The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Yoga-Vasishtha Maharamayana of Valmiki,
vol. 3 (of 4) part 2 (of 2), by Valmiki

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Title: The Yoga-Vasishtha Maharamayana of Valmiki, vol. 3 (of 4) part 2 (of 2)

Author: Valmiki

Translator: Vihari-Lala Mitra

Release Date: August 8, 2014 [EBook #46531]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Mark C. Orton, Juliet Sutherland, windproof,
Les Galloway and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team

[Pg i]

[Pg ii]



in 4 vols. in 7 pts.
(Bound in 4.)

Vol. 3 (In 2 pts.)
Bound in one.

Upasama Khanda and Nirvána Khanda

Translated from the original Sanskrit

[Pg iii]

[Pg iv]




Description of the Evening and Breaking of the assembly 1
On the perfect calm and composure of the mind 7
On the unity and Universality of Brahma 15
Want of anxiety in the way of Salvation 18
The narration of Ráma's perfect rest 20
The narration of Delirium (moha) 22
Magnitude or preponderance of ignorance 29
Allegory of the spreading arbour of Ignorance 39
Ascertainment of True knowledge 44
Removal of Ignorance 50
Ascertainment of Living Liberation 58
Reasoning on the doubts of the living liberation 69
The Two Yogas of Knowledge and Reasoning 73
Narration of Bhusunda and description of Mount Meru 75
Vasishtha's visit to Bhusunda 79
Conversation of Vasishtha and Bhusunda 84
Description of Bhusunda's Person 87
Manners of the Mátrika Goddesses 88
Bhusunda's nativity and habitation 93
Explication of the mysterious character of Bhusunda 99
Explanation of the cause of the crow's longevity 105
Account of past ages 112
Desire of Tranquillity and Quiescence of the Mindn 119
Investigation of the Living Principle 124
On Samádhi 129
Relation of the cause of Longevity 69
Conclusion of the narrative of Bhusunda 143
Lecture on Theopathy or spiritual meditation 146
Pantheism or Description of the world as full with the Supreme Soul 158
Inquiry into the nature of the Intellect 176
Identity of the mind and living soul 189
On the sustentation and dissolution of the body 197
Resolution of duality into unity 204
Sermon of Siva on the same subject 211
Adoration of the great god Mahádeva 216
Description of the supreme Deity Parameswara 220
The stage play and dance of destiny 223
On the external worship of the Deity 227
Mode of the Internal worship of the Deity 231
Inquiry into the nature of the Deity 238
Vanity of world and worldly things 240
The supreme soul and its phases and names 247
On rest and Tranquillity 251
Inquiry into the essence of the mind 256
Story of the vilva or Belfruit 261
Parable of the stony sheath of the soul 266
Lecture on the density of the Intellect 272
On the Unity and Identity of Brahmá and the world 277
Contemplation of the course of the world 280
On sensation and the objects of senses 285
On the perception of the sensible objects 291
Story of Arjuna, as the Incarnation of Nara-Naráyana 299
Admonition of Arjuna 304
Admonition of Arjuna in the spiritual knowledge 313
Lecture on the Living soul or Jívatatwa 316
Description of the mind 324
On Abandonment of desire and its result of Tranquillity 329
Arjuna's satisfaction at the sermon 331
Knowledge of the latent and inscrutable soul 334
Knowledge of the majesty and grandeur of God 340
Description of the world as a passing dream 343
In the narration of Jívata an example of domestic and mendicant life 344
Dream of Jívata 349
On the attainment of attendantship on the God Rudra 359
Ráma's wonder at the error of men 364
The wonderings of the mendicant 367
Unity of God 371
On the virtue of Taciturnity 376
Union of the mind with the breath of life 380
Interrogatories of Vitála 388
The prince's reply to the first question of the Vitála 391
Answers to the remaining questions 394
End of the story of the Vitála Demon 396
Account and admonition of Bhagíratha 398
Supineness of Bhagíratha 403
The Descent of Gangá on earth 406
Narrative of Chúdálá and Sikhidhwaja 409
Beautification of Chúdálá 416
Princess coming to the sight of the supreme soul 423
Display of the quintuple Elements 427
Inquiry into Agni, Soma or fire and moon 438
Yoga instructions for acquirement of the supernatural powers of Animá-minuteness &c. 454
Story of the miserly Kiráta 455
Pilgrimage of prince Sikhidhwaja 463
Investigation into true happiness 471
The production of the Pot (or the embryonic cell) 488
Continuation of the same and enlightenment of Sikhidhwaja 492
The tale of the Crystal gem 498
The Parable of an Elephant 502
Way to obtain the Philosopher's stone 506
Interpretation of the parable of the Elephant 510
The Prince's Abjuration of his Asceticism 513
Admonition of Sikhidhwaja 518
Enlightenment of Sikhidhwaja 526
The anaesthetic Platonism of Sikhidhwaja 534
Enlightenment of Sikhidhwaja 537
Enlightenment of the prince in Theosophy 544
Admonition of Sikhidhwaja continued 547
Remonstration of Sikhidhwaja 551
Continuation of the same subject 555
Admonition of Chúdálá 559
Repose of Sikhidhwaja in the divine spirit 566
Return of Kumbha to the Hermitage of Sikhidhwaja 568
On the conduct of living-liberated men 575
Metamorphoses of Kumbha to a female form 580
Marriage of Chúdálá with Sikhidhwaja 586
The advent of false Indra in the cottage of the happy pair 593
Manifestation of Chúdálá in her own form 597
Appearance of Chúdálá in her presence of her Lord 601
Final extinction of Sikhidhwaja 610
Story of Kacha and his enlightment by the Brihaspati 614
A fanciful Being and his occupation of air drawn and air-built abodes 619
The parable of the vain man continued 623
Sermon on Divine and Holy knowledge 626
Description of the triple conduct of men 630
Melting down of the mind 636
Dialogue between Manu and Ikshaku 638
Continuation of the same 640
The same subject continued 643
Continuation of the same. On the seven stages of Edification 645
Continuation of the same 649
The same. Manu's admonition to Ikshaku 652
On the difference between the knowing and unknowing 655
The story of the stag and the huntsman 656
The means of attaining the steadiness of the Turya state 661
Description of the spiritual state 663
Admonition to Bharadwája 676
Resuscitation of Ráma 683

[Pg 1]



Description of the evening and Breaking of the Assembly.

Argument.—The close of the day, its announcement, the court breaks for Evening service, and the effect of the Sage's sermon on the Audience.

VÁLMIKI says:—You have heard the relation of the subject of Stoicism or composure of the soul; attend now to that of Nirvána, which will teach you how to attain the final liberation of yourselves[1].

2. As the chief of Sages was saying his magniloquent speech in this manner, and the princes remained mute with their intense attention to the ravishing oration of the Sage:

3. The assembled chiefs remained there as silent and motionless portraits, and forgot their devotions and duties, by being impressed in their minds with the sense and words of the Sage's speech.

4. The assemblage of Saints, was reverently pondering upon the deep sense of the words of the Sage, with their curled brows and signs of their index fingers (indicating their wonder).

[Pg 2]

5. The ladies in the Seraglio were lost in wonder, and turned upward their wondering eyes, resembling a cluster of black bees, sucking intently the nectarious honey of the new blown flowers (of the Sage's speech).

6. The glorious sun sank down in the sky, at the fourth or last watch of the day; and was shorn of his radiant beams as he was setting in the west (as a man becomes mild with his knowledge, of truth at the end of his journey through life).

7. The winds blew softly at the eve of the day, as if to listen to the sermon of the Sage, and wafted about the sweets of his moving speech, like the fragrance of the gently shaking mandara flowers.

8. All other sounds were drowned in the deep meditation of the audience, as when the humming of the bumble bees, is pushed in their repose, amidst the cell of blooming flowers at night.

9. The bubbling waters of the pearly lakes, sparkled unmoved amidst their embordered beds; as if they were intently attentive to listen to the words of the Sage, which dropped as strings of pearls from his flippant lips. (So the verse of Hafiz affixed to the title page of Sir William Jones' Persian grammar: "Thou hast spoken thy verse, and strung a string of pearls").

10. The pencil of the declining ray penetrating the windows of the palace, bespoke the halting of the departing sun, under the cooling shade of the royal canopy, after his weary journey all along the livelong day.

11. The pearly rays (or bright beams) of the parting day, being covered by the dust and mist of the dusk, it seemed to be besmeared as the body of a dervish with dust and ashes; and had gained its coolness after its journey under the burning sun (The cool and dusky eve of the day is compared with the dust-sprinkled body of the ascetic approaching to his cell).

12. The chiefs of men with their heads and hands decorated with flowers, were so regaled with the sweet speech of the Sage, that they altogether remained enrapt in their senses and minds.

13. The ladies listening to the sage, were now roused by the cries of their infants and the birds in their cages, to get up from the place and to give them their suck and food. (It means that the birds and boys, were alone insensible of the Sage's discourse).

[Pg 3]

14. Now the dust flung by the pinions of fluttering bees, covered the petals of the night blooming kumuda flowers; and the flapping chouries were now at rest, with the tremulous eyelids of the princes.

15. The rays of the sun, fearing to be waylaid by the dark night shade, which had now got loose from the dark mountain caves, fled through the windows to the inner apartment of the palace (which was already lighted with lamps).

16. The time watches of the royal palace, knowing it to be passed the fourth watch of the day, sounded aloud their drums and trumpets, mingled with the sound of conch-shells, loudly resounding on all sides.

17. The high-sounding speech of the sage, was drowned under the loud peal of the jarring instruments; as the sonorous sound of the peacock, is hushed under the uproar of roaring clouds.

18. The birds in the cages, began to quake and shake their wings with fear; and the leaves and branches of the lofty palm trees, shook in the gardens, as by a tremendous earthquake.

19. The babes sleeping on the breasts of their nurses, trembled with fear at the loud uproar; and they cried as the smoking clouds of the rainy season, resounding between the two mountain craigs resembling the breasts. (It is common in Indian poetry to compare the swelling breasts to rising hills, and say Kucha giri).

20. This noise made the helmets of the chieftains, shed the dust of their decorating flowers all about the hall; as the moving waves of the lake, sprinkle the drops of water upon the land.[2]

[Pg 4]

21. Thus the palace of Dasharatha being full of trepidation at the close of the day, regained its quiet at the gradual fall of the fanfare of sounding conch shells, and the hubbub of drum beatings at the advance of night.

22. The Sage put a stop to his present discourse, and addressed Ráma then sitting in the midst of the assembly, in a sweet voice and graceful language. (Mudhura-Vritti is the middle or graceful style between the high and low).

23. Vasishtha said:—O Rághava! I have already spread before you the long net of my verbosity; do you entrap your flying mind in the same way, and bring it to your bosom and under your subjection.

24. Take the purport of my discourse in such manner, as to leave out what is unintelligible, and lay hold on its substance; as the swan separates and sucks the milk which is mixed with water.

25. Ponder upon it repeatedly, and consider it well in thy mind, and go on in this way to conduct yourself in life (viz by suppression of your desires, weakening the mind, restraining the breathing, and acquiring of knowledge).

26. By going on in this manner, you are sure to evade all dangers; or else you must fall ere long like the heavy elephant, in some pitfall of the Vindhya mountain. (Pitfalls are the only means of catching elephants).

27. If you do not receive my words with attention, and act accordingly, you are sure to fall into the pit like a blind man left to go alone in the dark; and to be blown away like a lighted lamp, exposed in the open air.

28. In order to derive the benefit of my lectures, you must continue in the discharge of your usual duties with indifference, and knowing insouciance to be the right dictum of the sástras, be you regardless of everything besides.

29. Now I bid you, O mighty monarch, and ye, princes and chiefs, and all ye present in this place, to get up and attend to the evening services of your daily ritual. (Abnika).

30. Let all attend to this much at present, as the day is drawing to its close; and we shall consider the rest, on our meeting in the next morning.

[Pg 5]

31. Válmíki related:—After the Sage had said so far, the assembly broke, off; and the assembled chiefs and princes rose up, with their faces blooming as the full blown lotuses at the end of the day.

32. The Chiefs having paid their obeisance to the monarch, and made their salutation to Ráma, they did their reverence to the sage, and departed to their respective abodes.

33. Vasishtha rose up from his seat with the royal sage Viswámitra, and they were saluted on their departure by the aerial spirits, who had attended the audience all along.

34. The Sages were followed closely, by the king and chieftains a long way, and they parted after accosting them, according to their rank and dignity on the way;

35. The celestials took their leave of the sage, and betook to their heavenward journey; and the munis repaired to their hermitages in the woods, when some of the saints turned about the palace, like bees flying in about the lotus bush (different directions).

36. The king having offered handfuls of fresh flowers at the feet of Vasishtha, entered the royal seraglio with his royal consorts.

37. But Ráma and his brother princes, kept company with the sage to his hermitage; and having prostrated themselves at his feet, they returned to their princely mansions.

38. The hearers of the sage having arrived at their houses made their ablutions; then worshipped the gods, and offered their offerings to the manes of their ancestors. They then treated their guests and gave alms to beggars.

39. Then they took their meals with their Brahman guests, and members of the family; and their dependants and servants were fed one after the other, according to the rules and customs of their order and caste.

40. After the sun had set down, with the diurnal duties of men, there rose the bright moon on high, with impositions of many nocturnal duties on mankind.

41. At last the great king and the princes, and chiefs of men and the munis, together with the sages and saints, and all[Pg 6] other terrestrial beings, betook themselves to their several beds, with silken coverlets and bed cloths of various kinds.

42. They lay thinking intensely in themselves, on the admonitions of the sage Vasishtha; on the mode of their passing over the boisterous gulf of this world, by means of this spiritual knowledge.

43. Then they slept and lay with their closed eyelids, for one watch of the night only; and then opened their eyes, like the opening buds of lotuses, to see the light of the day.

44. Ráma and his brother princes, passed full three watches of the night in waking; and pondering over the deep sense of the lectures, of their spiritual guide—Vasishtha. (The present ritual allots three watches of the night to sleep, while formerly they gave but one watch to it).

45. They slept only one and a half watch of the night, with their closed eye lids; and then they shook off the dullness of their sleep, after driving the lassitude of their bodies by a short nap.

46. Now the minds of these, being full of good will, raised by the rising reason in their souls, and knowledge of truth; they felt the crescent of spiritual light lightening their dark bosoms, as the sextant of the moon, illumes the gloom of night; which afterwards disappeared at the approach of daylight, and the gathering broils of daytime.

[Pg 7]


On the Perfect Calm and Composure of the Mind.

Argument.—The sages joining the assembly the next morning, and preaching of Divine knowledge to it.

VÁLMIKI related: Then the shade of night, with her face as dark as that of the darkened moon, began to waste and wane away; as the darkness of ignorance and the mists of human wishes, vanish before the light of reason.

2. Now the rising sun showed his crown of golden rays, on the top of the eastern mountain, by leaving his rival darkness to take its rest, beyond the western or his setting mount of astáchala (the two mountains mean the eastern and western horizons).

3. Now the morning breeze began to blow, being moistened by the moon-beams, and bearing the particles of ice, as if to wash the face and eyes of the rising sun.

4. Now rose Ráma and Lakshmana, with their attendants also, from their beds and couches; and after discharging their morning services, they repaired to the holy hermitage of Vasishtha.

5. There they saw the Sage coming out of his closet, after discharge of his morning devotion; and worshipped his feet with offerings of arghya (or flowers and presents worthy of him).

6. In a moment afterwards, the hermitage of the Sage was thronged by munis and Bráhmans, and the other princes and chiefs, whose vehicles and cars and horses and elephants, blocked the pathways altogether.

7. Then the Sage being accompanied by these, and attended by their suite and armies; and followed by Ráma and his brothers, was escorted to the palace of the Sovereign King Dasaratha.

8. The king who had discharged his morning service, hastened[Pg 8] to receive the Sage before hand; and walked a great way to welcome him, and do him honour and pay his homage.

9. They entered the court hall, which was adorned with flowers and strings of gems and pearls; and there they seated themselves on the rich sofas and seats, which were set in rows for their reception.

10. In a short time the whole audience of the last day, composed both of the terrestrial men and celestial spirits, were all assembled at the spot, and seated in their respective seats of honor.

11. All these entered that graceful hall, and saluted one another with respect; and then the royal court shone as brilliant as a bed of blooming lotuses, gently moved by the fanning breeze.

12. The mixed assemblage of the munis and rishis or the saints and Sages, and the Vipras and Rájas or the Bráhmans and Kshatriyas, sat in proper order, on seats appropriated for all of them.

13. The soft sounds of their mutual greetings and welcomes, gradually faded away; and the sweet voice of the panegyrists and encomiasts, sitting in a corner of the hall, was all hushed and lulled to silence.

14. The sun-beams appearing through the chinks in the windows, seemed to be waiting in order to join the audience, and to listen to the lectures of the Sage. (Another translation has it thus:—The audience crept in the hall, no sooner the sun-beams peeped through the windows).

15. The jingling sound of bracelets, caused by the shaking of hands of the visitors in the hall; was likely to lull to sleep the hearers of the sage. (It was a custom in olden times, to make a tinkling sound to ear, in order to lull one to sleep, as by a kind of mesmerism).

16. Then as Kumára looked reverently on the countenance of his sire Siva, and as Kacha looked with veneration upon the face of the preceptor of the God or Brihaspati; and as Prahlada gazed upon the face of Shukra—the preceptor of demons, and as Suparna viewed the visage of Krishna.

[Pg 9]

17. So did Ráma gloat upon the countenance of Vasishtha, and his eye-balls rolled upon it, like the black bees fluttering about a full blown lotus.

18. The sage resumed the link of his last lecture, and delivered his eloquent speech to Ráma, who was well versed in eloquence also.

19. Vasishtha said:—Do you remember Ráma! the lecture that I gave yesterday, which was fraught with deep sense and knowledge of transcendental truth?

20. I will now tell you of some other things for your instruction, and you shall have to hear it with attention, for consummation of your spiritual wisdom.

21. Whereas it is the habit of dispassionateness, and the knowledge of truth; whereby we are enabled to ford over the boisterous ocean of the world, you must learn therefore, O Ráma! to practice and gain these betimes.

22. Your full knowledge of all truth, will drive away your bias in untruth; and your riddance from all desire, will save you from all sorrow. (Desire is a burning fire, but want of yearning is want of pain and sorrowing).

23. There exists but one Brahma, unbounded by space and time; He is never limited by either of them; and is the world himself, though it appears to be a distinct duality beside Him.

24. Brahma abides in all infinity and eternity, and is not limited in any thing; He is tranquil and shines with equal effulgence on all bodies; He cannot be any particular thing, beside his nature of universality.

25. Knowing the nature of Brahma as such, be you freed from the knowledge of your egoism (personality); and knowing yourself as the same with him, think yourself as bodiless and as great as he; and thus enjoy the tranquillity and felicity of your soul.

26. There is neither the mind nor the avidyá (or ignorance), nor the living principle, as distinct things in reality; they are all fictitious terms (for the one and same nameless Brahma himself).

27. It is the self-same Brahma, that exhibits himself in the[Pg 10] forms of our enjoyments, in the faculties of enjoying them, in our desires and appetites for the same, and in the mind also for their perception. The great Brahma that is without beginning and end, underlies them all, as the great ocean surrounds the earth (and supplies its moisture to every thing upon it).

28. The same Brahma is seen in the form of his intellect (or wisdom) in heavens, on earth and in the infernal regions, as also in the vegetable and animal creations; and there is nothing else beside him.

29. The same Brahma, who has no beginning nor end, spreads himself like the boundless and unfathomable ocean, under all bodies and things; and in whatever we deem as favourable and unfavourable to us, as our friends and our enemies.

30. The fiction of the mind, like that of a dragon, continues so long, as we are subject to the error and ignorance of taking these words for real things; and are unacquainted with the knowledge of Brahma (as pervading all existence).

31. The error of the mind and its perceptibles, continues as long as one believes his personality to consist in his body; and understands the phenomenal world as a reality; and has the selfishness to think such and such things to be his (since there is nothing which actually belongs to any body, besides its temporary use).

32. So long as you do not raise yourself, by the counsel and in the society of the wise and good; and as long as you do not get rid of your ignorance; you cannot escape from the meanness of your belief in the mind.

33. So long as you do not get loose of your worldly thoughts, and have the light of the universal spirit before your view; you cannot get rid of the contracted thoughts of your mind, yourself and the world.

34. As long as there is the blindness of ignorance, and one's subjection to worldly desires; so long there is the delusion of falsehood also, and the fictions of the fallacious mind.

35. As long as the exhalation of yearnings infest the forest of the heart, the chakora or parrot of reason will never resort to it; but fly far away from the infected air.

[Pg 11]

36. The errors of thought disappear from that mind, which is unattached to sensual enjoyments; which is cool with its pure inappetency, and which has broken loose from its net of avarice.

37. He who has got rid of his thirst and delusion of wealth, and who is conscious of the inward coolness of his soul, and who possesses the tranquillity of his mind; such a person is said to have fled from the province of his anxious thought.

38. He who looks upon unsubstantial things, as unworthy of his regard and reliance; and who looks upon his body as extraneous to himself; is never misled by the thoughts of his mind.

39. He who meditates on the infinite mind, and sees all forms of things as ectypes of the universal soul; and who views the world absorbed in himself; is never misled by the erroneous conception of the living principle.

40. The partial view of a distinct mind and a living principle, serves but to mislead a man (to the knowledge of erroneous particulars); all which vanish away, at the sight of the rising sun of the one universal soul.

41. Want of the partial view of the mind, gives the full view of one undivided soul; which consumes the particulars, as the vivid fire burns away the dry leaves of trees, and as the sacrificial fire consumes the oblations of ghee or clarified butter.

42. Those men of great souls, who have known the supreme one, and are self-liberated in their lifetime; have their minds without their essences, and which are therefore called asatwas or nonentities. (These minds, says the gloss, are as the watermarks on the sand, after a channel is dried up (or its waters have receded); meaning that the mind remains in its print but not in its substance).

43. The body of the living liberated man, has a mind employed in its duties, but freed from its desires; such minds are not chittas or active agents, but mere sattwas or passive objects. They are no more self-volitive free agents, but are acted upon by their paramount duties. (Free will is responsible for its acts, but compulsion has no responsibility).

44. They that know the truth, are mindless and unmindful of[Pg 12] everything save their duty; they rove about at pleasure and discharge their duties by rote and practice, in order any object to gain.

45. They are calm and cold with all their actions and in all their dealings; they have the members of their bodies and their senses under full control, and know no desire nor duality.

46. The saint having his sight fixed upon his inner soul, sees the world burnt down as straws by the fire of his intellect; and finds his erroneous conceptions of the mind, to fly far away from it, like flitting flies from a conflagration.

47. The mind which is purified by reason, is called the sattwa as said above, and does not give rise to error; as the fried paddy seed, is not productive of the plant (The sattwa mind is spiritless and dead in itself).

48. The word Sattwa means the contrary of Chitta, which latter is used in lexicons to mean the mind, that has the quality of being reborn on account of its actions and desires. (The chitta is defined as the living seed of the mind, and productive of acts and future regenerations, which the Sattwa or deadened mind cannot do).

49. You have to attain the attainable Sattwa or torpid state of your mind, and to have the seed of your active mind or chitta, singed by the blaze of your spiritual mind or sattwa.

50. The minds of the learned, which are lighted by reason, are melted down at once to liquidity; but those of the ignorant which are hardened by their worldly desires, will not yield to the force of fire and steel; but continue still to sprout up as the grass, the more they are mowed and put on fire. (The over-growing grass in the fields, though set on fire, will grow again from their unburnt roots, and became as rank as before).

51. Brahma is vast expanse, and such being the vastness of the universe too there is no difference between them; and the intellect of Brahma is as full as the fulness of his essence.

52. The Divine Intellect contains the three worlds, as the pepper has its pungency within itself. Therefore the triple world is not a distinct thing from Brahma, and its existence and[Pg 13] inexistence (i.e., its creation and dissolution), are mere fictions of human mind. (It is ever existent in the eternal mind).

53. It is the use of popular language, to speak of existence and non-existence as different things; but they are never so in reality to the right understanding. Since whatever is or is not in being, is ever present in the Divine Mind.

53a. This being a vacuity, contains all things in their vacuous state (which is neither the state of sensible existence, nor that of intellectual inexistence either). God as the Absolute, Eternal, and Spiritual substance, is as void as Thought. (The universe is a thought in the mind of God, and existence is thought and activity in the Divine Mind. Aristotle).

54. If you disbelieve in the intellectual, you can have no belief in your spirituality also; then why fear to die for fear of future retribution, when you leave your body behind to turn to dust. Tell me Ráma! how can you imagine the existence of the world in absence of the intellectual principle. (There can be no material world, without the immaterial mind; nor can you think of it, if you have no mind in you).

55. But if you find by the reasoning of your mind, all things to be mere intellections of the intellect at all times; then say why do you rely on the substantiality of your body.

56. Remember Ráma, your pellucid intellectual and spiritual form, which has no limit nor part of it, but is an unlimited and undivided whole; and mistake not yourself for a limited being by forgetting your true nature.

57. Thinking yourself as such, take all the discreet parts of the universe as forming one concrete whole; and this is the substantial intellect of Brahma.

58. Thou abidest in the womb of thy intellect, and art neither this nor that nor any of the many discrete things interspersed in the universe. Thou art as thou art and last as the End and Nil in thy obvious and yet thy hidden appearances.

59. Thou art contained under no particular category, nor is there any predicable which may be predicated of thee. Yet thou art the substance of every predicament in thy form of the[Pg 14] solid, ponderous and calm intellect; and I salute thee in that form of thine.

60. Thou art without beginning and end, and abidest with thy body of solid intellect, amidst the crystal sphere of thy creation, and shining as the pure and transparent sky. Thou art calm and quiet, and yet displayest the wondrous world, as the seed vessel shows the wooden of vegetation.

[Pg 15]


On the Unity and Universality of Brahma.

Argument.—Showing the identity of Brahma with the Mind, Living Soul, the body and the world and all things and extirpation of all dualisms, by the establishment of one universality.

VASISHTHA continued:—As the countless waves, which are continually rising and falling in the Sea, are no other than its water assuming temporary forms to view; so the intellect exhibits the forms of endless worlds heaving in itself; and know, O sinless Ráma! this intellect to be thy very self or soul. (All personal souls are selfsame with the impersonal Self; because it is in the power of both the finite and infinite souls to produce and reduce the appearance of the worlds in them, which proves them beyond any doubt as the Chidátmá or the Intellectual soul).

2. Say thou that hast the intellectual soul, what relation doth thy immaterial soul bear to the material world, and being freed from thy earthly cares, how canst thou entertain any earthly desire or affection in it. (The spiritual soul has no concern with the material world).

3. It is the Intellect which manifests itself in the forms of living soul or jíva, mind and its desires, and the world and all things; say then what else can it be, to which all these properties are to be attributed (if not to the eternal intellect).

4. The intellect of the Supreme Spirit, is as a profound sea with its huge surges; and yet, O Ráma! it is as calm and cool as thy soul, and as bright and clear, as the transparent firmament.

5. As the heat is not separate from fire, and the fragrance not apart from the flower; and as blackness is inseparable from collyrium, and whiteness from the ice; and as sweet is inborn in the sugarcane, so is intellection inherent in, and unseparated from the intellect.

6. As the light is nothing distinct from the sun-beams, so[Pg 16] is intellection no other than the intellect itself; and as the waves are no way distinct from the water; so the universe is in no ways different or disjoined from the nature of the intellect, which contains the universe. (The noumenon contains the phenomenon, and become manifest as the world).

7. The ideas are not apart from the intellect, nor is the ego distinct from the idea of it; the mind is not different from the ego, nor is the living soul any other than the mind.

8. The senses are not separate from the mind, and the body is not unconnected with the senses; the world is the same as the body, and there is nothing apart from the world. (The body is the microcosm of the cosmos [Sanskrit: shuddhabrahmánanda]).

9. Thus the great sphere of universe, is no other than the unbounded sphere of intellect; and they are nothing now done or made, or ever created before (for whatever there is or comes to pass, continues forever in the presence of the intellect).

10. Our knowledge of every thing, is but our reminiscence of the same; and this is to continue for evermore, in the manner of all partial spaces, being contained in infinity, without distinction of their particular localities. (All spaces of place occupied by bodies, are contained in the infinite and unoccupied vacuity of Mind).

11. As all spaces are contained in the endless vacuity, so the vastness of Brahma is contained in the immensity of Brahma; and as truth resides in verity, so in this plenum contained, is the plenitude of Divine mind. (Here Brahma the great means by figure of metonymy, the Brahmánda or vastness of his creation).

12. Seeing the forms of outward things, the intelligent man never takes them to his mind; it is the ignorant only, that set their minds to the worthless things of this world.

13. They are glad to long after what they approve of, for their trouble only in this world; but he who takes these things as nothing, remains free from the pleasure and pain of having or not having them. (So said the wise Socrates:—How many things are here, which I do not want).

14. The apparent difference of the world and the soul of the[Pg 17] world, is as false in reality, as the meaning of the words sky and skies, which though taken in their singular and plural senses, still denote the same uniform vacuity. (So the one soul is viewed as many in appearance only).

15. He who remains with the internal purity of his vacant mind, although he observes the customary differences of external things, remains yet as unaffected by the feelings of pain and pleasure, as the insensible block of wood and stone (with his stoical indifference in joy and grief).

16. He who sees his blood-thirsty enemy in the light of a true friend, is the person that sees rightly into the nature of things. (Because the killers of our lives, are the givers of our immortality).

17. As the river uproots the big trees on both its sides, by its rapid currents and deluge; so doth the dispassionate man destroys the feelings of his joy and grief to their very roots.

18. The sage that knows not the nature of the passions and affections, and does not guard himself from their impulse and emotions, is unworthy of the veneration, which awaits upon the character of saints and sages.

19. He who has not the sense of his egoism, and whose mind is not attached to this world; saves his soul from death and confinement, after his departure from this world. (There is a similar text in the Bhagavadgítá, and it is hard to say which is the original one and which is the copy).

20. The belief in one's personality, is as false as one's faith in an unreality, which does not exist; and this wrong notion of its existence, is removed only by one's knowledge of the error, and his riddance from it.

21. He who has extinguished the ardent desire of his mind, like the flame of an oilless lamp; and who remains unshaken under all circumstances, stands as the image of a mighty conqueror of his enemies in painting or statue.

22. O Ráma! that man is said to be truly liberated, who is unmoved under all circumstances, and has nothing to gain or lose in his prosperity or adversity, nor any thing to elate or depress him in either state.

[Pg 18]


Argument.—Vasishtha exposes the evils of selfish views parág-drishti, and exalts the merit of elevated views pratyag-drishti.

VASISHTHA continued:—Ráma! knowing your mind, understanding, egoism and all your senses, to be insensible of themselves, and deriving their sensibility from the intellect; say how can your living soul and the vital breaths, have any sensation of their own.

2. It is the one great soul, that infuses its power to those different organs; as the one bright sun dispenses his light, to all the various objects in their diverse colours.

3. As the pangs of the poisonous thirst after worldly enjoyments, come to an end; so the insensibility of ignorance, flies away like darkness at the end of the night.

4. It is the incantation of spiritual knowledge only, that is able to heal the pain of baneful avarice; as it is in the power of autumn only, to dispel the clouds of the rainy-season.

5. It is the dissipation of ignorance, which washes the mind of its attendant desires; as it is the disappearance of the rainy weather, which scatters the clouds in the sky.

6. The mind being weakened to unmindfulness, loses the chain of its desires from it; as a necklace of pearls being loosened from its broken string, tosses the precious gems all about the ground.

7. Ráma! they that are unmindful of the sástras, and mind to undermine them; resemble the worms and insects, that mine the ground wherein they remain.

8. The fickle eye-sight of the idle and curious gazer on all things, becomes motionless after their ignorant curiosity is over and has ceased to stir; as the shaking lotus of the lake becomes steady, after the gusts of wind have passed away and stopped.

9. You have got rid, O Ráma! of your thought of all entities and non-entities, and found your steadiness in the ever-steady[Pg 19] unity of God; as the restless winds mix at last with the calm vacuum (after their blowing and breathing over the solid earth, and in the hollow sky).

10. I ween you have been awakened to sense, by these series of my sermons to you; as kings are awakened from their nightly sleep, by the sound of their eulogists and the music of timbrels.

11. Seeing that common people of low understandings, are impressed by the preachings of their parish parsons; I have every reason to believe that my sermons must make their impression, upon the good understanding of Ráma.

12. As you are in the habit of considering well, the good counsel of others in your mind; so I doubt not, that my counsel will penetrate your mind, as the cool rain-water enters into the parched ground of the earth.

13. Knowing me as your family priest, and my family as the spiritual guides of Raghus race for ever; you must receive with regard my good advices to you, and set my words as a neck-chain to your heart.

[Pg 20]


Argument.—Ráma's relation to Vasishtha, of his perfect rest in godliness.

RÁMA said:—O my venerable guide! My retrospection of your sermons, has set my mind to perfect rest, and I see the traps and turmoils of this world before me, with a quite indifferent and phlegmatic mind.

2. My soul has found its perfect tranquillity in the Supreme Spirit, is as the parched ground is cooled by a snow or of rainfall after a long and painful drought.

3. I am as cool as coldness itself, and feel the felicity of an entire unity in myself; and my mind has become as tranquil and transparent, as the limpid lake that is undisturbed by elephants.

4. I see the whole plenum of the universe, O sage! in its pristine pure light; and as clear as the face of the wide extended firmament, without the dimness of frost or mist.

5. I am now freed from my doubts, and exempted from the mirage of the world; I am equally aloof from affections, and have become as pure and serene, as the lake and sky in autumn.

6. I have found that transport in my inmost soul, which knows no bound nor decay; and have the enjoyment of that gusto, which defies the taste of the ambrosial draught of gods.

7. I am now set in the truth of actual existence, and my repose in the joyous rest of my soul. I have become the delight of mankind and my own joy in myself, which makes me thank my felicitous self, and you also for giving me this blessing. (The Sruti says, Heavenly bliss is the delight of men, and the heartfelt joy of every body).

8. My heart has become as expanded and pure, as the expanse of limpid lakes in autumn; and my mind hath become as cold and serene, as the clear and humid sky in the season of autumn.

9. Those doubts and coinings of imagination, which mislead the blind, have now fled afar from me; as the fear of ghosts appearing in the dark, disappear at the light of day-break.

[Pg 21]

10. How can there be the speck or spot of impurity, in the pure and enlightened soul; and how can the doubts of the objective nature, arise in the subjective mind? All these errors vanish to naught, like darkness before moon light.

11. All these appearances appearing in various forms, are but the diverse manifestations of the self-same soul; it is therefore a fallacy to suppose, this is one thing and that another, by our misjudgment of them.

12. I smile to think in myself, the miserable slave of my desires that I had been before; that am now so well satisfied without them. (The privation of desire gives greater satisfaction than its fulfilment).

13. I remember now how my single and solitary self, is one and all with the universal soul of the world; since I received my baptism with the ambrosial fluid of thy words.

14. O the highest and holiest station, which I have now attained to; and from where I behold the sphere of the sun, to be situated as low as the infernal region.

15. I have arrived at the world of sober reality and existence, from that of unreality and seeming existence. I therefore thank my soul, that has became so elevated and adorable with its fulness of the Deity.

16. O venerable Sage:—I am now situated in everlasting joy, and far removed from the region of sorrow; by the sweet sound of the honeyed words, which have crept like humming bees, into the pericarp of my lotus-like heart.

[Pg 22]


Argument:—Prevalence and influence of delirium (moha).

VASISHTHA Continued—Hear me moreover to tell you, my dear Ráma, some excellent sayings for your good, and also for the benefit of every one of my audience here.

2. Though you are unlike others, in the greater enlightenment of your understanding; yet my lecture will equally edify your knowledge, as that of the less enlightened men than yourself.

3. He who is so senseless as to take his body for the soul, is soon found to be upset by his unruly senses; as a charioteer is thrown down by his head-strong and restive horses. (So says the Sruti also. "The soul is the charioteer of the vehicle of the body, and the senses are as its horses").

4. But the Sapient man who knows the bodiless soul and relies therein, has all his senses under the subjection of his soul; and they do not overthrow him, as obstinate horses do their riders.

5. He who praises no object of enjoyment, but rather finds fault with all of them, and discerns well their evils; enjoys the health of his body without any complaint. (The voluptuary is subject to diseases, but the abstinent is free from them; for in the midst of pleasure there is pain).

6. The soul has no relation with the body, nor is the body related with the soul; they are as unrelated to each other as the light and shade. (And are opposed to one another as sun-light and darkness).

7. The discrete soul is distinct from concrete matter, and free from material properties and accidents; the soul is ever shining and does not rise or set as the material sun and moon (and it never changes as the everchanging objects of changeful nature and mind).

8. The body is a dull mass of vile matter, it is ignorant of itself and its own welfare; it is quite ungrateful to the soul, that[Pg 23] makes it sensible; therefore it well deserves its fate of diseases and final dissolution. (The body is frail, and is at best but a fading flower).

9. How can the body be deemed an intelligent thing, when the knowledge of the one (i.e., the soul) as intelligence, proves the other (i.e., the body) to be but a dull mass. They cannot both be intelligent, when the nature of the one is opposite to that of the other; and if there is no difference between them, they would become one and the same thing (i.e. the soul equal with the body, which is impossible).

10. But how is it then, that they mutually reciprocate their feelings of pain and pleasure to one another, unless they are the one and the same thing, and participating of the same properties? (This is a presumptive objection of the antagonistic doctrine, touching the co-relation of the mind and body).

11. It is impossible, Ráma, for the reciprocation of their feelings, that never agree in their natures; the gross body has no connection with the subtile soul, nor has the rarefied soul any relation with the solid body. (It is the gross mind that sympathises with the body, and not the unconnected spirit or soul).

12. The presence of the one, nullifies the existence of the opposite other; as in the cases of day and night, of darkness and light, and of knowledge and ignorance (which are destructive of their opposites).

13. The unbodied soul presides over all bodies, without its adherence to any; as the omnipresent spirit of Brahma, pervades throughout all nature, without coalescing with any visible object. (The spirit of God resides in all, and is yet quite detached from everything).

14. The embodied soul is as unattached to the body, as the dew drop on the lotus leaf is disjoined with the leaf; and as the divine spirit is quite unconnected with everything, which it fills and supports.

15. The Soul residing in the body, is as unaffected by its affections, as the sky remains unmoved, by the motion of the winds raging in its bosom. It is figuratively said, that tempests[Pg 24] rend the skies, and the passions rend their recipient bosom; but nothing can disturb the empty vacuity of the sky or soul.

16. Knowing your soul to be no part of your body, rest quietly in it to eternity; but believing yourself as the body, be subject to repeated transmigrations of it in endless forms.

17. The visibles are viewed as the rising and falling waves, in the boundless ocean of the Divine soul; but reliance in the supreme soul, will show the light of the soul only.

18. This bodily frame is the product of the Divine soul, as the wave is produced of the water of the sea; and though the bodies are seen to move about as waves, yet their receptacle the soul is ever as steady as the sea;—the reservoir of the moving waves.

19. The body is the image of the soul, as the sun seen in the waves is the reflection of that luminary; and though the body like the reflected sun, is seen to be moving and waving, yet its archetype—the soul, is ever as steady as the fixed and unfluctuating sun in the sky.

20. The error of the substantiality and stability of the body is put to flight, no sooner the light of the permanent and spiritual Substratum of the soul, comes to shine over our inward sight. (Knowledge of the immaterial and immortal soul, removes the blunder of the material and mortal body).

21. The body appears to be in the act of constant motion and rotation like a wheel, to the partial and unspiritual observers of materialism; and it is believed by them to be perpetually subject to birth and death, like the succession of light and darkness. (Lit.:—As candle light and darkness follow each other, so is the body produced and dissolved by turns).

22. These unspiritual men, that are unconscious of their souls; are as shallow and empty minded, as arjuna trees; which grow without any pith and marrow within them.

23. Dull headed men that are devoid of intelligence, are as contemptible as the grass on the ground; and they move their limbs like the blades of grass, which are moved by force of the passing wind (and by direction of the Judging mind). Those that are unacquainted with the intelligent soul, resemble the[Pg 25] senseless and hollow bamboos, which shake and whistle by breath of the winds alone. (The internal air moves the body and the limbs, as the external breeze shakes the trees).

24. The unintelligent body and limbs, are actuated to perform and display their several acts, by action of the vital breath; as the vacillation of the insensible trees and leaves, is caused by the motion of the breeze; and both of them cease to move, no sooner the current airs cease to agitate them.

25. These dull bodies are as the boisterous waves of the sea, heaving with huge shapes with tremendous noise; and appearing to sight as the figures of drunken men, staggering with draughts of the luscious juice of Vine.

26. These witless men resemble the rapid currents of rivers, which without a jot of sense in them, keep up on their continual motion, to no good to themselves or others.

27. It is from their want of wit, that they are reduced to utmost meanness and misery; which make them groan and sigh like the blowing bellows of the blacksmith.

28. Their continued motion is of no real good to themselves, but brings on their quietus like the calm after the storm; they clash and clang like the twang of the bowstring, without the dart to hit at the mark.

29. The life of the unintelligent man, is only for its extinction or death; and its desire of fruition is as false, as the fruit of an unfruitful tree in the woody forest.

30. Seeking friendliness in unintelligent men, is as wishing to rest or sleep on a burning mountain; and the society of the unintellectual, is as associating with the headless trunks of trees in a forest (The weak headed man like the headless tree, can neither afford any sheltering shade, nor nourishing fruit to the passenger. So the verse: It is vain to expect any good or gain, from men of witless and shallow brain).

31. Doing any service to the ignorant and lack witted men goes for nothing; and is as vain as beating the bush or empty air with a stick: and any thing given to the senseless, is as something thrown into the mud. (Or as casting pearls before the swine, or scattering grains in the bushes).

[Pg 26]

32. Talking with the ignorant, is as calling the dogs from a distance (which is neither heard nor heeded by them). Ignorance is the seat of evils, which never betide the sensible and the wise. (So the Hitopadesa—A hundred evils and thousand fears, daily befall to the fool, and not to the heedful wise).

33. The wise pass over all errors in their course amidst the world; but the ignorant are exposed to incessant troubles, in their ceaseless ardour to thrive in the pleasures of life.

34. As the carriage wheel revolves incessantly, about the axle to which it is fixed; so the body of man turns continually about the wealthy family, to which the foolish mind is fixed for gain.

35. The ignorant fool can never get rid of his misery, so long as he is fast bound to the belief of taking his body as his soul, and knowing no spiritual soul besides.

36. How is it possible for the infatuated, to be freed from their delusion; when their minds are darkened by illusion, and their eyes are blind-folded, by the hood-wink of unreal appearance.

37. The seeing man or looker on sights, that regales his eyes with the sight of unrealities; is at last deluded by them, as a man is moonstruck by fixing his eyes on the moon, and becomes giddy with the profuse fragrance of flowers.

38. As the watering of the ground, tends to the growth of grass and thorns and thistles; so the fostering of the body, breeds the desires in the heart, as thick as reptiles grow in the hollow of trees; and they invigorate the mind in the form of a rampant lion or elephant.

39. The ignorant foster their hopes of heaven on the death of their bodies; as the farmer expects a plenteous harvest, from his well cultivated fields (i.e. expectation of future heaven is vain, by means of ceremonial acts in life).

40. The greedy hell-hounds are glad to look upon the ignorant, that are fast-bound in the coils of their serpentine desires; as the thirsty peacocks are pleased to gaze on the black clouds, that rise before their eyes in the rainy season.

41. These beauties with their glancing eyes, resembling the fluttering bees of summer, and with lips blooming as the new[Pg 27] blown leaves of flowers; are flaunting to catch hold of ignorant men; as poisonous plants are displayed, to lay hold on ignorant flies.

42. The plant of desire, which shoots out of the goodly soil of ignorant minds, shelters the flying passions under its shady foliage; as the coral plants foster the coral insects in them. (The corallines are known to be the formation of coral insects).

43. Enmity is like a wild fire, it consumes the arbour of the body, and lets out the smoke through the orifice of the mouth in the desert land of the heart, and exhibits the rose of the heath as the burning cinders.

44. The mind of the ignorant is as a lake of envy, covered with the leaves of spite and calumny: jealousy is its lotus-bed, and the anxious thoughts are as the bees continually fluttering thereupon.

45. The ignorant man that is subjected to repeated births, and is rising and falling as waves in the tumultuous ocean of this world, is exposed also to repeated deaths: and the burning fire which engulphs his dead body, is as in the submarine fire of this sea.

46. The ignorant are exposed to repeated births, attended by the vicissitudes of childhood, youth, manhood and old age, and followed at last by a painful death and cremation of the beloved body on the funeral pile.

47. The ignorant body is like a diving bucket, tied by the rope of transmigration to the Hydraulic machine of acts; to be plunged and lifted over again, in and over the dirty pool of this world.

48. This world which is a plane pavement and but narrow hole (lit., a cow foot-cave) to the wise, by their unconsciousness of it; appears as a boundless and unfathomable sea to the ignorant, owing to their great concern about it. (The wise think lightly of the world; but the worldly take it heavily upon themselves).

49. The ignorant are devoid of their eye-sight, to look out beyond their limited circle; as the birds long confined in their cages, have no mind to fly out of them.

50. The revolution of repeated births, is like the constant rotation[Pg 28] of the wheel of a chariot; and there is no body that is able to stop their motion, by restraining his earthly desires; which are ever turning as the spokes affixed to nave of the heart.

51. The ignorant wander at large, about the wide extended earth; as huntsmen rove amidst the forest, in search of their prey; until they become a prey at the hand of death, and make the members of their bodies as morsels, to the vultures of their sensual appetites.

52. The sights of these mountainous bodies, and of these material forms made of earthly flesh, are mistaken by the ignorant for realities; as they mistake the figures in painting for real persons.

53. How flourishing is the arbour of this delusion, which is fraught with the endless objects of our erroneous imagination; and hath stretched out these innumerable worlds from our ignorance of them.

54. How flourishing is the kalpa tree or all fruitful arbour of delusion; which is ever fraught with endless objects of our imaginary desire, and stretches out the infinite worlds to our erroneous conception as its leaves.

55. Here our prurient minds like birds of variegated colours, rest and remain and sit and sport, in and all about this arbour.

56. Our acts are the roots of our repeated births as the stem of the tree is of its shoots; our prosperity and properties are the flowers of this arbor, and our virtues and vices are as its fruits of good and evil.

57. Our wives are as the tender plants, that thrive best under the moon-light of delusion; and are the most beautiful things to behold in this desert land of the earth.

58. As the darkness of ignorance prevails over the mind, soon after the setting of the sun light of reason; there rises the full moon of errors in the empty mind, with all her changing phases of repeated births. (This refers to the dark ages of Puránic or mythological fictions, and also to the Dárshanic or philosophical systems which succeeded the age of Vedántic light, and were full of changeable doctrines, like the phases of the moon; whence she is styled dwija or mistress of digits. There is another[Pg 29] figure of equivocation in the word doshah, meaning the night as well as the defect of ignorance).

59. It is under the influence of the cooling moon-light of ignorance; that our minds foster the fond desire of worldly enjoyments; and like the chakora birds of night, drink their fill of delight as ambrosial moon-beams. (The ignorant are fond of pleasures, and where ignorance is bliss, it is foolish to be wise).

60. It is under this delusion, that men view their beloved ones as buds of roses and lotuses, and their loose glancing eyes, as the black bees fluttering at random; they see the sable clouds in the braids and locks of their hair, and a glistening fire in their glowing bosoms and breasts.

61. It is delusion, O Ráma! that depicts the fairies with the beams of fair moon-light nights; though they are viewed by the wise, in their true light of being as foul as the darkest midnight.

62. Know Ráma, the pleasures of the world, to be as the pernicious fruits of ignorance; which are pleasant to taste at first, but prove to be full of bitter gall at last. It is therefore better to destroy this baneful arbour, than to lose the life and soul by the mortal taste of its fruits. (It is the fruit of the tree of ignorance rather than that of knowledge, which brought death into the world and all our woe. Milton).

[Pg 30]


Argument:—The effects of ignorance, shown in the evils brought on by our vain desires and fallacies or erroneous judgments.

VASISISHTA continued. These beauties that are so decorated with precious gems and jewels, and embellished with the strings of brilliant pearls, are as the playful billows in the milky ocean of the moon-beams of our fond desires.

2. The sidelong looks of the beautiful eyes in their faces, look like a cluster of black bees, sitting on the pericarp of a full blown lotus.

3. These beauties appear as charming, to the enslaved minds of deluded men; and as the vernal flowers which are strewn upon the ground in forest lands.

4. Their comely persons which are compared with the moon, the lotus flower, and sandal paste for their coolness by fascinated minds; are viewed as indifferently by the wise, as by the insensible beasts which make a prey of them. (Lit. by the rapacious wolves and dogs and vultures which devour them).

5. Their swollen breasts which are compared with lotus-buds, ripe pomegranates and cups of gold, are viewed by the wise as a lump of flesh and blood and nauseous liquor.

6. Their fleshy lips, distilling the impure saliva and spittle, are said to exude with ambrosial honey, and to bear resemblance with the ruby and coral and vimba fruits.

7. Their arms with the crooked joints of the wrists and loins, and composed of hard bones in the inside, are compared with creeping plants, by their infatuated admirers and erotic poets.

8. Their thick thighs are likened to the stems of lumpish plantain trees, and the decorations of their protuberant breasts, are resembled to the strings of flowers, hung upon the turrets of temples.

9. Women are pleasant at first, but become quarrelsome[Pg 31] afterwards; and then fly away in haste, like the goddess of fortune; and yet they are desired by the ignorant. (But when the old woman frets, let her go alone).

10. The minds of the ignorant, are subject to many pains and pleasures in this life; and the forest of their misdeeds, shoots forth in a thousand branches, bearing the woeful fruits of misery only. (The tree of sin brought death into the world and all our woe. Milton).

11. The ignorant are fast bound in the net of their folly, and their ritual functions are the ropes, that lead them to the prison-house of the world. The words of their lips, like the mantras and musical words of their mouths, are the more for their bewilderment. (The ignorant are enslaved by their ritualistic rites; but the Sages are enfranchised by their spiritual knowledge).

12. The overspreading mist of ignorance, stretches out a maze of ceremonial rites, and envelopes the minds of common people in utter darkness; as the river Yamuná overflows its banks with its dark waters.

13. The lives of the ignorant, which are so pleasant with their tender affections, turn out as bitter as the juice of hemlock, when the affections are cut off by the strong hand of death (i.e., the pleasures of life are embittered by the loss of relatives).

14. The senseless rabble are driven and carried away, like the withered and shattered leaves of trees, by the ever blowing winds of their pursuits; which scatter them all about as the dregs of earth, and bespatter them with the dirt and dust of their sins.

15. All the world is as a ripe fruit in the mouth of death, whose voracious belly is never filled with all its ravages, for millions and millions of kalpa ages. (The womb of death is never full).

16. Men are as the cold bodies and creeping reptiles of the earth, and they crawl and creep continually in their crooked course, by breathing the vital air, as the snakes live upon the current air. (Serpents are said to live a long time without food, simply by inhaling the open air).

17. The time of youth passes as a dark night, without the[Pg 32] moon-light of reason; and is infested by the ghosts of wicked thoughts and evil desires.

18. The flippant tongue within the mouth, becomes faint with cringing flattery; as the pistil rising from the seed vessel, becomes languid under the freezing frost.

19. Poverty branches out like the thorny Sálmali tree, in a thousand branches of misery, distress, sorrow, sickness, and all kinds of woe to human beings. (Poverty is the root of all evils in life).

20. Concealed covetousness like the unseen bird of night, is hidden within the hollow cavity of the human heart, resembling the stunted chaitya trees of mendicants; and then it shrieks and hoots out from there, during the dark night of delusion which has overspread the sphere of the mind.

21. Old age lays hold on youth by the ears, as the old cat seizes on the mouse, and devours its prey after sporting with it for a long while.

22. The accumulation of unsubstantial materials, which causes the formation of the stupendous world, is taken for real substantiality by the unwise; as the foaming froths and ice-bergs in the sea, are thought to be solid rocks by the ignorant sailor. (So all potential existences of the Vedantist, are sober realities of the positive philosophy).

23. The world appears as a beautiful arbour, glowing with the blooming blossoms of Divine light; which is displayed over it; and the belief of its reality, is the plant which is fraught with the fruitage of all our actions and duties. (The world is believed as the garden of the actions of worldly men, but the wise are averse to actions and their results).

24. The great edifice of the world, is supported by the pillars of its mountains, under its root of the great vault of heaven; and the sun and moon are the great gateways to this pavilion. (The sun and moon are believed by some as the doors leading the pious souls to heaven).

25. The world resembles a large lake, over which the vital breaths are flying as swarms of bees on the lotus-beds of the living body; and exhaling the sweets which are stored in the cell[Pg 33] of the heart (i.e., the breath of life wafts away the sweets of the immortal soul).

26. The blue vault of heaven appears as a spacious and elevated dome to the ignorant who think it to contain all the worlds, which are enlightened by the light of the sun situated in the midst. But it is an empty sphere, and so the other worlds beyond the solar system, to which the solar light doth never reach.

27. All worldly minded men, are as old birds tied down on earth by the strong strings of their desires; and their heart moves about the confines of their bodies, and their heart strings throb with hopes in the confines of their bodies, as birds in cages in the hope of getting their release.

28. The lives of living beings are continually dropping down, like the withered leaves of trees, from the fading arbours of their decayed bodies, by the incessant breathing of their breath of life. (The respiration of breath called ajapá, is said to be the measure of life).

29. The respectable men, that are joyous of their worldly grandeur for a short time, are entirely forgetful of the severe torments of hell, awaiting on them afterwards.

30. But the godly people enjoy their heavenly delights as gods, in the cooling orb of the moon; or range freely under the azure sky, like heavenly cranes about the limpid lakes.

31. There they taste the sweet fruits of their virtuous deeds on earth; and inhale the fragrance of their various desires, as the bees sip the sweetness of the opening lotus.

32. All worldly men are as little fishes (shrimps), swimming on the surface of this pool of the earth; while the sly and senile death pounces upon them as a kite, and bears them away as his prey without any respite or remorse.

33. The changeful events of the world, are passing on every day, like the gliding waves and the foaming froths of the sea, and the ever changing digits of the moon.

34. Time like a potter, continually turns his wheel, and makes an immense number of living beings as his pots; and breaks them every moment, as the fragile play-things of his own whim.

[Pg 34]

35. Innumerable kalpa ages have been incessantly rolling on, over the shady quiescence of eternity; and multitudes of created worlds have been burnt down, like thick woods and forests, by the all desolating conflagrations of desolation. (According to the Hindus the universal destruction, takes place by the Violent concussion of all the elements, and by the diluvian floods also).

36. All worldly things are undergoing incessant changes, by their appearance and disappearance by turns; and the vicissitudes of our states and circumstances, from these of pleasure and prosperity to the state of pain and misery and vice versa, in endless succession. (Pain and pleasure succeed one another).

37. Notwithstanding the instability of nature, the ignorant are fast bound by the chain of their desire, which is not to be broken even by the thunder bolt of heaven. (Man dies, but his desires never die, they keep their company wherever he may fly).

38. Human desire bears the invulnerable body of the Jove and Indra, which being wounded on all sides by the Titans of disappointment, resumed fresh vigour at every stroke. (So our desires grow stronger by their failure, than when they are allayed by their satisfaction).

39. All created beings are as particles of dust in the air, and are flying with the currents of wind into the mouth of the dragon-like death, who draws all things to his bowels by the breath of his mouth. (Huge snakes are said to live upon air, and whatever is borne with it into his belly).

40. As all the crudities of the earth, and its raw fruits and vegetables, together with the froth of the sea and other marine productions, are carried by the currents to be consumed by the submarine heat, so all existence is borne to the intestinal fire of death to be dissolved into nothing.

41. It is by a fortuitous combination of qualities, that all things present themselves unto us with their various properties; and it is the nature of these which exhibits them with those forms as they present to us; as she gives the property of vibration to the elementary bodies, which show themselves in the forms of water and air unto us.

[Pg 35]

42. Death like a ferocious lion, devours the mighty and opulent men; as the lion kills the big elephant with his frontal pearls.

43. Ambitious men are as greedy birds of air upon earth, who like the voracious vultures on the tops of high hills, are born to live and die in their aerial exploits, as on the wings of clouds in search of their prey.

44. Their minds liken painter's paintings on the canvas of their intellects, showing all the variegated scenes of the world, with the various pictures of things perceptible by the five senses (i.e., the images of all sensible objects are portrayed in the intellect).

45. But all these moving and changeful scenes, are breaking up and falling to pieces at every moment; and producing our vain sorrow and griefs upon their loss, in this passing and aerial city of the world.

46. The animal creations and the vegetable world, are standing as passive spectators, to witness and meditate in themselves the marvelous acts of time, in sparing them from among his destruction of others.

47. How these moving creatures are subject every moment, to the recurrent emotions of passions and affections, and to the alterations of affluence and want; and how they are incessantly decaying under age and infirmity, disease and death from which their souls are entirely free. (Hence the state of torpid immobility is reckoned as a state of bliss, by the Hindu and Buddhistic Yogis and ascetics).

48. So the reptiles and insects on the surface of the earth, are continually subjected to their tortuous motions by their fate, owing to their want of quiet inaction, of which they are capable in their subterranean cells. (The Yogis are wont to confine themselves in their under-ground retreats, in order to conduct their abstract meditations without disturbance. So Demosthenes perfected himself in his art of eloquence in his subterrene cave).

49. But all these living bodies are devoured every moment, by the all destructive time in the form of death; which like the[Pg 36] deadly and voracious dragon lies hidden in his dark-some den (Here the word kála is used in its triple sense of time, death, and snake all which being equally destructive and hidden in darkness, it is difficult to distinguish the subject from its comparison. Hence we may say, time like death and snake or death like time and snake or the snake like time and death, devours all living creatures, insects and other reptiles also).

50. The trees however are not affected by any of these accidents, because they stand firm on their roots, and though suffering under heat and cold and the blasts of heaven, yet they yield their sweet fruits and flowers for the supportance and delight of all living creatures. (So the Yogis stand firm on their legs, and while they suffer the food and rest privations of life and the inclemencies of weather, they impart the fruits of divine knowledge to the rest of mankind, who would otherwise perish like the insects of the earth, without their knowledge of truth and hope of future bliss).

51. The meek Yogis that dwell in their secluded and humble cells, are seen also to move about the earth, and imparting the fruits of their knowledge to others; as the bees residing in the cells of lotuses, distribute their stores of honey after the rains are over. (The Yogis and the bees remain in their cells during the four months of the rainy season (varshá-chátur másya), after which they be-take to their peregrinations abroad).

52. They preach about the lectures as the bees chaunt their rhyme all about, saying; that the earth which is as a big port; it supplies the wants of the needy, for making them a morsel in the mouth of the goddess of death (i.e., the earth supports all beings for their falling into the bowels of death).

53. The dreaded goddess Káli wearing the veil of darkness over her face, and eying all with her eyeballs, as bright as the orbs of the sun and moon, gives to all beings all their wants, in order to grasp and gorge them in herself. (The black goddess Káli or Hecate, nourishes all as mátriká or matres, and then devours them as death, like the carnivorous glutton, that fattens the cattle to feed and feast upon them).

54. Her protuberant and exuberant breasts are as bountiful[Pg 37] as the bounty of God, to suckle the gods and men and all beings on earth and hills and in the waters below. (But how can death be the sustainer of all).

55. It is the energy of the Divine intellect, which is the mátriká-mater or mother (mater or materia of all, and assumes the forms of density and tenuity and also of motion and mobility; the clusters of stars are the rows of her teeth, and the morning and evening twilights, are the redness of her two lips).

(She is called Ushá and sandhyá or the dawning and evening lights, because of her existence in the form of the twilights, before the birth of the solar and lunar lights. The Vedas abound with hymns to ushá and sandhyá and these form the daily ritual of the Brahmans to this day under the title of their Tri-sandyá—the triple litany at sun-rise, sun-set and vertical sun).

56. Her palms are as red as the petals of lotuses, and her countenance is as bright as the paradise of Indra; she is decorated with the pearls of all the seas, and clad with an azure mantle all over her body (Hence the goddess Kálí is represented as all black from her blue vest).

57. The Jambudwípa or Asia forms her naval or midmost spot, and the woods and forests form the hairs of her body. She appears in many shapes and again disappears from view, and plays her part as the most veteran sorceress in all the three worlds. (The text calls her an old hag, that often changes her paints and garments to entice and delude all men to her).

58. She dies repeatedly and is reborn again, and then passes into endless transformations, she is now immerged in the great ocean or bosom of Kála or Death her consort, and rises up to assume other shapes and forms again. (Hence the mother-goddess is said to be the producer and destroyer of all by their repeated births and deaths in their everchanging shapes and forms).

59. The great Kalpa ages are as transitory moments in the infinite duration of Eternity, and the mundane eggs (or planetary bodies in the universe); are as passing bubbles upon the unfathomable ocean of infinity; they rise and last and are lost by turns.

[Pg 38]

60. It is at the will of God, that the creative powers rise and fly about as birds in the air; and it is by his will also, that the uprisen creation becomes extinct like the burning flash of the lightning. (The flaming worlds shoot forth, and are blown out as sparks of fire).

61. It is in the sunshine of the divine Intellect, and under the canopy of everlasting time, that the creations are continually rising and falling like the fowls of forestlands, flying up and down under the mist of an all encompassing cloud of ignorance.

62. As the tall palm tree lets to fall its ripened fruits incessantly upon the ground; so the over topping arbor of time, drops down the created worlds and the lords of Gods perpetually into the abyss of perdition. (There is an alliteration and homonym of the words, tála and páttála meaning both tall and the tála or palm tree).

63. The gods also are dying away like the twinklings of their eyes, and old time is wearing away with all its ages, by its perpetual tickings. (The ever wakeful eyes of gods are said to have no twinkling; but time is said to be continually twinkling in its ticking moments).

64. There are many Rudras existing in the essence of Brahma, and they depend on the twinkling of that Deity for their existence. (The immortal gods are mortal, before the Eternal God).

65. Such is Brahmá the lord of gods, under whom these endless acts of evolutions and involutions are for ever taking place, in the infinite space of his eternal Intellect and omnipotent will.

66. What wonderous powers are there that cannot possibly reside in the Supreme spirit, whose undecaying will gives rise to all positive and possible existences. It is ignorance therefore to imagine the world as a reality of itself.

67. All these therefore is the display of the deep darkness of ignorance, that appears to you as the vicissitudes of prosperity and adversity, and as the changes of childhood, youth, old-age and death; as also the occurrences of pain and pleasure and of sorrow and grief. (All of which are unrealities in their nature).

[Pg 39]


Allegory of the Spreading Arbour of Ignorance.

Argument:—Description of ignorance as a wide spreading tree.

VASISHTHA continued. Hear me now relate to you Ráma, how this poisonous tree of ignorance has come to grow in this forest of the world, and to be situated by the side of the intellect, and how and when it came to blossom and bloom. (The Divine intellect is the stupendous rock, and the creation is the forest about it, in which there grew the plant of error also).

2. This plant encompasses all the three worlds, and has the whole creation for its rind, and the mountains for its joints (Here is a play of the word parva and parvata which are paronymous terms, signifying a joint and mountain; Hence every mountain is reckoned as the joint or land-mark of a country dividing it from another tract of land).

3. It is fraught with its leaves and roots, and its flowers and fruits, by the continuous births and lives and pleasures and pains and the knowledge and error of mankind. (All these are the productions of human ignorance).

4. Prosperity gives rise to our ignorance of desiring to be more prosperous in this or in our next lives (by means of our performance of ceremonial rites), which are productive of future welfare also. So doth adversity lead us to greater error of practising many malpractices to get rid of it; but which on the contrary expose us to greater misfortunes. (Hence it is folly to make choice of either, which is equally pernicious).

5. One birth gives rise to another and that leads to others without end; hence it is foolishness in us to wish to be reborn again. (All births are subject to misery; it is ignorance therefore to desire a higher or lower one, by performance of páratrika acts for future lives).

6. Ignorance produces greater ignorance, and brings on[Pg 40] unconsciousness as its effect: so knowledge leads on to higher knowledge, and produces self-consciousness as its result. (Good tends to best, and bad to the worst. Better tends to best, and worse to the worst).

7. The creeping plant of ignorance, has the passion for its leaves, and the desires for its odours; and it is continually shaking and shuffling with the leafy garment on its body.

8. This plant falls sometimes in its course, on the way of the elephant of Reason; it then shakes with fear, and the dust which covers its body, is all blown away by the breath of the elephant's trunk; but yet the creeper continues to creep on by the byways according to its wont.

9. The days are its blossoms, and the nights are the swarms of black bees, that overshadow its flowers; and the continued shaking of its boughs, darts down the dust of living bodies from it, both by day and night. (i.e., Men that live upon their desires and hopes, are daily dying away).

10. It is overgrown with its leaves of relatives, and overloaded with the shooting buds of its offspring; it bears the blossoms of all seasons, and yields the fruits of all kinds of flowers.

11. All its joints are full of the reptiles of diseases, and its stem is perforated by the cormorants of destruction; yet it yields the luscious juice of delight to those that are bereft of their reason and good sense.

12. Its flowers are the radiant planets, that shine with the sun and moon every day in the sky; the vacuum is the medium of their light, and the rapid winds are vehicles, that bear their rays as odours unto us. (Vacuity is the receptacle of light, but the vibrations of air transmit it to our sight).

12a. Ignorance blossoms every day in the clusters of the bright planetary bodies, that shine with the sun and moon by day and night; and the winds playing in the air, bear their light like perfumes to us. (i.e. It is the spirit that glows in the stars, and breathes in the air, but ignorance attributes these to the planets and breezes, and worships them as the navagrahas and marut ganas, both in the vedas and the popular Puranic creeds).

[Pg 41]

12b. Ignorance blossoms in the clusters of stars and planets, shining about the sun and moon every day; and breathes in the breezes blowing at random amidst the vacuous firmament. (Hence the ignorant alone adore the stars and winds in the vedas, but the sapient know the light of God to glow in the stars, and his spirit to breathe in the air).

13. These innumerable stars that you see scattered in the vault of heaven, O son of Raghu's race, are the blooming blossoms of this arbor of ignorance (i.e. ignorance shows them as twinkling stars to us, while they are numberless shining worlds in reality).

14. The beams of the sun and moon, and the flames of fire, which are scattered about us like the crimson dust of flowers; resemble the red paint on the fair body of ignorance, with which this delusive lady attracts our minds to her.

15. The wild elephant of the mind, ranges at large under the arbour of Ignorance; and the birds of our desires, are continually hovering and warbling upon it; while the vipers of sensual appetites, are infesting its stem, and avarice settles as a huge snake at the root. (The text has the words "and greediness decorates its bark" which bear no meaning).

16. It stretches with its head to the blue vault of the sky, forming as a canopy of black arbour of black Tamála trees over it. The earth supports its trunk, and sky overtops its top; and it makes a garden of the universe (with its out stretched arms).

17. It is deeply rooted underneath the ground, and is watered with milk and curds, in the canals of the milky and other oceans, which are dug around its trunk.

18. The rituals of the three vedas, are fluttering like the bees over the tree, blooming with the blossoms of beauteous women, and shaking with the oscillations of the mind; while it is corroded in the inside by the cankering worms of cares and actions. (It means to say, that the vedic rites, the love of women, the thoughts of the mind and the bodily actions, are all attendants of ignorance; and he is wise who refrains from them in toto).

19. The tree of ignorance, blossoming like the flowers of the[Pg 42] garden of paradise, exhales the sweet odours of pleasure around; and the serpent of vice twining round it, leads the living souls perpetually to evil deeds, for the supportance of their lives.

20. It blooms with various flowers, to attract the hearts of wise; and it is fraught with various fruits, distilling their sweets all around. (These fruits and flowers are the sensual pleasures, which allure the ignorant to them).

21. With the aqueducts about, it invites the birds of the air to drink of them; and being besmeared with the dust of its flowers, it appears to stand as a rock of red earth or granite to sight. (The water beds below it, are mistaken for the salsabil or streams of Paradise, and its rock-like appearance, shows the grossness of ignorance crasse or tabula rasa).

22. It shoots out with buds of mistakes, and is beset by the briars of error; it grows luxuriant in hilly districts, with exuberance of its leafy branches. (Meaning that the hill people are most ignorant).

23. It grows and dies and grows again, and being cut down it springs out anon; so there is no end of it. (It is hard to extirpate ignorance at once).

24. Though past and gone, yet it is present before us, and though it is all hollow within, it appears as thick and sound to sight. It is an ever fading and ever green tree, and the more it is lopped and cropt, the more it grows and expands itself.

25. It is a poisonous tree, whose very touch benumbs the senses in a moment; but being pressed down by reasoning, it dies away in a trice.

26. All distinctions of different objects, are dissolved in the crucible of the reasoning mind; but they remain undissolved in their crude forms in the minds of the ignorant, who are employed in differentiating the various natures of men and brutes, and of terrene and aquatic animals.

27. They distinguish the one as the nether world, and the other as the upper sky; and make distinctions between the solar and lunar planets, and the fixed starry bodies. (But there are no ups and downs, nor any thing as fixed in infinite vacuity).

[Pg 43]

28. Here there is light, and there is darkness on the other side, and this is empty space and that is the solid ground; these are the sástras and these are the Vedas, are distinctions unknown to the wise.

29. It is the same spirit that flies upward in the bodies of birds, or remains above in the form of gods; the same spirit remains fixed in the forms of fixed rocks or moves in continued motion with the flying winds.

30. Sometimes it resides in the infernal regions, and at others it dwells in the heavens above; sometimes it is exalted to the dignity of gods, and some where it remains in the state of mean insects and worms.

31. In one place it appears as glorious as the god Vishnu, and in another it shows itself in the forms of Brahmá and Siva. Now it shines in the sun, and then it brightens in the moon; here it blows in the blowing winds, and there it sways in the all-subduing yama. (Some Europeans have conjectured and not without good reason, the relentless god of death the yama of Hindus, to be same with as the ruthless king Jamshed of prehistoric Persia. So says Hafiz Ayineye, Sekendar Jame jamast bingars).

32. Whatever appears as great and glorious, and all that is seen as mean and ignoble in their form, from the biggest and bright sun down to the most contemptible grass and straw; are all pervaded by the universal spirit: it is ignorance that dwells upon the external forms; but knowledge that looks into the inner soul, obtains its sight up the present state.

[Pg 44]


Ascertainment of True Knowledge.

Argument.—Division of the three gunas or qualities. Pure essence of the Gods Hara and others, nature of knowledge and ignorance, and other subjects.

RÁMA said, You said sir, that all formal bodies are representations of illusion or ignorance (Avidyá); but how do you account for the pure bodies of Hari, Hara and other divinities, and god-heads who are of pure essence in their embodied forms, and which cannot be the creation of our error or delusion. Please, sir, explain these clearly to (spun) me and remove my doubts and difficulties on the subject (The exhibition of gross bodies is the deception of our sense, but the appearance of pure spiritual forms, can not be production of ignorance or sensible deception. We may ignore the forms of material substances, but not those immaterial essences which are given in the sástras. gloss).

2. Vasishtha replied,—The perceptible world represents the manifestation of the one quiescent and all inherent soul, and exhibits the glory (ábhásha) of the essential intellect (sach-chit), which is beyond conception or thought divine.

3. This gives rise to the shape of a partial hypostasis, or there rises of itself hypostatics ([Sanskrit: kalákalarúpiní]), resembling the rolling fragment of a cloud appearing as a watery substance or filled with water. (This original fiction of the glory of God giving rise to the watery mist like a lighted lamp emitting the inky smoke, is represented in the common belief of dark ignorance ([Sanskrit: avidyá]) proceeding from the bright light of divine knowledge ([Sanskrit: vidyá]), and exhibited by the allegory of the black goddess of ignorance and illusion ([Sanskrit: avidyá] and [Sanskrit: máyá]) gushing out of the white and fair god lying inactive and dormant under her; she is hence designated by the various epithets of ([Sanskrit: shyámá, kálí, jaladha] and [Sanskrit: níradavaraná]) and so forth, and this is the whole mystery of the Sákta faith).

[Pg 45]

4. This hypostatic fragment is also conceived in its three different lights or phases, of rarity, density and rigidity or grossness, ([Sanskrit: sukhsmá; madhyá, sthúlá]) resembling the twilight, midday light, and darkness of the solar light. The first of these is called the mind or creative will, the second styled the Brahmá Hiranyagarbha or the creative power, and the third is known as Virát, the framer of the material frame, and as identic with creation itself.

5. These are again denominated the three qualities (trigunas), according to their different states, and these are the qualities of reality, brightness and darkness satva, rajas and tamas, which are designated also as the triple nature of things or their swabhávas or prakriti.

6. Know all nature to be characterised by ignorance of the triple states of the positive and comparative and superlative degrees; these are inbred in all living beings, except the Being that is beyond them, and which is the supreme one.

7. Again the three qualities of satva, rajas, and tamas or the positive, comparative and superlative, which are mentioned in this place, have each of them its subdivisions also into three kinds of the same name.

8. Thus the original Ignorance ([Sanskrit: avidyá]), becomes of nine kinds by difference of its several qualities; and whatever is seen or known here below, is included under one or of the various kinds. (Hence the saktas reckon ten different forms of [Sanskrit: mahávidyá], comprising the primary ignorance and its nine fold divisions).

9. Now Ráma, know the positive or satwika quality of ignorance, to comprise the several classes of living beings known as the Rishis, Munis, the Siddhas and Nágas, the Vidyádharas and Suras. (All of these are marked by the positive quality of goodness inborn in their nature).

10. Again this quality of positive goodness comprises the Suras or gods Hara and others of the first class that are purely and truly good. The sages and Siddhas forming the second or intermediate class, are endued with a less share of goodness in them, while Nágas or Vidyádharas making the last class possess it in the least degree.

[Pg 46]

11. The gods being born with the pure essence of goodness, and remaining unmixed with the properties of other natures, have attained the state of purity (Holiness) like the divine Hari Hara and others. (i.e. So long the divine nature of a god is not shrouded under the veil of ignorance (avidyá ávarana), he is to be held in the light of a divinity as a Christ or Buddha); otherwise rajasha or qualified states of Hari Hara as they are represented by the vulgar, are neither to be regarded as such.

12. Ráma! whoever is fraught with the quality of goodness in his nature, and acquainted with divine knowledge in his mind, such a one is said to be liberated in this life, and freed from further transmigration.

13. It is for this reason, O high minded Ráma! that the gods Rudra and others who possess the properties of goodness in them, are said to continue in their liberated state to the final end of the world.

(Hence the immortals never die and being released from their earthly coil, their good spirits rove at large in open air; last and until the last doomsday rorqucamat or final resurrection of the dead).

14. Great souls remain liberated, as long as they continue to live in their mortal bodies; and after the shuffling of their frail bodies, they become free as their disembodied spirits; and then reside in the supreme spirit. (i.e. They return to the source from which they had proceeded).

15. It is the part of ignorance to lead men to the performance of acts, which after their death, become the roots of producing other acts also in all successive states of transmigration. (Ignorance leads one to interminable action in repeated births, by making the acts of the prior life to become the source of others in the next, so the acts of ignorance, become the seeds and fruits of themselves by turns, and there is no cessation nor liberation from them).

16. Ignorance rises from knowledge, as the hollow bubble bursts out of the level of liquid water; and it sets and sinks in knowledge likewise, as the bubble subsides to rest in the same water. (Ignorance and its action which are causes of creation,[Pg 47] have both their rise from the omniscience and inaction of God until they are dissolved at the dissolution of the world. Physical force rises from and rests in the spiritual. Ignorance—avidyá being but a negation of knowledge—vidyá, is said to proceed from:—the negative being but privation of the positive).

17. And as there is no such thing as a wave; but a word coined to denote the heaving of water; so there is nothing as ignorance but a word fabricated to express the want of knowledge. (Hence the believers in ignorance are mistaken in relying their faith in a power which has no existence whatever).

18. As the water and waves are identic in their true sense, and there is no material difference between them; so both knowledge and ignorance relating to the same thing, and expressing either its presence or absence, there can be no essential difference in their significance.

19. Leaving aside the sights of knowledge and ignorance, there remains that which always exists of itself (that is, the self-existent God exists, beyond both the knowledge and ignorance of men, or whether they know him or not). It is only the contradiction of adverse parties ([Sanskrit: pratiyogi byavaccheda]) that has introduced these words. (i.e., calling the opponents as ignorant and themselves as the knowing, in their mutual altercation with one another).

20. The sights of knowledge and ignorance are nothing; (i.e., they are both blind to the sight of truth): therefore be firm in what is beyond these, and which can neither be known nor ignored by imagination of it.

21. There is some thing which is not any thing, except that it exists in the manner of the intellect and consciousness chit-samvit, and this again has no representation of it, and therefore that ens or sat is said to be inevident avidyá the unknowable.

22. That One Sat being known as this or such, is said to be the destroyer of ignorance; whereas it is want of this knowledge, that gives rise to the false conception of an Avidyá or ignorance. (Avidyá, mithyá, kalpaná signifies ignorance to be a false imagination and personification also, as it is seen in the images of the ten Avidyás here).

[Pg 48]

23. When knowledge and ignorance are both lost in oblivion within one in the intellect as when both the sun-shine and its shadow are lost in shade of night. (i.e., both the knowledge of the subjective ego and objective non-ego which is caused by ignorance being concentrated in the consciousness of the intellect only within one's self).

24. Then there remains the one only that is to be gained and known, and thus it is, that the loss of ignorance tends to the dissipation of self-knowledge likewise (which is caused by it); just as the want of oil extinguishes the lamp. (Egoism and ignorance being akin to one another, both of them rise and remain and die together ([Sanskrit: ajnánahámkarayoreko satitayorút pattináshau yúgavadeba]).)

25. That what remains afterwards, is either nullity or the whole plenum, in which all these things appear to subsist, or it is nothing at all. (The one is the view of atheists who deny all existence, and the other of máyikas who maintain the visible nature as mere illusion. ([Sanskrit: máyámayamidamakhilam])).

26. As the minute grain of the Indian fig-tree contains within it the future arbor and its undeveloped state, so the almighty power of omnipotence is lodged in the minute receptacle of the spirit before its expansion into immensity. (The developed and undeveloped states of the supreme power, are called its vyákrita and avyákrita forces).

27. The divine spirit is more rarefied than the subtile air, and yet is not a vacuity having the chit or intellect in itself. It is as the sun-stone with its inherent fire and the milk with the latent butter unborn in it. (Hence the spirit of God is said to be embryonic seed of the universe. [Sanskrit: brahmándavíjam]).

28. All space and time reside in that spirit for their development, as the spark proceeds from the fire and light issues from the sun in which they are contained. (The will or word of God produces all things from his spiritual essence).

29. So all things are settled in the Supreme intellect, and show themselves unto us as the waves of the sea and as the radiance of gems: and so our understandings also are reflexions of the same.

[Pg 49]

30. The Divine intellect is the store-house of all things, and the reservoir of all consciousness (i.e., the fountain-head of the understandings of all living beings). It is the Divine essence which pervades the inside and outside of every thing. (All things are dependent to the entity of God for their existence, and there is no independent particle whatever).

31. The Divine soul is as imperishable as the air within a pot which is not destroyed by breaking of the vessel, but mixes and continues forever with the common and its surrounding air. Know also the lives and actions of living beings to be dependent upon the will of the God, as the mobility of the iron depends upon the attraction of the loadstone. (This passage negatives the free agency of man, and allows him an activity in common with that of all living beings, under the direction of the great magnet of the Divine spirit and will).

32. The action of the inactive or quiescent spirit of God, is to be understood in the same manner, as the motion of the lead is attributed to the causality of magnetic attraction, which moves the immovable iron. So the inert bodies of living beings, are moved by force of the intellectual soul.

33. The world is situated in that mundane seed of the universe, which is known under the name of intellect attributed to it by the wise. It is as void and formless as empty air, it is nothing nor has any thing in it except itself, and represents all and everything by itself, like the playful waves of the boundless ocean.

[Pg 50]


Removal of Ignorance.

Argument.—Ignorance and its bonds of Erroneous conceptions, and reliance on temporal objects, and the ways of getting release from them, by means of good understanding and right reasoning.

VASISHTHA continued:—Therefore this world with all its moving and unmoving beings is nothing (or no being at all). There is nothing that has its real being or entity, except the one true Ens that thou must know. (all beings are not being except the one self-existing Being. So says Sadi. All this is not being and thyself art the only being. Haman nestand anchi hastitue, so also the sruti Toam asi nányadasti. Tu est nullum est).

2. Seek him O Ráma! who is beyond our thought and imagination, and comprises all entity and non-entity in himself, and cease to seek any living being or any thing in existence. (In Him is all life and every thing, that is or is not in Being and he is the source of life and light).

3. I would not have my heart to be enticed and deceived by the false attachments and affections of this world; all which are as delusive, as our misconception of a snake in a rope. (All our earthly relations with our relatives and properties, are deception that are soon detected by our good sense and reason, and they vanish as soon as our mistake of the snake in rope. Therefore let no worldly tie bind down thy heart to this earth).

4. Ignorance of the soul is the cause of our error of conceiving the distinctions of things; but the knowledge of the selfsame soul puts an end to all distinctions of knowledge of the reality of things, distinctive knowledge of existences—bheda jnána is erroneous; but their generalization—abheda jnána leads to right reasoning.

5. They call it ignorance avidyá, when the intellect is vitiated by its intellection of the intelligibles or chetyas, but the[Pg 51] intelligibles being left out, it comes to know the soul which is free from all attributes.

6. The understanding only is the embodied soul purusha, which is lost upon the loss of the understanding; but the soul is said to last as long as there is understanding in the body, like the ghatambare or air in the pot lasts with the lasting of the pot, and vanishes upon the loss or breaking of the vessel. (The soul lasts with the intellect in the body, but flies away upon the intellect's desertion of it. This is maintained by sruti).

7. The wandering intellect sees the soul to be wandering, and the sedate understanding thinks, it to be stationary, as one perceives his breath of life to be slow or quick, according as he sits still or runs about. In this manner the bewildered understanding finds the soul to be distracted also. (The temperament of the mind is attributed to the soul, which is devoid of all modality).

8. The mind wraps the inward soul with the coverlet of its various desires, as the silkworm twines the thin thread of its desires round about itself; which its wants of reason prevent it from understanding. (The word in the text is bálavat boyishness, which is explained in the gloss to mean nirvivekatwa or want of reason, and applied to the mind, means puerile foolishness).

