtedly obtained its liberation.
23. Knowledge severs the bonds of ignorance, and by loosening them, produces the liberation of our souls: it is the sole cause of removing the fallacy of the appearance of water in the mirage, and the like errors.
24. Those who being freed from ignorance, have not arrived at their ultimate perfection of disembodied liberation; have yet secured the salvation of their souls, by being placed in these stages of knowledge in their embodied state during their life time.
25. Some have passed all these stages, and others over two or three of them; some have passed the six grades, while a few have attained to their seventh state all at once (as the sage Sanaka, Nārada and other holy saints have done from their very birth).
26. Some have gone over three stages, and others have attained the last; some have passed four stages, and some no more than one or two of them.
27. There are some that have advanced only a quarter or half or three fourths of a stage. Some have passed over four quarters and a half, and some six and a half.
28. Common people walking upon this earth, know nothing regarding these passengers in the paths of knowledge; but remain as blind as their eyes were dazzled by some planetary light or eclipsed by its shadow.
29. Those wise men are compared to victorious kings, who stand victorious on these seven grounds of knowledge. The celestial elephants are nothing before them; and mighty warriors must bend their heads before them.
30. Those great minds that are victors on these grounds of knowledge, are worthy of veneration, as they are conquerors of their enemies of their hearts and senses; and they are entitled to a station above that of an emperor and an autocrat, samrat and virat, both in this world and in the next in their embodied and disembodied liberations—sadeha and videha muktis.
NOTES:—These terms called the grades of knowledge may be better understood in their appropriate English expressions, as: 1. Desire of improvement. 2. Habit of reasoning. 3. Fixity of attention. 4. Self-dependence—Intuition (?) 5. Freedom from bias or onesidedness. 6. Abstraction or abstract knowledge. 7. Generalization of all in the universal unity. 8. Liberation is anaesthesia or cessation of action, sensation and thoughts.
Sthiti Prakaraná: On Ontology or Existence
Chapter XXXVIII: The Same Quietness or Quietude of the Spirit
Argument: The unconnected Soul being connected with the Mind, is believed as the Active Spirit by the unwise. But the quiet spirit of the wise, which is unaffected by its actions, is ever free and emancipate from the acts.
Vasishtha resumed:—(Prose). Such being the state of the wise, the actions they are seen to do, whether of goodness or otherwise or pleasurable or painful, in and whatsoever they are engaged, are nil and as nothing, and do not affect them as they do the other worldly mortals. (The unconcernedness of the wise, is opposed to the great concern of fools in their actions).
2. For what is it that is called an action, but the exertion of mental and voluntary energies, with a fixed determination and desire of performing some physical acts, which they call the actions of a person. (But the apathetic minds of the wise, being insensible both of the purposes and their ends, there is no imputation of agency which can ever attach to them. Gloss).
3. The production of an act by appliance of the proper means, and the exertion and action of the body in conformity with one’s ability, and the completion of the effect compatible with one’s intention, together with the enjoyment of the result of such agency, are defined and determined as the action of the man. (It is the deliberate and voluntary doing of an act, and not the unintentional physical action, that constitutes human agency. Gloss).
4. (Verse). Moreover, whether a man is agent or no agent of an action, and whether he goes to heaven or dwells in hell, his mind is subject to the same feelings, as he has the desires in his heart. (The mind makes a heaven of hell, and a hell of heaven by its good or bad thoughts. Milton).
5. (Prose). Hence the agency of the ignorant, arises from their wishing to do a thing, whether they do it or not; but not so of the wise, who having no will, are not culpable even for their involuntary actions. Untutored minds are full with the weeds of vice, but well cultivated souls are quite devoid of them. (So: “If good we plant not, vice will fill the place: And rankest weeds the richest soils deface”).
6. He who has the knowledge of truth (tatwajnāna), becomes relaxed in his earthly desires; and though he acts his part well, he does not long eagerly for its result as others. He acts with his body but with a quiet unconcerned mind. When successful, he attributes the gain to the will of God; but the worldly minded arrogate the result to themselves, though they could not bring it about.
7. Whatever the mind intends, comes verily to pass, and nothing is achieved without the application of the mind; whereupon the agency belongeth to the mind and not to the body. (An involuntary action is not a deed).
8. The world doth proceed from the Mind (Divine); it is the mind (by being a development of it), and is situated in the (infinite and eternal) mind; knowing all things as such manifestations of the powers of the intellect, the wise man remains in the coolness of his desire or lukewarmness.
9. The minds of spiritualists (or those knowing the soul), come to the state of that perfect insensibility of their desires, as when the false watery mirage is set down by the raining clouds, and the particles of morning dews, are dried up by the raging sun. It is then that the soul is said to rest in its perfect bliss (The turya—sans souci or impassibility).
10. This is not the felicity of the gusto of pleasure, nor the colour of sorrow or discontent; it consists not in the liveliness of living beings, nor in the torpidity of stones. It is not situated in the midst of these antitheses (i.e. in the sandhisthāna or golden medium between these); but in the knowing mind which is Bhumānanda—all rapture and ravishment. (Neither is il allegro nor il spinseroso, the true bliss of man).
11. But the ignorant mind (which is unacquainted with this state of transport) is transported by its thirst after the moving waters of earthly pleasures; as an elephant is misled to the foul pool, where he is plunged in its mud and mire, without finding any thing that is really good.
12. Here is another instance of it based upon a stanza in the Sruti, which says that:—A man dreaming himself to be falling into a pit, feels the fear of his fall in his imagination even when he has been sleeping in his bed; but another who actually falls in a pit when he is fast asleep, is quite insensible of his falls. Thus it is the mind which paints its own pleasure and pains, and not the bodily action or its inactivity.
13. Hence whether a man is the doer of an action or not, he perceives nothing of it, when his mind is engrossed in some other thought or action; but he views every thing within himself, who beholds them on the abstract meditation of his mind. The thinking mind sees the outward objects, as reflexions of his pure intellect cast without him. (The spiritualist regards the outward as images of his inward ideas, in opposition to the materialist, who considers the internal ideas to be but reflexions derived from external impressions).
14. Thus the man knowing the knowable soul, knows himself as inaccessible to the feelings of pleasure and pain. Knowing this as certain, he finds the existence of no other thing, apart from what is contained in the container of his soul, which is as a thousandth part of a hair. This being ascertained, he views every thing in himself. With this certainty of knowledge, he comes to know his self as the reflector of all things, and present in all of them. After these ascertainments, he comes to the conclusion that he is not subject to pain or pleasure. Thus freed from anxieties, the mind freely exercises its powers over all customary duties, without being concerned with them.
15. He who knows the self, remains joyous even in his calamity, and shines as the moonlight, which enlightens the world. He knows that it is his mind and not his self, that is the agent of his actions although he is the doer of them: and knowing the agency of the mind in all his actions, he does not assume to himself the merit of the exercise of his limbs, hands and feet, nor expects to reap the rewards of all his assiduous labours and acts.
16. Mental actions (thoughts) being brought to practice, tend to involve their unguarded agents of ungoverned minds, into the endurance of its consequence. Thus the mind is the seed (root) of all efforts and exertions, of all acts and actions, of all their results and productions, and the source of suffering the consequences of actions. By doing away with your mind, you make a clean sweep of all your actions, and thereby avoid all your miseries resulting from your acts. All these are at an end with the anaesthesia of the mind. It is a practice in Yoga to allay (laisser aller), the excitement of the mind to its ever varying purposes.
17. Behold the boy is led by his mind (fancy) to build his toy or hobby-horse, which he dresses and daubs at his wilful play, without showing any concern or feeling of pleasure or pain, in its making or breaking of it at his pleasure. So doth man build his aerial castle, and level it without the sense of his gain or loss therein. It is by his acting in this manner in all worldly matters, that no man is spiritually entangled to them. (Do your duties and deal with all with a total unconcernedness and indifference).
18. What cause can there be for your sorrow, amidst the dangers and delights of this world, but that you have the one and not the other. But what thing is there that is delectable and delightful to be desired in this world, which is not evanescent and perishable at the same time, save yourself (soul), which is neither the active nor passive agent of your actions and enjoyments; though they attribute the actions and their fruitions to it by their error.
19. The importance of actions and passions to living beings, is a mistake and not veritable truth. Because by the right consideration of things, we find no action nor passion bearing any relation to the soul. Its attachment or aversion to the senses and sensible actions and enjoyments, is felt only by the sensualist, and not by them that are unconscious of sensuous affections (as the apathetic ascetics).
20. There is no liberation in this world for the worldly minded, while it is fully felt by the liberal minded Yogi, whose mind is freed from its attachments to the world, in its state of living liberation. (Jīvan-mukta).
21. Though the Sage is rapt in the light of his self-consciousness, yet he does not disregard to distinguish the unity and duality, the true entity from the non-entities, and to view the omnipotence in all potencies or powers that are displayed in nature (for these display His power and goodness beyond our thought).
22. (Verse). To him there is no bond or freedom, nor liberation nor bondage whatever, and the miseries of ignorance are all lost in the light of his enlightenment. (Bondage and freedom here refer to their causes or acts ([Bengali: karma]) by the figure of metonymy; and that these bear no relation to the abstracted or spiritualistic Yogi).
23. It is in vain to wish for liberation, when the mind is tied down to the earth; and so it is redundant to talk of bondage, when the mind is already fastened to it. Shun them both by ignoring your egoism, and remain fixed to the true Ego, and continue thus to manage yourself with your unruffled mind on earth. (The whole of this is a lesson of the Stoical and Platonic philosophic and unimpassioned passivity).
The Upasama Khanda: On Quietism
Chapter XXVI: Admonition of Sukra to Bali
Argument: Sukra’s appearance at the call of Bali; and his advice to him on the attainment of divine knowledge.
Vasishtha said:—So saying the mighty Bali closed his eyes, and thought upon the lotus-eyed Sukra, abiding in his heavenly abode. (Sukra the planet Venus represented as the preceptor of demons, as Vrihaspati the planet Jupiter is said to be the Spiritual guide of the deities).
2. Sukra, who sat intently meditating on the all-pervading spirit of God, came to know in his mind, that he was remembered by his disciple Bali in his city.
3. Then Sukra the son of Bhrigu, whose soul was united with the all-pervading infinite and omniscient spirit, descended with his heavenly body at the gemming window of Bali (decorated with glass doors).
4. Bali knew the body of his guide by its lustre, as the lotus flower perceives the rising sun by his dawning beams.
5. He then honoured his guru or guide, by adoring his feet on a seat decked with gems, and with offering of mandāra flowers upon him.
6. As Sukra took his rest on the gemming seat from the labour of his journey, he was strewn over with offerings of gems on his body, and heaps of mandāra flowers upon his head; after which Bali addressed him thus:—
7. Venerable sir, this illustrious presence of thy grace before me, emboldens me to address to thee, as the morning sun-beams send all mankind to their daily work.
8. I have come to feel an aversion, Sir, to all kinds of worldly enjoyments, which are productive of the delusion of our souls; and want to know the truth relating to it, in order to dispel my ignorance of myself.
9. Tell me, sir, in short, what are these enjoyments good for, and how far they extend; and what am I, thou or these people in reality. (Extent of enjoyments—bhoga, means their limitation and duration).
10. Sukra answered:—I can not tell you in length about it, as I have soon to repair to my place in the sky. Hear me O monarch of demons tell this much briefly to you at present.
11. There is verily but the intellect in reality, and all this existence beside is verily the intellect and full of intellect: The mind is the intellect, and I, thou and these people are collectively the very intellect.*
* These sayings are based on the srutis, namely: All these are but different aspects of the one intellect. Again: All things depend on the chit. Also:—This chit am I, thou and this Brahma and Indra and all others. There is no other looker or the subjective; or the hearer or objective beside the chit: and so forth).
12. If you are wise, know you derive every thing from this Chit—the universal Intellect; or else all gifts of fortune are as useless to you as the offering of butter on ashes (which cannot consume it, or make a burnt offering of it to the gods).
13. Taking the intellect as something thinkable or object of thought, is the snare of the mind; but the belief of its freeness or incomprehensibility, is what confers liberation to the soul. The incomprehensible intellect is verily the universal soul, which is the sum of all doctrines. (All faiths and doctrines tend to the belief of one unknowable God).
14. Knowing this for certain, look on everything as such; and behold the spirit in thy spirit, in order to arrive to the state of the Infinite spirit. (Or else the adoration of a finite object, must lead to a finite state).
15. I have instantly to repair to the sky, where the seven munis are assembled (the seven planets or the seven stars of the Pleiades—saptarshi?), where I have to continue in the performance of my divine service.
16. I tell you, O king! that you must not of yourself get rid of your duties, as long as you are in this body of yours, even though your mind may be freed from everything. (The embodied being must continue in the discharge of his bodily duty).
17. So saying, Sukra flew as a bee besmeared with the farinaceous gold-dust of the lotus, to the aureate vault of heaven; and passed through the watery path of the waving clouds, to where the revolving planets were ready to receive him.
Chapter XXVII: Hebetude Of Bali
Argument: Bali attains to his state of Ecstacy, by his observance of Sukra’s precepts.
Vasishtha said:—After Sukra, the son of Bhrigu and senior in the assembly of gods and demigods, had made his departure, Bali the best among the intelligent, reflected thus in himself.
2. Truly has the seer said, that the Intellect composes the three worlds, and that I am this Intellect, and the Intellect fills all the quarters, and shows itself in all our actions.
3. It is the Intellect which pervades the inside and outside of every thing, and there is nothing anywhere which is without the Intellect.
4. It is the Intellect that perceives the sunbeams and moonlight, or else there would be no distinction between them and darkness, had not there been this intellectual perception.
5. If there were no such intellectual perception as this earth is land, then there would be no distinction of earth and water, nor the word earth apply to land.
6. If the Intellect would not understand the vast space as the quarters of the sky, and the mountains as vast protuberances on earth; then who would call the sides and the mountains by those names?
7. If the world were not known as the world and the vacuum as vacuity, then who would distinguish them by the names that are in common use?
8. If this big body was not perceived by the intellect, how proper could the bodies of embodied beings be called by their names?
9. The Intellect resides in every organ of sense, it dwells in the body, mind and all its desires; the intellect is in the internal and external parts of the body, and the intellect is all that is in existent and non-existent. (Because the intellect has the notions of all these things, which would not come to exist, if they were not in the intellect).
10. The Intellect forms my whole self, by its feeling and knowing of everything that I feel and know; or else I can neither perceive or conceive nor do anything with my body alone, and without guidance of the intellect.
11. What avails this body of mine, which is inert and insensible as a block of wood or stone; it is the intellect that makes my self, and it is the intelligent spirit which is the universal Soul.
12. I am the intellect which resides in the sun and in the sky, and I am the intellect which dwells in the bodies of all beings; I am the same intellect which guides the gods and demigods, and dwells alike in the movables and immovable bodies.
13. The intellect being the sole existence, it is in vain to suppose aught besides; and their being naught otherwise, there can be no difference of a friend or foe to us.
14. What is it if I Bali, strike off the head of a person from his body, I can not injure the soul which is everywhere and fills all space.
15. The feelings of love and enmity are properties of the intellect (Soul), and are not separated from it by its separation from the body. Hence the passions and feelings are inseparable from the Intellect or soul.
16. There is nothing to be thought of beside the Intellect, and nothing to be obtained anywhere, except from the spacious womb of the Intellect, which comprehends all the three worlds.
17. But the passions and feelings, the mind and its powers, are mere attributes and not properties of the Intellect; which being altogether a simple and pure essence, is free from every attribute.
18. The Intellect—chit is the Ego, the omnipresent, all pervasive and ever felicitous soul; it is beyond all other attributes, and without a duality or parts.
19. The term Intellect—chit which is applied to the nameless power of intellection—chiti, is but a verbal symbol signifying the omniscient Intelligence, which is manifest in all places. (i.e. the Divine Intellect is both omniscient as well as omnipresent, while human understanding is narrow and circumscribed).
20. The Ego is the Supreme Lord, that is ever awake and sees all things without manifesting any appearance of himself. He is purely transparent and beyond all visible appearances.
21. All its attributes are lame, partial and imperfect. Even time which has its phases and parts, is not a proper attribute for it. It is but a glimpse of its light that rises before us, but the eternal and infinite light, is beyond our comprehension.
22. I must think of it only in the form of light in my own self, and know it apart from all other thinkables and thoughts, and quite aloof from all shades and colours.
23. I salute his self-same form of Intelligence, and the power of Intellection, unaccompanied by the intelligible, and employed in its proper sphere.
24. I salute that light of his in me, which represents every thing to me; which is beyond all thought, and is of the form of Intellect, going everywhere and filling all space.
25. It is the quiet consciousness of all beings, the real Intellect (sach-chit), the Ego and the Great; the Ego which is as infinite as space, and yet minuter than an atom, and spreading in all alike.
26. I am not subject to the states of pleasure and pain, I am conscious of my self and of no other existence besides myself; and I am Intelligence without the intelligibles spread out before me.
27. No worldly entity nor non-entity (i.e. neither the gain of any object nor its want), can work any change in me; for the possession of worldly objects would destroy me at once (by their separating my soul from God).
28. In my opinion there is nothing that is distinct from me, when we know all things as the produce of the same source.
29. What one gets or loses is no gain or loss to any (i.e. to the gainer or loser), because the same Ego always abides in all, and is the Maker of all and pervading everywhere.
30. Whether I am any of the thinkable objects or not, it matters me little to know; since the Intellect is always a single thing, though its intelligibles (i.e. its productions or thoughts), are endless.
31. I am so long in sorrow, as my soul is not united with the Holy spirit. So saying, the most discerning Bali fell to a deep meditation.
32. He reflected on the half mantra of Om (i.e. the dot only); an emblem of the Infinite God; and sat quietly with all his desires and fancies lying dormant in him.
33. He sat undaunted, by suppressing his thoughts and his thinking powers within him; and remained with his subdued desires, after having lost the consciousness of his meditation, and of his being the meditator and also of meditated object. (i.e. without knowing himself as the subject or object of his thoughts and acts).
34. While Bali was entranced in this manner at the window which was decked with gems, he became illumined in his mind as a lighted lamp flaming unshaken by the wind. And he remained long in his steady posture as a statue carved of a stone.
35. He sat with his mind as clear as the autumnal sky after having cast off all his desires and mental anxieties, and being filled within himself with his spiritual light.
Chapter LXXXX: Admonition on the Mind and its Yoga Meditation
Argument: The Two ways of subduing selfishness; by Universal Benevolence and want of Personality.
Vasishtha said:—After the sage Vīta-havya, had subdued his heart and mind by his rationality, there arose in him the qualities of universal benevolence and philanthropy (for want of his selfishness).
2. Rāma asked:—How do you say, Sir, that the quality of benevolence sprang in the mind of the sage, after it had been wholly absorbed in itself by its rationality? (since the total insensibility of one if himself, cannot have any regard for others).
3. Tell me Sir, that art the best of speakers, how can the feelings of universal love and friendliness, arise in the heart which is wholly cold and quiet, or in the mind which is entranced in the divine spirit?
4. Vasishtha replied:—There are two kinds of mental numbness, the one being its coma in the living body; and the other its deadliness after the material body is dead and gone. (The one is swarūpa and the other arūpa; the first having its formal existence, and the other being a formless one).
5. The possession of the mind is the cause of woe, and its extinction is the spring of happiness; therefore one should practise the abrasion of the essence of his mind (or personality), in order to arrive to its utter extinction.
6. The mind that is beset by the net of the vain desires of the world, is subject to repeated births, which are the sources of endless woes. (The world is a vale of tears, and worldlimindedness is the spring of misery).