9. Ráma said:—I see sir, that when our ignorance becomes too gross and solid, it becomes as dull and solid as stone; but tell me O venerable sir, how it becomes as a fixed tree or any other immovable substance.

10. Vasishtha replied:—The human intellect not having attained its perfect state of mindlessness, wherein it may have its supreme happiness and yet falling from its state of mindfulness, remains in the midmost position of a living and immovable plant or of an insensible material substance. (The middle state is called tatastha bháva, which is neither one of perfect sensibility nor impassivity).

11. It is impossible for them to have their liberation, whose organs of the eight senses lie as dormant and dumb and blind and inert in them as in any dull and dirt matter: and if they have any perception, it is that pain only. (The puryastaka are the eight internal and external organs of sense instead of the[Pg 52] ten organs casandria. By dormancy is meant their want of reason, and muteness and blindness express respectively the want of their faculties of sensation and action, inertness means here the want of mental action.)

12. Ráma rejoined:—O sir, that best knowest the knowables! that the intellect which remains as unshaken as a fixed tree, with its reliance in the unity and without its knowledge of duality, approximates its perfection and approaches very near to its liberation (contrary to what thou sayest now, regarding impossibility of the dormant minds arriving to its freedom).

13. Vasishtha replied: Ráma! we call that to be the perpetual liberation of the soul, which follows persuasion of one common entity, after its rational investigation into the natures of all other things and their false appearances. (or else the blind torpidity of the irrational yogi, amounts rather to his bondage to ignorance than the liberation of his soul from it).

14. A man is then only said to have reached to his state of solity kaivalya, when he understands the community of all existence in the unity, and forsakes his desire for this thing and that. (But is said in sundry places of this work that the abandonment of the knowledge of the subjective and as well as of the objective, which constitutes the true liberation of the soul; which means the taking of the subject and object of thought and all other duties in nature in one self-existent unity and not to forget them all at once). (So says Sadi, when I turned out duality from my door I came to knowledge of one in all).

15. One is then said to recline in Brahma who is inclined to his spiritual Contemplation, after his investigation of divine knowledge in the sástras, and his discussion on the subject in the company of the learned doctors in divinity. (The unlearned religionist is either a zealot or an opiniatre—abhakta tatwa jnáni).

16. One who is dormant in his mind and has the seed of his desire lying latent in his heart, resembles an unmoving tree, bearing the vegetative seed of future regenerations (transmigrations) within its bosom.

[Pg 53]

17. All those men are called blocks who liken the blocks of wood and stone, and to be like brains who lack their brain work, and whose desires are gone to the rack. These men possessing the property of dulness as of dull matter, are subject to the pains of repeated births, recurring like the repetends of their remaining desires. (The doctrine of transmigration is, that the wish being father to the thought, every one meets with his lot in his next birth, as it is thought of or fostered by him in his present life. [Sanskrit: vásaná eva pratyávrittikáranam]).

18. All stationary and immovable things, which are endowed with the property of dull matter, are subject to repeated reproductions. (Owing to the reproductive seed which is inborn in them, like the inbred desire of living beings), though they may long continue in their dormant state (like images of saints in their trance).

19. Know O pure hearted Ráma! the seed of desire is as inbred in the breasts of plants, as the flowers are inborn in the seeds and the earthenwares are contained in the clay. (The statue says, Aristotle lies hid in the wood, and the gem in the stone, and require only the chisel of the carver and statuary to bring them out).

20. The heart that contains the fruitful seed of desire in it, can never have its rest or consummation even in its dormant state; but this seed being burnt and fried to its unproductiveness (by means of divine knowledge), it becomes productive of sanctity, though it may be in its full activity.

21. The heart that preserves the slightest remnant of any desire in it, it again filled with its full growth to luxuriance; as the little remainder of fire or the enemy, and of a debt and disease, and also of love and hatred, is enough to involve one in his ruin as a single drop of poison kills a man. (This stanza occurs in Chánakyá's Excerpta in another form, meaning to say that, "No wise man should leave their relic, lest they grow as big as before" [Sanskrit: punasva bhavati tasmádyasmát sesam na kárayet]).

22. He who has burnt away the seed of his desire from any thing, and looks upon the world with an even eye of indifference,[Pg 54] is said to be perfectly liberated both in his embodied state in this earth, as also in his disembodied or spiritual form of the next world, and is no more subjected to any trouble (Subjection to desire is deadly pain and freedom from it is perfect bliss. Or as it is said:—Desire is a disease and its want is ease. [Sanskrit: áshabhai param dukham nairáshyam paramamsukham]. Again our hopes and fears in constant strife, are both the bane of pig man life [Sanskrit: bhayáshá jívapásháh] &c.)

23. The intellectual power which enveloped by the seed of mental desire, supplies it with moisture for its germinating both in the forms of animals and vegetables every where (i.e. The divine power which inheres in the embryos of our desires, causes them to develope in their various forms).

24. This inherent power resides in the manner of productive power in the seeds of living beings, and in that of inertness in dull material bodies. It is of the nature of hardness in all solid substances, and that of tenuity in soft and liquid things. (i.e. The divine power forms the particular properties of things, and causes them to grow and remain in their own ways).

25. It exhibits the ash colour in ashes, and shows the particles in the dust of the earth; it shows the sableness of all swarthy things, and flashes in the whiteness of the glittering blade.

26. It is the spiritual power which assumes the communal form and figure, in which it resides in the community of material things, as a picture, a pot (ghata-pata) and the like. (The vanity of the unity is expressed in the words of Veda "the one in many." [illegible Sanskrit])

27. It is in this manner that the divine spirit fills the whole phenomenal world, in its universally common nature, as overspreading cloud, fills the whole firmament in the rainy season.

28. I have thus expounded to you the true nature swarúpa—of the unknown Almighty power, according to my best understanding, and as far as it had been ascertained by the reasoning of the wise: that it fills all and is not the all itself, and is the true entity appearing as no entity at all.

[Pg 55]

29. It is our want of the sight of this invisible spiritual power, that leads us to erroneous conception of the entity of the external world, but a slight sight of this almighty Ens, removes all our pains in this scene of vanity.

30. It is our dimsightedness of Almighty power, which is styled our blindness or ignorance [Sanskrit: avidyá] by the wise. It is this ignorance which give rise to the belief of the existence of the world, and thereby produces all our errors and misery.

31. Who is so freed from this ignorance and beholds the glorious light of God full in his view; he finds his darkness disappear from his sight, as the icicles of night melt away at the appearance of solar light.

32. The ignorance of a man flies off like his dream, after he wakes from his sleep, and wishes to recall his past vision of the night.

33. Again when a man betakes himself to ponder well the properties of the object before him, his ignorance flies away from before his face, as darkness flies at the approach of light.

34. As darkness recedes from a man, that advances to explore into it with a lamp in his hand, and as butter is melted down by application of heat, so is one's ignorance dispelled and dissolved by application of the light and the rise of reason.

35. As one pursuing after darkness sees a lighted torch in his hand, sees but a blaze of light before, and no shadow of darkness about him; so the inquirer after truth perceives the light of truth, shining to his face and no vestige of untruth left behind him.

36. In this manner doth ignorance (Avidyá) fly away and disappear at the sight of the light of reason; and although an unreal nothing, she appears as something real, wherever there is the want of reason. (Hence all unreasoning men are the most ignorant).

37. As the great mass of thick darkness, disappears into nothing at the advance of light; it is in the same manner that the substantiality of gross ignorance, is dissolved into unsubstantiality[Pg 56] at the advancement of knowledge. (so the advancement of inductive science, has put flight the dogmatic doctrines of old).

38. Unless one condescends to examine in a thing, it is impossible for him to distinguish it from another (as the shell from silver and rope for the snake); but upon his due examination of it, he comes to detect the fallacy of his prejudgment (as those of the silver and snake in the shell and the rope).

39. He who stoops to consider whether the flesh or blood or bones of his bodily frame, constitutes his personality, will at once perceive that he is none of these, and all these are distinct from himself. (The personality of a man consisting in his soul, and not in any part or whole of his body).

40. And as nothing belonging to the person makes the persons, but something beyond it that forms one's personality; so nothing in the world from its first to last is that spirit, but some thing which has neither its beginning nor end, is the eternal and infinite spirit. (The same is the universal soul).

41. Thus ignorance being got over there remains nothing whatever, except the one eternal soul which is the adorable Brahma and substantial whole.

42. The unreality of ignorance is evident from the negative term of negation and ignoring of its essentiality, and requires no other proof to disprove its essence; as the relish of a thing is best proved by the tongue and no other organ of sense. (The term Avidyá signifying the want of vidyá—knowledge and existence [Sanskrit: vidyámánatá]).

43. There is no ignorance nor inexistence except the intelligence and existence of God, who pervade over all visible and invisible natures, which are attributed with the appellations of existence and inexistence. (The whole being God (to Pan—the All) there is no existence or inexistence without Him).

44. So far about Avidyá, which is not the knowledge but ignorance of Brahma; and it is the dispersion of this ignorance which brings us to the knowledge of God.

45. The belief of this, that and all other things in the world, are distant and distinct from Brahma, is what is called Avidyá or ignorance of him; but the belief that all things visible in the[Pg 57] world, is the manifestation of omnipresence, causes the removal of ignorance, by presenting us to the presence of God.


The following lines of the English poet, will be found fully to illustrate the divine attribute of omnipresence in the pantheistic doctrine of Vedánta and Vasishtha, as shown in this chapter et passen.

All are but parts, of one stupendous whole,
Whose body nature is, and God the soul;
That, changed through all, and yet in all the same;
Great in the earth, as in the etherial frame;
Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze;
Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees;
Lives through all life, extends through all extent,
Spreads undivided, operates unspent;
Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part.
As full as perfect, in a pair as heart:
As full as perfect, in vile man that mourns,
As in the rapt seraph, that adores and burns;
To him no high, now, no great, no small;
He fills, he bounds, connects and equals all.
Pope's Mortal Essays I. IX.

[Pg 58]


Ascertainment of Living Liberation.

Argument.—Instances of Living Liberation in Hari, Hara and others, and its consisting in the oecumenical knowledge of the one Brahma in all and every thing.

VASISHTHA said:—I tell you again and repeatedly O pious Ráma! for your understanding, that you can never know the spirit without your constant habit, of contemplating on it in your self-cogitation. (So the Sruti. Atmá vára, mant avyam, "the soul is to be constantly thought upon" and so also the Vedánta aphorism "asakrit upadesat" the soul is known by repeated instructions on spiritual knowledge).

2. It is gross ignorance which is known as nescience, and it becomes compact by the accumulated erroneous knowledge of previous births and past life (namely; the errors of the dualities of matter and spirit and of the living and Supreme soul, and the plurality of material and sensible objects).

3. The perceptions of the external and internal senses of body, both in the states of sensibility and insensibility, are also the causes of great errors or ignorance crasse of embodied beings. (i.e. The sensible perceptions are preventives of spiritual knowledge which transcends the senses and is called [Sanskrit: atíndriya]).

4. Spiritual knowledge is far beyond the cognizance of the senses, and is only to be arrived at after subjection of the five external organs of sense, as also of the mind which is the sixth organ of sensation.

5. How then is it possible to have a sensible knowledge of the spirit, whose essence is beyond the reach of our faculties of sense, and whose powers transcend those of all our sensible organs? (i.e. Neither is the spirit perceptible by our senses, nor does it perceive all things by senses like ours). So the Srutis He is not to be perceived by the faculties of our sense, who[Pg 59] does and perceives all with our organs. ([Sanskrit: na tatra vaggacchati namani ápanipádau yavanagtahítá]).

6. You must cut off this creeper of ignorance, which has grown up in the hollow of the tree of your heart, with the sharp sword of your knowledge, if you should have your consummation as an adept in divine wisdom.

7. Conduct yourself Ráma! in the same manner in the practice of your spiritual knowledge, as the king Janaka does with his full knowledge of all that is knowable to man.

8. He is quite confident in his certain knowledge of the main truth, both when he is employed in his active duties, in his waking state as well as when he remains quiet at his leisure. (The end of knowledge is to know God, and to rely on him both in busy and in active life).

9. It was by his reliance on this certain truth, that Hari was led to the performance of his various acts in his repeated births or incarnations. (A god in human flesh does his works as a god).

10. May you, Ráma! be certain of the main truth, which conducted the three-eyed god Siva in the company of his fair consort; and which led the dispassionate Brahmá to the act of creation. (i.e. the passionate and unimpassioned and those that are active or inactive are equally assured of this truth).

11. It was the assurance of this eternal verity, which led the preceptors of the gods and demons, even Brihaspati and Bhargava, in their duties; and which guide the sun and moon in their courses, and even directs the elements of fire and air in the wonted ways.

12. This truth was well known to the host of Sages, including Narada and Pulastya, Angira and Pracheta, and Bhrigu Krutu, Atri and Suka, as it is known to me also.

13. This is the certainty which has been arrived at by all other learned Brahmans and Sages, and this is the firm belief of every body, that has been liberated in his life time.

14. Ráma said:—Tell me truly, O venerable sir, the true nature of the truth, on which the great gods and wisest sages,[Pg 60] have grounded their belief, and became freed from their sorrow and grief (in this world of sorrow and tears).

15. Vasishtha replied:—Hear me tell you! O worthy prince that art great in arms as in thy knowledge of all things, the plain truth in reply to your question, and the certitude arrived at by all of them (named above).

16. All these spacious worlds, that you behold to be spread all about you, they are all that One or on, and are situated in the immensity of Brahma. (In their real or spiritual nature, and after obliteration of the erroneous forms in which they appear to you. Their phenomenal appearances, being but the misconceptions of our errors).

17. Brahma is the intellect, and the same is this world and all its animate and inanimate creatures also; Myself and Brahma and so art thou thyself, and such are all our friends and foes beside us.

18. Brahma is the tripletime of the past, present and future, all which are comprehended in his eternity; in the manner of the continuity of waves, billows and surges, contained in the immensity of the ocean.

19. It is thus the same Brahma that appears to us in all the various forms of our perception, and in the different shapes of the actor, action and its act, as those of the feeder, feeding and the food, and of the receiver, reception and the thing received. (There being but the only unity of God, the same is changed to all forms of action and passion and so says the poet "that change through all and yet in all the same" and also unvaried in all with a varied name. This the vedánta says to be the vivarta rúpa or the one changed in many form vividha many, and varta let vertuus changed [Sanskrit: paribatta].)

20. Brahma expands in himself by his power of evolution, or unfolding himself by his vivarta sakti; Hence He would be our enemy if he would do any thing unfavourable into us. (God is good and never does any evil to any one: all he does in and to himself)?

21. Thus Brahma being situated and employed with himself, does nothing aught of good or evil to any other. The attribution[Pg 61] of passions to him, is as the planting of a tree in empty air. (God is not capable of any human attribute, as it is usual with anthropomorphists to load him with).

22. How very delighted are they that are dead to their desires, to reflect on this truth, that they are continually living and moving in the all pervading Brahma. (In Him we live and move).

23. All things are full of Brahma, and there is naught of pleasure or pain herein; Brahma resides in his self-same all and is pleased with all in himself. (The one is full of bliss with all in himself).

24. The Lord is manifest in his Lordship, and I am no other person beside himself; this pot and that painting and I myself, are full with the self-same Brahma.

25. Hence it is in vain to speak of our attachment or aversion to worldliness, since we bear our bodies and dare to die in Brahma only. (It is that something, for which we bear to live, and dare to die, Pope).

26. Our bodies being the abodes of Brahma, it is as false to think to our bodily pains, as also of our pleasure in bodily enjoyments, as to take a rope for a serpent. (Hence we can have no sense of our pleasure or pain, as long we know ourselves to be situated in Brahma and He in us).

27. How say you, that this or that is your doing, when you have the power of doing nothing. (The fluctuation of the billows on the surface of the sea, cannot agitate the waters of the deep below).

28. Myself, thyself and himself, and all others, are but the breaths of the universal spirit; and they heave and then subside to rest as waves of the sea; but the spirit of God, like the water of the deep, neither rises nor falls as ourselves or the fleeting waves at any time.

29. All persons returning to Brahma after their death, have their bodies also reduced into Him and retain their personal identity in Him in the same manner, as the moving and unmoving waters rest alike in the sea.

[Pg 62]

30. All moving and unmoving souls and bodies, rest alike in the supreme Brahma; as the Jíva and its form reside in God, and the whirling and still waters remain in the same sea.

31. The soul and the body, are the two states of the likeness and unlikeness of Brahma, the one is the living soul of bodies, and the other is the gross body itself.

32. Irrational souls, that are ignorant of this truth, are verily subject to delusion; but the rational souls are not so, but enjoy their full bliss on earth, while the other is ever doomed to misery.

33. The blind behold the world all dark, while the eye-sighted find it fully bright and shining; so the wise are blessed with the knowledge of the one soul of the whole, while the ignorant are immerged in misery, by their want of such knowledge.

34. As the darkness of the night, presents its goblins and spectres, to the sight of children only, and not those of the grown up and adult; so the world presents its delusions to ignorant and never to the wise, who behold one Brahma only in all things before them.

35. There is nothing here that lives of itself, nor dies away to nothing; all equally exist in God at all time, and nothing is doomed to be born or perish herein to happiness or misery.

36. All beings are situated in the universal soul, as the waves in the vast expanse of the ocean, therefore it is erroneous to say the one reside in the spirit, and another to be beside it.

37. As there is an inborn light in the crystal, which is capable of reflecting a variety of rays, so the spirit of God dwells in his own spirit in the form of the universe, showing various shapes to view by the inner light of the spirit.

38. As the particles of water flying from the waves, fall into the sea and mix with its body of water; so the bodies of dying people, fall into the body of Brahma, wherein they subsisted in their life time. (So there is neither an increase or diminution of the essence of Brahma, by the birth or death or increase or decrease of beings in the world).

39. There is nobody nor being beside the being of Brahma,[Pg 63] as there is no wave nor foam or froth of the sea beside the water of the deep.

40. As the billows and waves, the surges and eddies, and their froths and foams, and bubbles and minute particles, are all formations of water in the great body of waters; so are all beings but productions of the spirit in the Infinite spirit. (All matter is reduced to the spirits, and the spirits are consolidated to material substances by chemical process).

41. All bodies with their various modes, and organs of sense and their several functions, and all visible objects and their growth and decay, together with every thing conducing to our happiness and misery, and all other energies and their gains, are the works of Brahma in himself. (i.e. they are the self reflective acts of gods and not done for the sake of others).

42. The production of these various beings in esse, is from the essence of Brahma; as the formation of different ornaments, is from the substance of gold. There is no other formal cause or formation distinct from Brahma, and the distinction of the cause and its creation, is the erroneous conception of the ignorant.

43. The mind, understanding, egoism, and the elemental atoms, and the organs of sense, are all the various forms of Brahma; wherefore there is cause of our joy or grief.

44. The words I, thou, he, and this and that, as also the terms of the mind and matter, are all significant of the self-same Brahma átmátmani, in the same manner as the roaring of a cloud in the hills, resounds in a hundred echoes through their caverns. (All words applied to every thing, relate to the one self-same Brahma who is all in all to pan).

45. Brahma appears as an unknown stranger to us, through our ignorance of him, as the visions seen in a dream by our mind itself, appear foreign to us. (i.e. Our belief in the visibles is the cause of our disbelief in the invisible God; as our familiarity with the objects of our waking state, makes us reject our visionary dreams as false).

46. Ignorance of Brahmá as Brahma or what he is, makes men to reject divine knowledge altogether; as our ignorance of[Pg 64] the quality of gold causes us to cast it off dross. (Brahma to the brute is, as the gem in the dung hill cast away by the silly cock).

47. Brahma is known as the Supreme spirit and sole Lord, by those who are acquainted with divine knowledge; but he is said to be unknown and involved in ignorance by them that are ignorant of Him.

48. Brahma being known as Brahma, becomes manifested such in a moment; just as gold when known as such, is taken in due esteem.

49. Those who are versed in divine knowledge, know Brahma as without a cause and causing nothing by himself, and that he is free from decay, and is the Supreme spirit and sole Lord of all.

50. He who can meditate in himself, on the omnipotence of Supreme spirit of Brahma; comes to behold him as such in a short time, even without a leader to guide him in his spiritual knowledge (one's own faith in Divine Omnipotence, is the surest means to the sight of his Maker).

51. The want of divine knowledge, that is called the ignorance of the ignorant; whereas it is the knowledge of God, that constitutes the true knowledge which removes the ignorance.

52. As an unknown friend is no friend at all, until he is recognized as such, after removal of one's forgetfulness; so God is no God to one, as long he continues in ignorance of Him.

53. We can then only know God, when the mind comes to perceive the unconnection of the soul with the body; and whereby it alienates itself from all worldly connections in disgust.

54. It is then that we come to know the one true God, when the mind is freed from its knowledge of duality; and by its distaste of dualism, it abandons its attachment to the world.

55. We then come to the knowledge of God, when we come to know ourselves to be other than our persons; and when by getting rid of our personal egoism, we forsake our affection for this unkindred world.

[Pg 65]

56. It is then that the thought of God rises in our minds, when we come to the true knowledge of thinking ourselves the same with Brahma; and when the mind is absorbed in the meditation of the divine truth in one's self. (This is the sublimation of the Yogi to the divine state; or when the Yogi loses himself, in his rapturous vision on the one God. This kind of meditation is indicated in the formula "Soham" in Vedánta and an ald Huq in sufism).

57. God being known as the tout ensemble or comprising the whole plenum, we come to believe the same as Brahma; and losing our egoism and tuism in the same, we come to the knowledge of that entity only comprising the entire universe. (This belief of the entirety of the Deity, is expressed in the words "Tat Sat" corresponding with to on, idest, alast, that is, He in the creeds of other people).

58. When I come to know this true and omniform Brahma, as all in all, and forming the entire whole; I become released from all my sorrow and grief, and am set free from all my delusion and desire, and the responsibility of my duties (from the belief of God's agency in all things).

59. I am quite calm and at ease and without any sorrow or grief, by my knowledge of the truth, that I am no other than Brahma Himself; I am as cool as the moon, without her spots and phases in me, and I am the all entire, without any disease, decay or diminution in me. (This is said with regard to the universal soul, which engrosses all souls and things in itself).

60. It is true that I am the all pervading Brahma, and therefore I can neither wish to have or leave any thing from me; being of myself the blood, bones and flesh of my body. (The soul is the source of the body, and the spirit its life, without which it decays and dies away).

61. It is true that I am Brahma the universal soul, and therefore the intellect, mind and sensibility also; I am the heaven and sky with their luminaries and quarters and the nether worlds also.

62. It is true that I am Brahma, composing this pot and painting, these bushes and brambles, these forests and their[Pg 66] grass, as also the seas and their waves. (One God is manifest in many forms).

63. The unity of Brahma is a certain truth, and it is the ego which is manifest in the seas and mountains and all living beings; and in the qualities of reception and emission, and of extension and contraction in all material bodies. (It is the Divinity that actuates the physical powers in nature).

64. All things of extended forms situated in the intellectual spirit of Brahma, who is the cause of the growth of creepers and plants, and of the germination of vegetative seeds.

65. The supreme Brahma resides in his sheath of the intellectual soul, in the manner of flavour in the cup of the flower; and thence diffuses itself on all sides in the form of everything everywhere.

66. He that is known as only soul of all, and who is ascertained as the supreme spirit, and who is designated by the appellations of the intellectual soul, Brahma the great, the only entity and reality, the Truth and Intelligence and apart from all.

67. He is said to be the all-inhering element, and Intelligence only without the intelligibles in it; He is the pure light that gives every being its consciousness of itself.

68. He appears to the spiritualist to be existent everywhere, as the tranquil and intelligent Brahma; and contains in himself the powers of all the faculties of the mind and body, such as the understanding and the organs of sense, so the sruti; "He is the mind of the mind, the sight of the eye." [Sanskrit: yascat?u sascat?unmanásá manoyadityádi].

69. Give up the thought of thy difference from Brahma by knowing thyself as the reflexion of the intelligent soul; which is the cause of the causes of the existence of the world. Such as vacuum and others, which are causes of sound and are caused by vacuous spirit of God (and not as the vacuists and materialists belief them, to be increate essences from eternity).

70. The intellect of Brahma is the transparent receptacle of all essences, and my ego is of the same essence, which exudes[Pg 67] continually as a shower of rain, from the transparent spirit of God.

71. I am that light which shines in the souls of yogis, and I am that silent spirit which is supported by the ambrosial drops of Divine Intellect; which continually distils its nectarious juice into our souls, as we may feel in ourselves.

72. I am as a wheel or circle without having the beginning or end of myself, and by having the pure intellect of Brahma in me. I am quiet in my deep sleep of samádhi meditation, and I perceive holy light shining within me. (The yogi in his devotion is absorbed in the calmness of his soul and is wrapt in divine light).

73. The thought that I am Brahma, affords afar greater delight to the soul, than the taste of any sweet meat, which gives but a momentary delight, so the sruti:—God is all sweetness [Sanskrit: rasobetat] (sweet is the memory of a friend, and sweeter far must be the thought of God, who is best and greatest friend).

74. One knowing his soul and intellect, knows the indestructible Brahma and himself as identic with the same; as one whose mind is possessed with the image of his beloved, beholds her bright countenance in the shining orb of the moon.

75. As the sights of earthly people are fixed in the etherial moon, so the sight of intellectual beings, is fixed in the supreme and indestructible soul, which he knows as self-same with himself.

76. The intellectual power which is situated in the vacuity of the heart, is verily the verity of the immaculate Brahma himself. Its pleasure and pain, and mutability and divisibility, are attributed to by ignorance only.

77. The soul that has known the truth, knows himself as the supreme Intellect, as the pilgrim on the way sees only his saint before him, and no intermediate object besides.

78. The belief that I am the pure and all pervading intellect, is attended with the purity and holiness of the soul, and the knowledge of the Divine power as the cause of the union of earth, air and water in the production of the germ of creation, is the main creed of all creeds.

[Pg 68]

79. I am that intellect of Brahma which is inherent in all things as their productive power; and I am that soul which causes the sweetness of the beal and bitterness of nimba fruits.

80. I am that divine intellect which inheres alike in all flavours, which is devoid of pain and pleasure and which I perceived in my mind by my consciousness.

81. I am the undecaying intellect of Brahma, and deem my gain and loss in equal light of indifference; while I view this earth and sky, and the sun and moon displayed before my eyes in all their glory.

82. I am that pure and serenely bright Brahma, whose glory is displayed alike in all of these, and which I behold to shine vividly before me, whether when I am awake or asleep or whenever I am in the state of dreaming or profound sleep.

83. I am that Brahma who is without beginning and end, who is known by his four fold hypostases, and is ever indestructible and undecaying. He resides in the souls of men in the form of sweetness in the sugarcane through all their transmigrations.

84. I am that intellect of Brahma, which like the sunshine pervades equally in the form of transparent light in and above all created beings.

85. I am that all pervasive intellect of Brahma, which like the charming moon light fills the whole universe; and which we feel and taste in our hearts, as the delicious draught of ambrosia.

86. I am that intellect of Brahma, which extends undivided over the whole and all parts of the universe, and which embraces all existence as the moving clouds of heaven encompasses the firmament.

[Pg 69]


Argument.—Investigation in the doubts respecting living liberation.

VASISHTHA said:—Great minded men that are certain of these truths, are purified from their sins, and finding their tranquillity in the reliance on truth, enjoy the delight of the even equanimity of their souls, both in their prosperity and adversity. (Truthfulness and equanimity are god-like attributes).

2. So the wise men of perfect understandings, being evenly dispassionate in their minds; feel themselves neither glad nor sad, either in the enjoyment or deprivation of their lives (which are alike to them, because death is but the beginning or continuance of life in another state or world).

3. They remain as unseen and marvelously mighty, as the arms of Náráyana (god); and as straight and firm and yet as low and fragile as the body and broken rocks of mount Meru on earth.

4. They roam about at pleasure in woodlands and over islands and amidst cities also, and like the gods of paradise they wander about the beautiful groves and sceneries of nature.

5. They roved in flowery gardens shaken by the playful breezes, and also in the romantic forests on the skirts and tops of mountains.

6. They conquer also their enemies, and reign in their realms with the chouri and umbrella ensigns of their royalty; they enjoy the various produce and wealth of their kingdom, and observe the various customs and usages of their country. (The wise man freely enjoy all things without being bound into them).

7. They follow all the rules and rites, established by the laws of their countries; and inculcated as duties for the observance of all.

8. They do not disdain to taste the pleasures, that would make the beauties smile at; nor are they averse to the enjoyment of luxuries, that they can rightly use and enjoy.

[Pg 70]

9. They smell the fragrance of mandara-flowers, and taste the sweet juice of mango-fruits; they regale themselves with the sweet songs of Apsaras, and revel in the arbours of Nandara or pleasure garden.

10. They never disregard the duties that bind all mankind to them, nor neglect to perform the sacrifices and observe the ordinances that are imperious on domestic life.

11. But they are saved from falling into dangers and evils of all kinds, and escape the danger of falling under the feet of murderous elephants, and avoid the uproar of trumpets and the imminent death in battle-fields (i.e. Wise men avoid the dangers to which the ignorant are liable).

12. They abide with those that are afflicted in their hearts, as among the marauding plunderers of the country; they dwell among the oppressed cowardly people, as also amongst their oppressors. Thus they are conversant with the practices of all opposing parties, without mixing with any one of them.

13. But their minds are clear of doubts and free from errors unaffected by passions and affections, and unattached to any person or thing. They are quite discrete and disengaged, free and liberated, tranquil and serene, inclined to goodness reclining and resting in Supreme spirit.

14. They are never immerged in great dangers, nor are they ever involved in very great difficulties. But remain as the boundary mountains, remaining unimmersed amidst the water of a circumjacent lake.

15. They are never elated with joy, at the fluctuating favours of fond and fascinating fortune; nor are they swollen, like the sea at the increasing digits of the moon.

16. They do not fade away under sorrow or sickness, like plants under the scorching sun beams, nor are they refreshed by refreshments, like medicinal plants under the refreshing dews of night.

17. They are employed calmly and without anxiety in the discharge of their duties and in the acts of fruition karma, and neither long for nor relinquish the fruition, which is attendant upon them (i.e. They do what is to be done, not for reward but as a matter of course).

[Pg 71]

18. They are neither elated with the success of their undertakings, nor are they depressed by the mishap of their efforts, they are not joyous at their joy and hey-day, nor do they sink under in danger and difficulty.

19. They do not droop down under despondence, nor are they dejected in despair, they are not merry in their prosperity, nor do they wail and weep in their adversity.

20. They discharge their customary duties as prescribed by law and usage, but their minds remain as firm and unmoved, as a mountain at all the efforts of the body.

21. Now Ráma! Remove your sight for thy own egoism, and keep it fixed on the true ego which is a destroyer of all sins; and then go on with your ordinary course of conduct as thou mayest like.

22. Look at these creations and their various creatures, as they have existed in their successive stages and phases; but do you remain as firm as rock and as deep as the sea, and get rid of your errors. (i.e. Your observation of nature can only remove your errors).

23. Know this grand whole as the reflexion of one sole Intellect, beside which there is nothing as a reality or unreality, or as some thing or nothing. (Jo kuch hai ohi hai, nehinaur kuch'he. Whatever there is, is he himself, and there is nil beside his ens or self).

24. Ráma! have thy greatness as the great Brahma, and preserve the dignity of human nature about thee; reject all whatever as unworthy of thee, and with an unattached heart to every thing, manage thyself with gentleness every where, and thus pass the days here. (As an heir of eternity).

25. Why dost thou weep with thy heart full of sorrow and grief, and why dost thou lament like the deluded, and why rovest thou with thy wandering mind, like a swimming straw to the whistling eddy.

26. Ráma replied—Verily sir, the dart of my doubts is now rubbed out of my mind, and my heart is awakened to its good senses by thy kindness, as the lotus is enlivened by thy rising sun-light.

[Pg 72]

27. My errors are dispersed as the morning fog in autumn; and my doubts are set down by your lectures; which I will always adhere to.

28. I am now set free from the follies of pride, vanity, envy and insensibility; and I feel lasting spiritual joy rising within me after the subsidence of all my sorrows. And now if you are not tired, please deliver your lectures with your clear understanding, and I will follow and practice them without fear or hesitation.

[Pg 73]


The Two Yogas of Knowledge and Reasoning.

Argument.—The two yogas or Habits of restraining the Desires and Respiration herein before described, are followed by two others: viz. the Acquisition of knowledge and the Training to reasoning which are yogas also.

RÁMA said:—I am verily becalmed and set at ease, O Brahman! by relinquishing all my desires, from my full knowledge of their impropriety; and by my being staid in the state of the liberated, even in this my present life. (The heaven of the holy, commences in their earthly life).

2. But tell me, sir, how a man can have his liberation, by restraining his respirations for a time; and how the restraint of one's breathings, can put a restriction to his desires, which reside and rise from the mind; while it belongs to the body and comes in and out of the heart and lungs. (Nostrils).

3. Vasishtha said:—The means of fording over the ocean of this earth is known, O Ráma! by the word Yoga or union, which is composed of the quality of pacifying the mind in either of the two ways or processes (as shown below).

4. The one is the acquisition of religious instruction, leading to the knowledge of the soul and of the Supreme soul, and the other is the restraining of respiration, which you will learn from the lecture that I am about to deliver.

5. Here Ráma interrupted and said:—Tell me, sir, which of the two is more delectable, owing to its facility and unpainfulness; and the knowledge or practice whereof, releases us from all fear and trouble whatsoever.

6. Vasishtha replied:—Ráma! although I have mentioned here of two kinds of Yoga, yet the common acceptation of the term, restricts it to the restriction of breathing. (The vulgar have no idea of esoteric occultism or jnana Yoga, but call him a Yogi, who is employed in his exoteric practices, of asceticism[Pg 74] and austerities, suppression of breath; and all kinds of wilful pains).

7. The true Yoga is the concentration of the mind in God, which is the only means of our salvation in this world; and this is achieved in either way of the regulation of breathing, or perfection in learning, both of which tend to the one and same effect, of fixing the attention in divine meditation.

8. The practical yoga by the regulation of respiration, appears as too arduous a task to some persons, while proficiency in knowledge seems to be too difficult of attainment to others. But to my understanding the ascertainment of truth by theoretical knowledge seems to be far better than practice. (The theoretical meditation is known as the rája yoga, and the forced contraction of the breath is called the hatha yoga or forced devotion, and is the device of Dattátreya who was an ancient Rishi also).

9. Ignorance is ever ignorant of truth, which does not lend its light to us in either our walking or sleeping states. So the ignorant practiser is always in ignorance both when he is in his meditative trance [Sanskrit: yogavidyá] or otherwise; but knowledge is always knowing, both when the knower is awake or asleep.

10. The practical yoga which stands in need of fixed attention, painful postures, and proper times and places, is impossible to be practiced, owing to the difficulty of getting all these advantages at all times.

11. I have thus described to you, O Ráma! both the two kinds of yoga propounded in the sástras, and the superiority of the pure knowledge, which fills the intellect with its unfading light.

12. The regulation of the breathings, the firmness of the body and dwelling in sequestered cells, are all I ween as pregnant of consummation—siddhi; but say, which of these is capable of giving knowledge [Sanskrit: vritti] to the understanding, which is the greatest perfection in human nature.

13. Now Ráma! if you think it possible for you, to sit quiet with utter suppression of your breaths and thoughts; then can you attempt to sit in your sedate posture of meditation without uttering a single word.

[Pg 75]


Narrative of Bhusunda and description of mount Meru.

Argument.—Vasishtha's visit to Meru in expectation of seeing Bhusunda and his description of the Mountain.

VASISHTHA related:—The vast universe, O Ráma! is but an evolution of the will of the Infinite Brahmá, just as the various representations in the mirage, are but eversions of solar rays. (Or these are the reflexions of the self-same Deity, as the Fata Morgana are the reflex of solar light).

2. Here the divine Brahmá that is born of the lotiform navel of Brahmá, takes the title of the creator and preserver of all, that has been produced by the supreme spirit; and is called also the great father of all, for his producing the prime progenitors of mankind. (Here Brahmá resembles Adam of the scriptures).

3. This divine being brought me forth from his mind, where fore I am called the mánasaputra or progeny of the mind, of the mind of this holy personage. He made me settle first in the fixed polar circle of the starry frame, I viewed the revolutions of the planetary spheres, and the successive Manvantaras before me. (The Manus were all the progeny of the divine mind, whence they bear their name of Manu or mind-born).

4. Residing once in the imperial court of the lord of gods—Indra, I heard the accounts of many long living persons and people, from the mouths of Nárada and other messengers of the gods. (Nárada is the Mercury of Hindu mythology, and answers an angel of the scriptures).

5. There was once on a time the sage Sálatapá among them; who was a person of great understanding, a man of honor and taciturn in his speech; and said by way of conversation:—

6. That there was in the north east summit of Mount Meru, a spot full of sparkling gems, where there was a kalpa[Pg 76] tree of the chuta or mango kind, which yielded its fruits in all seasons of the year.

7. The tree was covered all over with fresh and beautiful creepers, and a branch of it extending towards the south, had a large hollow in its top, containing the nest of birds of various kinds.

8. Among them there was a crow's nest, belonging to one old raven by name of Bhusunda, who lived quite happy with himself; as the god Brahmá dwells content in his lotus-bed.

9. There is no one in the womb of this world so long lived as he, nor even the gods in heaven, can boast a greater longevity than he among the feathered tribe; and it is doubtful whether there may be another as old as he in times to come. (Old as Adam and as old as Methuselah).

10. This crony crow was beauteous even in old age, and had become passionless and great-minded by his long experience. He remained quiet with the tranquillity of his mind, and was as graceful as he was full of knowledge of all times. (Achromatic as old Nestor of the present, past and future—trikálajna).

11. If any one may have the long life of this crow, his life becomes meritorious, and his old age is crowned with sapience. (The vigour of life is productive of meritorious works, and its decay is fraught with wisdom).

12. In this manner, he related the virtues of the bird in full, at the request of the gods in heaven; and did not utter any thing more or less, before the assembly of the deities who knew all things.

13. After the gods had been satisfied with the narration of the veteran crow, I felt a great curiosity in me, to see and know more of this superannuated bird (for who is it that has not an eager desire to learn the art of longevity).

14. With this desire, I hastened to the spot, where the crow was said to rest in his happy nest; and I reached in a short time, to the summit of Meru, which was shining with its precious stones. (The descent from heaven to the lofty top of Meru could not be long, since the gods are said to be all situated on this[Pg 77] high mountain. ([Sanskrit: tasminnadrau trayasvimsat vasatihiga nadevatah]), and again ([Sanskrit: yávatmerausyitadeváh]).)

15. The peak of the mountain was flaming as fire, with the glare of its gems and red earth—gairika, and these painted the upper sky, with the bright hue of florid honey and sparkling wine.

16. The mountain shone as brightly as it were burning with the blaze of the last conflagration, and the sky was reddened by their reflexion with shades of clouds; appearing as the smoke of fire or the blue lustre of sapphire.

17. The mountain appeared to be formed by a collection of all kinds of colours on earth, which gave it the appearance of the variegated sky in west at the time of the setting sun.

18. The flame of fire proceeding from its crater, and emitted through the crevice on its top, seemed as the culinary fire of the Yogi, carried up from his bowels to the cranium in Yoga. (This is styled the Utkranti Yoga or lifting the physical powers, and concentrating them all in the head—the seat of intellect).

19. The ruddy peaks and pinnacles of Sumeru, resembled his arms and fingers painted with lac-dye; in order to lay hold on his consort the fair moon by way of sport. (It means the mountain tops reaching to and touching the orb of the moon. So Kálidása makes his Himalaya transcend the sphere of the sun).

20. The lurid flame of wild fire on this mountain, seemed as the burning blaze of sacrificial fires, which are fed with clarified butter were rising to heaven. (Hence fire is styled the bearer of our offerings to the gods above—havya-váhana, because there is nothing on the earth except the flames of fire—that has the power of rising upwards, whence they are termed Urdha—jwalana—havir—bhujas. ([Sanskrit: urdha jvalana havirbhujam]).)

21. The mount with its elevated summit seemed to kiss the face of the sky, and to raise its fingers in the form of its peaks and pinnacles, with their blazing gems resembling the nails of the fingers, in order to count the scattered stars.

22. The clouds were roaring on one side of it with the loud noise of the drums, and the young plants and creepers were[Pg 78] dancing in the happy arbours on another, clusters of flowers were smiling as blooming beauties on this side, and the swarms of humming bees were hovering on them on that.

23. Here the lofty palm trees seemed to be smiling with shewing their teeth in their denticulated leaves, on seeing the giddy groups of Apsaras, swinging and strolling about loosely in their amorous dalliances under their shade.

24. There the celestials were resorting in pairs to their grottos in the mountain, in order to relieve themselves of their trouble of trudging over the rugged paths of the craggy mountain; and they were clothed in the white vest of the open sky (nudity), and having the stream of Ganges falling from high for their sacred thread. (Here Meru means any mountain and Ganga is put for any stream descending from it).

25. The hoary mountain stood as a grey headed hermit, holding the reeds (with which it abounded) as canes in his hand; and the celestial inhabitants of the mount, rested in the coverts of the creepers, being lulled to sleep by gurgling sound of the waters falling from precipice to precipice.

26. The mountain king was crowned by the full blown lotuses that grow on its top, and was regaled by the sweet fragrance; which the odoriferous breezes bore from them. It was decorated with the gems of the starry frame on its crown, and charmed with the sweet songs of the gandharvas playing their strains on it.

27. His hoary head pierced the silvery region of heaven, and was one with it in being the abode of the gods.

28. The many coloured tops of Meru, emitting the various colours of the red, white, black, blue, yellow, and gray stones that are embodied in its body, lent the sky its variegated hues in the morning and evening, while the versicolor blossoms on its tops, invited the Heavenly nymphs to their rambles and sports over them.

[Pg 79]


Vasishtha's visit to Bhusanda.

Argument.—Description of the scenery on the top of Mount Meru. Allegory of the arbour of desire, the resort of all living beings. Description of Birds of the mountainous region, and lastly the character of káka bhusanda.

VASISHTHA continued:—I saw the kalpa tree on the top of one of these peaks, which was girt by its branches on all sides; and covered with flowers appearing as tufts of hairs on its head.

2. This tree was covered with the dust of its flowers, which shrouded it as a thick mist or cloud; and its flowers shown as bright as brilliant gems upon it; its great height reaching to the sky, made it appear as a steeple or pinnacle standing upon the peak. (Allegorically the Kalpatree is the tree of Desire, which branches out into the various objects of our wish. Its flowers are all our sanguine hopes and expectations, which are hidden under the dark mist of futurity. The crown dwelling in its dark hollow, is the undwelling obscure soul, which is hid under the impervious gloom of our ignorant minds and false egoism. Its nest is in the highest divinity, and it is immortal because it is a particle of Eternal spirit).

3. Its flowers were twice as much as the number of stars in heaven, and its leaves redoubled the clouds in their bulk and thickness. Its filaments were more shining than the flash of lightnings, and the pollen of the flowers were brighter far than the circumambient beams of the radiant sun. (The flowers of the tree of Desire being our hopes and expectations, they are of course more numerous than the countless stars in the sky, but it is to say, what things are meant under the allegory of their leaflets farina and pistils).

4. The songs of the sylphs dwelling on the branches of this tree, resounded to the buzz of the humming bees, and the nimble[Pg 80] feet and waving palms of the Apsaras in their sportive dance on every leaflet, reduplicated the number of the leaves as much again. (The feet and palms are always compared with the leaves of trees, so these meeting on every leaf is the lightsome leaping and skipping of the airy sylphs over them, increased the number of leaves to more than ever so many).

5. The spirits of the aerial siddhas and gandharvas hovering on this tree, far out-numbered the number of birds that flocked and fluttered about it; and the greyish frost which wrapped it as a gemming mantle, out-shone the glossy rind which served for its raiment of fine linen.

6. The top of this tree touches the lunar sphere, and by deriving its moisture from that humid planet, yields its fruits of larger size than the orb of the moon itself. And the clouds gathering about its trunk, have doubled the size of its joints. (i.e. The fruits of high desire are fairer and larger and more cooling than even the orb of the moon, and its sections are as bright as the bodies of clouds).

7. The gods rested on the trunk of this tree, and the Kinnaras reposed themselves on its leaves, the clouds covered its arbours, and the Asuras slept on its banks.

8. The Fairies repelled their mates by the sound of their bracelets, as the bees put the beetles to flight by their busy buzzing, and sucked the honey from the flowercup to their fill. (It means that females very often taste the sweets of their desire, while men are driven to labour).

9. The arbour of desire extends on all sides of the sky, and fills the space of the whole world, by embodying the gods and demigods and men and all kinds of living beings in it. (It is some desire or other that tends both the mortals and immortals in the course of their lives. Desire is the in-being of active life, and its want is either dulness or death).

10. It was full of its blooming buds and blossoms, and was covered with its tender leaves and leaflets, it was fraught with its flourishing flowers, and had graced the forest all around.

11. It flushed with its filaments, and abounded with its gemming florets; it was replete with its radiant vestures and[Pg 81] ornamented trappings, to afford to the wants of its votaries, and it was ever in a flurry with sportive dance of the tender plants and creepers all around it.

12. It was full laden with flowers on all aides, and was abundant with its fruits on all its branches, and being fraught with the copious farina of its flowers, which it lavished and scattered on all its sides, it became charming and attractive of all hearts towards it.

13. I saw flock of the feathered tribe fluttering about the happy bowers, or resting about the broad boughs and branches of the tree; some of these were reposing in the coverts of the leafy arbour, and others pecking the flowers and fruits with their bills.

14. I saw the storks and geese which are the vehicles of Brahmá, feeding on fragments of lotus-stalks, resembling the digits of the bright moon in whiteness; and picking the bulbous roots of the arjuna and lotus plants in the lakes.

15. The goslings of the geese of Brahmá, muttered the omkára, the initial syllable of the Veda, as they were addicted in it by their preceptor the god—Brahmá himself.

16. I saw the parrots with their blue pinions resembling the blue clouds of heaven, and beheld their red dusk beaks shining as the flash of lightnings, and uttering their shrill sound in the manner of the swáhá of the veda. (The parrot is the vehicle of the god of fire, wherefore it is fit for him to utter the syllable swáhá; which is used in the invocation of fire: as swáhá agnaye).

17. I saw also the green parrots of the god of fire, scattered all about like the green kusa grass lying scattered on the sacrificial alter of the gods; and I beheld the young peacocks with their crests glowing as the glistening flames of fire.

18. I saw there the groups of peacocks fostered by the goddess Gaurí (The peacocks of Juno), as also the big peacocks belonging to the god Kumára; I beheld likewise the vehicle of skanda, which are versed in knowledge. (One of these is said to be the expounder of a grammar, known by the name of Kaumári Kalápa Vyakarana).

[Pg 82]

19. I saw there many bulky and big bodied birds, that are born to live and breed and die away in their natal air, and never alight on the nether ground. These were as white as the clouds of autumn and nestles with their mates in air, and are commonly known under the name of Aerial Birds.

20. I saw the goslings of the breed of Brahma's geese, and the younglings of the brood of Agni's parrots. I beheld the big breed of the peacocks forming the vehicles of war god; (Skanda, Alexander)?

21. I saw the Bharadwája and I saw there many other kinds of big birds. (Charui, birds with two mouths and gold finches with their golden crests). I saw also kalavinca sparrows, the little cranes and pelicans and cuckoos and vultures likewise and cranes and cocks.

22. I saw likewise a great variety of other birds as the Bhushus, Chushus and partridges of many kinds, whose numbers are no less than all the living animals of this earth taken together. (That is to say, the air and water abound with fowls and fishes of as great a variety and number as the animals on earth, and all of them dwell in tree of Desire as mankind and other terrestrial animals. Nemo sine desiderium).

23. I then began to pray from my etherial seat, and through the thickening leaves of the tree to the nest of the bird; amidst the hollows of far distant boughs towards the south.

24. After some time I came to descry at a distance a body of ravens, sitting in rows like leaves of the branches, and resembling the streaks of sable clouds on either sides of the Lokáloka—horizon. (The Lokáloka mountain is a fictitious name for the horizon, which has light and darkness ever attendant on its either side. The term lokáloka or light and shade, is also used to represent vicissitudes of life).

25. Here I beheld awhile afterwards, a lonely branch with a spacious hollow in it. It was strewn over with various flowers and redolent with a variety of perfumes. (The houses of great men are always scented with odours. ([Sanskrit: subásit harmmatalam manoramam]).)

[Pg 83]

26. It was as the happy abode of virtuous women in heaven, which are perfumed with sweet scenting clusters of flowers, and there the crows were sitting in rows, as they were perfectly freed from all cares and sorrows.

27. Their great group appeared as the big body of a cloud, separated from the tumultuous air of the lower atmosphere and resting on the calm firmament of the upper sky; and the venerable Bhusunda was seen sitting quietly with his exalted body.

28. He sat there as an entire sapphire shining prominent amongst fragments of glass, and seemed to be of a stout heart and mind, and of a dignified mien and graceful appearance.

29. Being heedful of the rule of the restriction of his respiration and suppression of his voice, he was quite happy with his long longevity, and was renowned every where as a long lived passe (seer).

30. He witnessed the course of ages and periods, and marked their advent and exodus in repeated succession; and was thereby known as the time worn Bhusunda in this world, and a being of stout and unflinching mind.

31. He was weary with counting the revolutions of the Kalpa cycles, and with recounting the returns of the preserving divinities of the world; such as the Sivas, Indras, the gods of the winds and other.

32. He was the chronicler of all antiquity, and the recorder of the wars of the gods and demons, and the hurling of the high hills in heaven; and yet he was of a clear countenance and profound mind; he was complacent to all, and his words are as sweet as honey.

33. This old seer related distinctly all that was unknown and indistinct to others, he was wanting in his egotism and selfishness, and was the lord over all his friends and children, and his servants and their seniors and he was the true narrator of all things at all times.

34. His speech was clear and graceful, sweet and pleasing, and his heart was as tender as the cooling lake, and as soft as the lotus-flower; he was acquainted with all usages and customs and the depth and profoundness of his knowledge, ever the serenity of his appearance.

[Pg 84]


Conversation of Vasishtha and Bhusunda.

Argument.—Reception of Vasishtha by Bhusunda, and the Inquiries of the sage regarding the life and acts of the crow.

VASISHTHA Continued:—I then alighted before the veteran crow with my brilliant etherial body, as a bright meteor falling from the sky on the top of a mountain; and this my sudden appearance startled the assembly, as if they were disturbed by my intrusion.

2. The assembly of the black birds trembled like the lotuses of the lake, at the shaking of the gentle breeze; and the agitation of the air at my slow descent, troubles them as much as an earthquake troubles the waters of the deep.

3. But Bhusunda who was a seer of the three times, was not at all disturbed at my arrival; but know me as Vasishtha, now in attendance upon him. (Like a flimsy cloud from the mount).

4. He then rose from his leafy seat, and advancing slowly before me, he said with sweet sounds distilling as honey. I welcome thee great sage to my humble cell.

5. Then he stretched both hands to me, holding clusters of flowers that he had at his will and then strewed them in hand-fulls upon me, as a cloud scatters the dewdrops over the ground. (The comparison of raindrops with the shedding of flowers is common in India and well known by the compound term pushpa-vrishti).

6. Take this seat said he, and stretched with his hand a newly shorn rind of the Kalpa tree; this he had plucked with his own hand, nor needed the help of his attendant crows in this gladsome task.

7. On the rising of Bhusunda, the menials also arose from their seats, and then on seeing the sage seated on his seat, they looked to and betook themselves to their respective seats and posts.

[Pg 85]

8. Then having refreshed myself with the sweet scent of the Kalpa creepers all about me, I was surrounded by all the birds that gathered round me, and had their chief sitting face to face in front of me. (This time worn etiquette of old India is still in vogue in the politest courts of the world).

9. Having offered me the water and honey for my refreshment, together with the honorarium worthy of me, the high minded Bhusunda felt the cheer of his mind, and then accosted me with complaisance and in words sweet as honey. (The serving of honey and water to guests of yore served the offering of brandy and water of modern fashion).

10. Bhusunda said:—O lord! thou hast after long favoured us with your kind visit, which has by its ambrosial influence resuscitated our arbor and ourselves. (Such is the visit of a superior to an inferior).

11. I ween, O great Muni! that art honoured of the honourable, that it is by virtue of my long earned virtues that you are now brought to this place, and want to be informed from where your course is bent to my humble abode.

12. You sir, that have long wandered amidst the great gloom of this world, and know its errors by your infallible experience, must have at last in the peace of your mind. (Peace after broils and strife. Pax post turba).

13. What is it that makes you take this trouble on yourself today, is what we wished to be informed at present; and your answer to those that are expectant of it, will be deemed as a great favour by them.

14. It is by the sight of your holy feet, O venerable sage! that we are put to the knowledge of every thing; and yet our obligation at this uncalled for call of yours here, emboldens us to ask this farther favour of yours. (Nobody asks nobody, that has nothing to do with him).

15. We know that it is your remembrance of us among the long living, that has directed your attention towards us, and made your holiness to sanctify this place by your gratuitous visit to us.

[Pg 86]

16. Though thus we know this as the cause of your calling into us; yet it is our desire of satisfying ourselves with the sweetness of your nectarious words, that has prompted to propose this query to you at present.

17. In this manner did the longival crow, that was clear sighted with his knowledge of the three times, deliver his inquiry by way of formality.

18. Vasishtha answered—Yes, O king of birds! it is true as thou sayst, that I have come here thus to see thy diuturnal self; (because the aged are honoured as sages, and their shrines are visited as those of saints).

19. You are verily very fortunate with your cold heartedness, and your sagacity has haply saved you from falling into the dangerous snares of this world.

20. Now sir, deign to remove my doubt regarding to your anility, and tell me truly of what family you are born, and how you come to know what is worth knowing (respecting the origin and end of beings, and their good or bad lot afterwards).

21. Tell me sir, if you remember the length of life that you have passed, and if you recollect by your long sightedness how you came to be settled in this lodging. (Lit. who appointed this place for your habitation).

22. Bhusunda replied, I will relate to you all, O great sage! that you ask of me, and your great soul shall have to hear it attentively without any inadvertence of your mind.

23. It is certain, O venerable sir! that the topics, which deserve the attention of great minded souls like yourselves; will prove effective of destroying the evils of the world, as the influence of the clouds and their propitious rains remove the heat of the sun.

[Pg 87]


Description of Bhusunda's Person.

Argument.—Vasishtha relates to Ráma of the perfections of Bhusunda's Body and Mind, which entitled him to the enjoyment of his liberation in his living time.

VASISHTHA said:—Now Ráma, know this Bhusunda, who was of a complexion as black as that of a cloud heavy with water in the rainy season; to have a countenance which neither merry nor sorry, and a mind free from guile and cunning.

2. His voice was grave and mild, and his words were accompanied by a gentle smile, and he spoke of the three worlds, as if he balanced three beal fruits in his hands. (His knowledge of the worlds, was as that of the globe in his hands).

3. He looked on all things as they were mere straws before him, and weighted the lives of men in proportion to their enjoyments, and by the ratio of their rations on earth, he had the knowledge of the knowables and the unknowable one (called the common and transcendental knowledge-paránara).

4. He was big bodied grave and quiet, and sedate as the mount Mandara; and his mind was as full and clear as the calm ocean after a storm.

5. His mind was perfectly tranquil and quite at ease; and full of joy within itself; and acquainted with the appearance and dis-appearance of all beings born in this world.

6. His countenance was delightsome with his inward delight, and his voice was as sweet as the melody of a sweet song; he seemed to have taken a new born form on himself, and his joyfulness dispelled the fears of men.

7. After he had respectfully received and accosted me, with his pure and dulciate words; he began to recite to me his own narration, as the rumbling of a rainy cloud, delights the hearts of the thirsty world.

[Pg 88]


Manners of the Mátrika Goddesses.

Argument.—Bhusunda traces his origin from the Mátres, whose manners and revelries he describes in length.

BHUSUNDA related:—There is in this world, the god of gods Hara (Horus?) by name; who is the chief among the celestials, and honoured by all the divinities of heaven.

2. He had his consort Gaurí constituting the better half of his body, and by whom he is embraced in the manner of an ivy clasping the young Amra tree. Her bosom likened a cluster of blooming blossom, and her eyes resembled the lines of black bees fluttering in the summer sky.

3. The hoary locks of hair on the braided head of Hara, were entwined as with a white lace, by the snow white stream of Ganges, whose billows and waves as clusters of flowers on the hair-band.

4. The crown of his head was decorated with the gemming milk-white disk of the moon, which sprung from the bosom of the milky ocean; and spread her bright radiance and ambrosial dews about his person. (The streams of ganguari are represented as consorts of Hara, and the moon as forming the discus on the braces of the hairs on his head).

5. The incessant effusion of ambrosial draughts, from the disk of the moon on his crest, has made him immortal by assuaging the heat of the deadly poison which he swallowed, and has marked his throat with the bluish hue of the sapphire or lapis lazuli, whence he named the blue gulletted Níla Kantha. (Hara is said to have swallowed the kála-kuta poison, as Hercules drank his full bowl of henbane).

6. The god is besmeared with powdered ashes on his body, as emblematical of the particles of dust, to which the world was reduced by the flame of his all destructive conflagration; while the stream of water flowing from the Ganges on his head, is[Pg 89] typical of the current of his clear knowledge of all things. (Others make the burning fire of his frontal eye bhála netra to represent the flash of his cognoscence—jnánágni).

7. His body is decorated with strings of blanched bones, which are brighter far than the silvery beams of fair moon, and these serve as necklaces of argent and pearly gems about his person. (Hence he is named as Jala-padda-málika).

8. His vest is the open sky with its plates of folded clouds, which are washed by the milk white beam of the moon, and studded with the variegated spots of the stars. (This means the nudity of the god, hence called Digamvara or sky attired).

9. He is beset by the prowling shakals, devouring the burnt carcasses on funeral grounds, and holds his abode beyond the habitations of men, in cemeteries and mortuaries in the outer skirts of cities. (Whence his name of Smashána sáyí).

10. The god is accompanied by the Mátres, who are decorated with strings of human skulls about their necks, and girt with the threads of their entrails on their bodies; while the fat and flesh of dead bodies, and the blood and moisture of putrid carcasses, form their delectable food and drink.

11. Their bodies are soft and shining as gold, and moving about with sparkling gem on their heads and bracelets of snakes curled round their wrists.

12. The acts of this god are dreadful to relate, and strike terror in hearts of the gods and demons, and all beings beside. One glance of his eye (coup d'oeil) is enough to set the mountains in a blaze, and his hunger grasps the whole world in one morsel.

13. The perpetual rest of his meditative mind in holy trance samádhi, hath restored the world to rest; and the movement of his arms at intervals, is attended with the destruction of demons.

14. His forms of the elements are intently lent on their fixed purposes, without being deterred from them by the impulses of his anger, enmity or affection; and the wind of his breath makes the mountains to tremble, and turn the humid earth to arid ground.

[Pg 90]

15. His playmates are the devils with their heads and faces, resembling those of bears and camels, goats and serpents; and such as have their heads for hoofs, and their hoofs as their hands, and whose hands serve as their teeth, and who have their faces and mouths set upon their bellies and breasts.

16. His face shone brightly with the rays of his three eyes (whereby he is denominated the triple eyed god trinetra); and the mátres were dependant on him as his dependant demoniac bands—gana-devatás.

17. The Mátres joined with the bands of demons, dance about him lowly at his bidding, and feed upon the living bodies, that are born and dead in all the fourteen regions of creation.

18 The Mátres having their faces as those of asses and camels, rove at great distances from him; and are fond of feeding on the flesh and fat, and drinking the red hot blood of bodies as their wine. They have the fragments and members of dead bodies, hanging about their persons as strings of pearls.

19. They reside in the hollows of hills, in the open sky and in other regions also; they dwell also in the holes underneath the grounds, and like to abide in cemeteries and in the holes and pores of human and brute bodies.

20. There are the goddesses known under the names of Jayá and Vijayá, jayantí and Aparajitá; and again siddha Raktá and Alambushá, and also another bearing the name of utpatá.

21. These eight are denominated the Nayikai of leaders, of the whole body of Mátrikas; the others are subordinate to these, and there are others again subordinate to them.

22. Among all these venerable Mátres, there one by name of Alambushá, that is the source of my birth; and this I have revealed to you on account of your great favour to me, by your kind call to my cell.

23. She had the crow by name of Chanda for her vehicle, which had its bones and bills as strong as the bolts of Indra's thunder; it was as dark as a mountain of jetblack or blue agate, and served her goddess as Garuda served the consort of Vishnu.

24. This octad of Mátri goddess were once assembled together,[Pg 91] and bent their course in the ethereal firmament on some of their malevolent purposes.

25. They made their merry makings and religious revels in the air, and then turned their course to the left side where they halted at the shrine of Tumburu, which was sacred to Siva.

26. They there worshipped the forms of Tumburu and Bhairava, which are adored in all the worlds; and then regaled themselves with a variety of discourses, seasoned with drinking and to ping.

27. Then they look up the topic among other subjects of their conversation, as to whether they were slighted and disliked by their paramour—the spouse of Umá, who is taken to share one half of his body. (In the shape of androgyne—Umá—Maheswara or Hara—Gaurí; having the male and female bodies joined in two halves in one bisex forms).

28. We shall now show him our prowess, that he may never think of despising our great powers even by a contemptuous look, for though the god feigns to be single and naked, yet we know he is bipartite with his consorts Umá forming his better half.

29. Thus determined the goddesses overpowered on Umá by some potent charm of theirs, and by sprinkling a little water upon her, as they do to captivate a beast, which they are going to sacrifice before the altar, and by this spell they succeeded both to change the fine features of Durga, as also to enervate her frame.

30. They succeeded also by their power of enchantment, to detach Umá from the body of Hara, and set her before them, with an imprecation of converting her fair form to their meat food.

31. They made great rejoicings on the day of their execration of Párvati; when they all joined in dancing and singing, and making their giddy revelries before her.

32. The shouts of their great joy and loud laughter resounded in the sky, and the jumping and hopping of their big bodies, laid open their backs and bellies to sight.

33. Some laughed as loudly with the deafening clappings of their palms, that they rebounded in the sky as the roarings of lions and clouds. They showed the gestures of their bodies in[Pg 92] their warlike dance, and the sound of their singing rang through the forests and reached in the mountains.

34. Others sang as loud as it rang through the mountain caves, and ran to the depth of the ocean; which rebillowed with its surges as at the time of the full-moon tide.

35. Others drank their bowls, and daubed their bodies from head to foot with liquor; and muttered their drunken chatters, that chattered in the sky.

36. They drank over and sang louder and louder, they turned about as tops, and uttered and muttered as sots. They laughed and sipped and chopped and fell down and rolled and prattled aloud. Thus they reeled in fits, and bit the bits of their flesh meats, till these Bacchanal goddesses did all their orgies in their giddy revels.

[Pg 93]


Bhusunda's Nativity and Habitation.

Argument.—Account of the birth of Bhusunda.

BHUSUNDA continued. Thus while the goddesses were in the acts of their merriment, their bonny vehicles or carrier birds also caught the infection, and indulged themselves in their giddy jigs and giggles, and in tippling the red blood of their victims for their liquor.

2. Then giddy with their drink the gabbling geese, that were fit vehicles for Brahmá's consorts, danced and frolicked in the air, in company with the crow Chanda the carrying bird of Alambushá.

3. Then as the geese darted down, and kept dancing and drinking and tittling on the banks of streams, they felt impassioned and inflamed by lust: because the borders of waters are excitants of concupiscence.

4. Thus the geese being each and all excited by their carnal desire, dallied with that crow in their state of giddiness, which is often the cause of unnatural appetites.

5. Thus that single crow—Chanda by name, became spoused to seven geese at once on that bank; and cohabited one by one with every one of them, according to their desire.

6. Thus the geese became pregnant after gratification of their lust, and the goddesses being satisfied by their merry dance, held their quiet and took to their rest.

7. Then these goddesses of great delusion (mahá máyá), advanced towards their consort Siva, and presented unto him his favorite Umá for his food.

8. The god bearing the crescent moon on his fore-head, and holding the trident spike in his hand; coming to know that they had offered his beloved one for his meat, became highly incensed on the Mátres.

[Pg 94]

9. Then they brought out the parts of the body of Umá, which they had taken in as their food from their bodies; and presented her entire for her remarriage with the moon-headed deity.

10. At last the god Hara and his consorts being all reconciled to one another together with their dependants and vehicles, retired to their respective quarters with gladness of their minds.

11. The geese of Brahmá perceiving their pregnancy, repaired to the presence of their goddess, and represented to bear their case, as I have, O chief of sages! already related unto you.

12. The Devi on hearing their words, spake kindly unto them and said:—you my menials, cannot now be capable of bearing my car in the air as before; but must have the indulgence of moving about at your pleasure, until you have delivered of your burthens.

13. After the kind goddess had said these words to her geese, that were ailing under the load foetuses, she betook herself to her wonted meditation, and remained in her irreversible rest with the gladness of her mind.

14. The geese that were now big with the burden of their embryos, grazed in the lotus bed of Vishnu's navel, which had been the birth place of the great Brahmá before. (Brahmá the creative power, owed his birth to the lotiform navel of Vishnu, and the same place was all owed for the pasture of the geese and the nativity of the goslings).

15. The geese then being matured in their pregnancy, by feeding upon the lotus-like navel of Vishnu, brought forth their tender eggs in time, as the calmly creepers shoot out in sprouts in the spring.

16. They laid thrice seven eggs in their proper time, which afterwards split in twain, like so many mundane eggs in their upper and lower valves or canals.

17. It was these eggs, O great sage! that gave birth to thrice seven brethren of ours, all of whom are known under the appellation of the fraternity of chanda crows.

18. These being born in the lotus bed of Vishnu navel, were[Pg 95] fostered and bred up in the same place, till they were fledged and enabled to fly and flutter in the air.

19. We then joined with our mother geese in the service of our Mátri-goddess, who after our long services unto her, was roused from her intense meditation at last.

20. Now sir, it was in course of time, that the goddess inclined of her own complaisance, to receive us into her good grace, and favour us with the gift (of foresight), whereby we are quite liberated in this life. (It is over one's blindness of the future, that is the cause of the error and mischief of life).

21. Thought in ourselves of remaining in peace, and in the tranquillity of our minds; and being determined to betake ourselves to solitary contemplation, we went to our sire the old crow Chanda for his advice. (In the Vindhyan mountain).

22. We were received into the embrace of our father, and favoured with the presence of his goddess Alumbusha; they looked on us with kindness, and allowed us to remain near them with our self restricted conduct.

23. Chanda said:—O my darlings! Have ye obtained your release from weaving the web of your desires? You are then set free from the snare of this world, which binds fast all beings in it.

24. If not so, then I will pray unto this goddess of mine, who is always propitious to her devotees, to confer on you the blessing of consummate knowledge (which alone can save you from all worldly evils).

25. The crows replied—O sir! we have known whatever is knowable, by the good grace of the Goddess Brahmá, it is only a good solitary place, which we now seek for the sake of undisturbed meditation.

26. Chanda returned—I will point it out to you, in the high mountain of Meru in the polar region; which is the seat of all the celestials, and the great receptacle of all the treasures and gems on earth.

27. This mountain stands as the lofty pillar of gold, in the midst of the great dome of the universe; it is lightet by the luminous orbs of the sun and moon as its two lamps, and is the residence of all kinds of animals.

[Pg 96]

28. This lofty mountain stands as the lifted arm of this orb of the earth, with its gemming peaks and pinnacles resembling its fingers and their jewels, and having the moonbeam, as a golden canopy raised over its head, and the sounding main girding the islands for its bracelets.

29. The mount Meru is situated in the midst of the Jambudwípa (Asia) as its sole monarch, and is beset by the boundary mountains as its chieftains on all sides. With its two eye balls of the rolling sun and moon, it glances over the surrounding hillocks, as the king seated in the centre, looks on the courtiers sitting all about him.

30. The clusters of stars in the sky, hangs as wreaths of málati flowers around his neck, and the bright moon that leads the train of stars, forms the crowning jewels over his head, the firmament on the ten sides girds him as his vest, and the nágas of both kinds (i.e. the elephants and serpents) are warders at his gates.

31. The nymphs of heaven are employed in fanning him with the breeze from all quarters, and flapping over him their chouries of the passing clouds, with their hands decorated with the variegated hues of heaven as their ornaments.

32. His huge body stretched over many leagues, and his feet are rooted fast many fathoms underneath the earth; where they are worshipped by the nágas, Asuras and large serpents. (That dwell at the foot of the mount, while the races of gods are situated on its top).

33. It has thousands of ridges and steeps, craigs and cliffs, below its two eyes of sun and moon; and these are lauded as celestial regions by the Gods, gandharvas and kinnaras that inhabit in them.

34. There are fourteen kinds of superior beings, inhabiting the supernal sphere of this mountain; and these dwell there with their households and relatives, in their respective circles, without ever seeing the city or citadel of another. (This means the great extent and distance of the several separate ridges from one another. Its fourteen ridges or regions are known as the chaturdasa—vhuvanas, and fourteen peoples are included[Pg 97] under the title of thirteen classes of celestials—troadasa-gana-devatás. These are the brahmarshis, Rajarshis, Devarshis, Devas, Pitris, Gandharvas, Kinnaras, Apsaras, Vidyádharas, Yakshas, Rakshas, Pramathas, Guhyakas and Nágas (the last of whom are not recognized among celestial beings).)

35. There is a large ridge on the north east corner of this mount, with its gemming summit rising as high and bright as the shining sun.

36. There stands a large kalpa tree on the out side of that ridge, which is peopled with living beings of various kinds; and appears to present a picture of the whole world in miniature.

37. The southern stem of this tree has a protruding branch with its aureate leaves, and its blossoms blooming as clusters of brilliant gems; and presenting its fruit as lucid and luscious to view, as the bright and cooling orb of the moon.

38. I had formerly built my nest on that branch, and decorated it with all sorts of shining gems; and there it was, oh my offspring! that I sported and enjoyed myself, as long as my goddess sat in her meditative mood.

39. My nest was hid under the gemming flowers, and stored with luscious fruits, and its door was fastened with bolts of precious gems.

40. It was full of young crows, who knew how to behave properly with one another; Its inside was strewn over with flowers, and was cooling at all times and seasons.

41. Repair therefore, my children! to that nest, which is inaccessible even to the gods; because by remaining there, you will obtain both your livelihood and liberation without any molestation. (Livelihood with liberty, is the best blessing on earth).

42. Saying so, our father kissed and embraced everyone of us; and presented to us the meat food, which he had got from his goddess.

43. After taking our repast, we prostrated ourselves at the feet of our father and his goddess, and then flew in the air, from the Vindhyan range which is sacred to the divinity of Alumbusha.

[Pg 98]

44. We passed over the nether sky, entered into the region of the clouds; then coming out of their hollow caves, we flew aloft on the wings of the winds to the vacuous void of the etherial gods to whom we paid our homage.

45. Having then passed the solar world, we arrived at another sphere of the fixed stars above, where we saw the heaven of the immortals and thence reached the empyrean of Brahmá.

46. There we bowed down to the goddess Bráhmí, and our mother (the goose) which was her vehicle; and related in length to them the behest of our father unto us.

47. They endeared and embraced us with kind affection, and then bade us to do as we were bid by our sire. At this we bowed down to them, and took our departure from the seat of Brahmá.

48. We then directed our flight to Meru where we found out this kalpa tree and our appointed nest in it. Here we line apart and remote from all, and hold our silence in all matters.

49. We passed the region of the regents of the skies, which shone to a great distance with the blaze of solar rays; we fled through the empty air with the velocity of winds.

50. I have thus related to you in length in answer to your query, regarding the manner of our birth and how we are settled in this place; I have told you also how we came to the knowledge of truth, whereby we have come to this state of undisturbed peace and tranquillity, now bid us, O great Sage! what more can we relate to satisfy your curiosity about us.

[Pg 99]


Explication of the Mysterious Character of Bhusunda.

Argument.—The stability of the world even at the change and dissolution of the worldly objects; and the immortality of Bhusunda even after the Demise of his Brethren.

BHUSUNDA continued. This world has existed by the prior and bygone kalpa, in the very same state as it does at present, and there is no variation in the formation or location of any thing in any wise. (The ante-diluvean world alike the post-diluvean).

2. Therefore O great Sage! I am accustomed to look to the past and present with an equal eye, and will relate the events of my passed life and by gone ages for your information, as if they are existent with me even at present. (It is the fashion of the old chroniclers, to describe the long past as if it is actually present before them).

3. I find to-day, O great Sage! the fruit of my pious acts of my passed life, that have rewarded me with your blessed presence in this my humble cell.

4. This nest of mine, this branch of the tree, this kalpa arbour and this myself, are all blessed by your propitious presence in this place. (The sight of a superior is a great favour).

5. Deign Sir, to accept of this seat and this honorarium, which are here offered to you by a suppliant bird; and having purified us by your kind acceptance of our poor offerings, please command what other service can we render unto you. (i.e., what more can I relate to you).

6. Vasishtha said:—Ráma! after Bhusunda had again presented the seat and honorarium to me, I proffered to him another request in the following words.

7. I said, tell me, O thou senior among birds, why don't I see here those brethren of yours, who must be equally senile and strong in their bodies and intellects, as thou showest thyself to be.

[Pg 100]

8. Bhusunda answered and said:—I am here destined to remain alone, O Muni! to witness the continuous course of time, and to count and recount the revolutions of ages, as they reckon the succession of days and nights.

9. During this length of time, I had the misfortune to witness all my juniors and younger brothers, to their mortal frames as trifling straws, and find their rest in the blessed state (Of eternity).

10. I saw, O great Sage! the very long lived, and the very great indignity, the very strong and very wise, to be all gorged in the unconscious bowels of bodiless death. (The great and small equally fall; and time at last devours them all. Non semper erit æstas).

11. Vasishtha said:—Say, O venerable father! how you remained unmolested by the deluvian tempest, which outstripped the winds in its velocity, and bore the great bodies of the sun and moon and stars as jewels hanging about its neck.

12. (The deluvian tempest is called tufani nuh or hurricane of Noah in the Koran. The Khandapralaya is a partial deluge of the earth, but the mahápralaya is the aggregate of all the cosmic revolutions of the whole world).

12a. Say, O primeval seer! how you escaped unscorched by the burning flame of solar rays, which melted down the uprising mountains, and consumed there the woods in one all devouring conflagration. (The burning sun on the day of the last dissolution, is said in the Koran, to come down and stand at a lance's distance above the heads of men).

13. Say, O senile sire, how you remained unfrozen under the cold moon beams, that froze the limpid waters to hard stone; and how you fled unhurt from the showers of hail, which were poured in profusion by the deluvian clouds.

14. Say, O ancient bird! why you were not crushed under the snows, which fell from the deluvian clouds as thickly as huge trees, when they are felled by axes from the tops of high hills.

15. Say, why this kalpa tree which rises higher than all other forests, was not broken down, when all other arbors on earth, were levelled to the ground by the universal tornado.

[Pg 101]

16. Bhusunda replied:—Our station, O Bráhman! in the open and empty air, is quite supportless and without any solid or fixed support. It is either unnoticed or looked upon with disregard and contempt by all, and our living and livelihood is the most despicable among all living beings. (All this is meant of the soul, which is here personified as a bird—a dark crow, and named as the amara Bhusunda, a contemptuous word often applied to senile people).

17. Thus has the Lord of beings appointed these aerial beings, to remain free from disease and death in these forests, or fly about in the empty air in their aerial course. (The forests mean the living bodies, and the empty air is the field for the rambles of disembodied spirits).

18. How then, O venerable sir, can any sorrow or sickness betide us here, where we are born to be immortal, and rove freely in open air; and are free from those pains and sorrows, which betake those birds that are bound in snares of their desires, and are subject to their hopes and fears.

19. We sir, have always placed our reliance on the peace and contentment of our souls, and never allow ourselves to fall into error, of taking the insubstantials for substantial.

20. We are quite content with what simple nature requires and affords, and are entirely free from those cares and endeavours which are attended with pain. We live only to pass our time in this our own and lonely lodging (which is allotted to us by providence).

21. We neither wish to live long to wallow in our bodily enjoyments nor desire death to avoid the retribution of our acts; but live as long as we have to live, and die when death comes upon us. (Neither love thy life nor hate, but live well how long or short permit to heaven. Milton).

22. We have seen the changeful states of mankind, and witnessed many instances of the vicissitudes of human affairs, and have thereby banished all sorts of levity from our bodies and minds. (Lit. the restlessness of body and mind).

23. By the constant light of our internal spirit, we are kept from the sight of all sorrow and grief; and from our seat on[Pg 102] the height of the kalpa tree, we clearly see the course of the world and the changes of time. (The kalpa tree of desire is at once the tree of life and knowledge of the garden of paradise, because both of them are equally desirable to man; and any one who is seated above this tree, must know all things by his all knowingness and immortality as the soul of Bhusunda).

24. Though we are wholly unacquainted with the changes of days and nights, on this high pinnacle of our heavenly mountain (where there is the eternal sunshine of Divine presence); yet we are not ignorant of the vicissitudes of the times and events, in the solar and sublunary worlds which roll incessantly below us.

25. Though our habitation in the cell of this Kalpatree, is ever illumined by the light of gems which are inlaid in it; yet we can know the course of time by the respirations of our breath, which as a chronometer informs us with the regular course of time. (The ajapá or breathings indicate the succession of time, as any time piece or the course of days and nights).

26. Knowing what is real from all that is unreal, I have desisted from my pursuit after unrealities, and settled in my knowledge of the true reality; and by forsaking its natural fickleness, my mind is practised to rest at all times in its perfect peace and tranquillity. (The mind is no more troubled with the tempting trifles of the world, after it has come to know their falsity and vanity).

27. We are not led to the snare of false worldly affairs, nor frightened like earthly crows in our hankering after food by the hissings of men.

28. It is by the serene light of the supreme felicity of our souls, and by the virtue of the unalterable patience of our minds, that we look into the errors and delusions of the world, with out falling in them ourselves.

29. Know great sage, that our minds remain unruffled, even under the shock of those dangers and perils, which ruffle the tempers and understandings of ordinary people; just as the pure crystal remains unstained by the blackest hues that environ it all around.

[Pg 103]

30. The course of the world, appears very smooth and pleasant in its first beginning; but upon mature consideration, it proves to be frail, fickle and false, as one goes on in it.

31. Thus all living beings are seen to pass away, and whether to return here again or not, no body can tell; what then is it that we must fear (knowing death and demise to be the unavoidable doom of nature).

32. As the course of streams runs continually to the ocean, so the progress of life tends incessantly to the depth of eternity; but we that stand on the border of the great ocean of eternity, have escaped from being carried away by the current of time.

33. We neither cling to our life nor fling it away, but bear it as well as we may, and remain as airy orchids, lightly touching and unattached to their supporting arbour.

34. It is more over by the good of the best sort of men, who are beyond the reach of fear, sorrow and pain like yourself; that we have been set free from all sorts of malady.

35. From the examples of such persons, our minds have become cold, and unconcerned about the affairs of busy life; and are employed only in scanning truth and the true nature of things. (Blessed are they that meditate on the laws of God both day and night).

36. Our souls finding their rest in their unchangeable and unperturbed state, have the fullness of their light and delight, as the sea has its flux of floodtide at the rising of the full and new moon upon its bosom. (The flood of spiritual light in the soul, resembling the flood of hightide in the sea).

37. Sir, we were as highly pleased at your presence here at this time, as the milky ocean was overflown at its churning by the Mandara mountain. (The Mandara mountain is said to have been the resort of the remnants of men at the great deluge, and was used by them as their churning stick, to recover their lost properties from the depth of the waters. The recovery was rather joyous to the men than it could be to the sea).

38. Sir, We do not account any thing as more precious and more favourable unto us, than that the holy saints that have nothing[Pg 104] to desire, should take pains to pay their kind visit to our humble cell.

39. What do we gain from our enjoyments, which are pleasant for the time being, and lose their zest the next moment; it is the company of the great and good only, that gives the best gifts like the philosopher's stone.

40. You sir, who are cool and grave in your nature, and soft and sweet and slow in your speech, are like the beneficent bee, that sits and sips the juice from the flowers in the three worlds, and converts it to the sweet balm of honey.

41. I ween, O spiritual Sage! all my sins to be removed at your blessed sight, and the tree of my life to be blest with its best fruit of spiritual bliss, which results from the society of the virtuous, and whose taste removes all diseases and dangers.

[Pg 105]


Explanation of the Cause of the Crow's Longevity.

Argument.—The eminence of the kalpa tree, and its durability in all ages. The doings of destiny, and the results of past reminiscence.

BHUSUNDA continued. This kalpa tree 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 antediluvian race, strove to hurl 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[Pg 106] 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 diluvian clouds rolled about in the vault of heaven, even then did this tree remain steadfast as a rock.

9. When this mount of Meru was under the grasp of Kálanemi 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 forsake our nest as an ungrateful man alienates his best friend.

[Pg 107]

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 diluvian winds blow with full force, and shatter and scatter the huge mountains all around, it is then by minding the párvatí mantra, that I remain as fixed as a rock. (Vasishtha has explained the meaning of this 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 mantra 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 Brahmà 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[Pg 108] 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 longeval 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 rising high between the gods and demons, and the flight and slaughter of people on all sides of the earth.

[Pg 109]

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 increate three (the Holy triad) 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 yugas glide away one after the other, all of which were full of great deeds and events; but which are now buried in oblivion.

[Pg 110]

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 Jambudvípa 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.

[Pg 111]

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).

[Pg 112]


Account of past ages.

Argument.—The various Events of bygone days, and the changes in the order of things in the world.

BHUSUNDA continued:—Moreover I will tell you sir, many other things that I remember to have occurred in the course of the world, and under the flight of by gone times. I remember the births of the seers Bharadwája, Pulasta, Atri, Nárada, Indra, the Maríchis and yourselves also.

2. I bear in my mind the venerable Pulaha, Uddálaka, kratu, Bhrigu, Angiras and Sanatkumára, Bhringi and Ganesa, and Skanda and others in their train, who were known as Siddharshis or consummate sages of yore.

3. I retain the memory of Guarí, Sarasvatí, Laxmí, Gayatrí and many more famous females, who are reckoned as female personifications of divine attributes. I have seen the mountains Meru, Mandara, Kailása, the Himalayas and the Dardura hills.

4. I carry in my memory the exploits of the demons Hiranyáksha, Kálanimí, Hayagríva, Hiranya Kasipu, Vati and Prahláda and many others of the Dánava or Demoniac race.

5. I keep in my mind the remembrance of the renowned Sibi, Nyanku, Prithu, Vainya, Nala, Nábhága, Mandháta, Sagara, Dilipa and Nahusa kings of men and rulers of earth.

6. I know by heart the names of Atriya, Vyasa, Válmíki, Sukadeva, Vátsyayana and other sages, and know by rote the names of Upamanyu, Manimanki, Bhagíratha and other pious princes of old.

7. So there are many things of remote past times, and others of later ages and some relating to the present age; all of which are imprinted in the memory, wherefore it is needless to recount them over again.

8. O thou Sagely son of Brahmá! I remember thy eight births, in the eight different epochs of the world, and this is[Pg 113] verily thy eight births in which thou hast become a guest to my nest.

9. You are at one time born of air, and at another of heavenly fire; you are some time produced from water, and at others from empty vacuity or of the solid rock. (i.e., formed of one or other of these elementary bodies at different periods of the world).

10. The constitution of created bodies, conforms us with the nature of the principle elements of which they are formed; and the positions of heavenly bodies, have a great influence on their production. I have witnessed three such formations of the world composed of igneous, aqueous and terrene substances at different times.

11. I remember ten repeated creations, in which the usages of people were uniform and alike; and the gods were settled in their abodes (i.e., the Aryans led nomadic life). They were coeval with the Asuras whom they braved in battle, and were located in their homestead.

12. I saw the earth sinking five times under, and lifted up as many times by the divine Kurmamanantara, or incarnation of Vishnu in the form of the tortoise, from below the overflowing ocean.

13. I witnessed the great tumult of Suras and Asuras or the Gods and demi-gods, in uprooting and uplifting the Mandara mountain, for churning out the last ambrosia from underneath the ocean for twelve times over. (The meaning of Samudara manthana or churning of the sea, seems to be the refining of the salt water of the deluging sea).

14. Thrice have seen the imposing Hiranyáksha, that levied his tax upon the gods in heaven, hurling the fruitful earth with all her balmy and medicinal plants underneath the ocean.

15. I beheld Hari to have come down six times in the shape of Renuka's son or Parashuráma, and extirpate the Kshetriya race at the intervals of very long periods.

16. I remember, O Sage! the return of a hundred kaliyuga ages, and a hundred incarnations of Hari in the form of Buddha, and as the son of royal Suka or Suddhadana in the land of Kirata.

[Pg 114]

17. I bear in my remembrance the overthrow of tripura thrice ten times by Siva, and the discomfiture of Dakhas' ceremony for more than once by the irritated Hara; and I recall to my mind the downfall of ten Indras by the offending God, who bears the crescent moon on his forehead (and the confinement of their thunder-bolts within the caverns of volcanoes glass).

18. I recollect the battle that has been fought eight times between Hari and Hara, and the first appearance of Vishnu and Siva, jvaras or the cold typhoid fevers in these conflicts. (This means the rising of the malarious fevers of Dinajpur, which raged among the belligerent forces on both sides).

19. I remember, O silent Sage! the difference in the intellects of men at every succeeding age, and the various readings of vedas at the ceremonial observances of mankind. (This means the varieties of reading of the vedas as pointed in the prati sákha, and the difference of phonetic intonation as shown in the sikshas, have greatly tended to the depravity of vedic recitation, and consequently to their inefficacy in producing their desired consequence also).

20. O sinless saint! The Puránas also though they agree in the main substance, are so full of interpolations, that they have been greatly multiplied in successive ages. (It is quite true of works in manuscript and without their gloss).

21. I remember also many historical works, which have been composed by authors learned in the vedas in the succeeding ages. (These works are called Itihásas or legendary accounts, as the epics of Rámáyana and Mahábhárata by Válmíki and Vyása respectively).

22. I have the recollection of the other wondrous composition of legendary accounts, under the title of the Mahárámáyana a work comprising one hundred thousand slokas or tetrastichs, and replete with sound wisdom. (This was revealed by Brahmá to Vasishtha and Viswámitra).

23. This work presents the conduct of Ráma for the imitation of the men, and sets the misbehaviour of Rávana to the opprobrium of mankind. This precept contains the essence of all wisdom, and serves as the luscious fruit of the tree of knowledge,[Pg 115] placed in the palm of all people. (The substance of these instances is, that virtue is true happiness below and vice is bane of life).

24. This work is composed by Válmíki, who will compose some others also in time; and these you will come to know, when they will be presented to world in time (as I have known them before hand by my foreknowledge of things, gloss) (This work is called Vasishtha Ráma samváda in the form of a dialogue as those of Socrates and Plato).

25. This work whether it is a composition of Válmíki, or the composition of some other person, is published for the twelve times, and is now going to be almost forgotten by men.

26. The other work of like importance, is known under the name of Bhárata; I remember it to have been written by Vyása at first, but is becoming obsolete at present.

27. Whether it is the composition of person known by the name of Vyása, or a compilation of some other person, it has up to this time undergone its seventh edition, and is now going fastly to be forgotten.

28. I remember also, O chief of Sages! many tales and novels and other sástras, composed in every age and Yuga; which have been written in a variety of styles and diction.

29. O good sage! I remember to have seen also many new productions and inventions, following one another in succeeding age; and it is impossible to enumerate this innumerable series of things.

30. I remember the Lord Vishnu descending many times on earth, for the destruction of ferocious Ráksasas, and is now to appear here the eleventh time under the appellation of Ráma.

31. I know the lord Hari to have thrice come down in his form of Nrisinha or leonine man, and thrashed the demon Hiranyakasipu as many times, as a lion kills a gigantic elephant. (i.e. Although the gods are of smaller forms and figures, yet they got the better of the giants, by means of their better arms and knowledge of warfare).

[Pg 116]

32. Vishnu is yet to be born in his sixteenth incarnation at Vasudeva's abode, for the purpose of rescuing the earth from the burthen of the oppression of its tyrannic lords and despots.

33. This cosmic phenomenon is no reality, nor it is even in existence; it is but a temporary illusion, and appears as bubble of water to disappear in next moment.

34. This temporary illusion of the phenomenals, rises and sets in the conscious soul of its own accord; as the boisterous billows heave and subside themselves in the bosom of the waters.

35. I have known the world to be sometimes uniform in its course and in the state of things, at others there is a partial difference in their nature and order, and again total change has also been observed to take place in the constitution of things. (Nature is never uniform, but all are subject to change more or less from its original state).

36. I remember the former nature and state of things, and the manner and actions of bygone people and the usages of those times; I saw them give room to others in their turn and those again to be displaced by others. (He that wants an even uniformity to see, expects what never had been, nor ever will be).

37. Every Manwantara or revolution of time; is attended O Brahman! with a reversion in the course of the world; and a new generation is born to supplant the old men of renown.

38. I have then a new set of friends and a new train of relatives; I get a new batch of servants, and a new habitation for my dwelling.

39. I had to remain some times in my solitary retreat by the side of the Vindhyan range, and some times on the ridge of the Sahya Mountain. I had at other times my residence on the Dardura Hills, and so my lodging is ever shifting from one place to another and never fixed in any spot forever. (The Dardura is the Dardue Hill in Afghanistan).

40. I have often been a resident of the Himalayas, and of the Malaya Mountain in the South of India, and then led by[Pg 117] destiny as described before, I have found my last abode on this mount of Meru.

41. By getting to it, I built my nest on the branch of an Amra or mango tree, and continued to live there, O chief of the Munis! for ages and time without end.

42. It is by my pristine destiny that this tree has grown here for my residence, therefore, O sage! I can have no release from this body of mine to come to my desirable end. (i.e. the soul like a bird is destined by its prior acts, to endless transmigrations in material bodies, which are compared to its habitable trees, and from which it can have no release, although it pines for its dis-embodied liberation, as a decrepit old man wishes to get loose of his loathsome body).

43. It is by appointment of the predestination, that the same tree has grown here in the form of the kalpa arbour, which preserves the beauty even now, as it did at the time when my father Chanda had been living.

44. Being thus pre-ordained by destiny I was settled in this place, when there had been no distinction of the quarters of heaven as the north or east, nor of the sky or mountain.

45. Then the north was on another side, and this Meru was in another place; I was then one and alone, and devoid of any form or body, and was as bright as the essence, which is never shrouded by the darkness of night.

46. After awaking from the insensibility of my trance (at the beginning of another kalpa creation or of my generation), I saw and recognized all the objects of creation (as one comes to see and know the things about him after waking from the forgetfulness of his sleep); and knew the situations of the Meru and other hills and dales from the positions of the stars, and the motions of heavenly bodies.

47. The site of the polar circle of Meru and the course of the planets being changed in different creations, there ensues an alteration of the points of the compass, and a difference in the sides of the quarters; therefore there is nothing as a positive truth, except our conception of it such and such.

[Pg 118]

48. It is the vibration of the soul, that displays these wonderful conceptions in the mind; and excites the various phenomena in nature. It converts a son to a father and makes a son of the father, and represents a friend as a foe and again shows a foe in the light of a friend. (Hence there is no such thing as a positive certainty, but becomes transmutable to one in opposite nature, as the father supports the child in its youth, and is supported by the boy in his dotage).

49. I remember many men to become effeminate, and many women also to grow quite masculine; and I have seen the good manners of the golden age to prevail in Kali [yuga], and those of Iron-age gaining ground in its preceding ages.

50. I have seen also many men in the Tretá and Dwápara Yugas or the silver and brazen ages of the world, that were ignorant of the Vedas and unacquainted with their precepts; and followed the fictions of their own invention which led them to heterodoxy.

51. I remember also O Brahman! the laxity of manners and morals among the gods, demi gods and men since the beginning of the world.

52. I remember after the lapse of a thousand cycles of the four Yuga ages, that Brahmá created from his mind some aerial beings of unearthly forms; and these spiritual beings occupied a space extending over ten cycles of creations.

53. I remember likewise the varying positions and boundaries of countries, and also the very changing and diversified actions and occupations of their people. I remember too the various costumes and fashions and amusements of men, during the ceaseless course of days and nights in the endless duration of time.

[Pg 119]


Desire of Tranquillity and Quiescence of the Mind.

Argument.—Relation of the vices and virtues which hasten and prevent death, and the peace and rest of the mind which is sought after by mankind.

VASISHTHA rejoined:—I then besought the chief of the crows, that was stationed on one end of a branch of the kalpa tree, to tell me how he was not liable to fall into the hands of death, when all other animals moving about the expanse of the world, are doomed to be crushed under its all devouring jaws.

2. Bhusunda replied, You sir, that know all things and would yet ask me to tell that you know full well. Such bidding of my master emboldens your servant to speak out where he should otherwise hold his tongue.

3. Yet when you desire me to tell, I must do it as well as I can, because it is deemed to be the duty of a dependant, to carry out the commands of their kind masters.

4. Death will not demolish the man, who does not wear on his bosom the pearl-necklace of his vicious desires; as a robber does not kill a traveller that has not the pernicious chain of gold hanging on his breast.

5. Death will not destroy the man whose heart is not broken down by sorrows, whose breast is not sawed as a timber by the friction of his sighs, and whose body is not worsted by toil like a tree by canker worms.

6. Death will not overtake the man, whose body is not beset by cares like a tree by poisonous snakes, lifting their hoods above its head; and whose heart is not burnt by its anxieties, like a wood by its enraging fire.

7. Death will not prey upon the person, which is not vitiated by the poison of anger and enmity, and cavity of whose heart does not foster the dragon of avarice in its darkness, and whose heart is not corroded by the canker of cares.

[Pg 120]

8. He is not carried away by the cruel hand of death, whose body is not already fried by the fire of his resentment, which like hidden heat of the submarine fire, sucks up the waters of reason in the reservoir of the mind.

9. Death will not kill the person whose body is not inflamed by the fiery passion of love; which like the wild fire consumes the hoarded corn of good sense, and as a pair of sharp scissors rives the heart strings of reason.

10. Death doth not approach the man, that puts his trust in the one pure and purifying spirit of God, and hath the rest of his soul in the lap of the supreme soul.

11. Death does not lay hold on the person that is firm and sedate in the same posture and position, and does not ramble like an ape from one tree to another, and whose mind is a foreigner to fickleness.

12. Thus then the mind being settled in unalterable state of calm repose in its Maker, it is no more possible for the evils and diseases of this world, to overtake it at any time.

13. The fixed and tranquil mind, is never overtaken by the sorrows and diseases of the world; nor it is liable to fall into the errors and dangers, which betide the restless mob here below.

14. The well composed mind, hath neither its rising nor setting, nor its recollection nor forgetfulness at any time or other. It has not its sleeping or waking state, but has its heavenly revery which is quite distinct from dreaming.

15. The vexatious thought which take their rise from vitiated desire and feelings of resentment and other passions, and darken the region of the heart and mind, can never disturb the serenity of those souls, which have their repose in the Supreme Spirit.

16. He whose mind is enrapt in holy meditation, neither gives away to nor receives anything from others, nor does he seek or forsake whatever he has or has not at any time. He does his duties always by rote as he ought without expectation of their reward or merit.

17. He whose mind has found its repose in holy meditation, has no cause of his repentance, for doing any misdeed for his gain or pleasure at any time.

[Pg 121]

18. He has enough of his gain and an excess of his delight and a good deal of every good, whose mind has met with the grace of his God. (He that has the grace of God, has every thing given and added to him).

19. Therefore employ your mind, to what is attended with your ultimate good and lasting welfare; and wherein there is nothing of doubt or difficulty, and which is exempt from false expectation.

20. Exalt your mind above the multiplicities of worldly possessions, which the impure and unseen demon of evil presents for the allurement of your heart, and settle it in the unity of the Divinity. (So did Satan attempt in vain to tempt our Lord to worldly vanities and all its possessions).

21. Set your heart to that supreme felicity which is pleasant both in the beginning and end, and even delectable to taste; that is pleasant to sight, sweet to relish, and is wholesome in its effect.

22. Fix your mind to what is sought by all the good and godly people, which is the eternal truth and the best diet of the soul, from its beginning and during its course in the middle and end and throughout its immortality.

23. Apply your mind to what is beyond your comprehension, which is the holy light, which is the root and source of all, and wherein consists all our best fortune and the ambrosial food for our souls.

24. There is no other thing so very permanent or auspicious among immortals or mortals, and among the gods and demigods, Asuras and Gandharvas, and Kinnaras and Vidyádharas, nor among the heavenly nymphs, as the spiritual bliss of the soul.

25. There is nothing so very graceful or lasting, to be found in cities and mountains and in the vegetable creation, nor among mankind and their king, nor any where in earth or heaven as this spiritual felicity.

26. There is nothing steady or graceful, among the Nága-snake or Asura races and their females, and in the whole circles of infernal region.

[Pg 122]

27. There is nothing so lovely and lasting in the regions above and below and all around us, and in the spheres of all other worlds, so very graceful and durable as the lasting peace of mind.

28. There is nothing that is felicitous or persistent in this world, amidst all its sorrows and sicknesses and troubles which encompass all about. All our actions are for trivial matters and all our gains are but trifles at best.

29. There is nothing of any lasting good, in all those thoughts which employ the minds of men and gladden their hearts, and which serve at best to delude the sapient to the fickleness of their spirits.

30. No permanent good is derived from the ever busy thoughts and volitions and nolitions of mankind, which tend at best to trouble their minds, as the Mandara mountain disturbed the waters of the deep, at the time of its churning by the gods and demons.

31. No lasting good results to any body from his continuous exertions, and various efforts about his gain and loss even at the edge of the sword (i.e., even at the peril of one's life).

32. Neither is the sovereignty of the whole earth so great a boon, nor is one's elevation to the rank of a deity in heaven so great a blessing; nor even is the exaltation of one to the position of the world supporting serpent so great a gain, as the sweet peace of mind of the good.

33. It is of no good to trouble the mind, with its attention to all the branches of learning, nor is it of any advantage to one to employ his wits and enslave his mind to the service of another, nor of any use to any body, to learn the histories of other people, when he is ignorant of himself and his own welfare.

34. It is of no good to live long, under the trouble of disease and the sorrow of life. Neither is life or death, nor learning nor ignorance, nor heaven or hell any advantage or disadvantage to any body, until there is an end of his desires within himself.

[Pg 123]

35. Thus these various states of the world and all worldly things, may appear gratis to the ignorant vulgar, but they afford no pleasure to the learned who knows their instability. (Hence longevity and stability depend on one's reliance in the eternal God, and not on the transient world).

[Pg 124]


Investigation of the Living Principle.

Argument.—Disquisition of the Arteries and organs of the body. The seat of life and its actions.

BHUSUNDA continued:—All things being thus unstable, unprofitable and unpleasant to man, there is one reality only in the view of the wise, which is beyond all error and imperishable, and which though present in all things and all places, transcends the knowledge of all.

2. This essence is the soul or self, and its meditation is the remover of all sorrow and affliction. It is also the destroyer of the erroneous vision of the world, which has passed every man, and biased his understanding by his long habit of thinking this phantom of his dream as a sober reality.

3. Spiritual contemplation dawns in the clear atmosphere of the unpolluted mind, and traverses amidst its whole area like the solar light, and it destroys the darkness of all sorrows and erroneous thought which over spreads it.

4. Divine meditation being unaccompanied by any desire or selfish view, penetrates like the moon-beams through the darkness of the night of ignorance.

5. This spiritual light is easily obtainable by Sages like you, and too difficult to be retained (dháraná) by brutes like ourselves. Because it is beyond all imaginable resemblance, and is known by the ravished Sages as the transcendent light.

6. How can a man of common understanding come to the knowledge of that thing, which is an associate to the clear understanding of the meditative Sage only.

7. There is a little resemblance of this spiritual light, with the intellectual light of philosophers, whose minds are enlightened by the cooling moon-beams of philosophy, as those of the inspired saints are illumed with spiritual light.

8. Among the associates of spiritual knowledge, there is one[Pg 125] particularly friendly to me, which alleviates all my sorrows, and advances my prosperity, and this relates to the investigation of the vital breath which is the cause of life.

9. Vasishtha said: After speaking in this manner the Sagely bird Bhusunda held his silence, when I calmly joined my rejoinder, and adduced my question to him by way of amusement, though I was full well acquainted with the subject.

10. I addressed him saying, O thou long living bird, and remover of all my doubts, tell me truly, my good friend, what you mean by meditation of the vital breath (which you say to be the cause of vitality).

11. Bhusunda replied: You sir, who are learned in the knowledge of Vedánta, and sure remover of all doubts in spiritual science, are now by way of joke only, putting this question to me who am but a brute bird and an ignorant crow.

12. Or it may be to sound my shallow knowledge of the subject, and to instruct me the rest in which I am imperfect, that you like to have my answer to the question, wherein I can lay no objection (as no body is unprepared to know more and better of a subject).

13. Hear me, tell you some thing relating to cogitation of vital breath, which has the cause of Bhusunda's longevity and the giver of Bhusunda's spiritual knowledge.

14. You see sir, this beautiful fabric of the body, supported upon the three strong pillars or posts of the three humours; and having nine doorways about it. (The three humours are the bile, phlegm and wind, and the nine openings are the earholes, nostrils, the sockets of the eyes, the mouth).

15. This abode is occupied by its owner or the haughty house holder—Ahankára or egoism, who dwells in it with his favourite consort Puryashtaká, and his dependants of the Tanmátras at all times. (These terms have been explained before).

16. You well know the inside of this house which I need not describe, its two ears are as its two upper storied rooms, the two eyes are as its two windows, and the hairs on the head are as its thatched covering on the top of the house.

17. The opening of the mouth is the great door way to the[Pg 126] house, the two arms are as its two wings; and the two sets of teeth answer the strings of flowers, which are hung on the gate way for its decoration.

18. The organs of sense are the porters to this house, and convey the sights and sounds, flavours and feelings of things in to it. These are enclosed by the great wall of the body, and the two pupils keep watch on tower of this edifice.

19. The blood, fat and flesh form the plaster of this wall, and the veins and arteries answer the strings to bind the bamboos of the bones together, and the thick bones are the big posts that uphold this fabric.

20. There are two tender nerves called Idá and Pingalá, which lie and stretch along the two sides of this building.

21. There are three pairs of lotus like organs formed of soft flesh and bones, and these stretch up and down perpendicularly in the body, and are attached to one stalk like artery connecting them with one another.

22. Then the etherial air which is inhaled through the nostrils, supplies these lotiform organs with moisture, as if it poured water at their roots, and makes them shoot out in soft leaflets, shaking gently at the breath of air, passing incessantly through the lungs and nostrils.

23. The shaking leaves agitate the vital air, as the moving leaves of the trees in the forest, increase the force of the current air in the firmament.

24. The inflated vital air then passes in many ways, through the holes of the entrails inside the body, and extends to and fills all the pores and canals of the frame from top to bottom.

25. These then receive different appellations, according to their course through the several, and are denominated as the five fold vital airs of prána, apána, samána, udána, and vyána; by them that are skilled in science of pneumatic. (The prána-váyu is the breathing of the nostrils, the apána is the wind in ano, samána is the air circulating through the whole body, udána is the air of speech, and the vyána is the air let out through the pores of the whole body).

26. All the vital powers reside in the triple lotiform organ[Pg 127] of the heart, and thence extend up and down and on all sides like beams from the lunar disk.

27. These vital powers are employed in passing in and out, in taking in and letting out, in rising and falling, and also in moving throughout the body.

28. The prána or air of life is said by the learned to be situated in the lotus formed organ of the heart, which has also the power of moving the eyelids in their twinklings. (Hence one's life time is measured both by the numbers of his breathings, as also by that of the twinklings of his eye).

29. This power some times assumes the form of touch or the feeling of perception, and at others it takes the shape of breath by blowing through the nostrils. Some times it is seated in the stomach for culinary action, and oft-times it gives utterance to speech.

30. What more shall I say, than that it is our lord—the air, that moves the whole machine of the body, as a mechanic models everything by means of his machinery.

31. Among these there are two principal airs, by name of prána and apána, which take their two different courses upward and downward, the one is the breath of life and the other is the vitiated which is let out.

32. It is by watching the course of these airs that I remain quiet at this place, and undergo the vicissitudes of heat and cold, as it is destined to the lot of the feathered tribe.

33. The body is a great machine, and the two airs are its indefatigable mover. It has the sun and moon or the fire and moonlight, shining in the midst of its heart.

34. The body is a city and the mind is its ruler, the two airs are as the car and wheel of the body; while Egoism is the monarch of this city, and the eight members are as so many horses attached to the car of the body.

35. Thus by watching the motion of those airs (i.e. of the prána and apána—inspiration and expiration for the whole of my lifetime); I find the course of my life to be as interminable, as that of the continuity of my breathings. (The thought of continuity prolongs the course of life).

[Pg 128]

36. The airs serve the body alike in all its states of waking, dreaming, and sound sleep, and his days glide on imperceptibly who remains in his state of profound sleep. (so the yogi remaining in his trance is utterly insensible of the course of time).

37. These breaths being divided into a thousand threads, according as they pass through the many canals of the body, are as imperceptible as the white fibres passing inside the stalks of lotus plants.

38. By watching the incessant course of vital airs, as also by attending to the continued course of time, and thinking in one self of the interminable course of his respirations, and the moments of time and train of his thoughts, as also by attempting to restrain their course by the habit and practice of pránáyáma, that he is sure to lengthen the duration of his life in this world; and attain to his eternal life in the next.

[Pg 129]


On Samádhi.

Argument.—On the Breathings of Inspiration, Respiration and Expiration, and their rise and fall from and in the spirit of Brahma the origin and end of all.

VASISHTHA said:—Hear Ráma, when the bird had said so far, I interrupted him and said, tell me, O ancient seer, how and what is the nature of the course of vital airs.

2. Bhusunda replied:—How is it, O sage! that you who know everything, should propose this question to me as if it were in jest, but as you ask this of me, I must tell you all I know about it.

3. The vital breath, O Brahman! is a moving force by its nature, and is always suo motu in its own motion, and pervades both in the inside and outside of bodies which its animates.

4. The apána or the emitting air also is a self motive power, and in its incessant motion; and is both within and without the living body, in its downward or receding direction.

5. It is good for livings being to restrain these vitals breaths both in their waking and sleeping states, and now hear me tell you, O learned sage, how it is to be effected for their best gain.

6. The internal vital air (prána), extends from the lotus-like heart to the crevice in the cranium, its effort to come out (by the mouth and nostrils), is termed by the wise as rechaka or exhaled air. (The expiration coming out of the heart, and reaching the cerebrum is called the rechaka breath).

7. The meeting of breaths at the distance of twelve inches from and below the nostrils, is called the puraka or inhaling-breath. (This is termed the [Sanskrit: váhyapúraka] or external inspiration).

8. It is also called Puraka, when the breath passes from without, and enters within the inner apána without any effort, and fills the inside from the heart to the cerebrum.

9. When the apána air has subsided in the heart, and prána[Pg 130] breath does not circulate in the breast, it is called the Kumbhaka state, and is known to the yogis only.

10. All these three sorts of breaths, are perceived at the place from where the apána takes its rise, and this is at the distance of twelve inches below on the outside of the tip of the nose.

11. Hear now, O great minded sage! what the clear minded adepts have said, respecting the natures of the ever continuative and effortless. (i.e. self respiring) breathings.

12. Know sir, that the air which is inhaled from the distance of twelve inches on the out side of the tip of the nose, the same receives of its own nature the name of puraka or that of another.

13. As the outer part of a pot planted in the earth appears to sight, so the apána breath stretching to the distance of twelve inches just opposite to the tip of the nose in the air on the out side, is perceptible to the yogi, and is called Kumbhaka by the learned.

14. The exhaling air which rises from the heart, and extends to the tip of the nose, is styled the primary and external puraka breath ([Sanskrit: ádyah váhyapúrakam]) by the adepts in Yoga practice.

15. There is another (or secondary) external puraka air known to the wise, which takes its rise from the tip of the nose, and extends to the distance of twelve inches out-side of it.

16. After the prána breath sets out-side the nostrils, and before the apána breath has yet its rise, this interval of the entire abeyance of both, is known as the state of perfect equalization, and termed the external Kumbhaka.

17. The air which breathes out in the heart or pulsates within it, and without the rising of the apána breath; is styled the external rechaka in the Yoga system; and its reflection confers perfect liberation to man.

18. And this rising at the distance of twelve inches, in another kind of it and called the strong rechaka.

19. There is another kind of puraka, which is on the outside of the apána; and when it stretches to the inside of the navel within, it is known under the names of Kumbhaka &c.

[Pg 131]

20. The intelligent man who meditates by day and night on the octuple nature, and course of the prána and apána or the inhaling and exhaling airs, is not doomed to be reborn any more in this miserable earth.

21. I have thus related to you the various courses of the bodily airs, a restraint of which in the waking and sleeping states of man, as also in his states of sitting and waking, is productive of his liberation.

22. Though these are very fleeting in their natures, yet they are restrained by the good understanding of man, even when he is employed in his work or is in his act of eating.

23. The man that practises the Kumbhaka or suppression of his breathing within himself, cannot be employed in any action; but must remain calmly in this act of suppression, by giving all external thoughts and actions. (i.e., as in a state of torpidity).

24. A few days practice of this Yoga, by abnegation of all outward objects from the mind, enables a man to attain to the state of his solity, or his unity with the sole entity of the Deity.

25. Intelligent men have no fondness for worldly things, but bear an aversion to them as a holy Brahmán has against the sweet milk contained in a flask of skin. They remain regardless of visible objects, with his eyes closed against them, as a blind man takes no heed of out-ward appearances.

26. They are in possession of all, which is the sum total (tout ensemble) of what is to be had as the best gain; and whether when they are awake or asleep or walking or sitting, they never lose sight of that true light which leads them to the other world.

27. Those who have obtained the knowledge of the course of his breathings, have got rid of all delusion and rest in quiet within themselves (i.e. In watching their inspirations and over-looking the external phenomena).

28. And whether the intelligent people are employed in busy life, or sit inactive at home; they are always quiet and at rest by following the course of their respiration (neither breathing hard or being out breath).

29. I know, O Brahman! the exhaling breath, to rise from its[Pg 132] source of the lotus like heart, and stretch to the distance of twelve inches out of it, where it sets or stops. (As is mixed up with the current air).

30. The apána or inhaling breath is taking in from the same distance of twelve inches, and is deposited in the cup of the lotus situated in the human heart.

31. As the prána respiration is exhaled out in the air, to the distance of twelve inches from the heart, so the inhaled air of apána is taken into the breast, from the same distance of the open sky.

32. The prána or exhaling breath runs towards the open air, in the form of a flame of fire, and the inhaled breath turns inward to the region of the heart, and goes downward like a current of water.

33. The apána or inhaled breath is like the cooling moon light, and refreshes the body from without; while prána respiration resembling the sunshine or a flame of fire, warms the inside of the body.

34. The prána breath warms every moment the region of the heart, as the sunshine inflames the region of the sky; and then it torrifies the atmosphere before it, by the exhalation of breath through the mouth.

35. The apána air is as the moonlight before the moon, and being inhaled inward, it washes the sphere of the heart as by a deluge; then it refreshes the whole inside in a moment.

36. When the last digit of the moon-like apána or inhaling breath, is swallowed by the sun of the prána or exhaling breath; it meets with the sight of supreme spirit, and has no more any cause of affliction.

37. So also when the last portion of the sunlike prána or exhaling breath, is swallowed by the moon-like apána or inhaling breath; then there ensues the same visitation of Brahmá in the inside, and the soul is emancipated from further transmigration in this world. (The meeting of the two is a yoga or junction of the human and Divine spirits).

38. The prána or exhaling breath assumes the nature of the solar heat, both in the inside and outside of the body; and[Pg 133] afterwards it becomes and remains as the cooling moonlight. (It is the one and same breath of air, that takes the two names, according to its two different natures of inspiration and expiration. gloss).

39. The prána expiration forsakes its nature of the cooling moon, and turns in a moment to assume the nature of the hot sun, that dries and sucks up everything before it.

40. As long as the prána exhalation is not converted to the nature of the moon, after forsaking its solarity, it is so long considered as unconditioned by time and place, and freed from pain and grief. (The prána being peculiarised by time, place and number, is long or short and subject to misery; but its extinction in the interval, is instinct with the supreme spirit. Patanjali Yoga sutra II 50).

41. He who sees the seat of his soul in the mind situated within his heart, and at the confluence of the sol-luni prána and apána breathings in the Kumbhaka or retained breath, is no more subjected to be reborn and die.

41a. He who feels the sun and moon of his prána and apána breaths, ever rising and setting in the kumbhaka or retained breath with his heart, verily sees the seat of his mind and soul placed at their confluence, and is freed from further birth and death. (The plain meaning is that, the mind and soul consist in the air deposited in the heart by the two inhaling and exhaling breaths of prána and apána).

42. He verily sees the soul in its full light, who beholds this bright sun [Sanskrit: prána] shining in the sphere of his heart, in conjunction with the rising and setting moon beams apána in his mind.

43. This light never fades nor grows faint at any time, but dispels the darkness of the heart, and produces the consummation—Siddhi of the meditative mind.

44. As the dispersion of outward darkness presents the world to view, so the disappearance of inward obscurity gives out the light of the spirit before the mental sight.

45. The removal of intellectual darkness, produces the liberation[Pg 134] of the soul, and shows the rising and setting sun of the vital breath vividly to view.

46. When the moon of the apána or inspired breath, sets in the cavity of the heart, the sun of the prána or expiratory breathing, rises immediately to gush out of the same.

47. The apána or inhaling breath having set in the cell of the lotus like heart, the exhaling breath of prána rises at the very moment to come out of it, as the shadow of the night being dispersed from sight, the bright sun of the day ushers his light.

48. As the prána expiration expires in the open air, the inhaling breath rises and rushes in a moment; just as the light having fled from the horizon, is succeeded immediately by deep darkness.

49. Know ye intelligent men, that the apána breath becomes extinct, where the prána comes to be born; and the prána respiration is lost, where the apána takes its rise.

50. When the prána breathing has ceased and the apána has its rise, it is then that one supports himself upon the Kumbhaka retained air, and does not depend on two other passing breaths.

51. On the extinction of apána, and the rise of the prána breath, one relying on the Kumbhaka air which is deposited within himself, is exempted from his pain and sorrow.

52. By depending on the rechaka breath, and practicing the suppression of Kumbhaka breath, at the great distance of sixteen inches from the apána; a man has no more to be sorry for any thing.

53. By making the apána a receptacle of rechaka, and filling the prána in the inside, and finding himself filled with the puraka all within his body, a man has no more to be born on earth.

54. When a man finds the perfect tranquillity of his soul, by subsidence of both the prána and apána within himself; he has no longer to sorrow for any thing whatever.

55. When a man reflects his prána breath to be devoured by the apána air both within as well as without himself,[Pg 135] and loses his thoughts of time and space, he has no more any cause for sorrow.

56. He who sees his prána breath devouring the apána air, both within and without himself, together with his sense of space and time, has no more his mind to be reborn on earth.

57. When the prána is swallowed up by the apána, or the apána by the prána, both in the in-side and out-side of the adept; together with his thoughts of time and place;

58. At this moment the Yogi finds his prána to set down, and his apána to rise no more, and the interval between the two, is common to all animals though it is known to Yogis alone.

59. The Kumbhaka taking place of itself on the out-side, is known as the divine state, but when it happens to occur in the in-side, and without any efforts on the part of the adept, it is said to be the state of the most supreme. (Because God does not breathe).

60. This is the nature of the divine soul, and this is the state of the supreme intellect, this is the representation of the eternal spirit, and one attaining to this state, is never subject to sorrow.

61. Like fragrance in the flower, there is an essence indwelling within the vital breath also, and this is neither the prána nor apána, but the intellectual soul which I adore. (As the true God).

62. As taste indwells in the water, so is there an essence immanent in the apána; and this is neither the apána nor the not apána, but the intelligent soul which I adore.

63. There is at the end of the extinction of prána, and beyond the limit of the exhaustion of apána, and situated in the interval between the extremities of both of these, which I ever adore.

64. That which forms the breathing of breath, and is the life of life, what is the support and bearer of the body, is the intellectual spirit which I ever adore.

65. That which causes the thinking (power) of the mind, and the cogitation of the understanding; as also the egotism of egoism, is the intellectual soul, which I have learnt to adore.

66. That which contains and produces all things, which is[Pg 136] all (or permeated in all things, as every thing is (evolved from) itself; and what is changed to all at all times, is that mind which I adore for ever.)

67. What is the light of lights, what is holiness and the holy of holies, and what is unchangeable in its nature, is the intellect which I adore.

68. I adore that pencil of pure intellectual light, which rises at the juncture of the setting of the apána and springing up of the prána breath. (This sloka occurs in the Kashmere Mss).

68a. I adore that intellect which trolls on the tip of the nose, at the point where the prána sets in, and the apána has not yet taken its rise.

69. I adore the intellect which rises at the time when both the prána and apána breaths have stopped, and when neither of them has taken its rise.

70. I adore that intellect which appears before the Yogi, and supports him at the point which he has reached unto upon the setting of the prána and apána breaths, both within and without himself.

71. I adore that intellect which is force of all forces, and rides in the car of prána and apána breaths, and when both of them are compressed in the heart of the yogi.

72. I adore the lord intellect, which is the Kumbhaka breath in the heart, and the apána Kumbhaka on the outside; and a part of the puraka left behind.

73. I adore the essence of that intellect, which is attainable by reflection of the breathings, and which is the formless cause of our intelligence of the natures of the prána and apána breaths, as also the motive principle of their actions.

74. I adore the essence of that intellect, which is the cause of the causes, and the main spring of the oscillations of vital airs, and giver of the felicity derived from the vibrations of breath.

75. I adore that prime and supreme Being Brahma, who is worshipped by the gods bowing down before him, who makes himself known to us by his own power, and who is, by the particles of vital breaths, under the name of Spirit.

[Pg 137]


Relation of the Cause of Longevity.

Argument.—Reflection and Restraint of Respiration leading to the tranquillity of the soul, and the steadiness of the spirit, conducing to long life and felicity on earth.

BHUSUNDA continued. This is the tranquillity of the mind, which I have attained by degrees, by means of my meditation of the nature and course of the vital breath in myself.

2. I sit quiet at all times, with view fixed at the movement of my breath; and never stir a moment from my meditative mood, though the mount Meru may shake under me.

3. Whether I am awake or asleep, or move about or remain unmoved in my seat, I am never at a loss of this meditation even in dream, nor does it slide a moment from my steadfast mind. (For who can ever live without breathing, or be unconscious of its ceaseless course, or that the breath is both the cause and measure of life).

4. I am always calm and quiet and ever steady and sedate, in this ever varying and unsteady world; I remain always with my face turned inward in myself, and fixed firmly in the object I have at heart. (This is the soul—the life of the life situated in the heart).

5. The breeze may cease to blow, and the waters may stop to flow but nothing can prevent my breathing and meditation of them, nor do I remember ever to live without them. (The gloss explains by metonymy the air to mean the planetary sphere, which rests and moves in it, the waters as the ever flowing [Sanskrit: váyu] currents of rivers, and the samádhi [Sanskrit: jyotichakraha] meditation as composed of breath and thought, to be in continuous motion and resistless in their course).

6. By attending to the course of my inhaling and exhaling breaths of life, I have come to the sight of the soul (which is[Pg 138] their life), and have thereby become freed from sorrow by seeing the prime soul of all souls. (i.e. The highest soul of God).

7. The earth has been sinking and rising repeatedly, since the great deluge, and I have been witnessing the submersion and immersion of things, and the perdition and reproduction of beings, without any change of the sedateness of my soul and mind.

8. I never think of the past and future, my sight is fixed only on the present, and my mind sees the remote past and future as ever present before it. (Meditation makes a man a seer of all time).

9. I am employed in the business that presents itself to me, and never care for their toil nor care for their reward. I live as one in sleep and solely with myself. (This is the state of Kaivalya or solity).

10. I examine all what is and is not, and what we have or have not, and consider likewise all our desires and their objects; and finding them to be but frailties and vanities, I refrain from their pursuit and remain unvexed by their cares for ever.

11. I watch the course of my inspiration and expiration, and behold the presence of the super excellent (Brahma) at their confluence; whereby I rest satisfied in myself, and enjoy my long life without any sorrow or sickness.

12. This boon have I gained this day, and that better one shall I have on another, are the ruinous thoughts of mortal men, and unknown to me whereby I have so long living and unailing.

13. I never praise or dispraise any act of myself or others, and this indifference of mine to all concerns; hath brought me to this happy state of careless longevity. (Platonic imperturbability).

14. My mind is neither elated by success, nor it is depressed by adversity, but preserves its equanimity at all times, and is what has brought this happy state on me. (A sane and sound old age).

15. I have resorted to my religious relinquishment of the world, and to my apathy to all things at all times; I have also[Pg 139] abandoned the desire of sensuous life and sensible objects, and these have set me free from death and disease.

16. I have freed my mind, O great muni! from its faults of fickleness and curiosity, and have set it above sorrow and anxiety, it has become deliberate calm and quiet, and this has made me longlived and unsickly.

17. I see all things in an equal light, whether it be a beauty or a spectre, a piece of wood or stone, a straw or a rock, or whether it is the air, water or fire, and it is this equanimity of mine that has made me sane and sound in every state of life.

18. I do not think about what I have done today, and what I shall have to do tomorrow, nor do I ail under the fever of vain thoughts regarding the past and future, and this has kept me forever sound and sane.

19. I am neither afraid of death, disease or old age, nor am I elated with the idea of getting a kingdom in my possession; and this indifference of mine to aught of good or evil, is the cause of my length of my life and the soundness of my body and mind.

20. I do not regard, O Brahman! any one either in the light of a friend or foe to me; and this equality of my knowledge of all persons, is the cause of my long life and want of my complaint.

21. I regard all existence as the reflexion of the self-existent one, who is all in all and without his beginning and end; I know myself as the very intellect, and this is the cause of my diuturnity and want of disease and decay.

22. Whether when I get or give away any thing, or when I walk or sit, or rise and breathe, or am asleep or awake; I never think myself as the gross body but its pure intelligence, and this made me diuturnal and durable for ever. (The intelligent soul never dies).

23. I think myself as quite asleep, and believe this world with all its bustle to be nothing in reality (but the false appearance of a dream); and this has made me long-lived and undecaying.

24. I take the good and bad accidents of life, occurring at[Pg 140] their stated times, to be all alike to me, like my two arms both of which are serviceable to me; and has made me longeval and imperishable.

25. With my fixed attention, and the cool clearness of my mental vision, I see all things in their favourable light (that they are all good, and adapted to their various uses); I see all things as even and equal, and this view of them in the same light, has made me lasting and wasteless. (So says the Bharata: "All crookedness leads to death, and evenness to the one even Brahma").

26. This material body of mine to which I bear my moiety, is never viewed by me in the light of my ego; and this has made me undying and undecaying. (The deathless soul is the ego, and the dying body the non-ego).

27. Whatever I do and take to my food, I never take them to my heart; my mind is freed from the acts of my body, and this freedom of myself from action, has caused my undecaying longevity. (Because action being the measure of life, its want must make it measureless and imperishable).

28. Whenever, O Sage, I come to know the truth, I never feel proud of my knowledge, but desire to learn more about it; and this increasing desire of knowledge, has increased my life without its concomitant infirmity. (Knowledge is unlimited, and one needs be immortal in order to know all).

29. Though possessed of power, I never use it to do wrong or injure to another; and though wronged by any one, I am never sorry for the same; and though ever so poor, I never crave any thing of any body; this hath prolonged my life and kept me safe and sound. (It is the Christian charity not to retaliate an injury, but rather to turn to him the right cheek who has slapped on the left).

30. I see in these visible forms the intellect that abides all bodies, and as I behold all these existent bodies in an equal light, I enjoy an undecaying longevity.

31. I am so composed in my mind, that I never allow its faculties, to be entangled in the snare of worldly desires and expectations;[Pg 141] nor do I allow these to touch even my heart, and this conferred on me the bliss of my unfading longevity.

32. I examine both worlds as two globes placed in my hands, and I find the non-existence of the visible world as it appears to a sleeping man; while the spiritual and invisible world appear full open to my view, as it does to a waking person, and this sight of mine has made me as immortal as the world of immortality.

33. I behold the past, present and future as set before me; and I see all that is dead and decayed, and all that is gone and forgotten, as presented anew in my presence. This prospect of all keeps me alive and afresh to them alike.

34. I feel myself happy at the happiness of others, and am sorry to see the misery of other people; and this universal fellow feeling of mine with the weal and woe of my fellow creatures, has kept me alive and afresh at all times.

35. I remain unmoved as a rock in my adversity, and am friendly to every one in my prosperity; I am never moved by want or affluence, and this steadiness of mine is the cause of my undecayed longevity.

36. That I am neither related to nor belong to any body, nor that any one is either related or belongeth to me; is the firm conviction that has laid hold of my mind, and made me live long without feeling sick or sorry for another.

37. It is my belief that I am the one Ego with the world, and with all its space and time also, and that I am the same with the living soul and all its actions; and this faith of mine has made me longeval and undecaying.

38. It is my belief that I am the same Intelligence, which shows itself in the pot and picture; and which dwells in the sky above and in the woods below. That all this is full of intelligence is my firm reliance, and this has made me long abiding and free from decay.

39. It is thus, O great sage! that I reside amidst the receptacle of the three worlds, as a bee abides in the cell of a lotus flower, and am renowned in the world as the perennial crow Bhusunda by name.

[Pg 142]

40. I am destined to dwell here forever in order to behold the visible world, rising and falling in tumultuous confusion, in the infinite ocean of the immense Brahma, and assuming their various forms like the waves of the sea at their alternate rise and fall for all eternity.

[Pg 143]


Conclusion of the Narrative of Bhusunda.

Argument.—Vasishtha's praise of Bhusunda, and his homage to the sage, Whose return to Heaven through the midway-sky is described at length.

BHUSUNDA added:—I have thus far related to you, O sage! what I am and how I am situated at this place. It was by your behest only, that I was lead to the arrogance of speaking so far to one of superior intelligence.

2. Vasishtha replied:—O sir, it is a wondrous relation that you have given of yourself; O excellent! it is a jewel to my ears and fills me with admiration. (It beggars description, and is mirabile dictu).

3. Blessed are those eminent souls (great men), that have the good fortune to behold your most venerable person, which in respect of antiquity is next to none, expect the great grandfather of the gods the lotus born Brahmá himself.

4. Blest are my eyes, that are blessed this day with the sight of your holy person, and thrice blest are my ears that are filled with the full recital of your sacred knowledge and all purifying sermon.

5. I have in my peregrinations all about the world, witnessed the dignity and grandeur of the great knowledge of gods and learned men; but have never come to see any where, so holy a seer as yourself.

6. It may be possible by long travel and search, to meet with a great soul some where or other; but it is hard to find a holy soul like yourself any where. (Man may be very learned and wise as a sapient (savant), but never so holy and godly as a saint).

7. We rarely come to find the grain of a precious pearl in the hollow of a lonely bamboo tree, but it is rarer still to come across a holy personage, like yourself in any part of this world.

8. I have verily achieved an act of great piety, and of[Pg 144] sanctity also at the same time; that I have paid a visit to your holy shrine, and seen your sacred person and liberated soul this very day.

9. Now please to enter your cell, and fare you well in this place; it is now the time of midday devotion, and the duties of my noontide service, call my presence to my heavenly seat.

10. Hearing this Bhusunda rose from his arborescent seat, and held out a golden twig of the tree with his two fictitious hands. (Holy persons have the power to add to the members of their bodies).

11. The accomplished (lit. full knowing) crow made a vessel with his beak and hands, and filled it with the snow-white leaves, and flowers and pistils of the Kalpa plant, and put a brilliant pearl in it to be offered as an honorarium—arghya worthy of the divine sage.

12. The prime-born (ancient) bird, then took the arghya with some water and flowers; and sprinkled and scattered them over me even from my head to foot, in as great a veneration, as when they adore the three eyed god Siva.

13. Then said I, it is enough, and you need not take the pains to walk after me (in token of your respect). So saying I rose from my seat and made a lift, as when a bird puts to its wings for its aerial flight. (Bishtára—a seat, means also a bedding like the Persian bistar and Urdu bistara derived from the root strí to spread).

14. Yet the bird followed me a few miles (yojana) in the air, when I hindered his proceeding farther by compelling him to return after shaking our hands. (The custom of shaking hands both on meeting and parting; is mentioned to have been in fashion with the ancients).

15. The chief of birds looked up for some time, as I soared upward in my ethereal journey, and then he returned with reluctance, because it is difficult to part from the company of the good (or of good people).

16. Then both of us lost the sight of one another in the intermediate air, as the sight of the waves is lost after they sink down in the sea; and I full with the thoughts of the bird and[Pg 145] his sayings, proceeded upward to meet the munis there. I arrived at last at the sphere of the Pleiades, where I was honorably received by Arundhatí my wife.

17. It was in the beginning of the golden age (satya yuga) before, and after two hundred years of it had passed away that I had been at Bhusunda's, and sat with him upon the tree on the summit of Sumeru.

18. Now, O Ráma! that golden age has gone by, and the Tretá or silver age has taken its place; and it is now the middle of this age, that thou art born to subdue thy enemies.

19. It is now only eight years past that (or the eight years since) I met with him again on the same mountain, and found him as sound and same as I had seen him long before.

20. Now I have related unto you the whole of the exemplary character of Bhusunda; and as you have heard it with patience, so should you consider it with diligence, and act according to his sayings. (In order to be as longlived as he).

21. Válmíki says:—The man of pure heart, that considers well the narrative of the virtuous Bhusunda, will undoubtedly pass over the unstable gulf of this world, which is full of formidable dangers on all sides.

[Pg 146]


Lecture on Theopathy or Spiritual Meditation.

Argument.—Learning from examples and parables. Falsity of phenomenal and reliance in the noumenal.

VASISHTHA said:—I have thus far related to you, O sinless Ráma! the narrative of Bhusunda; who had passed over the perilous sea of delusion, by means of his intelligence and wisdom.

2. Keeping this instance in view, and following his practice of pránáyáma or regulation of breath; you will also, O mighty armed Ráma! pass over the wide ocean of this hazardous ocean.

3. As Bhusunda has obtained the obtainable one, by means of his knowledge and by virtue of his continued practice of yoga; so do you strive to gain the same by imitation of his example.

4. Men of uninfatuated understanding may attain the stability of Bhusunda, and their reliance in the transcendental truth like him by their attending to the practice of pránáyáma or restraining of their breath.

5. Thus you have heard me relate to you many things, relating to true knowledge; it now depends on your own understanding to do as you may like to choose for yourself. (Either to betake yourself to spiritual knowledge or the practice of pránáyáma or either as the gloss explains it, either to esoteric contemplation yoga or exoteric adoration upasana).

6. Ráma replied:—you sir, that are the luminous sun of spiritual light on earth, have dispelled the thick gloom of unspiritual knowledge from my mind at once (by transcendental light of your holy lectures).

7. I am fully awake to and joyous in my divine knowledge, and have entered into my state of spirituality; I have known the knowable, and am seated in my divine state like yourself.

8. O the wondrous memoir of Bhusunda that you have[Pg 147] narrated! It fills me with admiration, and is fraught with the best instruction. (Lit. it is instructive of the highest wisdom).

9. In the account that you have given of Bhusunda, you have said that the body is the abode of the soul, and is composed of flesh and blood, and of the inner bones and outer skin (as its materials and plaster).

10. Please tell me sir, who made this fabric and how it came to be formed; how it is made to last, and who abides therein.

11. Vasishtha answered: Listen now Ráma, to what I will relate to you for the instruction of the supreme knowledge, as also for removal of the evils which have taken root instead of true knowledge.

12. This dwelling of the body, Ráma! which has the bones for its posts, and the blood and flesh for its mortar, and the nine holes for so many windows, is built by no one: (but is formed of itself).

13. It is a mere reflection, and reflects itself so to our vision; as the appearance of two moons in the sky by illusion, is both real as well as unreal. (This vedantic doctrine is opposed to the popular faith of the creatorship of God).

14. It may be right to speak of two moons from their double appearance to our sight, but in reality there is but one moon and the other its reflection. (So are all phenomenal bodies but reflections of the noumenal).

15. The belief of the existence of body makes it a reality, the unreal seems as real, and therefore it is said to be both real and unreal at the same time. (The perception is real but the object of perception an unreality. Just so the perception of a snake in the rope may be true, though the snake in the rope is quite untrue).

16. Any thing seen in a dream is true as a dream, and appears to be so in the state of dreaming, but afterwards it proves to be untrue, so a bubble of water is true as a bubble, which comes to be known afterwards to be false in reality. (So all things appearing to be true to sight, vanish into nothing when they are judged aright, and even a judge may deem a[Pg 148] thing as just, which upon further and right investigation is known as unjust).

17. The body seems to be substantiality in the doing of bodily actions, but it proves otherwise when we view the essentiality of the spirit only; so the reflection of the sun on the sandy desert, makes the mirage appear as water, whose reality proves to be unreal the next moment: (so it is of the body).

18. The body existing as a reflexion disappears the next moment. It is no more than a reflexion, and so it reflects itself.

19. It is your error to think that you are the material body which is made of flesh and bones. It is the inward thought of your mind that is situated in the body, and makes you to think yourself as so and so and such a one. (The reminiscence of the mind of its former body, causes to think itself as an embodied being, in all its repeated transmigrations. Gloss).

20. Forsake therefore the body that you build for yourself at your own will, and be not like them, who while they are asleep on their pleasant beds, deport themselves to various countries with their dreaming bodies: (which are all false and unreal).

21. See, O Ráma! how you deport yourself to the kingdom of heaven even in your waking state, in the fanciful reverie of your mind; say then where is your body situated. (It neither accompanies the mind to heaven, nor is it on earth being unperceived and unaccompanied by the mind).

22. Say Ráma, where is your body situated, when your mind wanders on the Meru in your dream, and when you dream to ramble with your body about the skirts of this earth.

23. Think Ráma, how you seem to saunter about the rich domains (of the gods) in the fancied kingdom of your mind, and tell me whether you are then and there accompanied with your body, or is it left behind.

24. Tell me, where is that body of yours situated; when you think of doing many of your bodily and worldly acts without your body, in the fancied realm of your mind.

25. Tell me, O strong armed Ráma! where are those members of your body situated; with which you think to coquette and[Pg 149] caress your loving courtezans in the court of your painful mind.

26. Where is that body of yours, with which you seem to enjoy anything; the enjoyment belongs to the mind and not to the body, and both of them are real as well as unreal, owing to their presence at one time and absence at another.

27. The body and the mind are known to be present with coeval with their actions, and they participate with one another in their mutual acts (without which they are said to be inexistent). Therefore it is erroneous to say that, I am this body and am situated here, and these things are mine, all which are illusory and caused by illusion. (Egoism and meity are illusive ideas).

28. All this is the manifestation of the will or energy of the mind, and you must know it either as a long dream or lengthened fallacy of the mind.

29. Know this world, O son of Raghu's race, to be a display of the vast kingdom of your imagination, and will vanish into nothing, when you will come to your good understanding by the grace of your God.

30. You will then see the whole as clearly as in the light of the rising sun, and know this world to be like a creation of your dream or volition. (i.e. as you wish to have a thing for yourself).

31. So is this world a display of the will of the lotus-born Brahmá, as I have said before in length in the book of creation.

32. There rises of itself a willful creation within the mind, and out of its own accord as if it were so ordained by destiny; and the mind being fully possest of the great variety of forms, is lost at last into the error of taking them for true.

33. It is a creation of the will only and a display of it in the same manner, as the fancied chimera of Brahmanship had possessed the minds of the sons of Indu. (See the narrative of Indu's sons in the upasama Prakarana).

34. After the soul has passed from its former frame, it receives the same form which it has in view before it after the fancy of the mind, which is either of the kind, to which it has[Pg 150] been long used and accustomed, or what it fondly longs in the mind.

35. The body shows itself in the form as it is shaped by the prior acts of a person, and is also convertible to the intellect by the manly exertions of some: (whose corporeal bodies may become intellectual beings, as some persons have mere brutal, while others are highly intellectual).

36. He that thinks himself as another, is transformed to the nature of that air (as it is the pattern that moulds a thing after its own model): and the thought that you are this or that, and have this thing or others for yourself, is what actually makes you so in this world. (The metamorphose of the natures and forms of things and persons to other kinds in Ovid, were all owing to their tendencies and inclinations towards them).

37. Whatever is thought upon keenly and firmly, the same comes to take place accordingly; and whatever is thought of with intense and great force of thought, the same must occur in a short time: (so are all things done to which we set our minds).

38. We see every day the objects of our desire, presenting their fair forms to our view, like the comely faces of our beloved ones present before our sight, in the same manner as the sights in a dream and distant objects, are recalled to the mind of men; with their closed and half-shut eyes. (This is the doctrine of reminiscence which reproduces our long remembered bodies to us).

39. This world is said to be a creation of the thoughts of men, and appears to sight from habitual reflection of it, in the same manner as the sights in a dream, appear to the mind of a man in the day time.

40. The temporary world appears to be as lasting, as the river which appears in the sky under the burning sunshine. (Though in fact both of them are equally evanescent).

41. This inexistent earth also appears as existent in our cogitation, as there appears bundles of peacock's feathers in the sky to the vitiated or purblind eye.

42. It is only the vitiated understanding that dwells upon[Pg 151] the beauties of creation, as the vitiated eye sight looks upon the various tinges in the sky. But to the clear sighted understanding the one is as evanescent, as the other is to the clear sighted eye.

43. The sharp sighted man is never led away by the display of worldly grandeur, as even the most timid man is never afraid of a tiger in his imagination.

43a. This great show of worldly grandeur can never mislead the penetrating sight of the wise, as a monstrous creature of imagination cannot terrify even the most timid. (Because the one knows the falsity of the show as well as the other does that of imaginary monster).

44. The wise man is never afraid of his imaginary world, which he knows to be the production of his own mind, from its nature of self-evolution bahir mukhata. (The mind is naturally possessed of both its power of self involution in the interior soul, as also that of its evolving itself in the form of the exterior world).

45. He that has stood in the path of this world, needs not fear for any thing in it, and he that is afraid of it for fear of falling into its errors, should learn to purify his understanding from all its dross and impurity. (Stretch your mind, and the world will appear to light, curb it in yourself and every thing will disappear from view).

46. Know Ráma, that the soul is free from the erroneous conception of the world, and from the errors which pervade all over it. Look well into these things, and you will have a nature as pure as your inward soul.

47. The soul is not soiled by impurity, as a pure gold is not spoiled by dirt; and though it may sometimes appear to be tarnished as copper, yet it soon resumes its colour after its dirt is cleansed or burnt away. Thus the world being a reflexion of the omnipresent Brahma, is neither an entity nor a nonentity of its own nature.

48. Thus the abandonment of all other thoughts, besides that of the universal soul or Brahma, is called the true discernment of the mind; which derives the thoughts of life and death,[Pg 152] heaven and hell into nothing, and proves all knowledge to be ignorance alone.

49. The knowledge of the nullity of everything, except its being a reflexion of the Intellect, is called the individuality and right discernment of the mind, which removes the thought of the separate and independent existence of the ego and tu, and also of this world and its ten sides: (i.e. of the subjective as well as the objective).

50. That all things are but reflexions of the soul, is what is known as the true and right discernment of the mind; and is derived from its observation of true nature of things in this real and unreal world. (The real is the spiritualistic view of the world, and the unreal is illusory phenomenal appearance).

51. That nothing rises or sets or appears or disappears in this world, is what the mind perceives by its right discernment of things; and by its investigation into the true and apparent natures of all. (In their true light all things are in a state of continued revolution, and nothing rises anew to view or disappears into nothing).

52. Right discernment gives the mind its peace and tranquillity, and its freedom from all desires; and makes it indifferent to joy and grief, and callous to all praise and censure.

53. The mind comes to find this truth as the cooling balsam of the heart, that we are all doomed to die one day or other, with all our friends and relations in this world of mortality.

54. Why therefore should we lament at the demise of our friends, when it is certain that we must die one day sooner or later (and without the certainty of when or where).

55. Thus when we are destined to die ourselves also, without having any power in us to prevent the same; why then should we be sorry for others when we can never prevent also.

56. It is certain that any one who has come to be born herein, must have some state and property for his supportance here; but what is the cause of rejoicing in it (when neither our lives nor their means are lasting for ever).

57. All men dealing in worldly affairs, gain wealth with toil[Pg 153] and pain for their trouble and danger only; what is the reason therefore for pining at its want, or repining at its loss.

58. These spheres of worlds enlarge, expand and rise to our view, like bubbles of water in the sea which swell and float and shine for a time, and then burst and subside in the water of eternity.

59. The nature of reality (the entity of Brahma), is real at all times, and the condition of the unreal world is unsubstantial for ever, and can never be otherwise or real, though it may? appear as such for a time. Why then sorrow for what is nil and unreal.

60. I am not of this body nor was I in it, nor shall I remain in it; nor is it any thing, even at present, except a picture of the imagination. Why then lament at its loss.

61. If I am something else beside this body, that is a reflexion of the pure intellect; then tell me of what avail are these states of reality and unreality to me, and wherefore shall I rejoice or regret.

62. The Sage who is fully conscious of the certainty of this truth in himself, does not feel any rise or fall of his spirits at his life or death, nor doth he rejoice or wail at either in having or losing his life.

63. Because he gains after the loss of his gross body, his residence in the transcendental state of Brahma or spiritual existence; as the little bird tittera builds its nest of tender blades, after its grassy habitation is broken down or blown away.

64. Therefore we should never rely in our frail and fragile bodies, but bind our souls to the firm rock of Brahma by the strong rope of our faith, as they bind a bull to the post with a strong cord.

65. Having thus ascertained the certitude of this truth, rely thy faith on the reality of thy spiritual essence, and by giving up thy reliance on thy frail body, manage thyself with indifference in this unreal world.

66. Adhere to what is thy duty here, and avoid whatever is prohibited to thee; and thus proceed in thy course with an even[Pg 154] tenor of thy mind, without minding at all about thy reliance on the one and miscreance of the other.

67. He gets a cool composure of his mind; like the coolness at the close of a hot summer-day, who shuts out from his view the reflexions of all worldly objects.

68. Look on this universe, O sinless Ráma, as one common display of Divine light, like the appearance of day light which is common to all; it is the mind which taints it with various forms, as the sun-beams are reflected in sundry piece by objects.

69. Therefore forsake all reflexions, and be without any impression in thy mind, be of the form of pure intellectual light, which passes through all without being contaminated by any.

70. You will be quite stainless by your dismissal of all taints and appearances from your mind, and by your thinking yourself as nothing and having no true enjoyment in this world.

71. That these phenomena are nothing in reality, but they show themselves unto us for our delusion only; and that yourself also are nothing will appear to you, by your thinking the whole as a display of the Divine Intellect.

72. Again the thought that these phenomena are not false, nor do they lead to our illusion since they are the manifestation of the supreme Intellect, is also very true and leads to your consummation.

73. It is well Ráma, and for your good also if you know either of these; because both of these views will tend equally to your felicity.

74. Conduct yourself in this manner, O blessed Ráma! and lessen gradually all your affection and dislike to this world and all worldly things. (i.e. Neither love nor hate aught at any time).

75. Whatever there exists in this earth, sky and heaven, is all obtainable by you, by means of the relinquishment of your eager desire and hatred.

76. Whatever a man endeavours to do, with his mind freed from his fondness for or hatred to it, the same comes shortly,[Pg 155] to take place, contrary to the attempts of the ignorant: (whose excessive desire and dislike turn to their disadvantage).

77. No good quality can have its abode in the heart that is troubled by the waves of faults; as no stag will set its foot on the ground, heated by burning sands and wild fires.

78. What acquisitions does he not make, in whose heart there grows the kalpa tree of desire, and which is not infested by the snakes of ardent desire or dislike (the two cankers of human breast).

79. Those men who are wise and discreet, learned and attentive to their duties, and at the same time influenced by the feelings of love and hatred, are no better than jackals (or jack asses) in human shape, and are accursed with all their qualifications.

80. Look at the effects of these passions in men, who repine both at the use of their wealth by others, as also in leaving their hard earned money behind them. (This proceeds from excessive love of wealth on the one hand, and hatred of family and heirs on the other as is said [Sanskrit: putrádapi ghanabhajam bháti], the monied miser, dislikes even his son).

81. All our riches, relatives and friends, are as transitory as the passing winds: why then should a wise man rejoice or repine at their gain or loss.

82. All our gains and wants and enjoyments in life, are mere illusion or máyá, which is spread as a net by Divine power, all over the works of creation, and entraps all the worldlings in it.

83. There is no wealth, nor any person, that is real or lasting to any one in this temporary world; it is all frail and fleeting, and stretched out as a false magic show to sight.

84. What wise man is there that will place his attachment on anything, which is an unreality both in its beginning and end, and is quite unsteady in the midst. No one has any faith in the arbour of his imagination or aerial castle.

85. As one fancies he sees a fairy in a passing cloud, and is pleased with the sight of what he can never enjoy, but passes[Pg 156] from his view to the sight of distant peoples; so is this passing world, which passes from the sight of some to that of others, without its being fully enjoyed or long retained in the possession of any one. (The passing world passes from hand to hand, without its standing still at any one's command).

86. The bustle of these fleeting bodies in the world, resembles the commotion of an aerial castle, and the appearance of a city in an evanescent dream and fancy.

87. I see the world as a city in my protracted dream, with all its movables and immovable things, lying as quiet and still as in profound sleep.

88. Ráma, you are wandering in this world, as one rolling in his bed of indolence, and lulled to the long sleep of ignorance; which lends you from one error to another, as if dragged by a chain of continuous dreaming.

89. Now Ráma, break off your long chain of indolent ignorance, forsake the idol of your errors, and lay hold on the inestimable gem of your spiritual and divine knowledge.

90. Return to your right understanding, and behold your soul in its clear light as a manifestation of the unchangeable luminary of the Intellect; in the same manner as the unfolding lotus beholds the rising sun.

91. I exhort you repeatedly, O Ráma! to wake from your drowsiness, and by remaining ever wakeful to your spiritual concerns; see the undecaying and undeclining sun of your soul at all times.

92. I have roused you from your indolent repose, and awakened you to the light of your understanding, by the cooling breeze of spiritual knowledge, and the refreshing showers of my elegant diction.

93. Delay not Ráma, to enlighten your understanding even now, and attain your highest wisdom in the knowledge of the supreme being, to come to the light of truth and shun the errors of the delusive world.

94. You will not be subject to any more birth or pain, nor will you be exposed to any error or evil, if you will but remain steady in your soul, by forsaking all your worldly desires.

[Pg 157]

95. Remain steadfast, O high minded Ráma, in your trust in the tranquil and all soul of Brahma, for attainment of the purity and holiness of your own soul, and you will thereby be freed from the snare of your earthly desires, and get a clear sight of that true reality, wherein you will rest in perfect security, as were in profound sleep.

[Pg 158]




Description of the World as full with the Supreme soul.

Argument.—Elucidation of the same subject, and further Instruction to Ráma.

VÁLMIKI relates:—Hearing this discourse of the sage, Ráma remained sedate with the coma (sama) of his mind, his spirits were tranquil, and his soul was full of rapture.

2. The whole audience also that was present at the place, being all quiet, calm and silent (comatose-upasánta), the sage withheld his speech for fear of disturbing their spiritual repose: (which converted them to stock and stone).

3. The sage stopped from distilling the drops of his ambrosial speech any more, after the hearts of the audience were lulled to rest by their draughts, as the clouds cease to rain drops, having penetrated into the hearts of ripened grains.

4. As Ráma (with the rest of the assembly) came to be rose from their torpor after a while; the eloquent Vasishtha resumed his discourse in elucidation of his former lecture. (On spirituality).

5. Vasishtha said:—Ráma! you are now fully awakened to light, and have come to and obtained the knowledge of thyself; remain hence forward fixed to the only true object, wherein you must rely your faith, and never set your feet on the field of the false phenomenal world.

6. The wheel of the world is continually revolving round the centre of desire, put a peg to its axis, and it will stop from turning about its pole.

7. If you be slack to fasten the nave (nábhi) of your mind, by your manly efforts (purushártha; it will be hard for[Pg 159] you to stop the wheel of the world, which runs faster as you slacken your mind.)

8. Exert your manly strength (courage), with the aid of your mental powers and wisdom, stop the motion of your heart, which is the centre of the wheeling course of the world.

9. Know, that everything is obtainable by means of manly exertion, joined with good sense and good nature, and assisted by a knowledge of the sástras; and whatever is not obtained by these, is to be had nowhere by any other.

10. Relinquish your reliance on destiny which is a coinage of puerile imagination; and by relying on your own exertions, govern your heart and mind for your lasting good.

11. The unsubstantial mind which appears as a substantiality, has had its rise since the creation of Brahmá; and taken a wrong and erroneous course of its own. (The human understanding is frail from first to beginning, it is a power, and no positive reality).

12. The unreal and erroneous mind, weaves and stretches out a lengthening web of its equally unreal and false conceptions, which it is led afterwards to mistake for the substantial world.

13. All these bodies that are seen to move about us, are the products of the fancies and fond desires of the mind; and though these frail and false bodies cease to exist forever, yet the mind and its wishes are imperishable; and either show themselves in their reproduction in various forms, or they become altogether extinct in their total absorption in the supreme spirit. (The doctrine of eternal ideas, is the source of their perpetual appearance in various forms about bodies).

14. The wise man must not understand the pain or pleasure of the soul from the physiognomy of man, that a sorrowful and weeping countenance is the indication of pain; and a clear (cheerful) and tearless face is the sign of pleasure. (Because it is the mind which moulds the face in any form it likes).

15. You see a man in two ways, the one with his body and the other in his representation in a picture or statues, of these the former kind is more frail than the latter; because the[Pg 160] embodied man is beset by troubles and diseases in his fading and mouldering, decaying and dying body, whereby the other is not. (The frame of the living man, is frailer than his dead resemblance).

16. The fleshy body is assuredly doomed to die, notwithstanding all our efforts for its preservation; but a body in the portrait being taken good care of, lasts for ages with its undiminished beauty.

17. As the living body is sure to die in despite of all your care for it, the pictured body must be deemed far better, than the false and fancied fleshy body, produced by will of the mind (sankalpa deha).

18. The quality and stability which abide in a pictured body, are not to be found in the body of the mind; wherefore the living body of flesh, is more insignificant than its semblance in a picture or statue.

19. Think now, O sinless Ráma, what reliance is there in this body of flesh; which is a production of your long fostered desire, and a creature of your brain (Your mind makes it seem as such).

20. This body of flesh is more contemptible than those ideal forms, which our dreams and desires produce in our sleeping and waking states; because the creature of a momentary desire, is never attended with a long or lasting happiness or misery. (Because the products of the variable will, are of short duration, and so are their pains and pleasures also).

21. The bodies that are produced by our long desire, continue for a longer time, and are subjected to a longer series of miseries in this world. (So it is said, a "long life is a long term of woes and calamities").

22. The body is a creature of our fancy, and is neither a reality or unreality in itself; and yet are the ignorant people fondly attached to it, for the prolongation of their misery only.

23. As the destruction of the portrait of a man, does no harm to his person; and as the loss of a fancied city is no loss to the city, so the loss of the much desired body of any one, is no loss to his personality in any wise.

[Pg 161]

24. Again as the dis-appearance of the secondary moon (halo), is no deprivation of the primary satellite (moon), and as the evanescence of the visionary world, is no annihilation of the external world. (So there is no loss of the soul, as the loss of the shadow, is no loss of the substance).

25. As the dis-appearance of water in the sunny banks of rivers, is no deprivation of the river's water; so the creations of fancy which are not negative in their nature, cannot be destructive of what is positive, nor any damage done to the machine of the body, can ever injure the dis-embodied soul.

26. The body is a piece of work wrought by the architect of the mind, in its dreaming somnambulation over the sleeping world; wherefore its decoration or disfigurement, is of no essential advantage or dis-advantage to inward soul.

27. There is no end of the Intellect in its extent, nor any motion of the soul from its place; there is no change in the Divine spirit of Brahma, nor do any of these decay with the decline of the body.

28. As the inner and smaller wheel, makes the outer and larger wheel to turn about it, so the inner annulus of the mind, sees in its delirium spheres over spheres revolving in empty air.

29. The mind views by its primitive and causeless error, the constant rotation of bodies both in the inside and out side of it; and some as moving forward and others as falling down, and many as dropped below.

30. Seeing the rise and fall of these rotatory bodies, the wise man must rely on the firmness of his mind, and not himself to be led away by these rotations in repeated succession.

31. Fancy forms the body and it is error that makes the unreal appear as real; but the formation of fancy, and the fabrications of untruth, cannot have any truth or reality in them.

32. The unreal body appearing as real, is like the appearance of a snake in a rope; and so are all the affairs of the world quite untrue and false, and appearing as true for the time being.

33. Whatever is done by an insensible being, is never accounted as its action (or doing); hence all what is done by the[Pg 162] senseless bodies (of man), is not recounted as done by it. (But by the impulse of the actuating mind).

34. It is the will which is the active agent of its actions, and this being so, neither the inactive body nor the unchanging soul is the actor of any action. (The soul being the witness of the bodily actions done by the impelling mind. gloss).

35. The inert body being without any effort, is never the doer of any act, which is desired by its presiding soul; it is only a viewer of the soul, which witnesses it also. (The body is attendant or dependant to the soul, as the other is a resident in it, they are both devoid of action, and unstained by those done by the will of the mind).

36. As the lamp burns unshaken and with its unflickering flame, in the breathless air and in itself only; so doth the silent and steady soul dwell as a witness, in all things and of all acts existing and going on in the world. (So doth the human soul abide and inflame itself in the body, unless it is shaken and moved by the airy mind).

37. As the celestial and luminous orb of the day, regulates the daily works of the living world from his seat on high, so do you, O Ráma, administer the affairs of thy state from thy elevated seat on the royal throne.

38. The knowledge of one's entity or egoism, in the unsubstantial abode of his body, is like the sight of a spirit by boys in the empty space of a house or in empty air. (The substantiality of the unsubstantial body, is as false as the corporeality of an incorporeal spirit).

39. Whence comes this unsubstantial egoism in the manner of an inane ghost, and takes possession of the inner body under the name of the mind, is what the learned are at a loss to explain.

40. Never enslave yourself, O wise Ráma! to this spectre of your egoism, which like the ignis fatuus leads you with limbo lake or bog of hell. (The sense of one's personality is the cause of his responsibility).

41. The mad and giddy mind, accompanied with its capricious desires and whims, plays its foolish pranks in its abode of the body, like a hideous demon dancing in a dreary desert.

[Pg 163]

42. The demoniac mind having made its way, into the hollow heart of the human body; plays its fantastic parts in so odd a manner, that wise men shut their eyes against the sight, and sit in their silent contemplation of the secluded soul. (It is good to fly from the fields, where fools make a prominent figure).

43. After the demon of the mind, is driven out of the abode of the body, there is no more any fear for any one to dwell in it in peace; as no body is afraid of living in a deserted and desolate city.

44. It is astonishing that men should place any reliance in their bodies, and consider them as their own, when they had had thousands of such bodies in their repeated births before, and when they were invariably infested by the demon of the mind.

45. They that die in the grasp and under the clutches of the cannibal of the mind, have their minds like those of the pisácha cannibals in their future births, and never of any other kind of being. (The will ever accompanies a man, in all his future states).

46. The body which is taken possession of by the demon of egoism, is being consumed by the burning fires of the triple afflictions; occurring from local, natural and accidental evils, and is not to be relied upon as a safe and lasting abode of any body.

47. Do you therefore desist to dance your attendance on, and follow the dictates of your egoism (or selfishness). Be of an extended and elevated mind, and by forgetting your egotism in your magnanimity, rely only on the supreme spirit.

48. Those hellish people that are seized and possessed by the devils of Egotism, are blinded in their self-delusion and giddiness; and are unbefriended by their fellows and friends, as they are unfriendly to others in this world. (Egotism is explained in its double sense of selfishness and pride, both of which are hated and shunned by men as they hate and shun others).

49. Whatever action is done by one bewitched by egoism[Pg 164] in his mind, the same grows up as a poisonous plant, and produces the fatal fruit of death. (The fruits are mutual quarrels, enmity and the like).

50. The ignorant man that is elated by his egoistic pride, is lost both to his reason and patience; and one who is attached to the former by his neglect of the latter, is to be known as approaching fast to his perdition. (Pride goes before destruction).

51. The simpleton that is seized by the devil of Egoism, is made as fuel to the fire of hell (where he is doomed to burn with ceaseless torment).

52. When the snake of Egoism hisses hard in the hollow heart of the tree of the body, it is sure to be cut down by the inexorable hand of death, who fells the noxious tree like a wood cutter to the ground.

53. O Ráma! that are the greatest among the great, never look at the demon of egoism, whether it may reside in your body or not; because the very look of it, is sure to delude any one.

54. If you disregard deride or drive away the demon of egoism, from the recess of your mind, there is no damage or danger, that it can ever bring upon you in any wise.

55. Ráma! what though the demon of Egoism, may play all its freaks in its abode of the body, it can in no way affect the soul which is quite aloof of it. (Egoism contaminates the mind, and cannot touch the soul that contemns it).

56. Egoism brings a great many evils, upon them that have their minds vitiated by its influence, and it requires hundreds of years, to count and recount their baneful effects.

57. Know Ráma, that it is the despotic power of egoism, that makes men to groan under its thraldom, and incessantly uttering the piteous exclamations, "Oh! we are dying and burning and such other bitter cries."

58. The soul is ubiquitous and free to rove every where, without its having any connection with the ego of any body; just as the ubiquity of the all pervading sky, is unconnected with every thing in the world.

59. Whatever is done or taken in by the body, in its connection with the airy thread of life; know Ráma, all this to be the[Pg 165] doing of egoism, which empties and impels the body to all its various actions.

60. Know thus quiescent soul impels also, to be the cause of all the exertions of the mind or mental operations, as the inactive vacuum is the material cause of the growth of trees. (i.e. the circumambient air affords room for the expansion of the plant).

61. It is owing to the presence of the soul, that the mind developes itself in the form of the body and all its members; as it is the presence of the light, that makes the room display its contained objects to sight. (The soul is the light of the mind—nous the container of infinite ideas).

62. Think now Ráma, on the relation between the ever unconnected soul and mind, to resemble the irrelation subsisting between the dis-connected earth and sky, and betwixt light and darkness and betwixt the intellect and gross bodies.

63. Those that are ignorant of the soul, view the quiet mind as such, after its motion and fluctuation are stopped by the restraint of respiration—Pránáyáma. (This is the doctrine of the Sánkhya and Buddhist, that view the becalmed and quiescent mind as the soul).

64. But the soul is self-luminous and ever lasting, omnipresent and super-eminent, while the mind is deceptive and egoism. It is situated in the heart with too much of its pride and vanity.

65. You are in reality the all-knowing soul, and not the ignorant and deluded mind; therefore drive afar your delusive mind from the seat of the soul, as they can never meet nor agree together.

66. Ráma! the mind has also like a demon, taken possession of the empty house of the body, and has like an evil spirit, silenced and overpowered upon the intangible soul in it.

67. Whatever thou art, remain but quiet in thyself, by driving away the demon of thy mind from thee; because it robs thee of thy best treasure of patience, and loads all kinds of evils upon thee. (i.e. the impatient mind is the source of all evil).

68. The man that is seized by the voracious yaksha of his[Pg 166] own mind, has no change of his release from his grasp, either by the lessons of the sástras or by the advice of his friends, relatives and preceptors. (Greediness devours the greedy that desire to glut all things).

69. The man who has appeased the demon of his mind, is capable of being released from its clutches, by means of the dictates of sástras, and the admonitions of his friends, as it is possible to liberate a deer from a shallow quagmire.

70. All things that are seen to be stored in this vacant city, of the vacuous world, are all of them polluted by the lickerishness of the mind, licking at them from inside the house of its body.

71. Say who is not afraid in this dreary wilderness of the world, which is infested in every corner of it by the demoniac mind. (The rapacity of the ambitious, converts the fair creation to a scene of horror).

72. There are some wise men in this city of the world, who enjoy the abodes of their bodies in peace, having tranquilized the demon of their minds in them. (A peaceful mind makes a peaceful abode).

73. Ráma! All the countries that we hear of in any part of the world, are found to be full of senseless bodies, in which the giddy demon of delusion are Raving (and Ranging) as the sepulchral grounds. (The bodies of ignorant people, are as sepulchres of dead bodies. gloss).

74. Let people rely on their patience, and redeem their souls by their own exertions; which are otherwise seen to be wandering about in the forest of this world, like lost and stray boys: (that know not how to return to their homes).

75. Men are wandering in this world, as herds of stags are roving in burning deserts; but take care Ráma, never to live contented with a grazing on the sapless grass, like a young and helpless deer.

76. Foolish men are seen to graze as young stags, in their pastures amidst the wilderness of this world; but you Ráma must stir yourself to kill the great Elephant of Ignorance, and pursue the leonine course of subduing every thing in your way.

77. Do not allow yourself, O Ráma, to ramble about like[Pg 167] other men, who wander like senseless beasts in their native forests of the Jambudwípa.

78. Do not plunge yourself like the foolish buffets, in the bog of your relatives and friends; it appears to you as a cold bath for a while, but daubs you with its mud and mire afterwards. (The circle of relatives may appear as a limpid lake at first; but dive in it, and you will be daubed with its dirt afterwards).

79. Drive afar your desire of bodily enjoyments from you, and follow the steps of respectable men; and having well considered thy sole object of the soul (from the great sayings of the sástras), attend to thyself or soul only. (Consider the objective soul in thy subjective self).

80. It is not proper that you should plunge yourself, into a sea of intolerable cares and troubles, for the sake of your impure and frail body, which is but a trifle in comparison with the inestimable soul.

81. The body which is the production of one thing (i.e. the product of past deeds), and is possessed by another (i.e. the demon of egoism); which puts another one (i.e. the mind) to the pain of its supportance, and affords its enjoyment to a fourth one (i.e. the living soul), as a complicate machinery of many powers to the ignorant. (The human frame is a mechanism of the body and mind, its egoism and living principle).

82. As solidity is the only property of the stone, so the soul has the single property of its entity alone; and its existence being common in all objects, it is impossible for any thing else to subsist beside it. (The soul being the only ens, it is of its nature the all in all; the minds etc. being but its attributes).

83. As thickness is the property of stone, so are the mind and others but properties of the soul; and there being nothing which is distinct from the common entity of the soul, it is impossible for any thing to have a separate existence.

84. As density relates to the stone, and dimension bears its relation to the pot; so the mind and other are not distinct from one common existence of the soul: (which pervades and constitutes the whole).

[Pg 168]

85. Hear now of another view of spiritual light, for dispelling the darkness of delusion; as it was revealed to me of yore, in a cavern of mount Kailása. (The former seat of my devotion).

86. There is a mountain peak, bright as the collected mass of moon-beams, and penetrating the vault of heaven, where the god with the semi-circular moon on his fore-head, delivered this doctrine to me for appeasing the miseries of the world.

87. This mountain peak is famed by the name of Kailása, on which the god Hara—the consort of Gouri, wearing the crescent moon on his head, holds his residence.

88. It was to worship this great god, that I had once dwelt on that mountain long ago; and constructed my hermit-cell on the bank of the holy stream of Ganges. (Which ran down by its side).

89. I remained there in the practice of ascetic austereties, for the performance of my holy devotion; and was beset by bodies of adepts, dis-coursing on subjects of the sacred sástras.

90. I made baskets for filling them with flowers for my worship, and for keeping the collection of my books in them; and was employed in such other sacred tasks, in the forest groves of the Kailása mountain.

91. While thus I had been passing my time, in discharging the austereties of my devotion; it happened to turn out once on the eighth day of the dark side of the moon of the month of srávana.

92. And after its evening twilight was over, and the sun light had faded in the face of the four quarters of the sky, that all objects became invisible to sight, and stood rapt in their saint like silence.

93. It was then after half of the first watch of the night had fled away, there spread a thick darkness over the groves and wood lands, and required a sharp sword to sever it. (Asich' hedyá tami-srá-tenebra ensis encesibelia).

94. My intense meditation was broken at this instant, and my trance gave way to the sight of outward objects, which I[Pg 169] kept looking upon for sometime; when I observed a flaming fire suddenly rising in the forest to my view.