7. He is reckoned as a miserable being, who thinks much of his person, and esteems his body, as the product of the good deserts of his past lives; and who accounts his foolish and blinded mind as a great gift to him. (Human life is usually esteemed as the best of all living beings; and the Sāstra says “the human body is the best gain after millions of transmigrations in other forms”).
8. How can we expect the decrease of our distress, as long as the mind is the mistress of the body? It is upon the setting down of the mind, that the world appears to disappear before us. (As the setting sun hides the world from our sight).
9. Know the mind to be the root of all the miseries of life, and its desires as the sprouts of the forest of our calamities.
10. Rāma asked:—Who is it, Sir, whose mind is extinct, and what is the manner of this extinction; say also how its extinction is brought on, and what is the nature of its annihilation?
11. Vasishtha replied:—O support of Raghu’s race! I have told you before of the nature of the mind; and you will hear now, O best of inquirers! the manner of extinguishing its impulses.
12. Know that mind to be paralysed and dead, which is unmoved from its steadiness by pleasure and pain; and remains unshaken as a rock at the gentle breath of our breathing. (i.e. the man that lives and breathes, but moves not from his purposes).
13. Know also that mind, to be as dull as dead, which is devoid of the sense of its individuality from others; and which is not degraded from the loftiness of its universality, to the meanness of its personality.
14. Know that mind also, to be dead and cold, which is not moved by difficulties and dangers; nor excited by pride and giddiness, nor elated by festivity nor depressed by poverty and penury; and in short which does not lose its serene temperament at any reverse of fortune.
15. Know, gentle Rāma! this is what is meant by the death of the mind, and the numbness of the heart; and this is the inseparable property of living liberation (of those that are liberated in their lifetime).
16. Know mindfulness to be foolishness, and unmindedness is true wisdom; and it is upon the extinction of mental affections, that the pure essence of the mind appears to light.
17. This display of the intrinsic quality of the mind, after the extinction of its emotions; and this temperament of the mind of the living liberated persons, is said by some to be the true nature of the mind.
18. The mind that is fraught with the benevolent qualities, has its best wishes for all living beings in nature; it is freed from the pains of repeated births in this world of woe, and is called the living liberated mind (Jīvan-mukta manas).
19. The nature of the living liberated mind is said to be its intrinsic essence, which is replete with its holy wishes, and exempted from the doom of transmigration.
20. The Swarūpa or personal mind, is what has the notion of its personality as distinct from its body; and this is the nature of the mind of those, that are liberated in their lifetime. (This is the nature of the individual and unembodied mind).
21. But when the living liberated person loses the individuality of his mind; and becomes as gladsome as moonbeams within himself, by virtue of his universal benevolence; it then becomes as expanded and extended, as it appears to be present everywhere at all times.
22. The living liberated person being mindless of himself, becomes as cold hearted as a plant growing in a frigid climate, where it blooms with its mild virtues, likening the blossoms of the winter plant.
23. The Arūpa or impersonal mind of what I have told you before, is the coolness of the disembodied soul, that is altogether liberated from the consciousness of its personality.
24. All the excellent virtues and qualities, which reside in the embodied soul, are utterly lost and drowned in the disembodied soul, upon its liberation from the knowledge of its personality.
25. In the case of disembodied liberation, the consciousness of self personality being lost, the mind also loses its formal existence in Virupa or formlessness, when there remains nothing of it.
26. There remains no more any merit or demerit of it, nor its beauty or deformity; it neither shines nor sets any more, nor is there any consciousness of pain or pleasure in it.
27. It has no sense of light or darkness, nor the perception of day and night; it has no knowledge of space and sky, nor of the sides, altitude or depth of the firmament.
28. Its desires and efforts are lost with its essence, and there remains no trace of its entity or nullity whatever.
29. It is neither dark nor lightsome, nor transparent as the sky; it does not twinkle as a star, nor shines forth as the solar and lunar lights. And there is nothing to which it may resemble in its transparency.
30. Those minds that have freed themselves from all worldly cares, and got rid from the province of their thoughts also; are the minds that rove in this state of freedom, as the winds wander freely in the region of vacuum.
31. The intelligent souls that are numb and sleepy, and are set in perfect bliss beyond the trouble of rajas and tamas; and which have assumed the forms of vacuous bodies, find their rest in the supreme felicity, in which they are dissolved in the unity of the Deity.
The Nirvana-Prakarana: On Ultimate Extinction
Chapter XII (from the Uttaradha, supplement to the Nirvána Prakarana): On the Identity of the Will and its Work of the Desire and its Production
Argument: The falsity of egoism, and the futility of the expansion of the intellect in creation. Ignorance as the cause of this fallacy and the manner of its removal.
Bhusunda continued:—As the supposition of one vacuity (as that subsisting in a pot or any spot), to be a part or derived from the universal vacuum is false and wrong; so the conception of the visionary ego (as produced from the unknown vacuum Brahma), is altogether an error. (i.e. The error of conceiving a subtile or gross spirit called the ego, proceeds from ignorance of the True Spirit).
2. The erroneous conception of limited vacuities, being produced from the unlimited vacuum, has given rise to the mistaken belief of unreal and individual souls, as proceeding from the one universal and undivided soul of God.
3. The divine intellect exists in the form of air in air, which it takes for its body; it is manifest throughout the aerial sphere and therefore I am neither the ego nor the non-ego either. (Man is the ego in his intellectual part, and the non-ego in his material frame)
4. The unity of the subtile intellect is of such a nature, that it contains the gravity of the immense world in it (i.e. in its thought); in the same manner as a ponderous mountain is contained in an atom (or as it is composed of atomic particles). The conscious intellect is of the form of air (empty and all pervading in its nature). (This is another instance of the vacuous essence of God, according to the vacuistic theory of Vasishtha).
5. The intellect which is rarer than subtile air, thinks in itself the gross nature of unintellectual matter; which exhibits itself in the form of the world. (The dull external world, is a counter part of the internal conception of the mind).
6. It is well known to the spiritualist, that the egoism of ourselves and the materialism of the world, are but dilations of the intellect; as the currents and curlings of streams in eddies are but dilations of water. (This process of the Divine spirit is called its vivarta rupa).
7. When this process of the intellect is at a stop, the whole course of nature is at a stand still, like the liquid water of the lake without its undulation; or like the quiet sphere of the sky, without the stir or agitation of winds in it. (It means to say that, as the motion of the spirit causes the action of the world, so its cessation nivarta-rupa, put an end to the course of nature).
8. Thus there is no other cause of any physical action, in anything in any part or period of the world; except what is derived from the agitation of the Intellect, without which this whole is a shapeless void and nil.
9. It is the action of the intellect, that makes the world to appear to us at all times and places; whether in the sky, water or land, as also when we wake, sleep or dream: (and this action of the mind being put to a stop in death deep sleep, the world ceases to exist both in the mind and to our external senses also).
10. The action and inaction of the intellect, is imperceptible to our understanding, owing to the extreme tenuity of the mind, which is more transparent than the clear sky.
11. The knowing soul that is unified or settled as one with the Supreme spirit, is unconscious of its pleasure or pain and the sense of its egoism; and being melted down into the divine essence, it resides as the fluidity of the psychic fluid.
12. The sapient mind is regardless of all external intelligence, fortune, fame, or prosperity; and having no desire or hope to rise or fear or shame to fall, he sees none of these things before him, as one sees no object of broad daylight in the gloom of night. (The holy man has lost sight of all worldly things).
13. The moonlight of the intellect which issues forth from the moon like disk of the glory of God, fills the universe with its ambrosial flood; and there is no other created world, nor its receptacles of time and space, except the essence of Brahma, which fills the whole.
14. Thus the whole universe being full with the glorious essence of God, it is the mind which revolves with the spheres of the worlds on itself, like the curling circles on the surface of waters.
15. The revolving world, is evanescently rolling on like a running stream to its decay, with its ever rising and sinking waves, and its gurgling and whirling eddies and whirlpools.
16. As the moving sands appear as water (in the mirage of the desert), and as the distant smoke seems as a gathering clouds to the deluded; so doth this world appear to them as a gross object of creation, and a third thing beside the Divine spirit and Mind.
17. As the wood pared by the saw appear as separate blocks, and as the water divided by the winds has the appearance of detached waves; so doth this creation in the Supreme spirit, seem to be something without and different from it.
18. The world is as unsolid and unsubstantial, as the stem of a plantain tree, and as false and frail as the leaves of the arbour of our desire; it is plastic in its nature, but as hard as stone in the substance. (Being like the shadow of something in the hard crystal of the Divine Mind).
19. It is personified in the form of Viraj, with his thousand heads and feet, and as many arms, faces and eyes; and his body filling all sides, with all the mountains, rivers and countries situated in it.
20. It is empty within and any pith in it, it is painted in many colours and having no colour of itself.
21. It is studded all over with bodies of gods and demigods, gandharvas, vidyádharas and great serpents; it is inert (dull matter of itself), and is moved by the all moving air of sutrátma—the all connecting spirit of god; and is animated by the all enlivening anima of the Supreme soul.
22. As the scene of a great city appears brilliant to sight, in a painting which is well drawn on a canvas, so does the picture of the world, which is displayed by imagination in the retina of the mind, appear charming to them, who do not deign to consider (to examine) it in its true light.
23. The reflexion of the unreal and imaginary world, which falls on the mirror of the fickle and fluctuating mind; appears to swim upon its surface, as a drop of oil floats over the face of water.
24. This world is overspread with the network of the feelings imprinted in the heart, and interspersed with winding eddies of mistake and misery; it runs with the flood of our affections, and with silent murmurs of sorrow.
25. The understanding is apt to attribute optionally, the predicates I, thou and so forth to the original and prime Intellect; but none of these is apart from the Supreme one, as the fluid is no other than the water itself. (Jíva—the living Soul and Brahma—the universal being, synonymous terms there is no distinction whatever between them).
26. The luminous Intellect itself is styled the creation, (after it has assumed to itself the title of ego (or its personality); or else there is no other creation or any creator thereof (beside the everlasting intellect, which is represented as the personal God-Ego and personified as the creation itself).