95. It was as bright as a big white cloud, and as brilliant as the shining orb of the moon; It illumed the groves on all sides, and struck with amazement at the vision.

96. As I viewed it by the sight of my understanding, or the mental vision which was glowing in my mind; I came to see the god Siva with the crescent of the moon on his fore-head, standing on the table land and manifest to view.

97. With his hand clasping the hand of Gaurí, he was led on ward by his brace attendant Nandí walking before him; when I after informing my pupils about it, proceeded forward with the due honorarium in my hand.

98. Led by the sight, I came to the presence of the god with a gladsome mind; and then I offered handfuls of flowers to the three eyed-god from a distance, in token of my reverence to him.

99. After giving the honor (Arghya), which was worthy of him, I bowed down before the god, and accosted him; when he cast his kind look upon me, from his moon-bright and clear sighted eyes.

100. Being blest by his benign look, which took away all my pain and sin from me; I did my homage to the god that was seated on the flowery level land, and viewed the three worlds lying open before him.

101. Then advancing forward, I offered unto him the honorarium, flowers and water that I had with me, and scattered before him heaps of mandára flowers, that grew there abouts.

102. I then worshipped the god with repeated obeisances and various eulogiums; and next adored the goddess Gaurí with the same kind of homage together with her attendant goddesses and demigods.

103. After my adoration was over, the god having the crescent moon on his head, spoke to me that was seated by him, with his speech as mild as the cooling beams of the full-moon.

104. Say O Bráhman, whether thy affections are at peace[Pg 170] within thyself, and have found their rest in supreme spirit, and whether your felicitous feelings are settled in the true object of divine essence.

105. Whether your devotion is spading unobstructed by the demons of your passions, and whether felicity attends on you.

106. Have you obtained the obtainable one, that is alone to be obtained, and are you set above the fears, that incessantly hunt after all mankind?

107. After the Lord of gods and the sole cause of all created beings, had spoken in this manner; I replied to him submissively in the following words.

108. O Lord! there is nothing unattainable, nor is there anything to be feared by any one, who remembers the three eyed god at all times in his mind; and whose hearts are filled with rapture by their constant remembrance of thee.

109. There is no one in the womb of this world, in any country or quarter, or in the mountains or forests, that does not bow down his head before thee.

110. Those whose minds are entirely devoted to their remembrance of thee, get the rewards of the meritorious acts of their past lives; and water the trees of their present lives, in order to produce their manifold fruit in future births and lives.

111. Lord! thy remembrance expands the seed of our desire, thou art the jar of the nectar of our knowledge, and thou art the reservoir of patience, as the moon is the receptacle of cooling beams.

112. Thy remembrance, Lord! is the gate way to the city of salvation, and it is thy remembrance which I deem as the invaluable gem of my thoughts.

113. O Lord of creation! thy remembrance sets its foot on the head of all our calamities (i.e. tramples over them). (Because Siva is called Sankara for his doing good to all, by removal of their misfortunes).

114. I said thus far, and then bowing down lowly before the complacent deity, I addressed him, O Ráma, in the manner as you shall hear from me.

[Pg 171]

115. Lord! it is by thy favour that I have the fulness of my heart's content on every side; yet as there is one doubt lurking in my mind, I will request thee to explain it fully to me.

116. Say with your clear understanding, and without hesitation and weariness, regarding the manner of the adoration of gods, which removes all our sins and confers all good unto us. (The query was quite appropriate as the Tantras of Siva treat principally of such formularies).

117. The god replied:—Hear me, O Brahman, that art best acquainted with the knowledge of Brahma; tell you about the best mode of worshipping the gods, and the performance of which is sure to set the worshipper free. (From the bonds of the world all at once).

118. Tell me first, O great armed Brahman, if you know at all who is that god, whom you make the object of your worship, if it be not the lotus-eyed Vishnu or the three-eyed Siva neither.

119. It is not the god born of the lotus Brahmá, nor he who is the lord of the thirteen classes of god—the great Indra himself; it is not the god of winds—Pavana, nor the god of fire, nor the regents of the sun and moon.

120. The Brahman (called an earthly god bhudeva) is no god at all, nor the king called the shadow of god, is any god likewise, neither I or thou—the ego and tu (or the subjective self and objective unself) are gods; nor the body or any embodied being, or the mind or any conception or creation of the mind is the true god also.

121. Neither Laxmí the goddess of fortune, nor Sarasvatí the goddess of intelligence are true goddesses, nor is there any one that may be called a god, except the one unfictitious god, who is without beginning and end, that is the true god. (The Viswasaratantra of Siva treats of the one infinite and eternal God).

122. How can a body measured by a form and its dimensions, or having a definite measure be the immeasurable deity! it is the inartificial and unlimited Intellect, that is known as the Siva or the felicitous one.

123. It is that which is meant by the word God—Deva—Deus,[Pg 172] and that is the object of adoration; that is the only ens or on, est or Esteor Esten, out of which all other beings have proceeded, and in which they have their existence, and wherein they subsist with their formal parts.

124. Those unacquainted with the true nature of the felicitous Siva, worship the formal idols and images; as a weary traveller thinks the distance of a mile, to be as long as the length of a league.

125. It is possible to have the reward of one's adoration of the Rudras and other gods; but the reward of the meditation of the true God, is the unbounded felicity of the soul.

126. He who forsakes the reward of true felicity, for that of fictitious pleasures; is like one who quits a garden of mandara flower, and repairs to a furze of thorny karanja plants.

127. The true worshippers know the purely intellectual and felicitous Siva, to be the only adorable god; to whom the understanding and tranquillity and equanimity of the soul are, the most acceptable offerings than wreaths of flowers.

128. Know that to be the true worship of God, when the Deity of the spirit (or spiritual Divinity), is worshipped with the flowers of the understanding and tranquillity of the spirit. (Worship God in spirit and with the contriteness of thy spirit).

129. The soul is of the form of consciousness (and is to be worshipped as such), by forsaking the adoration of idols; Those that are devoted to any form of fictitious cult, are subject to endless misery.

130. Those knowing the knowable one are called as saints; but those who slighting the meditation of the soul, betake themselves to the adoration of idols, are said to liken little boys playing with their dolls.

131. The Lord Siva is the spiritual god, and the supreme cause of all; He is to be worshipped always and without fail, with the understanding only. (So the sruti: The vipras adore him in their knowledge, but others worship him with sacrifices &c.)

132. You should know the soul as the intellectual and living spirit, undecaying as the very nature herself; there is no other[Pg 173] that is to be worshipped, the true puja is the worship of the spirit. (God is to be worshipped in spirit only).

133. Vasishtha said:—The soul being of the nature of intellectual void, as this world is an empty void also; please tell me, my lord, how the Intellect could become the living soul etc., as you have declared.

134. The god replied:—There being an only vacuous Intellect in existence, which is beyond all limit; it is impossible for an intelligible object to exist anywhere which may continue to all eternity. (The subjective only is self-existent, and the objective is a nullity; it being impossible for two self-existent things to co-exist together).

135. That which shines of itself, is the self-shining Being; and it is the self or spontaneous agitation of that Being, which has stretched out the universe.

136. Thus the world appears as a city in dream before the intellectual soul, and this soul is only a form of the inane intellect, and this world is but a baseless fabric.

137. It is altogether impossible for aught of the thinkables and visibles, to exist anywhere except in the empty sphere of the intellect, and whatever shone forth in the beginning in the plenitude of the Divine intellect, the same is called its creation or the world from the first.

138. Therefore this world which shows itself in the form of a fairy land in dream, is only an appearance in the empty sphere of the intellect; and cannot be any other in reality.

139. The Intellect is the human speech, and the firmament that supports the world; the intellect becomes the soul and the living principle, and it is this which forms the chain of created beings. (The seeming appearances being null and void; the Intellect is all and everything).

140. Tell me, what other thing is there that could know all things in the beginning and before creation of the universe, except it were the Intellect which saw and exhibited everything, in heaven and earth as contained in itself.

141. The words sky, firmament, and the vacuum of Brahma and the world, are all applicable to the Intellect, as the words[Pg 174] arbour and tree are but synonymous expressions for the same thing.

142. And as both our dreams and desires arise in us by our delusion, so it is our illusion only which makes us perceive the existence of the outer world; in the empty space of the intellect.

143. And as it is our empty consciousness, that shows the sight of the external world in our dream; so it is that very thing that shows us the same, in the waking dream of ourselves.

144. As it is not possible for the city in a dream, to be represented any where except in the hollow space of our intellect; so it is impossible for the waking dream of the world, to be shown elsewhere except in the emptiness of the same.

145. As it is not possible for any thing that is thinkable to exist any where except in the thinking mind, so it is impossible for this thinkable world to exist any other place beside the divine mind.

146. The triple world rose of itself at the will and in the empty space of the supreme Intellect, as it was a dream rising and setting in the self same mind, and not as any thing other than it, or a duality beside itself.

147. As one sees the diverse appearances of ghatas and patas, pots and painting in his dream, and all lying within the hollowness of his mind; so the world appears of itself, in the vacuity of the Divine Intellect, at the beginning of creation.

147a. As there is no substantiality of anything in the fairy land of one's dream, except his pure consciousness of the objects; so there is no substantiality of the things which are seen in this triple world, except our consciousness of them.

148. What ever is visible to sight, and all that is existent and inexistent, in the three times of the present, past and future; and all space, time and mind, are no other than appearances of vacuous intellect (of Brahma).

149. He is verily the god of whom I have told you, who is supreme in the highest degree (lit. in its transcendental sense). Who is all and unbounded and includes me, thee and the endless world in Himself.

[Pg 175]

150. The bodies of all created beings, of thine, mine, and others, and of all in this world, are all full with the intellectuality of the supreme soul and no other.

151. As there is nothing, O sage, except the bodies that are produced from the vacuous intellect or intellectual vacuity of Brahma, and resembling the images produced in the fairy land of one's dream; so there is no form or figure in this world, other than what was made in the beginning of creation.

[Pg 176]


Inquiry into the Nature of the Intellect.

Argument.—Description of the Pervasion and Supervision of the Intellect; and its transformation into the mind in living beings. Or Intellect as universal soul and mind of living beings.

THE god said:—Thus the Intellect is all this plenum, it is the sole supreme soul (of all); it is Brahma the Immense and the transcendent vacuum, and it said to be the supreme god.

2. Therefore its worship is of the greatest good, and confers all blessings to men; it is source of creation, and all this world is situated on it. (The Divine Mind or omniscience).

3. It is unmade and increate, and without its beginning and end; it is boundless and without a second, it is to be served without external service (i.e. by spiritual adoration), and all felicity is obtained thereby. (Hence Solomon's choice of Wisdom).

4. You are enlightened, O chief of sages! and there I tell you this; that the worship of gods is not worthy to the wise, and offering of flowers and frankincense is of no use to them.

5. Those who are unlearned, and have their minds as simple as those of boys; are the persons that are mostly addicted to false worship, and devoted to the adoration of gods.

6. These being devoid of the quietness of their understandings, are led to ceremonious observances, and to the false attribution of a soul, to the images of their own making.

7. It is for boys only to remain contented with their act of offering flowers and incense to gods, whom they honour in the modes of worship, which they have adopted of their own hobby-choice.

8. It is in vain that men worship the gods for gaining the objects of their desire, for nothing that is false of itself; can ever give the required fruit.

9. Adoration with flowers and incense, is inculcated to childish understandings (and not for the wise). I will tell you[Pg 177] now, the worship that is worthy of men enlightened like yourself.

10. Know, O most intelligent sage, that the god whom we adore is the true god, who is the receptacle of the three worlds, the supreme spirit and no other.

11. He is Siva—the felicity, who is above the ranks of all other gods, and beyond all fictions and fictitious images of men; He is accompanied with all desires (will or volition), and is neither the enjoyer of all or any part of the production of his will. He is full with the imaginations of all things, but is neither the all or any one of the objects in his mind.

12. He encompasses all space and time, and is neither divided nor circumscribed by either of them. He is the manifester of all events and things, and is nothing except the image of pure Intellect Himself.

13. He is consciousness without parts, and situated in the heart of every thing. He is the producer of every thing, and their absorber also in himself.

14. Know Brahma to be situated between existence and inexistence and it is He who styled the God, the supreme soul, the transcendental, the Tat sat—Id Est, and the syllable Om—on or ens.

15. By his nature of immensity, he spreads alike in all space, and being the great Intellect himself, he is said to be transcendent and supreme being.

16. He remains as all in all places, as the sap circulates through the bodies of plants; thus the great soul of the supreme being, extends alike as the common entity of all things.

17. It is He who abides in the heart of your spouse Arundhatí as in yours, the same also dwells in the heart of Párvatí as in those of her attendants.

18. That intellection which is one and in every one in all the three worlds is verily the god, by the best knowing among philosophers: (that god is the universal mind).

19. Tell me O Brahman! how they may be called as gods, who having their hands and feet, are yet devoid of their[Pg 178] consciousness; which is the pith of the body. (This is said of idols and images).

20. The Intellect is the pith and marrow of the world, and contains the sap which it supplies to every thing in it. It is the one and all—ego-sarvam and therefore all things are obtained from it. (The god Siva is also called the all to pan-sarva and Ego, that is I am the universal ego and giver of all gifts to all).

21. He is not situated at a distance, O Bráhman! nor is He unobtainable by any body; He resides always in all bodies, and abides alike in all places, as also in all empty space and sky. (This omnipresence of the divine spirit, sets aside the belief of a swarga-heaven or bihesht as the special seat of God).

22. He does, he eats, he supports all, and moves every where; He breathes and feels and knows every member of the body. (This is according to the sruti; He fills and directs every part of the body to the end of the nails-ánakhágrat. [Sanskrit: puryyámáste | sa eva pravishta ánakhágrebhyah]).

23. Know him, O chief of sages! to be seated in the city of the body; and directing the various functions that are manifest by it, under his direct appointment.

24. He is the lord of the cavity of the heart, and the several hidden sheaths—Koshas, which are contained within the cavity of the body; which is made by his moving abodes and moves as he pleases to move it.

25. The immaculate soul is beyond the essence and actions of the mind, and the six organs of sense; it is for our use and understanding only, the word chit-intellect is applied to him.

26. That intellectual spirit is too minute and subtile, immaculate and all-pervading; and it is his option and volition, to manifest this visible representation of himself or not.

27. This intellect is too fine and pure, and yet manages the whole machinery for beautifying the world, as the subtle and intelligent season of spring, beautifies the vegetable world with freshness and moisture.

28. The beautiful and wonderous properties that reside in the divine Intellect, are astonishing to behold in their display into the various form as the sky.

[Pg 179]

29. Some of these take the name of the living soul, and some others assume the title of the mind; some take the general name of space, and others are known as its parts and divisions. (These are but parts of one stupendous whole &c. Popes Moral Essays).

30. Some of these pass under the name of substance, and others of their action; and some under the different categories of mode and condition, genus, species and adjuncts.

31. Some of them shine as light, and others stand as mountains and hills; some brighten as the sun and moon and the gods above, and others are as the dark yakshas below.

32. All these continue in their own states, without any option on their parts; and they evolve of their own nature, and causation of the divine spirit, as the sprouts of trees grow of their own accord, under the influence of the vernal spring (season).

33. It is the intellect alone which extends over all the works of nature, and fills all bodies which overspread the vast ocean of the world, as the aquatic plants swim over the surface of waters.

34. The deluded mind wanders like a roving bee, and collects the sweets of its desire from the lotus of the body, and the intellect sitting as its Mistress, relishes their essence from within. (Spiritual substances can taste the essence of sweets. Milton).

35. The world with all the gods and gandharvas, and the seas and hills that are situated in it; rolls about in the circuit of the Intellect, as the waters whirl in a whirlpool.

36. Human minds resembling the spokes of a wheel, are bound to the axles of their worldly affairs; and turn about in the rotatory wheel of the ever revolving world, within the circumference of the Intellect.

37. It was the Intellect which in the form of the four-armed Vishnu, destroys the whole host of the demoniac asuras; as the rainy season dispels the solar heat, with its thundering clouds and rainbows.

38. It is the Intellect, which in the form of the three-eyed[Pg 180] Siva, accompanied by his ensigns of the bull and the crescent of the moon, continues to dote like a fond bee, on the lotus-like lovely face of Gaurí (his consort).

39. It was the intellect which was born as a bee in the lotus-like navel of Vishnu in the form of Brahmá, and was settled in his meditation upon the lotus of the triple vedas; (revealed to the sage afterwards).

40. In this manner the Intellect appears in various forms, like the unnumbered leaves of trees, and the different kind of ornaments made of the same metal of gold.

41. The Intellect assumes of its own pleasure, the paramount dignity of Indra; who is the crown jewel over the three worlds, and whose feet are honoured by the whole body of gods.

42. The Intellect expands, rises and falls, and circulates everywhere in the womb of the triple world; as the waters of the deep overflow and recede and move about in itself.

43. The full moon beams of intellect, scatter their widespread brightness on all sides; and display to the full view the lotus lake of all created beings in the world.

44. The translucent brightness of the mirror of the Intellect, shows the reflexions of the world in it, and receives benignantly the images of all things in its bosom; as if it were pregnant with them.

45. The Intellect gives existence to the circles of the fourteen great regions (of creation) above and below; and it plants them in the watery expanse of the sea on earth, and in the etherial expanse of the waters in heaven. (The fourteen regions are the seven continents—sapta dwípas, beset by the seven watery oceans, sapta-samudras on earth; and the seven planets revolving in the etherial ocean of the skies. Manu says the god Brahmá planted his seed in the waters; and the Bible says—God divided the waters above from the waters below by the midway sky).

46. Intellect spreads itself like a creeper in the vacuous field of air, and became fruitful with multitudes of created beings; it blossomed in the variety of the different peoples; and shooted forth in the leaves of its dense desires.

47. These throngs of living beings are its farina flying[Pg 181] about, and their desires are as the juice which gives them their different colours; their understandings are their covering cuticles and the efforts of their minds are buds that unfold with flowers and fruits of their desire.

48. The lightsome pistils of these florets are countless in the three worlds, and their incessant undulation in the air, expressed their gaysome dance with the sweet smiling of the opening buds.

49. It is the Intellect which stretches out all these real and unreal bodies, which expand like the gentle and good looking flowers for a time, but never endure for ever. (The body like a fading flower is soon blown away.)

50. It produces men like moon bright flowers in all places, and these flush and blush, and sing and dance about, deeming themselves as real bodies.

51. It is by the power of this great Intellect, that the sun and other luminous bodies shining over the sky as the two bodies in a couple, are attracted to one another to taste the fruit of their enjoyment as that of gross bodies.

52. All other visible bodies that are seen to move about in this phenomenal world, are as flakes of dust dancing about on eddy. (i.e. All things move about and tend towards their central point the Intellect).

53. The Intellect is like a luminary of the universe, and manifests unto us all the phenomena of the three worlds, as the flame of a lamp shows us the various colours of things: (which are reflected by light on dark and opaque matter).

54. All worldly things exhibit their beauty to our sight, by their being immerged in the light of the Intellect, as the dark spot on the disk of the moon, becomes fully apparent to view by its immersion in the lunar beams. (The black spot on the moon's surface, becomes white by the brightness of the moon-beams, so the dark world becomes illumined by the presence of the Intellect in it).

55. It is by receiving the gilding of the Intellect, that all material bodies are tinctured in their various hues; as the[Pg 182] different trees receive their freshness, foliage and fruitage from the influence of the rainy weather.

56. It is the shadow (or absence of intellect), which causes the dullness of an object; and all bodies are inanimate without it, as a house becomes dark in absence of light or a lamp. (Intellect gives life to dull matter).

57. The wondrous powers of the intellect (which gives a shape and form to every thing), are wanting in any thing; it becomes a shapeless thing, and cannot possibly have any form or figure in the world, over its dull materiality. (Even inanimate nature of all forms and kinds, receives its figure from the power of intellect).

58. The intellect is as the skylight, wherein its active power or energy resembling its consort, resides with her offspring of desire in the abode of the body, and is ever restless and busy in her actions. (This active power is personified as the goddess sakti or Energy, and her offspring-desire is the personification of Brahmá).

59. Without the presence of the Intellect, it is no way possible for any one to perceive the taste of any flavour though it is set on the tip of his tongue, or see it with his eyes? (Intellect is the cause of all perception).

60. Hear me and say, how can this arboretum of the body subsist, with its branching arms and hairy filaments, without being supplied with the sap of the intellect.

61. Know hence the intellect to be the cause of all moving and immovable things in nature, by its growing and feeding and supporting them all; and know also that the intellect is the only thing in existence, and all else is inexistent without it.

62. Vasishtha said:—Ráma! after the moon-bright and three-eyed god had spoken to me in his perspicuous speech, I interrogated again the moon-bright god in a clear and audible voice and said.

63. O lord! If the intellect alone is all pervading and the soul of all, then I have not yet been able to know this visible earth in its true light.

64. Say why is it that people call a living person, to be endowed[Pg 183] with intellect so long as he is alive, and why they say him to be devoid of intellect, when he is layed down as a dead and lifeless mass.

65. The god replied—Hear me tell you all: O Brahman, about what you have asked me; it is a question of great importance, and requires, O greatest of theists! a long explication.

66. The intellect resides in every body, as also in all things as their inherent soul; the one is viewed (by shallow understandings) as the individual and active spirit, and the other is known (to comprehensive mind) as unchanging and universal soul.

67. The mind that is misled by its desires, views the inward spirit as another or the living soul, as the cupidinous person takes his (or her) consort for another, in the state of sleep or dreaming. (The unsettled mind takes every individual soul for the universal one).

68. And as the same man seems to be changed to another, during his fit of anger; so the sober intellect is transformed to a changeable spirit, by one's mistake of its true nature. (The nirvi kalpa or immutable spirit, is changed to a savi kalpa or mutable one).

69. The intellect being attributed with many variable qualities and desires, is made to lose its state of purity; and by thinking constantly of its gross nature, it is at last converted to the very gross object of thought.

70. Then the subjective intellect chit, becomes itself the chetya or object of thought, and having assumed the subtile form of a minute etherial atom, becomes the element of sound; and is afterwards transformed to the rudimental particle of air vata tan mátra.

71. This aerial particle then bearing relation to the parts of time and place, becomes the vital principle (as existing some where for a certain period of time); which next turns to the understanding and finally to the mind.

72. The intellect being thus transformed into the mind, dwells on its thoughts of the world, and is then amalgamated with it, in the same manner as a Brahman is changed to chandala, by constantly thinking himself as such. (Thus this creation is a display of the divine mind and identic with it).

[Pg 184]

73. Thus the divine Intellect forgets its universality by its thoughts of particulars; and assumes the gross forms of the objects of its thoughts and desires. (Hence we say a man to be of such and such a mind, according to the thought or desire that he entertains in it, i.e. the whole being taken for a part and the part for the whole).

74. The Intellect being thus replete with its endless thoughts and desires, grows as dull as the gross objects it dwells upon; till at last the subtile intellect grows as stony dull, as the pure water is converted to massive stones and hails.

75. So the stolid intellect takes the names of the mind and sense, and becomes subject to ignorance and illusion; by contracting a gross stolidity restrained from its flight upwards, and have to grovel forever in the regions of sense.

76. Being subjected to ignorance at first, it is fast bound to the fetters of its cupidity afterwards, and then being pinched by its hankerings and angry frettings, it is tormented alike by the pleasure of affluence and the pains of penury.

77. By forsaking the endless felicity (of spirituality), it is subjected to the incessant vicissitudes of mortality, it now sets dejected in despair, and lamenting over its griefs and sorrow, and then burns amidst the conflagration of its woes and misery.

78. See how it is harassed with the vain thought of its personality—that I am such a one; and look at the miseries to which it is exposed, by its reliance on the frail and false body.

79. See how it is worried by its being hushed to and fro, in the alternate swinging beds of prosperity and adversity; and see how it is plunged in the deep and muddy puddle of misery, like a worn out elephant sinking in the mire.

80. Look at this deep and unfordable ocean of the world, all hollow within and rolling with the eventful waves of casualties; it emits the submarine fire from within its bosom, as the human heart flashes forth with its hidden fire of passions and affections.

81. Human heart staggers between hope and fear, like a stray deer in the forest; and is alternately cheered and depressed at the prospects of affluence and want.

[Pg 185]

82. The mind that is led by its desire, is always apprehensive of disappointment; and it coils back for fear of a reverse, as a timorous girl flies afar from the sight of a spectre.

83. Man encounters all pains for a certain pleasure in prospect, as the camel browses the thorny furze in expectation of honey at a honey comb in it; but happening to slip from his intermediate standpoint, he is hurled headlong to the bottom.

84. One meeting with a reverse falls from one danger to another; and so he meets with fresh calamities, as if one evil invited or was the harbinger of the other.

85. The mind that is captivated by its desires, and led onward by its exertions, meets with one difficulty after another, and has cause to repent and grieve at every step (or is the cause of remorse and grief). (All toil and moil, tend to the vexation of the spirit).

86. As a man advances in life, so he improves in his learning; but alas! all his worldly knowledge serves at best, but to bind down the soul fast to the earth.

87. Cowards are in constant fear of everything, until they die away in their fear; as the little shrimp being afraid of the waterfall, falls on dry land, and there perishes with flouncing.

88. The helplessness of childhood, the anxieties of manhood, the miserableness of old age; are preliminaries to the sad demise of men engaged in busy life. (The last catastrophe of human life).

89. The propensities of past life cause some to be born as celestial nymphs in heaven, and others as venomous serpents in subterranean cells; while some become as fierce demons, and many are reborn as men and women on earth.

90. The past actions of men make to be born again as Rákshas among savages, and others as monkeys in forests; while some become as Kinnaras on mountains, and many as lions on mountain tops. (All these are depraved races of men viz; the anthropophagi cannibals, the pigmy apes—banars, the ugly mountaneers Kinnaras and the leonine men narasinhas).

[Pg 186]

91. The Vidyádharas of the Devagiri mountains, and the Nagas of the forest caves (are degenerations of men); and so are the fowls of air, the quadrupeds of wood lands, the trees and plants of forests, and the bushes on hills and orchides on trees; (are all but transformation of the perverted intellect).

92. It is self same intellect which causes Náráyana to float on the surface of the sea, and makes the lotus born Brahmá to remain in his meditation; It keeps Hara in the company of his consort Uma, and places Hari over the gods in heaven.

93. It is this which makes the sun to make the day and the clouds to give the rain (or pour in rains); It makes the sea to breathe out in waves, and the volcanic mountains to blow out in fire and flame.

94. It makes the curricle of time to revolve continually in the circle of the seasons; and causes the day and night to rotate in their cycles of light and darkness.

95. Here it causes the seeds to vegetate with the juice contained in them; and there it makes the stones and minerals lie down in mute silence.

96. Some times it blooms in fruits ripened by the solar heat, and at others maturated by the burning fuel; some where it gives us the cold and icy water; and at others the spring water which cannot be lasted.

97. Here it glows in luminous bodies, and there it shows itself of impenetrable thickets and in accessible rocks; It shines as bright and white in one place, and is as dark and blue in another; It sparkles in the fire and dwindles in the earth, it blows in the air and spreads in the water.

98. Being the all-pervading, omnipresent and omnipotent power itself, it is the one in all and the whole plenum. It is therefore more subtile and transparent, than the rarefied and translucent air.

99. As the intellect spreads out and contracts itself, in any manner in any place or time; so it conceives and produces the same within and without itself, as the agitation of waters[Pg 187] produces both the little billows and huge surges of the sea. (The intellect is the immanent cause of all phenomena).

100. The intellect stretches itself in the various forms of ducks and geese, of cranes and crows, of storks, wolves and horses also; it becomes the heron and partridge, the parrot, the dog, the stag, the ape and Kinnara likewise.

101. It is the abstract quality of the understanding, beauty and modesty, and of love and affections also; it is the power of illusion and the shadow and brightness of night and of moonlight likewise.

102. It stretches itself in these and all other forms of bodies, and is born and reborn in all kinds and species of things. It roves and rolls all about the revolving world, in the manner of a straw whirling in a whirlpool.

103. It is afraid of its own desires, as the she-ass is seen to shudder at its own brayings; and it has no one like itself. ([Sanskrit: mugva bálá-calá-valá]).

104. I have told you already, O great sage! how this principle of the living spirit, becomes vitiated by its animal propensities, and is afterwards debased to the nature and condition of brute creatures.

105. The supreme soul receiving the appellation of the living soul or principle of action, becomes a pitiable object, when it becomes subject to error and illusion, and is subjected to endless pains and miseries.

106. The deluded soul is then overpowered by its connate sin, which causes it to choose the wrong unreality—asat for itself, which being frail and perishable, makes the active soul to perish with itself. (This passage appears to allude to the original sin of man, which became the cause of the death and woes of human life. The connate sin is compared to the husk which is born with the rice, and not coming from without. It is otherwise called the inborn sinfulness or frailty of human nature—Man is to err &c.).

107. The soul being thus degraded from its state of endless felicity, to the miserable condition of mortal life, laments over its fallen state, as a widow wails over her fate.

[Pg 188]

108. Look on the deplorable condition of intellect—chit; which having forgotten its original state (of purity), is subjected to the impotent Ignorance, which has been casting it to the miseries of degradation, as they cast a bucket in the well by a string, which lowers it lower and lower till it sinks in the bottom of the pit. (This string araghatta is said to be the action of human life, which the more it is lengthened, the more it tends to our degradation, unless we prevent by our good action. So the sruti! [Sanskrit: yathákárí yatháchárí tathá bhalati | sághukárí sádhurbhabati | prápakárí papíbhavati | punyo bai punyema karmmana bhavati | pápah pápereti]).

[Pg 189]


Identity of the Mind and Living Soul.

Argument—The pure Intellect shown to be without vitality; and the mind to consist in the vital power in connection with the sensations and external Perceptions.

THE god continued:—When the intellect collects (takes) the vanities of the world to itself (and relies on them) and thinks to be a miserable being; it is said to have fallen into error, (by forgetting the reality and its true nature); it then resembles a man that is deluded to think himself for another, in his dream or ebriety. (The living soul is forgetful of its spiritual nature).

2. Though immortal yet it is deceived to believe itself as mortal, by its infatuated understanding; as a sick man weeps to think himself dead when he is still alive.

3. As the ignorant man views the revolving spheres to be at a stand still, so the deluded intellect sees the world and thinks its personality as sober realities.

4. The mind alone is said to be the cause of the perception of the exterior world in the intellect; but the mind can be no such cause of it, from the impossibility of its separate existence independent of the intellect. (The intellect is the cause of guiding and informing the mind, and not this of that).

5. Thus there being no causality of the mind, there cannot be its causations of the thinkable world also. Therefore the intellect only is the cause of thought, and neither the mind nor the thinkable world (which produces or impresses the thought). The gloss says that, "the intellect whereby the mind thinks, is not the mind nor its dependant or the objective thinkable world; but it is the pure subjective self-same intellect only."

6. There is no spectacle, spectator (or sight of) of anything anywhere, unless it be a delusion, as that which appears oiliness in a stone; and there is no matter, making or work of any kind; unless it be a mistake like that of blackness in the moon. (The[Pg 190] oily glossiness of the marble and the shade in the moon, are no other but the inherent properties of those things).

7. The terms measure, measurer, and measurable are as negative in nature, as the privation of forest plants in the sky; and the words intellect, intellection and intelligible are as meaningless in themselves, as the absence of thorns and thistles in the garden of Paradise. (gloss. The intellect chit is the subjective intellection, chetana is chitta vritti—the property of chit, is the attribute, and the intelligible chetya is the object of thought. The meaning is that, there is no separate subject, object or attribute in nature, but they all blend in the essentiality of God, who is all in all. The words subjective, objective and attributive, are therefore mere human inventions, and so are the words thinker, thinking and the thought ([Sanskrit: mantri, mati, mantavya],) and knower, knowing and knowledge ([Sanskrit: víha, vuhvi, víhavya]), and the ego, egoism and egotist ([Sanskrit: ahamkára, ahamkarttá, ahamkáryya]) all which refer to the same individual soul).

8. The personalities of egoism, tuism and illism; [Sanskrit: ahantvam tvantvam, tatvam], are as false as mountains in the firmament; and the difference of persons (as this is my body and that another's), is as untrue as to find whiteness in ink.

9. The Divine spirit is neither the same nor different in all bodies; because it is as impossible for the universal soul to be confined in any body, as it is impracticable for the mount Meru to be contained in an atom of dust. And it is as impossible to express it in words and their senses as it is incapable for the sandy soil to grow the tender herbs.

10. The dictum netineti.—It is neither this nor any other, is as untrue as the belief of the darkness of night subsisting in company with the day light: and substantiality and unsubstantiality are both as wanting in the supreme spirit, as heat is wanting in ice.

11. It is as wrong to call it either as empty or solid, as it is to say a tree growing in the womb of a stone to call it either the one or the other; is to have it for the infinite vacuum or the full plenum.

12. It is the sole unity that remains in its state of pure[Pg 191] transparency forever; and being unborn from the thought or mind of any body, it is not subject to the misrepresentation of any body. (The gloss says: Not being born from the mind of Brahmá as this creation, the Intellect is free from the imperfections of both).

13. It is however imputed with many faults and failings, in the thoughts and opinions of men; but all these imputations and false attributes, vanish before one knowing its true nature.

14. The learned devoid of indifference, are employed in many other thoughts and things; though not a straw of all this vast world, is under the command of any body.

15. It is in the power of every body to get rid of his thoughts, but very difficult to get the object of his thought; How then is it possible for one to have, what it is impracticable for him to try for? (i.e. The full object of desire).

16. The one sole and immutable Intellect which pervades all nature, is the supreme one and without an equal, and is more pellucid than the translucent light of a lamp and all other lights.

17. It is this intellectual light which enlightens every thing, it is ubiquious and ever translucent; it is ever shining without a shade, and immutable in its nature and mind.

18. It is situated every where and in all things, as in pots and pictures, in trees and huts, and houses in quadrupeds, demons and devils, in men and beasts, in the sea, earth and air.

19. It remains as the all witnessing spirit, without any oscillation or motion of its own to any place; and enlightens all objects, without flickering or doing any action by itself.

20. It remains unsullied with by its connection with the impure body, and continues unchangeable in its relation with the changeful mind. It does not become dull by being joined with the dull body, and is never changed to anything by its extension over all things.

21. The extremely minute and immutable intellect, retains its consciousness in itself; and by rolling itself like a rundle of thread, enters the body in the form of a particle of air (or the vital breath or air pránáyáma).

[Pg 192]

22. It is then accompanied with the powers of vision and reflexion, which are wakeful in the waking state and lie dormant in sleep; whence it is said to be existent and inexistent by turns.

23. The clear and pure intellect, comes then to think of many things in its waking state, and is thus perverted from its purity; as an honest man turns to dishonesty in the company of the dishonest. (The perversion of the intellect is owing to its attachment to the flesh, and its entertaining to worldly thoughts).

24. As the pure gold is converted to copper by its alloy, and is again restored to its purity by removal of the base metal; such is the case of the intellect owing to its contracting and distracting of vicious thoughts.

25. As a good looking glass being cleansed of its dirt, shows the countenance in a clear light; so the intellect being born in the human body, attains its divine nature by means of its good understanding.

26. Its want of the knowledge of itself as the all, presents the sight of the false world to it as a true reality; but upon coming to know its true nature, it attains the divine state.

27. When the mind thinks of itself of its difference (from the intellect), and the existence of the unrealities (in nature), it gets the sense of its egoism, and then it perishes though it originally imperishable in its nature. (The sruti [Sanskrit: tasya bhayam, bhavati], "it then fears to die" because the personal soul is subject to death, and not the impersonal or universal soul which never dies. So the phrase: "Forget yourself and you'll never fear to die").

28. As a slight wind scatters the fruits of trees growing on the sides of mountain, so the consciousness of self, drops down at the gust of a slight disease, like a large tree.

29. The existence of the qualities of form and colour and others, is owing to that of intellect; as the position of subalterns—adhyasta is dependent on the station of the superior—adhishthata. And the pure intellect—infinite and indefinite in itself, is designated as a unity, duality and plurality by want of right understanding.

[Pg 193]

30. It is from the essence of the intellect only, that the mind and senses derive their faculties of thinking and perception; as it is presence of day light, which gives rise to the routine of daily business.

31. It is the action of the vital air, which gives pulsation to the pupils of the eye, and whose light is called the sight, which is the instrument of perceiving the forms and colours of things that are placed without it, but the perception belongs to the power and action of the intellect.

32. The air and skin are both of them contemptible and insensible things, yet their union gives the perception of touch or feeling; the mind becomes conscious of that feeling, but its consciousness is dependent on and caused by the intellect.

33. The particles of scent being carried by the particles of air to the nostrils, give the sense of smelling to the mind; but it is intellect which has the consciousness of smelling.

34. The particles of sound are conveyed by the particles of air to the organ of hearing for the perception of the mind, and the intellect is conscious of this as in its sleep. (And as a silent witness of the same).

35. The mind is the volitive principle of action from some desire or to some end and aim of its own, and the thoughts of the mind are all mixed with foulness, while the nature of the intellectual soul is quite pure and simple. (The difference between the sensuous mind and the conscious intellect, is that the one is the volitive and active agents of its actions, the other is the passive and neutral witness of all and every thing that is and comes to take place, without its interference in any).

36. The intellect is manifest by itself, and is situated of itself in itself; it contains the world within itself, as the crystalline stone retains the images of all things in its bosom. (The subjective soul bears in it the objective world, which is not different but self-same with itself. Hence the nullity of the objective duality, which is identic with the subjective unity).

37. It is the single and sole intellect which contains the whole, without dividing or transforming itself to parts or forms other than itself. It neither rises or sets, nor moves nor grows[Pg 194] at any place or time (but occupies all space and time, in its infinity and eternity).

38. It becomes the living soul by fostering its desires, and remains as the pure intellect by forsaking them for ever; and then seated in itself, it reflects on its two gross and pure states. (The two gross states are the gross world, and the gross mind that dwells only on gross bodies of the world).

39. The intellect has the living soul for its vehicle, and egoism is the vehicle of the living principle; the understanding is the car of egotism and the mind the seat of the understanding.

40. The mind again has the vital breath for its curricle, and the senses are vehicles of the vital airs; the body is the carriage of the senses, and the organs of action are the wheels of the body.

41. The motion of these curricles forms the course of this world (which is hence called karma Kshetra or world of activity); and the continued rotation of the body (called the cage of bird of life); until its old age and demise, which is the dispensation of the Almighty power. (That man must toil and moil till he is worn out and goes to his grave).

42. The world is shown unto us as a phantasmagoria of the supreme soul, or as a scene in our dream; it is a pseudoscope and wholly untrue as the water in a mirage.

43. Know, O sage, that the vital breath is called the vehicle of the mind by fiction only; because wherever there is the breath of vitality, there is also the process of thinking carried on along with it.

44. Wherever the breath of life circulates like a thread, and acts as spring, there the body is made to shake with it; as the forms and colours of bodies, present themselves to view at the appearance of light.

45. The mind being employed with its desires, perturbs the vital breath and body as a tempest shakes the forest; but being confined in the cavity of the heart, it stops their motion as when the winds are confined in the upper skies. (The mind being fixed to some particular object of meditation, stops the course of life and gives longevity to man).

[Pg 195]

46. Again the confinement of the vital breath in the vacuity of the heart, stops the course of the mind (thoughts); as the hiding of a light, removes the sight of the objects from view. (No thought without breathing, and no sight without light).

47. As the dusts cease to fly after the winds are over; so the mind (thought) ceases to move, when the breath is pent up in the heart. (These are subjects of Pránáyáma or restraint of breath, treated at large in chapter XXV of this book).

48. As the carriage is driven wherever the driver wishes to drive it; so the mind being driven by the vital breath, runs from country to country in a moment.

49. As the stone flung from a fling is lost forever, so the thoughts of the mind are dispersed in the air, unless they are fixed upon some object. The thoughts are accompaniments of the mind and vitality, as fragrance is attendant on flowers and heat upon fire.

50. Wherever there is vital breath breathing (in any animal being), there is the principle of the mind with its train of thoughts likewise; as whenever the moon appears to view, it is accompanied with its beams also. Our consciousness is the result of the vibrations of the vital air, like our perception of the perceptibles; and this air is the sustainer of the body also, by supplying the juice of the food to all the nerves and arteries.

51. The mind and consciousness both belong to the body, the one residing in the hollow of the vital air, and the other is as clear as the intellect, and resides alike in all gross and subtile bodies, like the all pervading and transparent vacuum.

52. It remains in the form of conscious self-existence in dull inanimate bodies; and appears to be afraid of the vibrations of animal life (i.e. The vegetables and minerals are conscious of their own existence, without having their vital and animal actions of breathing and locomotion).

53. The dull body being enlivened by the vital breath, is recognized by the mind as belonging to itself; and plays many parts and frolics with it, as in its prior state of existence.

54. The mind vibrates no longer, after the extinction of[Pg 196] breathing; and then, O sage! the pure intellect is reflected in the eight fold receptacle of vacuum. (These are termed the puryashtakas and consist of the mind, life, knowledge, the organs of action, illusion, desire, activity and the subtile body).

55. As it is the mirror only that can reflect an image, and no other stone; so it is the mind alone these as their octuple receptacle—puryashtaka, and which is the agent of all actions, and is termed by different names according to the views of different divine teachers.

56. That which gives rise to the net work of our imaginary visible world, and that in which it appears to be situated, and whereby the mind is made to revolve in various bodies, know that supreme substance to be the Immensity of Brahma, and source of all this world (or as diffused as all in all which is thence called the visvam—the all to pan).

[Pg 197]


On the Sustentation and Dissolution of the Body.

Argument.—Exposition of the animation of the complicate Body, and its ultimate decomposition at death.

THE god continued:—Hear me, holy sage! now relate to you, how the active and oscillating principle of the intellect, acts on the human body and actuates it to all its actions, whereby it receives the noble title of its active agent. (The disembodied and nameless intellect, gets many appellations in its embodied state, according to its various temporal and spiritual avocations and occupations in life. gloss).

2. But the mind of man which is impelled by its former (or pristine) propensities, prevails over the (good) intellect; and being hardened in its vicious deeds, pursues its changeful wishes and desires. (The former evil propensities refer to those of past lives, and allude to the original depravity of human nature and will).

3. The mind being strengthened by illusion (máyá), the intellect becomes dull and stultified as stone; and this power of delusion growing stronger by divine dispensation, displayed the universe to view. (The máyá is otherwise called Brahma Sakti Divine omnipotence, which overpowers on the omniscience of God in the acts of creation, &c. Hence the neutral omniscience is called the Intellect chit, and the active omnipotence is styled the mind).

4. It is by the good grace of this power, that the intellect is allowed to perceive sometimes, the fallacy of the aerial city of this world, and at others to think it as a reality. (i.e. It comes to detect the fallacy by exercise of its intellection, and thinks it real by its subjection-illusion).

5. The body remains as dumb as stone, without the presence of the intellect, the mind and its egoism in it; and it moves about with their presence in it, as when a stone is flung in the air.

[Pg 198]

6. As the dull iron is made to move, by its contiguity to or attraction of the loadstone; so doth the living soul jíva act its parts, by the presence of the omnipresent soul in it. (The actions of the living soul are its respirations, and direction of the organs of action to their respective function).

7. It is by the power of the all pervading soul, that the living principle shoots out in infinity forever, as the germs of trees sprout forth the seed in all places. And as the recipient mirror receives the reflexion of objects situated at a distance from it, so the living soul gets the reflex or image of the distant supreme spirit in itself. (God made man in his own image).

8. It is by forgetfulness of its own and real nature, that the living soul contracts its foul gross object, as a legitimate twice-born man mistakes himself for a sudra by forgetting his birth by such error or illusion.

9. It is by unmindfulness of its own essence, that the intellect is transformed to the sensuous mind; as some great souls are deceived to believe their miserableness in the distractedness of their intellect percipience. (Men are often misled to believe themselves otherwise than what they are, as it was the case with the princes Lavana, Gádhi, and Harischandra mentioned before and as it turns out with all miserable mortals, who forget their immortal and celestial natures).

10. It is the intellect which moves the dull and inert body, as the force of the winds shakes the waters of the deep to roll and range about in chains and trains of waves.

11. The active mind which is always prone to action, leads the machine of the body together, with the passive and helpless living soul at random, as the winds drive about in different directions, together with the inert stones (ballast) contained in it. (i.e. The mind is the mover of both the body and soul, but the intellect is the primum mobile of all).

12. The body is the vehicle, and God has employed the mind and the vital breath, as the two horses or bullocks for driving it. (The mind is said also to be its driver, the soul its rider, and the breaths are its coursers).

[Pg 199]

13. Others say, that the rarefied intellect assumes a compact form, which becomes the living soul; and this riding on the car of the mind, drives it by the vital airs as its racers. (Hence the course of the mind and its thoughts, are stopped with the stoppage of respiratory breaths).

14. Sometimes the intellect seems as something born and to be in being, as in its state of waking and witnessing the objects all around; at others it seems to be dead and lost as in the state of its profound sleep. Again it appears as many, as in its dreaming state; and at last it comes to know itself as one and a unit, when it comes to the knowledge of truth and of its identity with the sole unity.

15. Sometimes it seems to be of a different form, without forsaking its own nature; as the milk becomes the butter and curd etc. and as the water appears in the shape of a billow or wave or of its foam or froth. (That changed in all, yet in all the same &c. Pope).

16. As all things depend upon light, to show their different forms and colours to view, so the mental powers and faculties, do all of them depend upon the intellectual soul for their several actions. (The intellect in the form of the soul, directs and exhibits the actions of the mind).

17. Again the Supreme Spirit being situated in the mind within the body, the animal soul has its life and action; as all things appear to sight, while the lighted lamp shines inside the room. (As the silent soul directs the mind, so the active mind keeps the soul alive).

18. The ungoverned mind gives rise to all diseases and difficulties, that rise as fastly and thickly, as the perturbed waters rise in waves, which foam out with thickening froth.

19. The living soul dwelling like the bee in the lotus-bed of the body, is also subject to diseases and difficulties as the bee to the rains and flood; and it is as disturbed by the casualties of life, as the calm sea-water are perturbed to waves by the blowing winds.

20. The dubitation that, "the divine soul is omnipotent, and the living soul is impotent and limited in its powers; and therefore[Pg 200] the human soul is not the same with the Divine"; is the cause of our woe, and serves to darken the understanding; as the clouds raised by the sunlight, serve to obscure the solar disk (this doubt leading to dualism, cuts us from God and exposes us to all the calamities of life).

21. The sentient soul passes under many transmigrations in its insensibility, and in utter want of its self consciousness; like one subdued to dull obtuseness by some morphia drug, which makes him insensible of the pain inflicted upon his own person, (This drug is some anaesthetic agent as opium, chloroform and the like).

22. But as it comes to know itself afterwards by some means or other, it recovers from its dull insensibility, and regains its state of original purity; as a drunken or deluded person turns to his duty, after he comes to remember himself. (So the lost and stray sheep, returns to its fold and master).

23. The sentient soul that fills the body, and is employed in enlivening all its members, does not strive to know the cause of its consciousness; as a leper never attempts to make use of any part of his body, which he is incapable to raise. (So the soul that is drowned in ignorance and dead in its sin, will never rise to reclaim its redemption by reproving itself).

24. When the soul is devoid of its consciousness, it does not enable the tube of the lotus-like heart to beat and vibrate with the breath of respiration; but makes it as motionless as a sacrificial vessel unhandled by the priest.

25. The action of the lotiform heart having ceased, the motion of the vital breaths is stopped also; as the fanning of the palmleaf fan being over, there is no more the current of the outer air.

26. The cessation of the vital air in the body, and its flight to some other form, sets the life to silence and sink in the original soul; just as the suspension of the blowing winds, sets the flying dusts to rest on the ground.

27. At this time, O sage, the mind alone remains on its unsullied state and without its support; until it gets another body, wherein it rests as the embryonic seed lies in the earth and water.

[Pg 201]

28. Thus the causes of life being deranged on all sides, and the eight principles of the body inert and extinct (in their actions); the body droops down and becomes defunct and motionless. (The eight principles called the puryashtakas).

29. Forgetfulness of the intellect, the intelligible (truth) and intelligence, produces the desires of them to vibrate; these give to remembrances of the past, and their want buries them to oblivion.

30. The expansion of the lotus-like heart, causes the puryashtaka body to expand also; but when the organ of the heart ceases to blow and breathe, the body ceases to move.

31. As long as the puryashtaka elements remain in the body, so long it lives and breathes; but these elementary powers being quiet and still, the body becomes inert and is said to be dead.

32. When the contrary humours, the feelings and passions and sensible perceptions, and the outward wounds and strokes, cause the inward action of the organic heart to stop:—

33. Then the puryashtaka forces are pent up in the cavity of the heart, as the force of the blowing winds, is lost in the hollow of a pair of blowing bellows.

34. When a living body has its inward consciousness, and becomes inert and motionless in its outer parts and members, it is still alive by the action of breathing in the inner organ of the heart.

35. Those whose pure and holy desires never forsake their hearts, they live in one quiet and even state of life, and are known as the living liberated and long living seers. (The pure desires are free from the influence of passions, and tendency to earthly enjoyments; which cause holy life and give longevity to man). (An unperturbed mind is the best preservative of health).

36. When the action of the lotus like machine of the heart has ceased, and the breath ceases to circulate in the body, it loses its steadiness, and falls unsupported on the ground as a block of wood or stone.

37. As the octuple body mixes with the air in the vacuum of the sky, so is the mind also absorbed in it at the same time.

[Pg 202]

38. But being accompanied with the thoughts, to which it has been long accustomed, it continues to wander about in the air, and amidst the regions of heaven and hell, which it has long believed to await on its exit from the body.

39. The body becomes a dead corpse, after the mind has fled from it in the air; and it remains as an empty house, after its occupant has departed from it.

40. The all pervading intellect, becomes by its power of intellection both the living soul as well as the mind; and after passing from its embodied form (of puryashtaka), it assumes its spiritual (átiváhika) nature afterwards.

41. It fosters in its bosom the quintessence (pancha tan mátram) of the subtile elemental mind, which assumes a grosser form afterwards, as the thoughts of things appear in dream.

42. Then as the intensity of its thoughts, makes the unreal world and all its unrealities, appear as real before it, it comes to forget and forsake its spiritual nature, and transform itself to a gross body.

43. It thinks by mistake the unreal body as substantial, and believes the unreal as real and the real as unreal. (i.e. It takes the unreal material as real; and the real spiritual as nothing).

44. It is but a particle of the all pervading Intellect, that makes the living soul, which reflects itself afterwards in the form of the intelligent mind. (The understanding is a partial reflection of the Intellect. Gloss). The mind then ascends on the vehicle of the octuple body, and surveys the phenomenal world as a sober reality. (i.e. The senses of the body, represent the universe as real).

45. The intellect is the prime mobile power, that gives force to the octuple material (puryashtaka) body to move itself; and the action of the breath in the heart which is called life, resembles the spiritual force of a ghost raising an inert body. (The power of spirits entering and moving inert bodies, forms a firm belief in India).

46. When the aerial mind flies into the vacuous air, after the material frame is weakened and worn out; then the lifeless[Pg 203] body remains as a block of wood or stone, and is called a dead mass by those that are living.

47. As the living soul forgets its spiritual nature, and becomes decayed in course of time and according to the frail nature of material things; so it fades and falls away in the manner of the withered leaves of trees.

48. When the vital power forsakes the body, and the action of the pericardium is stopped; the breath of life becomes extinct, and the animated being is said to die away.

49. As all beings that are born and have come to life, fade away in time like all created things in the world; so do human bodies also fade and fall away in time, like the withered leaves of trees.

50. The bodies of all embodied beings, are equally doomed to be born and die also in their time; as the leaves of trees, are seen to be incessantly growing and falling off at all seasons; why then should we lament at the loss of what is surely to be lost.

51. Look at these chains of living bodies, which are indiscriminately and incessantly rising and falling like bubbles and billows, in the vast ocean of the divine Intellect, and there is no difference of any one of them from another; why then should the wise make any distinction between objects that are equally frail in their nature, and proceed from and return to the same source.

52. The all-pervading intellect reflects itself only in the mind of man, and no where else; as it is the mirror only that receives the reflexions of objects, and no other opaque substance besides.

53. The acts and fates of men are all imprinted in the spacious and clear page of the Divine intellect, and yet are all embodied beings loud in their cries and complaints against the decrees of Heaven which is owing to their ignorance, and tending to their bitter grief and vain lamentation.

[Pg 204]


Resolution of Duality into Unity.

Argument.—Unity, the source, substance, and ultimum of plurality, which is resolved to unity. The Doctrine of monotheism. One in all and all into one.

VASISHTHA said:—Tell me, my lord, that bearest the crescent of the moon on thy fore-head, how the pure and simple essence of the intellect, which is an infinite unity and ever uniform and immutable in its nature, is transmuted to the finite dualities of the variable and impure soul and mind. (Moreover the whole equal to a part is quite absurd and impossible).

2. Tell me, O great god! how this uncaused prime cause, becomes diffused in endless Varieties, and how can we get rid of the plurality of our creeds by our wisdom, for putting an end to our miseries. (By means of our belief in the true unity).

3. The god replied—When the omnipotent God (sad), remains as one unity of immensity (Eka Brahma); it is then of course absurd, to speak of his duality or plurality, and of the manifestation of a part or minim of himself. (The whole cannot be a part).

4. Taking the monad for a duad, is to ascribe duality to unity; and the imputation of dualism or bipartition to the simple intellect, is wholly futile from its nature of indivisibility. (So says the sruti: The one is no dual nor a bipartite thing. In Him there is no plurality, diversity or any particularity whatever. [Sanskrit: natu taddvitíyamasti tati-nya hvibhaktam | nanuneha nánástikincana.])

5. The want of the number one, causes the absence both of unity, duality; because there can be no dual without the singular, nor a single one unless there be the number two above it. (i.e. There can be no duality without the prime and preceding unity; nor even the unity unless it is followed by duality; because[Pg 205] the prime number would be indefinite and indetermined without the succeeding ones).

6. The cause and its effect being of one nature (or essence), they are both of the same kind, as the fruit and the seed contained in it. The difference which is attributed to them from the change of one thing to the other, is a mere fiction of imagination.

7. The mind itself evolves in its thoughts at its own will; the changes occurring in itself, are no way different from its own nature; as the mutual productions of seed and fruit, are of the same nature, the same fruit produces the same seeds, and these again bring forth the same fruits &c. (So the mind and its thoughts, are the same things and of the self-same nature).

8. Many modifications incessantly rise in the infinite mind of the almighty Maker as its eternal will, and these taking place in actu in positive existences, and substantive forms bear the relation of causes and their effects in this world.

9. These productions are likened to the waves of waters in the sea, and mirage to the progeny of a barren woman, and the horns of a hare—all which are nil and not in being. They are all as negative as the water on the mountaintop, and as the barley corn growing on the head of a hare. (In all these instances the producer or container is a reality; but the produced or contained waves etc. are false; and so is Brahma the producer and container of all as positive entity, but the production of the world is null and void).

10. Herein enquiring into the real truth, we must refrain from logomachy; and find that though all things tend to stablish the unity, yet it is difficult even in thought to do away with the difference of things, as that of words and their senses. (that is to say, though unity is the result of right reason, yet duality is inseparable from common sense).

11. The essence of divine omnipotence, is not divisible into portions or their fractions, like the waves of the sea, that are broken into bubbles and particles of waters.

12. As the leaves and stalks and branches and flowers of trees, are no other than the same substance; so unity and duality,[Pg 206] meity and tuity and the objectivity of the phenomenal world, are not different from the essence of the subjective intellect, which contains and puts forth itself in all these forms.

13. All time and place and variety of figures and forms, being but modifications of the intellect, it is improper for us to question the reality of those, and assert the certainty of this intellect.

14. The entities of time and space, and the powers of action and destiny (divine ordinance), are all derived from and directed by the intellect and bear their intellectual natures also.

15. As the power of thinking, the thought and its object, jointly compose the principle of mind; so the whole universe and every thing that bears a name, are all included under the term chit or intellect; as the water and its rise and fall, are all included under the word wave.

16. The thoughts which continually rise and fall, in the great ocean of the intellect; are like the waves which heave and set down, on the surface of the boisterous sea.

17. It is this supreme intellect which is known by the various appellations of the Lord, God, Truth, Siva and others; as also by the various names of vacuum, unity and the supreme spirit.

18. Such is the nature of God, whom no words can express; and who is styled the Ego or the subjective "I am that I am" and whom it is beyond the power of speech to describe.

19. All that is seen all around, are but the leaves, fruits, flowers and branches of the all creeping plant of the intellect; which being diffused in all, leaves nothing that is different from it.

20. The divine intellect [Sanskrit: chit] being omniscient [Sanskrit: mahávidyá] has the great nescience or ignorance [Sanskrit: mahá avidyá] underlying it (as the lighted lamp is accompanied by the shadow under it); and then looking at this side of itself it takes the name of the living soul, and beholds this shadowy world stretched outside the divine mind, as we see another moon in the reflexion of that luminary, cast upon a nebular circle beyond it.

[Pg 207]

21. Then thinking itself as another or a living being Jíva, and other wise than what it is (i.e. the immortal spirit paramátma); it becomes just of the same nature, as it thinks and forms itself by its own will.

22. Being thus transformed from its perfect and immaculate state, to that of an imperfect and impure nature; it is made to wade amidst the stream of this world, without ever thinking (of its fall from the state of original purity).

23. The intellectual form being then assimilated with the elemental (puryashtaka) body, receives its vital or mortal life and living soul, which lives by reflexion of the essence of the supreme intellect.

24. The spiritual body is also transformed to the frail living body, which being joined with quintessence of quintuple elements, comes to know itself as material substance (dravymas miti).

25. This substance being next infused with the vital breath, receives soon after its vigor and strength like the seed of a plant; and then it feels itself to be endued with life, and to be conceived in the uterus in its own conception.

26. The same erroneous conception of its gross materiality, misleads to the belief of its own egoism and personality. It conceives also its state of a moving or unmoving being, and this conception of it converts it instantly into the like form. (We have the forms, as we picture to ourselves in our minds).

27. Again the simultaneous meeting of former reminiscence with the later desire of a person, changes its former habitual and meaner form, to that of a larger and grosser kind. (Thus one that had been a contemptible gnat in its previous state of existence, is come to a big elephant in its next birth, not from its remembrance of its former state of life, but from its settled desire of becoming the would be being in the next. So it is the will [Sanskrit: vásaná] that supersedes the former impression [Sanskrit: samskára] of what one had been before, and transforms it to what it wishes to be afterwards. Hence the will is the parent of thoughts).

28. The difference and duality of one from its identity and unity, are results of one's thinking himself other wise than what[Pg 208] he really is; as a man becomes a devil by thinking himself possessed by a ghost.

29. The thought of the duality of one self-same soul, in its two aspects of the supreme and human souls; is driven away by the persuasion that I do nothing, and the agency of all actions rests in the great God himself.

30. The unity is considered as a duality, by the dualistic opinions of men; while on the other hand the belief in unity, destroys the conviction of dualism and plurality from the minds of men.

31. There is no duality or secondary being in the soul, which may be regarded as the supreme soul, because there is but one soul only, which is unchangeable and unperishable at all times and every where. (All other changing and finite beings, are but reflexions of the supreme).

32. All works of imagination are dispersed, with the dispersion of the fumes of fancy; as one's aerial castle and the fairy city, vanish after the flight of the phrenzy and the visionary dream.

33. It is painful to raise a fabric of imagination, but there is no pain whatever in breaking it down; because the chimera of imagination is well skilled in building the aerial cities, and not in demolishing them. (Which belongs to the province of reason only).

34. If the fullness of one's desires and fancies, is fraught with the pains and troubles of life, it must be the want of such wishes and views, that will serve to set him free from these pains for ever.

35. If even a slight desire is enough to expose a man to many cares in life, then its utter privation must afford him complete rest and quiet, in his transient state of being.

36. When your mind has got loose, from the manifold folds of your serpentine desires; you will then come to enjoy the sweets of the garden of paradise. (Had it not been for the serpent's insinuation to taste the fatal fruit, our first parents would be left to enjoy all the sweets of Paradise).

37. Drive away and disperse the clouds of your desire, by[Pg 209] the breeze of your reason; and come and enjoy your rest, under the calm and clear autumnal sky of your indifference—nonchalance.

38. Dry the impetuous current of your rapid desires, by the charms of amulets and mantras; and then restrain yourself from being borne away by the flood, and restrict your mind to its dead inaction.

39. Rely thy trust in the intellectual soul chidátmá, seated in the cavity of thy heart, and look on mankind driven to and fro by the gusts of their desire, like fragments of straw flying at random in the perturbed air.

40. Wash out the dirt of thy desires from thy mind, by the pure water of thy spiritual knowledge; and after securing the perfect tranquillity of thy soul, continue to enjoy the highest bliss of a holy life.

41. God is all powerful and omnipresent, and displays himself in all forms every where (He is seen in the same manner as one desires to behold him in a temporal or spiritual light. [Sanskrit: vrashma káranena bhogmakáranena bá yathá bhávayate tatha pashyati]).

42. It is the thought or imagination, that makes the false world appear as true; and it depends upon the thought also, that the world vanishes into nothing. (The existence and inexistence of the world; depend alike on the thoughts of divine and human minds; the positive and negative are all creations of the mind).

43. It is the net work of our thoughts and desires, that is interwoven with the threads of our repeated births; but the winds of our apathy and indifference blow off this web, and settle us in the state of supreme felicity.

44. Avarice is a thorny plant, that has taken deep root in the human heart; it is fostered under the shade of the arbor of desire, root out this tree of desire, and the thorny bush of avarice will fade away of itself.

45. The world is a shadow and a pseudoscope, and rises to view and disappears by turns; it is an error of the brain that presents the sight of the course of nature (sansriti), like that of the fairy land presented to us in a dream.

[Pg 210]

46. The king that forgets his nature of the Lord, mistakes himself for a prince, or that he is born or become the ruler of the land; this concept of his which springs from ignorance of his divine nature, vanishes soon after he comes to the real knowledge of himself.

47. The king in possession of his present royalty, has no reminiscence of his past and former state; as we do not recollect the foulness of the past rainy weather, in the serenity of the present autumn.

48. The thought that is predominant in the mind, naturally prevails over the fainter and weaker ones, as the highest pitch in music suppresses the bass tones, and takes possession of the ear.

49. Think in yourself that you are one (unit or the unity), and that you are the soul (or supreme soul); keep this single reflection before you, and holding fast to it, you will become the object of your meditation. (This is called [Sanskrit: átmapújá] spiritual adoration, or assimilating one's self to the supreme soul).

50. Such is the spiritual meditation of spiritualists like yourself, who aspire to the highest felicity of the supreme Being; while the external form of worship, is fit only for ungoverned minds, that rapt only for their temporal welfare. In formal worship composed of the worshipper, the formalities of the ritual and the articles of offerings, are symbolical of ignorant minds, and too insignificant to the wise.

[Pg 211]


Sermon of Siva on the same subject.

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 tranquillity, and without a second, equal or comparison, expands himself by his own power as the infinite and empty air; and stretches 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[Pg 212] 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 ecstasis 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.

[Pg 213]

13. That is called the unrestricted power of the intellect, which is fraught with perfect peace and tranquillity; 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 Virát [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.

[Pg 214]

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 it 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 wish to 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).

[Pg 215]

29. The solidity of the intellect produces the worlds in the same 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).

[Pg 216]


Adoration of the great God Mahá-deva.

Argument.—Of Mahádeva, the father of Brahmá, Vishnu and Siva and the manner of his worship.

VASISHTHA said:—Then Hara, who is the lake of the lotus of Gaurí (i.e. her husband), being desirous of my enlightenment, glanced on me for a minute, and gave utterance to his lecture.

2. His eyes flashed with light under his heavenly forehead, and were as two caskets of his understanding, which scattered its rays about us. (The eyes are the indexes of men's understanding in Physiognomy).

3. The god said:—O sage, call your thoughts home, and employ them soon to think of your own essence; and to bring about your ends, as the breezes of heaven convey the fragrance to the nostrils. (The mind is usually compared in its fleetness with the winds, and therefore the task of the breezes is imposed upon the thoughts, which are as vagaries unless they answer one's purposes).

4. When the object long sought for is got in one's possession, what else is there for one to desire any more. I who have known and come to the truth, have nothing to expect as desirable nor any thing to reject as despicable. (When one is possest of his sole object, he is indifferent about all others, whether they be good or bad).

5. When you have got your mastery over yourself, both in the states of your peace and disquiet; you should apply yourself to the investigation of yourself or soul, without attending to any thing besides. (Nothing better than self-culture, and the advancement and salvation of one's own soul).

6. You may at first depend on your observations of the phenomenal, (as preparatory to your knowledge of the noumenal),[Pg 217] which you will now learn from my lecture, if you will attend to it with diligence.

7. After saying in this manner, the holder of the trident told me, not to rely on my knowledge of the externals, but to attend to the internal breathings, which move this abode of the body, as the physical forces move a machine.

8. The lifeless body being without its breathing, becomes dull and dull and dumb as a block; its power of movement being derived from the air of breath, but its powers of thought and knowledge are attributed to the intellect.

9. This intellect has a form more rare and transparent than the vacuous air, it is an ens which is the cause of all entities; and is not destroyed by destruction of the living body for want of vital breath.

10. The intellectual is more rarefied and translucent than the ethereal air, and never perishes with the body; because it remains as the power of intellection, in the mental (percipient) and living body. (The sruti says: it is the life of life, and mind of the mind).

11. As the clear shining mirror, receives the reflexion of external things; so the mind of God reflects all images from within itself, and from nothing situated without.

12. As the soiled glass receives no reflexion of outward things, so the lifeless body has no reflexion of any thing, though it is preserved to our view. (And so are all thoughtless persons considered as dead bodies).

13. The all-pervasive intellect, though it is formless itself, is yet prone towards the movement of sensible objects owing to its sensuous perceptions; but coming to the pure understanding of its spiritual nature, it becomes the supreme Siva again.

14. The sages then called this immaculate intellect by the several names of Hari, Siva, Brahmá, and Indra, who are the givers of the objects of desire to all living beings.

15. It is also styled the fire and air, the sun and moon, and the supreme Lord; and it is this which is known as the ubiquious soul and the intellect, which is the mine of all intelligence.

16. It is the lord of gods, the source of celestials, the Dháta[Pg 218] or Brahmá, the lord of gods, and the lord of heaven. Any body who feels the influence of this great intellect in himself, is never subject to illusion.

17. Those great souls that are known in this world, under the names of Brahmá, Vishnu, Hara and others, are all but offspring of the supreme Intellect, and endowed with a greater portion of it.

18. They are all as sparks of hot iron, and as particles of water in the immense ocean of creation; so all those that are mistaken for gods, have sprung from the source of the supreme Intellect.

19. As long as there exist the seeds of error, and the sources of endless networks of imagination; so long the arbour of gross illusion does not cease, to sprout in endless ramifications.

20. The veda, its exposition and the vedic literature, are but tufts of the tree of ignorance for the bondage of men; and these again produce many other clumps, to hold men fast in their ignorance.

21. Who can describe the productions of nature, in the course of time and place; the gods Hari, Hara, and Brahmá are among the number, and have all their origin in the supreme Being—their common father. (So says the Atharva Sera Sruti: [Sanskrit: sarvvamidram brahmávishnurudrendráste sampamúyate sarvvani cíndráyánisahamúteh sakáranam káranánáma.])

22. Mahádeva the great god is the root of all, as the seed is the source of the branches of trees; He is called the All (sarva), because He is the essence of all things, and the sole cause of our knowledge of all existence. (The Purána says to the same effect). [Sanskrit: trayaste káranátmánah játáh máhámaheshvarát | tapasá topathitvá tam pitaram parameshvaram |]

23. He is the giver of strength to all beings, he is self manifest in all, and is adorable and hallowed by all. He is the object of perception to them that know him, and is ever present in all places. (The word Mahádeva commonly applied to Siva, originally meant the great god, as in the definition of the term in the gloss. [Sanskrit: mahatyaparicchinne átmajnána yogaishvartye mahíyate pújyate[Pg 219] iti mahádevah] So the sruti also: [Sanskrit: yo átmajnána yogaishvaryye mahati mahívate tasmáducyate mahádevah].)

24. There is no need of addressing invocatory mantras unto the Lord, who being omniscient and omnipresent, knows and sees all things as present before him at all places and times.

25. But being always invoked (or prayed unto) in the mind, this god who resides in every thing is attainable by us in every place; and in whatever form doth one's intellect appear to him, it is all for his good. (This passage means the visible form in which the deity makes his manifestation to the devotee).

26. He takes upon him the visible form, according to the thought in the mind of the worshipper, and this form is to be worshipped first of all with proper homage, as the most adorable Lord of gods.

27. Know this as the ultimate of the knowables of the greatest minds; and whoso has beheld this self-same soul, is freed from fears and sorrows and the complaints of old age, and is released from future transmigration, like a fried grain which vegetates no more.

28. By worshipping this well known and unborn first cause in one's self and at ease (i.e. without the formal rite); every one is freed from his fears, and attains his supreme felicity, why then do you bewilder yourselves amidst the visible vanities of the world.

[Pg 220]


Description of the Supreme Deity Parameswara.

Argument.—Description of god as the Producer of all, and present in every form; his purity from his intangibleness and his great grandeur.

THE god added:—Know now the lord god Rudra, who in the form of one self-same intellect, is situated within every form of being, as is of the nature of self-conscious (Swanubhiati) in every one.

2. He is the seed of seeds, and the pith and marrow of the course of nature; know it also as the agent of all actions, and the pure gist of the intellect also.

3. He is the pure cause of all causes, without any cause of himself; he is the producer and sustainer of all, without being produced or supported himself by another.

4. He is the sensation of all sensible beings, and the sense of all sensitive things; he is the sensibility of all sensuous objects, and the highest object of our sensuousness, and the source of endless varieties.

5. He is the pure light of all lights (of the sight, luminaries &c.), and yet invisible by all of them. He is the increate and supernatural light, the source of all sources of light and the great mass of the light of Intellect.

6. He is no positive (or material) existence, but the real (or essential) entity; he is all quiet and beyond the common acceptations of reality and unreality (Being no absolute or relative entity or non-entity). And among the positive ideas of the great entity &c. (mahásattwádi), know him as the Intellect alone and no other. (Many kinds of Entities are enumerated in Indian philosophy, such as:—[Sanskrit: matyena chávahárikena | satyena prátibha sikenábasthátva yena] Again [Sanskrit: mahásatta, jagat satta, ádisattá karana vyáktatasattá])

7. He becomes the colour, colouring and colouror; He becomes as high as the lofty sky, and as low as the lowly hut.[Pg 221] (The colour—rága means the passion and feelings also; and the sky and hut mean the empty space and decorated cottage).

8. There are in the expanded mind of this Intellect millions of worlds like sands in the desert, likewise many of these like blossoms of trees, have blown away, others are full blown, and many more will come to blow here after.

9. It is ever burning, as an inextinguishable flame by its own inherent fire; and though it is ever emitting innumerable sparks of its essence all about, yet there is no end of its light and heat and fire.

10. It contains in its bowels the great mountains, likening the particles of dust (or rather as the roes of a fish); it covers also the highest mountains, as the lofty sky hides the dusts on earth. So the sruti—Greater than the greatest and smaller than the smallest. [Sanskrit: aníraníyan mahatimahiyát]

11. It comprehends the great—mahákalpa millennium, like a twinkling of the eye; and is also contained in a kalpa age, in its quick motion of a twinkling. (i.e. He is eternity as well as jot of time).

12. Though minuter than the point of a hair, yet it encompasses the whole earth (as its boundary line); and the seven oceans that encircle the earth with their vests, cannot gird the great Infinity.

13. He is called the great creator of the universe, though he creates nothing (Like the makers of other things); and though he does all actions, yet he remains as doing nothing (by his calm quietness).

14. Though the deity is included under the category of substance, yet he is no substance at all; and though there be no substantiality in him, yet his spirit is the substratum of all things. (All along he is the figure of vaiparitya or opposition, which well applies to Brahma who is all and nil or the omnium et nullum, Sarvamasarvam. (Though bodiless, he is the great body of the universe corpus mundiviswarúpa or virát).)

15. He is adya—(hodie) today, and prátar—practer tomorrow, and though the preter and future, yet he is always[Pg 222] present. Wherefore he is neither now or then, but sempiternal and for ever.

16. He is not in the babbling and prattling of babes and boys, nor in the bawling of beasts and brutes, nor in the jargon of savages; but equally understood by all in their peculiar modes of speech. (This is the interpretation of the gloss; but the words of the text are unintelligible and meaningless).

17. These words are meaningless and are yet true, like the obsolete words occurring in the vedas. Therefore no words can truly express what is God, because they are not what he is (but mere emblems). These difficult passages are not explained in the gloss and left out in the Calcutta edition.

18. I bow down to him who is all, in whom all reside and from whom they all proceed, and who is in all place and time, and who is diffused through all and called the one and all—to pan.

19. In this verbiology of obscure words, there will be found some fully expressive of the meaning, as in a forest of thick wood we happen to fragrant flowers, which we pluck and bear with us in handfuls. (The entangled phraseology of the stanza will bear no literal translation).

[Pg 223]


The stage play and Dance of Destiny.

Argument.—Of the endless powers or saktis of Siva, among whom the power of Destiny is described in this.

THE God joined:—The beauty of the words said before is palpable, and their senses all allude to the truth, that the Lord of all is the rich chest of gems of all things in existence. (The gloss is too verbose in the explanation of this passage).

2. How very bright are the rays of the gems contained in the receptacle of the supreme Intellect, that shines forth with the collected light of all the luminous worlds in it. (It means to say, that the Divine intellect must be brighter far than all the orbs of light contained in it).

3. The essence of the intellect flies in the air in the form of the granular farina, and becomes the embryotic corpuscula; which in the manner of the vegetable seed, sprouts forth into the germ in its proper time, soil, moisture and temperature. (The gloss explains the essence satta to mean the energy—sakti, which is represented as the female attribute of the Divinity).

4. This power of the intellect, moves in the forms of froth and foam, and eddies and whirl pools in the sea; and rolls its waters against the hard stones of the beach. (The liquid waters are moving things that are hard to touch).

5. It is settled in the form of flavour in the clusters of flowers; it makes them full blown, and carries their fragrance to the nostrils.

6. Seated on bodies of stone (stony rocks), it makes them produce unstone-like substances (as the trees and their foliage and flowers of various hues); and makes the mountains to support the earth without their actually upholding it. (The mountains are called bhudharas or supports of the earth.)

7. The intellect takes the form of the air, which is the source[Pg 224] of all vibrations, and touches the organ of touch (skin); with as much tenderness as a father touches the body of his child.

8. As the divine power extends itself in every thing, so it contracts the essences of all things in a mass within itself; and having absorbed the whole in the divine entity, makes all nature a vacuous nullity.

9. It casts the reflexion of its own clear image, in the transparent mirror of vacuum; and takes upon itself the pellucid body of eternity, containing all divisions of time.

10. Then there issues the power of Destiny, which predominates over the five principal divinities; and determines the ultimate fate of all that "this is to be so, and this other wise."

11. It is in the presence of the bright light of the all witnessing eye of the great God, that the picture of the universe presents itself to our sight; as the presence of the lighted lamp in the room, shows us the lights of the things contained in it.

12. The universal vacuum contains the great theatre of the universe, wherein the Divine powers and energies are continually playing their parts, and the spirit of God is the witness there of.

13. Vasishtha asked—What are the powers of that Siva (Jove), my lord! who are they and where are they situated; what is number, and how are they employed and who is their witness.

14. The god replied—The god Siva is the benignant, incomprehensible and tranquil supreme soul; He is gracious and formless and of the nature of the pure intellect only.

15. His essences are volition, vacuity, duration and destiny; and also the qualities of infinity and fulness.

16. Beside these he has the properties of intelligence and action, as also of causality and quietude; and there are many other powers in the spirit of Siva, of which there is no reckoning nor end.

17. Vasishtha rejoined—Whence came these powers to him, and how had they their variety and plurality; tell me, my lord! whence they arose, and how they were separated (from omnipotence which comprehends them all).

[Pg 225]

18. The god replied:—The god Siva who is intellect only of himself, has endless forms also (according to his endless attributes), and the powers that I have said to belong to him, are little and no way different essentiality. (The properties that are predicated of god, belong to his intrinsical nature and not derived from without).

19. It is the discrimination of the powers of intelligence, action, passion, vision and others; that the powers of God are said to be many and different from one another, like the waves of the sea (which appears in the different shapes of billows, surges &c.).

20. Thus do those different powers act their several parts for ever, in the grand stage of the universe; as the ages, years, months and weeks and days, play their parts under direction of time—the manager of the stage.

21. That power which appears as the one or another, is called the divine powers of destiny; and is distinguished by the several appellations of action, energy or will of God, or the dispensation of his Time. (Time is said to be the producer, sustainer and leveller of all things. [Sanskrit: kálí prabhavati dháryyte, pralíyate sarvvam tasmát kálí hi valavattarah]).

22. That power which determines the states of gods, and those of the great Rudras as so and so, and what regulates the conduct of all things from a mean straw to the great Brahmá, is called the predominant doom or destiny.

23. This destiny continues to dance about the great arena of the universe, until the mind is cleared of her bugbear and freed from anxiety by the knowledge of truth (that it is the Divine will which destines the destiny).

24. The play of destiny is very pleasing to behold, owing to the variety of its characters and contrivances, and the quick changes of the scenes, and the repeated entrances and exits of its players and actors. It is conducted all along with the music of the drums and trumpets of the roaring clouds of the Kalpánta-doomsday. (i.e. On the last day of universal dissolution, when the dance of destiny and her play are over).

25. The vault of heaven is the canopy over this stage, the[Pg 226] season flowers are its decorations, and the showers of rain serve for the sprinkling of rose waters in it.

26. The dark clouds hung about the heavens are, the blue hanging screens around this stage, and the sexcentenary as of the earth with the shining gems in their bosom, serve for the ornamented pits and galleries of this playhouse.

27. The shining sky with its sight of the days and watches, and its eyes of the twinkling stars; is witnessing the continual rise and fall of all being, and the plunging and up heaving of mountaintops at the great deluge.

28. The revolving luminaries of the sun and moon, and the rolling currents of the Ganges, appear as the pearly jewels on the person of this actress, and the lustre of the twilight seems as the red red-dye of her palms.

29. The incessant motion of the upper and nether worlds, with the continued gingling of their peoples; resemble the footsteps of this dancing destiny, with the ringing trinkets and anklets fastened to her feet.

30. The sunshine and moonbeams, represent the lustre of her smiling face; and the twinkling stars in the sky, resemble the drops of sweat trickling on her face.

31. These very many worlds are supposed as so many apartments of this great theatre.

32. The two states of pleasure and pain or joy and grief, which are destined to the lot of all living beings, show the different shows of comic and tragic representations.

33. The changing scenes, that are always seen to take place in the play of destiny, at the great stage of this world; are continually witnessed by the great God himself, who is neither distant, or distinct from this, nor is this so from that.

[Pg 227]


On the External Worship of the Deity.

Argument.—The External worship of God in his outward temple, with bodily acts and service. And also of Internal adoration in spirit or the Way to Liberation.

THE god continued:—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[Pg 228] 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 Mahádeva, 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 virát 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[Pg 229] 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 nectareous 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.

[Pg 230]

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 thousand 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.

[Pg 231]


Mode of the Internal Worship of the Deity.

Argument.—The inward form in which, He is worshipped in spirit.

THE God resumed:—I will now relate to you, the form of the inward worship of the spirit in spirit; which is reckoned as the holy of holies, and dispeller of all darkness.

2. This mode of worship depends also on mental meditation, and is conducted in every state of life, whether when one is sitting or walking, or waking or sleeping.

3. It requires the supreme Siva, who is always situated in the body of man; and who is the cause of the perception of all things, to be worshipped in spirit and in the spirit of man.

4. Whether you think him, as sleeping or rising, walking or sitting; or whether conceive him touching or intangible contact with any thing, or quite unconnected and aloof from every thing about him.

5. Or whether you take him as enjoying the gross objects, or shunning them all by his spiritual nature; or as the maker of all outward objects, and the ordainer of all forms of action.—

6. Or whether you consider him as remaining quiescent in all material bodies, or that he is quite apart from all substantial forms; you may worship him in whatever form your understanding presents him to you, or what you can best conceive of him in your consciousness.

7. Whoever has fallen in and is carried away by the current of his desires and who is purified from his worldliness by the sacred ablution of his good sense; should worship the Siva lingam as the emblem of understanding with the offering of his knowledge of it. (The Lingam is the type of unity, represented by the figure, as the syllable om is the type of trinity expressed by its three letters).

8. He may be contemplated in the form of the sun, shining brightly in the sky; as also in that of the moon, which cools[Pg 232] the sky with its benign moon beams. (Because the sun and moon are included under the eight forms of [God] as we see in the Prologue to Sakuntala. [Sanskrit: ye he kálah vidharttah] etc.).

9. He is always conscious in himself of all sensible objects, which are ever brought under his cognizance by means of his senses, as the breath brings fragrance to the nostrils.

10. He gives flavour to all sweets, and enjoys the sweetness of his felicity (ánanda) in himself; and employs the breathings as his horses, and borne in the car of respiration, sleeps in the cell of the heart.

11. Siva is the witness of all sights, and actor of all actions; he enjoys all enjoyments, and remembers all what is known.

12. He is well acquainted with all the members of his body, and knows all that is in existence and inexistence; he is brighter than all luminous objects, and is to be thought upon as the all-pervading spirit.

13. He is without parts and the totality of all parts, and being situated in the body, he resides in the vacuity of the heart; he is colourless himself and yet paints all things in their variegated colours, and is the sensation of every member of the body.

14. He dwells in the faculty of the mind, and breathes in the respirations of the beings; he resides within the heart, throat and palate of the mouth, and has his seat amidst the eyebrows and nostrils (as intelligence and breath of life).

15. He is situated beyond the limit of the thirty six categories of the saiva sástras, as also of the ten saktis ([Sanskrit: dashamahávidyá]) that are known to the saktas; he moves the heart and gives articulation to sounds, and makes the mind to fly about as a bird of the air.

16. He resides both in equivocal and alterative words, and is situated in all things as the oil in sesame seeds.

17. He is without the blemish of parts (being a complete whole in himself), and is compact with all the parts of the world taken together. He is situated alike in a part of the lotus-like heart of the wise, as well as in all bodies in general.

[Pg 233]

18. He is as clear as the pure and spotless intellect, and the imputation of parts to him is the work of mere imagination only. He is as palpably seen in everything at all places, as he is perceptible to us in our inward perception of him.

19. Though originally of the nature of universal intelligence yet he appears in the form of the individual soul according to the desire of men; and residing in every individual, he is divided into endless dualities (of universal and particular souls).

20. Then this God (the intelligent individual soul) thinks himself as an embodied being, endued with hands and legs, and the other parts and members of the body, with its hairs, nails, and teeth.

21. He thinks of being possest of manifold and various powers and faculties, and is employed in a variety of actions according to the desires of the mind. He feels glad on being served by his wives and servants (and thinking himself as their master).

22. He thinks the mind as a porter at the gate, and conductor of the information of the three worlds unto him; and his thoughts are as the chambermaids, waiting at his door with their pure attires.

23. He believes his knowledge of egoism as his greatest power and consort (sakti), and his power of action as his mistress; he thinks his knowledge of various lores to be his decorations only.

24. He knows his organs of sense and action to be the doors of the abode of his body, and is conscious of his being the infinite soul and inseparable from the same.

25. He knows himself to be full of the universal spirit; filled by and filling others with the same; and bears his admirable figure of the body, by his dependance on the Divine spirit.

26. That he is filled with the god-head within him, and is therefore no contemptible soul himself. He never rises nor sets nor is he glad or displeased at any time. (But enjoys the serenity of the Eternal soul).

27. He never feels himself satiate or hungry, nor longs[Pg 234] after nor forsakes anything; he is ever the same and of an even tenor, temper and conduct and form at all times.

28. He retains the gracefulness of his person, the clearness of his mind, and the calmness of his views at all times; he is ever the same since his birth, and the equanimity of his soul never forsakes him at any time.

29. He is devoted to the adoration of his God, for longsome days and nights, and the mind abstracted from his body, becomes the object of his worship. (The gloss explains it otherwise, and makes the mindless body the worshipped object).

30. This God is worshipped with whatever offerings are available by the devotee, and with all the powers of the understanding, employed in the adoration of the sole Intellectual spirit.

31. He is to be worshipped with all things agreeably to the received ritual, and no attempt is to be made to make any offering, which was never made at any time before.

32. Man being endued with the body, should worship the Lord with his bodily actions (as prostration, genuflexion &c.); and with all things that conduce to bodily enjoyment.

33. So is Siva to be worshipped with eatables and victuals, food and drink of the best and richest kind; and with beddings and seats and vehicles as one may afford to offer.

34. Men must also entertain their souls, which are the abodes of the Divine spirit in their bodies; with all kinds of things that they think pleasurable to themselves; such as excellent food and drink and all things affording enjoyment and pleasure.

35. They must diligently serve the supreme soul in their souls, under any calamity, difficulty, danger or disease that may befall on them, as also when they are overtaken by illusions of their understandings.

36. The ends of all the attempts of mankind in this world, being no more than life, death and sleep, they are all to be employed in the service of the soul of nature.

37. Whether reduced to poverty or elevated to royalty, or carried by the currents of casualty; men must always serve their souls, with the flowers of their best endeavours.

[Pg 235]

38. Whether overwhelmed by broils, or buffeting in the waves of mishaps, whether undergoing the troubles or enjoying the comforts of domestic life, men must serve their souls at all times.

39. When the gentle beams of fellow feeling, overspread the breast of kind hearted men, and when the sweet influence of sympathy melts the heart, it is then must meet to serve the soul seated in it.

40. When a man has restrained the turbulent passions of his breast, by the power of his right judgment; and spread the vest of soft tenderness and sweet content over his heart and mind; let him then worship in its serene aspect within himself.

41. Let men worship the soul, on the sudden changes of their fortunes; both when they come to the possession, or loss of their enjoyments. (Because the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken them away).

42. The soul should be adhered to and adored, both when you lose or abandon your legal or illegal possession and enjoyment, of anything on earth.

43. Isha—the lord of wealth is to be worshipped with relinquishment of all wealth, which one may have got by his own exertion or otherwise. (Give your all to the giver of all).

44. Regret not for what is lost, and make use of what you have got; and adore the supreme soul without any inconstancy in your mind and soul.

45. Retain your constancy amidst the scene of the wicked pursuits of men, and maintain your vow of the holy devotion of the supreme spirit at all times.

46. Every thing appears as good in the sight of the Godly, who view all things in God; and they all seem to be mixed with good and evil to the worshipper of God and Mammon. Therefore look on all things as situated in the divine spirit, and continue in your vow of the adoration of the supreme soul.

47. Things which appear as pleasant or unpleasant at first sight, are all to be taken in an equal light, by those that are firm in their vow of the adoration of the one universal soul.

48. Give up thinking yourself as such or not such a one, forsake[Pg 236] all particularities, and knowing that all is the universal One, continue in your vow of adoring the supreme soul.

49. Worship the supreme spirit as it always resides in all things, in their various forms and multifarious changes, and that it is all and all in their modifications also.

50. Forsake both your pursuit after or avoidance of any thing, and remaining in your indifference of both extremes, continue in your adoration of the soul at all times.

51. Neither seek nor forsake any thing, but receive what comes to thee of itself or by thy own lot; and enjoy all things as the sea does the streams of water, which fall to it of their own accord.

52. Fallen (placed) in this wide world of misery, man should take no heed of the lesser or greater sights of woe, that incessantly present themselves to his view. They are as the fleeting tincts and hues that paint the vacuous vault of the skies, and soon vanish into nothing.

53. All good and evil betide us by turns at the junction of their proper time, place and action; therefore take them with unconcern to you, and serve your own soul. (Which is same with the soul of souls).

54. Whatever things are mentioned as fit offerings of the service of the supreme spirit, it is the equanimity of your soul which is deemed the best and fittest offering. (A contrite spirit is most acceptable unto the Lord).

55. Things of different tastes, as the sour, bitter, acid, sharp and pungent, are useless in the service of the spirit; it is the calm and sweet composure of the soul, which is delectable to the holy spirit.

56. Equanimity is sweet to taste, and has the supernatural power of transforming every thing to ambrosia. (The man of an even mind, enjoys the sweetness of contentment in every state of life).

57. Whatever a man thinks upon with the ambrosial sweetness of his disposition, the same is immediately changed to ambrosia, as the nectarious dew drops under the moon beams.

58. Equanimity expands the soul, and gladdens the minds,[Pg 237] as the sunlight fills the vault of heaven; and it is the unchangeable sedateness of the mind, which is reckoned as the highest devotion.

59. The mind of man must shine with an even lustre, as the bright moon beams in their fullness, and it must blaze with the transparent light of the intellect, as a bright crystal in the sunlight.

60. He who is employed in his outward actions of life, with his mind as bright as the clear sky; and which is freed from the mist of worldly affections, is said to be the full knowing devotee.

61. The true devotee shines as brightly, as the clear autumnal sky, when the worldly impressions are quite effaced from the heart, and are not seen even in dream, when the cloud of ignorance is cleared away, and the fog of egoism is utterly scattered.

62. Let your mind be as clear as the moon, and as spotless as the blazing sun; let it hide the thoughts, of the measurer and measured (i.e. of the creator and created) in it; let it have the simple consciousness of itself, like a newborn child (without its innate ideas); and perceiving only the steady light of the intellect the seed of all intelligence; you will then come to attain the state of highest perfection in your life time.

63. Living amidst the fluctuations of pain and pleasure, attending on the lot of all living beings, and occurring at their fixed times and places and actions of man, do you remain in the steady service of your soul—the leader of your body, by tranquilizing all the passions and desires of your heart and mind.

[Pg 238]


Inquiry into the nature of the Deity.

Argument—That the God Siva is beyond his formular adoration and his nature as that of the pure Intellectual soul.

THE god continued:—It is of no consequence, whether the spiritualist observe formal adoration in its proper time and manner or not; it is enough if he adore Siva in his form of the intellect within himself, which is equivalent to the worship of the átmá or soul. (i.e. Worshipping the spirit in spirit).

2. This is attended with a delight, which becomes manifest within himself; and thus full of spiritual light and delight, the devotee is assimilated to and self same with his God. (This is the state of ecstacy, in which the adept loses himself in his God).

3. The meanings of the words affection and hatred, do not belong to the holy soul as separate properties of it; but they blend together and die in it as sparks in fire.

4. The knowledge that the dignity and poverty of men, as also the happiness and misery of one's self or others, proceed from God, is deemed as the worship of the supreme spirit, which ordains them all. (The gloss explains, that the attribution of all accidents of life to God, in his adoration also, as it is done by the offering of flowers unto him).

5. The consciousness of the world as manifestation of the Divine spirit, is reckoned as his devotion also, as a pot or other taken for the spirit of God, owing to its residence in it, forms his worship also.

6. The quiet and lightless spirit of Siva, being manifest in his works of creation, the whole sensible world is believed to be the form of the supreme spirit.

7. It is astonishing that every soul should forget its own nature, and think itself as a living soul residing in the body, as they believe the supreme soul to be confined in a pot or painting.

8. It is astonishing also, how they should attribute false[Pg 239] ideas of worship, worshipper and the worshipped to the god Siva, who is the infinite soul of all and a pure spirit.

9. The ritual of worship and adoration, which applies to the finite forms of gods (their idols); cannot be applied to the worship of the infinite spirit of God.

10. The pure spirit of the eternal, infinite and all powerful, cannot be the object of ritualistic worship, which relates to finite gods or idols.

11. Know, O Brahman! that the spirit of God, which pervades the three worlds, and is of the nature of pure intellect, is not to be circumscribed by any form or figure. (As that of an idol or any natural object).

12. Know, O wisest of the wise! that those that have their god, as circumscribed by time and place (i.e. represented as limited and finite beings), are not regarded by us among the wise.

13. Therefore O sage! retract your sight from idols and idolatrous worship, and adopt your view to spiritual adoration; and be of an even, cool and clear mind, be dispassionate and freed from decay and disease.

14. Do you continue to worship the supreme spirit with an unshaken mind, by making him offerings of your desires, and all the good and evil that occur to you at any time. (i.e. submit to the dispensations of Providence).

15. O sage, that art acquainted with the sole unity, in the one uniform tenor of thy soul and mind, thou art thereby set above the reach of the miseries attending his frail life, as the pure crystal is clear of the shade and dross of all worldly things.

[Pg 240]


Vanity of World and Worldly Things.

Argument.—Refutation of Received Doctrines.

VASISHTHA asked:—What is called the god Siva, and is meant by supreme Brahma; and what is the meaning of soul, and what is its difference from the supreme soul?

2. That the tat satId. est is the true entity, and all else is non entity; what is vacuum that is nothing, and what is philosophy that knows everything. Explain to me these differences, for thou lord! knowest them all.

3. The god replied:—There exist a sat ens, which is without beginning and end; and without any appearance, or reflexion of its own; and this entity appears as a non entity, owing to its imperceptibility by the senses.

4. Vasishtha rejoined—If this entity, lord! is not perceptible by the organs of sense, and unknowable by the understanding, how then, O Isána! is it to be known at all.

5. The god replied:—The man that desires his salvation, and yet sticks to his ignorance, is a sage by name only; and such men are subjected to greater ignorance, by the sástras they are guided by.

6. Let one ignorance removes another, as washerman cleanses one dirt by another. (i.e. Let the erroneous and mutually discordant theories of the sástras, refute the errors of one another).

7. When the error of ignorance, are removed by the opposition to each other; it is then that the soul appears of itself to view as a matter of course.

8. As a child daubs his fingers by rubbing one piece of coat against another (so is a man darkened the more by the tenets of contradictory sástras); but gets them cleansed by washing off his hands from both of them.

9. As they examine both sides of a question in a learned[Pg 241] discussion, and the truth comes out from amidst them both, so the knowledge of the soul, appears from midst of the mist of ignorance.

10. When the soul perceives the soul, and scans it by itself; and as it comes to know it in itself, it is said to get rid of its ignorance, which is then said to be utterly destroyed.

11. The paths of learning and the lectures of a preceptor, are not the proper means to the knowledge of the soul, until one comes to know the unity of this thing by his own intuition.

12. All the preceptors of sástras, place the soul amidst the bodily senses; but Brahmá is situated beyond the senses, and is known after subjection of sensible organs. So the thing which is obtainable in absence of something, is never to be had in the presence of that thing (such is the antipathy of the soul and senses against one another).

13. It is seen however, that many things are used as causes of what they are no causes at all; as they make use of the lectures of the preceptor and the like, as means for the attainment of spiritual knowledge.

14. A course of lectures is of course calculated, to throw light on the student's knowledge of the knowables; but in matters of abstract knowledge and invisible soul, it is the soul itself that must throw its own light.

15. No explanation of the sástras, nor the lectures of the preceptor, are calculated to give light on spiritual knowledge, unless it is understood by the intuitive knowledge of the spirit itself.

16. Again the soul is never to be known without learning and lectures, and therefore both of them must combine with our inquiry to bring us to the light of the soul.

17. It is therefore the combination of bookish knowledge with the instruction of the preceptor, joined with the investigation of the inquirer, that is calculated to enlighten us on spiritual knowledge, as the appearance of the day with the rising sun and waking world, gives an impetus to the rise of duties of the rising world.

[Pg 242]

18. After subsidence of the senses and actions of bodily organs, together with the imperceptibility of our sensations of pain and pleasure; that we come to the knowledge of Siva, other wise known as the soul, the tat sat, He that is, and under many other designations.

19. When there was not this plenum of the world, or it existed in its spiritual or ideal forms; it is since then that this infinite entity has existed, in its vacuous form which is rarer than the ether.

20. Who is continually meditated upon by the nice discernment of the seekers of salvation, and is variously represented by the pure minded and those of vitiated minds.

21. There are others who are situated in the sight of, and not far from the path of living liberation, who are employed in leading others to salvation, and in the exposition of the sástras in their works.

22. There have been many thinking and learned men, who have used the words Brahmá, Indra, Rudra, and the names of the regents of worlds (for God), in order to justify the doctrines of the Puránas, Vedas and Siddhántas.

23. Others have applied the fictitious titles of chit or intellect, Brahmá, Siva, Átmá the soul or spirit, Ísha—the Lord, the supreme spirit and Íshvara-god, to the nameless god head that is apart and aloof from all.

24. Such is the truth of nature and of thyself also, which is styled the siva of felicitous; and which always confers all felicity to the world and to thyself also. (The word siva means jovus or solas and is meant to express the joviality and soliety which always attends on all beings).

25. The words siva, soul, supreme Brahmá and some others, have been coined by the ancients to express the supreme being; and though they differ in sound, there is no difference of them in sense and signification.

26. Know, O chief of sages! that wise men always adore this god whom we serve also, and unto when we return as the[Pg 243] best and ultimate states of all. (Siva is a hypostasis of the infinite deity).

27. Vasishtha said:—Please Lord! explain to me in short, how the ever existent Deity remains as non-existent, and could it come to existence from its prior state of nihility?

28. The god replied:—Know the meaning of the words Brahmá &c. to bear relation to our consciousness only, and this though it is as clear as the sky, and as minute as an atom, has the great bulk of the mount Meru contained in it.

29. Although this is unintelligible to us, and far beyond our conception and comprehension of it; yet it becomes intelligible to us when we take it the form of our intellect.

30. By taking it objectively, it becomes intelligible to us in the manner of our Egoism; and by thinking on its personality we have the same idea of it, as one has of a wild elephant from its sight in a dream.

31. These ideas of its egoism and personality, being limited by time and space, give rise to many aerial forms as attendants upon it. (These aerial forms are the different attributes of God).

32. Accompanied with these, there proceeds the entity called the Jíva or living spirit, which is conversant with its oscillation and respiration, in the form of a pencil of air.

33. After the power of vitality is established and has come in force; there follows the faculty of understanding; which remains in utter ignorance at first.

34. It is followed by the faculties of bearing, action and perceptions; all of which operate inward by without their development in outward organs.

35. All these powers uniting together, conduce to the excitement of memory, which exhibits itself soon in the form of the mind; which is the tree of desires.

36. Hear now what is called the spiritual body by the learned, it is the inward power of God of the form of the conscious soul, and seeing the divine soul in itself.

37. There rise afterwards the following powers in the mind;[Pg 244] which develop themselves in the outer organs, although their powers may be wanting in them. (Such as the blind eyes, deaf ears &c.).

38. These are the essences of air and motion, and of feeling also, together with the senses of touch and heat emitted by the eyes.

39. There are the essences of colour, water and taste also, and likewise the essences of smell and flavour too.

40. There are the essences of earth and gold, and the essences of thick mass; and also the essences of time and space, all of which are without form and shape.

41. The spiritual body contains all these essences in itself as its component parts, as the seed of a fruit contains the leaves and germ of the future tree in its cell.

42. Know this to be ativáhika or spiritual body, and containing the eight elementary senses, wherefore it is called the puryashtaka also; and these are developed afterwards in the organs of sense.

43. The primary or spiritual body which is formed in this manner, is actually nobody at all; since it is devoid of understanding, intellect, senses and sensibility.

44. It is the supreme Being only, which contains the essence of the soul, as it is the sea which contains the limpid waters.

45. The soul is that which is possessed of its consciousness and knowledge, all besides this is dull and insensible matter; and which is viewed by the soul, as the sight of a fairy land in the dream.

46. It is therefore by consciousness and knowledge that Siva can be known, and what is not to be known by these can be nothing at all.

47. The supreme soul sees all things within itself, as parts of itself (produced from its will of becoming or dividing itself into many); and beholds particles of his atomic self, formed into innumerable bodies.

48. These soon increased in bulk and became big bodies, and bore the marks of the organs upon them.

[Pg 245]

49. Then it became of the form of a man, from his thought of being so; and this soon grew up in its size of a full grown man.

50. So do our bodies appear to us in our living state, as the fairyland appears to one in his dream.

51. Vasishtha said:—I see the appearance of the human body, to resemble the vision of the fairyland in the dream; and I see also the miseries awaiting on human life in this world. Now tell me, my Lord! how all this misery is to be removed from it.

52. The god replied—All human woe is owing to their desires, and belief of the reality of the world; but it must be known to be all as unreal, as waves of water seen in a sea in the mirage.

53. There why such desire, and for what good and use, and why should the dreaming man be deluded to drink the show of water in the mirage?

54. The viewer of truth, who is freed from his views of egoism and tuism, and has got off from the deluded and its delusive thoughts, doth verily behold the true entity of God in his presence, in the utter absence of all worldly thoughts from his mind.

55. Where there is no desirer or desire or the desired object, but the only thought of the one unity, there is an end of all error and misery.

56. He whose mind is freed from the true and false bugbears of common and imaginary error, and is settled in the thought of one unity alone, sees nothing but the unity before him.

57. The desires of the mind, rise as goblins in the midway sky; and the thoughts of the world rove about the sphere of the mind, as the numerous worlds revolve in the sky hence there is no peace of the soul, unless these subside to rest.

58. It is useless to advise the man to wisdom, who is elated by his egoism, and is deluded by the waters of the mirage of this evanescent world.

[Pg 246]

59. Wise men should advise the prudent only, and throw away their instruction to boys that are wandering in error, and are shunned by good people. To give good counsel to the ignorant, is as offering a fair daughter in marriage to the spectre of man seen in a dream.

[Pg 247]


The Supreme soul and its Phases and Names

Argument.—The various Processes whereby the supreme soul becomes the animal soul; and this again extending in all beings.

VASISHTHA said:—Tell me Lord! what is the state of the living soul, after its situation in the open air, and its observation of the vanity of the elemental and material body on its first creation.

2. The god replied—The living soul having sprung from the supreme, and being situated in the open firmament, views the body formed in the aforesaid manner, as a man sees a vision in his dream.

3. The living soul being ubiquitous, enters and acts in every part of this body, according to the behest of the embodied intellect, as a sleeping man acts his parts in a dream, and bears his body still.

4. It was the indiscrete infinite soul before, and then became the discrete spirit called the first male, and this spirit was the primary cause of creation in itself.

5. Thus this animated spirit became as Siva, at the beginning of the first creation; it was called Vishnu in another, and became the lotus born Brahmá or the great patriarch in the other.

6. This great progenitor of one creation, became the intellect in another, this became the volitive male agent of creation afterwards, and at last look upon it a male form according to its volition.

7. The primary volition of ideal creation becoming compact in time, it takes the form of the mind; which feels itself able to effect in act, whatsoever it wills in itself. (This form of the Mind is called Hiranyagarbha or Brahmá—the creative power of God).

8. This creation of the world by Brahmá is mere visionary, as the sight of a spectre in the air or in a dream; but it appears as[Pg 248] a positive reality, to the erroneous sight of the realist. (i.e. The world is ideal to the idealist, but a sober reality to the positivist).

9. The prime male agent that becomes the beholder of his creation, retains in him the power of exhibiting himself (or displaying his will) in the empty air every moment, or to retract them in himself into time.

10. To him a Kalpa or great Kalpa age, is a mere twinkling of his eye; and it is by the expansion or contraction of himself, that the world makes its appearance or disappearance.

11. Worlds come to appear and disappear at his will, at each moment of time, in each particle of matter, and in every pore of space, and there is no end of this successions in all eternity.

12. Many things are seen to occur one after another, in conformity with the course of our desires; but we never find any thing to take place, in concurrence with our sight of the holy spirit. (i.e. Nothing is both temporally as well as spiritually good).

13. All things are created (and vanish) with this creation, which do not occur to the unchanging Siva; and these are like the shadowy appearances in empty air, which rise of themselves and disappear in air.

14. All real and unreal appearances vanish of themselves, like mountains appearing in dreams; all these creations have no command over their causality, space or time.

15. Therefore all these phenomenals are neither real, potential or imaginary or temporary appearances; nor is there any thing, that is produced or destroyed at any time.

16. All these are the wondrous phenomena of our ideas and wishes (sankalpas), exhibited by the intellect in itself; and this world is like the appearance of an aerial castle in the dream, and subject to its rise and fall by turns.

17. The visible which appears to be moving about in time and space, has actually no motion whatever in either; but remains as fixed as an ideal rock in the mind for ever. (The unreal world can have no actual motion).

[Pg 249]

18. So also the extension of the unreal world, is no extension at all; as the magnitude of an ideal rock has no dimension whatever. (Things in the abstract, have no imaginable measure).

19. The situation and duration of the unreal world, conform exactly with the ideas of its time and place, which exist in the mind of the maker of all (or the great Archetype).

20. It is in this manner that he is instantly changed to a worm (from his idea of it), and so are all the four orders of living beings born in this world.

21. Thus the curative power becomes all things, from the great Rudras down to the mean straws in a minute (from his ideas of these); and even such as are as minute as atoms and particles of matter (i.e. in the forms of the protozoa and small animalcula).

22. This is the course of the production of the past and present creations, and it is the reminiscence of the past, which is the cause of the delusion of taking the world for a real existence.

23. After giving away the thought of the difference between the creator and the created, and by the habit of thinking all as the unity, one becomes Siva in a minute, and by thinking so for a longer period, one is assimilated to the nature of the supreme Intellect.

24. The intellect proceeds from the original intellect (of God), and rises without occupying any place. It is of the nature of understanding, and resides in the soul in the manner of empty air in the midst of a stone.

25. The soul which is of the manner of eternal light, is known under the denomination of Brahmá and the intellect which seated in this (soul), becomes weakened as the creative power increase, and strengthens in it. (i.e. The power of the thinking intellect decreases in proportion, as the power of the creative mind is on its increase).

26. Next the particles of time and place, join together in the formation of minute atoms; which by forming the elementary[Pg 250] bodies, have the living principle added to them. (These are called the protozoa or animalcules).

27. These then become vegetables and insects, and beasts, brutes and the forms of gods and demigods; and these being stretched out in endless series, remain as a long chain of being, connected by the strong and lengthening line of the soul, (called the sútrátmá).

28. Thus the great god that pervades over all his works in the world, connects all things in being and not being, as pearls in a necklace by the thread of his soul. He is neither near us nor even far from us; nor is he above or below anything whatever. He is neither the first nor last but ever lasting (having neither his beginning nor end). He is neither the reality or unreality, nor is he in the midst of these.

29. He is beyond all alternatives and antitheses, and is not to be known beyond our imaginary ideas of him. He has no measure or dimension, nor any likeness, form or form to represent him. Whatever greatness and majesty are attributed to him by men, they are all extinguished in his glory as the fire is cooled in the water.

30. Now, I have related to you all what you asked me about, and will now proceed to my desired place. Be you happy, O sage, and go your way; and rise, O Párvatí and let us take our way.

31. Vasishtha said:—When the god with his blue throat had spoken in this manner, I honoured him with throwing handfuls of flowers upon him. He then rose with his attendants, and pierced into the vacuity of heaven.

32. After departure of the lord of Umá, and master of the three worlds, I remained for some time reflecting on all I had heard from the god, and then having received the new doctrine with the purity of my heart, I gave up the external form of my worshipping the Deity.

[Pg 251]


On Rest and Tranquillity.

Argument.—Ráma admits before Vasishtha the removal of his doubt in dualistic doctrine.

VASISHTHA said:—I well understand what the god said, and you too, O Ráma! know very well the course of the world.

2. When the false world appears in a false light to the fallacious understanding of man, and all proves to be but vanity of vanities, say what thing is there that may be called true and good and what as untrue and bad. (There is nothing what ever which is really good).

3. As the alternative of something is not that thing itself, so the optional form of the soul, though not the soul itself, yet it serves to convey some idea of the soul. (As the explanation of the gloss is;—The similitude of a thing though not the thing itself, yet it gives some idea of the original).

4. As fluidity is the nature of liquids, and fluctuation is that of the winds, and as vacuity is the state of the sky, so is creation the condition of the spirit or divine soul.

5. I have ever since (hearing the lecture of Sivá), betaken myself to the worship of the spirit in spirit; and have since then, given up my eagerness for the outward adoration of gods.

6. It is by this rule that I have passed these days of my life, though I am tamely employed in the observance of the prescribed and popular ritual.

7. I have worshipped the Divine spirit, in all modes and forms and offering of flowers, as they presented of themselves to me; and notwithstanding the interruptions, I have uninterruptedly adored my god at all times, both by day and night.

8. All people in general, are concerned in making their[Pg 252] offerings acceptable to their receiver (god), but it is the meditation of the yogi, which is the true adoration of the spirit.

9. Having known this, O lord of Raghu's race, do you abandon the society of men in your heart, and walk in your lonely path amidst the wilderness of the world, and thereby remain without sorrow and remorse.

10. And when exposed or reduced to distress, or aggrieved at the loss or separation of friends, rely on this truth, and think on the vanity of the world.

11. We should neither rejoice nor regret, at the acquisition or loss of friends and relations; because all things almost are so frail and unstable, in this transitory world.

12. You well know, Ráma! the precarious state of worldly possessions and their pernicious effects also; they come and go away of their own accord, but overpower on the man in both states (of prosperity and adversity).

13. So uncertain are the favours of friends and fortune, and so unforeseen is their loss also, that it is no way possible for any body to account for them. (i.e. to assign any plausible cause to either).

14. O sinless Ráma! such is the course of the world, that you have no command over it nor is it ever subject to you; if the world is so insubordinate to you, why is it then that you should be sorry for so unmanageable a thing?

15. Ráma! mind your spiritual nature, and know yourself as an expanded form of your intellect. See how you are pent up in your earthly frame, and forsake your joy and grief at the repeated reiterations and exits of your corporeal body.

16. Know my boy, that you are of the form of your intellect only, and inherent throughout all nature; therefore there is nothing that you can resume to or reject from you in the world.

17. What cause of joy or grief is there in the vicissitudes of things in the world, which are occasioned by the revolutions of the mind on the pivot of the intellect; and resemble the whirling waters of the sea, caused by an eddy or vortex in it.

18. Do you, O Ráma! betake yourself to the fourth stage of[Pg 253] susupta or hypnotism hence forth, as the even tenor of the intellect, is attended by its trance at the end.

19. Be you as cold and composed with your placid countenance and expanded mind, as the quiet spirit of God is diffused and displayed through out all nature; and remains as full as the vast ocean, in the contemplation of that soul, whose fulness fills the whole.

20. You have heard all this already, Ráma! and are fraught with the fulness of your understanding, now if you have any thing else to ask with regard to your former question, you can propose the same. (This was a question regarding the observance of ceremonial rites).

21. Ráma said:—Sir, my former doubts are all dispersed at present, and I have nothing more to ask you regarding the same (i.e. the dualistic doctrine that raised the doubts).

22. I have known all that is to be known, and felt a heartfelt satisfaction at this, and now I am free from the foulness of the objective, and of dualism and fictions. (Knowledge of the objective being unspiritual, the dualism of matter and mind as unscriptual, and the fictions of the gods etc., as mere vagaries of imagination).

23. The foulness of the soul, proceeds from ignorance of the soul; and this ignorance (of the subjective self), which had darkened my soul, is now removed by the light of spirituality.

24. I was under the error (of the mortality and materiality of the soul), which I have now come to understand, is neither foul matter, nor is it born or dies at any time. (i.e. It is immaterial, unproduced and immortal).

25. I am now confirmed in my belief, that all this is Brahmá diffused through out nature (in his all pervasive form vivartarúpá); and I have ceased from all doubts and questions on the subject, nor have I the desire of knowing any thing more about it. (He desires to know nothing, who beholds the lord in every thing).

26. My mind is now as pure, as the purified water of filtering[Pg 254] machine; and am no more in need of learning any thing, from the preachings and moral lessons of the wise.

27. I am unconcerned with all worldly affairs, as the mount Sumeru is insensible of the golden ores in its bosom and having all things about me, I am quite indifferent to them; because I have not what I expect to have, nor do I possess the object of my fond desire.

28. I expect nothing that is desirable, nor reject any thing which is exceptionable; nor is there a mean in the interim of the two in this world, because there is nothing that is really acceptable or avoidable in it, nor anything which is truly good or bad herein.

29. Thus, O sage, the erroneous thought of these contraries, is entirely dissipated from me; wherefore I neither care for a seat in heaven, nor fear the terrors of the infernal regions.

30. I am as fixed in the selfsame spirit, as the mount Mandárá is firmly seated amidst the sea, and which scatters its particles throughout the three worlds, as that mountain splashed the particles of water in its state of churning the ocean.

31. I am as firm as the fixed Mandárá, while others are wandering in their errors of discriminating the positive and negative and the true and false, in their wrong estimation.

32. The heart of that man must be entangled with the weeds of doubts, who thinks in his mind the world to be one thing, and the Divine spirit as another. (This duality is the root of doubts in the one ultimate unity).

33. He that seeks for his real good in any thing in this world, never finds the same in the unsubstantial material world, which is full of the confused waves of the eternity.

34. It is by your favour, O venerable sir, that I have got over the boisterous ocean of this world; and having the limits of its perilous coasts, have come to the shore of safety and found the path of my future prosperity.

35. I am no more wanting in that supreme felicity, which is the summum bonum of all things; and am full in myself as the lord of all. And I am quite indomitable by any body, since I have defeated the wild elephant of my covetousness.

[Pg 255]

36. Being loosened from the chain of desire, and freed from the fetters of option, I am rich and blest with the best of all things, and this is the internal satisfaction of my soul and mind, which gives me a cheerful appearance in all the triple world.

[Pg 256]


Inquiry into the Essence of the Mind.

Argument.—On the means of forsaking all connections and desires, and the subjection of the mind by spiritual knowledge.

VASISHTHA said:—Ráma! whatever acts you do with your organs of action and without application of the mind to the work in hand, know such work to be no doing of yours. (An involuntary action is not accounted as the act of one, in absence of his will in it).

2. Who does not feel a pleasure at the time of his achieving an action, which he did not feel a moment before, nor is likely to perceive the next moment after he has done the work. (Therefore it is the attention of the mind which gives pleasure to an action, and which is not to be felt in absence of that attention, both before and after completion of the act).

3. The pleasure of a thing is accompanied only with the desire of its passion, and not either prior or posterior to the same; therefore it is boyish and not manliness to take any delight in a momentary pleasure. (All pleasure and pain are concomitant with their thoughts only; and these being fleeting there is no lasting pleasure or pain in anything).

4. Whatever is pleasant during its desire, has that desire only for the cause of its pleasantness: hence the pleasurableness of a thing lasting till its unpleasurableness is no real pleasure; wherefore this frail pleasure must be forsaken together with its temporary cause of desire by the wise.

5. If you have arrived to that high state (of knowing the universality of the soul); then be careful for the future, and merge yourself no more in the narrow pit of your personality.

6. You who have now found your rest and repose, in being seated in the highest pinnacle of spiritual knowledge (by cognoscence of yourself); must not allow your soul any more,[Pg 257] to plunge in the deep and dark cave of your egoistic individuality.

7. Thus seated on the pitch of your knowledge, as on the top of the Meru mountain; and remembering the glorious prospect all around you; you cannot choose to fall down into the hellpit of this earth, and to be reborn in the darksome cave of a mother's womb. (Because the living soul is doomed to transmigration and regeneration until its final liberation).

8. It appears to me, O Ráma! that you are of an even temperament, and have the quality of truth (satyaguna) full in your nature; I understand you have weakened your desires, and have entirely got over your ignorance.

9. You appear to be settled in your nature of purity, and the temperament of your mind appears to me to be as calm and quiet as the sea, when it is full and untroubled by the rude and rough winds of heaven.

10. May your expectations set at ease, and your wants terminate in contentment, let your dementation turn to rightmindedness, and live unconnected with and aloof from all.

11. Whatever objects you come to see placed before you, know the same as full of the Divine intellect, which is consolidated and extended through all, as their common essence. (The solid intellect forming the body, and its rarity the mind. "That extended through all yet in all the same; great in the earth as in the etherial frame", Pope).

12. One ignorant of the soul, is fast bound to his ignorance; and one acquainted with the soul, is liberated from his bondage. Hence, O Ráma! learn to meditate constantly and intensely, the supreme soul in your own soul.

13. It is indifference which wants to enjoy nothing, nor yet refuses the enjoyment of whatever presents of itself to any body; and know inappetency to consist in the cool calmness of the mind, resembling the serenity of the sky. (Insouciance is the want of desire and renunciation of prurience and not the abdication of enjoyment).

14. Preserve the cold listlessness of your mind, and discharge your duties with the cool application of your organs of[Pg 258] action; and this unconcernedness of your mind, will render you as steady as the sky at all accidents of life.

15. If you can combine the knower, knowable and the knowledge (i.e. all the three states of the subjective, objective and the intermediate percipience) in your soul alone; you will then feel the tranquillity of your spirit and shall have no more to feel the troubles of sublunary life.

16. It is the expansion and contraction of the mind, that causes the display and dissolution of the world; try therefore to stop the action of thy mind, by restraining the breaths of thy desire in thyself.

17. So it is the breath of life, which conducts and stops the business of the world, by its respiration and rest; restrain therefore the breathing of the vital air, by thy practice of the regulation of thy breathing (as dictated before).

18. So also it is the act of ignorance to give rise to ceremonious works, as it is that of knowledge to repress them; Do you therefore boldly put them down by your own forbearance, and the instructions you derive from the sástras and your preceptors.

19. As the winds flying with dust, darken the fair face of the sky; so the intellect being daubed with the intelligibles (the subjective soiled with the objective), obscure the clear visage of the soul.

20. The action of the relation between the vision and visibles (i.e. the mutual of the eyesight and outward objects on one another), causes the appearance of the world and its course; as the relation that there exists between the solar rays and formations of things, makes them appear in various colours to the eye. (Neither the course of the world, nor the appearance of colour is in real being, but is owing to the relative combination of things).

21. But the want of this relativity removes the phenomenals from sight, as the want of light takes away the colours of things. (The former is an instance of the affirmative kind (anvayi); and the latter a vyatireki or negative one).

22. The oscillation of the mind causes the illusions, as the[Pg 259] palpitation of the heart raises the affections, and they are all at a stop at the suspension of the actions of these organs. So the waves raised by motion of waters and action of the winds, subside in the deep, by cessation of the actions of these elements. (The question is whether the affections are not causes of the palpitation of the heart?).

23. The abandonment of every jot of desire, the suspension of respiration, and the exercise of intellection, will contract the actions of the heart and mind, and thereby prevent the rise of the passions and affections and of illusions also. (Entire dispassionateness is the perfection of yoga asceticism).

24. The unconsciousness which follows the inaction of the heart and mind, in consequence of the suspension of the vital breath is the highest perfection (of yoga philosophy).

25. There is a pleasure in respect to the vision of visibles, which is common to all living being; but this being felt spiritually, amounts to holy pleasure paramánanda. But the sight of God in one's consciousness, which is beyond the province of the mind; transcends the mental pleasure, and affords a divine ecstacy, called the Brahmánanda.

26. The mind being dormant and insensible, affords the true rapture of the soul; and such as it is not to be had even in heaven, as it is not possible to have a refrigeratory or cooling bath in the sandy desert.

27. The inertness of the heart and mind is attended with a delight, which is felt in the inmost soul and cannot be uttered in words; it is an everlasting joy that has neither its rise nor fall, nor its increase or decrease. (It is the lasting sunshine and unchanging moonlight of the soul).

28. Right understanding weakens the sensuous mind (by the blaze of rationality), but wrong understanding serves to increase its irrational sensuousness only. It then sees the thickening mists of error, rising as spectres and apparitions before the sight of boys.

29. Though the sensational mind is existent in us, yet it seems as quite inexistent and extinct before the light of our rationality, as the substance of copper appears to disappear[Pg 260] by being melted with gold. (The carnal mind is converted to the rational understanding by its association with it).

30. The mind of the wise is not the sensuous mind, because the wise mind is an essence of purity by itself; thus the sensible mind is changed in its name and nature to that of the understanding, as the copper is converted to the name and nature of gold.

31. But it is not possible for the mind to be absorbed at once in the intellect, its errors only are moved by right understanding, but its essence is never annihilated. (As the alloy of copper in gold).

32. Things taken as symbols of the soul, are all unsubstantial as the mind and vital principle; all which are as unreal as the horns of a hare (which are never known to grow). They are but reflexions of the soul, and vanish from view after the soul is known. (The mind is said to be an expansion of the soul [Sanskrit: átmanívivartta rúpam|]).

33. The mind has its being for a short time only, during its continuance in the world; but after it has passed its fourth stage of insensibility, it arrives to the state of comatosity which is beyond the fourth stage.

34. Brahmá is all even and one, though appearing as many amidst the errors that reign over the world; He is the soul of all and has no partial or particular form of any kind. He is not the mind or any thing else, nor is He situated in the heart (as a finite being). (Gloss:—The Divine Soul like the human mind has conceptions of endless things, which are neither situated in it nor parts of itself, but are as empty phantoms in the air).

[Pg 261]


Story of the vilva or Belfruit.

Argument.—God represented as the Belfruit or Wood apple; containing the Worlds as its seeds.

VASISHTHA said:—Attend now, O Ráma! to a pleasant story, which was never told before, and which I will briefly narrate to you for your instruction and wondrous amusement.

2. There is a big and beautiful vilva or bel fruit, as large as the distance of many myriads of miles, and as solid as not to ripen or rot in the course of as many many ages.

3. It bears a lasting flavour as that of sweet honey or celestial ambrosia; and though grown old yet it increases day by day like the crescent new moon, with its fresh and beautiful foliage.

4. This tree is situated in the midst of the universe, as the great Meru is placed in the middle of the earth; it is as firm and fixed as the Mandara mountain, and is immovable even by the force of the diluvian winds.

5. Its root is the basis of the world, and it stretches to the distance of immeasurable extent on all sides.

6. There were millions of worlds all within this fruit as its un-countable seeds; and they were as minute in respect to the great bulk of the fruit, that they appeared as particles of dust at foot of a mountain.

7. It is filled and fraught with all kinds of delicacies, that are tasteful and delicious to the six organs of sense; and there is not one even of the six kinds of savoury articles, that is wanting in this fruit.

8. The fruit is never found in its green or unripe state, nor is it ever known to fall down ever over-ripened on the ground; it is ever ripe of itself, and is never rotten or dried or decayed at any time by age or accident.

9. The gods Brahmá, Vishnu and Rudra, are not sempiternal[Pg 262] with this tree in their age, nor do they know aught of the origin and root of this tree, nor anything about its extent and dimensions.

10. None knows the germ and sprout of this tree, and its buds and flowers are invisible to all. There is no stem or trunk or bough or branch, of the tree that bears this great fruit.

11. This fruit is a solid mass of great bulk, and there is no body that has seen its growth, change or fall. (It is ever ripe without ripening or rotting at any time).

12. This is the best and largest of all fruits, and having no pith nor seed, is always sound and unsoiled.

13. It is as dense as the inside of a stone in its fullness, and as effluent of bliss as the disk of the moon, drizzling with its cooling beams; it is full of flavour and distils its ambrosial draughts to the conscious souls of men.

14. It is source of delight in all beings, and it is the cause of the cooling moon-beams by its own brightness; It is the solid rock of all security, the stupendous body of felicity, and contains the pith and marrow that support and sustain all living souls, which are the fruits of the prior acts of people. (i.e. The souls of all beings are as fruits formed according to the nature and merit of their previous acts—karma, and all these souls are filled with delight by the great soul of God).

15. Therefore that transcendent pith which is the wonder of souls, is contained in the Infinite spirit of God, and deposited and preserved in that auspicious fruit—sriphala—the bel or wood apple.

16. It is deposited with its wondrous power in that small bel fruit, which represents the human as well as the divine soul, without losing its properties of thinness and thickness and freshness for ever. (i.e. All the divine powers—of evolution are lodged in the soul).

17. The thought that 'I am this', clothes the unreality with a gross form (as the thought of a devil gives the unreal phantom a foul figure); and though it is absurd to attribute differences to nullities, yet the mind makes them of itself and then believes its fictitious creatures as real ones.

[Pg 263]

18. The Divine ego contains in itself the essential parts of all things set in their proper order, as the vacuity of the sky is filled with the minute atoms, out of which the three worlds did burst forth with all their varieties. (So the substance of the bel fruit, contains the seeds of the future trees and all their several parts in it).

19. In this manner there grew the power of consciousness in its proper form, and yet the essence of the soul retains its former state without exhausting itself. (It means that notwithstanding the endless evolutions of the Divine soul, its substance ever continues the same and is never exhausted).

20. The power of consciousness being thus stretched about (from its concentration in itself), makes it perceive the fabric of the world and its great bustle in its tranquil self. (It means how the subjective consciousness is changed to the objective).

21. It views the great vacuum on all sides, and counts the parts of time as they pass away; it conceives a destiny which directs all things, and comes to know what is action by its operation.

22. It finds the world stretching as the wish of one, and the sides of heaven extending as far as the desires of men; it comes to know the feelings of love and hatred, and the objects of its liking and dislike.

23. It understands its egoism and non-egoism or tuism, or the subjective and objective and views itself in an objective light, by forgetting its subjectivity. It views the worlds above and being itself as high as any one of them, finds itself far below them. (The human soul though as elevated as the stars of heaven, becomes as low as a sublunary being by its baseness).

24. It perceives one thing to be placed before, and another to be situated beside it; it finds some thing to be behind, and others to be near or afar from it; and then it comes to know some things as present and others as past or yet to come before it. (The soul losing its omniscience has a partial view of things).

25. Thus the whole world is seen to be situated as a play[Pg 264] house in it, with various imaginary figures brightening as lotuses in a lake.

26. Our consciousness is seated in the pericarp of the lotus of our hearts, with the knowledge of our endless desires budding about it, and viewing the countless worlds turning round like a rosary of lotus seeds.

27. Its hollow cell like the firmaments is filled with the great Rudras, who rove about in the distant paths of the midway sky, like comets falling from above with their flaming tails. (The vedas describe the Rudras as blue necked &c. (nílagríváh). These worshipful gods of the vedas are found to be no other than wondrous phenomena of the vacuity which are deified in the Elementary religion of the ancients).

28. It has the great mount of Meru situated in its midst, like the bright pericarp amidst the cell of the lotus flower. The moon capt summit of this mount is frequented by the immortals, who wander about it like wanton bees in quest of the ambrosial honey distilled by the moon beams on high. (The gloss places the Meru in the northern region of the distant pole, while the Puránas place it in the midst of the earth). It was the resort of the gods as also the early cradle of the pristine Aryans, who are represented as gods.

29. Here is the tree of the garden of Paradise with its clusters of beautiful flowers, diffusing their fragrance all around; and there is the deadly tree of the old world, scattering its pernicious farina for culling us to death and hell. (The gloss explains rajas or flower dust as our worldly acts, which lead us to the hell torments of repeated transmigrations).

30. Here the stars are shining, like the bright filaments of flowery arbors, growing on the banks of the wide ocean of Brahma; and there is the pleasant lake of the milky path, in the boundless space of vacuity.

31. Here roll the uncontrolled waves of the ceremonial acts, fraught with frightful sharks in their midst, and there are the dreadful whirlpools of worldly acts, that whirl mankind in endless births for ever more.

[Pg 265]

32. Here runs the lake of time in its meandering course for ever, with the broad expanse of heaven for its blooming blossom; and having the moments and ages for its leaves and petals, and the luminaries of sun, moon and stars for its bright pistils and filaments.

33. Here it sees the bodies of living beings fraught with health and disease, and teeming with old age, decay and the torments of death; and there it beholds the jarring expositions of the sástras, some delighting in their knowledge of spiritual Vidyá, and others rambling in the gloom of Ignorance—Avidyá (which leads them from error to error).

34. In this manner doth our inner consciousness, represent the wonders contained in the pulp of the vilva fruit; which is full of the unsubstantial substance of our desires and wishes, and the pithless marrow of our false imagination.

35. It sees many that are tranquil, calm, cool and dispassionate, and who are free from their restraints and desires; they are heedless of both their activity and inactivity, and do not care for works whether done or left undone by them.

36. Thus this single consciousness presents her various aspects, though she is neither alone nor many of herself, except that she is what she is. She has in reality but one form of peaceful tranquillity; though she is possest of the vast capacity of conceiving in herself all the manifold forms of things at liberty.

[Pg 266]


Parable of the Stony sheath of the Soul.

Argument.—The divine mind is the substratum of the totality of existence.

RÁMA said:—Venerable sir, that knowest the substance of all truths; I understand the parable of bel fruit which you have just related to me to bear relation to the essence of the compact intellect, which is the only unit and identic with itself.

2. The whole plenitude of existence together with the personalities of I, thou, this and that form the plenum (or substance), of the intellect; and there is not the least difference between them, as this is one thing and that another. (All this is but one undivided whole, whose body nature is and God the soul. Pope).

3. Vasishtha answered—As this mundane egg or universe is likened to a gourd fruit, containing the mountains and all other things as its inner substance; so doth the intellect resemble the bel fruit or the grand substratum, that contains even the universe as the kernel inside it.

4. But though the world has no other receptacle beside the Divine intellect, yet it is not literally the kernel inside that crust (i.e. the substance of that substratum in its literal sense). Because the world has its decay, decline and dissolution also in time, but none of these belong to the nature of the everlasting mind of God.

5. The intellect resembles the hard coating of the pepper seed, containing the soft substance of its pith inside it, and is likened also to block of stone, bearing the sculptured figures peacefully sleeping in it. (All things are engraven in the divine mind).

6. Here me relate to you, O moon faced Ráma! another pleasant story in this place which will appear equally charming[Pg 267] as well as wondrous to you. (It is the story of stone like Brahma).

7. There is a huge block of stone somewhere, which is as big as it is thick and solid; it is bright and glossy, and cold and smooth to touch; it never wastes or wears out, nor becomes dark and dim.

8. There are many full blown lotuses, and unnumbered buds of water lilies, growing amidst the limpid lake of water, contained within the bosom of this wondrous stone. (It means that the mind of God has all these images of things engraved in it as in a stone).

9. There are many other plants growing also in that lake, some with their long and broad caves and others with their alternate and joint foliums likewise.

10. There are many flowers with their up lifted and down cast heads, and others with their petals hanging before them; some having a combined or common footstalk, and others growing separate and apart from one another; some are concealed and others manifest to view.

11. Some have their roots formed of the fibres of the pericarp, and some have their pericarps growing upon the roots (as orchids), some have their roots on the tops and others at the foot of trees, while there are many without their roots at all: (as the parasite plants).

12. There are a great many conch shells about these, and unnumbered diseases also strewn all about.

13. Ráma said:—All this is true, and I have seen this large stone of sálgráma in my travels; and I remember it to be placed in the shrine of Vishnu, amidst a bed of lotus flowers. (The sálgráma stone is perforated by the vajra-kíta, and contains many marks inside it, resembled to the map of the world in the mundane egg of the divine mind. See vajra-kíta in the works of Sir William Jones).

14. Vasishtha replied:—You say truly, that you have seen that great stone and know its inside also; but do you know the unperforated and hollowless stone of the divine mind, that contains the universe in its concavity, and is the life of all living[Pg 268] beings (and not the dull, lifeless and hollow sálagráma stone which they worship as an emblem of the divine mind).

15. The stone of which I have been speaking to you, is of a marvelous and supernatural kind; and contains in its voidless bosom all things as nothing. (i.e. the ideas and not substances of things).

16. It is the stone like intellect of which I have spoken to you, and which contains all these massive worlds within its spacious sphere. It is figuratively called a stone from its solidity, cohesive impenetrability and indivisibility like those of a block.

17. This solid substance of the intellect, notwithstanding its density and unporousness, contains all the worlds in itself, as the infinite space of heaven is filled with the subtile and atmospheric air. (The divine mind like external nature, is devoid of a vacuity in it, according to the common adage: "Nature abhors a vacuum").

18. The mind is occupied with all its various thoughts, as the world is filled by the earth and sky, the air and atmosphere, and the mountains and rivers on all sides, there is not hole or hollow, which is not occupied by some thing or other in it.

19. The solid soul of God which resembles this massive stone, contains in it all these worlds which are displayed (to our deluded sight), as so many beds of lotuses in their blooming beauty; and yet there is nothing so very pure and unsullied as this solid crystalline soul. (The soul like a crystal, reflects its light in various forms).

20. As it is the practice of men to paint blocks of stones, with the figures of lotuses, conch shells and the like images; so it is the tendency of the fanciful mind, to picture many fantastic of all times in the solid rock of the soul. (The soul like a crystal stone is wholly blank in itself, it is only the imaginative mind, that tinges it in different shades and colours).

21. All things in the world appear to be situated exactly in the same state, as the various figures carved on the breast of a stone, seem to be separate though they are bellied in the same relief. (All distinctions blend in the same receptacle).

[Pg 269]

22. As the carved lotus is not distinct from the body of the stone, so no part of existence is set apart from the substantiality of the divine intellect; which represents its subtile ideas in their condensed forms.

23. This formal creation is as inseparable from the formless intellect of God, as the circular forms of lotus flowers which are carved in a stone, are not separate from the great body of the shapeless stone.

24. These endless chains of worlds, are all linked up in the boundless intellect of the Deity; in the same manner as the clusters of lotus flowers are carved together in a stone; and as a great many seeds, are set together in the inside of a long pepper.

25. These revolving worlds have neither their rise nor fall in the sphere of the infinite intellect, but they remain as firm as the kernel of a bel fruit, and as fixed as the fidelity of a faithful wife.

26. The revolution of worlds and their changing scenes, that are seen to take place in their situation in the Divine Intellect, do not prove the changeableness of the all containing Infinite Mind, because its contents of finite things are so changeable in their nature. (The container is not necessarily of the nature of its contents).

27. All these changes and varieties subside at last in the divine intellect, as the waves and drops of water sink down in the Sea; and the only change which is observable in the Supreme Intellect, is its absorption of all finite changes into its infinity. (All finite forms and their temporary transformations, terminate finally into infinity).

28. The word (Fiat) that has produced this all, causes their changes and dissolutions also in itself. Know then that Brahma from whom this fiat and these changes have sprung, and all these being accompanied with Brahma and the original fiat, the word change is altogether meaningless. (There is no new change from what is ordained from the beginning).

29. Brahma being both the mainspring as well as the main stay of all changes in nature; He is neither excluded from or[Pg 270] included under any change, which occur in the sphere of his immensity (i.e. the spirit of God being the unchanging source of all phenomenal changes, is not exempted from the mutations that occur in his infinity. So says the poet: "These as they change are but the varied God &c." Thompson).

30. And know this in one or other of the two senses, that the change of the divine spirit in the works of creation, resembles the change or development of the seed into its stem, fruits and flowers and other parts; or that it is a display of delusion máyá like the appearance of water in the mirage. (Here the changing scenes of nature, are viewed in both lights of evolution and illusion).

31. As the substance of seed goes on gradually transforming itself into the various states of its development, so the density of the divine intellect (or spirit) condenses itself the more and more in its production of solid and compact world, and this is the course of the formation of the cosmos by slow degrees.

32. The union of the seed with the process of its development forms the duality, that is destroyed by the loss of either of these. It is imagination only that paints the world as a dull material thing, when there is no such grossness in the pure intellect. (The gloss explains this passage to mean that, It is the doctrine of dualists to maintain the union of the productive seed or spirit of God, with the act of producing the material world to be coeternal, and the one becomes null without the other, but this tenet is refuted on the ground of the impossibility of the Combination of the immaterial with the material, whence the material world is proved to be a nullity and mere illusion).

33. The intellect and dull matter cannot both combine together, nor can the one be included under the other, therefore the ideal world resembles the marks inscribed in the stone and no way different in their natures.

34. As the pith and marrow of a fruit, is no other than the fruit itself; so the cosmos forms the gist of the solid intellect, and no way separable from the same; which is like a thick stone containing marks, undermarks, underlined under one another.

[Pg 271]

35. So we see the three worlds lying under one another, in the womb of the unity of God; as we behold the sleeping and silent marks of lotuses and conch shells, inscribed in the hollow of a stone.

36. There is no rising nor setting (i.e. the beginning or end), of the course of the world (in the mind of God); but every thing is as fixed and immovable in it, as the inscription carved in a stone.

37. It is the pith and marrow of the divine intellect, that causes the creative power and the act of creation; as it is the substance of the stone, that produces and reduces the figures in the stone.

38. As the figures in the stone, have no action or motion of their own; so the agents of the world have no action of theirs, nor is this world ever created or destroyed at any time (but it continues for ever as carved in the mind of God).

39. Every thing stands as fixed in the mind of God, as if they were the firm and immovable rocks; and all have their forms and positions in the same manner as they are ordained and situated in the Divine Mind.

40. All things are filled with the essence of God, and remain as somnolent in the Divine mind; the various changes and conditions of things that appear to us in this world, are the mere vagaries of our erroneous fancy; for every thing is as fixed and unchanged in the mind of God, as the dormant images on a stone.

41. All actions and motions of things are as motionless in mind of God, as the carved lie asleep in the hollow of a stone. It is the wrong superfluous view of things, that presents to us all these varieties and changes; but considered in the true and spiritual light, there is neither body nor any change that presents itself to our sight.

[Pg 272]


Lecture on the Density of the Intellect.

Argument.—Interpretation of the Intellect compared with the Belfruit and carved stone and its further comparison with the Egg of a Peahen.

VASISHTHA continued:—The great category of the Intellect which is compared with the bel fruit or wood apple, contains the universe as its own matter and marrow within itself; and it broods upon the same: as in its dream (by forgetfulness of its own nature of omniscience before which everything is present).

2. All space and time and action and motion being but forms of itself, there can be no distinction of them in the intellect. (Hence every part of creation and all created things, are but composite parts of the intellect).

3. All words and their senses, and all acts of volition, imagination and perception, being actions of the intellect, they can not be unrealities in any respect. (Nothing proceeding from the real one is ever unreal).

4. As the substance contained in a fruit, passes under the several names of the kernel, pith and marrow and seeds; so the pith and marrow of the solid intellect being but one and the same thing, takes many names according to their multifarious forms.

5. A thing though the same, has yet different names according to its different states and changes of form; and as it is with the contents of a fruit, so it is with the subjects included under the intellect.

6. The intellect reflects its image in the mirror of the world, as these sculptured images are exprest in a slab of stone.

7. The brilliant gem of the supreme intellects produces myriads of worlds in itself; as the gem of your minds casts the reflection of every object of our desire and imagination.

[Pg 273]

8. The casket of the intellect contains the spacious world, which is set in it as a big pearl of vast size; it is but a part of the other, though appearing as distinct and different from the other.

9. The intellect is situated as the shining sun, to illumine all things in the world; it brings on the days and nights by turns, to show and hide them to and from our view.

10. As the waters of an eddy whirl and hurl down into the vortex of the sea, so do these worlds roll and revolve in the cavity of the intellect; and though its contents are of the same kind, yet they appear as different from one another as the pulps and seeds of fruits.

11. The body of the stone like intellect contains the marks of whatever is existent in present creation; as also of all that is inexistent at present (i.e. the marks of all past and future creation. The omniscience of the divine intellect has all thing present before it, whether they are past and gone or to come to being hereafter).

12. All real essence is the substance of the apple-like Intellect, whether it is in being or not being and all objects whether in esse or non esse, obtain their form and figure according to the pith and marrow of that intellectual fruit. (All outward forms are the types of the intellectual archetype).

13. As the lotus loses its own and separate entity by its being embodied in the stone, so do all these varieties of existence lose their difference by their being engrossed into the unity of the intellectual substance.

14. As the diversity of the lotus changes to the identity of the stone, by its union with and entrance into its cavity; so the varieties of creation, become all one in the solid mass of the Divine Intellect.

15. As the mirage appears to be a sheet of water to the thirsty deer, while it is known to the intelligence to be the reflexion of the solar rays on the sandy desert; so does the reality appear as unreal and the unreal as real to the ignorant; while in truth there is neither the one nor the other here, except the images of the Divine Mind.

[Pg 274]

16. As the body of waters fluctuates itself (owing to the fluidity of the element); so is there oscillation in the solidity of the Divine Intellect (owing to its spiritual nature).

17. The lotuses and conch-shells are of the same substance, as the stone in which they are carved and engraved; but the world and all its contents that contained in the intellect, are neither of the same substance nor of the same nature (because of their perishableness).

18. Again the big block of stone which serves for the comparison of the divine Intellect, is itself contained in the same; and while the figures of the former are carved out of its body, those of the latter are eternally inherent in it.

19. This creation of God is as bright as the autumnal sky, and it is as fair as the liquid beams of the moon. (It means to say, says the gloss, that God shines in his form of the world jagat-Brahmá or God identified with the world which is the doctrine of cosmotheism).

20. The world is eternally situated in God, as the figures in the stone which are never effaced; the world is as inseparably connected with the Deity, as the god head of god with himself.

21. There is no difference of these, as there is none between the tree and its plant; all the worlds that are seen all abouts, are not disjoined from Divine Intellect.

22. These as well as the Intellect have neither their production nor destruction at any time, because of their subsistence in the spirit of God, which shows them in their various forms, as the heat of the sun exhibits a sheet of water in the sandy desert.

23. The world with all its solid rocks, trees and plants, dissolves into the Divine Intellect at the sight of the intelligent, as the hard hail stones are seen to melt into the liquid and pure water. (All solids vanish into subtle air).

24. As the water vanishes into the air, and that again into vacuum, so do all things pass away to the supreme spirit; and again it is the consolidation of the Intellect, that forms the solid substances of hills, plants and all tangible things.[Pg 275] (Condensation as well as rarefaction, are both of them but acts of the great mind of God).

25. The pith that is hidden in the minute substance, becomes the marrow in its enlarged state; so the flavor of things which is concealed in the atoms, becomes perceptible in their density with their growth.

26. The power of God resides in the same manner in all corporeal things, as the properties of flavours and moisture are inherent in the vegetable creation. (Hence Brahmá is said to be the pith or moisture of all—rasovaitata).

27. The same power of God manifests itself in many forms in things, as the self same light of the sun shows itself in variegated colours of things, according to the constitution of their component particles.

28. The supreme soul shows itself in various ways in the substance and properties of things, as the Divine Intellect represents the forms of mountains and all other things in the changeful mind.

29. As the soft and liquid yolk of the egg of a peahen, contains in it the toughness and various colours of the future quills and feathers; so there are varieties of all kinds inhering in the Divine Intellect, and requiring to be developed in time.

30. As the versicolour feathers of a peacock's train, are contained in the moisture within the egg; so the diversity of creation is ingrained in the Divine mind (as it is said in the parable of the Peahen's egg).

31. The judicious observer will find the one self same Brahmá, to be present every where before his sight; and will perceive his unity amidst all diversity, as in the yolk of the peahen.

32. The knowledge of the unity and duality of God, and that of his containing the world in himself; is also as erroneous as the belief in the entity and nonentity of things. Therefore all these are to be considered as the one and same thing and identic with one another. (This is cosmotheism).

33. Know him as the supreme, who is the source of all entity and non-entity, and on whose entity they depend; whose[Pg 276] unity comprises all varieties, which appear as virtual and are no real existences. (Hence the gloss deduces the corollary, that the unreal or negative is subordinate to the positive, and the variety to the unity).

34. Know the world to be compressed under the category of the Intellect, as the Intellect also is assimilated with the works of creation; in the same manner as is the relation of the feather and moisture, the one being the production and the other the producer of one another.

35. The mundane egg resembles the peahen's egg, and the spirit of God is as the yolk of that egg; it abounds with many things like the variegated feathers of the peacocks, all which serve but to mislead us to error. Know therefore there is no difference in outward form and internal spirit of the world, as there is none in the outer peacock and the inner-yolk.

[Pg 277]


On the Unity and Identity of Brahmá and the World.

Argument.—He whose essence is the source of all our enjoyments; is ascertained as the Sachchidánanda or Entity of the Felicitous Intellect or the blissful spirit of God.

VASISHTHA continued:—That which contains this wide extended universe within itself, and without manifesting its form unto us, is very like the egg of the peahen and contains all space and individual bodies in its yolk. (The mind of God contains the mundane egg).

2. That which has nothing in reality in it, appears yet to contain everything in itself; as the spotless mirror reflects the image of the moon, and the hollow egg bears the figure of the future peacock.

3. It is in this manner that the gods and sages, saints and holy-men, the siddhas and great Rishis, meditate on the true and self subsistent form of God, as find themselves seated in their fourth state of bliss above the third heaven.

4. These devout personages sit with their half shut eyes, and without the twinkling of their eyelids; and continue to view in their inward souls, the visible glory of God shining in its full light.

5. Thus enrapt in their conscious presence of God, they are unconscious of any other thought in their minds; though when employed in the acts of life, remain without the respiration of their vital breath.

6. They sit quiet as figures in a painting, without respiration of their breath, and remain as silent as sculptured statues, without the action of their minds. (They forget themselves to stones in their excess of devotion).

7. They remain in their state of holy rapture, without the employment of their minds in their fleeting thoughts, and whenever[Pg 278] they have any agitation they can effect anything, as the Lord God works all things at the slightest nod.

8. Even when their minds are employed in meditative thoughts, they are usually attended with a charming gladness, like that of the charming moonbeams falling on and gladding the leafy branches of trees.

9. The soul is as enraptured with the view of the holy light of God, as the mind is delighted at the sight of the cooling moonbeams, emitted afar from the lunar disc. (The gloss explains the distant moonlight to be less dazzling than the bright disc of that luminary).

10. The aspect of pure conscience is as clear, as the fair face of the bright moon; it is neither visible nor in need of admonition, nor is it too near nor far from us. (The gloss is silent on the inappropriateness of the simile).

11. It is by one's self cogitation alone that the pure intellect can be known, and not by the bodily organs, or living spirit or mind, or by our desire of knowing it.

12. It is not the living soul nor its consciousness, nor the vibrations of the body, mind, or breath. It is not the world nor its reality or unreality, or its vacuity or solidity, or the centre of any thing.

13. It is not time or space or any substance at all, nor is it a god or any other being, whatever is quite free from all these and unconfined in the heart or any of the sheaths inside the body.

14. That is called the soul in which all things are moving, and which is neither the beginning nor end of any thing, but exists from eternity to eternity, and is not characterised by any of the elementary bodies of air and the rest.

15. The soul is an entity that is never annihilated in this or the next world, though the sentient bodies may be born and die away a thousand times like earthen pots here below.

16. There is no removal of this vacuous spirit from its seat, both in the inside and outside of every body; for know, O thou best of spiritualists, all bodies to be equally situated in the all pervading spirit.

[Pg 279]

17. It is the imperfection of our understanding, that creates the difference between the spirit and the body; but it shows the perfection of our judgement, when we believe the universal soul, to be diffused throughout the universe.

18. Though warmly engaged in business, yet remain unaddicted to worldliness by your indifference to the world, and to all moving and unmoving things that there exists on earth.

19. Know all those as the great Brahma—the immaculate soul, that is without the properties and attributes of mortal beings; it is without change and beginning and end, and is always tranquil and in the same state.

20. Now Ráma! as you have known by your spiritual vision (clairvoyance), all things including time and action, and all causality, causation and its effect, together with the production, sustentation and dissolution of all, to be composed of the spirit of God, you are freed from your wanderings in the world in your bodily form.

[Pg 280]


Contemplation of the course of the World.

Argument.—Consideration of the changes in the state of things; and their origination from Ignorance and extinction in the true knowledge of their nature.

RÁMA said:—Sir, if there is no change in the immutable spirit of God; say how do these various changes constantly appear to occur in the state of things in this world. (Because it is the change of cause that produces a change in the effect, as also a change in the state of any thing, argues a change in its cause likewise).

2. Vasishtha replied:—Hear Ráma! that it is the alteration of a thing that does not revert to its former state, that is called its change, as it occurs in the instance of milk, and its conversion to curd and butter, which never become the pure milk again.

3. The milk is converted to curd, but the curd never reverts to its former state of milk, such is the nature of change in the state of things; but it can never affect the great God, who remains alike all along the first, intermediate and last states of things.

4. There is no such change as that of milk or any other things in the immutable Brahma, who having no beginning nor end, can neither have any age or stage of life assigned to him. (i.e. The Infinite God is neither young nor old as any finite being).

5. The states of beginning and end which are attributed to eternal God, are the false imputations of ignorance and error, as there can be no change of changeless one. (To say therefore that God is the first and last, the alpha and omega of all, means that the beginning and end of all things, are comprised in his everlasting existence).

6. Brahma is not our consciousness, nor the object of our[Pg 281] consciousness. He is as unconnected with us as our soul and intellect, and is only known to us by the word.

7. A thing is said to be the same, with what it is in the beginning and end; the difference that takes place in the form is only a mist of error, and is taken into no account by the wise. (The identity of a thing consists in its unalterable part).

8. It is the soul only that remains self same with itself, both in the beginning, middle and end of it, and in all places and times, and never changes with the change of the body or mind and therefore forms the identity of the person.

9. The soul which is formless and self-same with itself, forms the personality and individuality of a being, and because it is not subject to any modality or mutation at any time, it constitutes the essential identity of every body.

10. Ráma rejoined:—If the divine soul is always the same and perfectly pure in itself, when proceeds our error of its changeableness, and what is the cause of the avidyá or ignorance that shows these changes unto us?

11. Vasishtha replied:—The category of Brahma implies that, He is all what is, what was, and what will be in future; that He is without change and without beginning and end, and there is no avidyá ignorance in him.

12. The signification that is meant to be expressed by the significant term Brahma, does not include any other thing as what is inexistent, or the negative idea of ignorance under it (i.e. God is what is and not what is not).

13. Thyself and myself, this earth and sky, the world and all its sides, together with the elementary of fire and others, are all the everlasting and infinite Brahma, and there is not the least misunderstanding in it.

14. Avidyá or Ignorance is a mere name and Error, and is but another word for unreality; nor can you Ráma, ever call that a reality, which is never existent of itself. (The words ignorance and error are both of them but negative terms).

15. Ráma said:—Why sir, you have said yourself of Ignorance in the chapter on Upasama or Tranquillity, and told me to know all these as products of error.

[Pg 282]

16. Vasishtha answered:—Ráma! you had been all this time immerged in your ignorance, and have at last come to your right understanding by your own reasoning.

17. It is the practice of glossologists and men of letters, to adopt the use of the word ignorance, living soul and the like, for awakening the unenlightened to their enlightenment only.

18. So long as the mind is not awakened to the knowledge of truth, it remains in the darkness of error for ever; and is not to its right understanding; even by its traversing a hundred miles.

19. When the living soul is awakened to its right sense by the force of reason, it learns to unite itself to the supreme soul, but being led without the guidance of reason, it is successful in nothing with all its endeavours.

20. He who tells the unenlightened vile man, that all this world is the great Brahma himself, does no more than communicate his sorrows to the headless trunk of a tree. (A lecture to the listless man, is not listened to).

21. The fool is brought to sense by reasoning, and the wise man knows the truth from the nature of the subject; but the ignorant never learn wisdom, without the persuasion of reason. (The wise learn by intuition, but the unwise by no instruction).

22. You had been unwise so long as you depended on your own reasoning (judgment); but being guided by me, you are now awakened to truth. (No body is wise of his own conceit without the guidance of his preceptor).

23. That I am Brahma, thou art Brahma, and so the visible world is Brahma himself; know this truth and naught otherwise, and do as you please. (All inventions and imaginations of Him are false).

24. Inconceivable is the conception of God, and the visible world is all that is known of him; know him as one, and the infinite, and you will not be misled into error.

25. Ráma, think in yourself whether when you are sitting or walking, or waking or sleeping, that you are this[Pg 283] supreme spirit, which is of the form of light and intelligence, and pervades all things.

26. Ráma! if you are without your egoism and meity or selfishness, and if you are intelligent and honest, then be as oecumenical and tranquil as Brahma himself, who is equally situated in all things.

27. Know your self as the pure consciousness, which is situated as one in all; which is without beginning and end, and is the essence of light and the most transcendent of all being.

28. What you call, Brahma the universal soul and the fourth or transcendent state; know the same to be materia or matter and natura or nature also. It is the inseparable one in all, as the mud is the essential substance of a thousand water pots.

29. Nature is not different from the nature of the soul, as the clay is no other than the pot itself; the Divine essence is as the intrinsic clay, and the divine spirit extends as the inward matter of all things.

30. The soul has its pulsation like the whirling of the whirlpool, and this is termed Prakriti force or matter, which is no other than an effort of the spirit.

31. As pulsation and ventilation, mean the same thing under different names; so the soul and nature express the same substance, which are not different in their essence.

32. It is mere ignorance which makes their difference, and which is removed by their knowledge; as it is sheer ignorance which represents a snake in the rope, and which is soon removed by knowledge of their nature.

33. As the seed of imagination falls in the field of the intellect, it shoots forth in the sprout of the mind, which becomes the germ of the wide spreading arbor of the universe.

34. The seed of false imagination (of avidyá or personified Ignorance), being scorched by the flames of spiritual knowledge; will be able to vegetate no more, though it is sprinkled with the water of fond desire. (i.e. Fancy is fed by desire, but fly away at the appearance of reason).

[Pg 284]

35. If you do not sow the seed of imagination in the soil of your intellect, you will stop the germination of the plants of pain and pleasure in the field of your mind. (Pain and pleasure are imaginary ideas and not really so in their nature).

36. Ráma! as you have come to know the truth, you must forsake your false conception of such a thing as ignorance or error existing in the world; and know that there is no duality in the unity of God. Being thus full with the knowledge of one supreme soul, you must repudiate your ideas of pain and pleasure in anything here below. Pain turns to pleasure, and pleasure to pain, know them both as unreal, as they are vain.

[Pg 285]


On sensations and the objects of senses.

Argument.—The production of the eight signs or senses in the vital soul, and their development into the External organs for the perception of outward objects.

RÁMA said:—Sir, I have known whatever is to be known, and seen all that is to be seen; I am filled with the ambrosial draught of divine knowledge, which you have kindly imparted to me.

2. I see the world full with the fulness of Brahma, I know the plenitude of God that has produced this plenary creation; it is the fulness of God that fills the universe, and all its amplitude depends on the plenum of the all pervading Deity.

3. It is now with much fondness that I like to propose to you another question, for the improvement of my understanding; and hope you will not be enraged at it, but communicate to me the instruction as a kind father does to his fondling boy.

4. We see the organs of sense, as the ears, nose, eyes, mouth and touch, existing alike in all animals (whether when they are alive or dead).

5. Why is it then that the dead do not perceive the objects of their sense, as well as the living who know the objects in their right manner?

6. How is it that the dull organs perceive the outward objects, as a pot and other objects of sense which are imperceptible to the inward heart, notwithstanding its natural sensibility and sensitiveness.

7. The relation between outward objects and the organs, is as that of the magnet and iron, which attract one another without their coming in contact together. But how is it that the small cavities of the organs could let into the mind such prodigious objects that surround us on all sides.

[Pg 286]

8. If you well know these secrets of nature, then please to communicate them to me in a hundred ways, in order to satisfy my curiosity regarding them.

9. Vasishtha answered—Now Ráma, I tell you in short, that neither the organs nor the heart and mind, nor the pots and pictures, are the things in reality; because it is impossible for any thing to exist apart and independent of the pure and intelligent spirit of God.

10. The Divine Intellect which is purer than air, takes the form of the mind by itself; which then assumes its elemental form of the organic body, and exhibits all things agreeably to the ideas which are engraven in the mind.

11. The same elements being afterwards stretched out into matter or máyá and nature or prakriti, exhibit the whole universe as its ensemble, and the organs and their objects as its parts. (This passage rests on the authority of the sruti which says—[Sanskrit: máyántu prakritim vidyánamáyinantu maheshvaram | ashábayavabhutestu váptamsarvva midamjagat]).

12. The mind which takes the elemental form of its own nature, reflects itself in all the parts of nature in the forms of pots and all the rest of things. (It is repeatedly said that the mind is the maker of all things by reminiscence of the past).

13. Ráma rejoined—Tell me sir, what is the form of that elementary body, which reflects itself in a thousand shapes on the face of the puryastaka or elemental world, as it were on the surface of a mirror.

14. Vasishtha replied—This elementary body which is the seed of the world, is the undecaying Brahma, who is without beginning and end, and of the form of pure light and intellect, and devoid of parts and attributes.

15. The same being disposed to its desires, becomes the living soul; and this being desirous of collecting all its desires and the parts of the body together, becomes the palpitating heart in the midst of it. (The word heart hrid is derived from its harana or receiving the blood and all bodily sensations into it; it, is called the chitta also, from its chinoti or collecting and distributing these in itself and to all parts of the body).

[Pg 287]

16. It becomes the ego from its thought of its egoism, and is called the mind from its minding—manana of many things in itself; it takes the name of buddhi or understanding from its bodha or understanding and ascertainment of things, and that of sense also from its sensation of external objects.

17. It thinks of taking a body and becomes the very body, as a potter having the idea of a pot forms it in the same manner. Such being the nature of the soul of being and doing all what it likes, it is thence styled the puryashtaka or manifest in its said eight different forms.

18. The Intellect is also called the puryashtaka or octuple soul, from its presiding over the eight fold functions of a person; as those of perception, action and passion and inspection or witnessing of all things and the like; as also from its inward consciousness and the power of vitality. (The gloss gives the following explanations of these words, viz.—Perception of what is derived by the organs of sense. Action of what is done by the organs of action [Sanskrit: karmendriya]. Passion or the feelings of pleasure or pain that is so derived. Inspection or the silent witnessing of all things by the isolated soul. And so on).

19. The living soul takes upon it different forms at different times, according as it is employed in any one of these octuple functions; and also as it is actuated by the various desires, that rise in it by turns.

20. The octuple nature of the soul causes it to put forth itself, in the same form, as it is led to by its varying desire at any time; in the same manner as a seed shoots forth in its leaves, according to the quantity of water with which it is watered.

21. The soul forgets its intellectual nature, and thinks it's a mortal and material being, embodied in the form of a living creature or some inanimate being, and ever remains insensible of itself under the influence of its erroneous belief.

22. Thus the living soul wanders about in the world, as it is dragged to and fro by the halter of desire tied about its neck;[Pg 288] now it soars high and then it plunges below like a plank, rising up and sinking below the waves and currents of the sea.

23. There is some one, who after being released from his imprisonment in this world, comes to know the supreme soul, and attains to that state which has neither its beginning nor end.

24. There are others also, who being weary and worried by their transmigrations in multitudinous births, come after the lapse of a long period to their knowledge of the soul, and obtain thereby their state of final bliss at last.

25. It is in this manner, O intelligent Ráma, that the living soul passes through many bodily forms, and you shall hear now, how it comes to perceive the outward objects of the pots &c. by means of the external organs of perception—the vision and others.

26. After the intellect has taken the form of the living soul, and the same has received its vitality; the action of the heart sends its feelings to the mind, which forms the sixth organ of the body.

27. As the living soul passes into the air, through the organs of the body it comes in contact with the external objects of the senses; and then joining with the intellect it perceives the external sensations within itself. (The gloss says—The organs of sense like canals of water, carry the sensations to the seat of the mind).

28. It is the union of the living soul with the outward objects, that causes and carries the sensations to the mind; but the soul being defunct and the mind being dormant, there is no more any perception of the externals.

29. Whatever outward object which is set in the open air, casts its reflexion on the subtile senses of living beings, the same comes intact with the living soul which feels the sensation; but the soul being departed, the dead body has neither its life nor feeling of aught in existence.

30. When the form of the outward object, comes in contact with the gemming eye sight of a person; it casts its picture on the same, which is instantly conveyed to the inward soul.

[Pg 289]

31. The image that is cast on the retina of the eye, is reflected thence to the clearer mirror of the soul, which perceives it by contact with the same; and it is thus that outer things come to the knowledge of the living soul.

32. Even babes can know whatever comes in taction with them, and so do brutes and vegetables have the power of feeling the objects of their touch; how then is it possible for the sensuous soul to be ignorant of its tangible objects?

33. The clear rays of the eyesight which surround the soul, present to it the pictures of visible objects which they bear in their bosom, and whereby the soul comes to know him.

34. There is the same relation of sensuous contact, between the perceptive soul and the perceptible objects of the other senses also; the taste, smell, sound, the touch of things, are all the effects of their contact with the soul.

35. The sound remaining in its receptacle of the air, passes in a moment in the cavity of the ear; and thence entering into the hollow space of the soul, gives it the sensation of its nature.

36. Ráma said:—I see that the reflexions of things are cast in the mirror of the mind, like the images of things carved on wooden tablets and slabs of stone; but tell me sir, how the reflexion of the image of God is cast on the mirror of the mind.

37. Vasishtha replied:—know, O best of gnostics that know the knowable, that the gross images of the universal and particular souls, which are reflected in the mirror of the mind, are as false as the images of God and deities which are carved in stones and wood.

38. Never rely, O Ráma, in the substantiality of this false world; know it as a great vortex of whirling waters, and ourselves as the waves rolling upon it.

39. There is no limitation of space or time or any action, in the boundless ocean of the infinity and eternity of the Deity; and you must know your soul to be identic with the Supreme, which is ubiquitous and omnipresent.

[Pg 290]

40. Remain always with a calm and quiet mind, unaddicted to anything in this world; know the vanity of worldly pleasures and pains, and go on with a contented mind where ever you will. Preserve your equality, and commit yourself to an indifferent apathy to every thing.

[Pg 291]


On the Perception of the sensible objects.

Argument.—Erroneous Belief in the Reality of the Body and Mind; instead of believing the unity and Entity of Brahma as All in All.

VASISHTHA resumed:—Ráma, you have heard me relate unto you that, even the lotus-born Brahmá who was born long before you, had been without his organs of sense at first (i.e. Brahmá the creative power of God, was purely a spiritual Being, and had necessarily neither a gross body nor any of its organs as we possess).

2. As Brahmá—the collective agents of creation was endued only with his consciousness—Samvid for the performance of all his functions; so are all individual personalities endowed with their self-consciousness only, for the discharge of all their necessary duties.

3. Know that as the living soul, dwelling in its body in the mother's womb, comes to reflect on the actions of the senses, it finds their proper organ supplied to its body immediately.

4. Know the senses and the organs of sense to be the forms of consciousness itself, and this I have fully explained to you in the case of Brahma, who represents the collective body of all individual souls.

5. At first there was the pure consciousness in its collective-form in the Divine Intellect, and this afterwards came to be diffused in millions of individual souls from its sense of egoism. At first was the Divine soul "the I am all that I am" and afterwards became many as expressed in the Vedic text "aham bahusyam".

6. It is no stain to the pure universal, undivided and subjective Divine spirit, to be divided into the infinity of individual and objective souls; since the universal and subjective unity comprises in it the innumerable objective individualities which it evolves of itself. (in its self manifestation in the universe).

[Pg 292]

7. The objectivity of God does not imply his becoming either the thinking mind or the living soul; nor his assuming upon him the organic body or any elemental form. (Because the Lord becomes the object of our meditation and adoration in his spirit only).

8. He does not become the Vidyá or Avidyá—the intelligible or unintelligible, and is ever existent as appearing non-existent to the ignorant; this is called the supreme soul, which is beyond the comprehension of the mind and apprehension of the senses.

9. From Him rises the living soul as well as the thinking mind; which are resembled for the instruction of mankind, as sparks emitted from fire.

10. From whatever source ignorance (Avidyá) may have sprung, you have no need of inquiring into the cause thereof; but taking ignorance as a malady, you should seek the remedy of reasoning for its removal.

11. After all forms of things and the erroneous knowledge of particulars, are removed from your mind; there remains that knowledge of the unity, in which the whole firmament is lost, as a mountain is concealed in an atom. (The infinity of Deity, envelopes all existence in it).

12. That in which all the actions and commotions of the world, remain still and motionless; [as] if they were buried in dead silence and nihility; is the surest rock of your rest and resort, after feeling from the bustle of all worldly business.

13. The unreal or negative idea of ignorance, has also a form, as inane as it is nothing; look at her and she becomes a nullity, touch her and she perishes and vanishes from sight. (Avidyá like Ignorantia is of the feminine gender, and delusive and fleeting as a female).

14. Seek after her, and what can you find but her nothingness; and if by your endeavour you can get anything of her, it is as the water in the mirage (which kills by decoying the unwary traveller).

15. As it is ignorance alone that creates her reality, her unreality appears as a reality, and destroys the seeming reality at[Pg 293] once. (Avidyá or Ignorance is the Goddess of the agnostic sáktas, who worship her, under the name of Máyá or Illusion also).

16. Agnosticism imputes false attributes to the nature of the Deity, and it is the doctrine of the agnostics to misrepresent the universal spirit, under the forms of the living soul and the perishable body. (from their ignorance of the supreme).

17. Now hear me attentively to tell you the sástras that they have invented, in order to propagate their agnostic religion or belief in this avidyá, by setting up the living soul and others in lieu of the supreme spirit.

18. Being fond of representing the Divine Intellect in a visible form, they have stained the pure spirit with many gross forms, such as the elemental and organic body, which is enlivened by the vital spirit dwelling in it.