27. As the power of impulsion is inherent in every moving substance, like the blowing of winds and flowing of water; so the intellectual soul, being of a vacuous form, knows all things in their vacuous or ideal states only.
28. As seas and oceans are becoming the seeming cause of separate name of countries, by separating the connection from one land to another, though the vacuum remains ever the same; so delusion is the cause of different ideas and dreams of material objects, but spirit remains unchangeful forever.
29. Know the words mind, egoism, understanding and such other terms, which are significant of the idea of knowledge; to proceed from ignorance alone, and are soon removed by proper investigation into them.
30. It is by means of conversation with the wise, that it is possible for us to remove one half of this ignorance, and it is by investigation into the sástras, that we are enabled to remove a quarter of it, while our belief of and reliance in the Supreme spirit, serves to put down the remaining fourth part of it altogether.
31. Having thus divided yourself into the said fourfold-duties, and destroyed by degree the four parts of ignorance by each of them; you will find at last a nameless something which is the true reality itself.
32. Ráma said:—I can understand sir, how a moiety of our ignorance is removed by conversation with the wise, as also how a fourth part of it, driven by the study of sástras, but tell me sir, how the remainder of it is removed by our belief and reliance in the spirit.
33. Tell me sir, what you mean by the simultaneous and gradual removal of ignorance, and what am I to understand by what you call the nameless one and the true reality, as distinguished from the unreal.
34. Vasishtha replied:—It is proper for all good and virtuous people who are dispassionate and dissatisfied with the world, to have recourse to wise and holy men, and argue with them regarding the course of nature, in order to get over the ocean of this miserable world.
35. It is proper also for intelligent persons, to be in diligent search after the passionless and unselfish men wherever they may be found; and particularly to find out and reverence such of them, as are possessed with the knowledge of the soul, and are kindly disposed to impart their spiritual knowledge to others.
36. The acquisition of such a holy sage, takes away one half of one’s temporal and spiritual ignorance; by setting him on the first and best step of divine knowledge. (The subsequent stages of yoga, are based upon the initiatory step or stage).
37. Thus half of one’s spiritual gloom being dispelled by association with the holy; the remaining two fourths are removed, by religious learning and one’s own faith and devotion.
38. Whenever any desire of any enjoyment whatever, is carefully suppressed in one’s self by his own endeavour; it is called his self-exertion, which destroys one fourth of spiritual ignorance.
39. So it is the society of the holy, the study of Sástras and one’s own exertion, which tend to take away one’s sins, and it is done by each of these singly or all of these conjointly, either by degrees or at once and at same time.
40. Whatever there remains either as something or nothing at all, upon the total extinction of ignorance, the same is said to be the transcendent and nameless or unspeakable something or nothing (owing to its being beyond all conception).
41. This is verily the real Brahma, the undestroyed, infinite and eternal one; and which being but a manifestation of the unsubstantial will, is understood as an inexistant blank likewise. By knowing the measureless, immeasurable and unerring being, do you rely in your own nihility of nirvána, and be free from all fear and sorrow. (He who thinks himself as nothing, has no care or fear for anything).
Chapter XXI: Explanation Of The Cause Of The Crows Longivity
Argument: The eminence of the kalpatree, and its durability in all ages. The doings of destiny, and the results of past reminiscence.
Bhusunda [said]:— This kalpatree whereon we dwell remains firm and unshaken amidst the revolutions of ages and the blasts of all destroying cyclones and hurricanes. (Figuratively said of human desires, which continue with the soul through all the vicissitudes of life, and all its endless transmigrations, so says ([Sanskrit: kálah krínati gacchatyáyustadapi namunchatyásárbayuh]).
2. This arbor of desire is inaccessible to other people dwelling in all worlds; it is therefore that we reside here in perfect peace and delight, and without disturbance of any kind. (i.e. We dwell on the firm rock of our secret hopes and expectations, where no body can obtrude upon us, and of which no external accident has the power to despoil us).
3. When Heranyákha the gigantic demon of antideluvian race, strove to hurt this earth with all its septuple continents into the lowest abyss, even then did this tree remain firm on its roots, and on the summit of this mountains.
4. And then as this mountainous abode of the gods, stood trembling with all other mountains of this earth (on the tusk of the divine Varáha or boar), even then did this tree remain unshaken on its firm basis.
5. When Náráyana supported this seat of the gods on his two arms (i.e. the Meru), and uplifted the mandara mount on the other two, even then did this tree remain unshaken.
6. When the orbs of the sun and moon, shook with fear, at the tremendous warfare of the gods and demons, and the whole earth was in a state of commotion and confusion, even then did this tree stand firm on its root.
7. When the mountains were up-rooted by the hail-storms blowing with tremendous violence, and sweeping away the huge forest trees of this mount of Meru, even then was this tree unshaken by the blast.
8. When the mount Mandara rolled into the milky ocean, and gusts of wind filling its caverns (like canvases of a vessel), bore it afloat on the surface of the water; and the great masses of deluvian clouds rolled about in the vault of heaven, even then did this tree remain stead fast as a rock.
9. When this mount of Meru was under the grasp of Kalanemi and was going to crush by his gigantic might (with its inhabitants of the gods), even then this tree remained steady on its roots.
10. When the siddhas were blown away by the flapping wings of garuda—the king of birds, in their mutual warfare for this ambrosial fare, even then this remained unmoved by the wind.
11. When the snake which upholds the earth, was assailed by Rudra in the form of garuda, who shook the world by the blast of his wings, even then was this tree unshaken by the wind.
12. When the flame of the last conflagration, threatened to consume the world with the seas and mountains; and made the snake which supported the earth on his hoods, throw out living fire from all his many mouths, even then this tree was neither shaken nor burnt down by the gorgeous and all devouring fire.
13. Such being the stability of this tree, there is no danger O Sage! that can betake us here, as there is no evil than can ever betide the inhabitants of heaven. How can we, O great Sage! be ever exposed to any danger, who are thus situated in this tree which defies all casualties. We are out of all fear and danger as those that are situated in heaven. (The object of one’s desire is in a manner his highest heaven).
14. Vasishtha rejoined:— But tell me, O Sagely bird! that has borne with the blasts of dissolution, how could you remain unhurt and unimpaired, when many a sun and moon and stars have fallen and faded away.
15. Bhusunda said:— When at the end of a kalpa period, the order of the world and laws of nature are broken and dissolved; we are then compelled to foresake our nest as an ungrateful man alienates his best friend.
16. We then remain in the air freed from our fancies, the members of the body become defunct of their natural functions, and the mind is released from its volitions.
17. When the zodiacal suns shine in their full vigour, and melt down the mountains by there intense heat, I then remain with my understanding; under the influence of varuna’s mantra or power. (Varuna the god of water is said to be allied with the human soul, which is a watery substance).
18. When the deluvian winds blow with full force, and shatter and scatter the huge mountains all around, it is then by mending the párvati mantra, that I remain as fixed as a rock. (Vasishtha has explained the meaning of these mantra in the latter part of the Nirvána prakarana).
19. When the earth with its mountains is dissolved into water, and presents the face of an universal ocean over its surface; it is then by virtue of the váyu manntra or my volatile power, that I keep myself aloft in the air.
20. I then convey myself across this visible world, and rest in the holy state of the spotless spirit; and remain in a state of profound sleep, without any agitation of the body and mind.
21. I remain in this torpid state, until the lotus-born Brahmá is again employed in his work of creation, and then I re-enter into the limits of the re-created world, where I settled again on this arbour of desire. (The departed soul is free from desire, which it re-assumes to itself upon its re-entrance into life).
22. Vasishtha said:— Tell me, O lord of birds, why the other Yogis do not remain as steady as you do by your dháraná or fixed attention.
23. Bhusunda replied:— O venerable sir! It is because of the inseparable and overruling power of destiny, which no body can prevent or set aside; that I am doomed to live in this wise and others in their particular modes of life.
24. None can oppose or remodel what must come to pass on him; it is nature’s law that all things must be as they are ordained to be. (There is no helping for what is destined to happen, what is allotted, can not be averted).
25. It is because of my firm desire that things are so fixed and allotted to my share, that they must so come to pass to my lot at each kalpa and over again, and that this tree must grow on the summit of this mountain, and I must have my nest in its hollow. (The heart is the hollow of the tree of the body, and the soul is the bird that is confined there of its own desire).
26. Vasishtha said:— You sir, are as longival as our salvation is diuturnal, and are able to guide us in the paths of truth; because you are sapient in true wisdom, and sedate in your purpose of Yoga or deep meditation.
27. Sir, you have seen the many changes of the world, and have been experienced in all things in the repeated course of creations; must be best able to tell me the wonders that you have witnessed during the revolution of ages.
28. Bhusunda replied:— I remember, O great sage! the earth beneath this mount of Meru to have been once a desolate land, and having no hill or rock, nor trees, plants or even grass upon it. (This was the primeval state of the earth, when nothing grew upon it, and agrees with what the Persian sophist thinks with regard to the priority of the soul to all other created things, as “manan wakt budam ke nechak nabud” I existed when there is nothing in existence).
29. I remember also the earth under me, to have been full of ashes for a period of myriads and centuries of years. (This was the age after the all devouring conflagration on earth).
30. I remember a time when the lord of day—the sun was unproduced, and when the orb of the moon was not yet known, and when the earth under me was not divided by day and light, but was lighted by the light of this mount of Meru.
31. I remember this mountain throwing the light of its gems on one side of the valley below it, and leaving the other in utter darkness; and resembling the lokáloka mount presenting its light and dark side to the people on either side of the horizon. (The sun is said to turn round the Meru, and the day and night as he is on one or the other side of this mountain).
32. I remember to have seen the war rasing high between the gods and demons, and the flight and slaughter of people on all sides of the earth.
33. I remember to have witnessed the revolution of the four yuga-ages of the world, and the revolt of the haughty and giddy assyrians—asuras all along; I have also seen the Daitya—demons driven back to the wall.
34. I remember the spot of the earth, which was borne away beyond the boundaries of the universal flood; and recollect the cottage of the world, to have only the increat three (the Holytriad) left in it.
35. I remember to have seen no other creature on earth, except the vegetable creation for the long duration of one half of the four yuga-ages. (The earth was covered with jungle for a long period after the great flood).
36. I also remember this earth to be full of mountains and mountainous tracts, for the space of full four yugas; when there were no men peopled on earth, nor their customs and usages got their ground in it.
37. I remember to have seen this earth filled with the bones of dead Daityas and other fossil remains, rising in heaps like mountains, and continuing in their dilapidated and crumbling state for myriads of years. (These are the fossil remains of the monsters of the former world).
38. I remember that formless state of the world, when darkness prevailed over the face of the deep, when the serpentine support of the earth fled for fear, and the celestials left their etherial courses; and the sky presented neither a bird or the top of a tree in it.
39. I remember the time when the northern and southern divisions (of India), were both included under the one boundary mountain (of Himalaya); and I remember also when the proud vindhyan vied to equal the great Meru.
40. I remember these and many other events, which will be too long to relate; but what is the use of long narrations, if you will but attend to my telling you the main substance in brief.
41. I have beheld innumerable Munis and manwantaras pass away before me, and I have known hundreds of the quadruple yagas[**yugas] glide away one after the other, all of which were full of great deeds and events; but which are now buried in oblivion.
42. I remember the creation of one sole body named virát in this world, when it was entirely devoid of men and asuras in it.
43. I remember that age of the world, when the Brahmans were addicted to wine and drunkenness, when the Sudras were out casted by the Suras (Aryans); and when women had the privilege of polyandry: (which is still practised among the Pariahs of Deccan).
44. When the surface of the earth presented the sight of one great sheet of water (after the deluge), and entirely devoid of any vegetable produce upon it; and when men were produced without cohabitation of man and woman, I remember that time also: (when Bhrigu and the patriarchs were born in this manner).
45. I remember that age of the world, when the world was a void, and there was no earth or sky nor any of their inhabitants in it, neither men nor mountains were in existence, nor were there the sun and moon to divide the days and nights.
46. I remember the sphere of heaven shrouded under a sheet of darkness, and when there was no Indra nor king to rule in heaven or earth, which had not yet its high and low and middle classes of men.
47. It was after that, the Brahmá thought of creating the worlds, and divided them into the three spheres of the upper, lower and the intermediate regions. He then settled the boundary mountains, and distinguished the Jambu Dvipa or the continent of Asia from the rest.
48. Then the earth was not divided into different countries and provinces, nor was there, the distinctions of cast and creed, nor institutions for the various orders of its people. There was then no name for the starry frame, nor any denomination for the polar star or its circle.
49. It was then that the sun and moon had their birth, and the gods Indra and Upendra had their dominions. After this occurred the slaughter of Hiranya-Kasipu, and the restoration of the earth by the great Varaha or boar like incarnation of Vishnu.
50. Then there was the establishment of kings over the peoples on earth, and the revelation of the Vedas given to mankind; after this the Mandara mountain was uprooted from the earth, and the ocean was churned by the gods and giant races of men.
51. I have seen the unfledged Garuda or bird of heaven, that bore Vishnu on his back; and I have seen the seas breaking in bays and gulfs. All these events are remembered by me as the latest occurrences in the course of the world, and must be in the memory of my youngsters and yourself likewise.
52. I have known in former ages the god Vishnu with his vehicle of Garuda, to have become Brahmá with his vehicle of swan, and the same transformed to Siva having the bull for his bearer and so the vice-versa. (This passage shows the unity of the Hindu trinity, and the interchangeableness of their persons, forms and attributes).
Chapter XXXIV: Sermon of Siva
Argument: The divine state, above the quadruple conditions of waking, sleeping, dreaming and profound sleep.
The god continued—such is the constitution of this world, composed of reality and unreality, and bearing the stamp of the almighty; it is composed both of unity and duality, and yet it is free from both. (To the ignorant it appears as a duality, composed of the mind and matter; but the wise take it neither as the one or the other, but the whole to pan—the root of pantheism).
2. It is the disfigurement of the intellect by foul ignorance, that views the outer world as distinct from its maker; but to the clear sighted there is no separate outer world, but both blend together in the unity.
3. The perverted intellect which considers itself as the body, is verily confined in it; but when it considers itself to be a particle of and identic with the divine, it is liberated from its confinement. (In the mortal and material frame).
4. The intellect loses its entity, by considering the duality of its form and sense; and be combined with pleasure and pain, it retains no longer its real essence.
5. Its true nature is free from all designation, and application of any significant term or its sense to it; and the words pure, undivided, real or unreal, bear no relation to what is an all pervasive vacuity.
6. Brahma the all and full (to pans plenum), who is perfect tranquility, and without a second, equal or comparison, expands himself by his own power as the infinite and empty air; and stretched his mind in three different directions of the three triplicates. (Namely 1: of creation, preservation and destruction of the universe — 2: the three states of waking, sleeping, and dreaming — 3: the union of the three powers—the supernal, natural and material agencies. [Sanskrit: srishti, sthiti, pralaya, jágrat, nidra, sapta / ádhidaiva, ádhibhautika, ádhibhauvikanca]
7. The mind being curbed with all its senses and organs in the great soul, there appears a dazzling light before it, and the false world flies away from it, as the shade of night disappears before the sunlight. (This verse is explained in the gloss to refer both to the supreme spirit before creation, as also to the yogi who distracts his mind and senses from the outer world, and sees a blazing light stretched over his soul).
8. The imaginary world recedes from view, and falls down like a withered leaf; and the living soul remains like a fried grain, without its power of vegetation or reproduction.
9. The intellect being cleared from the cloud of illusion, overhanging the deluded mind, shines as clearly as the vault of the autumnal sky; and is then called pashyanti or seeing from its sight of the supernatural, and utsrijanti also from its renunciation of all worldly impressions. (This is called also the cognoscent soul, from its cognition of recondite and mysterious truths).
10. The Intellect being settled in its original, pure and sedate state, after it has passed under the commotions of worldly thoughts; and when it views all things in an equal and indifferent light, it is said to have crossed over the ocean of the world. (The course of worldly life is compared to a perilous sea voyage, and perfect apathy and indifference to the world, is said to secure the salvation of the soul).
11. When the intellect is strong in its knowledge of perfect susupti or somnolence over worldly matters; it is said to have obtained its rest in the state of supreme felicity, and to be freed from the doom of transmigration in future births. (The perfect rest of the next world, is begun with one’s ecstases in this).
12. I have now told you, O great vipra, all about the curbing and weakening of the mind, which is the first step towards the beatification of the soul by yoga; now attend to me to tell you, concerning the second step of the edification and strengthening of the intellect.
13. That is called the unrestricted power of the intellect, which is fraught with perfect peace and tranquility; which is full of light, clear of the darkness of ignorance, and as wide stretched as the clear vault of heaven.
14. It is as deep as our consciousness in profound sleep, as hidden as a mark in the heart of a stone; as sweet as the flavour in salt, and as the breath of wind after a storm. (All these examples show the strength of the soul, to consist in its close compactness).
15. When the living principle comes to its end at any place, in course of time; the intellect takes it flight like some invisible force in open air, and mixes with the transcendent vacuum.
16. It gets freed from all its thoughts and thinkables, as when the calm sea is freed from its fluctuation; it becomes as sedate as when the winds are still, and as imperceptible as when the flower-cup emits its fragrance.
17. It is liberated from the bonds and ideas of time and place, (by its assimilation to infinity and immortality); it is freed from the thought of its appertaining to or being a part of anything in the world; it is neither a gross or subtile substance, and becomes a nameless essence. (The intellect or soul bears distinctive mark or peculiarity of its own, except that it is some thing which has nothing in common with anything in the world).
18. It is not limited by time and space, and is of the nature of the unlimited essence of god; it is a form and fragment of the quadruple state of Brahma or virat [Sanskrit: túryya túryyamása], and is without any stain, disease or decay.
19. It is some thing witnessing all things with its far seeing sight, it is the all at all times and places, it is full light in itself, and sweeter far than the sweetest thing in the world. (Nothing sweeter than one’s self).
20. This is what I told you the second stage of yoga meditation, attend now, O sage! that art true to your vows, and dost well understand the process of yoga, to what I will relate to you regarding its third stage.
21. This sight of intellect is without a name, because it contains like the Divine Intellect all the thinkables (or objects of thought) within its ample sphere, as the great ocean of the world, grasps all parts of the globe within its spacious circumference. It extends beyond the meaning of the word Brahmátma or the ample spirit of the god Brahmá in its extension ad infinitum. (It resembles the comprehensive mind of god).
22. It is by great enduring patience, that the soul attains in course of a long time, this steady and unsullied state of its perfection purushártha; and is after passing this and the fourth stage, that the soul reaches to its supreme and ultimate state of felicity.
23. After passing the successive grades and until reaching the ultimate state, one must practice his yoga in the manner of Siva the greatest of the yogis; and then he will obtain in himself the unremitting holy composure of the third stage.
24. By long continuance in this course, the pilgrim is led to a great distance, which transcends all my description, but may be felt by the holy devotee who advances in his course.
25. I have told you already of the state, which is beyond these three stages; and do you, O divine sage! ever remain in that state, if you would arrive to the state of the eternal god.
26. This world which seems as material, will appear to be infused with the spirit of god when it is viewed in its spiritual light, but upon right observation of it, it is neither the one nor the other (but a reflexion of divine mind).
27. This what neither springs into being nor ceases to exist; but is ever calm and quiet and of one uniform lustre, and swells and extends as the embryo in the womb. (The embryo is to be understood in a spiritual sense from god’s conception of the world in his mind).
28. The undualistic unity of god, his motionlessness and the solidity of his intelligence, together with the unchangeableness of his nature, prove the eternity of the world, although appearing as instantaneous and evanescent. (The solid intelligence is shown in the instances of solidified water in ice and snow, and in the froth and salt of sea water).