19. Whatever they think a thing to be, they believe in the same; they make truth of an untruth, and its reverse likewise; as children make a devil of a doll, and afterwards break it to nothing.

20. They take the frail body formed of the five elements as a reality, and believe its holes of the organs as the seats of the sensuous soul.

21. They employ these five fold organs in the perception of the pentuple objects of the senses; which serve at best to represent their objects in different light than what they are, as the germ of a seed produces its leaves of various colours. (This means the false appearances which are shown by the deceptive senses).

22. They reckon some as the internal senses, as the faculties of the mind and the feelings of the heart, and others as external, as the outward organs of action and sensation; and place their belief in whatever their souls and minds suggest to them either as false or true.

23. They believe the moonlight to be hot or cold, according as they feel by their outward perception. (i.e. Though the moon-beams appear cooling to the weary, yet they seem to be warm to the love lorn amorosa).

[Pg 294]

24. The pungency of the pepper and the vacuity of the firmament, are all according to one's knowledge and perception of them, and do not belong to the nature of things. For sweet is sour to some, and sour is sweet to others; and the firmament is thought to be a void by many, but is found to be full of air by others, who assert the dogma of natures abhorrence of vacuum.

25. They have also ascertained certain actions and rituals, which are in common practice, as the articles of their creed, and built their faith of a future heaven, on the observance of those usages.

26. The living soul which is full of its desires, is led by two different principles of action through life; the one is its natural tendency to some particular action, and the other is the direction of some particular law or other. It is however the natural propensity of one, that gets the better of the other.

27. It is the soul which has produced all the objective duality from the subjective unity only; as it is the sweet sap of the sugarcane that produces the sugarcandy; and the serum of the earth, that forms and fashions the water pot. (The objective is the production of the subjective.)

28. In these as well as in all other cases, the changes that take place in the forms of things, are all the results of time and place and other circumstances; but none of these has any relation in the nature of God, in his production of the universe.

29. As the sugarcane produces its leaves and flowers from its own sap, so the living soul produces the dualities from sap of its own unity, which is the supreme soul itself. (The spirit of God that dwells in all souls. (Swátmani Brahmasatwa), produces all these varieties in them.)

30. It is the God that is seated in all souls, that views the dualities of a pot, picture, a cot and its egoism in itself; and so they appear to every individual soul in the world.

31. The living soul appears to assume to itself, the different forms of childhood, youth, and age at different times; as a cloud in the sky appears as an exhalation, a watery cloud and the sap of the earth and all its plants, at the different times of the hot and rainy seasons of the year.

[Pg 295]

32. The living soul perceives all these changes, as they are exhibited before it by the supreme soul in which they are all present; and there is no being in the world, that is able to alter this order of nature.

33. Even the sky which is as clear as the looking glass, and is spread all about and within every body, is not able to represent unto us, all the various forms which are presented to the soul by the great soul of souls (in which they appear to be imprinted). Here Vasishtha is no more an ákása-vádi—vacuist, in as much as he finds a difference in the nature and capacity of the one from those of the other or the supreme soul.

34. The soul which is situated in the universal soul of Brahmá, shines as the living soul (Jíva) of living beings; but it amounts to a duality, to impute even an incorporeal idea of Avidyá or Ignorance to it; because the nature of God is pure Intelligence, and cannot admit an ignorant spirit in it (as the good spirit of God cannot admit the evil spirit of a demon in itself).

35. Whatever thing is ordained to manifest itself in any manner, the same is its nature and stamp (swabháva and neyati); and though such appearance is no reality, yet you can never undo what is ordained from the beginning.

36. As a golden ornament presents to you the joint features of its reality and unreality at the same time (in that it is gold and jewellery, the one being real and the other changeable and therefore unreal); so are all things but combinations of the real and unreal, in their substantial essence and outward appearance. But both of these dissolve at last to the Divine spirit, as the gold ornament is melted down to liquid gold in the crucible.

37. The Divine Intellect being all-pervasive by reason of its intellectuality, it diffuses also over the human mind; as the gold of the jewel settles and remains dull in the crucible.

38. The heart having the passive nature of dull intellectuality, receives the fleeting impressions of the active mind, and takes upon it the form that it feels strongly impressed upon it at any time. (The heart is the passive receptacle of the impression[Pg 296] of the active mind and reverberates to the tone of its thoughts).

39. The soul also assumes many shapes to itself at different times, according to the ever changing prospects, which various desires always present before it.

40. The body likewise takes different forms upon it, according to its inward thoughts and feelings; as a city seen in a dream varies considerably from what is seen with naked eyes. So we shape our future forms by the tenor of our minds (because our life is but a dream and our bodies but its shadows—prathibas).

41. As a dream presents us the shadows of things, that disappear on our waking, so these living bodies that we see all about, must vanish into nothing upon their demise.

42. What is unreal is doomed to perish, and those that die are destined to be born again, and the living soul takes another form in another body, as it sees itself in its dream.

43. This body does not become otherwise, though it may change from youth to age in course of time; because the natural form of a person retains its identity in every stage of life through which it has to pass.

44. A man sees in his dream all that he has seen or heard or thought of at any time, and the whole world being comprised in the state of dreaming, the living soul becomes the knower of all that is knowable in his dream. (The sruti says, the soul comprises the three worlds in itself, which it sees expanded before in its dream).

45. That which is not seen in the sight of a waking man, but is known to him only by name (as the indefinite form of Brahma); can never be seen in dream also, as the pure soul and the intellect of God. (Abstract thoughts are not subjects of dream).

46. As the living soul sees in its dream the objects that it has seen before, so the intellectual part of the soul sees also many things, which were unknown to it.

47. Subdue your former desires and propensities, by your[Pg 297] manly efforts at present; and exert your utmost to change your habitual misconduct to your good behaviour for the future.

48. You can never subdue your senses, nor prevent your transmigrations, without gaining your liberation; but must continue to rise and plunge in the stream of life forever more and in all places.

49. The imagination of your mind, causes the body to grasp your soul as a shark, and the desire of your soul is as a ghost, that lays hold on children in the dark.

50. It is the mind, the understanding and egoism, joined with the five elements or tanmátras, that form the puryastaka or ativáhika body, composed of the octuple subtile properties.

51. The bodiless or intellectual soul, is finer than the vacuous air; the air is its great arbor, and the body is as its mountain. (i.e. It is more subtile than the empty air and sky).

52. One devoid of his passions and affections, and exempt from all the conditions of life, is entitled to his liberation; he remains in a state of profound sleep (hypnotism), wherein the gross objects and desires of life, lie embosomed and buried for ever.

53. The state of dreaming is one, in which the dreamer is conscious of his body and self-existence; and has to rove about or remain fixed in some place, until his attainment of final liberation. Such is the state of living beings and vegetables (both of which are conscious of their lives).

54. Some times the sleeping and often the dreaming person, have both to bear and carry with them their ativáhika or moveable bodies, until they obtain their final emancipation from life.

55. When the sleeping soul does not rise of itself (by its intellectual knowledge), but is raised from the torpor of its sleep by some ominous dream, it then wakes to the fire of a conflagration from its misery only. (Here waking to a conflagration is opposed to the waking to a seas of woes of Dr. Young. The gloss says, that it is a structure on the unintelligent waking of the Nyáyikas).

56. The state of the unmoving minerals, including even that of the fixed arbor of the Kalpa tree (that is in its torpid[Pg 298] hypnotism of susupti), exhibits no sign of intelligence except gross dulness.

57. The dull sleep of susupta being dispelled by some dream, leads the waker to the miseries of life in this world; but he that awakes from his trance with full intelligence, finds the perfect felicity of the fourth (turya) states open fully to his view.

58. The living soul finds liberation by means of its intelligence, and it is by this means that it gets its spirituality also; just as copper being cleansed of its rust by some acid, assumes the brightness of pure gold.

59. The liberation that the living soul has by means of its intelligence, is again of two kinds, namely;—the one is termed emancipation from life or Jívan mukta, and the other is known as the release from the burden of the body or deha mukta.

60. Emancipation from life means the attainment of the fourth state of perfection, and intelligence signifies the enlightenment of the soul, and this is obtainable by cultivation of the understanding.

61. The soul that is acquainted with sástra, and knows the supreme spirit in itself, becomes full of the Deity; but the unintelligent soul sees only horrors rising before it, like spectres of his troublesome dreams.

62. The horrors rising in the heart of man, serve only to disturb the rest of the breast; or else there is nothing in the heart of man, except a particle of the Divine Intellect.

63. Men are verily subjected to misery, by looking at the Deity in any other light, than the Divine light which shines in the soul of man, and beside which there is no other light in it.

64. Look at the world whenever you will, and you will find it full of illusion everywhere; as you find nothing in a pot full of foul water except the sediments of dirt.

65. In the same manner you see the atoms of human souls, full with the vanities of this world; it is by the fetters of its worldly desires, and gets its release by the breaking off those bonds of its desire.

66. The soul sleeps under the spell of its desires, and sees those objects in its dream, it wakes after their dispersion to the[Pg 299] state of turya-felicity. The spell of gross desire, extends over all animate as well as in-animate creation.

67. The desire of superior beings is of a pure nature, and that of intermediate natures is of less pure form. The desires of inferior beings are of a gross nature, and there are others without them as the pots and blocks.

68. The living soul (passing through the doors of bodily organs) becomes united with the outward object, when the one becomes the percipient and the other the object of its percipience; and then the entity of both of these, namely of the inward soul and the outward object being pervaded by the all pervasive Intellect of God, they both become one and the same with the common receptacle of all. (I.e. All things blend in the Divine unity).

69. Hence the belief of the receiver, received and reception, are as false as the water in the mirage; and there is nothing that we can shun or lay hold upon as desirable or disgusting, when they are all the same in the sight of God.

70. All things whether internal or external, are manifested to us as parts of the one universal and intellectual soul; and all the worlds being but manifestations of the Divine Intellect, it is in vain to attribute any difference to them. All of us are displayed in the Intellect, which contains the inner and outer worlds for ever.

71. As the ocean is an even expanse of water, after the subsidence of all its various waves and billows, and shows itself as clear as sky with its pure watery expanse to view; so the whole universe appears as the reflexion of one glorious and ever lasting Deity, after we lose sight of the diversities that are presented to our superficial view.

[Pg 300]


Story of Arjuna, as the Incarnation of Nara-Náráyana.

Argument.—The Narrative of Arjuna given in Illustration of the truth, that the world is a dream and unworthy of our reliance.

VASISHTHA said:—Know Ráma, this world to be as a dream, which is common to all living beings, and is fraught with many agreeable scenes, so as to form the daily romance of their lives, which is neither true nor entirely false.

2. But as it is not likely that the living souls of men should be always asleep; therefore their waking state is to be accounted as one of dreaming also. (Life is a dream. Addison).

3. Life is a longer dream than the short lived ones in our sleep; and know it, intelligent Ráma, to be as untrue as it is unsubstantial and airy in its nature.

4. The living souls of the living world, continually pass from dream to dream, and they view the unrealities of the world as positive realities in their nature. (The unreal is thought as real by the Realists).

5. They ascribe solidity to the subtile, and subtilty to what is solid; they see the unreal as real, and think the unliving as living in their ignorance.

6. They consider the revolution of all worlds, to be confined in the solar system; and rove about like somnambulists and fleeting bees about the living soul, which they differentiate from the supreme.

7. They consider and meditate in their minds, the living soul as a separate reality, owing to its ubiquity and immortality, and as the source of their own lives. (This is the living liberation—Jívanmukti of Buddhists, who consider their living souls as absolute agent of themselves).

8. Hear me to relate to you the best lesson of indifference (i.e. the unattachment to the world and life), which the lotus-eyed[Pg 301] lord (Krishna) taught to Arjuna, and whereby that sagely prince became liberated in life time. (Here is an anachronism of antedating Krishnárjuna prior to Ráma).

9. Thus Arjuna the son of Pandu will happily pass his life, and which I hope you will imitate, if you want to pass your days without any grief or sorrow.

10. Ráma said:—Tell me sir, when will this Arjuna the son of Pandu, come to be born on earth, and who is this Hari of his, that is to deliver this lesson of indifference to the world to him?

11. Vasishtha replied:—There is only the entity of one soul, to whom this appellation is applied by fiction only. He remains in himself from time without beginning and end, as the sky is situated in a vacuum.

12. We behold in him the phantasmagoria of this extended world, as we see the different ornaments in gold, and the waves and billows in the sea. (Identity of the cause and effect of the producer and produced).

13. The fourteen kinds of created beings display themselves in him; and in him is the network of this universe, wherein all these worlds are suspended, as birds hanging in the net in which they are caught.

14. In him reside the deities Indra and Yama and the sun and moon, who are renowned and hallowed in the scriptures; and in him abide the five elemental creation, and they that have become the regents (of heaven and earth).

15. That the one thing is virtue and therefore expedient, and the other is vice and therefore improper, are both placed in him as his ordinances (or eternal laws); and depending on the free agency (sankalpa) of men, to accept or reject the one or the other for good or evil. (Hence there is no positive virtue or vice, nor God the author of good and evil; but it is the obedience or disobedience to his fixed laws, that amounts to the one or other).

16. It is obedience to the Divine ordinance, that the gods are still employed in their fixed charges with their steady minds.

[Pg 302]

17. The lord Yama is accustomed to make his penance, at the end of every four yugas (or kalpa age), on account of his greatness in destruction of the creatures of God. (Yama the Indian Pluto and god of death.)

18. Sometimes he sat penitent for eight years, and all others for a dozen of years, often times he made his penance for five or seven years, and many times for full sixteen years.

19. On a certain occasion as Yama sat observant of his austerity, and indifferent to his duty, death ceased to hunt after living beings in all the worlds.

20. Hence the multitude of living beings filled the surface of the earth, and made ground pathless and impassable by others. They multiplied like the filth born gnats in the rainy weather, that obstruct the passage of elephants.

21. Then the gods sat together in council, and after various deliberations came to determine the extirpation of all living beings, for relieving the over burdened earth. (This was to be done by the Bharata war celebrated in the great epic of the Mahábhárata).

22. In this way many ages have passed away, and many changes have taken place in the usages of the people, and unnumbered living beings have passed and gone with the revolutions of the worlds.

23. Now it will come to pass, that this Yama—the son of the sun and the lord of the regions of the dead; will again perform his penance in the aforesaid manner after the expiration of many ages to come.

24. He will again resume his penitence for a dozen of years, for the atonement of his sin of destroying the living; when he will abstain from his wonted conduct of destroying the lives of human beings.

25. At that time, will the earth be filled with deathless mortals, so as this wretched earth will be covered and overburthened with them, as with dense forest trees.

26. The earth groaning under her burden, and oppressed by tyranny and lawlessness, will have recourse to Hari for her redress,[Pg 303] as when a virtuous wife resorts to her husband from the aggression of Dasyus.

27. For this reason, Hari will be incarnate in two bodies, joined with the powers of all the gods, and will appear on earth in two persons of Nara and Náráyana, the one a man and the other the lord Hari himself.

28. With one body Hari will become the son of Vasudeva, and will thence be called Vasudeva; and with the other he will be the son of Pandu and will thereby be named the Pándava Arjuna or Arjuna the Pándava.

29. Pandu will have another son by name of Yudhisthira, who will adopt the title of the son of Dharma or righteousness, for his acquaintance with politics, and he will reign over the earth to its utmost limit of the ocean.

30. He will have his rival with Duryodhana his cousin by his paternal uncle, and there will be a dreadful war between them as between a snake and weasel.

31. The belligerent princes will wage a furious war for the possession of the earth, with forces of eighteen legions on both sides. (Those of Duryodhana were eleven legions, and Yudhisthira were seven).

32. The God Vishnu will cause Arjuna to slay them all by his great bow of Gándíva, and thereby relieve the earth of her burden of riotous peoples.

33. The incarnation of Vishnu in the form of Arjuna, will comprise all the qualities incident to humanity; and will be fraught with the feelings of joy and vengeance, which are connatural with mankind.

34. Seeing the battle array on both sides, and friends and kinsmen ready to meet their fate, pity and grief will seize the heart of Arjuna, and he will cease from engaging in the war.

35. Hari will then with his intelligent form of Krishna, persuade his insensible person of Arjuna, to perform his part of a hero for crowning his valour with success.

36. He taught him the immortality of the soul by telling him that, the soul is never born nor does it die at any time, nor had it a prior birth, nor is it new born to be born again on[Pg 304] earth, it is unborn and ever lasting, and is indestructible with the destruction of the body.

37. He who thinks the soul to be the slayer of or slain by any body, is equally ignorant of its nature, never kills nor is ever killed by any body.

38. It is immortal and uniform with itself, and more rare and subtile than the air and vacuity; the soul which is the form of the great God himself, is never and in no way destroyed by any body.

39. O Ráma, that art conscious of yourself, know your soul to be immortal and unknown, and without its beginning, middle and end; it is of the form of consciousness and clear without any soil, so by thinking yourself as such, you become the unborn, eternal and undecaying soul yourself.

[Pg 305]


Admonition of Arjuna.

Argument.—Abandonment of Egoism, knowledge of the Adorable one and its different stages.

THE Lord said:—Arjuna, you are not the killer (of any soul), it is a false conceit of yours which you must shun; the soul is ever lasting and free from death and decay.

2. He who has no egoism in him, and whose mind is not moved (by joy or grief), is neither the killer of nor killed by any body, though he may kill every one in the world. (This is an attribute of the supreme soul).

3. Whatever is known in our consciousness, the same is felt within us; shun therefore your inward consciousness of egoism and meity, as this is I and these are mine, and these are others and theirs.

4. The thought that you are connected with such and such persons and things, and that of your being deprived of them, and the joy and grief to which you are subjected thereby, must affect your soul in a great measure.

5. He who does his works with the parts or members of his body, and connects the least attention of his soul there with; becomes infatuated by his egoism and believes himself as the doer of his action. (here is a lesson of perfect indifference enjoined to any act or thought that a man does by or entertains in himself).

6. Let the eyes see, the ears hear, and your touch feel their objects, let your tongue also taste the relish of a thing, but why take them to your soul and where is your egoism situated in these?

7. The minds of even the great, are verily employed in the works that they have undertaken to perform, but where is your egoism or soul in these, that you should be sorry for its pains. (The soul is aloof from pain).

[Pg 306]

8. Your assumption to yourself to any action, which has been done by the combination of many, amounts only to a conceit of your vanity, and exposes you not only to ridicule, but to frustrate the merit of your act. (So is the assuming of a joint action of all the organs and members of the mind, and the achievement of a whole army to one's self. So also many masters arrogate to themselves the merit of the deeds of their servants).

9. The yogis and hermits do their ritual and ordinary actions with attention of their minds and senses, and often times with the application of the members and organs of their bodies only, in order to acquire and preserve the purity of their souls.

10. Those who have not subdued their bodies with the morphia of indifference, are employed in the repetition of their actions, without ever being healed of their disease (of anxiety).

11. No person is graceful whose mind is tinged with his selfishness, as no man however learned and wise is held in honour, whose conduct is blemished with unpoliteness and misbehaviours.

12. He who is devoid of his selfishness and egotism, and is alike patient both in prosperity and adversity, is neither affected nor dejected, whether he does his business or not.

13. Know this, O son of Pandu as the best field for your martial action; which is worthy of your great good, glory and ultimate happiness. (War in a just cause is attended with glory).

14. Though you reckon it as heinous on the one hand and unrighteous on the other; yet you must acknowledge the super excellence and imperiousness of the duties required of your martial race, so do your duty and immortalize yourself.

15. Seeing even the ignorant stick fast to the proper duties of their race, no intelligent person can neglect or set them at naught; and the mind that is devoid of vanity, cannot be ashamed or dejected, even if one fails or falls in the discharge of his duty.

16. Do you duty, O Arjuna, with your yoga or fixed attention to it, and avoid all company (in order to keep company with the object of your pursuit only). If you do your works[Pg 307] as they come to you by yourself alone, you will never fail nor be foiled in any. i.e. thy object thou canst never gain, unless from all others you refrain.

17. Be as quiet as the person of Brahma, and do your works as quietly as Brahma does leave his result (whether good or bad) to Brahma (because you can have no command over the consequence), and by doing so, assimilate thyself into the nature of Brahma (who is all in all).

18. Commit yourself and all your actions and objects to God, remain as unaltered as God himself, and know him as the soul of all, and be thus the decoration of the world. (The gloss says, it is no blasphemy to think one's self as God, when there is no other personality besides that of Deity).

19. If you can lay down all your desires, and become as even and cool mind as a muni—monk; if you can join your soul to the yoga of sannyasa or contemplative coldness, you can do all your actions with a mind unattached to any.

20. Arjuna said:—Please lord, explain to me fully, what is meant by the renunciation of all connections, commitment of our actions to Brahma; dedication of ourselves to God and abdication of all concerns.

21. Tell me also about the acquisition of true knowledge and divisions of Yoga meditation, all which I require to know in their proper order, for the removal of my gross ignorance on those subjects.

22. The Lord replied:—The learned know that as the true form of Brahma, of which we can form no idea or conception, but which may be known after the restraining of our imagination, and the pacification of our desires.

23. Promptitude after these things constitutes our wisdom or knowledge, and perseverance in these practices is what is called Yoga. Self dedication to Brahma rests on the belief that, Brahma is all this world and myself also.

24. As a stone statue is all hollow both in its inside and outside, so is Brahma as empty, tranquil and transparent as the sky, which is neither to be seen by us nor is it beyond our sight.

[Pg 308]

25. It then bulges out a little from itself, and appears as something, other than what it is. It is this reflexion of the universe, but all as empty as this inane vacuity.

26. What is again this idea of your egoism, when every thing is evolved out of the Supreme Intellect, of what account is the personality of any body, which is but an infinitesimal part of the universal soul.

27. The Egoism of the individual soul, is not apart from the universal spirit, although it seems to be separate from the same; because there is no possibility of exclusion or separation of anything from the Omnipresent and all comprehensive soul of God, and therefore a distinct egoism is a nullity.

28. As it is the case with our egoism, so is it with the individuality of a pot and of a monkey also. (i.e. of all insensible and brute creatures too), none of which is separate from the universal whole. All existences being as drops of water in the sea, it is absurd to presume an egoism to any body.

29. Things appearing as different to the conscious soul, are to be considered as the various imageries represented in the self-same soul (like the sundry scenes shown in the soul in a dream).

30. So also is the knowledge of the particulars and species, lost in the idea of the general and the summum genus. Now by sannyása or renunciation of the world is meant, the resignation of the fruition of the fruits of our actions. (The main teaching of Krishna to Arjuna in the Bhagavadgítá, tends to the renunciation of the fruits of our actions).

31. Unattachment signifies the renunciation of all our worldly desires, and the intense application of the mind to the one sole God of the multifarious creation, and the variety of his imaginary representations.

32. The want of all dualism in the belief of his self-existence as distinct from that of God, constitutes his dedication of himself to God; it is ignorance that creates the distinction, by applying various names and attributes to the one intellectual soul.

[Pg 309]

33. The meaning of the word intelligent soul, is undoubtedly that it is one with the universe; and that the Ego is the same with all space, and its contents of the worlds and their motions.

34. The Ego is the unity of Eternity, and the Ego is duality and plurality in the world, and the variety of its multifarious productions. Therefore be devoted to the sole Ego, and drown your own egoism in the universal Ego. (Here the purport is given instead of the literal version of the too verbose tetrastich verse).

35. Arjuna said:—There being two forms of the Deity, the one transcendent or spiritual and the other transpicuous or material; tell me to which of these I shall resort for my ultimate perfection.

36. The lord replied:—There are verily two forms of the all pervading Vishnu, the exoteric and the other esoteric; that having a body and hands holding the conch-shell, the discus, and the mace and lotus, is the common form for public worship.

37. The other is the esoteric or spiritual form, which is undefined and without its beginning and end; and is usually expressed by the term Brahma—great.

38. As long as you are unacquainted with the nature of the supreme soul, and are not awakened to the light of the spirit; so long should you continue to adore the form of the God with its four arms. (or the form of the four armed God).

39. By this means you will be awakened to light, by your knowledge of the supreme; and when you come to comprehend the Infinite in yourself, you shall have no more to be born in any mortal form.

40. When you are acquainted with the knowledge of the knowable soul, then will your soul find its refuge in eternal soul of Hari, who absorbs all souls in him.

41. When I tell you that this is I and I am that, mind that I mean to say that, this and that is the Ego of the supreme soul, which I assume to myself for your instruction.

42. I understand you to be enlightened to truth, and to[Pg 310] rest in the state of supreme felicity; and now that you are freed from all your temporal desires, I wish you to be one with the true and holy spirit.

43. View in yourself the soul of all beings and those beings themselves; think your own self or soul as the microcosm of the great universe, and be tolerant and broad sighted in your practice of Yoga. (The word Sama darsi, here rendered broad sighted, means one who sees every[one] in one and [the] same light; whence it is synonymous with universal benevolence and fellow feeling).

44. He who worships the universal soul that resides in all beings, as the one self-same and undivided spirit; is released from the doom of repeated births, whether he leads a secular or holy life in this world.

45. The meaning of the word "all" is unity (in its collective sense), and the meaning of the word "one" is the unity of the soul; as in the phrase "All is one" it is meant to say that the whole universe is collectively but one soul. (The soul also is neither a positive entity, nor a negative non-entity, but it is as it is known in the spirit (of the form of ineffable light and delight).)

46. He who shines as light within the minds of all persons, and dwells in the inward consciousness or percipience of every being, is no other than the very soul that dwells within myself also.

47. That which is settled in shape of savour in the waters all over the three worlds. (i.e. in the earth, heaven, and underneath the ground); and what gives flavour to the milk, curd and the butter of the bovine kind, and dwells as sapidity in the marine salt and other saline substances, and imparts its sweetness to saccharine articles, the same is this savoury soul, which gives a gust to our lives, and a good taste to all the objects of our enjoyment.

48. Know your soul to be that percipience, which is situated in the hearts of all corporeal beings, whose rarity eludes our perception of it, and which is quite removed from all perceptibles; and is therefore ubiquitous in every thing and omnipresent every where.

[Pg 311]

49. As the butter is inbred in all kinds of milk, and the sap of all sappy substances is inborn in them, so the supreme soul is intrinsical and immanent in every thing.

50. As all the gems and pearls of the sea, have a lustre inherent in them, and which shines forth both in their inside and outside; so the soul shines in and out of every body without being seated in any part of it, whether in or out or where about it.

51. As the air pervades both in the inside and outside of all empty pots, so the spirit of God is diffused in and about all bodies in all the three worlds. (This is the meaning of omnipresence).

52. As hundreds of pearls are strung together by a thread in the necklace, so the soul of God extends through and connects these millions of beings, without its being known by any. (This all connecting attribute of God, is known as sútrátmá in the Vedánta).

53. He who dwells in the hearts of every body in the world, commencing from Brahma to the object grass that grows on the earth; the essence which is common in all of them, is the Brahma the unborn and undying.

54. Brahmá is a slightly developed form of Brahma, and resides in the spirit of the great Brahma, and the same dwelling in us, makes us conceive of our egoism by mistake of the true Ego.

55. The divine soul being manifest in the form of the world, say what can it be that destroys or is destroyed in it; and tell me, Arjuna, what can it be that is subject to or involved in pleasure or pain.

56. The divine soul is as a large mirror, showing the images of things upon its surface, like reflexions on the glass; and though these reflexions disappear and vanish in time, yet the mirror of the soul is never destroyed, but looks as it looked before.

57. When I say I am this and not the other (of my many reflexions in a prismatic glass, or of my many images in many pots of water), I am quite wrong and inconsistent with[Pg 312] myself; so is it to say, that the human soul is the spirit or image of God, and not that of any other being, when the self-same Divine spirit is present and immanent in all. (The catholic spirit of the Hindu religion, views all beings to partake of the Divine spirit, which is in all as in a prismatic glass).

58. The revolutions of creation, sustentation and final dissolution, take place in an unvaried and unceasing course in the spirit of God, and so the feelings on surface of the waters of the sea. (Egoistic feelings rising from the boisterous mind, subside in the calmness of the soul).

59. As the stone is the constituent essence of rocks, the wood of trees and the water of waves; so is the soul the constituent element of all existence.

60. He who sees the soul (as inherent) in all substances, and every substance (to be contained) in the soul; and views both as the component of one another, sees the uncreating God as the reflector and reflexion of Himself.

61. Know Arjuna, the soul to be the integrant part of every thing, and the constituent element of the different forms and changes of things; as the water is of the waves, and the gold is of jewelleries. (The spirit of God is believed as the material cause of all).

62. As the boisterous waves are let loose in the waters, and the jewels are made of gold; so are all things existent in and composed of the spirit of God.

63. All material beings of every species, are forms of the Great Brahma himself; know this one as all, and there is nothing apart or distinct from him.

64. How can there be an independent existence, or voluntary change of anything in the world; where can they or the world be, except in the essence and omnipresence of God, and wherefore do you think of them in vain?

65. By knowing all this as I have told you, the saints live fearless in this world by reflecting on the supreme Being in themselves; they move about as liberated in their lifetime, with the equanimity of their souls.

[Pg 313]

66. The enlightened saints attain to their imperishable states, by being invincible to the errors of fiction, and unsubdued by the evils of worldly attachment; they remain always in their spiritual and holy states, by being freed from temporal desires, and the conflicts of jarring passions, doubts and dualities.

[Pg 314]


Admonition of Arjuna in spiritual knowledge.

Arguments—The causes of the feelings of Pleasure and Pain, and Happiness and Misery in this world, and the modes and means of their prevention and avoidance.

THE lord continued:—Listen moreover, O mighty armed Arjuna, to the edifying speech, which I am about to deliver unto you, for the sake of your lasting good and welfare.

2. Know O progeny of Kunti, that the perception of the senses, or the feelings conveyed to our minds by the organic sense, such as those of cold and heat and the like, are the causes of our bodily pleasure and pain; but as these are transitory, and come to us and pass away by turns, you must remain patient under them.

3. Knowing neither the one nor the other to be uniform and monotonous, what is it thou callest as real pleasure or pain? A thing having no form or figure of its own, can have no increase or decrease in it.

4. Those who have suppressed the feelings of their senses, by knowing the illusory nature of sensible perceptions; are content to remain quiet with an even tenor of their minds, both in their prosperity and adversity; are verily the men that are thought to taste the ambrosial draught of immortality in their mortal state.

5. Knowing the soul to be the same in all states, and alike in all places and times; they view all differences and accidents of life with indifference, and being sure of the unreality of unrealities, they retain their endurance under all the varying circumstances of life.

6. Never can joy or grief take possession of the common soul, which being ecumenical in its nature, can never be exceptional or otherwise.

7. The unreal has no existence, nor is the positive a negative[Pg 315] at any time; so there can be nothing as a positive felicity or infelicity either in any place, when God himself is present in his person every where. (They are all alike to God and Godly soul).

8. Abandon the thoughts of felicity or infelicity of the world (nor be like the laughing or crying philosopher with your one sided view of either the happiness or misery of life), and seeing there is no such difference in the mind of God, stick fast in this last state of indifference to both.

9. Though the intelligent soul, and the external phenomena, are closely situated in the inside and outside of the body; Yet the internal soul is neither delighted nor depressed, by the pleasure or pain which environ the external body.

10. All pleasure and pain relating the material body, touch the mind which is situated in it; but no bodily hurt or debility affects the soul, which is seated beyond it.

11. Should the soul be supposed to participate, in the pleasure or pain which affect the gross body, it is to be understood as caused by the error, rising from our ignorance only.

12. The gross is no reality, and its feelings of pain or pleasure are never real ones, as to touch the intangible soul; for who is so senseless, as not to perceive the wide separation of the soul from the body?

13. What I tell you here, O progeny of Bhárata, will surely destroy the error arising from ignorance, by the full understanding of my lectures.

14. As knowledge removes the error and fear of the snake, arising from one's ignorance in a rope; so our misconception of the reality of our bodies and their pleasures and pains, is dispelled by our knowledge of truth.

15. Know the whole universe to be identic with increate Brahma, and is neither produced nor dissolved by itself, knowing this as a certain truth, believe in Brahma only, as the most supreme source of all tree knowledge.

16. You are but a little billow in the sea of Brahma's essence; you rise and roll for a little while, and then subside to rest. You foam and froth in the whirlpool of Brahma's[Pg 316] existence, and art no other than a drop of water in the endless ocean of Brahma.

17. As long as we are in action under the command of our general, we act our parts like soldiers in the field; we all live and move in Brahma alone, and there is no mistake of right or wrong in this. (Act well our part and there all honour lies).

18. Abandon your pride and haughtiness, your sorrow and fear, and your desire of pain or pleasure; it is bad to have any duality or doubt in you, be good with your oneness or integrity at all times.

19. Think this in yourself from the destruction of these myriads of forces under your arms, that all these are evolved out of Brahma, and you do more than evolve or reduce them to Brahma himself.

20. Do not care for your pleasure or pain, your gain or loss, and your victory or defeat; but resort only to the unity of Brahma, and know the world as the vast ocean of Brahma's entity.

21. Being alike in or unchanged by your loss or gain, and thinking yourself as nobody; and go on in your proper course of action, as a gust of wind takes its own course.

22. Whatever you do or take to your food, whatever sacrifices you make or any gift that you give to any one, commit them all to Brahma, and remain quiet in yourself. (With an assurance of their happy termination by the help of God).

23. Whoever thinks in his mind, of becoming anything in earnest; he undoubtedly becomes the same in process of time; if therefore you wish to become as Brahma himself, learn betimes to assimilate yourself to the nature of Brahma, in all your thoughts and deeds. (It is imitation of perfection, that gives perfection to man).

24. Let one who knows the great Brahma, be employed in doing his duties as occur unto him, without any expectation and any reward; and as God does his works without any aim, so should the Godly do their works without any object.

[Pg 317]

25. He who sees the inactive God in all his active duties, and sees also all his works in the inactive Gods; that man is called the most intelligent among men, and he is said the readiest discharger of his deeds and duties.

26. Do not do thy works in expectation of their rewards, nor engage thyself to do any thing that is not thy duty or improper for thee. Go on doing thy duties as in thy yoga or fixed meditation, and not in connection with other's or their rewards.

27. Neither be addicted to active duties, nor recline in your inactivity either; never remain ignorant or negligent of thy duties in life, but continue in thy work with an even temper at all times.

28. That man though employed in business, is said to be doing nothing at all; who does not foster the hope of a reward of his acts, and is ever contented in himself, even without a patron or refuge.

29. It is the addictedness of one's mind to anything, that makes it his action, and not the action itself without such addiction; it is ignorance which is the cause of such tendency, therefore ignorance is to be avoided by all means.

30. The great soul that is settled in divine knowledge; and is freed from its wont or bent to any thing, may be employed in all sorts of works, without being reckoned as the doer of any. (One is named by the work of his profession, and not by his attendance to a thousand other callings in life).

31. He who does nothing, is indifferent about its result (whether of good or evil), this indifference amounts to his equanimity, which leads to his endless felicity, which is next to the state of God-head. (The sentence is climacteric rising from inactivity to the felicity of the Deity).

32. By avoiding the dirt of duality and plurality (of beliefs), betake yourself to your belief in the unity of the supreme spirit, and then whether you do or not do your ceremonial acts, you will not be accounted as the doer.

33. He is called a wise man by the learned, whose acts in life are free from desire or some object of desire; and whose[Pg 318] ceremonial acts are burnt away by the fire of spiritual knowledge. (It is said that the merit of ceremonial observances, leads a man only to reward in repeated births; but divine knowledge removes the doom of transmigration, by leading the soul at once to divine felicity, from which no one has to return to revisit the earth.)

34. He who remains with a peaceful, calm, quiet and tranquil equanimity of the soul, and without any desire or avarice for anything in this world, may be doing his duties here, without any disturbance or anxiety of his mind.

35. The man who has no dispute with any one, but is ever settled with calm and quiet rest of his soul; which is united with the supreme soul, without its Yoga or Ceremonial observance, and is satisfied with whatever is obtained of itself; such a man is deemed as a decoration of this earth.

36. They are called ignorant hypocrites, who having repressed their organs of actions, still indulge themselves in dwelling upon sensible pleasures, by recalling their thoughts in this mind.

37. He who has governed his outward and inward senses, by the power of his sapient mind; and employs his organs of action, in the performance of his bodily functions and discharges of his ceremonial observances without his addictedness to them, is quite different from the one described before.

38. As the overflowing waters of rivers, fall into the profound and motionless body of waters in the sea; so the souls of holy men enter into the ocean of eternal God, where they are attended with a peaceful bliss, which is never to be obtained by avaricious worldlings.

[Pg 319]


Lecture on the living soul or Jívatatwa.

Arguments.—The unity and reality is the causal subjective, and the duality and unreality is the objective worlds; and the situation of God between the two, means his witnessing both of these without being either of them, because the conditions of the cause and the caused do not apply to God who is beyond all attributes.

THE Lord said:—Neither relinquish or abstain from your enjoyments, nor employ your minds about them or in the acquisition of the object thereof. Remain with an even tenor of your mind, and be content with what comes to thee.

2. Never be so intimately related to thy body, that is not intimately related with thee; but remain intimately connected with thyself, which is thy increate and imperishable soul.

3. We suffer no loss by the loss of our bodies (which are but adscititious garments of our souls); but we lose every thing, by the loss of our souls which last forever and never perish.

4. The soul is not weakened like the sentient mind, by the loss of the sensible objects of enjoyment, and incessantly employed in action, yet it does nothing by itself.

5. It is one's addictedness to an action that makes it his act, and this even when one is no actor of the same; it is ignorance only that incites the mind to action, and therefore this ignorance is required to be removed from it by all means.

6. The great minded man that is acquainted with the superior knowledge of spirituality, forsakes his tendency to action, and does everything that comes to him without his being the actor thereof.

7. Know thy soul to be without its beginning and end, and undecaying and imperishable in its nature; the ignorant think it perishable, and you must not fall into this sad error like them.

8. The best of men that are blest with spiritual knowledge,[Pg 320] do not look the soul in the same light as the ignorant vulgar; who either believe the soulless matter as the soul, or think themselves as incorporate souls by their egoistic vanity.

9. Arjuna said:—If it is so, O lord of worlds! then I ween that the loss of the body is attended with no loss or gain to the ignorant (because they have nothing to care for an immortal soul like the learned).

10. The lord replied:—so it is, O mighty armed Arjuna! they lose nothing by the loss of the perishable body, but they know that the soul is imperishable, and its loss is the greatest of all losses.

11. How be it, I see no greater mistake of men in this world; than when they say, that they have lost anything or gained something that never belongs to them. It appears like the crying of a barren woman for her child, which she never had, nor is expected to have at any time.

12. That it is axiomatic truth established by the learned, and well known to all men of common sense, though the ignorant may not perceive it verily, that an unreality can not come to reality, nor a reality go to nothing at any time. (This equivalent to the definite propositions, "what is, is; and what is not, is naught; or that, positive can not be the negative, not the negative an affirmative").

13. Now know that to be imperishable, that has spread out this perishable and frail world; and there is no one that can destroy the indestructible (or the entity of the immortal soul).

14. The finite bodies are said to be the abode of the infinite soul, and yet the destruction of the finite and frail, entails no loss upon the infinite and imperishable soul. Know therefore the difference between the two.

15. The soul is a unity without a duality, and there is no possibility of its nihility. (because the unity is certain reality, and duality is a nullity). The eternal and infinite reality of the soul, can never be destroyed with the destruction of the body.

16. Leaving aside the unity and duality, take that which remains, and know that state of tranquillity which is situated[Pg 321] between the reality and unreality, to be the state of the transcendental Deity.

17. Arjuna rejoined:—such being the nature of the soul, then tell me, O lord, what is the cause of this certainty in man that he is dying, and what makes him think, that he is either going to heaven above or to the hell below. (What is the cause of heavenly bliss and the torments of hell).

18. The lord replied:—know Arjuna! There is a living soul dwelling in the body, and composed of the elements of earth, air, water, fire and vacuum, as also of the mind and understanding: (all of which being destructible in their nature, cause the destructibility of the living principle, and its subjection to pain and pleasure in this life and in the next. gloss).

19. The embodied and living soul is led by its desire, as the young of a beast is carried about tied by a rope on its neck; and it dwells in the recess of the body, like a bird in the cage. (Both states of its living and moving about in the body, are as troublesome as they are compulsory to it).

20. Then as the body is worn out and becomes infirm in course of time, the living soul leaves it like the moisture of a dried leaf, and flies to where it is led by its inborn desire. (The difference of desire causes the difference of new births and bodies. gloss).

21. It carries with it the senses of hearing, seeing, feeling, taste, touch and smell from its body, as the breeze wafts the fragrance from the cells of flowers (or as a wayfarer carries his valuables with him).

22. The body is the production of one's desire, and has no other assignable cause to it; it weakens by the weakening of its desire, and being altogether weak and wasted, it becomes extinct in its final absorption in the god-head (because the want of desire and dislike, makes a man to become like his god; or as perfect as god, who has nothing to desire and dislike).

23. The avaricious man, being stanch with his concupiscence, passes through many wombs into many births; like a magician is skilled in leaping up and down in earth and air.[Pg 322] (The magician máyá, purusha, means also a juggler or athlete who shows his feats in air as an aeronaut).

24. The parting soul carries with her the properties of the senses from the sensible organs of the body; just as the flying breeze bears with him the fragrance of flowers, in his flight through the sky.

25. The body becomes motionless, after the soul has fled from it; just as the leaves and branches of trees, remain unruffled after the winds are still. (i.e. As the breeze shakes the tree, so the vital breath moves the body, and this being stopped, the body becomes quiescent which is called its death).

26. When the body becomes inactive, and insensible to the incision and wounds that are inflicted upon it, it is then called to be dead, or to have become lifeless.

27. As this soul resides in any part of the sky, in its form of the vital air, it beholds the very same form of things manifested before it, as it was wont to desire when living. (The departed soul dwells either in spiritual or elemental sphere of the sky, and views itself and all other things in the same state as they are imprest in it, in their relation to time, place and form. Gloss. This passage will clear Locke's and Parker's question, as to the form which the soul is to have after its resurrection).

28. The soul comes to find all these forms and bodies, to be as unreal as those it has left behind; and so must you reckon all bodies after they are destroyed, unless you be so profoundly asleep as to see and know nothing.

29. Brahmá—the lord of creation, has created all beings according to the images, that were impressed in his mind in the beginning. He sees them still to continue and die in the same forms. (So the soul gets its body as it thinks upon, and then lives and dies in the same form).

30. Whatever form or body the soul finds on itself, on its first and instantaneous springing to life; the same is invariably impressed in its consciousness, until its last moment of death. (This fixed impression of the past, produces its reminiscence in the future, which forms and frames the being according to its own model).

[Pg 323]

31. The pristine desire of a man, is the root of his present manliness, which becomes the cause of his future success. So also the present exertion of one, is able to correct and make up not only his past mistakes and deficits; but also to edify upon his rugged hut of old. (i.e. that is to improve his dilapidated state and build the fabric of his future fame and fortune).

32. Whatever is pursued with ardent exertion and diligence for a while, the same in particular is gained among all other objects of one's former and future pursuit (which are reckoned under the four predicaments (Chaturvarga) of wealth and pleasure for this life, and virtue and salvation for the next).

33. Whether a man is exposed on the barren rock of Vindhya, or blown and borne away by the winds, he is yet supported by his manhood; therefore the wise man should never decline to discharge the legal duties, that are required of him at all times.

34. Know the heaven and hell of which you ask, to be creatures of the old prejudices of men; they are the productions of human wish, and exist in the customary bias of the populace.

35. Arjuna said:—Tell me, O lord of the world! what is that cause, which gave rise to the prejudice of a heaven and hell. (A future state of reward and retribution, is a common belief of all mankind on earth).

36. The Lord replied:—These prejudices are as false as airy dreams, and have their rise from our desire (of future retribution); which waxing strong by our constant habit of thinking them as true, make us believe them as such, as they mislead us to rely on the reality of the unreal world. Therefore we must shun our desires for our real good.

37. The Lord replied:—Ignorance is the source of our desires, as it is the main spring of our error of taking the unself for the true self; it is the knowledge of the self therefore combined with right understanding, that can dispel the error of our desires. (i.e. Ignorance of the nature of a thing, excites our desire for it, as our knowledge of the same, serves to suppress it).

38. You are best acquainted with the self, O Arjuna! and[Pg 324] well know the truth also; therefore try to get off your error of yourself and not yourself, as this I and that another, as also of your desires for yourself and other.

39. Arjuna said:—But I ween that the living soul dies away, with the death of its desires; because the desire is the support of the soul, which must languish and droop down for want of a desire. (So says sir Hamilton: Give me something to do and desire, and so I live or else I pine away and die).

40. Tell me moreover, what thing is it that is subject to future births and deaths, after the living soul perishes with its body at any time or place (or after it has fled from it to some other region).

41. The Lord replied:—Know the wistful soul, O intelligent Arjuna! to be of the form of the desire of the heart, as also of the form that anyone has framed for himself in his imagination. (i.e. The form of individual soul, is according to the figure that one has of himself in his mind and heart).

42. The soul that is self-same with itself, and unaltered in all circumstances; that is never subject to body or any desire on earth, but is freed from all desires by its own discretion, is said to be liberated in this life.

43. Living in this manner (or self-independence), you must always look to and be in search of truth; and being released from the snare of worldly cares, you are said to be liberated in this life.

44. The soul that is not freed from its desires, is said to be pent up as a bird in its cage; and though a man may be very learned, and observant of all his religious rites and duties, yet he is not said to be liberated, as long as he labours in the chains of his desires.

45. The man who sees the train of desires, glimmering in the recess of his heart and mind, is like a purblind man who sees the bespangled train of peacocks tail in the spotless sky. He is said to be liberated whose mind is not bound to the chain of desire, and it is one's release from this chain that is called his liberation in this life and in the next.

[Pg 325]


Description of the mind.

Argument:—On the liberation of the living soul, and description of the mind as the miniature of the world.

THE Lord continued:—Now Arjuna, forsake your sympathy for your friends, by the coldheartedness that you have acquired from the abandonment of your desires and cares, and the liberation that you have attained to in this your living state.

2. Be dispassionate, O sinless Arjuna! by forsaking your fear of death and decay of the body; and be as clear as the unclouded sky in your mind, by driving away the clouds of your cares from it, and dispelling all your aims and attempts either of good or evil for yourself or others.

3. Discharge your duties as they come to you in the course of your life, and do well whatever is proper to be done, that no action of yours may go for nothing (i.e. Do well or do nothing).

4. Whoso does any work that comes to him of itself in the course of his life, that man is called to be liberated in his life time; and the discharge of such deeds, belongs to the condition of living liberation.

5. That I will do this and not that, or accept of this one and refuse the other, are the conceits of foolishness; but they are all alike to the wise (who have no choice in what is fit and proper for them).

6. Those who do the works which occur to them, with the cool calmness of their minds, are said to be the living liberated; and they continue in their living state, as if they are in their profound sleep.

7. He who has contracted the members of his body, and curbed the organs of his senses in himself, from their respective[Pg 326] outward objects, resembles a tortoise, that rests in quiet by contracting its limbs within itself.

8. The universe resides in the universal soul, and continues therein in all the three present, past and future times, as the painting-master of the mind, draws the picture of the world in the aerial canvas.

9. The variegated picture of the world, which is drawn by the painter of the mind in the empty air, is as void as the vacant air itself, and yet appearing as prominent as a figure in relief, and as plain as a pikestaff.

10. Though the formless world rests on the plane of vacuity, yet the wonderous error of our imagination shows it as conspicuous to view; as a magician shows his aerial cottage to our deluded sight.

11. As there is no difference in the plane surface of the canvas, which shows the swelling and depression of the figures in the picture to our sight; so there is no convexity or concavity in the dead flat of the spirit, which presents the uneven world to view. (i.e. All things are even in the spirit of God, however uneven they may appear to us).

12. Know, O red eyed Arjuna! the picture of the world in the empty vacuum is as void as the vacuity itself; it rises and sets in the mind, as the temporary scenes which appear in imagination at the fit of a delirium.

13. So is this world all hollow both in the inside and outside of it, though it appears as real as an air drawn city of our imagination, by our prejudice or long habit of thinking it so. (A deep rooted prejudice cannot soon be removed).

14. Without cogitation the truth appears as false, and the false as true as in a delirium; but by excogitation of it, the truth comes to light, and the error or untruth vanishes in nubila.

15. As the autumnal sky, though it appears bright and clear to the naked eye, has yet the flimsy clouds flying over it, so the picture drawn over the plane of the inane mind, presents the figures of our fancied objects in it. (Such is the appearance of our imaginary world and our fancied friends in the perspective of the mind).

[Pg 327]

16. The baseless and unsubstantial world which appears on the outside, is but a phantasy and has no reality in it; and when there is nothing as you or I or any one in real existence, say who can destroy one or be destroyed by another.

17. Drive away your false conception of the slayer and slain from your mind, and rest in the pure and bright sphere of the Divine spirit; because there is no stir or motion in the intellectual sphere of God, which is ever calm and quiet. All commotions appertain to the mental sphere, and the action of the restless mind.

18. Know the mind to contain every thing in its clear sphere, such as time and space, the clear sky, and all actions and motions and positions of things; as the area of a map presents the sites of all places upon its surface.

19. Know the mind to be more inane and rarefied than the empty air, and it is upon that basis the painter of the intellect, has drawn the picture of this immense universe.

20. But the infinite vacuum being wholly inane, it has not that diversity and divisibility in it, as they exhibit themselves in the mind, in the rearing up and breaking down of its aerial castle. (The imagination of the mind raises and erases its fabrics; but those of vacuum are fixed and firm for ever).

21. So the earthly mortals seem to be born and die away every moment, as the chargeful thoughts of the all-engrossing mind, are ever rising and subsiding in it.

22. Though the erroneous thoughts of the mind, are so instantaneous and temporary; yet it has the power of stretching out the ideas of the length and duration of the world, as it has of producing new ideas of all things from nothing. (So God created every thing out of nothing).

23. The mind has moreover the power of prolonging a moment to a kalpa age; as of enlarging a minim to a mountain, and of increasing a little to a multitude.

24. It has the power also of producing a thing from nothing, and of converting one to another in a trice; it is this capacity of it, which gives rise to the erroneous conception of[Pg 328] the world, in the same manner, as it raises the airy castle and fairy lands of its own nature in a moment.

25. It has likewise brought this wonderous world into existence, which rose out in the twinkling of an eye, as a reflexion and not creation of it. (Because the disembodied mind can not create any material thing).

26. All these are but ideal forms and shadowy shapes of imagination, though they appear as hard and solid as adamant; they are the mistaken ideas of some unknown form and substance.

27. Whether you desire or dislike your worldly interests, show me where lies its solidity, both in your solicitude as well as indifference about it; the mind being itself situated in the intellect of the Divine contriver, the picture of the world, can not have its place any where else. (The world being in the mind, and this again in the Divine intellect, the world must be situated also in the same, which is the main receptacle of the world also).

28. O how very wonderous bright is this prominent picture, which is drawn on no base or coating, and which is so conspicuous before us, in various pieces without any paint or color whereof it is made.

29. O how pleasant is this perspicuous picture of the world, and how very attractive to our sight. It was drawn on the inky coating of chaotic darkness, and exhibited to the full blaze of various lights (of the sun, moon, stars and primeval light).

30. It is fraught in diverse colors, and filled with various objects of our desire in all its different parts; it exhibits many shows which are pleasant to sight, and presents all things to view of which have the notions in our minds.

31. It presents many planets and stars before us, shining in their different shapes and spheres all about. The blue vault of heaven resembling a cerulean lake, brightens with the shining sun, moon and stars liking its blooming and blossoming lotuses.

[Pg 329]

32. There are the bodies of variegated clouds, pendant as the many coloured leaves of trees on the azure sky; and appearing as pictures of men, gods and demons, drawn over the domes of the three regions (of earth, heaven and hell below, in their various appearances of white, bright and dark).

33. The fickle and playful painter of the mind, has sketched and stretched out the picture of the sky, as an arena for the exhibition of the three worlds, as its three different stages; where all deluded peoples are portrayed as joyful players, acting their parts under the encircling light of the supreme Intellect. (The world is a stage, and all men and women its players, Shakespeare).

34. Here is the actress with her sedate body of golden hue, and her thick braids of hair; her eyes glancing on the people with flashes of sunshine and moon-beams, the rising ground is her back and her feet reaching the infernal regions; and being, clothed with the robe of the sástra, she acts the plays of morality, opulence and the farce of enjoyments.

35. The Gods Brahmá, Indra, Hari and Hara, form her four arms of action, the property of goodness is her bodice, and the two virtues of discretion and apathy, are her prominent breasts. The earth resting on the head of the infernal Serpent, is her lotus like foot-stool upheld by its stalk; She is decorated on the face and forehead with the paints of mineral mountains, whose valleys and caves form belly and bowels.

36. The fleeting glances of her eyes dispelling the gloom of night, and the twinkling of stars are as the erection of hairs on her body; the two rows of her teeth emitted the rays of flashing lightnings, and all earthly beings are as the hairs on her person, and rising as piles about the bulb of a Kadamba flower.

37. This earth is filled with living souls, subsisting in the spacious vacuum of the Universal soul, and appearing as figures in painting drawn in it. This the skilful artist of the mind, that has displayed this illusive actress of the Universe, to show her various features as in a puppet show.

[Pg 330]


On Abandonment of desire and its result of Tranquillity.

Argument:—The final lecture to Arjuna on the Peace of mind resulting from its want of desire.

THE Lord said:—Look here, O Arjuna! The great wonder which is manifest in this subject; it is the appearance of the picture, prior to that of the plane of the plan upon which it is drawn. (The appearance of the mind or painting, before that of Viráj or the spirit of God which exhibits the painting. Gloss).

2. The prominence of the painting and the non-appearance of its basis, must be as wonderous as the buoyancy of a block of stone, and the sinking down of gourd shell as is shown in a magic play.

3. The Universe resting in the vacuity of the Divine spirit, appears as a picture on the tablet of the mind; say then how does this egoism or self knowledge of your substantiality, arise from the bosom of the vacuous nullity. (i.e. How can substantial spring from the unsubstantial, or some thing come out of nothing).

4. All these being the vacant production of vacuum, are swallowed up likewise in the vacuous womb of an infinite vacuity; they are no more than hollow shadows of emptiness, and stretched out in empty air.

5. This empty air is spread over with the snare of our desires, stretching as wide as the sphere of these outstretched worlds; it is the band of our desire that encircles the worlds as their great belt.

6. The world is situated in Brahmá as a reflexion in the mirror, and is not subject to partition or obliteration; owing to its inherence in its receptacle, and its identity with the same.

7. The indissoluble vacuum being the nature of Brahma,[Pg 331] is inseparable from his essence; for nobody is ever able to divide the empty air in twain or remove it from its place.

8. It is owing to your ignorance of this, that your concupiscence has become congenial with your nature; which it is hard for it to get rid of, notwithstanding its being fraught with every virtue.

9. He who has sown the smallest seed of desire in the soul of his heart, is confined as a lion in the cage, though he may be very wise and learned in all things.

10. The desire which is habitual to one, grows as rank as a thick wood in his breast; unless it is burnt away in the seed by the knowledge of truth, when it cannot vegetate any more.

11. This mind is no more inclined to any thing, who has burnt away the seed of his desire at once; he remains untouched by pleasure and pain, like the lotus-leaf amidst the water.

12. Now therefore, O Arjuna! do you remain calm and quiet in your spirit, be undaunted and devoid of all desire in your mind; melt down the mist of your mental delusion by the heat of your nirvána devotion, and from all that you have learnt from my holy lecture to you, remain in perfect tranquillity with your reliance in the Supreme spirit.

[Pg 332]


Arjuna's satisfaction at the Sermon.

Argument:—The knowledge of truth dispels the doubts, and leads to display his valorous deeds in warfare.

ARJUNA said:—Lord! it is by thy kindness, that I am freed from my delusion, and have come to the reminiscence of myself. I am now placed above all doubts, and will act as you have said.

2. The Lord replied:—when you find the feelings and faculties of your heart and mind, to be fully pacified by means of your knowledge; then understand your soul to have attained its tranquillity, and the property of goodness or purity of its nature. (Sattwa Swabháva).

3. In this state, the soul becomes insensible of all mental thoughts, and full of intelligence in itself; and being freed from all inward and outward perceptions, it perceives in itself the one Brahma who is all and everywhere.

4. No worldly being can observe this elevated state of the soul, as no body can see the bird that has fled from the earth into the upper sky.

5. The pure soul which is devoid of desire, becomes full of intelligence and spiritual light; and it is not to be perceived by even the foresighted observer. (It is the soul's approximation to the Divine state).

6. No body can perceive this transcendental and transparent state of the soul, without purifying his desires at first; it is a state as imperceptible to the impure, as the minutest particle of an atom, is unperceivable by the naked eye.

7. Attainment of this state, drives away the knowledge of all sensible objects as of pots, plates, and others. What thing therefore is so desirable, as to be worth desiring before the Divine presence.

[Pg 333]

8. As the frost and ice melt away before a volcanic mountain, so doth our ignorance fly afar, from the knowledge of the intellectual soul. (i.e. Intellectual knowledge drives away all ignorance before it).

9. What are these mean desires of us, that blow away like the dust of the earth, and what are our possessions and enjoyments but snares to entangle our souls?

10. So long doth our ignorance (avidyá) flaunt herself in her various shapes, as we remain ignorant of the pure and modest nature of our inmost souls in ourselves. (Self-knowledge is shy and modest, while ignorance is full of vanity and boast).

11. All outward appearances fade away and faint (before the naked eye), and appear in their pellucid forms in the inmost soul, which grasps the whole in itself, as the vacuum contains the plenum in it.

12. That which shows all forms in it, without having or showing any form of itself; is that transcendent substance which is beyond description, and transcends our comprehension of it.

13. Now get rid of the poisonous and cholic pain of your desire of gain, as also of the permanence of your own existence; mutter to yourself the mantra of your resignation of desirables, and thus prosper in the world without fear for anything.

14. Vasishtha said:—After the Lord of the three worlds had spoken the words, Arjuna remained silent for a moment before him; and then like a bee sitting beside a blue lotus, uttered the following words to the sable bodied Krishna.

15. Arjuna said:—Lord! Thy words have dispelled all grief from my heart, and the light of truth is rising in my mind; as when the sun rises to awaken the closed and sleeping lotus.

16. Vasishtha said:—After saying so, Arjuna being cleared of all his doubts, laid hold on his Gándíva bow, and rose with Hari for his charioteer, in order to proceed to his warlike exploits.

[Pg 334]

17. He will transform the face of the earth to a sea of blood, gushing out of the bodies of combatants, their charioteers and horses and elephants that will be wounded by him; the flights of his arrows and thickening darts, will hide the disk of the sun in the sky, and darken the face of the earth with flying dust.

[Pg 335]


Knowledge of the Latent and Inscrutable Soul.

Argument:—The incomprehensible nature of God, expressed by indefinite predicates, and his Latency in the works of creation.

VASISHTHA continued:—Keep this lesson in view, O Ráma! and know it as the purifier of all sins; remain in your resignation of all attachments, and resign yourself to God.

2. Know the Supreme soul, in which all things reside, from which everything has issued, and which is everything itself on all sides of us; it is changed through all, and is ever the same in itself.

3. It seems to be afar though it is nearest to us, it appears to be ubiquitous though ever situated in everything. It is by that essence thou livest, and it is undoubtedly what thou art thyself. (There is but one unity pervading over all varieties).

4. Know that to be the highest predicament, which is above the knowables, and is knowledge or intelligence by itself; which is beyond our thoughts and thinkables, and is the thinking principle or intellect itself. (Beyond thought Divine. Milton).

5. It is preeminent consciousness and that supreme felicity, and passing wonder of our sight; which surpasses the majesty of majesties, and is the most venerable of venerables.

6. This thing is the soul and its cognition, it is vacuum which is the immensity of the supreme Brahma; it is the chief good (summum Bonum) which is felicity and tranquillity itself; and it is full knowledge or omniscience, and the highest of all states.

7. The soul that abides in the intellect, and is of the form of the conception of all things: that which feels and perceives every thing, and remains by its own essence.

8. It is the soul of the universe, like the oil of the sesame seed; it is the pith of the arbor of the world, its light and life of all its animal beings.

[Pg 336]

9. It is the thread connecting all beings together like pearls in a necklace, which is suspended on the breast of empty air; (the sutrátma that connects all nature). It is the flavour of all things like the pungency of pepper.

10. It is the essence of all substance (ens entium) and a verity which is the most excellent of all the truth of truths; it is the goodness of whatever is good, and the great or greatest good in itself.

11. Which by its omniscience becomes the all that is present in its knowledge, and which we take by our misjudgment for real entities in this world (when our ignorance mistakes the manifest world for its latent cause).

12. We take ourselves the world in mistake of the soul, but all these mistaken entities vanish away before the light of reason.

13. The vacuum of Brahma or the space occupied by the Divine spirit, is without its beginning and end, and cannot be comprehended within the limited space of our souls; knowing this for certain, the wise are employed in their outward duties.

14. That man is freed from his rising and setting (ups and downs), who rests always in the equanimity of his soul, and whose mind is never elated nor dejected at any event, but ever retains the evenness of its tenor.

15. He whose mind is as vacant as the empty air, is called a mahátmá or great soul, and his mind resting in the state of unity, remains with the body in a state of sound sleep. (But this evenness is inadmissible in business and behaviour to a preceptor. So it is said, [Sanskrit: [mostly illegible]].)

16. The man of business also who preserves the evenness of his mind, remains as undisturbed under the press of his duties, as the reflexion of one in a mirror. They are both the same, being but shadows of reality.

17. He who retains the impression in his mind, in their even and unvaried state, like images in a mirror, is himself as a reflexion in the Divine Intellect. (All beings live and move inseparably in the intellect of God. Gloss).

[Pg 337]

18. So let a man discharge the customary duties of life as they occur to him, with the pure transparent of his mind; as all the creatures of God perform their several parts, like images imprinted in the divine intellect.

19. There is no unity nor duality in the divine intellect, (where the images are neither inseparably attached to nor detached from it); the application of the words I and thou to one or the other is all relate to the same, and they have come to use from the instruction of our elders. (Human language is learned by imitation).

20. The intellect which of itself is tranquil in itself (i.e. in its own nature), acts its wonders in itself (i.e. displays or developes itself in the very intellect); it is the pulsation of intellect which displays the universe, as its vivarta or development, and this pulsation is the Omnipotence of God.

21. The pulsation of the Divine Intellect being put to a stop, there ensues a cessation of the course of the universe, and as it with the supreme Intellect, so it is with its parts of individual intellects, whose action and inaction spread out and curb the sphere of their thoughts.

22. What is called consciousness or its action, is a non entity in nature; and that which is a mere vacuum, is said to be the subtile body of the Intellect. (i.e. The intellectual powers have no material forms).

23. The world appears as an entity, by our thinking it as such; but it vanishes upon our ceasing to think as such, like the disappearance of figures in a picture, when it is burnt down to ashes.

24. The world appears as one with the Deity, to one who sees the unity only in himself; it is the vibration of the intellect only, that caused the revolution of worlds, as the turning of a potters wheel (is caused by the rotatory motion given to it).

25. As the measure, shape and form of the ornament are not different from the gold, so the action of the intellect, is not separate from it; and it is this which forms the world, as the[Pg 338] gold, becomes the ornament and the world and intellect are the same thing, as the ornament and its gold.

26. The mind is the pulsation of the intellect, and it is want of this knowledge that frames a separate world; as it is ignorance of the gold work, that makes the jewel appear as another thing.

27. The mind being wholly absorbed in the intellect, there remains this pure intellect alone; as the nature of one's self or soul being known, there is an end of worldly enjoyments. (He that has known the intellectual world, is not deluded by his sensuous mind; and whoever has tasted his spiritual bliss, does not thirst for sensual pleasures).

28. Disregard of enjoyments is an education of the highest wisdom; hence no kind of enjoyments is acceptable to the wise: (cursed are they that hunger and thirst for enjoyments of this world).

29. Know this to be another indication of wisdom, that no man that has eaten to satiety has ever a zest for any bad food that is offered to him. (i.e. No sensual pleasure is delectable before spiritual bliss).

30. Another sign of wisdom is our natural aversion, to enjoyments, and is the sense of one's perception of all pleasures, in the vibrations of his intellect (i.e. the mind is the store house of all pleasures).

31. He is known as a wise man, who has this good habit of his deeply rooted in his mind, and he is said to be an intelligent man, who refrains from enjoying whatever is enjoyable in this world. (For thy shall hunger hereafter, who stuff themselves with plenty here below. St. Mathew Ch. v).

32. Again whoso pursues after his perfection, in pursuance of the examples of others, doth strike the air with a stick, or beat the bush in vain in search of the same, because it requires sincerity of purpose to be successful in anything (and not the bodily practices of the ignorant, as they do in Hatha Yoga).

33. Some times thy emaciate and torture the body in order to have a full view of the inner soul (because they think to be an envelope of the soul, and an obstruction to its full sight);[Pg 339] but the intellectual soul, being settled in a thousand objects of its intelligence, it sees only errors instead of the light of the soul. (So the hermits, ascetics, monks, and friars emaciate their bodies, and the religious fanatics torture their persons in vain).

34. So long doth the unconscious spirit flutter in its fickleness, and goes on roving from one object to another; as the light of the understanding do not rise and shine within it. (The ignorant are strangers to rest and quiet).

35. But no sooner doth the light of the tranquil intellect, appear in its brightness within the inward soul; than the flattering of the fickle spirit is put to flight, like the flickering of a lamp after it is extinguished.

36. There is no such thing as vibration nor suspension of the tranquil spirit; because the quiescent soul neither moves forward or backward, nor has its motion in any direction.

37. The soul that is neither unconscious of itself, nor has any vibration in it, is said to be calm and quiet; and as it remains in the state of its indifference to vibrations, and gains its forms of pure transparence, it is no more liable to its bondage in life, nor inquires its moksha liberation to set it free from regeneration.

38. The soul that is settled in itself (or the supreme soul), has no fear of bondage nor need of its liberation also; and the intellect being without its intellection, or having no object to dwell upon, becomes unconscious both of its Existence as well as extinction. (One that is absorbed in his self meditation, is unconscious of everything in-esse et non-esse).

39. He that is full in himself with the spirit of God, is equally ignorant both of his bondage and liberation; because the desire of being liberated, indicates want of one's self sufficiency and perfection (or rather the sense of his bondage, from which he wants to be liberated).

40. "Let me then have my equanimity and not my liberation." This desire is also a bondage in itself; and it is the unconsciousness of these, which is reckoned as our chief good. For know the Supreme state to be that, which is pure intelligence and without a shadow.

[Pg 340]

41. The restoration of the intellect to its proper form consists in divesting it of all its intelligibles; and that form of it (which is marked by desire or the prurient soul), is no more than the oscillation of the great Intellect. (All animal souls are vibrations of the Divine spirit).

42. That only is subject to bondage and liberation, which is seen and destructible in its nature (i.e. the visible and perishable body); and not the invisible soul, which take the name of ego, and has no position nor form or figure of itself.

43. We know not what thing it is, that is brought under or loosened from bondage by any one. It is not the pure desire which the wise form for themselves, and does not affect the body. (It is the vibration of mind acting upon the body, and causing its actions that subjects to Bondage).

44. It is therefore, that the wise practise the restraint of their respiring breath, in order to restraint their desires and actions; and being devoid of these, they become as the pure Intellect.

45. These being suppressed, the idea of the world is lost in the density of the intellect; because the thoughts of the mind, are caused by the vibration of the intellect only (and set in also in the same).

46. Thus there remains nothing, nor any action of the body or mind, except the vibration of the intellect; and the phenomenal world is no other, than a protracted dream from one sight to another. The learned are not deluded by these appearances, which they know to be exhibitions of their own minds.

47. Know in thy meditation within thyself that recondite soul, which gives rise to our consciousness of the essences of things, appearing incessantly before us; and in which all these phantasms of our brain, dissolve as dirt in the water; and in which all our perceptions and conceptions of the passing world are flowing on as in a perpetual stream.

[Pg 341]


Of the Majesty and Grandeur of God.

Argument.—Manifestation of mysterious magic of the one, uniform and pure Monad in multiform shapes, as a display of his all Comprehensive plenitude fullness.

VASISHTHA continued:—Such is the first great truth concerning the solidity or of the Divine Intellect, that contains the gigantic forms of Brahmá, Vishnu and Siva in it.

2. It is by means of the greatness of God, that all people are as gaudy as great princes in their several spheres; and are ever exulting in their power of floating and traversing in the regions of open air. (This means both the flight of bird, as well as aerial rambles of Yogis).

The Taittiríya Upanishad says:—God has filled the world with joy, and the minute insect is as joyous as the victorious prince: meaning hereby, that God has given to every being its particular share of happiness.

3. It is by their dwelling in the spirit of God, that the earth born mortals are as happy as the inhabitants of heaven; (That have nothing to desire); nay they are free from the pain of sorrow and released from the pangs of death, that have come unto the Lord—(O death where is thy sting, O grave where thy victory? Pope).

4. Yes, they live in Him that have found him, and are not to be restrained by any body; provided they have but taken their refuge under the overspreading umbrage of the supreme spirit.

5. He who meditates for a moment, on the universal essence of all (as the ens entium); he becomes liberated in an instant, and lives as a liberal minded sage or muni on earth. (The sage[Pg 342] that sees his God in all and every where through out all nature).

6. He does what are his duties in this world, and never grieves in discharging them. Ráma said:—How is it possible, Sir, to meditate on the universal soul in all things, when the sage has buried his mind, understanding and his egoism and himself in the unity of God? And how can the soul be viewed in the plurality, when all things have been absorbed in the unity?

7. Vashistha replied:—The God that dwells in all bodies, moves them to their actions, and receives their food and drink in himself, that produces all things and annihilates them at last, is of course unknowable to our consciousness (which is conscious of itself only).

8. Now it is this indwelling principle in every thing, that is without beginning and end, and inherent in the nature of all; is called the common essence of all, because it constitutes the tattwa identity (or essential nature or the abstract property) of everything in the world.

9. It dwells as vacuity in the vacuum, and as sonorousness in sound; it is situated as feeling in whatever is felt, and as taction in the objects of touch.

10. It is the taste of all tastables, and the tasting of the tongue; it is the light of all objects of sight, and vision of the organs of seeing.

11. It is the sense of smell in the act of smelling, and the odour in all odorous substance; it is the plumpness of the body, and the solidity and stability of the earth.

12. It is the fluidity of liquids and the flatulence of air; it is the flame and flash of fire, and the cogitation of the understanding.

13. It is the thinking principle of the thoughtful mind, and the ego of our egoism; it is the consciousness of the conscious soul, and the sensible heart.

14. It is the power of vegetation in vegetables, and the perspective in all pictures and paintings; it is the capacity of all pots and vessels, and the tallness of stately trees.

[Pg 343]

15. It is the immobility of immovables, and the mobility of movable bodies; it is the dull insensibility of stones and blocks, and the intelligence of intelligent beings.

16. It is the immortality and god-head of the immortal gods, and humanity of human beings; it is the curvedness of crooked beasts, and the supine proneness of crawling and creeping insects.

17. It is the current in the course of time, and the revolution and aspects of the seasons; it is the fugacity of fleeting moments, and the endless duration of eternity.

18. It is the whiteness of whatever is white, and blackness of all that is black; it is activity in all actions, and it is stern fixity in the doings of destiny.

19. The supreme spirit is quiescent in all that is sedate, and lasting and evanescent in whatever is passing and perishing; and he shows his productiveness in the production of things.

20. He is the childhood of children, and the youth of young men; he shows himself as fading in the decay and decline of beings, and as his extinction in their death and demise.

21. Thus the all pervading soul, is not apart from anything, as the waves and froths of the foaming sea, are no way distinct from its body of waters.

22. These multiformities of things are all unrealities, and taken for true in our ignorance of the unity; which multiplies itself in our imagination, as children create and produce false apparitions from their unsound understandings. (These as they change are not the varied god as it is generally supposed to be, but various workings of the intellect).

23. It is I, says the lord, that am situated every where, and it is I that pervade the whole; and fill it with all varieties at pleasure; know therefore, O high minded Ráma! that all these varieties are but creatures of imagination in the mind of God, and are thence reflected into the mirror of our minds. Knowing this rest in the calm tranquillity of your soul, and enjoy the undisturbed solace and happiness of your high mind.

[Pg 344]

24. Válmíki said:—As the sage was saying these things, the day passed away under its evening shade; the sun sank down in its evening devotion, and the assembly broke with mutual salutations to the performance of their eventide ablutions, until they reassembled on the next morning.

[Pg 345]


Description of the world as a passing dream.

Argument:—How our firm faith arises over this entity, and its answer.

RÁMA said:—As we are, Oh sage! a dream drawn house, the body of the lotus-born Brahmá—the first progenitor, is the same no doubt.

2. And if this world is a non-entity—asat, we must know our existence the same, then how is it possible to arise the firm faith over this entity—sat.

3. Vasishtha responded:—We are shining here as a created being by the previous birth of Brahmá, but in fact, the reflexion of soul shines for ever, nothing besides.

4. Owing to the omnipresence of consciousness, all beings exist as reality every where, and if she rises from unreal knowledge, she as real knowledge destroys the unreal one. (vice-versa).

5. Therefore whatever comes from these five elements, is but transitory, but owing to the firm belief on ego, we enjoy a firm faith for the same.

6. In a dream, we see good many things as reality; but as soon the dream is over, we do not find the things dreamt of; so we see the reality of the world; as long we remain in ignorance.

7. Oh Ráma! as the dreaming man counts his dream as reality, owing to his faith on it; so this world appears a reality, like the supreme God who has no beginning and end.

8. That which is to be created by the dreaming man, is to be called his own; as we can say by guessing knowledge, what is in the seed, is in the fruit.

9. Whatever comes from non-entity, is to be called non-entity; and that which is unreal though it can be workable, is not reasonable to think good.

[Pg 346]

10. As the thinking result of unreality is to be given up, so the firm faith which is arising by the dreaming man; is to be given up likewise.

11. Whatever soul creates in dream is our firm belief, but that remains only for a time being (hence it is asat—non-entity).

12. Brahmá's long drawn portion is this entity, hence we think also the same, but in fact, this entity is a moment to Brahmá.

13. Consciousness is the creator of all elements, she creates every thing according to her model, hence creator and creation are one and the same.

14. As the backward and forward whirling motion of water, makes the deep to swell, and as also fairy comes near in a dream, so all these are in reality nothing.

15. So this entity with its change (of creation, sustentation and destruction) is nothing. In whatever manner we look [at the] object, that will appear in return in the same manner.

16. The rule of the erroneous dream is not to reproduce (in waking state, what it produces in sleeping state, though it has a power to create something out of nothing) as the production is not in the world, but owing to ignorance it appears so.

17. In the three worlds we see wondrous objects, as we see fire burning in the water like a sub-marine fire.

18. Good many cities exist in vacuity, as birds and stars remain in the sky. We find lotus in a stone like trees growing without an earth.

19. One country gives every kind of object to the seeker, like a tree that gives all objects to the seeker (Kalpa taru) and also we see in a stone and rows of jewels (that is counting beads) giving fruits like fruitful trees.

20. Life exists within a stone (Sálgram) as frog exists. Stone gives water as moon-stone gives.

21. In a dream within a minute good many things can be made and unmade, which in fact, are unreal like one's death in a dream.

[Pg 347]

22. The natural water of the elements remains in the sky, (that is, in the cloud), when the heavenly river Mandákiní remains in vacuity.

23. The heavy stone flies in the air, when the winged mountain does so. Every thing to be got in stone, when every thing can be secured from the philosopher's stone.

24. In the garden of bliss of Indra every desired object to be got, but in salvation such kind of desired object is wanting.

25. Even dull matter acts like machine, hence every object acts like wonderful erroneous magic.

26. By magical art (that is, Gandharva vidyá) we see even impossible objects such as two moons, Kavandhas, mantras, drugs, and pishacha. All these are the works of wonderful erroneous magic, which are in fact nothing.

27. We see impossibility as real as we see possibility, hence impossibility becomes real by our erroneous ideas only.

28. The erroneous dream though it appears as real is in fact unreal, as that which is not real does not exist, which is real does exist (unity is real, duality is unreal, hence existence and non-existence are one and the same).

29. So this dreaming creation is looked by all worldly being here as real, as dreamer takes his dream a reality.

30. By passing from one error to another error, from one dream to another, one firm faithful being comes out.

31. As a stray deer falls into the pit repeatedly for green grass, so ignorant man repeatedly falls into the pit of this world, owing to his ignorance.

[Pg 348]


In the narration of Jívata an example of domestic and mendicant life

Argument:—Narration of the mendicant Jiváta, in illustration of the transmigration of the soul in various births, according to the variety of its insatiable Desire.

VASISHTHA resumed:—Hear me relate to you, Ráma, the story of a certain mendicant, who fostered some desire in his mind, and wandered through many migrations of his soul.

2. There lived a great mendicant at one time, who devoted his life to holy devotion, and passed his days in the observance of the rules of his mendicancy. (The state of mendicancy is the third stage of life of a Brahman, which is devoted to devotion, and supported by begging of the simple subsistence of life. This story applies to all men, who are in some way or other devoted to some profession for acquiring the necessaries of life and the more so, as all men have some ultimate object of desire, which is an obstruction to their Nirvána or final extinction in the Deity. For the lord says in the Gospel, He that loveth anything more than me, is not worthy of me).

3. In the intensity of his Samádhi devotion, his mind was purged of all its desires; and it became assimilated to the object of its meditation, as the sea water, is changed to the form of waves. (Samádhi is defined by Patanjali, as the forgetting of one's self in the object of his meditation).

4. Once as he was sitting on his seat after termination of his meditation, and was intent upon discharging some sacred functions of his order, there chanced to pass a thought over his clear mind (like the shadow of cloud over the midday sky).

5. He looked into the reflexion of the thought, that rose of itself in his mind; that he should reflect for his pleasure, upon the various conditions of common people, and the different modes of their life. (the proper study of man is man, and the manner of each rightly).

[Pg 349]

6. All this thought his mind passed from the reflexion of himself and his God, to that of another person; and he lost the calm composure of his mind, as when the quiet sea is disturbed by whirlpool or whirl wind. (This desire of the sage disturbed his breast, like the doubt of Parnell's Hermit).

7. Then he thought in himself to become an ideal man of his own accord, and became in an instant the imagined person Jivátá by name. (Imagination shapes one to what he imagines himself to be).

8. Jivátá, the ideal man, now roved about like a dreaming person, through the walks of the imaginary city, which he had raised to himself, as a sleeping man, builds his aerial abodes in dream. (So every man thinks himself as some one, and moves about in his air built city).

9. He drank his fill at pleasure, as a giddy bee sips the honey from lotus cups; he became plump and hearty with his sports, and enjoyed sound sleep from his want of care.

10. He saw himself in the form of a Brahman in his dream, who was pleased with his studies and the discharge of his religious duties; and as he reflected himself as such he was transformed to the same state, as a man is transplanted from one place to another at a thought. (He makes the man, and places him in every state and place).

11. The good Brahman who was observant of his daily ritual, fell asleep one day into a deep trance, and dreamt himself doing the duties of the day, as the seed hid in shell, performs inwardly its act of vegetation.

12. The same Brahman saw himself changed to a chieftain in his dream, and the same chief ate and drank and slept as any other man in general.

13. The chief again thought himself as a king in his dream, who ruled over the earth extending to the horizon; and was beset by all kinds of enjoyments, as a creeper is studded with flowers.

14. Once as this prince felt himself at ease, he fell into a sound sleep free from all cares, and saw the future consequences[Pg 350] of his actions, as the effect is attached to the cause, or the flowers are the forth-comings of the tree.

15. He saw his soul assuming the form of a heavenly maid, as the pith of a plant puts forth itself in its flowers and fruits, (what is at the bottom, comes out on the top; and what is the root, sprouts forth in the tree).

16. As this heavenly maid was lulled to sleep by her weariness and fatigue, she beheld herself turn into a deer, as the calm ocean finds itself disturbed into eddies and waves (by its inner caves and outward winds).

17. As this timorous fawn with her fickle eyes, fell into a sound sleep at one time; she beheld herself transformed to a creeping plant (which she likes to browse upon so fondly in her pasture).

18. The crooked beasts of the field and the creeping plants of forest, have also their sleep and dream of their own nature; the dreams being caused by what they saw and heard and felt in their waking states.

19. This creeper came to be beautified in times, with its beautiful fruits, flowers and leaves, and formed a bower for the seat of the floral goddess of the woods.

20. It hid in its heart the wishes that grew in it, in the same manner as the seed conceals in its embryo the germ of the would be tree; and at last saw itself in its inward consciousness, to be full of frailty and failings.

21. It had remained long in its sleep and rest, but being disgusted with its drowsy dullness, it thought of being the fleeting bee its constant guest, and found itself to be immediately changed to a fluttering bee (which it had fed with its farinaceous food).

22. The bee roved at pleasure over the tender and blossoming creepers in the forest, and let on the petals of blooming lotuses, as a fond lover courts his mistresses.

23. It roved about the blossoms, blooming as brightening pearls in the air; and drank the nectarious Juice from the flower cups, as a lover sips the nectar from the rubied lips of the beloved.

[Pg 351]

24. He became enamoured of the lotus of the lake, and sat silent upon its thorny stalk on the water; for such is the fondness of fools, even for what is painful to them.

25. The lake was often infested by elephants, who tore and trampled over the beds of lotus bushes; because it is a pleasure to the malignant base, to lay waste the fair works of God. (The black big and bulky elephants, are said to be invidious of the fair and pretty lotuses; hence the elephant is used as symbolical of the devil, the destroyer of all good).

26. The fond bee meets the fate of its fondling lotus, and is crushed under the tusk of the elephant, as the rice is ground under the teeth. (Such is the fate of overfondness for the fair).

27. The little bee seeing the big body and might of the mighty elephant, took a fancy of being as such; and by his imagining himself as so, he was instantly converted to one of the like kind (not in its person but in the mind). (Thus is a lesson, that no one is content with himself, but wishes to be the envied or desired being).

28. At last the elephant fell down into a hollow pit, which was as deep and dry as the dried bed of a gulf; as a man falls into the profound and inane ocean of this world, which is overcast by an impervious darkness around. (The troublesome world is always compared with a turbulent and darksome ocean).