29. The solidity of the intellect produces the worlds in the manner as the congealed water causes the hail-stones, and there is no difference between the existent and nonexistent, since all things are ever existent in the divine mind. (Though appearing now and then to me or you as something new).
30. All is good (siva or solus) and quiet, and perfect beyond the power of description; the syllable om is the symbol of the whole, and its components compose the four stages for our salvation. (All is good. And god pronounced all was good. See the quadruple stages comprised in the letter om, in our introduction to the first volume of this work).
Chapter XXXVIII: On the External Worship of the Deity
Argument: The External worship of God in his out ward temple, with bodily acts and service. And also of Internal adoration in spirit or the Way to Liberation.
[Lord Siva said]:—This god who is the supreme Lord, is the adorable one of the wise; in the form of the intellect and conscious soul, and as all pervading and support of all.
2. He is situated alike in the pot and painting, in the tree and hut, in the vehicle and in all men and brute animals; under the several names of Siva, Hara, and Hari, as also of Brahmá, Indra, Agni, and Yama.
3. He is in the inside and outside of all as the universal soul, and always dwells in spirit and in the soul of every wise person. This Lord is worshipped in various forms by different people in the many modes as described below.
4. Hear me first relate to you, O great sage! how this god is worshipped in the outward form and formulas; and you will next hear me relate unto you, the inward form in which he is worshipped in spirit.
5. In all forms of worship you must cease to think of your body, and separate your mind from your person, however purified it may be (By your ablution and the like). You must then apply your mind diligently to think of the pure and bodiless soul, which witnesseth the operations of the body from its inside.
6. His worship consists in his inward meditation only, and in no other mode of outward worshipping, therefore apply your mind in the adoration of the universal soul, in its meditation in your soul only.
7. He is of the form of the intellect, the source of all light and glorious as millions of suns; He is the light of the inward intellect, and the receptacle (origin) of egoism and tuism. (i.e. of the subjective and objective).
8. His head and shoulders reach above the heaven of heavens, and lotus like feet descend far below the lowest abyss of vacuity.
9. His arms extend to the endless bounds of all sides and space; and hold in them the many worlds in the infinite firmament as their wielding weapons and arms.
10. The worlds rolling over one another, rest in a corner of his capacious bosom; His effulgence passes beyond the limit of the unlimited vacuum, and his person stretches beyond all imaginable bounds. (“Extends through all extent”—Pope).
11. Above, below, in all four quarters and in all sides of the compass, he extends unspent and without end; and is beset in all sides by the host of gods, Brahmá, Rudra, Hari and Indra, and the demi gods also.
12. These series of creatures are to be considered as the rows of hairs on his body; and the different courses of their actions, are as the strings binding the machines of the world together.
13. His will and destiny are powers proceeding from his person, as his active agencies in nature, such is the Lord—the supreme one, who is always to be worshipped by the best of men.
14. He is the intellect only and the conscious soul, the all pervading and the all supporting spirit; and resides alike in the pot and painting, as in the moving car as also in living animals.
15. He is Siva, Hari, and Hara, Brahmá, Indra, Fire, and Yama; He is the receptacle of endless beings, and the aggregate body of all essences or the sole entity of entities.
16. He contains this mundane sphere, together with all the worlds with their mountains and all other contents in himself; and the all powerful time which hurls them ever onward, is the warder at the doorway of his eternity.
17. The great god Mahadeva, is to be thought upon as dwelling in some part of this body of eternity and infinity, with his body and its members, and with a thousand ears and eyes. (This is same with the macrocosm of viraj in the vedas).
18. This figure has moreover a thousand heads and a thousand hands with their decorations. It has as many eyes all over its body with their powers of sight and so many ears also with their power of hearing.
19. It has the powers of feeling or touch and taste all over its person, as also, the power of hearing in the whole body, and that of thinking in its mind within.
20. It is however wholly beyond all conception, and is perfectly good and gracious to all. It is always the doer of all things that are done, and the bestower of every blessing on all beings.
21. It is always situated in the inside of all beings; and is the giver of strength and energy to all. Having thought upon the Lord of Gods in this manner, the devotee is to worship him in the usual method of the ritual.
22. Now hear me tell you, that are best acquainted with Brahma, of the mode of worshipping him in spirit; which consists only in adoring him in the conscious soul, and not in presenting offerings unto him.
23. It requires no illumination nor fumigation of incense; It has no need of flowers or decorations, nor does require the oblations of rice or sprinkling of perfumes or sandal paste.
24. It needs no exhalation of saffron or camphor, nor any painting or other things (as chouriflappers and the like); nor has it any need of pouring the water, which is easily obtainable every where.
25. It is only by effusion of the nectarious juice of the understanding, that the god is worshipped; and this is styled the best kind of meditation and adoration of deity by the wise.
26. The pure intellect which is known to be always present within one’s self, is to be constantly looked into and sought after, heard about, and felt both when one is sleeping or sitting or moving about.
27. By constantly talking on the subject, and resuming the inquiry after leaving it off, one becomes fully conscious of himself; and then he should worship his lord the self-same soul in his meditation of it.
28. The offering of the heart in meditation of the Lord, is more delectable to him than the sweetest articles of food, offered with the choices and most fragrant flowers.
29. Meditation joined with self-consciousness or contriteness of soul, is the best pádya and arghya water and offering that is worthy of the Lord; because the best meditation is that which is accompanied with the flower—self offering to the Lord. (For naught avails the most intense meditation of the mind, when the heart and soul are not devoted to the service of the Lord).
30. Without this kind of meditation, it is impossible the supreme soul in one’s self; and therefore spiritual meditation is said to abound with the grace of god and the greatest enjoyment of happiness and prosperity. (So the sruti:—Meditation in spirit is attended with all enjoyment and felicity).
31. As the animal or irrational soul enjoys all its pleasures, in the abode of its body; so the rational and spiritual soul derives all its happiness from meditation. (Because the Lord being full of felicity, pours out the same into the spirit of his devotee).
32. The ignorant man that meditates on the Lord, for a hundred twinklings of the eye; obtains in reward thereof, the merit of making the gift of a milch-cow to a Brahman.
33. The man who worships the Lord in his soul, for half an hour in this manner; reaps the reward of making a horse sacrifice (according to law).
34. He who meditates on the Lord in spirit and in his own spirit, and presents the offering of his reflections unto him, is entitled to the merit of making a thousands horse sacrifices.
35. Whoso worships the Lord in this manner for a full hour, receives the reward of making the Raj sacrifice; and by worshipping him in this form in the midday; he obtains the merit of making many thousands sacrifices of such kind.
36. The man who worships him in this way for a whole day, settles in the abode of the deity.
37. This is called the superior yoga meditation, and the best service of the Lord, as also the external adoration of the soul.
38. This mode of holy adoration destroys all sins; and whoso practices it for a minute with a steady mind, he is certainly entitled to the venerations of gods and demigods, and placed in the rank of emancipated spirits like myself.
Chapter LXXXI: Inquiry into Agni, Soma or Fire and Moon
Argument: Investigation into the Kundaliní artery, as the sources of consummation.
. . .
77. Know after all the world to be a manifestation of the combination of intelligence and ignorance (i.e. of the intellect and soul matter), as also of an admixture of reality and unreality among who has made it as such in himself manifest in this form.
78. The learned call the light of intelligence, by the terms knowledge, sun and fire, and designate the unrealities of ignorance, by the names of dullness and darkness, ignorance and the coldness of the moon. (i.e. There are antithetical words expressive of Intelligence and ignorance; the former designated as the light of knowledge and reason, the daylight and the light of lamp etc., and the latter as the darkness of night, and the coldness of frost etc.).
79. Ráma said:—I well understand that the product of the air of breath etc. (by their friction as said before); and that the air proceeds from the moon, but tell me sir, whence comes the moon into existence?
80. Vasishtha replied:—The fire and moon are the mutual causes and effects of one another, as they are mutually productive as well as destructive of each other by turns.
81. Their production is by alternation as that of the seed and its sprout, (of which no body knows is the cause or effect of the other). Their reiteration is as the return of day and night, (of which we know not which precedes the other). They last awhile and are lost instantly like the succession of light and shade; (the one producing as also destroying the other).
82. When these opposites come to take place at the one and same time, you see them stand side by side as in the case of the light and shade occurring into the daytime, but when they occur at different times, you then see the one only at a time without any trace of the other, as in the occurrence of the daylight and nocturnal gloom by turns. (These two are instances of the simultaneous and separate occurrence of the opposites. Gloss).
83. I have also told you of two kinds of causality; namely, the one in which the cause is co-existent with its effect, and the other wherein the effect comes to appearance after disappearance of its cause or the antecedent.
84. It is called the synchronous causation which is coeval with its effect, as the seed is coexistent with its germ, and the tree is contemporaneous with the produced seed.
85. The other is named the antecedent or preterite cause, which disappears before the appearance of its consequent effect; as the disappearance of the day is the cause of its subsequent night; and the preterition of the night, causes the retardation of the following day. (In plain words it is the concurrence and distance of the cause and effect, called the [Sanskrit: samaváyí] and [Sanskrit: amasáváyí kárana] or the united or separate causality in Nyáya-terminology).
86. The former kind of the united cause and effect, (called the [Sanskrit: sadrúpa parináma] (i.e. the presence of both causality and its effectuality); is exemplified in the instance of the doer and the earthen pot, both of which are in existence; and this being evident to sight, requires no example to elucidate it.
87. The kind of the disunited cause and effect (called the [Sanskrit: binásharúpa parináma] in which the effect is unassociated with its (cause); the succession of day and night to one another, is a sufficient proof of the absence of its antecedent causality. (This serves as an instance of an unknown cause, and hence we infer the existence of a pristine darkness, prior to the birth of day-light [Sanskrit: tame ásít] teomerant).