29. The elephant was a favourite of the prince for his defeating the forces of his adversaries; and he routed about at random with his giddy might, as the lawless Daitya robbers wander about at night.

30. He fell afterwards under the sword of the enemy, and pierced all over his body by their deadly darts; as the haughty egoism of the living body, drops down in the soul under the wound of right reason.

31. The dying elephant having been accustomed to see swarms of bees, fluttering over the proboscis of elephants, and sipping the ichor exuding from them, had long cherished the desire of becoming a bee, which he now came to be in reality.

32. The bee rambled at large amidst the flowery creepers[Pg 352] of the forest, and resorted again to the bed of lotuses in the lake; because it is hard for fools to get rid of their fond desire, though it is attended with danger and peril.

33. At last the sportive bee was trampled down and crushed under the feet of an elephant, and become a goose, by its long association with one in the lake.

34. The goose passed through many lives, till it became gander at last, and sported with the geese in the lake.

35. Here it came to bear, the name of the gander that served as the vehicle of Brahmá, and thenceforth fostered the idea of his being so, as the yolk of an egg fosters a feathered fowl in it.

36. As it was fostering this strong desire in itself, it grew old and decayed by disease, as a piece of wood is eaten up by inbred worms; then as he died with his consciousness of being the bird of Brahmá, he was born as the great stork of that God in his next birth.

37. The stork lived there in the company of the wise, he became enlightened from the views of worldly beings; he continued for ages in his disembodied liberation, and cared for nothing in future. (The soul that rests in the spirit of God, has nothing better to desire).

[Pg 353]


Dream of Jíváta.

Arguments:—All living souls are occupied with the thought of their present state, forgetful of the past, and altogether heedless of the future.

VASISHTHA continued:—This bird that sported beside the stalk of the lotus seat of Brahmá, once went to the city of Rudra with his god on his back, and there beheld the God Rudra face to face. (The inferior Gods waited upon the superior deities).

2. Seeing the God Rudra he thought himself to be so, and the figure of the God was immediately imprest upon his mind, like the reflexion of an outward object in the mirror.

3. Being full of Rudra in himself, he quitted his body of the bird, as the fragrance of a flower forsakes the calyx, as it mixes with the breeze and flies in the open air.

4. He passed his time happily at that place, in the company with the attendants and different classes of the dependant divinities of Rudra.

5. This Rudra being then full of the best knowledge of divinity and spirituality; looked back in his understanding into the passed accounts of his prior lives, that were almost incalculable.

6. Being then gifted with clear sightedness and clairvoyance, he was astonished at the view of naked truths, that appeared to him as sights in a dream, which he recounted to him as follows.

7. O! how wonderful is this over spreading illusion, which is stretched all about us, and fascinates the world by its magic wand; it exhibits the palpable untruth as positive truth, as the dreary desert presents the appearance of limpid waters, in the sun beams spreading over its sterile sands.

8. I well remember my primary state of the pure intellect, and its conversion to the state of the mind; and how it was[Pg 354] changed from its supremacy and omniscience, to the bondage of the limited body.

9. It was by its own desire that the living soul assumed to itself a material body, formed and fashioned agreeably to its fancy, like a picture drawn in a painting; and became a mendicant in my person in one of its prior births, when it was unattached to the objects exposed to view all around.

10. The same mendicant sat in his devotion, by controlling the actions of the members of his body, and began to reflect on outward objects, with great pleasure in his mind.

11. He buried all his former thoughts in oblivion, and thought only of the object that he was employed to reflect upon; and this thought so engrossed and worked upon his mind, that it prevented the rise of any other thought in it.

12. The phenomenon which appears in the mind, offers itself solely to the view also (by supplanting the traces of the past); as the brownness of fading autumn, supercedes the vernal verdure of leaves and plants, so the man coming to his maturity, forgets the helpless state of his boyhood, and is thoughtless of his approaching decay and decline.

13. Thus the mendicant became the Brahman Jivátá by his fallible and fickle desire, which laid him to wander from one body to another, as little ants enter into the holes of houses and things.

14. Being fond of Brahmahood and reverential to Bráhmans in his mind, he became the wished for person in his own body; because the reality and unreality have the power of mutually displacing one another, according to the greater influence of either. (The weaker yields and makes room to the stronger, like the survival of the fittest).

15. The Bráhman next obtained the chieftainship, from his strong predilection for the same; just as the tree becomes fruitful by its continuous suction of the moisture of earth. (The common mother of all).

16. Being desirous of dispensing justice, and discharging all legal affairs, the general wished for royalty, and had his wishes fulfilled by this becoming a prince; but as the prince was[Pg 355] over fond of his courtesans, he was transformed to a heavenly nymph that he prized above all in his heart.

17. But as the celestial dame prized the tremulous eye sight of the timorous deer, above her heavenly form and station; she was soon metamorphosed to an antelope in the woods, and destined to graze as a miserable beast for her foolish choice.

18. The fawn that was very fond of browzing the tender blades and leaves, became at last the very creeping plant, that had crept into the crevice of her lickerish mind.

19. The creeper being long accustomed to dote on the bee, that used to be in its company; found in its consciousness to be that insect, after the destruction of its vegetable form.

20. Though well aware of its being crushed under the elephant, together with the lotus flower in which it dwelt, yet it was foolish to take the form of the bee, for its pleasure of roving about the world. (So the living soul enters into various births and bodies only to perish with them).

21. Being thus led into a hundred different forms, said he, I am at last become the self-same Rudra; and it is because of the capriciousness of my erratic mind in this changeful world.

22. Thus have I wandered through the variegated paths of life, in this wilderness of the world; and I have roamed in many aerial regions, as if I trod on solid and substantial ground.

23. In some one of my several births under the name of Jiváta, and in another I became a great and respectable Bráhman, I became quite another person again, and then found myself as a ruler and lord of the earth. (So every man thinks and acts himself, now as one person and in the stage of his life. Shakespeare).

24. I had been a drake in the lotus-bush; and an elephant in the vales of Vindhya; I then became a stag in the form of my body, and fleetness of my limbs (and in the formation of mind also).

25. After I had deviated at first from my state of godliness, I was still settled in the state of a devotee with devotedness[Pg 356] to divine knowledge; and practicing the rites befitting my position (such as listening to holy lectures, meditating on the mysteries of nature and so forth).

26. In this state I passed very many years and ages, and many a day and night and season and century, glided on imperceptibly in their courses over me. (It is said that the sedate and meditative are generally long living men, as we learn in the accounts of the ancient patriarchs, and in those of the yogis and lamas in our own times).

27. But I deviated again and again from my wonted course, and was as often subjected to new births and forms; until at last I was changed to Brahmá's vehicles of the hansa—or anser, and this was by virtue of my former good conduct and company.

28. The firm or wonted habit of a living being, must come out unobstructed by any hindrance whatsoever; and though it may be retarded in many intermediate births for even a millennium; yet it must come and lay hold on the person some time or other. (Habit is second nature, and is inbred in every being; and what is bred in the bone, must run in the blood).

29. It is by accident only, that one has the blessing of some good company in his life; and then his inborn want may be restrained for a time, but it is sure to break out with violence in the end, in utter defiance of every check and rule.

30. But he who betakes himself to good society only, and strives always for his edification in what is good and great, is able to destroy the evil propensities which are inbred in him; because the desire to be good, is what actually makes one so. (Discipline conquers nature).

31. Whatever a man is accustomed to do or think upon constantly, in this life or in the next state of his being; the same appears as a reality to him in his waking state of day dream, as unreality appears as real in the sleeping or night dream of a man. (It is the imagination that figures unrealities in divers forms both in the day as also in the night dreams of men).

[Pg 357]

32. Now the thoughts that employ our minds, appoint our bodies also to do their wished for works; and as these works are attended with some temporary good as well as evil also; it is better therefore to restrain and repress the rise of those tumultuous thoughts, than cherish them for our pleasure or pain.

33. It is only the thought in our minds, that makes us to take our bodies for ourselves or souls; and that stretches wide this world of unrealities, as the incased seed sprouts forth and spreads itself into a bush. (The thought bears the world in it, as the will brings it to view).

34. The world is but the thought in sight or a visible form of their visible thought, and nothing more in reality besides this phantasm of it, and an illusion of our sight.

35. The illusive appearance of the world, presents itself to our sight, like the variegated hues of the sky, it is therefore by our ignoring of it, that we may be enabled to wipe off those tinges from our minds.

36. It is an unreal appearance, displayed by the supreme Essence (of God or His intelligence); as a real existence at his pleasure only, and can not therefore do any harm to any body.

37. I rise now and then to look into all these varieties in nature, for the sake of my pleasure and curiosity; but I have the true light of reason in me, whereby I discern the one unity quite apart from all varieties.

38. After all these recapitulations, the incarnate Rudra returned to his former state, and reflected on this condition of the mendicant, whose body was now lying as a dead corpse on the barren ground.

39. He awakened the mendicant and raised his prostrate body, by infusing his intelligence into it; when the resuscitated Bhikshu came to understand, that all his wanderings were but hallucinations of his mind.

40. The mendicant finding himself the same with Rudra standing in his presence, as also with the bygone ones that he recollected in his remembrance; was astonished to think how he could be one and so many, though it is no wonder to[Pg 358] the intelligent, who well know that one man acts many parts in life.

41. Afterwards both Rudra and the mendicant got up from their seats, and proceeded to the abode of the Jivátá, situated in corner of the intellectual sphere (i.e. the mundane world which lies in the divine intellect).

42. They then passed over many Continents, Islands, provinces and districts, until they arrived at the abode of Jívata, where they found him lying down with a sword in hand.

43. They saw Jivátá lying asleep and insensible as a dead body, when Rudra laid aside his bright celestial form, in order to enter into the earthly abode of the deceased. (The Gods are said to assume human shapes in order to mix with mankind).

44. They brought him back to life and intelligence, by imparting to him portion of their spirit and intellect; and thus was this one soul exhibited in the triple forms of Rudra, Jivátá and the mendicant.

45. They with all their intelligence, remained ignorant of one another, and they marvelled to look on each other in mute astonishment, as if they were the figures in painting.

46. Then the three went together in their aerial course, to the air built abode of the Brahman; who had erected his baseless fabric in empty air, and which resounded with empty sounds all around. (The open air being the receptacle of sounds, the aerial abodes of celestials are incessantly infested by the sounds and cries of peoples rising upwards from the nether world).

47. They passed through many aerial regions, and barren and populous tracts of air; until they found out at last the heavenly residence of the Brahman.

48. They saw him sleeping in his house; beset by the members of his family about him; while his Brahmaní folded her arms about his neck, as if unwilling to part with her deceased husband. (The Brahman in heaven, was seen in the state of his parting life).

49. They awakened his drowsy intelligence, by means of their own intelligence, as a waking man raises a sleeping soul, by means of his own sensibility.

[Pg 359]

50. Thence they went on in their pleasant journey to the realms of the chief and the prince mentioned before; and these were situated in the bright regions of their intellectual sphere, and illumined by their effulgence of the intellect. (It means to say, that all these journeys, places and persons, were but reveries of the mind, and creations of fancy).

51. Having arrived at that region and that very spot, they observed the haughty chief lying on his lotus like bed.

52. He lay with his gold coloured body, in company with the partner of his bed of golden hue; as the honey sucking bee lies in the lotus cell, enfolded in the embrace of his mate.

53. He was beset by his mistresses, hanging about him, like the tender stalks and tufts of flowers pendent upon a tree; and was encircled by a belt of lighted lamps, as when a golden plate is studded about by brilliant gems.

54. They awakened him shortly by infusing their own spirit and intelligence in his body and mind, and then they sat together marvelling at each other, as the self-same man in so many forms (or the self-same person in so many bodies).

55. They next repaired to the palace of the prince, and after awakening him with their intelligence, they all roamed about the different parts of the world.

56. They came at last to the hansa of Brahmá, and being all transformed to that form in their minds (i.e. having come to know the ahamsa I am he or their self-identity); They all became the one Rudra Personality in a hundred persons.

57. Thus the one intellect is represented in different forms and shapes, according to the various inclinations of their minds, like so many figures in a painting. Such is the unity of the deity represented as different personalities, according to the various tendencies of individual minds. (There is the same intellect and soul in all living beings, that differ from one another in their minds only).

58. There a hundred Rudras, who are the forms of the uncovered intellect (i.e. unclouded by mists of error); and they are acquainted with the truths of all things in the world, and the secrets of all hearts (antaryámin).

[Pg 360]

59. There are a hundred and some hundreds of Rudras, who are known as very great beings in the world; among whom there are eleven only (Ekádasa Rudras), that are situated in so many worlds (Ekádasa Bhubanas). (The Vedas have thousands and thousands of Rudras in their hymns as to them, as, [Sanskrit: sahashrena sahashrasah ye rudrá adhibhúmyá]).

60. All living beings that are not awakened to reason, are ignorant of the identity of one another; and view them in different and not in the same light; they are not farsighted to see any other world. That which is the most proximate to them.

61. Wise men see the minds of others and all things to rise in their minds, like the wave rising in the sea; but unenlightened minds remain dormant in themselves, like the inert stones and blocks. (Another explanation of it is, that all wise men are of the same mind as Birbal said to Akbar:—Sao Siyane ekmatá).

62. As the waves mix with themselves, by the fluidity of their waters; so the minds of wise unite with one another, by the solubility of their understandings, like elastic fluids and liquids. (So says Mrityunjaya:—the oily or serous understanding ([Sanskrit: tailavat vunvih]) readily penetrates into the minds of others).

63. Now in all these multitudes of living beings, that are presented to our sight in this world; We find the one invariable element of the intellect to be diffused in all of them, and making unreal appear as real ones to view.

64. This real but invisible entity of the Divine intellect remains for ever, after all the unreal but visible appearances disappear into nothing; as there remains an empty space or hollow vacuity, after the removal of a thing from its place, and the excavation of the ground by digging it. (This empty vacuum with the chit or Intellect in it, is the universal God of the vacuist Vasishtha).

65. As you can well conceive the idea of existence, of the quintuple elemental principles in nature; so you can comprehend also the notion of the Omnipresence of the Divine intellect, which is the substratum of the elemental principles.

[Pg 361]

66. As you see various statues and images, carved in stone and woods, and set in the hollows of rocks and trees; so should you see all these figures in the hollow space of the universe, to be situated in the self-same intellect of the Omnipresent Deity.

67. The knowledge of the known and the visible world, in the pure intellect of the unknown and invisible deity, resembles the view of the variegated skies, with their uncaused and insensible figures, in the causeless substratum of ever lasting and all pervading vacuity.

68. The knowledge of the phenomenal is the bondage of the soul, and the ignoring of this conduces to its liberation; do therefore as you like, either towards this or that (i.e. for your liberation and bondage).

69. The cognition and nescience of the world, are the causes of the bondage and liberation of the soul, and these again are productive of the transmigration and final emancipation of the animal spirit. It is by your indifference to them that you can avoid them both, do therefore as you may best choose for yourself. (Here are three things offered to view, namely, the desire of heaven and liberation, and the absence of all desires. [Sanskrit: svargakáma mokshakámau nishkámashchatra yah]).

70. What is lost at its disappearance (as our friends and properties), is neither worth seeking or searching after, nor sorrowing for when it is lost and gone from us. That which is gained of itself in our calm and quiet without any anxiety or assiduity on our part, is truly reckoned to be our best gain. (so says the Moha-Mudgura:—Be content with what offers of itself to thee. [Sanskrit: yatvabhase nijakarnmípáttam| bittam tena vinodaya chittam|]).

71. That which is no more than our knowledge of it (as the object of our senses and the objective world), is no right knowledge but mere fallacy; the true knowledge is that of the subjective consciousness, which is always to be attended to.

72. As the wave is the agitation of the water, so is this creation but an oscillation of the divine intellect; and this is the only difference between them, that the one is the production of the elements in nature, and the other is that of the divine will.

[Pg 362]

73. Again the undulation of waves occurs, in conjunction with the existing elements at certain spots and times; but the production of the world is wholly without the junction of the elemental bodies, which were not in existence at its creation. (It means to say, that the world is only an ideal formation of the divine mind).

74. The shining worlds shine with the light of the divine intellect, in which they are situated as the thoughts in its consciousness. It transcends the power of speech to define what it is, and yet it is expressed in the veda in the words that, "It is the supreme soul and perfect felicity" (Siva Parátmá).

75. Thus the world is the form of its consciousness in the divine intellect, and they are not different from one another, as words are never separable from their senses. It is said that the world is the undulation of the Divine spirit, and none but the ignorant inveigh against, by saying that the wave and water are two different things. (Kálidása in the commencement of Raghuvansa, uses the same simile of words and their meanings, to denote the intimate union of Párvatí and Siva, which is done to express the inseparability of the world with its maker; corresponding with the well known line of Pope: "whose body nature is, and God the soul").

[Pg 363]


On the Attainment of Attendantship on the God Rudra.

Argument:—The remainder of the former story; and the manner of becoming the attendant Rudras on Siva.

RÁMA said:—Tell me sir, what became of the many forms, which the mendicant saw in his dream; and whether the several forms of Jívata, the Brahman, the gander and others return to themselves, or remained as Rudras for ever more.

2. Vasishtha replied:—They all remained with Rudra, as parts and compositions of himself; and being enlightened by him, they wandered all about the world, and rested contented with themselves.

3. They all beheld with Rudra, the magic scenes which were displayed before them; till at last they were dismissed from his company, to return to their own states and places.

4. Rudra said:—Go you now to your own places, and there enjoy your fill with your family; and return to me after some time, having completed the course of your enjoyments and sufferings in the world.

5. You will then become as parts of myself, and remain as my attendants to grace my residence; till at last we return to the supreme at the end of time, and be absorbed in last Omega of all.

6. Vasishtha said:—So saying, the Lord Rudra vanished from their sight, and mixed in the midst of the Rudras, who viewed all the worlds in their enlightened intellects. (These are celestial and angelic beings).

7. Then did Jívata and others return to their respective residences, where they have to share their shares of domestic felicity in the company of their families, during their allotted times.

[Pg 364]

8. Having then wasted and shuffled off their mortal coil, at the end of their limited periods, they will be promoted to the rank of Rudras in heaven, and will appear as luminous stars in the firmament.

9. Ráma rejoined:—All those forms of Jiváta and others, being but creations of the empty imagination of the mendicant; I cannot understand, how they could be beings, as there is no substantiality in imaginary things.

10. Vasishtha replied:—The truth of the imagination lies partly in our consciousness, and partly in our representation of the image; though the imagery or giving a false shape to anything, is as untrue as any nihility in nature. But what we are conscious of must be true, because our consciousness comprehends everything in it.

11. Thus what is seen in the dream, and represented to us by imagination, are all impressed in our consciousness at all times and for ever. (Therefore neither is our consciousness nor the images we are conscious of are untrue, though the imagery and the work of imagination are utterly false).

12. As a man when going or carried from one country to another, and there again to some other place, has no knowledge of the distance of his journey, unless he is conscious of its length and duration in space and time; so we are ignorant of the duration of our dream, and our passing from one dream to another, without our consciousness of it in our sleeping state.

13. Therefore it is our consciousness that contains all things, that are represented to it by the intellect; and it is from our intellection that we have the knowledge of everything, because the intellect is full of knowledge and pervades everywhere.

14. Imagination, desire and dream, are the one and same thing, the one producing the other and all lodged in the cell of the intellect. Their objects are obtained by our intense application to them. Desire produces imagination which is the cause of dream; they are the phenomena of mind, and their objects are the results of deep meditation.

15. Nothing is to be had without its practice and meditation of it, and men of enlightened minds gain the objects by[Pg 365] their Yoga or meditation of them alone. (These are the Yoga siddhas or adepts in Yoga as Siva &c).

16. These adepts view the objects of their pursuit in all places, such as the god Siva and others of the Siddha Yogis, such was my aim and attempt also, but it was not attended with success.

17. I was unsuccessful in want of my fixed resolvedness, but failed in both for my attending to both sides. It is only the firm resolution of one in one point, that gives him success in any undertaking.

18. As one going in southerly direction, cannot arrive at his house in the north, so it is the case with the pursuers after their aims; which they well know to be unattainable without their firm determination in it.

19. Whoever is resolved to gain his desired objects, must fix his view on the object before him; the mind being fixed on the object in view, brings the desire into effect. (So says Hafiz: If thou want the presence of the object, never be absent from it).

20. So the mendicant having the demi God Rudra, for the sole object in his view, became assimilated to the very form of his wish; because whoso is intent on one object, must remove all duality from before him. (So says the mystic Sadi: I drove the duality from my door, in order to have the unity alone before my view).

21. The other imaginary forms of the mendicant, were all different persons in their different spheres; and had obtained their several forms, according to their respective desires from one state to another (as said before).

22. They did not know or look on one another, but had all their thoughts and sights fixed on Rudra alone; because those that are awakened to their spiritual knowledge, have their sight fixed on their final liberation, while the unenlightened mortals are Subjected to repeated births, by the repetition of their wishes (to be born in some form or other).

23. It was accordingly to the will of Rudra, that he took this one form and many others upon him, such as he wills to become a Vidhyadhara in one place and a pandit in another.

[Pg 366]

24. This instance of Rudra serves for an example, of the efficacy of intense thought and practice of all men; who may become one or another or many more, as also learned or ignorant, agreeably to their thought and conduct. (One to be many, means the versatility of parts, to act as many).

25. So one has his manhood and Godhead also (i.e. acts as a man and a God likewise), by his manly and Godlike actions at different times and places; and to be both at the one and same time, requires much greater ability and energy both of the mind and body (as it is seen in the persons of deified heroes).

26. The living soul being one with the Divine, has all the powers of the same implanted in it; the infinite being ingrafted in the finite, It is of the same nature by innate nature.

27. The living soul has its expansion and contraction in its life and death, as the Divine soul has its evolution and involution; in the acts of creation and dissolution; but the Divine soul destroys no soul, because it is the soul of souls and the aggregate of all souls; therefore any one that would be godly, must refrain from slaughter.

28. So the yogis and yoginís continue in the discharge of their sacred rites, as enjoined by law and usage, and either remain in this or rove about in other worlds at large at the free will and liberty.

29. A yogi is seen in several forms at once, both in this world and in the next, according to his desert and the merit of his actions; as the great yogi and warrior Karta Vírya Arjuna, became the terror of the world as if he were ubiquitous, while he remained quite at home. (i.e. though confined in one place, yet he seemed to be present every where).

30. So also doth the god Vishnu appear in human forms on earth, while he sleeps at ease in the milky ocean; and the yoginis of heaven hover over animal sacrifices on earth, while they reside in their groups in the etherial sphere.

31. Indra also appears on earth, to receive the oblations of men, when he is sitting in his heavenly seat on high, and Náráyana[Pg 367] takes the forms of a thousand Rámas upon him, in his conflict with the myriads of Rakhasa legions.

32. So did one Krishna become a hundred, to receive the obeisance of his reverential princes; and he appears as a thousand in the company of many thousand monarchs in the Kuru assembly.

33. So the god became incarnate in many forms, with parts and particles of his own spirit for the preservation of the world; and the one lord became many in the company of his mistresses in a moment. (This was the company of milk maids in the rásalílá sport of Krishna).

34. In this manner did the forms of Jívata and others, which were the creatures of the mendicant's imagination, retire at the behest of Rudra, to the particular abodes of their own and respective desires.

35. There they enjoyed all their delights for a long time, until they entered the abode of Rudra; where they became the attendants of the demigod, and remained in his train for a great length of time.

36. They remained in the company of Rudra, dwelling in the groves of the evergreen and ever blossoming Kalpa creepers of paradise, blooming with clusters of their gemming florets; and roving at pleasure to different worlds, and to the celestial city of Siva on the Kailása mountain, and sporting in the company of heavenly nymphs, and bearing the crowns of immortality on their heads. (This is the description of the heaven of Hindus).

[Pg 368]


Ráma's Wonder at the Error of Men.

Argument.—Application of the mendicant's case to all men, who are equally mistaken in their choice.

VASISHTHA Continued:—As the mendicant saw this transient scene of error in his mind; so it is the case with all living beings, to look on their past lives and actions apart from themselves, and in the persons of other men.

2. The past lives, actions and demise of all reflective souls, are as fast imprinted in them, as any thought is preserved in the retentive mind and vacuous intellect.

3. Distant and separate things are mingled together, in the present sphere of one's soul; and all persons appear as distinct figures in the dream.

4. And the human soul, though it is a form of the divine, yet being enclosed in its frail and mortal body, is doomed to misery until its final liberation from birth and body. Thus I have related to you the fate of all living souls, in the state and tale of the mendicant Bhikshu.

5. Now know, O Ráma! that the souls of all of us like that of the mendicant, are vibrated and moved by the impulse of the supreme spirit; and are yet fallible in their nature, and falling from error to error every moment (as we find in our dreams).

6. As a stone falling from a rock, falls lower and lower to the nether ground; so the living soul once fallen from its height of supreme spirit, descends lower and lower to the lowest pit.

7. Now it sees one dream, and then passes from it to another; and thus rolling for ever in its dreaming sleep, it never finds any substantiality whatsoever.

8. The soul thus obscured under the illusion of errors, happens some times to come to the light of truth, either by the guidance of some good instructor, or by the light of its own[Pg 369] intuition; and then it is released from the wrong notion of its personality in the body, and comes to the true knowledge of itself.

9. Ráma said:—O! the impervious gloom of error that ever spreads on the human soul, causes it to rely in the mist of its errors, as a sleeping man enjoys the scenery of his dreams.

10. It is shrouded by the thick darkness of the night of erroneous knowledge, and falls into the pit of illusion which over spreads the world (máyá or error is the fruit of the forbidden tree whose mortal taste brought death into the world, while knowledge is the fruit of the tree of immortality, which liberates the soul from the bonds of birth and death).

11. O the egregious error of taking a thing for our own, which in reality belongs to no body but the lord and master of all.

12. It behoves you, sir, to explain to me, whence this error takes its rise, and how the mendicant with his share of good and right understanding, could fall into the error (of wishing himself to become another, that was as frail and mortal as himself). Tell me also that knowest all, whether he is still living or not.

13. Vasishtha replied:—I will explore into the regions of the three worlds in my samádhi meditation this night, and tell you tomorrow morning, whether the mendicant is living or not, and where he may be at present.

14. Válmíki said:—As the sage was saying in this manner, the royal garrison tolled the trumpet of the departing day with beat of drum; which filled the sky with the loud roar of diluvian clouds.

15. The princes and the citizens assembled in the court, threw handfuls of flowers at his feet, as the trees drop down their flowers in the ground, wafted by the odoriferous breeze.

16. They honoured the great sages also, and rose from their respective seats; and the assembly broke afterwards, with mutual salutations to one another.

[Pg 370]

17. Then all the residents of the earth and air, went to their respective residences with the setting sun; and discharged their duties of the departing day, in obedience to the ordinance of the sástras.

18. They all performed their services as prescribed in their liturgies, in which they placed their strong faith and veneration. (This shows the division of caste and creed even in the heroic age of Ráma; which being more marked in later ages, prevented the people from participating in a common cause).

19. All the mortals and celestials, that formed the audience of "Vasishtha", began now to reflect on the lecture of the sage, and the night passed as short as a moment with some, and as long as an age with others. (Gloss. They that took the subject for study, found time too short for their deep meditation of it, while those that were light minded and eager to hear more, felt time to roll on heavily on them. A very good lesson for lightening time by the practice of patient enquiry, and avoiding the troublesomeness of impatience).

20. As the morning rose with the returning duties of men, and employed all beings of heaven and earth to discharge their matin in services; the court reopened for the reception of the audience, who assembled there with mutual greetings and salutations to their superiors.

[Pg 371]


The wanderings of the mendicant.

Arguments:—The wanderings of men agreeably to their pursuits, described in the character of the mendicant.

VÁLMIKI related:—After the sages Vasishtha and Viswámitra had taken their seats in the court hall, there met the groups of celestials and siddhas of air, and the monarch of earth and chiefs of men.

2. Then came Ráma and Lakshmana with their companions in the court; which shone as a clear lake of lotus-beds unshaken by the gentle breeze, and brightened by the moonbeams glistening amidst it.

3. The sire of sages opened his mouth unasked by any body, and not waiting for the request of any one; because wise men are always kind hearted, and ready to communicate their knowledge to others of their own accord. (Here the sage spoke impromptu, to keep his promise of answering to Ráma's query in the preceding chapter, on a future occasion. Gloss).

4. Vasishtha said:—O. Ráma! that art the moon in the sphere of Raghu's family, I have yesternight came to see the mendicant, with the all seeing eye of my intellectual vision after a long time.

5. I revolved over in my mind, and wandered wide and afar to find out where that man was, and so I traversed through all the continents and islands, and passed over all the hills and mountains on earth.

6. I had my head running upon the search, but could not meet anywhere a mendicant of that description; because it is impossible to find in the outer world, the fictions of our air built castle.

7. I then ran in my mind at the last watch of the night, and passed over the regions on the north, as the fleet winds fly over the waves of the ocean.

[Pg 372]

8. There I saw the extensive and populous country of Jina (China) lying beyond the utmost boundaries of Valmika (Bhalika or Bulkh); where there is a beautiful city, called as Vihara by the inhabitants.

9. There lives a mendicant, named Dírgha drik or foresighted whose head was silvered over with age, and who continues in his close meditation confined in his homely and lovely cottage.

10. He is used to sit there in his meditative mood, for three weeks together at a time, and keep the door of his cell quite fast, for fear of being disturbed in his silent devotion, by the intrusion of outsiders.

11. His dependants are thus kept out of doors for the time, that he is absorbed in meditation.

12. He thus passed his three weeks of deep meditation in seclusion, and it is now a thousand years, that he has been sitting in this manner, in communion with his own mind only.

13. It was in olden times, that there had been a mendicant of his kind, as I have already related unto you; this is the living instance of that sort, and we know not where and when a third or another like this may be found to exist.

14. I was long in quest like a bee in search of flowers, to find such another, in the womb of this lotus like earth, with all possible inquiry on my part.

15. I passed beyond the limit of the present world, and pierced through the mist of future creations, and there I met with what I sought of the resemblance of the present one.

16. As I looked into the world lying in the womb of futurity, and deposited in the intellectual sphere of Brahma; I met with a third one resembling to Brahmá in his conduct.

17. So passing through many worlds one after another, I saw many things in futures, which are not in esse in the present world.

18. There I beheld the sages that are now sitting in this assembly, and many more Brahmans also, that are of the nature of these present, as also different from them.

[Pg 373]

19. There will be this Nárada with his present course of life, as also differing from the same; so likewise there will be many others also, with their various modes of life.

20. So likewise there will appear this Vyása and this Suka; and these Saunaka, Pulaha and Krutu, will reappear in future creations, with their very same natures and characters. (This doctrine of reappearance in a future world, is disbelieved in the sense of the transmigration of souls, but it is taken as strict article of faith by all Christians and Moslems, in the name of regeneration and resurrection which imply the same thing).

21. The same Agastya and Pulastya and the self-same Bhrigu and Angirasa, all of them and all others, will come to re-existence, with their very forms and traits of character. (The dead will rise again in their very bodies &c. Gospel).

22. They will be born and reborn sooner and later, so long as they are under the subjection of this delusion of regeneration and resuscitation; and will retain their similar births and modes of life, like all others to be reborn in this or the future world. (As a Brahman who is twice born on earth, retains his habits as before).

23. So the souls of men revolve repeatedly in the world, like waves rolling for ever in the waters of the sea; some of which retain their very same forms, while others are very nearly so in their reappearance.

24. Some are slightly altered in their figures, and others varying entirely in their forms, never regain their original likeness; so doth this prevailing error of regeneration, delude even the wise to repeated births (from which can never get their liberations). (The desire of revivification or regeneration, is so deeply implanted in all living souls, that no body wants to die but with desire to live again in some future state. "Ye shall not die." Gospel).

25. But what means the long meditation, of twenty days and nights of the mendicant, when a moment's thought of ours, and the results of our bodily actions, are productive of endless births and transformations.

[Pg 374]

26. Again where is the reality of these forms, which are mere conceptions of the mind; and these ideas and reflexions, growing ripe with their recapitulation, appear as full blown flowers to sight; and resemble the water lily at morn, beset by the busy murmur of humming bees.

27. The gross form is produced from pure thought (i.e. the material from the immaterial mind); as a pile of flaming fire is kindled by a minute spark or a ray of sun beam. Such is the formation of the whole fabric of the world.

28. All things are manifest as particles of divine reflexion, and each particle exhibiting in it a variety of parts (in its atoms and animalcules); nor are these nor those together are nothing at all, but they all exist in the universal, which is the cause of all cause, and the source of all sources.

[Pg 375]


Unity of God.

Argument.—The liberation of the mendicant's soul and destruction of his body, and the application of this instance in the cases of the confinement and liberation of all souls in and from the bondage of their bodies.

DASARATHA said:—O great sage, let these attendants of mine, repair immediately to the cells of the mendicant, and having roused him from his hypnotism, bring him hither in my presence.

2. Vasishtha replied:—Great king! the body of that mendicant, is now lying lifeless on the ground; it is now pale and cold and daubed with dirt, and has no jot of its vitality left in it.

3. His life has fled from his body, like odour from the lotus of the lake; he is now liberated from the bond of this life, and is no more subject to the cares of this world.

4. It is now a whole month that his servants have opened the latch of his door, and standing at a distance looking at his emaciated frame.

5. They will afterwards take out the body and immerge it in water, and then having anointed it, they will place it for their adoration, as they do a deified idol. (The bodies of saints are sanctified by their votaries among all nations, and their tombs are visited with religious veneration).

6. The mendicant being in this manner freed from his body, cannot be brought back to his senses, which have entirely quitted their functions in his mortal frame.

7. It is hard to evade the enchanting delusion of the world, so long as one labours under the darkness of his ignorance; but it is easily avoided by one's knowledge of truth at all times.

8. The fabrication of the world is untrue, as the making of ornaments from gold; it is the error of taking the form for the substance, that appears as the cause of creation.

[Pg 376]

9. This delusion of the world, appears to be so situated in the supreme soul, as the rows of waves are seen to roll upon the surface of the calm waters of the sea. So it is said in the very words of the Vedas, that the moving worlds are as the fluctuation of the Divine Soul.

10. The intelligent soul, taking the form of the living or human soul, sees the phenomenal world, as one sees one dream after another, but all these vanish away upon his waking to sense and right reason.

11. As every man of understanding sees the original in its image, so the man of reason views the archetype of the soul in its representation of the creation; while the ignorant man that sees the world as a thorny bush or confused jungle, can have no idea of the all designing framer of his frame work of the universe. (Right reason points out to spiritual source of the world).

12. The world is represented to the view of every living being, as it was seen in the vision of the dreaming mendicant, in the form of the undulations of the supreme spirit, like the fluctuation of waves on the surface of the sea.

13. As the world appeared to be presented at first in its visionary form, before the view of the universal or collective mind of the creative Brahmá; so does it rise in its shadowy form in the opacous minds of all individual persons. (The world appears in its unspiritual form, to the minds of the great Brahmá and all other living beings).

14. But to the clear mind this world appears as an evanescent dream, as it appeared to Brahmá at first; and the multitudes of worlds that are discovered one after the other, are no more than the successive scenes of passing dreams in the continuous sleep of ignorance.

15. So do all living beings in their various forms, are subject to the error of believing the unreal world as a reality, though they well know it in their minds, to be no better than a continuous dream or delusion. (The varieties of living souls are included under the unintelligible terms of universal and individual:—general and particular &c.).

[Pg 377]

16. The animal soul, though possessed of intellego (or the property of the intellect); is yet liable to transgress from its original nature (of holiness and purity); and thereby becomes subject to decay, disease and death and all kinds of awe. (It is the chyuty of the fall of man from his primary purity, that brought on him all his miseries on earth).

17. The godly intellect frames the celestial and infernal regions in our dreams, by the slight vibration of the mind at its pleasure; and then takes a delight in rambling over and dwelling in them.

18. It is this divine intellect, which by its own motion, takes the form of living soul upon itself; and wanders from itself to rummage over the false objects of the deceptive senses.

19. The mind also is the supreme soul, and if it is not so it is nothing; the living and embodied is likewise a designation of the same, likening to the shadow of the substance.

20. So the supreme Brahma is said to reside in the universal Brahmá, according to the distinct view of men, with regard to the one Brahma, in whom all these attributes unite, like the water with water and the sky with air. (All these attributive words apply to and unite in the unity of Brahma).

21. Men residing in this mundane form of Brahma, and yet think it otherwise than a reflexion of the deity; just as a child looking at its own shadow in a glass, startles to think it as an apparition standing before it.

22. It is the wavering understanding that causes these differences, which disappear of themselves, after the mind resumes its steadiness in the unity of the Deity, wherein it is lost at last, as the oblation of butter is consumed in the sacred fire.

23. There is no more any vacillation or dogmatism, nor the unity or duality, after the true knowledge of the deity is gained; when all distinctions are dissolved in an indistinct intellect, which is as it is and all in all.

24. When it is known from the sum and substance of all reasoning, that it is the one Intellect, which is the subject of all appellations which are applied to it; there remains no more[Pg 378] any difference of religious faith in the world. (That is one and all, is the catholic religion of all).

25. Difference of faith, creates difference in men; but want of distinction in creed, destroys all difference, and brings on the union of all to one common faith in the supreme being.

26. Ráma, you see the variety from your want of understanding, and you will get rid of the same (and recognise their identity), as you come to your right understanding; ask this of any body and you will find the truth of what I say and be fearless at any party feeling and enmity. (Confession of faith in one Divinity, that is acknowledged and adored by all alike, is the root of catholicity, and brings on unity in philosophy of religion).

27. In that state of fearlessness, the Brahmavádí finds no difference in the states of waking, dreaming, sound sleep or the fourth stage of devotion; nor in his earthly bondage or liberation from it, all which are equal to him. (So says the sruti:—The Brahmavádí is ever blest and is afraid of nothing in any state of life, in all of which he sees the presence of his God).

28. Tranquillity is another name of the universe, and God has given his peace to everything in the world; therefore all schisms are the false creations of ignorance, as none of them has ever seen the invisible God.

29. The action of the heart and the motion of the vital air, cannot move the contented mind to action; because the mind which is devoid of its desire, is indifferent about the vibrations of his breath and heart strings.

30. The intellect which is freed from the dubitation of unity and duality, and got rid of its anxious cares and desires; has approached to a state, which is next to that of the deity.

31. But the pure desire which subsists in the intellect, like the stain which sticks to the disk of the moon; is no speck upon it, but the coagulation of the condensed intellect. (As the fluid water is congealed in the forms of snow and ice).

32. Do you, Ráma! ever remain in the state of your collected intellect, because it concentrates (the knowledge of) everything (that is sat) in itself, and leaves nothing (that is not asat)[Pg 379] beyond it. (This is the most faultless undefective form of faith, that I have abstracted from all religions).

33. The moon like disk of the intellect, having the mark of inappetency in it, is a vessel of ambrosia, a draught of which drowns the thoughts of all that is and is not (in esse—et non-esse) into oblivion. (Contentment is the ambrosial draught for oblivion of all cares).

34. Refer thy thoughts of whatever thou hast or wantest, to the province of thy intellect (i.e. think of thy intellectual parts and wants only); and taste thy inward delight as much as thou dost like. (Pleasure of intellectual culture, is better than physical enjoyments).

35. Know Ráma, that the words vibration and inaction, desire and inappetency and such others of the theological glossary, serve only to burden and mislead the mind to error; do you therefore keep yourself from thinking on these, and betake yourself to your peace and quiet, whether you attain to your perfection or otherwise.

[Pg 380]


On the virtues of Taciturnity.

Argument:—Four kinds of Reticence, and their respective qualities.

VASISHTHA said:—Ráma! remain as taciturn as in your silent sleep, and shun at a distance the musings of your mind; get rid of the vagaries of your imagination, and remain firm in the state Brahma.

2. Ráma said:—I know what is meant by the reticence of speech, and the quietness of the organs, and the muteness of a block of wood; but tell me what is sleep like silence, which you well know by practice.

3. Vasishtha replied:—It is said to be of two kinds, by the mute like munis and the reserved sages of old; the practiced by the wood like statues of saints, and the other observed by those that are liberated in their life time (jívan mukta).

4. The wood like devotee is that austere ascetic, who is not meditative in his mind, and is firmly employed in the discharge of the rigorous rites of religion; he practises the painful restraints of his bodily organs, and remains speechless as a wooden statue.

5. The other kind of living liberated Yogi is one, who looks at the world ever as before (with his usual unconcern); who delights in his meditation of the soul, and passes as any ordinary man without any distinctive mark of his religious order or secular rank.

6. The condition of these two orders of saintly and holy men, which is the fixedness of their minds and sedateness of their souls, is what passes under the title of taciturnity and saintliness (mauna and muni) (who hold their tongue and their peace, and walk sub silentio and incognito on earth).

7. Thus the taciturn sages reckon four kinds of latitancy, which they style severally by the names of reservedness in[Pg 381] speech, restriction of the organs, woodlike speechlessness and dead like silence as in one's sleep.

8. Oral silence consists in keeping one's mouth and lips close, and the closeness of the senses implies the keeping of the members of the body under strict control; the rigorous muteness means the abandonment of all efforts, and the sleepy silence is as silent as the grave.

9. There is a fifth kind of dead-like silence, which occurs in the austere ascetic in his state of insensibility; in the profound meditation of the dormant Yogi, and in the mental abstraction of the living liberated.

10. All the three prior states of reticence, occur in the austere devotee, and the sleepy or dead silence is what betakes the living liberated only.

11. Though speechlessness is called silence, yet it does not constitute pure reticence, in as much as the mute tongue may brood evil thoughts in the mind, which lead to the bondage of men.

12. The austere devotee continues in his reticence, without minding his own egoism, or seeing the visibles or listening to the speech of others; and seeing nothing beside him, he sees all in himself, like living fire covered under ashes.

13. The mind being busy in these three states of silence, and indulging its fancies and reveries at liberty; makes munis of course in outward appearance, but there is no one, who understands the nature of God.

14. There is nothing of that blessed divine knowledge in any of these, which is so very desirable to all mankind; I vouch it freely that they are not knowers of God, be they angry at it or not as they may. (Vasishtha being a theoretic philosopher, finds fault with every kind of practical Yoga or pseudo hypnotism).

15. But this dormant or meditative silent sage, who is liberated from all bonds and cares in his life time, is never to be born in any shape in this world, and it is interesting to know much of them as I will recite to you.

[Pg 382]

16. He does not require to restrain his respiration, nor needs the triple restraint of his speech; he does not rejoice at his prosperity, nor is he depressed in adversity, but preserves his equanimity and the evenness of his sensibility at all times. (He sticks to what is natural, and does not resort to anything artificial).

17. His mind is under the guidance of his reason, and is neither excited by nor restrained from its fancies, it is neither restless nor dormant, and exists as it is not in existence. (owing to its even mindedness).

18. His attention is neither divided nor pent up, but fixed in the infinite and eternal one, and his mind cogitates unconfined the nature of things. Such a one is said to be the sleeping silent sage.

19. He who knows the world as it is, and is not led to error by its deluding varieties, and whoso scans everything as it is without being led to scepticism, is the man that is styled the sleeping silent sage.

20. He who relies his faith and trust, on the one endless and ever felicitous Siva, as the aggregate of all knowledge, and the displayer of this universe, is the one who is known as the sleeping silent sage.

21. He who sees the vacuum as the plenum, and views this all omnium as the null and nullum; and whose mind is even and tranquil, is the man who is called the sleeping silent sage.

22. Again he who views the universe as neither reality nor unreality either, but all an empty vacuum and without a substratum, but full of peace and divine wisdom, is said to be in the best state of his taciturnity.

23. The mind that is unconscious of the effects, of the different states of its prosperity and adversity and of its plenty and wants, is said to rest in its highest state of rest and quiet.

24. That perfect equanimity of the mind and evenness of temper, which is not liable to change or fluctuation; with a clear conscience and unflinching self-consciousness, are the source of an unimpairing reticence.

[Pg 383]

25. The consciousness that I am nothing, nor is there anything besides; and that the mind and its thoughts, are no other in reality (than fictions of the intellect); is the real source of taciturnity.

26. The knowledge that the ego pervades this universe, which is the representation of the "one that is"; and whose essence is displayed equally in all things, is what is meant by the state of sleepy silence. (i.e. the man that has known this grand truth, remains dumb and mute and has nothing to say).

27. Now as it is the consciousness which constitutes all and everything, how can you conceive your distinction from others, who are actuated by the same power, dwelling alike in all? It is this knowledge which is called the ever lasting sleep, and forms the ground work of every kind of silence.

28. This is the silence of profound sleep, and because it is an endless sleep in the ever wakeful God, this sleep is alike to waking. Know this as the fourth stage of Yoga, or rather a stage above the same.

29. This profound trance is called hypnotism or the fourth state of entranced meditation; and the tranquillity which is above this state, is to be had in one's waking state.

30. He that is situated in his fourth stage of yoga, has a clear conscience and quiet peace attending on him. This is practicable by the adept even in his waking state, and is obtainable by the righteous soul, both in its embodied as well as disembodied states.

31. Yes, O Ráma! Be you desirous to be settled in this state, and know that neither I or you nor any other person is any real being in this world, which exists only as a reflexion of our mind, and therefore the wise man should rely only in the bosom of the vacuous intellect, which comprehends all things in it.

[Pg 384]


Union of the mind with the breath of life.

Argument.—Willful existence of the attendants of Rudra, and the elevation of yogis after their Demise.

RÁMA said:—Tell me, O chief of sages, how the Rudras came to be a hundred in their number, and whether the attendants of Rudra, are Rudras also or otherwise.

2. Vasishtha replied:—The mendicant saw himself in a hundred forms in a hundred dreams, which he dreamt one after another; these I have told you on the whole before, though I have not specially mentioned them to you.

3. All the forms that he saw in the dream, became so many Rudras, and all these hundred Rudras remained as so many attendants on the principal Rudra.

4. Ráma asked:—But how could the one mind of the mendicant, be divided into a hundred in so many bodies of the Rudras; or was it undivided like a lamp, that lightens a hundred lamps, without any diminution of its own light.

5. Vasishtha answered:—Know Ráma, that disembodied or spiritual beings of pure natures, are capable of assuming to themselves any form of their fancy, from the aqueous nature of their souls (which readily unite with other liquids). (The Sruti says, "the soul is a fluid"; corresponding with the psychic fluid of Stahl).

6. The soul being omnipresent and all pervading (like the all diffusive psychic fluid); takes upon it any form whatever, and whenever and wherever it likes, by virtue of its intelligence: (which the ignorant spirit is unable to do).

7. Ráma rejoined:—But tell me Sir, why the Lord Rudra or Siva wore the string of human skulls about his neck, daubed his body with ashes, and stark naked; and why he dwelt in funeral ground, and was libidinous in the greatest degree.

[Pg 385]

8. Vasishtha replied:—The Gods and perfect beings as the siddhas &c. are not bound down by the laws, which the weak and ignorant men have devised for their own convenience.

9. The ignorant cannot go on without the guidance of law, on account of their ungovernable minds; or else they are subject to every danger and fear, like poor fishes (which are quite helpless, and entirely at the mercy of all voracious animals).

10. Intelligent people are not exposed to those evils in life, as the ignorant people of ungoverned minds and passions, meet with by their restless and vagrant habits.

11. Wise men discharge their business as they occur to them at times, and never undertake to do any thing of their own accord, and are therefore exposed to no danger. (Graha in the text means a shark and calamities also).

12. It was on the impulse of the occasion that the God Vishnu, engaged himself in action, and so did the God with the three eyes (i.e. Siva), as also the God that was born of the lotus (i.e. The great Brahmá). (All of them took human forms on them, whenever the Daityas invaded the Bráhmans, and never of their own will).

13. The acts of wise men are neither to be praised or blamed nor are they praiseworthy or blameable; because they are never done from private or public motives (but on the expediency of the occasion).

14. As light and heat are the natural properties, of fire and sun shine; so are the actions of Siva and the Gods, ordained as such from the beginning, as the caste customs of the twice born dwijas (Aryans).

15. Though the natures of all mankind are the same, as they are ordained in the beginning; yet the ignorant have created differences among them, by institution of the distinction of castes and customs; and as their institutions are of their own making, they are subjected by them to the evils of future retribution and transmigration. (Men are bound down by their own laws, from which the brute creation is entirely free).

[Pg 386]

16. I have related to you, Ráma! the quadruple reticence of embodied beings, and have not as yet expounded the nature of the silence of disembodied souls (as those of the Gods, siddhas and departed saints).

17. Hear now how men are to obtain this chief good (summum bonum) of theirs, by their knowledge of the intellectual souls in the clear sphere of their own intellect, which is clearer far than the etherial sphere of the sky.

18. It is by the knowledge of all kinds of knowledge, and constant devotion to meditation; and by the study of the numerical philosophy of particulars in the sánkhya system, that men became renowned as Sánkhya yogis or categorical philosopher. (The Sánkhya is opposed to the Vedánta, in as much as it rises from particulars to general truths).

19. The yoga consists in the meditation of Yogis, of the form of the eternal and undecaying One; by suppression of their breathings, and union with that state, which presents itself to their mind.

20. That unfeigned and undisguised state of felicity and tranquillity, which is desired as the most desirable thing by all, is obtainable by some by means of the Sánkhya Yoga, and by the Jnána Yoga by others.

21. The result of both these forms of Yoga, is the same, and this is known to anybody that has felt the same; because the state arrived at by the one, is alike to that of the other also.

22. And this supreme state is one, in which the actions of the mental faculties and vital breath, are altogether imperceptible; and the network of desires is entirely dispersed.

23. The desire constitutes the mind, which again is the cause of creation; it is therefore by the destruction of both of these, that one becomes motionless and inactive. (Forgets himself to a stone. Pope).

24. The mind forgets its inward soul, and never looks towards it for a moment; it is solely occupied with its body, and looks at the phantom of the body, as a child looks at a ghost. (Thinking it a reality).

[Pg 387]

25. The mind itself is a false apparition, and an unsubstantial appearance of our mistake; and shows itself as the death of some body in his dream, which is found to be false upon his waking.

26. The world is the production of the mind, else what am I and who is mine or my offspring; it is custom and our education that have caused the bugbears of our bondage and liberation, which are nothing in reality.

27. There is one thing however, on which is based the bias of both systems; that it is the suppression of breath, and the restriction of mind, which form the sum and substance of what they call their liberation.

28. Ráma rejoined:—Now sir, if it is suppression which constitutes the liberation of these men; then I may as well say that all dead men are liberated, as well as all dead animals also.

29. Vasishtha replied:—Of the three practices of the restriction of the breath, body and mind, I ween the repression of the mind and its thoughts to be the best; because it is easily practicable and I will tell you how it is to be done to our good.

30. When the vital breaths of the liberated souls, quit this mortal frame; it perceives the same in itself, and flies in the shape of a particle in the open sky, and mixes at last with etherial air.

31. The parting soul accompanies with its tanmátras or elementary principles; which comprise the desires of its mind, and which are closely united with breath, and nothing besides.

32. As the vital breath quits one body to enter into another, so it carries with it the desires of the heart, with which it was in the breast of man, as the winds of the air bear the fragrance of flowers. These are reproduced in the future body for its misery only.

33. As a water pot thrown in the sea, does not lose its water, so the vital breath mixing with the etherial air, does not lose the desires of the mind, which it bears with it. They are as closely united with it, as the sun-beams with the sun.

34. The mind cannot be separated from the vital breath (i.e. the desires are inseparable from life), without the aid of the[Pg 388] knowledge; and as the bird Titterí cannot be removed from one nest without an other (so the soul never passes from one body without finding and entering into another).

35. Knowledge removes the desires, and the disappearance of desires destroys the mind; this produces the suppression of breath, and thence proceeds the tranquillity of the soul.

36. Knowledge shows us the unreality of things, and the vanity of human desires. Hence know O Ráma, that the extinction of desires, brings on the destruction of both the mind and vitality.

37. The mind being with its desires, which form its soul and life, it can no more see the body in which it took so much delight; and then the tranquil soul attains its holiest state.

38. The mind is another name for desire, and this extirpated and wanting, the soul comes to the discrimination of truth, which leads to the knowledge of the supreme.

39. In this manner, O Ráma, we came to the end of our erroneous knowledge of the world, as it is by means of our reason, that we come to detect our error of the snake in the rope.

40. Learn this one lesson, that the restraining of the mind and suppression of breath, mean the one and same thing; and if you succeed in restraining the one, you succeed in the restraint of other also. (So it is said, that our thoughts and respirations go together).

41. As the waving of the palm leaved fan being stopped, there is a stop of the ventilation of air in the room; so the respiration of the vital breath being put to a stop, there ensues a total stoppage of the succession of our thoughts. (It is believed that our time is measured by succession of our breath and thoughts ajápas, and the more are they suppressed, the greater is the duration of our life prolonged).

42. The body being destroyed, the breath passes into the vacuous air; where it sees everything according to the desires, which it has wafted along with it, from the cells of the heart and mind.

[Pg 389]

43. As the living souls find the bodies (of various animals) in which they are embodied, and act according to their different natures; so the departed and disembodied spirits—pránas, see many forms and figures presented before them, according to their several desires. They enter into the same, and act agreeably to the nature of that being.

44. As the fragrance of flowers ceases to be diffused in the air, when the breezes have ceased to blow; so the vital breath, ceases to breathe, when the action of the mind is at a stop. (Hence is the concentration of the mind, to one object only strongly enjoyed in the yoga practice).[3]

45. Hence the course of the thoughts, and respiration of all animals, is known too closely united with one another; as the fragrance is inseparable from the flower, and the oil from the oily seeds.

46. The breath is vacillation of the mind, as the mind is the fluctuation of the breath; and these two go together for ever, as the chariot and its charioteer.

[Pg 390]

47. These perish together without the assemblage of one another, as the container and the contained are both lost at the loss of either (like that of the fire and its heat). Therefore it is better to lose them for the liberation of the soul, than losing the soul for the sake of the body.

48. Keeping only one object or the unity in view will stop the course of the mind; and the mind being stopped, there will follow as a matter of course, an utter suppression of the breath as its consequence.

49. Investigate well into the truth of the immortality of thy soul, and try to assimilate thyself into the eternal spirit of God; and having absorbed thy mind in the divine mind, be one with the same.

50. Distinguish between thy knowledge and ignorance, and lay hold on what is more expedient for you; settle yourself on what remains after disappearance of both, and live while you live relying on the Intellect alone.

51. Continue to meditate on the existence of all things in one firm and ever existent entity alone, until by your constant habit of thinking so, you find all outward existence disappear into non existence (and present the form of the self-existent only to view).

52. The minds of the abstinent are mortified, with their bodies and vitality, for want of food and enjoyments; and then there remains the consciousness of the transcendent one alone.

53. When the mind is of one even tenor, and is habituated to it by its constant practice; it will put an end to the thought of the endless varieties and particulars, which will naturally disappear of themselves.

54. There is an end of our ignorance and delusion (avidyá), as we attempt to the words of wisdom and reason; we gain our best knowledge by learning, but it is by practice alone, that we can have the object of our knowledge.

55. The mirage of the world will cease to exist, after the mind has become calm and quiet in itself; as the darkness of the sky is dispersed, upon disappearance of the raining clouds.

[Pg 391]

56. Know your mind alone as the cause of your delusion, and strive therefore to weaken its force and action; but you must not Ráma! weaken it so much, as to lose the sight of the supreme spirit, which shines as the soul of the mind.

57. When the mind is settled with the supreme soul for a moment, know that to be the mature state of thy mind, and will soon yield the sweets of its ripeness.

58. Whether you have your tranquillity, by the Sánkhya or Vedánta Yoga; it is both the same if you can reduce yourself to the supreme soul; and by doing so for a moment, you are no more to be reborn in this nether world.

59. The word divine essence, means the mind devoid of its ignorance; and which like a fried seed is unable to reproduce the arbor of the world, and has no interruption in its meditation of God.

60. The mind that is devoid of ignorance, and freed from its desires, and is settled in its pure essence; comes to see in an instant, a full blaze of light filling the sphere of the firmament in which it rests and which absorbs it quite.

61. The mind is said to be its pure essence, which is insensible of itself, and settled in the supreme soul; it never relapses into the foulness of its nature, as the copper which is mixed with gold, never becomes dirty again.

[Pg 392]


Interrogatories of Vetála.

Arguments:—Conversation of a prince and a Vetála, and Dissipation of Error and manifestation of truth.

VASISHTHA resumed:—Life becomes no life (becomes immortal), and the mind turns to no mind, immerges in the soul; no sooner is the cloud of ignorance dispersed by the bright sun beams of right reason. This is the state which is termed moksha or liberation (from error) by the wise.

2. The mind and its egoism and tuism (subjectivity and objectivity), appear as water in the mirage, but all these unrealities vanish away, no sooner we come to our right reason;

3. Attend now to the queries of a vetála, which I come to remember at present, concerning our erroneous and dreaming conception of the phenomenal world, and which will serve to example by the subject of our last lecture.

4. There lived a gigantic vetála in the vast wilderness of the Vindhya mountains, who happened to come out on an excursion to the adjoining districts in search of his prey of human beings.

5. He used to live before in the neighbourhood of a populous city, where he lived quite happy and well satisfied with the victims; which were daily offered to him by the good citizens.

6. He never killed a human being without some cause or harm, although he roved through the city, pinched by hunger and thirst. He walked in the ways of the honest and equitable men in the place.

7. It came to pass in course of time that he went out of the city, to reside in his woody retreat; where he never killed any man, except when pressed by excessive hunger, and when he thought it was equitable for him to do so.

[Pg 393]

8. He happened to meet there once a ruler of the land, strolling about in his nightly round; to whom he cried out in a loud and appalling voice.

9. The vetála exclaimed:—Where goest thou, O prince, said he, thou art now caught in the clutches of a hideous monster, thou art now a dead man, and hast become my ration of this day.

10. The ruler replied:—Beware, O nocturnal fiend! that I will break thy skull into a thousand pieces, if you will unjustly attempt to kill me by force at this spot, and make thy ration of me.

11. The vetála rejoined:—I do not tell thee unjustly, and speak it rightly unto thee; that as thou art a ruler, it is thy duty to attend to the petition of every body (wherein if thou failest, thou surely diest before me).

12. I request thee, O prince! to solve the questions that I propose to thee; because I believe thou art best able to give a full and satisfactory answer to every one of them. (These questions are dark enigmas, which are explained in the next chapter).

13. Who is that glorious sun, the particles of whose rays, are seen to glitter in the surrounding worlds: and what is that wind (or force), which wafts these dusts of stars, in the infinite space of vacuum.

14. What is that self-same thing, which passes from one dream to another, and assumes different forms by hundreds and thousands, and yet does not forsake its original form.

15. Tell me what is that pithy particle in bodies, which is enveloped under a hundred folds or sheaths, which are laid over and under one another, like the coats or lamina of a plantain tree.

16. What is that minute atom which is imperceptible to the eye, and yet produces this immeasurable universe, with its stupendous worlds and skies, and the prodigious planets on high and mountains below, which are the minutest of that minute particle.

[Pg 394]

17. What is that shapeless and formless thing atom, which remains as the pith and marrow under the rocks of huge mountains, and which is the substratum of the triple world (of heaven, earth and infernal regions).

18. If you, O wicked soul, fail to answer to these queries, then shalt thou be a killer of thyself, by your being made my food this moment. And know that at the end, I will devour all thy people, as the regent of death destroys every body in the world.

[Pg 395]


The prince's reply to the first question of the Vetála.

Arguments:—Answer to the first question regarding the Prime cause of all, shows the infinite worlds to be the trees and fruits of that original root.

VASISHTHA related:—The Rájá smiled at hearing these questions of the Demon, and as he opened his mouth to give the reply, the lustre of his pearly teeth, shed a brightness on the white vault of the sky. (This shows how much the early Hindus prized their white teeth, though latterly they tinged them with blue vitriol).

2. This world was at first a rudimentary granule (in the Divine mind), and was afterwards encrusted by a dozen of elemental sheaths as its pellicles, skin and bark. (Does it mean the component elements or layers Bhúta-tatwa or Bhú-tatwa).

3. The tree which bears thousands of such fruits, is very high also with its equally out stretching branches, and very long and broad leaves likewise.

4. This great tree is of a huge size and very astounding to sight; it has thousands of prodigious branches spreading wide on every side.

5. There are thousands of such trees, and a dense forest of many other large trees and plants in that person.

6. Thousands of such forests stretch over it, abounding in thousands of mountains with their elevated peaks.

7. The wide extended tracts which contain these mountains, have also very large valleys and dales amidst in them.

8. These wide spread tracts contain also many countries, with their adjacent islands and lakes and rivers too.

9. These thousands of islands also contain many cities, with varieties of edifices and works of art.

[Pg 396]

10. These thousands tracts of lands, which are sketched out as so many continents, are as so many earths and worlds in their extent.

11. That which contains thousands of such worlds, as the mundane eggs, is as unlimited as the spacious womb of the firmament.

12. That which contains thousands of such eggs in its bosom, bears also many thousands of seas and oceans resting calmly in its ample breast.

13. That which displays the boisterous waves of seas, is the sprightly and sportive soul, heaving as the clear waters of the ocean.

14. That which contains thousands of such oceans, with all their waters in his unconscious womb, is the God Vishnu who filled the universal ocean with his all pervasive spirit. (And the spirit of God floated on the face of the waters, Moses. The waters were the first abode of Náráyana).

15. That which bears thousands of such Gods, as a string of pearls about the neck, is the Great God Rudra.

16. That which bears thousands of such Great Gods Mahádevas, in the manner of the hairs on his person; is the supreme Lord God of all.

17. He is that great sun that he shines in a hundred such persons of the Gods, all of whom are but frictions of the rays of that Great source of light and life.

18. All things in the universe are but particles of that uncreated sun; and thus have I explained to you that Intellectual sun, who fills the world with his rays, and shows them light.

19. The all knowing soul is the supreme sun that enlightens the world, and fills all things in it with particles of its rays. (The soul is the sun, whose light of knowledge manifests all things unto us).

20. It is the Omniscient soul, which is that surpassing sun, whose rays produce and show everything to light; and without which as in the absence of the solar light, nothing[Pg 397] would grow nor be visible in the outer world. (The sun's heat and light are the life and shower of the sight of the world).

21. All living beings who have their souls enlightened by the light of philosophy, behold the sphere of the universe to be a blaze of the gemming sun of the intellect; and there is not the least tinge of the erroneous conceptions of the material world in it. Know this and hold your peace.[4]

[Pg 398]


Answers to the remaining questions.

Argument:—The Rájah's replies to the five remaining questions of the Demon.

THE Rájah replied:—The essences of time, vacuum and of force, are all of intellectual origin; it is the pure intellect which is the source of all, as the air is the receptacle of odours and dusts. (The mind contains all things).

2. The supreme soul is as the universal air, which breathes out the particles contained in the intellect; as the etherial air bears the fragrance from the cells of flowers. (The soul is called átmá corresponding with the Greek atmos air, in which sense it is the same with the spirit). (This is the answer to the second question).

3. The great Brahma of the conscious soul, passing through the dreaming world (it being but a dream only passes from one scene to another without changing its form). (The soul is conscious of the operations of the mind, but never changes with the mental phenomena).

4. As the stem (stambha) of plantain tree, is a folding of its pellicles plaited over one another, and having its pith hidden in the inside; so everything in the world presents its exterior coats to the view, while its substance of Brahma is deeply hid in the interior.

5. The words ens, soul and Brahma by which God is designated, are not significant of his nature, who is devoid of all designations like the empty void, and indescribable (avyapadesa) in any word in use. (So the sruti: na tatra vak gachchhate, to Him no words can approach; i.e. no words can express Him).

6. Whatever essence is perceived by one as the product of another, is like the upper fold or plait of the plantain tree, produced by the inner one; and all such coating are but developments of the Divine Intellect lying at the bottom. (As[Pg 399] the essence of the cloth is the thread, which is the product of cotton produced by the pod of the cotton plant, which is produced from the seed grown by the moisture of the water &c., the last of which has the Divine essence for its prime cause and source.)

7. The supreme soul is said to be a minute atom, on account of the subtility and imperceptibility of its nature; and it is said also to be the base of mountains and all other bodies, owing to the unboundedness of its extent. (This is in answer to the fifth question).

8. The endless being though likened to a minute atom, is yet as large as to contain all these worlds as its minutest particles; which are as evident to us as the very many aerial scenes appearing in our minds in the state of dreaming. (The small grain of the soul contains the universe, as the particle of the mind contains the worlds in it).

9. This being is likened to an atom owing to its imperceptibleness, and is also represented as a mountain on account of its filling all space; though it is the figure of all formal existence, yet it is without any form or figure of its own. (The Sruti says: "neti-neti, He is neither this nor that").

10. The three worlds are as the fatty bulb of that pithy intelligence; for know thou righteous soul! that it is that Intelligence which dwells in and acts in all the worlds. (The Sruti says: the vacuity of the heart is the seat of intelligence, which is the pith of the mássa or muscular body, and the vacuous air is the seat of the soul, whose body is the triple world).

11. All these worlds are fraught with design of Intelligence, which is quiet in its nature, and exhibits endless kinds of beautiful forms of its own, know, O young vetála, that irresistible power, reflect this in thyself and keep thy quiet.

[Pg 400]


End of the Story of the Vetála Demon.

Arguments:—After part of Vetála's tale and Preamble to the tale of Bhagíratha.

VASISHTHA resumed:—After hearing these words from the mouth of the prince, the vetála held his peace and quiet, and remained reflecting on them in his mind, which was capable of reasoning.

2. Being then quite calm in his mind, he reflected on the pure doctrines of the prince; and being quite absorbed in his fixed meditation, he forgot at once his hunger and thirst.

3. I have thus related to you, Ráma, about the questions of the vetála, and the manner in which these worlds are situated in the atom of the intellect and no where else.

4. The world residing in the cell of the atomic intellect, ceases to subsist by itself upon right reasoning; so the body of a ghost exists in the fancy of boys only, and there remains nothing at last except the everlasting one.

5. Curb and contract thy thought and heart from every thing, and enclose thy inward soul in itself; do what thou hast to do at any time, without desiring or attempting any thing of thy own will, and thus have the peace of thy mind.

6. Employ your mind, O silent sage! to keep itself as clean as the clear firmament, remain in one even and peaceful tenor of thy soul, and view all things in one and the same light (of tolerance and catholicism).

7. A steady and dauntless mind with its promptness in action, is successful in most arduous undertakings, as was the prince Bhagíratha with his unsevering perseverance.

[Pg 401]

8. It was by his perfectly peaceful and contended mind, and by the lasting felicity of the equanimity of his soul, that this prince succeeded to bring down the heavenly Ganges on earth, and the princes of Sagar's line were enabled to perform the arduous task of digging the bay of Bengal. (Where they were buried alive by curse of the sage Kapila, for disturbing his silent meditations).

[Pg 402]


Account and admonition of Bhagíratha.

Argument:—Conduct and character of Bhagíratha, his private reflexion and the Instructions of his tutor.

RÁMA said:—Please sir, to relate unto me, the wonderful narrative of prince Bhagíratha, how he succeeded to bring down the heavenly stream of Gangá on the earth below.

2. Vasishtha replied:—The prince Bhagíratha was a personage of eminent virtues, and was distinguished as a crowning mark (Tilaka), over all countries of this terraqueous earth and its seas.

3. All his suitors received their desired boons, even without their asking; and their hearts were as gladdened at the sight of his moon-bright countenance, as were it at the sight of a precious and brilliant gem.

4. His charities were always profusely lavished upon all good people, for their maintenance and supportance; while he carefully collected even straws (for his revenue), and prized them as they were gems unto him. (i.e. He earned as he gave).

5. He was as bright in his person, as the blazing fire without its smoke, and was never weak even when he was tired in the discharge of his duties. He drove away poverty from the abodes of men, as the rising sun dispels the darkness of night from within their houses.

6. He spread all around him the effulgence of his valour, as the burning fire scatters about its sparks; and he burned as the blazing midday sun, among all his hostile bands.

7. Yet he was gentle and soft in the society of wisemen, and cooled their hearts with his cooling speech. He shone amidst the learned, as the moon-stone glistens under the moon light.

8. He decorated the world with its triple cord of the sacrificial thread, by stretching out the three streams of the Ganges,[Pg 403] along the three regions of heaven, earth and infernal regions. (Hence Gangá is called the tripathagá or running in the trivium in heaven, earth and hell).

9. He filled the ocean that had been dried up by the sage Agastya, with the waters of Ganges; as the bounteous man fills the greedy beggar with his unbounded bounty.

10. This benefactor of mankind, redeemed his ancestral kinsmen from the infernal region (in which they were accursed by the indignant sage); and led them to the heaven of Brahmá, by the passage of the sacred Gangá (which ran through the three worlds of heaven, earth and hell).

11. He overcame by his resolute perseverance, all his manifold obstacles and troubles, in his alternate propitiations of the god Brahmá and Siva and the sage Jahnu, for their discharging the course of the stream. (The holy Gangá was first confined in Brahmá's water pot, and then restricted in Hara's crown, and lastly locked up under Jahnu's seat, whence the river has the nickname of Jáhnaví).

12. Though he was yet in the vigour of his youth, he seemed even then to feel the decay of age, coming fastly upon him, at his incessant thoughts on the miseries of human life.

13. His excogitation of the vanities of the world, produced in him a philosophical apathy to them; and this sang froid or cold heartedness of his in the prime of his youth, was like the shooting forth of a tender sprout on a sudden in a barren desert. (So great was the early abstractedness from the world, prized by the ancient Aryans, that many monarchs are mentioned to have became religious recluses in their youth).

14. The prince thought in his retired moments on the impropriety of his worldly conduct, and made the following reflections, on the daily duties of life in his silent soliloquy.

15. I see the return of day and night, in endless succession after one another; and I find the repetition of the same acts of giving and taking (receipts and disbursements), and lasting the same enjoyments, to have grown tedious and insipid to me. (So it was with Rasselas the prince of Abyssinia,[Pg 404] who felt disgusted at the daily rotation of the same pleasures and enjoyments and one unvaried course of life).

16. I think that only to be worth my seeking and doing, which being obtained and done, there is nothing else to desire or do in this transitory life of troubles and cares.

17. Is it not shameful for a sensible being, to be employed in the same circuit of business every day, and is it not laughable to be doing and undoing the same thing, like silly boys day by day?

18. Being thus vexed with the world, and afraid of the consequence of his worldly course, Bhagíratha repaired in silence to the solitary cell of his preceptor Tritala, and bespoke to him in the following manner.

19. Bhagíratha said:—My Lord! I am entirely tired and disgusted with the long course of my worldly career, which I find to be all hollow and empty within it, and presenting a vast wilderness without.

20. Tell me lord, how can I get over the miseries of this world, and get freed from my fear of death and disease and from the fetters of errors and passions, to which I am so fast enchained. (The Hindu mind is most sensible of the baneful effects of the primeval curse pronounced on man, and the accursedness of his posterity and of this earth for his sake; and is always in eager search of salvation, redemption or liberation from the same by mukti, moksha, and paritrána).

21. Tritala replied:—It is to be effected by means of the continued evenness of one's disposition (obtained by his quadruple practice of devotion sádhana); the uninterrupted joyousness of his soul (arising from its communion with the Holy spirit); by his knowledge of the knowable true one, and by his self sufficiency in everything (tending to his perfection). (The quadruple devotion consists in one's attendance to holy lectures and in his understanding, reflection and practice of the same lessons, called the sádhana chatushtaya).

22. By these means the man is released from misery, his worldly bonds are relaxed, his doubts are dissipated, and all his actions tend to his well being in both worlds.

[Pg 405]

23. That which is called the knowable, is the pure soul of the nature of intelligence; it is always present in everything in all places and is eternal—having neither its rising or setting (i.e. its beginning or end). The animating soul of the world, is identified with the supreme and universal soul of God. The vedánta knows no duality of the animal and animating souls.

24. Bhagíratha rejoined:—I know, O great sage! the pure intelligent soul to be perfectly calm and tranquil, undecaying and devoid of all attributes and qualities; and neither the embodied spirit, nor the animal soul, nor the indwelling principle of material bodies.

25. I cannot understand sir, how I can be that intelligence, when I am so full of errors, or if I be the selfsame soul, why is it not so manifest in me as the pure divine soul itself.

26. Tritala replied:—It is by means of knowledge only, that the mind can know the truly knowable one in the sphere of one's own intellect, and then the animal soul finding itself as the all-pervading spirit, is released from future birth and transmigration. (The belief of the difference of one's soul from the eternal one, is the cause of his regeneration).

27. It is our unattachment to earthly relations, and unaccompaniment of our wives, children and other domestic concerns, together with the equanimity of our minds, in whatsoever is either advantageous or disadvantageous to us, that serve to widen the sphere of our souls and cause their universality.

28. It is also the union of our souls with the supreme spirit, and our continual communion with God; as also our seclusion from society and remaining in retirement that widen the scope of our souls.

29. It is the continued knowledge of spirituality, and insight into the sense of the unity and identity of God, which are said to constitute our true knowledge; all besides is mere ignorance and false knowledge.

30. It is the abatement of our love and hatred, that is the only remedy for our malady of worldliness; and it is the extinction of our egoistic feelings, that leads to the knowledge of truth.

[Pg 406]

31. Bhagíratha responded:—Tell me, O reverend sir, how is it possible for any body to get rid of his egoism, which is deep rooted in our constitution, and has grown as big with our bodies as lofty trees on mountain tops.

32. Tritala replied:—All egoistic feelings subside of themselves under the abandonment of worldly desires, which is to be done by the very great efforts of fortitude, in our exercise of the virtues of self-abnegation and self-command, and by the expansion of our souls to universal benevolence.

33. We are so long subjected to the reign of our egoism, as we have not the courage to break down the painful prison house of shame at our poverty, and the fear at our exposure to the indignity of others. (Poverty is shameful to worldly people, but graceful to holy men).

34. If you can therefore renounce all your worldly possessions and remain unmoved in your mind (although in actual possession of them); you may then get rid of your egoism, and attain to the state of supreme bliss.

35. Bereft of all titular honors, and freed from the fear of falling into poverty (and its consequent indignity); being devoid of every endeavour of rising, and remaining as poor and powerless among invidious enemies; and rather living in contemptible beggary among them, without the egoistic pride of mind and vanity of the body; if you can thus remain in utter destitution of all, you are then greater than the greatest.

[Pg 407]


Supineness of Bhagíratha.

Argument:—Great bounty of Bhagíratha and his indigence in consequence; and his recourse to asceticism with his tutor.

VASISHTHA related:—Having heard these monitions from the mouth of his religious monitor, he determined in his mind what he was about to do, and set about the execution of his purpose.

2. He passed a few days in devising his project, and then commenced his agnishtoma sacrifice to the sacred fire, for consecrating his all to it, for the sake of obtaining his sole object (of Nirvána or being extinct in the essence of God).

3. He gave away his kine and lands, his horses and jewels, and his monies without number, to the twice born classes of men and his relatives, without distinction of their merit or demerit.

4. During three days he gave away profusely all what he had, till at last he had nothing for himself, except his life and flesh and bones.

5. When his exhaustless treasures were all exhausted, he gave up his great realm like a straw to his neighbouring enemies, to the great mortification of his subjects and citizens (paurakas).

6. As the enemy overran his territories and kingdom, and seized his royal palace and properties; he girt himself in his undergarb, and went away beyond the limits of his kingdom.

7. He wandered afar through distant villages and desert lands, till at last he settled himself where he was quite unknown to all, and nobody knew his person or face or his name and title.

8. Remaining there retired for some time, he became quite composed and blunt to all feelings from within and without himself; and he obtained his rest and repose in the serene tranquillity of his soul.

[Pg 408]

9. He then roved about different countries and went to distant islands (to see the various manners of men); till at last he turned unawares to his natal land and city, which was in the grasp of his enemies.

10. There while he was wandering from door to door, as he was led about by the current of time; he was observed by the citizens and ministers to be begging their alms.

11. All the citizens and ministers recognized their ex-king Bhagíratha, whom they honoured with their due homage, and whom they were very sorry to behold in that miserable plight.

12. His enemy (the reigning prince) came out to meet him, and implored him to receive back his neglected estate and self-abandoned kingdom; but he slighted all their offers as trifling straws, except taking his slender repast at their hands.

13. He passed a few days there and then bent his course to another way, when the people loudly lamented at his sad condition saying: "Ah! what has become of the unfortunate Bhagíratha".

14. Then the prince walked about with the calmness of his soul, and with his contended mind and placid countenance; and he amused himself with his wandering habits and thoughts, until he came to meet his tutor Tritala on the way.

15. They welcomed one another, and then joining together, they both began to wander about the localities of men, and to pass over hills and deserts in their holy peregrinations.

16. Once on a time as both the dispassionate pupil and his preceptor, were sitting together in the cool calmness of their dispositions, their conversations turned on the interesting subject of human life.

17. What good is there in our bearing the frail body, and what do we lose by our loss of it. (Since neither reap nor lose any real advantage, either by our having or losing of it at any time, yet we should bear with it as it is, in the discharge of the duties that have come down unto us by the custom of the country).

18. They remained quiet with this conclusion, and passed their time in passing from one forest to another; without feeling[Pg 409] any joy above their inward bliss, or knowing any sorrow or the intermediate state of joy and grief (which is the general lot of humanity), and the rotatory course of pleasure and pain in this world.

19. They spurned all riches and properties, the possession of horses and cattle, and even the eight kinds of supernatural powers (Siddhis) as rotten straws before the contentedness of their minds.

20. This body which is the result of our past acts, must be borne with fortitude, whether we wish it or not, as long as it lasts; with his continued conviction in the discharge of their duties (of asceticism).

21. They like silent sages, hailed with complaisance, whatever of good or evil, or desirable or undesirable befell to their lot, as the unavoidable results of their prior deeds; and had their repose in the heavenly felicity, to which they had assimilated themselves. (So the sruti: The Divine are one with Divine felicity).

[Pg 410]


The descent of Gangá on earth.

Argument:—Reinstatement of Bhagíratha in his Kingdom, and his bringing down the heavenly stream by means of his austere Devotion.

VASISHTHA continued:—It came to pass at one time as Bhagíratha was passing through a large metropolis, he beheld the ruler of that province, who was childless to be snatched away by the hand of death, as a shark seizes a fish for its prey.

2. The people being afraid of anarchy and lawlessness for want of a ruler, were in search of a proper person joined with noble endowments and signs to be made their future king.

3. They met with the silent and patient prince in the act of begging alms, and knowing him as the king Bhagíratha himself, they took him with them escorted by their own regiments, to install him on the throne as their king.

4. Bhagíratha instantly mounted on an elephant, and was led by a large body of troops, who assembled about him as thickly, as the drops of rain water fall into and fill a lake.

5. The people then shouted aloud, "Here is Bhagíratha our lord; may he be victorious for ever", and the noise thereof reached to the furthest mountains, and filled their hollow caves (which reached to the sound).

6. Then as Bhagíratha remained to reign over that realm, the subjects of his own and former kingdom came reverently to him, and thus prayed unto their king saying:—

7. The people said:—Great king! the person who thou didst appoint to rule over us, is lately devoured by death as a little fish by a large one.

8. Therefore deign to rule over thy realm, nor refuse to accept an offer which comes unasked to thee (so it is said:—It is not right to slight even a mite, that comes of itself to any body, but it is to be deemed as a God-sent blessing).

[Pg 411]

9. Vasishtha said:—The king being so besought accepted their prayer, and thus became the sole manager of the earth, bounded by the seven seas on all sides.

10. He continued to discharge the duties of royalty without the least dismay or disquietude, though he was quite calm and serene in his mind, quiet in his speech, and devoid of passions and envy or selfishness.

11. He then thought of the redemption of his ancestors, who excavated the coast of the sea (and made this bay of Bengal); and were burned alive underneath the ground (by the curse of sage Kapila); by laving their bones and dead bodies with the waves of Ganges, which he heard, had the merit of purity and saving all souls and bodies. (The ancestors of Bhagíratha were the thousand sons of sagara, who were masters of Saugar islands in the bay of Bengal).

12. The heavenly stream of the Ganges did not till then run over the land, it was Bhagíratha that brought it down, and first washed his ancestral remains with its holy waters. The stream was thence forth known by his name as Bhagíratha.

13. The king Bhagíratha was thenceforward resolved, to bring down the holy Gangá of heaven to the nether world. (The triple Ganges is called the Tripathagá or fluvium trivium or running in three directions).

14. The pious prince then resigned his kingdom to the charge of his ministers, and went to the solitary forest with the resolution of making his austere devotion, for the success of his undertaking.

15. He remained there for many years and under many rains, and worshipped the Gods Brahmá and Siva and the sage Jahnu by turns, until he succeeded to bring down the holy stream on the earth below. (It is said that Gangá was pent-up at first in the water pot of Brahmá, and then in the crown of Siva and lastly under the thighs of Jahnu, all which are allegorical of the fall of the stream from the cascade of Gangotri in Haridwar).

16. It was then that the crystal wave of the Ganges,[Pg 412] gushed out of the basin of Brahmá the lord of the world and rushed into the moony crest of Hara; and falling on earth below it took a triple course, like the meritorious acts of great men (which were lauded in all three worlds of their past, present and future lives).

17. It was thus the trivium river of Gangá, came to flow over this earth, as the channel to bear the glory of Bhagíratha to distant lands. Behold her running fast with her upheaving waves, and smiling all along with her foaming froths; she sprinkles purity all along with the drizzling drops of her breakers, and scatters plenty over the land as the reward of the best deserts of men.

[Pg 413]


Narrative of Chúdálá and Sikhidhwaja.

Argument:—Story of the Princess Chúdálá and her marriage with Sikhidhwaja and their youthful sports.

VASISHTHA related:—Ráma! do you keep your view fixed to one object, as it was kept in the mind of Bhagíratha; and do you pursue your calling with a calm and quiet understanding, as it was done by that steady minded prince in the accomplishment of his purpose! (For he that runs many ways, stands in the middle and gets to the end of none).

2. Give up your thoughts of this and that (shilly-shallying), and confine the flying bird of your mind within your bosom, and remain in full possession of yourself after the example of the resolute prince Sikhidhwaja of old.

3. Ráma asked:—Who was this Sikhidhwaja, sir, and how did he maintain the firmness of his purpose? Please explain this fully to me for the edification of my understanding.

4. Vasishtha replied:—It was in a former Dwápara age, that there lived a loving pair of consorts who are again to be born in a future period, in the same manner and at the same place.