88. The rationalists that deny the causality of an unevident cause, are to be disregarded as fools for ignoring their own convictions, and must be spurned with contempt. (They deny the causality of the day and night to bring one another by their rotation which no sensible being (can ignore). They say [Sanskrit: dinasá rátri nirmmasa katritamsti])
89. Know Ráma, that an unknown and absent cause is as evident as any present and palpable cause, which is perceptible to the senses; for who can deny the fact, that it is the absence of fire that produces the cold, and which is quite evident to every living body.
90. See Ráma, how the fire ascends upward in the air in form of fumes, which take the shape of clouds in the azure sky, which being transformed afterwards into fire (electricity); becomes the immediate cause of the moon, (by its presence [Sanskrit: ájnát kárana]).
91. Again the fire being extinguished by cold, sends its watery particles upwards, and this moisture produces the moon, as the absent or remote cause of the same. ([Sanskrit: nauna kárana])
92. The submarine fire likewise that falls into the feeding on the foulness of the seven oceans, and swallows their briny waters, disgorges their gases and fumes in the open air, and these flying to the upper sky in the form of clouds, drop down their purified waters in the form of sweet milky fluids in the milky ocean: (which gives birth to the milk white moon). (It is said that there is an apparatus in the bosom of the clouds, for purifying the impure waters rising in vapours in the atmosphere from the earth and seas below).
93. The hot sun also devours the frigid ball of the moon or (the moon beams), in the conjunction at the dark fortnight (amávasya), and then ejects her out in their opposition in the bright half of every month, as the stork throws off the tender stalk of the lotus which it has taken. (The sun is represented to feed on, and let out the moon beams by turns in every month).
94. Again the winds that suck up the heat and moisture of the earth in the vernal and hot weather, drop them down as rain water in the rainy season, which serves to renovate the body of exhausted nature. (This passage is explained in many ways from the homonymous word some of which it is composed; and which severally means the moon, the handsome, the soma plant and its juice).
95. The earthly water being carried up by the sun beams, which are called his karas or hands, are converted into the solar rays, which are the immediate cause of fire. (Here the water which is by its nature opposed to fire, becomes the cause of that element also).
96. Here the water becomes fire both by privation of its fluidity and frigidity, which is the remote cause of its formation as also by its acquirement of aridity or dryness and calidity or warmth; which is the immediate of its transformation to the igneous element. (This is an instance of the double or mixed causality of water in the production of fire. Gloss).
97. The fire being absent, there remains the presence of the moon; and the absence of the moon, presents the presence of fire.
98. Again the fire being destroyed, the moon takes its place; in the same manner, as the departure of the day introduces the night in lieu of it.
99. Now in the interval of day and night, and in the interim of daylight and darkness, and in the midst of shade and light, there is a midmost point and a certain figure in it, which is unknown to the learned. (This point which is neither this nor that, nor this thing or any other, is the state of the inscrutable Brahma).
100. That point is no nullity nor an empty vacuity (because it is neither the one or the other). Nor it is a positive entity and the real pivot and connecting link of both sides. It never changes its central place between both extremes of this and that, or the two states of being and not being.
101. It is by means of the two opposite principles of the intelligent soul and inert matter, that all things exist in the universe; in the same manner, as the two contraries of light and darkness bring on the day and night in regular succession. (so the self moving and self shining sun is followed by the dull and dark moon, which moves and shines with her borrowed force and light).
102. As the course of the world commenced with the union of mind and matter, or the mover and the moved from the beginning; so the body of the moon, came to be formed by an admixture of aqueous and nectarious particles in the air. (The body of the moon formed of the frozen waters, were early impregnated with the ambrosial beams of the sun. (This bespokes of the creation of the solar orb prior to the formation of the satellite of the earth)).
103. Know Ráma, the beams of the sun to be composed of fire or igneous particles, and the solar light to be the effulgence of the intellect; and the body of the moon to be but a mass of dull darkness; (unless it is lighted by its borrowed light from the sun). (The sun is said to shine with intellectual light, because it disperses the outer gloom of the world, as the other removes the darkness of the mind. Gloss).
104. The sight of the outward sun in the sky, destroys the out spreading darkness of night; but the appearance of the intellectual luminary, dispels the overspreading gloom of the world from the mind.
105. But if you behold your intellect in the form of the cooling moon, it becomes as dull and cold as that satellite itself; just as if you look at a lotus at night, you will not find it to be as blooming as at sunshine; (but may be at the danger of contracting lunacy or stupefaction of the intellect by looking long at the cold luminary).
106. Fire in the form of sun light enlightens the moon, in the same manner as the light of the intellect illumes the inner body (lingadeha); our consciousness is as the moonlight of the inner soul, and is the product of the sun beams of our intellect. (So says the Bharata:—As the sun illumes the worlds so doth the intellect enlightens the soul).
107. The intellect has no action, it is therefore without attribute or appellation; it is like light on the lamp of the soul, and is known as any common light from the lantern which shows it to the sight.
108. The avidity of this intellectual after the knowledge of the intelligibles, brings it to the intelligence of the sensible world; but its thirst after the unintelligible one, is attended with the precious gain of its Kaivalya or oneness with the self same one. (Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for spiritual knowledge, for they shall verily be satisfied therewith).
109. The two powers of the fire and moon (agni-soma), are to be known as united with one another in the form of the body and its soul, and their union is expressed in the scriptures as the contact of the light and lighted room with one another, as the reflexion of the sun shine on the wall. (The two powers of igneous and lunar lights are represented in the conjoined bodies of the Agni soma deities).
110. They are also known to be separately of themselves, in different bodies and at different times; such as bodies addicted to dullness, are said to be actuated by the lunar influence; and persons advancing in their spirituality, are said to be led on by force of the solar power.
111. The rising breath (prána) which of its nature hot and warm, is said to be Agnis or igneous; and setting breath of apána which is cold and slow is termed the soma or lunar, they abide as the light and shade in every body, the one rising upward and passing by the mouth, and the other going down by the anus.
112. The apána being cooled gives rise to the fiery hot breath of prána, which remains in the body like the reflexion of something in a mirror.
113. The light of the intellect produces the brightness of consciousness, and the sun-beams reflect themselves as lunar orbs; in the dew drops on lotus leaves at early dawn.
114. There was a certain consciousness in the beginning of creation, which with its properties of heat and cold as those of agni and soma; came to be combined together in the formation of human body and mind.
115. Strive Ráma, to settle yourself at that position of the distance of out side the mouth apána, where the sun and moon of the body (i.e. the prána and apána breaths) meet in conjunction—amávasya.
Chapter CXV: Description of the Triple Conduct of Men
Argument: Siva’s interpretations of the three duties of action, enjoyment and charity to his suppliant Bhringi.
Vasishtha said:—Take my advise, Ráma, and strive to be an example of the greatest man in thy deeds, enjoyments, and bounty; and rely in thy unshaken endurance, by bidding defiance to all thy cares and fears. (i.e. Remain as a rock against all accidents of life).
2. Ráma asked:—Tell me sir, what is the deed that makes the greatest actor, and what is that thing which constitutes the highest enjoyments; tell me also what is the great bounty, which you advise me to practice.
3. These three virtues were explained long before by the God Siva, who holds the semi-circular disc of the crescent moon on his forehead; to the lord of the Bhringis, who was thereby released from all disease and disquiet. (Were the fair Bhringis the Fringis or Franks of modern times? If not, then who were this class of demigods?)
4. The God who has the horn of the moon as a crown on his head, used to hold his residence of yore, on a northern peak of the north polar mountain, together with all his family and attendents.
5. It happened that the mighty, but little knowing lord of the Bhringis, asked him one day, with his folded palms, and his body lowly bending down in suppliant mood before the godlike lord of Umá. (Umá is the same in sound and sense with Ushá the dawn, appearing from the eastern ridge of the north most mountain).
6. Bhringi said:—Deign to explain to me, my lord, what I ask thee to tell for my knowledge; for thou knowest all things, and art the God of Gods.
7. Lord! I am overwhelmed in sorrow, to see the boisterous waves of this deep and dark world in which we have been buffetting for ever, without finding the calm and quiet harbour of truth.
8. Tell me, my lord, what is that certain truth and inward assurance, whereon we may rely with confidence, and whereby we may find our rest and repose in this our shattered mansion of this world.
9. The lord replied:—Place always your reliance in your unshaken patience, and neither care nor fear for anything else, and ever strive to be foremost in your action and passion and in your relinquishment of everything: (passion and relinquishment here are used in the senses of passivity and liberality).
10. Bhringi rejoined:—Explain to me fully, my lord, what is meant by being the greatest in action and passion; and what are we to understand from the greatest liberality or abandonment of every thing here.
11. The lord replied:—He is said to be the greatest actor, who does his deeds as they occur to him, whether of goodness or of evil, without any fear or desire of fruition. (i.e. Who expects no reward of his acts of goodness, nor fears for the retribution of some heinous deed, which he could not avoid to do).
12. He who does his acts of goodness or otherwise, who gives vent to his hatred and affection and feels both pleasure and pain, without reference to any person or thing, and without the expectation of their consequences, is said to be the greatest actor in the theatre of this world.
13. He is said to act his part well, who does his business without any ado or anxiety, and maintains his taciturnity and purity of heart without any taint of egoism or envy.
14. He is said to act his part well, who does not trouble his mind with the thoughts of actions, that are accounted as auspicious or inauspicious, or deemed as righteous or unrighteous, according to common opinion. (i.e. Best is the man that relies on his own probity, and is not guided by public opinion).
15. He is said to perform well his part, who is not affected towards any person or thing, but witnesses all objects as a mere witness; and goes on doing his business, without his desiring or deep engagement in it.
16. He is the best actor of his part, who is devoid of care and delight, and continues in the same tone and tenor of his mind, and retains the clearness of his understanding at all times, without feeling any joy or sorrow at anything.
17. He does his duties best, who has the readiness of his wits at the fittest time of action; and sits unconcerned with it at other times, as a retired and silent sage or saint: (i.e. discharge your business promptly, but be no slave to service).
18. He who does his works with unconcern and without assuming to himself the vanity of being the doer of it, is accounted as the best actor, that acts his part with his body, but keeps his mind quite unattached to it.
19. He is reckoned as the best actor, who is naturally quiet in his disposition and never loses the evenness of his temper; who does good to his friends and evil to his enemies; without taking them to his heart.
20. He is the greatest actor, who looks at his birth, life and death, and upon his rising and falling in the same light; and does not lose the equanimity of his mind under any circumstance whatever;
21. Again he is said to enjoy himself and his life the best, who neither envies anybody nor pines for any thing; but enjoys and acquiesces to whatever is allotted to his lot, with cool composure and submission of his mind.
22. He also is said to enjoy every thing well, who receives with his hands what his mind does not perceive; and acts with his body without being conscious of it and enjoys everything without taking it to his heart.
23. He is said to enjoy himself best, who looks on at the conduct and behaviour of mankind, as an unconcerned and indifferent spectator; and looks upon every thing without craving anything for himself.
24. He whose mind is not moved with pleasure or pain, nor elated with success and gain, nor dejected by his failure and loss; and who remains firm in all his terrible tribulations, is the man who is said to be in the perfect enjoyment of himself.
25. He is said to be in the best enjoyment of himself, who hails with an equal eye of complaisance his decay and demise, his danger and difficulty, his affluence and poverty, and looks on their returns and revolutions, with an eye of delight and cheerfulness.
26. He is called the man of greatest gratification, who sustains all the ups and downs of fortune with equal fortitude, as deep sea contains its boisterous waves in its fathomless depth.
27. He is said to have the highest gratifications who is possessed of the virtues of virtues of contentment, equanimity and benevolence (lit. want of malice); and which always accompany his person, as the cooling beams cling to the disk of the moon.
28. He too is greatly gratified in himself, who tastes the sour and sweet, the bitter and pungent with equal zest; and relishes a savoury and an unsavoury dish with the same taste.
29. He who tastes the tasteful and juicy, as also the untasteful and dry food with equal zest, and beholds the pleasant as well as unpleasant things with equal delight, is the man that is ever gratified in himself.
30. He to whom salt and sugar are both alike, and to whom both saline as well as saccharine victuals are equally palatable; and who remains unaltered both in his happy and adverse circumstances; is the man who enjoys the best bliss of his life in this world.
31. He is in the enjoyment of his highest bliss, who makes no distinction of one kind of his food from another; and who yearns for nothing that he can hardly earn. (Happy is he, who does not itch beyond his reach).
32. He enjoys his life best, who braves his misfortune with calmness, and brooks his good fortune, his joyous days and better circumstances with moderation and coolness.
33. He is said to have abandoned his all, who has given up the thoughts of his life and death of his pleasure and pain, and those of his merits and demerits at once from his mind.
34. He who has abandoned all his desires and exertions, and forsaken all his hopes and fears, and effaced all his determinations from the tablet of his mind, is said to have relinquished every thing in this world, and to have freed himself from all.
35. He who does not take to his mind the pains, which invade his body, mind and the senses, is said to have cast away from himself, all the troubles of his mortal state. Because the mind only feels the bodily and sensuous pains, and its unfeelingness of them is its exemption from troubles).
36. He is accounted as the greatest giver (forsaker) of his all, who gives up the cares of his body and birth (life); and has abandoned the thoughts of acts, deemed to be proper or improper for himself. (These are the social, civil, ceremonial and religious acts, which are binding on worldly people).
37. He is said to have made his greatest sacrifice, who has sacrificed his mind and all his mental functions and endeavours, before the shrine of his self-abnegation.
38. He who has given up the sight of the visibles from his view, and does not allow the sensibles to obtrude upon his senses, is said to have renounced all and every thing from himself.
39. It was in this manner that the lord of gods Mahadeva, gave his instructions to the lord of the Bhringis; and it is by your acting according to these precepts, that you must, O Ráma! attain to the perfection of your self-abnegation.
40. Meditate always on the everlasting and immaculate spirit, that is without its beginning and end; which is wholly this entire immensity and has no part nor partner, nor representative nor representation of itself. By thinking in this you become immaculate yourself, and come to be extinct in the self-same Brahma, where there is all peace and tranquility.
41. Know one undecaying Brahma, as the soul and seed of all various works or productions that are proceeded from him. It is his immensity which spreads unopened throughout the whole existence; as it is the endless sky which comprehends and manifests all things in itself.
42. It is not possible for anything at all, whether of positive or potential existence, to subsist without and apart from this universal essence of all, rely secure with this firm belief in your mind, and be free from all fears in the world.
43. O most righteous Ráma, look always to the inner soul within thyself, and perform all thy outward actions with the outer members of thy body, by forsaking the sense of thy egoism and personality; and being thereby freed from all care and sorrow, thou shall attain to thy supreme felicity.
Chapter LXXXV (from the Uttaradha, supplement to the Nirvána Prakarana): Relation Of Nature and Soul, or the Prime Male and Female Powers
Argument—The dancing goddess embraces the steady god, and is joined with him in one body.
Vasishtha continued:—Thus the goddess was dancing with her outstretched arms, which with their movements appeared to make a shaking forest of tall pines in the empty sky. (The briarian arms of Kali).
2. This power of the intellect, which is ignorant of herself and ever prone to action, continued thus to dance about with her decorations of various tools and instruments. (The mental power acts by means of the mechanical powers).
3. She was arrayed with all kinds of weapons in all her thousand arms, such as the bow and arrows, the spear and lance, the mallet and club, and the sword and all sort of missiles. She was conversant with all thing whether in being or not being, and was busy at every moment of passing time. (i.e. Ever active in body and mind).
4. She contained the world in the vibration of her mind, as airy cities and castles consist in the power of imagination; it is she herself that is the world, as the imagination itself is the imaginary city—the utopia.
5. She is the volition of Siva, as fluctuation is innate in the air; and as the air is still without its vibration, so Siva is quite quiet without his will or volition: (represented as his female energy in the form of Kali).
6. The formless volition becomes the formal creation in the same manner, as the formless sky produces the wind which vibrates into sound; so doth the will of Siva bring forth the world out of itself.
7. When this volitive energy of Kali, dances and sports in the void of the Divine mind; then the world comes out of a sudden, as if it were by union of the active will with the great void of the supreme Mind.
8. Being touched by the dark volitive power (or volentia), the supreme soul of Siva is dissolved into water; just as the sub-marine fire is extinguished by its contact with the water of the sea. (Water the first form of God: “and the spirit of god moved upon the surface of water”).
9. No sooner did this power come in contact with Siva—the prime cause of all, the same power of volentia, inclined and turned to assume the shape of nature, and to be converted to some physical form.
10. Then forsaking her boundless and elemental form, she took upon herself the gross and limited forms of land and hills; and then became of the form of beautiful arbours and trees. (i.e. of the forms of minerals and vegetables).
11. (After taking various other forms), she became as the formless void, and became one with the infinite vacuity of Siva; just as a river with all its impetuous velocity, enters into the immensity of the sea.
12. She then became as one with Siva, by giving up her title of sivaship; and this siva—the female form became the same with Siva—the prime male, who is of the form of formless void and perfect tranquility (called samana—quietus which means both death and the quiet, which follows the other. Samana like somnum is both extinction of life, and cessation of care and labour).
13. Ráma rejoined:—Tell me sir, how that sovran Goddess siva, could obtain her quiet by her coming in contact with the supreme God Siva; (and forget her former activity altogether).
14. Vasishtha replied:—Know Ráma, the Goddess siva to be the will of the God Siva; she is styled as nature, and famed as the great Illusion of the word.
15. And this great God is said the lord of nature, and the prime male also; he is of the form of air and is represented in the form of Siva, which is as calm and quiet as the autumnal sky.
16. The great Goddess is the energy of the Intellect and its will also, and is ever active as force put in motion; she abides in the world in the manner of its nature, and roves all about in the manner of the great delusion: (of holding out external nature as the true reality, instead of her lord the spirit).
17. She ranges throughout the world, as long as she is ignorant of her lord Siva; who is ever satisfied with himself, without decay or disease, and has no beginning or end, nor a second to himself.
18. But no sooner is this Goddess conscious of herself, as one and same with the god of self-consciousness; than she is joined with her lord Siva, and becomes one with him. (Force has its rest in inertia).
19. Nature coming in contact with the spirit, forsakes her character of gross nature; and becomes one with the sole unity, as a river is incorporated in the ocean.
20. The river falling into the sea, is no more the river but the sea; and its water joining with sea water, becomes the same briny water.
21. So the mind that is inclined to Siva, is united with him and finds its rest therein; as the iron becomes sharpened by returning to its quarry, (as the knife or razor is sharpened on the white stone).
22. As the shadow of a man entering into a forest, is lost amidst the shade of the wilderness; so the shades of nature (or natural propensities), are all absorbed in the umbrage of the Divine spirit. (It also means as the nature of a woman, is changed to that of her man).
23. But the mind that remembers its own nature, and forgets that of the eternal spirit; has to return again to this world, and never attains its spiritual felicity.
24. An honest man dwells with thieves, so long as he knows them not as such; but no sooner he comes to know them as so, then he is sure to shun their company and fly from the spot.
25. So the mind dwells with unreal dualities, as long as it is ignorant to the transcendent reality; but as it becomes acquainted with the true unity, he is sure to be united with it (by forsaking his dualistic creed).
26. When the ignorant mind, comes to know the supreme felicity, which attends on the state of its self-extinction or nirvána; it is ready to resort to it, as the inland stream runs to join the boundless sea.
27. So long doth the mind roam bewildered, in its repeated births in the tumultuous world; as it does not find its ultimate bliss in the Supreme; unto whom it may fly like a bee to its honeycomb.
28. Who is there that would forget his spiritual knowledge, having once known its bliss; and who is there that forsakes the sweat, having had once tasted its flavour. Say Ráma, who would not run to relish the delicious draughts, which pacifies all our woes and pains, and prevents our repeated births and deaths, and puts an end to all our delusions in this darksome world.