5. Ráma rejoined:—Tell me, O great preacher! how the past could be the same as at present, and how can these again be alike in future also. (Since there can be no cause of the likeness of past ages and their productions with those of the present or future. It is reasonable to believe the recurrence of such other things, but not of the same and very things as of yore).

6. Vasishtha replied:—Such is the irreversible law of destiny and the irreversible course of nature, that the creation of the world must continue in the same manner by the invariable will of the creative Brahmá and others. (i.e. The repeated creation of worlds must go on in the same rotation by the inevitable will[Pg 414] (Satya Sankalpa) of the creative power; wherefore bygone things are to return and be re-born over and over again).

7. As those which had been plentiful before come to be as plenteous again, so the past appears at present and in future also. Again many things come to being that had not been before, and so many others become extinct in course of time (e. g. as past crops return again and again and vegetables grow where there were none, and as a lopped off branch grows no more).

8. Some reappear in their former forms and some in their resemblance also; others are changed in their forms, and many more disappear altogether (see, for example, the different shapes of the waves of the ocean).

9. These and many other things are seen in the course of the world; and therefore the character of the subject of the present narrative will be found to bear exact resemblance to that of the bygone prince of the same name.

10. Hear me tell you, also, that there is yet to be born such another prince, as valiant as the one that had been in the former dwápara age of the past seventh manvantara period.

11. It will be after the four yugas of the fourth creation, past and gone, that he will be born again of the Kuru family in the vicinity of the Vindhyan mountains in the Jambudwípa continent. (This extravagant sloka is omitted in other editions of this work).

12. There lived a prince by name of Sikhidhwaja in the country of Malava, who was handsome in his person, and endowed with firmness and magnanimity in his nature, and the virtues of patience and self control in his character.

13. He was brave but silent, and even inclined to good acts with all his great virtues; he was engaged in the performance of the religious sacrifices, as also in defeating bowyers in archery.

14. He did many acts (of public endowments), and supported the poor people of the land; he was of a graceful appearance and complacent in his countenance, and loved all men with his great learning in the sástras.

[Pg 415]

15. He was handsome, quiet and fortunate, and equally as valiant as he was virtuous. He was a preacher of morality and bestower of all benefits to his suitors.

16. He enjoyed all luxuries in the company of good people, and listened to the lessons of the Srutis. He knew all knowledge without any boast on his part, and he hated to touch women as straws.

17. His father departed to the next world, leaving him a lad of sixteen years in age; and yet he was able at that tender age to govern his realm, by defeating his adversaries on all sides.

18. He conquered all other provinces of the country by means of the resources of his empire; and he remained free from all apprehension by ruling his subjects with justice and keeping them in peace.

19. He brightened all sides by his intelligence and the wisdom of his ministers, till in the course of years he came to his youth, as in the gaudy spring of the year.

20. It was the vernal season, and he beheld the blooming flowers glistening brightly under the bright moon-beams; and he saw the budding blossoms, hanging down the arbours in the inner apartments.

21. The door ways of the bowers were overhung with twining branches, decorated with florets scattering their fragrant dust like the hoary powder of camphor; and the rows of the guluncha flowers wafted their odours all around.

22. There was the loud hum of bees, buzzing with their mates upon the flowery bushes; and the gentle zephyrs were wafting the sweet scent amidst the cooling showers of moonbeams.

23. He saw the banks decorated with the kadalí shrubbery glistening with their gemming blossoms under the sable shade of kadalí (plantain) leaves; which excited his yearning after the dear one that was seated in his heart.

24. Giddy with the intoxication of the honey draughts of fragrant flowers, his mind was fixed on his beloved object, and[Pg 416] did not depart from it, as the spring is unwilling to quit the flowery garden (so says Hapiz,—no pleasant sight is gladsome to the mind without the face of the fair possessor of the heart: see Sir Wm. Jones' version of it).

25. When shall I in this swinging cradles of my pleasure garden, and when will I in my sports in this lake of lotuses, play with my love-smitten maid with her budding breasts resembling the two unblown blossoms of golden lotuses?

26. When shall I embrace my beloved one to my bosom on my bed daubed with the dust of powdered frankincense, and when shall we on cradles of lotus stalks, like a pair of bees sucking the honey from flower cups?

27. When shall I see that maiden lying relaxed in my arms, with her slender body resembling a tender stalk, and as fair as a string of milk-white kunda flowers, or as a plant formed of moon-beams?

28. When will that moonlike beauty be inflamed with her love to me? With these and the like thoughts and ravings he roved about the garden looking at the variety of flowers.

29. He then went on rambling in the flowery groves and skirts of forests, and thence strayed onward from one forest to another, and by the side of purling lakes blooming with the full blown lotuses. (The lotus is the emblem of beauty in the east, as the rose is in the west).

30. He entered in the alcoves formed by the twining creepers, and walked over the avenues of many garden grounds and forest lands, seeing and hearing the descriptions of woodland sceneries (from his associates).

31. He was distracted in his mind, and took much delight in hearing discourses on erotic subjects, and the bright form of his necklaced and painted beloved was the sole idol in his breast.

32. He adored the maiden in his heart, with her breasts resembling two golden pots on her person; and this ween was soon found by the sagacious ministers of the state.

33. As it is the business of ministership to dive into matters by their signs and prognosis, so these officers met together to deliberate on his marriage.

[Pg 417]

34. They proposed the youthful daughter of the king of Syrastra (Surat) for his marriage, and thought her as a proper match for him, on account of her coming to the full age of puberty (lit. to the prime of her youth).

35. The prince was married to her who was a worthy image (or like co-partner) of himself; and this fair princess was known by the name of Chúdálá all over the land.

36. She was as joyous in having him, as the new blown lotus at the rising sun; and he made the black-eyed maid to bloom, as the moon opens the bud of the blue lotus. (Lotuses are known as helio-solenus, the white ones opening at sun rise and the blue kind blooming with the rising moon).

37. He delighted her with his love, as gives the white lotus to bloom; and they both inflamed their mutual passions by their abiding in the heart of one another.

38. She flourished with her youthful wiles and dalliance, like a new grown creeper blooming with its flowers, and he was happy, and careless in her company by leaving the state affairs to the management of the ministers. (The words háv Chavavilasa, implying amorous dalliance, are all comprised in the couplet "quips and cranks and wanton wiles, nods and becks and wreathed smiles".—Pope).

39. He disported in the company of his lady love, as the swan sports over a bed of lotuses in a large lake; and indulged his frolics in his swinging cradles and pleasure ponds in the inner apartments.

40. They reveled in the gardens and groves, and in the bowers of creepers and flowering plants; and amused themselves in the woods and in walks under the sandalwood and a gulancha shades.

41. They sported by the rows of mandára trees, and beside the lines of plantain and kadalí plants; and regaled themselves wandering in the harem, and by the sides of the woods and lakes in the skirts of the town.

42. He roved afar in distant forests and deserts, and in jungles of Jám and Jám bira trees; they passed by paths[Pg 418] bordered by Játí or jasmine plants, and, in short they took delight in everything in the company of one another.

43. The mutual attachment to one another was as delightsome to the people as the union of the raining sky with the cultivated ground; both tending to the welfare of mankind by the productiveness of the general weal. (This far-fetched simile and the mazy construction of the passage is incapable of a literal version).

44. They were both skilled in the arts of love and music, and were so united together by their mutual attachment, that the one was a counterpart of the other.

45. Being seated in each others heart, they were as two bodies with one soul; so that the learning of the sástras of the one, and the skill in painting and fine arts of the other, were orally communicated to and learnt by one another.

46. She from her childhood was trained in every branch of learning, and he learned the arts of dancing and playing on musical instruments, from the oral instructions of Chúdálá.

47. They learned and became learned in the respective arts and parts of one another; as the sun and moon being set in conjunction (amavasyá), impart to and partake of the qualities of each other.

48. Being mutually situated in the heart of one another, they became the one and the same person and both being in the same inclination and pursuit, were the more endeared to one another (as a river running to the milky ocean is assimilated to the ocean of milk, so all souls mixing with the supreme soul form one universal and only soul).

49. They were joined in one person, as the androgyne body of Umá and Siva on earth; and were united in one soul, as the different fragrances of flowers are mixed up with the common air. Their clearness of understanding and learning of the sástras led them both in the one and same way.

50. They were born on earth to perform their parts, like the God Vishnu and his consort Lakshmí; they were equally frank and sweet by their mutual affection, and were as informed as communicative of their learning to others.

[Pg 419]

51. They followed the course of the laws and customs, and attended to the affairs of the people; they delighted in the arts and sciences, and enjoyed their sweet pleasures also. They appeared as the two moons, shining with their beams.

52. They tasted all their sweet enjoyments of life, in the quiet and solitary recesses of their private apartments, as a couple of giddy swans sporting merrily in the lake of the azure sky.

[Pg 420]


Beatification of Chúdálá.

Argument:—The distaste and indifference of the happy pair to worldly enjoyments.

VASISHTHA continued:—In this manner did this happy pair, revel for many years in the pleasures of their youth, and tasted with greater zest, every new delight that came on their way day by day.

2. Years repeated their reiterated revolutions over their protracted revelries till by and by their youth began to give way to the decay of age; as the broken pitcher gives way to its waters out (or rather as the leaky vessel gives way to the waters in).

3. They then thought that their bodies are as frail as the breakers on the sea; and as liable to fall as the ripened fruits of trees, and that death is not to be averted by any body.

4. As the arrowy snows rend the lotus leaves, so is our old age ready to batter and shatter our frames; and the cup of our life is drizzling away day by day, as the water held in the palm falls away by sliding drops.

5. While our avarice is increasing on our hand, like the gourd plant in the rainy weather, so doth our youth glide away as soon as the torrent falls from the mountain cliffs to the ground.

6. Our life is as false as a magic play, and the body a heap of rotting things; our pleasures are few and painful, and as fleeting as the flying arrows from the archers bow.

7. Afflictions pounce upon our hearts, as vultures and kites dart upon fish and flesh; and these our bodies are as momentary as the bursting bubbles of dropping rains (or of rain drops).

8. All reasoning and practice are as unsound, as the unsolid stem of the plantain tree; and our youth is as evanescent, as a fugacious woman that is in love with many men.

[Pg 421]

9. The taste of youthful pleasure, is soon succeeded by a distaste to it in old age; just as the vernal freshness of plants, gives room to the dryness of autumn; where then is that permanent pleasure and lasting good in this world; which never grows stale, and is ever sweet and lovely.

10. Therefore should we seek that thing, which will support us in all conditions of life, and which will be a remedy of all the maladies (evils), which circumvent us in this world.

11. Being thus determined, they were both employed in the investigation of spiritual philosophy; because they thought their knowledge of the soul to be the only healing balm of the cholic pain of worldliness. (Because spiritual knowledge extricates the soul from its earthly bondage).

12. Thus resolved, they were both devoted to their spiritual culture, and employed their head and heart, their lives and souls in the inquiry, and placed all their hope and trust in the same.

13. They remained long in the study and mutual communication of their spiritual knowledge; and continued to meditate upon and worship the soul of souls in their own souls.

14. They both rejoiced in their investigations into Divine knowledge, and she took a great delight in attending incessantly, to the admonitions and sermons of the Divine prelates.

15. Having heard the words of salvation, from the mouths of the spiritual doctors, and from their exposition of the Sástras; she continued thus to reflect about the soul by day and night. (Blessed is the man, that meditates on the laws of God by day and night. Psalm.)

16. Whether when engaged in action or not, I see naught but the one soul in my enlightened and clear understanding; what then, am I that very self, and is it my own self? (The yogi, when enrapt in holy light, loses the sense of his own personality. So lost in Divine light, the saints themselves forget).

17. Whence comes this error of my personality, why does it grow up and where does it subsist (in the body or in the mind)? It cannot consist in the gross body which knows not[Pg 422] itself and is ignorant of everything. Surely I am not this body, and my egoism lies beyond my corporeality.

18. The error then rises in the mind and grows from boyhood to old age, to think one's self as lean or fat as if he were the very body. Again it is usual to say I act, I see &c., as if the personality of one consists in his action; but the acts of the bodily organs, being related with the body, are as insensible and impersonal as the dull body itself.

19. The part is not different from the whole, nor is the product of the one otherwise than that of the others. (As the branch and the tree are the same thing, and the fruit of the one the same as that of the other. Hence the actions of both the outward and inward organs of the body, are as passive and impersonal as the body itself).

20. The mind moves the body as the bat drives the ball, and therefore it must be dull matter also, being apart of the material body, and differing from it in its power of volition only. (The mind is called the antah-karana or an inward organ of the material body, and also material in its nature).

21. The determination of the mind impels the organs to their several actions, as the sling sends the pebble in any direction; and this firmness of resolution is no doubt a property of matter. (Like the solidity of current).

22. The egoism which leads the body forward in its action, is like the channel that carries the current of a stream in its onward course. This egoism also has no essence of its own and is therefore as inert and inactive as a dead body. (The ego [Sanskrit: aham] is subjective and really existent in Western philosophy). But egoism or egotism [Sanskrit: ahamkára] is the false conception of the mind as the true ego.

23. The living principle (Jíva or zoa) is a false idea, as the phantom of a ghost; the living soul is one principle of intelligence and resides in the form of air in the heart. (That life is a produce of organism, acted by external physical stimuli).

24. The life or living principle lives by another inner power, which is finer and more subtile than itself, and it is by means of this internal witness (the soul), that all things are known to[Pg 423] us, and not by means of this gross animal life. (Because there is a brute life, and a vegetable life also, which are as insensible as dull matter. Hence there is a distinct principle to direct vitality to all vital functions).

25. The living soul lives in its form of vitality, by the primordial power of the intellect, the vital soul which is misunderstood as an intelligent principle, subsists by means of this intellectual power. (Life is the tension of the power, imparted by the intellect).

26. The living soul carries with it the power, which is infused in it by the intellect; as the wind wafts in its course the fragrance of flowers, and the channel carries the current of the stream to a great distance. (Hence life also is an organism and no independent active power by itself).

27. The heart which is the body or seat of the intellect, is nothing essential by itself; it is called chitta or centre for concentrating chayana of the powers of the intellect, and also the hrid or heart, for its bearing harana of these powers to the other parts of the body; and therefore it is a dull material substance. (The heart is the receiver and distributor of force to the members of the body, and therefore a mere organism of itself).

28. All these and the living soul also, and anything that appears real or unreal, disappear in the meditation of the intellect, and are lost in it as the fire when it is immerged in water. (So the appearances at a ghata or pot and that of a pata or cloth, are lost in their substances of the clay and thread).

29. It is our intelligence Chaitanya alone, that awakens us to the knowledge of the unreality and inanity of gross material bodies. With such reflections as these, Chúdálá thought only how to gain a knowledge of the all-enlightening Intellect.

30. Long did she cogitate and ponder in this manner in herself; till at last she came to know what she sought and then exclaimed, "O! I have after long known the imperishable one, that is only to be known". (The knowledge of all things else, is as false as they are false in themselves).

[Pg 424]

31. No one is disappointed in knowing the knowable, and what is worth knowing; and this is the knowledge of the intellectual soul and our contemplation of it. All other knowledge of the mind, understanding and the senses and all other things, are but leading steps to that ultimate end. (The end of learning is to know God, Milton, or: nosce te ipsum; know thyself which is of the supreme self or soul).

32. All things besides are mere nullities, as a second moon in the sky; there is only one Intellect in existence, and this is called the great entity or the ens entium or the sum total of all existence.

33. The one purely immaculate and holy, without an equal or personality of the form of pure intelligence, the sole existence and felicity and everlasting without decay.

34. This intellectual power is ever pure and bright, always on the zenith without its rise or fall, and is known among mankind under the appellations of Brahma—supreme soul, and other attributes. (Because beyond conception can have no designation beside what is attributed to Him).

35. The triple appellations of the Intellect, Intelligence, and Intelligible, are not exactly definitive of His nature; because He is the cause of these faculties, and witness of the functions of Intellections.

36. This unthinkable intellect which is in me, is the exact and undecaying ectype of the supreme intellect; and evolves itself in the different forms of the mind, and the senses of perception.

37. The intellect involves in itself the various forms of things in the world, as the sea rolls and unrolls the waves in its bosom. (The intellect either means the Divine intellect, or it is the subjective view of the intellect, as evolving the objective world from itself).

38. This world is verily the semblance of that great intellect, which is like the pure crystal stone and is manifest in this form. (The world reflects the image of the intellect, which again reflects the image of the mundane world, the one in the form[Pg 425] of its visible appearance múrta; and the other, in its invisible form amúrta. Gloss).

39. The same power is manifest in the form of the world, which has no separate existence except in the mind of the ignorant; because it is impossible for any other thing to exist except the self-existing one.

40. As it is the gold which represents the various forms of jewels, so the intellect represents everything in the world as it sees in itself. (The Divine is the source and store house of all figures and forms).

41. As it is the thought of fluidity in the mind, that causes us to perceive the wave in the water, whether it really exists or not (as in our dream or magic); so is the thought in the Divine mind, which shows the picture of the world, whether it is in being or in not esse.

42. And as the divine soul appears as the wave of the sea, from its thought of fluidity; so am I the same intellect without any personality of myself. (Because the one impersonal soul pervades everywhere).

43. This soul has neither its birth nor death, nor has it a good or bad future state (Heaven or Hell); it has no destruction at any time; because it is of the form of the various intellect, which is indestructible in its nature.

44. It is not to be broken or burnt (i.e. though every where, yet it is an entire whole, and though full of light; yet it is not inflammable); and it is the unclouded luminary of the intellect. By meditating on the soul in this manner, I am quite at rest and peace.

45. I live free from error and rest as calm as the untroubled ocean; and meditate on the invisible one, who is quite clear to me, as the unborn, undecaying and infinite soul of all.

46. It is the vacuous soul, unrestricted by time or place, immaculate by any figure or form, eternal and transcending our thought and knowledge. It is the infinite void, and all attempts to grasp it, are as vain as to grasp the empty air in the hand.

[Pg 426]

47. This soul pervades equally over all the Sura as well as the Asura races of the earth; but is none of those artificial forms, in which the people represent it in their images of clay, likening the dolls of children.

48. The essences of both the viewer and the view (i.e. of both the subjective and the objective), reside at once in the unity of the intellect; though men are apt to make the distinctions of unity and duality, and of the ego and non ego through their error only.

49. But what error or delusion is there, and how, when and whence can it overtake me, when I have attained my truly spiritual and immortal form, and seated in my easy and quiet state. (This is calmness of the soul attending the thought of one's immortality begun in this life).

50. I am absorbed and extinct in eternity, and all my cares are extinct with my own extinction in it. My soul is in its entranced state between sensibility and insensibility, and feels what is reflected upon it. (i.e. the inspiration which is communicated to the ravished soul).

51. The soul settled in the great intellect of God, and shining with the light of the supreme soul, as the sky is illumed by the luminary of the day. There is no thought of this or that or even of one's self or that of any other being or not being; all is calm and quiet and having no object in view, except the one transcendent spirit.

52. With these excogitations, she remained as calm and quiet as a white cloudy spot in the autumnal sky; her soul was awake to the inspiration of Divine truth, but her mind was cold to the feelings of love and fear, of pride and pleasure, and quite insusceptible of delusion.

[Pg 427]


Princess coming to the sight of the supreme soul.

Argument:—The prince's wonder of the sight of the princess, and her relation of her Abstract meditation.

VASISHTHA continued:—Thus did the princess live day by day in the rapture of her soul; and with her views concentrated within herself, she lived as in her own and proper element.

2. She had no passion nor affection, nor any discord nor desire in her heart; she neither coveted nor hated anything, and was indifferent to all; but persistent in her course, and vigilant in her pursuit (after her self perfection).

3. She had got over the wide gulf of the world, and freed herself from the entangling snare of doubts (and the horns of dilemmas); she had gained the great good of knowing the supreme soul, which filled her inward soul.

4. She found her rest in God after her weariness of the world, and in her state of perfect bliss and felicity; and her name sounded in the lips of all men, as the model of incomparable perfection.

5. Thus this lady—the princess Chúdálá, became in a short time, acquainted with the true God (lit. knowing the knowable one), by the earnestness of her inquiry.

6. The errors of the world subside in the same manner, under the knowledge of truth, as they rise in the human mind by its addictedness to worldliness. (The world is an abode of errors and illusion. Persian Proverb).

7. After she had found her repose in that state of perfect blessedness, wherein the sight of all things is lost in its dazzling blaze, she appeared as bright as a fragment of autumnal cloud, that is ever steady in its place.

8. Apart from and irrelated with all, she continued in the meditation of the spirit in her own spirit, as the aged bull[Pg 428] remained careless on the mountain top, where he happened to find a verdant meadow for his pasture.

9. By her constant habit of loneliness, and the elevation of her soul in her solitude, she became as fresh as the new grown plant, with her blooming face shining as the new blown flower.

10. It happened to pass at one time, that the prince Sikhidhwaja came in sight of the unblamable beauty, and being struck with wonder at seeing her unusual gracefulness of her person, he addressed her saying:—

11. How is it, my dear one, that you are again your youthful bloom like the flowery plant of the vernal season; you appear more brilliant than the lightsome world under the bright beams of full moon.

12. You shine more brightly, my beloved, than one drinking the ambrosia or elixir of life, and as one obtaining the object of her desire, and filled with perfect delight in herself.

13. You seem quite satisfied and lovely with your graceful person, and surpass the bright moon in the beauty of thy body; methinks you are approaching to me as when the Goddess of love or Laxmí draws near her favourite Káma.

14. I see thy mind disdaining all enjoyments and is parsimonious of its pleasures; it is tranquil and cool, and elated with spiritual ardour, and is as deep as it is tranquil in its nature.

15. I see thy mind spurning the three worlds as if they were straws before it, and tasted all their sweets to its full satisfaction; it is above the endless broils of the world, and is quite charming in itself.

16. O fortunate princess, there are no such gratifications in the enjoyment of earthly possessions, which may equal the spiritual joy of thy tranquil mind. The one is as dry as the dryness of the sandy desert, compared with the refreshing water of the milky ocean.

17. Being born with thy tender limbs resembling the tendrils of young plantains, and the soft shoots of lotus stalks,[Pg 429] thou seemest now to have grown strong and stout in thy frame of body and mind. (It is the spirit and spiritual power that strengthens both the body and mind).

18. With the same features and figure of thy body as before, thou hast became as another being, like a plant growing up to a tree, under the influence of the revolving seasons.

19. Tell me, whether thou hast drunk the ambrosial draught of the Gods, or obtained thy sovereignty over an empire; or whether thou hast gained thy immorality by drinking the elixir of life, or by means of thy practice of yoga meditation in either of its forms of Hatha or Rája yoga.

20. Hast thou got a Kingdom or found out the philosopher's stone (which converts everything to gold); hast thou gained aught that is more precious than the three worlds, or that thou hast obtained, O my blue eyed lady! something that is not attainable to mankind.

21. Chúdálá responded:—I have not lost my former form, nor am I changed to a new one to come before thee at present; but am as ever thy fortunate lady and wife. (There is a far fetched meaning of this passage given in the gloss).

22. I have forsaken all that is untrue and unreal, and have laid hold of what is true and real; and it is thus that I remain thy fortunate consort as ever before.

23. I have come to know whatever is something, as also all that which is nothing at all; and how all these nothings come to appearance, and ultimately disappear into nothing, and it is thus that I remain thy fortunate lady as ever.

24. I am as content with my enjoyments as I am without them, as also with those that are long past and gone away; I am never delighted nor irritated at anything whether good or bad, but preserve my equanimity at all events and thus I remain for ever thy fortunate consort.

25. I delight only in one vacuous entity, that has taken possession of my heart, and I take no pleasure in the royal gardens and sports, and thence I am thy fortunate princess as ever.

[Pg 430]

26. I rely constantly in myself (or soul) only, whether when sitting on my seat or walking about in the royal gardens or palaces; I am not fond of enjoyments nor ashamed at their want, and in this manner I continue thy fortunate wife as ever.

27. I think myself as the sovereign of the world, and having no form of my own; thus I am delighted in myself, and appear as thy fortunate and beauteous lady.

28. I am this and not this likewise, I am the reality yet nothing real of any kind; I am the ego and no ego myself, I am the all and nothing in particular, and thus I remain your charming lady.

29. I neither wish for pleasure nor fear any pain, I covet no riches nor hail poverty; I am constant with what I get (knowing my god is the great giver of all), and hence I seem so very gladsome to thee.

30. I disport in the company of my associates, who have governed their passions by the light of knowledge, and by the directions of the sástras, and therefore I seem so very pleasing to thee.

31. I know, my lord, that all that I see by the light of my eyes, or perceive by my senses, or conceive in my mind, to be nothing in reality; I therefore see something within myself, which is beyond the perception of the sensible organs, and the conception of the mind; and this bright vision of the spirit, hath made me appear so very brightsome to thy sight.

[Pg 431]


Display of the Quintuple Elements.

Argument:—Description of the five siddhis or modes of consummation.

VASISHTHA related:—Hearing these words of the beauteous lady, her husband had not the wit to dive into the meaning of what she said, or to understand what she meant by her reliance in the soul, but jestingly told to her.

2. Sikhidhwaja said:—How incongruous is thy speech, and how unbecoming it is to thy age, that being but a girl you speak of great things, go on indulging your regal pleasures and sports as you do in your royal state.

3. Leaving all things you live in the meditation of a nothing (i.e. leaving all formal worship, you adore a formless Deity); and if you have all what is real to sense, how is it possible for you to be so graceful with an unreal nothing? (Nothing is nothing, and can effect nothing).

4. Whoso abandons the enjoyments of life, by saying he can do without them; is like an angry man refraining from his food and rest for a while, and then weakens himself in his hunger and restlessness, and can never retain the gracefulness of his person.

5. He who abstains from pleasures and enjoyments, and subsists upon empty air, is as a ghost devoid of a material form and figure, and lives a bodiless shadow in the sky.

6. He that abandons his food and raiment, his bedstead and sleep, and all things besides; and remains devoutly reclined in one soul only, cannot possibly preserve the calmness of his person. (The yogis are emaciated in their bodies, and never look so fresh and plump as the princess).

7. That I am not the body nor bodiless, that I am nothing yet everything; are words so contradictory, that they bespeak no sane understanding.

[Pg 432]

8. Again the saying, that I do not see what I see, but see something that is quite unseen; is so very inconsistent in itself, that it indicates no sanity of the mind.

9. From these I find thee an ignorant and unsteady lass still, and my frolicsome playmate as before; it is by way of jest that I speak so to you, as you jestingly said these things to me.

10. The prince finished his speech with a loud laughter, and finding it was the noon time of going to bath, he rose up and left the apartment of his lady.

11. At this the princess thought with regret in herself and said, O fie! that the prince has quite misunderstood my meaning, and has not understood what I meant to say by my rest in the spirit, she then turned to her usual duties of the day.

12. Since then the happy princess continued in her silent meditation in her retired seclusion, but passed her time in the company of the prince in the enjoyments of their royal sports and amusements.

13. It came to pass one day, that the self-satisfied princess pondered in her mind, upon the method of flying in the air; and though she was void of every desire in her heart, wished to soar into the sky on an aerial journey.

14. She then retired to a secluded spot, and there continued to contemplate about her aerial journey by abstaining from her food, and shunning the society of her comrades and companions. (During the absence of the prince from home. Gloss).

15. She sat alone in her retirement keeping her body steadily on her seat, and restraining her upheaving breath in the midst of her eye-brows (this is called the Khecharí mudrá or the posture of aerial journey).

16. Ráma asked:—All motions of bodies in this world whether of moving or unmoving things, are seen to take place by means of the action of their bodies and the impulse of their breathing; how is it possible then to rise upwards by restraint of both of them at once?

[Pg 433]

17. Tell me sir; by what exercise of breathing or the force of oscillation, one attempts the power of volitation; and in consequence of which he is enabled to make his aerial journey (as an aeronaut).

18. Tell me how the adept in spirituality or yoga philosophy, succeeds to attend his consummation in this respect, and what processes he resorts to obtain this end of his arduous practice.

19. Vasishtha replied:—There are three ways, Ráma, of attaining the end of one's object, namely; the upádeya or effort for obtaining the object of pursuit; second, heya or disdain or detestation of the thing sought for; and the third is upeksha or indifference to the object of desire. (These technical terms answer the words positive, negative and neutrality in western terminology, all which answer the same end; such as the having, not having of and unconcernedness about a thing, are attended with the same result of rest and content to everybody).

20. The first or attainment of the desirable upádeya, is secured by employing the means for its success, the second heya or detestation hates and slights the thing altogether; and the third or indifference is the intermediate way between the two (in which one is equally pleased with its gain or loss. It is a curious dogma, that the positive, negative and the intermediate tend all to the same end).

21. Whatever is pleasable is sought after by all good people, and anything that is contrary to this (i.e. painful), is avoided by every one; and the intermediate one is neither sought nor shunned by any body. (Pleasure is either immediate or mediate, as also that which keeps or wards off pain at present or in future).

22. But no sooner doth the intelligent, learned devotee, come to the knowledge of his soul and become spiritualized in himself, than all these three states vanished from his sight, and he feels them all the same to him.

23. As he comes to see these worlds full with the presence of God, and his intellect takes its delight in this thought, he[Pg 434] then remains in the midmost state of indifference or loses sight of that also.

24. All wise men remain in the course of neutrality (knowing that an eternal fate overrules all human endeavours), which the ignorant are in eager pursuit of their objects in vain, but the dispassionate and recluse shun every thing (finding the same satisfaction in having of a thing as in its want). Hear me now tell you the ways to consummation.

25. All success is obtained in course of proper time, place, action and its instruments (called the quadruple instrumentalities to success); and this gladdens the hearts of a person, as the vernal season renovates the earth.

26. Among these four, preference is given to actions, because it is of highest importance in the bringing about of consummation. (The place of success siddhi is a holy spot, its time—a happy conjunction of planets and events, action is the intensity of practice, and its instruments are yoga, yantra, tantra, mantra, japa &c.).

27. There are many instruments of aerostation, such as the use of Gutika pills, application of collyrium, the wielding of sword and the like; but all these are attended with many evils, which are prejudicial to holiness.

28. There are some gems and drugs, as also some mantras or mystic syllables, and likewise some charms and formulas prescribed for this purpose; but these being fully explained, will be found prejudicial to holy yoga. (These magical practices and artifices are violations of the rules of righteousness).

29. The mount Meru and Himálaya, and some sacred spots and holy places, are mentioned as the seats of divine inspiration; but a full description of them, will tend to the violation of holy meditation or yoga. (Because all these places are full of false yogis, who practice many fulsome arts for their gain).

30. Therefore hear me now relate unto you, something regarding the practice of restraining the breath, which is attended with its consequence of consummation; and is related with the narrative of Sikhidhwaja, and is the subject of the[Pg 435] present discourse. (Here Vasishtha treats of the efficacy of the regulation of breath towards the attaining of consummation for satisfaction of Ráma, in disregard of false and artificial practices).

31. It is by driving away all desires from the heart, beside the only object in view, and by contracting all the orifices of the body; as also by keeping the stature, the head and neck erect, that one should attend the practices enjoined by the yoga sástra (namely: fixing the sight on the top of the nose and concentrating it between the eye-brows and the like).

32. Moreover it is by the habit of taking pure food and sitting on clean seats, that one should ponder into the deep sense and sayings of the sástras, and continue in the course of good manners and right conduct in the society of the virtues, by refraining from worldliness and all earthly connections.

33. It is also by refraining from anger and avarice, and abstaining from improper food and enjoyments, that one must be accustomed to constrain his breathings in the course of a long time.

34. The wise man that knows the truth, and has his command over his triple breathings of inspiration, expiration and retention (púraka, rechaka and kumbhaka), has all his actions under his control, as a master has all his servants under his complete subjection. (because breath is life, and the life has command over all the bodily actions, as well as mental operations of a person).

35. Know Ráma, that all the well being of a man being under the command of his vital breath; it is equally possible for every one, both to gain his sovereignty on earth, as also to secure his liberation for the future by means of his breath. (So says the proverb, "as long as there is breath, there every hope with it" [Sanskrit: yábat shusah tábat áshah] So in Hindi:—jan hai to Jehan hai i.e. the life is all in all &c. So it is said in regard to the kumbhaka or retentive breath, "repress your breath and you repress all," because every action is done by the repression of the breath).

[Pg 436]

36. The breath circulates through the inner lung of the breast, which encircles the entrails (antra) of the whole inner frame; it supplies all the arteries with life, and is joined to by all the intestines in the body as if they to that common channel.

37. There is the curved artery resembling the disc at the top of lute, and the eddy of waters in the sea; it likens the curved half of the letter Om, and is situated as a cypher or circlet in the base or lower most gland. (It is called the kundaliní or kula kundaliní nárhí in the original).

38. It is deep seated at the base of the bodies of the Gods and demi Gods, of men and beasts, of fishes and fowls, of insects and worms, and of all aquatic molluscs and animals at large.

39. It continues curved and curbed in the form of a folded snake in winter, until it unfolds its twisted form under the summer heat (or the intestinal heat of its hunger Jatharágní), and lifts its hood likening the disk of the moon. (The moon in the yoga sástra, means the loti-form gland under the upper most crown of the head).

40. It extends from the lower base, and passing through the cavity of the heart, touches the holes between the eye brows; and remains in its continued vibration by the wind of the breath.

41. In the midst of that curvilineal artery (kundaliní nárhí), there dwells a mighty power like the pith within the soft cell of the plantain tree, which is continually vibrating, like thrilling wires of the Indian lute (or as the pendulum of a machine).

42. This is called the curvilineal artery (kundaliní) on account of its curviform shape, and the power residing in it is that prime mobile force, which sets to motion all the parts and powers of the animal body.

43. It is incessantly breathing like hissing of an infuriate snake and with its open mouths, it keeps continually blowing upwards, in order to give force to all the organs.

44. When the vital breath enters into the heart, and is drawn in by the curved Kundaliní; it then produces the consciousness of the mind, which is the ground of the seeds of all its faculties.

[Pg 437]

45. As the Kundaliní thrills in the body, in the manner of a bee fluttering over a flower; so doth our consciousness throb in the mind, and has the perception of the nice and delicate sensations. (Such as the lungs and arteries receive the crude food and drink; so doth our consciousness perceive their various tastes and flavour).

46. The Kundaliní artery stirs as quickly to grasp its gross objects, as our consciousness is roused at the perception of the object of the finer senses of sight &c. These come in contact with one another, as an instrument lays hold of some material.

47. All the veins in the body are connected with this grand artery, and flow together like so many cellular vessels into the cavity of the heart, where they rise and fall like rivers in the sea. (It shows the concentration of blood in the heart by all the veins and arteries, and its distribution to them in perpetual succession, to have been long known to the sages of India, before its discovery by Harvey in Europe).

48. From the continued rise and fall (or heaving and sinking) of this artery, it is said to be the common root or source of all the sensations and perceptions in the consciousness. (It rises and falls with the inhaling and exhaling breaths up to the pericranium and thence down to the fundament).

49. Ráma regained:—How is it sir, that our consciousness coming from the infinite intellect at all times and places, is confined like a minute particle of matter, in the cellular vessel of the curved Kundaliní artery, and there it rises and falls by turns.

50. Vasishtha replied:—It is true, O sinless Ráma, that consciousness is the property of the infinite intellect, and is always present in all places and things with the all pervading intellect; yet it is sometimes compressed in the form of a minute atom of matter in material and finite bodies.

51. The consciousness of the infinite intellect, is of course as infinite as infinity itself; but being confined in corporeal bodies, it is fused as a fluid to diffuse over a small space. So the sunshine that lightens the universe, appears to flush over a wall or any circumscribed place. (Such as human consciousness, which is but a flush of the Divine omniscience).

[Pg 438]

52. In some bodies it is altogether lost, as in mineral substances which are unconscious of their own existence; and in others it is fully developed, as in the Gods and human species; while in some it is imperfectly developed, as in the vegetable creation, and in others it appears in its perverted form, as in the inferior animals. So everything is found to have its consciousness in some form or other.

53. Hear me moreover to explain you, the manner in which consciousness (or other), appears in its various forms and degrees, in the different bodies of animated beings.

54. As all cavities and empty spaces are comprised under the term air, so are all intelligent as well as unintelligent beings comprehended under the general category of the one ever existent intellect, which pervades all things in the manner of vacuum. (Here is another proof of the vacuistic theory of the theosophy of Vasishtha).

55. The same undecaying and unchanging entity of the intellect, is situated some where in the manner of pure consciousness, and elsewhere in the form of the subtile form of the quintuple elements. (i.e. As the simple soul and the gross body or the mundane soul. So says Pope: Whose body nature is, and God the soul).

56. This quintuple element of consciousness is reduplicate into many other quintuples, as a great many lamps are lighted from one lamp; these are the five vital airs, the mind and its five fold faculties of the understanding; the five internal and the five external senses and their five fold organs, together with the five elementary bodies; and all having the principles of their growth, rise and decay, as also their states of waking, dreaming and sleeping ingrained in them.

57. All these quintuples abide in the different bodies of the Gods and mortals, according to their respective natures and inclinations (which are the causes of their past and present and future lives in different forms).

58. Some taking the forms of places, and others of the things situated in them; while some take the forms of minerals, and others of the animals dwelling on earth.

[Pg 439]

59. Thus is this world the production of the action of the said quintuples, having the principle of intellectual consciousness, presiding over the whole and every part of it.

60. It is the union of these quintuples in gross bodies, that gives them their intelligence; hence we see the mobility of some dull material bodies, as also the immobility of others (as of mineral and vegetable creations).

61. As the wave of the sea is seen to roll in one place, and to be dull and at a lull in another; so is this intellectual power in full force in some bodies, and quite quiescent in others.

62. As the sea is calm and still in one place, and quite boisterous in another; so is the quintuple body either in motion or at rest in different places. (Hence rest and motion are properties of gross bodies and not of the intellectual soul, which is ever quiescent).

63. The quintuple body is mobile by means of the vital airs, and the vital life (jíva) is intelligent by cause of its intelligence; the rocks are devoid of both, but the trees have their sensibility by reason of their being moved by the breath of winds; and such is the nature of the triple creation of animals, minerals and vegetables.

64. Different words are used to denote the different natures of things (or else the same word is used for things of the same kind); thus fire is the general name for heat, and frost is that of coldness in general.

65. (Or if it is not the difference in the disposition of the quintuple elements in bodies, that causes the difference in their natures and names). It is the difference in the desires of the mind, which by being matured in time, dispose the quintuple elements in the forms of their liking.

66. The various desires of the mind, that run in their divers directions, are capable of being collected together by the sapient, and employed in the way of their best advantage and well being.

67. The desires of men tending either to their good or evil, are capable of being roused or suppressed, and employed[Pg 440] to their purposes by turns. (The changeful desires always run in their several courses).

68. Man must direct his desires to that way, which promises him the objects of his desires; or else it will be as fruitless, as his throwing the dust at the face of the sky.

69. The great mountains are but heaps of the pentuples, hanging on the tender and slender blade of consciousness, and these moving and unmoving bodies, appear as worms on the tree of knowledge (i.e. before the intelligent mind).

70. There are some beings with their desires lying dormant in them, as the unmoving vegetable and mineral productions of the earth; while there are others with their ever wakeful desires, as the deities, daityas and men.

71. Some are cloyed with their desires, as the worms and insects in the dirt; and others are devoid of their desires as the emancipate yogis, and the heirs of salvation.

72. Now every man is conscious in himself of his having the mind and understanding, and being joined with his hands, feet and other members of his body, formed by the assemblage of the quintuple materials.

73. The inferior animals have other senses, with other members of their bodies; and so the immoveables also have some kind of sensibility, with other sorts of their organs. (The members of brute bodies are, the four feet, horns and tails of quadrupeds; the birds are biped and have their feathers, bills and their tails also; the snakes have their hoods and tails; the worms have their teeth, and the insects their stings &c. And all these they have agreeably to the peculiar desire of their particular natures. Gloss).

74. Thus my good Ráma! do these quintuple elements, display themselves in these different forms in the beginning, middle and end of all sensible and insensible and moving and unmoving beings.

75. The slightest desire of any of these, be it as minute as an atom, becomes the seed of aerial trees producing the fruits of future births in the forms of the desired objects. (Every one's desire is the root of his future fate).

[Pg 441]

76. The organs of sense are the flowers of this tree (of the body), and the sensations of their objects are as the fragrance of those flowers, our wishes are as the bees fluttering about the pistils and filaments of our fickle efforts and exertions.

77. The clear heavens are the hairy tufts, resting on the stalks of the lofty mountains; its leaves are the cerulean clouds of the sky, and the ten sides of the firmament, are as the straggling creepers stretching all about it.

78. All beings now in being, and those coming into existence in future, are innumerable in their number, and are as the fruits of this tree, growing and blooming and falling off by turns.

79. The five seeds of these trees, grow and perish of their own nature and spontaneity, also perish of themselves in their proper time.

80. They become many from their sameness, and come to exhaust their powers after long inertness; and then subside to rest of their own accord like the heaving waves of the ocean.

81. On one side, there swelling as huge surges, and on the other sinking low below the deep, excited by the heat of the dullness on the one hand, and hushed by the coolness of reason on the other (like the puffing and bursting of the waves in the sea).

82. These multitudes of bodies, that are the toys or play things of the quintuple essences, are destined to remain and rove for ever in this world, unless they come under the dominion of reason, and are freed from further transmigration.

[Pg 442]


Inquiry into Agni, Soma or fire and moon

Argument:—Investigation into the Kundaliní artery, as the source of consummation.

VASISHTHA continued:—The seeds of these pentuples are contained in the inside of the great artery, and are expanding every moment by the vibration of the vital breath in the beings.

2. The vibration of the Kundaliní being stopped, it roused the intellect by its touch, and the rising of the intellect is attended with rising of the intellectual powers as follows.

3. This intellect is the living principle from its vitality, and the mind from its mental powers; it is the volitive principle from its volition, and is called the understanding, from its understanding of all things.

4. It becomes egoism with its octuple properties called the puryashtakas, and remains as the principle of vitality in the body in the form of the Kundaliní artery. (The gloss gives no explanation of the psychological truths).

5. The intellect abides in Kundaliní entrails in the form of triple winds. Being deposited in the bowels and passing downwards, it takes the name of the apána wind; moving about the abdomen it is called the samána wind; and when seated in the chest it rises upwards, it is known by the name of the udána wind.

6. The apána wind passing downward evacuates the bowels, but the samána wind of the abdominal part serves to sustain the body; and the udána rising upward and being let out, inflates and invigorates the frame.

7. If after all your efforts, you are unable to repress the passing off of the downward wind; then the person is sure to meet his death, by the forcible and irrepressible egress of the apána wind (this irrepressible egress is called abishtambhá). (The[Pg 443] translator regrets for his inability to give the English terminology of these psychological words in the original).

8. And when one with all his attempts, is unable to suppress his rising breath of life; but it forces of his mouth or nostrils, it is sure to be followed by his expiration.

9. If one by his continual attention, can succeed to repress the outward and inward egress of his vital breath, and preserve calm quiet of his disposition, he is sure to have his longevity accompanied with his freedom from all diseases.

10. Know that the decomposure of the smaller arteries, is attended with distempers of the body, but the disturbance of the greater arteries is followed by serious consequences. (There are a hundred great arteries, attached to the main conduit of Kundaliní, besides hundreds of small veins and nerves diverging from them throughout the body. The yogi has the power of stopping the current of his breath and blood into these by his restraint of respiration—pránáyáma).

11. Ráma said:—Tell me, O holy sage! how our health and sickness connected with the organs and arteries of the body (rather than with the blood and humours circulating through them).

12. Vasishtha replied:—Know Ráma, that uneasiness and sickness, are both of them the causes of pain to the body; their healing by medicine is their remedy, which is attended with our pleasure; but the killing of them at once by our liberation (from the sensations of pain and pleasure), is what conduces to our true felicity. (Because both health and sickness are attended with but short lived pleasure and pain, and cannot give us the lasting felicity to our souls).

13. Some times the body is subject both to uneasiness and sickness also, as the causes of one another; sometimes they are both alleviated to give us pleasure, and at others they come upon us by turns to cause our pain only.

14. It is ailing of the body, that we call our sickness, and it is the trouble of the mind that we term our uneasiness. Both of them take their rise from our inordinate desires, and it is our ignorance only of the nature of things, that is the[Pg 444] source of both. (Our intemperance and covetousness, which are dispelled by our right knowledge).

15. Without the knowledge of the natures and virtues of things, and the want of the government of our desires and appetites, that the heart string loses its tenuity and even course; and is swollen and hurried on by the impulse of passions and inordinate desires.

16. The exultation at having obtained something, and ardour for having more; equally boil the blood of the heart, and shroud the mind under a shadow of infatuation, as an impervious cloud in the rainy weather.

17. The ever increasing greediness of the mind, and the subjection of the intellect under the dominion of foolhardiness, drives men to distant countries in search of a livelihood. (One's natal land is enough to supply him with a simple living).

18. Again the working at improper seasons (as at night and in rain and heat), and the doing of improper actions; the company of infamous men, and aptitude to wicked habits and practices.

19. The weakness and fulness of the intestines caused by sparing food on the one hand, and its excess on the other, cause the derangement of the humours and the disorder of the constitution.

20. It is by cause of this disordered state of the body, that a great many diseases grow in it, both by reason of the deficit as well as the excess of its humours; as a river becomes foul both in its fulness and low water in the rain and summer heat.

21. As the good or bad proclivities of men, are the results of their actions of prior and present births, so the anxieties and diseases of the present state, are the effects of the good and bad deeds both of this life as also those of the past.

22. I have told you Ráma, about the growth of the diseases and anxieties in the quintessential bodies of men; now hear me tell you the mode of extirpating them from the human constitution.

[Pg 445]

23. There are two sorts of diseases here common to human nature, namely—the ordinary ones and the essential; the ordinary ones are the occurrences of daily life, and the essential is what is inborn in our nature. (The ordinary cares for supplying our natural wants are of the first sort, and the inbred errors and affections of the mind are of other kind).

24. The ordinary anxieties are removed by the attainments of the objects in want; and the diseases growing out of them, are also removed by the removal of our anxious cares.

25. But the essential infirmities of one's dispositions, being bred in the blood and bone, cannot be removed from the body, without the knowledge of the soul; as the error of the snake in the rope, is removed only by examination of the rope. (So the affection will be found to rise in the mind and not rooted in the soul).

26. The erroneous affections of the mind, being known as the source of the rise of all our anxious cares and maladies; it is enough to put a stop to this main spring in order to prevent their outlets, so the stream that breaks its banks in the rains, carries away the arbours that grew by it in its rapid course. (The fissures of stopping the source, and breaking out of the course, are quite opposed to one another).

27. The non-essential or extrinsical diseases that are derived from without, are capable of being removed by the application of drugs, the spell of mantras and propitiating as well as obviating charms; as also by medicaments and treatments, according to the prescriptions of medical science and the practice of medical men.

28. You will know Ráma, the efficacy of baths and bathing in holy rivers, and are acquainted with the expiatory mantras and prescriptions of experienced practitioners; and as you have learnt the medical Sástras, I have nothing further to direct you in this matter.

29. Ráma rejoined:—But tell me sir, how the intrinsic causes produce the external diseases; and how are they removed by other remedies than those of medicinal drugs, as the muttering[Pg 446] of mantra incantations and observance of pious acts and ceremonies.

30. Vasishtha replied:—The mind being disturbed by anxieties the body is disordered also in its functions, as the man that is overtaken by anger, loses the sight of whatever is present before his eyes.

31. He loses sight of the broad way before him, and takes a devious course of his own; and like a stag pierced with arrows, flies from the beaten path and enters himself amidst the thickest.

32. The spirit being troubled, the vital spirits are disturbed and breathe out by fits and snatches; as the waters of a river being disturbed by a body of elephants, rise above its channel and over flow the banks. (Violent passions raging in the breast burst out of and break down their bounds).

33. The vital airs breathing irregularly, derange the lungs and nerves and all the veins and arteries of the body; as the misrule in the government, puts the laws of the realm into disorder.

34. The breathings being irregular, unsettles the whole body; by making the blood vessels quite empty and dry in some parts, and full and stout in others, resembling the empty and full flowing channels of rivers.

35. The want of free breathing is attended both with indigestion and bad digestion of the food, and also evaporation of the chyle and blood that it produces; and these defects in digestion, bring forth a great many maladies in the system.

36. The vital breaths carry the essence of the food we take to the inferior organs, as the currents of a river carry the floating woods down the stream.

37. The crude matter which remains in the intestines, for want of its assimilation into blood, and circulation in the frame by restraint of breathing; turn at the end to be sources of multifarious maladies in the constitution.

38. Thus it is that the perturbed states of the mind and spirit, produce the diseases of the body, and are avoided and removed[Pg 447] by want of mental anxiety. Now hear me tell you, how the mantra-exorcism serve to drive away the diseases of the body.

39. As the karitakí fruit (chebule myrobalan) is purgative of its own nature, and purges out the crudities from the bodies; so the headwork into the mysterious meaning of the mantras, removes the crude diseases from the frame. (Such are the mystic letters ya, ra, la, va, in the liquids y, r, l, v), signifying the four elements of earth, water, air and fire; curative of many diseases by reflection on their hidden meaning.

40. I have told you Ráma, that pious acts, holy service, virtuous deeds and religious observances, serve also to drive the diseases from the body; by their purifying the mind from its impurities, as the gold is depurated by the touch stone.

41. The purity of the mind produces a delight in the body; as the rising of the full moon, spreads the gentle moonbeams on earth. (Every good act is attended with a rapture, recompenses the deed; or as the maxim goes "virtue has its own reward").

42. The vital airs breathe freely from the purity of the mind, and these tending to help the culinary process in the stomach, produce the nutrition of the body, and destroy the germ of its diseases. (The germs of growth and decay and of life and death, are both connate in the nature of all living beings; and the increase of the one, is the cause of the decrease of the other).

43. I have thus far related to you, Ráma! concerning the causes of the rise and fall of the diseases and distempers of the living body, in connection with the subject of the main artery of Kundaliní; now hear me relate to you regarding the main point of one's attainment of consummation or siddhi by mean of his yoga practice.

44. Now know the life of the puryashtaka or octuple human body, to be confined in the Kundaliní artery, as the fragrance of the flower is contained in its inner filament.

45. It is when one fills the channel of this great artery with his inhaling breath, and shuts it at its mouth (called the Kurma opening), and becomes as sedate as a stone; he is then said to[Pg 448] have attained his rock like fixity and firmness, and his siddhi or consummation of garima or inflation.

46. Again when the body is thus filled with the inflated air, and the wind confined in the Kundaliní artery, is carried upwards by the vital breath (of respiration), from the base or fundamental tube at the bottom, to the cell of the cranium in the head, it touches the consciousness seated in the brain, and drives away the fatigue of the process. (This is called the ascent of the vital air in its heavenward journey).

47. Thence the wind rises upward as smoke into the air, carrying with it the powers of all the arteries attached to it like creepers clinging to a tree; and then stands as erect as a stick, with its head lifted upwards like the hood of a snake. (The art of mounting in the air, is as the act of jumping and leaping into it).

48. Then this uprising force carries the whole body, filled with wind from its top to toe into the upper sky; as an aerosol floats upon the water, or as air balloon rises in the air. (The early Hindus are thus recorded to have made their aerial journeys by force of the inflated air, instead of the compressed gas smoke of modern discovery).

49. It is thus that the yogis make their aerial excursions, by means of the compression of air in the wind pipes in their bodies; and are as happy (in their descrying the scattered worlds all about), as poor people feel themselves at having the dignity of the king of Gods. (Indra).

50. When the force of the exhaling breath (rechaka prabáha) of the cranial tube, constrains the power of the Kundaliní, to stand at the distance of twelve inches in the out side of the upper valve between eye-brows.

51. And as the same exhaling makes it remain there for a moment by preventing its entering into any other passage, it is at that instant that one comes to see the supernatural beings before his sight. (It is said in phrenology, that fixed attention, farsightedness and supernatural vision, are seated between the eye-brows).

[Pg 449]

52. Ráma said:—Tell me sir, how we may be able to see the supernatural siddhas, without feeling them by the rays and light of our eye sight, and without having any supernatural organ of perception of our own.

53. Vasishtha replied:—It is true, Ráma, as you say, that the aerial spirit of siddhas, are invisible to earthly mortals with the imperfect organs of their bodies, and without the aid of supernatural organs.

54. It is by means of the clairvoyance obtained by the practice of yoga, that the aerial and beneficent siddhas became visible to us like the appearances in our dreams.

55. The sight of the siddhas is like that of persons in our dream, with this difference only, that the sight of a siddha is fraught with many real benefits and blessings accruing thereby unto the beholder.

56. It is by the practice of posting the exhaled breath, at the distance of twelve inches on the outside of the mouth, that it may be made to enter into the body of another person. (This is the practice of imparting one's spirit into the body of another person, and of enlivening and raising the dead).

57. Ráma said:—But tell me sir, how you maintain the immutability of nature (when everything is seen to be in the course of its incessant change at all times). I know you will not be displeased at this interruption to your discourse, because good preachers are kindly disposed, to solve even the intricate of their hearers.

58. Vasishtha replied:—It is certain that the power known as nature, is manifest in the volition of the spirit, in its acts of the creation and preservation of the world. (Here nature is identified with eternal will of God).

59. Nature being nothing in reality, but the states and powers of things; and these are seen some times to differ from one another, as the autumnal fruits are found to grow in the spring at Assam (these varieties also called their nature).

60. Vasishtha replied:—All this universe is one Brahma or the immensity of God, and all its variety is the unity of the[Pg 450] same. (i.e. the various modalities of the unvaried one); these different existences and appearances, are only our verbal distinctions for ordinary purposes, and proceeding from our ignorance of the true nature of Brahmá. We know not why these words concerning divine nature, which are irrelevant to the main subject, are introduced in this place.

61. Ráma rejoined:—Tell me sir, how our bodies are thinned as well as thickened, in order to enter into very narrow passages as also to feel and occupy large spaces (by means of the anima and garima yogas, of minimizing the body to an atomic spright and of magnifying it to a stalwart giant).

62. Vasishtha replied:—As the attrition of the wood and saw, causes a split in the midst; and as the friction of two things (as of a flint and stone) produces a fire between them, in the same manner doth the confrication of the inhaling and exhaling breath, divide the two prána and apána gases, and produce the jatharágni in the abdomen. (The prána air is explained elsewhere as passing from the heart through the mouth and nostrils, and the apána as that which passes from the region of the navel to the great toe. The jatharágni is rendered some where as gastric fire).

63. There is a muscle in the abdominal part of these ugly machine of the internal body, which extends as a pair of bellows both above and below the navel, with their mouths joined together and shaking to and fro like a willow moved by the water and air.

64. It is under this bladder that the kundaliní artery rest in her quiescent state; and ties as a string of pears in a casket of the yellow padmariya james. (This place under the navel is called the múládhára, whence the aorta strength upwards and downwards).

65. Here the kundaliní string turns and twirls round like a string beads counted about the finger; and coils also with its reflected head and a hissing sound like the hood of a snake stricken by a stick (it requires too much anatomy to show these operations of the arteries).

66. It thrills in the string of the lotus like heart, as a bee flutters over the honey cup of the lotus flower; and it kindles our knowledge in the body like the luminous sun amidst the[Pg 451] earth and sky. (It gives action to the heart string, which arises its cognitive faculties).

67. It is then that the action of the heart, moves all the blood vessels in the body to their several functions; as the breeze of the outer air, shakes the leaves of trees.

68. As the high winds rage in the sky and break down the weaker leaves of the branches of trees, so do the vital airs coil in the body and crush the soft food, that has been taken in the stomach.

69. As the winds of the air batter the lotus leaves, and at last dissolve them into the native element; so the internal winds break down the food like the leaves of trees, and convert the food ingested in the stomach into chyle, blood, flesh, skin, fat, marrow and bones one after another.

70. The internal airs clash against one another the produce of the gastric fire, as the bamboos in the wood produce the living fire by their friction.

71. The body which is naturally cold and cold-blooded, becomes heated in all its parts by this internal heat, as every part of the world becomes warmed by the warmth of the sun.

72. This internal fire which pervades throughout the frame and flutters like golden bees over the loti-form heart, is meditated upon as twinkling stars in the minds of the ascetic yogis.

73. Reflections of these lights are attended with the full blaze of intellectual light, whereby the meditative yogi sees in his heart objects, which are situated at the distance of millions of miles from him. (This is called the consummation of clairvoyance or divyadrishti).

74. This culinary fire being continually fed by the fuel of food, continues to burn in the lake of the lotus-like muscle of the heart, as the submarine fire burns latent in the waters of the seas.

75. But the clear and cold light which is the soul of the body, bears the name of the serene moon; and because it is the product of the other fire of the body, thence called the sumágni or the residence of the moon and fire (its two presiding divinities).

[Pg 452]

76. All hotter lights in the world are known by the names of suns (as the planetary and cometary bodies); and all colder lights are designated as moons (as the stars and satellites) and as these two lights cherish the world, it is named as the suryágni and somágni also.

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 &c., and the latter as the darkness of night, and the coldness of frost &c.).

79. Ráma said:—I well understand that the product of the air of breath &c. (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).

[Pg 453]

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 preteriteness 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: samaváyo] and [Sanskrit: amasáváyo 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[Pg 454] 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: mauna 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).

[Pg 455]

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 bespeaks of the creation of the solar orb prior to the formation of the satellite of the earth).

[Pg 456]

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 enlighten 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,[Pg 457] as the reflexion of the sunshine 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 Agni's 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.

[Pg 458]


Yoga instructions for Acquirement of the supernatural Powers of Anima-Minuteness &c.

Argument:—Means of acquiring the Quadruple Capacities of Anima minima, Mahima-maxima, Laghima-lightness and Garima-heaviness, together with the power of entering into the bodies of others.

VASISHTHA continued:—Hear me now tell you, how the bodies of yogis are capable of expansion and contraction at will; as to be multum in parvo; and parvum in multo.

2. There is above the lotus-like diaphragm of the heart, a blazing fire emitting its sparks, like gold coloured butterflies flirting about it, and flaring as flashes of lightning in the evening clouds. (This is the jatharágni or culinary fire).

3. It is fanned and roused by the enkindling animal spirit, which blows over it as with the breath of the wind; it pervades the whole body without burning it, and shines as brightly as the sun in the form of our consciousness.

4. Being then kindled into a blaze in an instant, like the early raise of the rising sun gleaming upon the morning clouds; it melts down the whole body (to its toes and nails), as the burning furnace dissolves the gold in the crucible. (It is impossible to make out anything of this allegory).

5. Being unextinguishable by water, it burns the whole outer body down to the feet; and then it coils inside the body, and remains in the form of the mind in the ativáhika or spiritual body of man. (It is hard to find out the hidden sense of this passage also).

6. Having then reduced the inner body likewise, it becomes lifeless of itself; and becomes extinct as the frost at the blowing of winds (or blast of a tempest).

7. The force of the Kundaliní or intestinal canal, being put out to the fundamental artery of the rectum; remains in the vacuity of the spiritual body, like a shadow of the smoke of fire.

[Pg 459]

8. This smoky shade parades over the heart like a swarthy maiden, and encloses in her bosom the subtile body composed of its mind and understanding, the living principle and its egoism.

9. It has the power to enter into the porous fibres of lotuses to penetrate the rocks, to stretch over the grass, to pop into houses and stones, to pry in the sky and ply in the ground, and remain and move about everywhere in the manner it likes of its own will. (This power is called sakti or energy which is omnipotent).

10. This power produces consciousness and sensibility, by the sap and serum which it supplies to the whole body; and is itself filled with juice, like a leather bag that is dipped into a well or water.

11. This great artery of Kundaliní being filled with gastric juice, forms the body in any shape it likes; as an artist draws the lines of a picture in any form, as it is pictured in his mind. (Hence it depends on the gastric artery to extend and sketch out the body according to its own plan).

12. It supplies the embryonic seed placed in the foetus of the mother, with the power of its evolution into the fleshy and bony parts of its future body; as the tender sprout of the vegetative seed, waxes in time to a hard woody tree. (The act of evolution is attributed in the text to the triple causality of the physical nutrition in the stomach, the metaphysical cause of the intensity of thought in the growing mind, and the psychological tendency of the soul, produced from the fourth and prime cause of its prior propensity, which is inbred in grain and essential nature of every being, the intense thought is called [Sanskrit: hridaya bhávná]).

13. Know Ráma, this certain truth which is acknowledged by the wise, that the living principles acquire its desired state and stature, be it that of a mountain or bit of straw. (This passage supports the free agency of man to go in either way in opposition to the doctrine of blind fatalism, and the arbitrary power of the Divine will).

[Pg 460]

14. You have heard, O Ráma! of certain powers as of diminishing and increasing the bulk and stature of the body, attainable by the practice of yoga; you will now hear me give you an interesting lecture, regarding the attainment of these capacities by means of knowledge or jnána. (This is the theory or theoretical part of the practice or practical art of yoga).

15. Know for certain that there is but only one intelligent principle of the Intellect, which is inscrutable, pure and most charming; which is minuter than the minutest, perfectly tranquil and is nothing of the mundane world or any of its actions or properties.

16. The same chit—intellect being collected in itself into an individuality (by its power of chayana integration) from the undivided whole, and assuming the power of will or volition—sankalpa itself, becomes the living soul by transformation of its pure nature to an impure one. (This power of integration is said to be a fallacy adhyása or misconception—adhyáropa of human mind, which attributes a certain quality to a thing by mistake or áropa as [Sanskrit: paratra parábabhásah]: or mistaking a thing for another e. g. [Sanskrit: shuktau ratrátávadábhásah]: i.e. taking the shell for silver from its outward appearance.)

17. The will is a fallacy, and the body is a mistake; (because there is no mutation of volition or personality of the infinite intellect); and the ignorant alone distinguish the living soul from the universal spirit, as the ignorant boy sees the demon in a shadow. (All these are false attributes of the true one).

18. When the lamp of knowledge brings the mind to the full light of truth, then the error of volition is removed from the living soul, as the cloud of the rainy weather are dissipated in Autumn.

19. The body has its rest, after the wishes have subsided in the mind; just as the lamp is extinguished after its oil is exhausted. (Mental anxieties cause the restlessness of the body).

20. The soul that sees the truth, has no more the knowledge of his body; as the man awakened from his sleep, has no longer the apparitions of his dream appearing before him.

[Pg 461]

21. It is the mistaking of the unreal for the real or what is the same, the ascribing of reality to the unreality that gives the colour of reality to false material bodies; but the knowledge of the truth removes the error of the corporal body, and restore the soul to its wonted splendour and true felicity.

22. But the error of taking the material body for the immaterial soul, is so deep rooted in the mind; that it is as difficult to remove, as it is for the strongest sun beams to perceive the mental gloom of men.

23. This impervious darkness of the mind, is only to be perceived by the sun-shine of knowledge; that our soul is the seat of immaculate and all pervading spirit of God, and that I myself am no other than the pure intellect which is in me. (The anal Huq of Mansur).

24. Those that have known the supreme soul meditate on it in this manner in their own souls, until they find themselves to be assimilated to the same by their extensive thought of it. (Here we have the curious doctrine of strong thought drirha-bhávaná of Vasishtha again which inculcates the possibility of one's being whatever he strongly thinks himself to be. It is allied to the doctrine of the strength of belief—faith and bhakti of others).

25. It is hence, O Ráma! that some men convert the deadly poison to sweet ambrosial food, and change the delicious nectar to bitter gall. (Thus Siva the God and yogi converts the snake poison to his food and the sweets offered to his topmost mouth to the bitterest bane).

26. So whatever is thought upon with intensity in any manner and on any occasion, the same comes to take place as it is seen in many instances.

27. The body when seen in the light of a reality, is found to be a real existence; but being looked upon as an unreality, it vanishes into nothing (or it mixes in the vacuity of Brahma).

28. You have thus heard from me, o righteous Ráma! the theoretical mode (jnána-yukti) of attaining the capacities of magnifying and minimizing one's person at will; I will now[Pg 462] tell you of another method of gaining these powers, to which you shall have now to attend.

29. You can practice by exhalation of your rechaka breath, to extract your vital power (life) from the cell of your Kundaliní artery, and infuse it into another body; as the winds of the air, carry the fragrance of flowers into the nostrils. (This is the mode of ones forsaking its own body in order to enliven another).

30. The former body is left lifeless like a log of wood or block of stone, and such is the relation between the body and life; as that of a bucket and its water, which is powered out to enliven the plants.

31. Thus is the life infused in all movable and immovable things, in order to enjoy the pleasures of their particular states at its pleasure.

32. The living soul having relished the bliss of its consummate state, returns to its former body if it is still in existence, or it goes and settles some where else, as it may best suit its taste.

33. The yogis thus pass into all bodies and live with their conscious souls, and fill the world also by magnifying their spirits over all space.

34. The yogi who is lord of himself by his enlightened understanding, and his knowledge of all things beside their accompanying evils; obtains in an instant whatever he wants to have, and which is present before the effulgence of divine light (anávarana Brahma jyoti).

[Pg 463]


Story of the miserly Kiráta.

Argument:—Perfection of Chúdálá and the imbecility of the Prince; efficacy of instruction and its elucidation in the tale of niggardly Kiráta.

VASISHTHA continued:—Thus the royal dame was possest of the qualities of contracting and expanding herself to any form, and became so expert in these by their continued practice of them;

2. That she made her aerial journey and navigated at pleasure over the expanse of waters; she moved on the surface of the earth, as the river Ganges glides on in her silent course.

3. She dwelt in the bosom of her lord, as the goddess of prosperity abides in the heart of Hari, and travelled in a moment with her mind over every city and country over the earth.

4. This fairy lady fled in the air, and flashed like the lightning with the flashes of her twinkling eyes; she passed as a shadow over the earth, as a body of clouds passes over a range of mountains.

5. She passed without any hazard through the grass and wood, stones and clods of earth, and through fire and water and air and vacuum, as a thread passes through hole of a heart. (Milton says:—That with no middle flight, to the heaven of heavens I have presented through an earthly quest).

6. She lightly skimmed over the mountain peaks, and pryed through the regions of the regents of all the sides of heaven; she penetrated into the cavities of the empty womb of vacuity, and have a pleasant trip whatever she directed in her flight. (All this is brain action and no reality at all).

7. She conversed freely with all living beings, whether they move or prone on the ground as the beast of earth, or crawl upon it as the snakes and insects. She talked with the savage Pisácha tribes and communicated with men and the immortal[Pg 464] Gods and demi-gods also. (The clever princess like the far-seeing seer saw every thing with her mind's eye, and held her converse (vyavahára) with all).

8. She tried much to communicate her knowledge to her ignorant husband, but he was no way capable of receiving her spiritual instruction. (Átmajnána means also her intuitive or self taught knowledge).

9. He understood her as no other than his young princess and the mistress of his house, and skilled only in the arts of coquetry and house wifery (and quite ignorant of higher things because the ladies of India were barred from spiritual knowledge).

10. Until this time the prince had been ignorant of the qualifications of the princess Chúdálá, and knew not that she had made her progress in the spiritual science, as a young student makes his proficiency in the different branches of learning.

11. She also was as reserved to show her consummate learning to her unenlightened husband; as a Brahman declines to show his secret rites to a vile sudra.

12. Ráma said:—If it was impossible, sir, for the seeress of consummate wisdom to communicate her knowledge to her husband Sikhidhwaja, with all her endeavours to enlighten him on the subject; how can it be possible for others, to be conversant in spiritual knowledge in any other means.

13. Vasishtha answered:—Ráma, it is obedience to the rule of attending to the precepts of the preceptor, joined with the intelligence of the pupil, which is the only means of gaining instruction.

14. The hearing of sermon nor the observance of any religious rite, is of any efficacy towards the knowledge of the soul; unless one will employ his own soul, to have the light of the supreme soul shine upon it. It is the spirit alone that can know the spirit, as it is the serpent only that can trace out the path of another serpent.

15. Ráma rejoined:—If such is the course of the world, that we can learn nothing without the instruction of our preceptors;[Pg 465] then tell me, O sage! how the precepts of the wise lead to our spiritual knowledge also.

16. Vasishtha replied:—Hear me Ráma, relate to you a tale to this effect. There lived an old Kiráta of yore, who was miserly in his conduct as he was rich in his possessions of wealth and grains. He dwelt with his family by the side of the Vindhyan woods, as a poor Brahman lives apart from his kith and kin.

17. He happened to pass by his native forest at one time, and slip a single couri from his purse, which fell in a grassy furze and was lost under the grass.

18. He ran on every side, and beat at the bush for three days to find out his lost couri, and impelled by his niggardliness to leave no fallen leaf unturned over the ground.

19. As he searched and turned about, he ran and turned it ever in his mind, saying:—Ah! this single couri would make four by its commerce, and that would bring me eight in time, and this would make a hundred and a thousand, and more and more by repetition, so I have lost a treasure in this.

20. Thus he counted over and over, over the gains he would gain, and sighed as often at the loss he did sustain; and took into no account of the rustic peasantry on his foolish penury.

21. At the end of the third day he came across a rich jewel, as brilliant as the bright moon in the same forest; which compensated for the loss of his paltry couri by a thousand fold.

22. He returned gladly with his great gain to his homely dwelling, and was highly delighted with the thought of keeping off poverty for ever from his door. (The word Kerate is commonly used for Kiráta—the miser).

23. Now as the Kiráta was quite satisfied, with his unexpected gain of the great treasure, in the search of his trifling couri; and passed his days without any care or fear of the changeful world.

24. So the student comes to obtain his spiritual knowledge from his preceptor, while he has been in quest of his temporal learning, which is but a trifle in comparison to his eternal concern.

[Pg 466]

25. But then, O sinless Ráma! it is not possible to attain to divine knowledge, by the mere lectures of the preceptor; because the lord is beyond the perception of senses, and can neither be expressed by nor known from the words of the instructor's mouth. (It requires one's intuition and spiritual inspiration also to see the spirit in one's own spirit).

26. Again it is not possible to arrive to spiritual knowledge, without the guidance of the spiritual guide; for can one gain the rich gem without his search after the couri like the miserly Kiráta? (This means that it is impossible to attain the esoteric or abstract knowledge of the soul, without a prior acquaintance of the exoteric and concrete).

27. As the search of couri became the cause of or was attended with the gain of the gem, so our attendance on secular instructions of the preceptor, becomes an indirect cause to our acquirement of the invaluable treasure of spiritual knowledge.

28. Ráma, look at this wonderful eventualities of nature, which brings forth events otherwise than the necessary results of our pursuits (as the search of couri resulted the gain of the gem).

29. As it often comes to pass, that our attempts are attended with other result than those which are ought; it is better for us to remain indifferent with regard to the result of our act.

[Pg 467]


Pilgrimage of prince Sikhidhwaja.

Argument:—Sikhidhwaja's abandonment of the world, and remaining as religious Recluse on the Mandara mountain; followed by the visit of the Princess and her admonition to him.

VASISHTHA related:—The prince Sikhidhwaja continued in utter darkness, without the sight of his spiritual knowledge; and groped his way amidst the gloom of the world, as a childless man passes his woeful days, in utter despair of any glimpse of hope. (As son is the hope of a man both in this world as well as in the next).

2. His heart burned disconsolate in the flame of his anxieties, without the consolation of his salvation; and the great affluence of his fortune, served as full to feed the fire of his hopelessness, for want of the cooling shower of religion.

3. He found his consolation in lonely retreats, in the caves of mountains and beside their falling waters; where he strayed at large, like the beasts of prey flying from the arrows of huntsmen.

4. Ráma, he became as distracted as you had been before; and discharged his daily rituals, at the humble request and repeated solicitations of his attending servants.

5. He was as inexcitable and cold blooded, as a religious recluse; he desisted from the enjoyments of his princely pleasures, and abstained also from his usual food.

6. He gave his homage with large largesses of lands and gifts of gold and kine to the gods, Brahmans and his relatives also.

7. He went on performing the austerities of the religious rites, and the rigorous ceremonies of the chandáryana and others; he travelled through wilds and deserts and inhabited tracts, to his pilgrimages far and near.

[Pg 468]

8. Yet he found nowhere the consolation of his mind, which he kept seeking all-abouts; as a miner digs the sterile soil in quest of some mineral, where there is no such thing to be found.

9. He was pining away under the ardour of his anxiety, as it were under the fiery heat of the sun; in search of some remedy for his worldly cares, which hunted him incessantly both by day and night.

10. Being absorbed in his thoughts, he sought not for aught of the poisonous pleasures of his realm; and with the meekness of his spirit and mind, he did not look at the grand estate which lay before him.

11. It happened one day, as he was sitting with his beloved princess reclining on his lap; that he spoke to her as follows, in his mellifluent speech.

12. Sikhidhwaja said:—I have long tasted the pleasures of my realm, and enjoyed the sweet and bitter of my large property and landed possessions. I am now grown as weary of them, as they are both the same and stale to me.

13. Know my delighted lady, that the silent sage is exempt from pleasure and pain; and no prosperity nor adversity, can ever betide the lonely hermit of the forest.

14. Neither the fear of the loss of lives in battle, nor the dread of losing the territory in the reverse of victory, can ever betake the lonely hermit of the forest; wherefore I ween his helpless state, to be happier far than the dignity of royalty.

15. The woodland parterres are as pleasing to me, as thyself with the clusters of their blossoms in spring, and with their ruddy leaves resembling thy rosy palms; their twisted filaments are as the fillets of thy curling hairs, and the hoary and flimsy clouds in the air, are as their white and clean vests and raiments.

16. The blooming flowers resemble their ornaments, and their pollen is the scented powder on their persons; and the seats of reddish stones, bear resemblance to the protruberances on their posteriors.

[Pg 469]

17. The ambient and pearly rills flowing amidst them, resemble the pendant strings of pearls on their necks; and their foaming waves seen as clusters of pearls, tied as the knots of their vestures. The tender creepers are as their playful daughters, and the frisking fawns are as their playsome darlings.

18. Perfumed with the natural fragrance of flowers, and having the swarming bees for their eye-lids and eyebrows; and wearing the flowery garment of flowers, they are offering an abundance of fruits for the food of the passengers.

19. The pure waters of the falling cascades are sweet to taste, and cool the body as thy company gratifies my senses. I foster therefore an equal fondness for these woodland scenes, as I bear for thy company also.

20. But the calm composures which these solitudes seem to afford to the soul, are in my estimation far superior to the delight, that I derive from the cooling moon light, and the bliss that I might enjoy in the paradise of India and in the heaven of Brahmá himself.

21. Now my dear one, you ought to put no obstacle to these designs of mine; because no faithful wife ever presents any obstructions to the desire of her lord.

22. Chúdálá replied:—The work done in its proper time, is commendable as seasonable and not that which is unseasonable or intempestive; it is as delightful to see the blossoming of flowers in the vernal season, as it is pleasant to find the ripened fruits and grains in autumn.

23. It is for the old and decrepit and those broken down in their bodies by age, to resort in their retirement in the woods; and does not befit a young man as yourself to fly from the world, wherefore I do not approve your choice. (So says the poet, "O that my weary age may find a peaceful hermitage").

24. Let us remain at home, O young prince, so long as we have not passed our youth, and flourish here as flowers which do not forsake the parent tree, until the flowering time is over.

25. Let us like flowery creepers grow hoary with grey hairs on our heads, and then get out together from our home; as a pair of fond herons fly from the dried lake for ever.

[Pg 470]

26. Mind also my noble lord, the great sin that awaits on the person of that disgraceful prince of the royal race, who forsakes to seek after the welfare of his people during the time of his rule and reign. (Abdication of the crown was not allowable without an apparent heir).

27. More over mind the opposition you will have to meet with from your subjects, who are authorized to check your unseasonable and unworthy act, as you are empowered to put a check to theirs. (The Hindu law is opposed to the spirit of despotism and lawlessness of the ruling power).

28. Sikhidhwaja rejoined:—Know my royal dame, that thy application is all in vain to my determination of going away from here; and know me as already gone from thee and thy realm to the retreat woods afar from hence.

29. Thou art young and handsome, and aught not accompany me to dreary deserts and forests; which are in many respects dreadful to and impassable by men.

30. Women however hardy they may be, are never able to endure the hardships of forest life; as it is impossible for the tender tendril to withstand the stroke of the felling axe.

31. Do thou remain here, O excellent lady, to rule over this realm in my absence; and take upon thee the burden of supporting thy dependants, which is the highest and best duty of women.

32. Vasishtha related:—Saying so to the moon-faced princess, the self governed prince rose from his seat; to make his daily ablution and discharge his multitudinous duties of the day.

33. Afterwards the prince took leave of his subjects, notwithstanding all their entreaties to detain him; and departed like the setting sun towards his sylvan journey, which was unknown to and impassable by every one.

34. He set out like the setting sun shorn of his glory, and disappeared like the sun from the sight of every body; veil of melancholy covered the face of the princess, as she saw the egress of her lord from the recess of her chamber; as the face of nature is obscured from the shadow of darkness, upon[Pg 471] the disappearance of day light below the horizon. (Here is a continued simile between the parting sun and the departing prince, and the face of nature and that of the princess).

35. Now the dark night advanced, veiling the world under her mantle of the ash-coloured dusk; as when the God Hara forsakes the fair Gangá, and takes the nigrescent Yamuná to his embrace. (The day and night representing the two consorts of the sun).

36. The sides of heaven seemed to smile all around, with the denticulated clumps of evening clouds; and with the brightness of the moon beams, glittering on the shoots of Támala trees. (i.e. The skies seemed to smile with their glittering teeth of the evening clouds, and smiling moon beams all around).

37. And as the lord of the day departed towards the setting mountain of Sumeru on the other side of the horizon, in order to rove over the elysian garden or paradise of the gods on the north; so the brightness of the day began to fail, as the shade of evening prevailed over the face of the forsaken world.

38. Now sable night accompanied by her lord the nocturnal luminary, advanced on this side of the southern hemisphere; to sport as a loving couple with this cooling light and shade.

39. Then were the clusters of stars seen spangled in the etherial sphere under the canopy of heaven, and appeared as handfuls of lájas or fried rice scattered by the hands of celestial maiden on the auspicious occasion.

40. The sable night gradually advanced to her puberty, with the buds of lotuses as her budding breasts; she then smiled with her moony face, and littered in the opening of the nightly flowers.

41. The prince returned to his beloved princess after performing his evening services, and was drowned in deep sleep; as the mount Mainaka has drowned in the depth of the sea. (Mainaka is a hidden rock in the sea).

42. It was now the time of midnight, when all was still and quiet all about; and the people were all as fast asleep, as if they were pent up in the bosom of stones.

[Pg 472]

43. He finding her fast asleep in her soft and downy bed, and lolling in the lap of indolence like the female bee in the cup of the lotus.

44. The prince started from his sleep, and parted the sleeping partner of his bed from his cold embrace; as the ascending node of ráhu slowly lets off from its mouth, the eclipsed moon in the east.

45. He got up from one-half of the bed cloth, while the supine princess lay on the other-half of it; as when the God Hari rises from his bed of the waters of the milky ocean, leaving the lonely Lakshmí roll in the waves after him.

46. He walked out of the palace, and bade the guards to stand at their places; while he was going, he said to arrest a gang of robbers beyond the skirts of the city, with his full confidence in himself.

47. Farewell my royalty, said he, and then passed onward out of his princedom; and passed through inhabited tracts and forest lands, as the course of a river runs to the sea.

48. He passed amidst the gloom of night and through the thickets of the forest beset by thorny bushes; and full of heinous beasts and reptiles, with his firm fortitude.

49. In the morning he arrived at an open tract of land which was free from woods and jungles, and ran the course of the day with his peregrination on foot from sun rise to the setting sun; when he took refuge under the bower of the grove.

50. The sun departing from sight left him to the darkness of night, when he performed his bathing and the daily rite; and having eaten some root or fruit which he could get, he passed the night resting on the barren ground under him. (The custom of evening bath, is now falling into disuse).

51. Again and again the morning appeared and brought to light many new cities and districts, and many hills and rivers; which he passed over bravely for twelve repeated days and nights.

52. He then reached at the foot of the Mandara mountain, which was covered by a dense and immense forest which no[Pg 473] human foot could penetrate; and lay (stood) afar from the reach of man and the boundaries of human habitation.

53. There appeared a spot beset by sounding rills amidst it, and set with rows of trees with aqueducts under them; here the relics of a dilapidated dwelling came to sight, and seemed to bear the appearance of the deserted mansion of some holy hermit.

54. It was clear of all heinous reptiles and small insects, and was planted with sacred plants and creepers for the sacerdotal purposes of the holy siddhas; while it was full of fruit trees which supplied its occupant with ample food.

55. There was seen a level and pure spot of ground with a water course, and presenting the green verdure and verdant trees; loaded with luxuriant fruits and stretching a cooling shade all over it.

56. The prince built here a bower of verdant creepers and leafy branches, which with their blooming blossoms glistened; as the blue vault of heaven under the lightnings of the rainy season.

57. He made for himself a staff of bamboo and some vessels for his food and drink, as also some plates to put his offerings of fruits and flowers in them; and a jar for the presentation of holy water. He likewise strung some seeds together for the purpose of his saintly rosary.

58. He procured the hides of dead animals and the deerskin for his seat and cover let in cold, and placed them carefully in his holy hermit's cell.

59. He also collected all other things, which were of use in the discharge of his sacerdotal functions; and preserved in his sacred cell, as the Lord of creatures has stored the earth, with every provisions requisite for living beings.

60. He made his morning devotion, and turned his beads with the muttering of his mantras in the hours of his forenoon; and then performed his sacred ablution, and offered the flowers in the service of the Gods in the afternoon.

61. He afterwards took some wild fruits and ground roots, and the soft lotus stalks for his food in the evening, and then[Pg 474] passed the night with his lonely self-possession, and in the meditation of his Maker.

62. Thus did the prince of Malwa pass his days with perfect cheer of his heart in the cottage cell, which he had constructed at the foot of the Mandara mountain; and thought no more of his princely pleasures which were utterly lost under the influence of the resignation, which had now taken full possession of his entire soul and mind.

[Pg 475]


Investigation into true Happiness.

Argument:—The princess goes in quest of the Prince. Their Meeting and the Admonition of the Princess.

VASISHTHA continued:—In this manner, the prince Sikhidhwaja remained in his monastery in the forest, in his state of perfect felicity; while the princess remained at home, and did as you shall now hear from me.

2. After the prince had gone away from the palace at midnight, Chúdálá started from her sleep; as a timid fawn lying in the village, is startled by fear.

3. She found the bed vacated by her husband and thought it as dreary as the sky, without the sun and moon. (A deserted wife is as forlorn as a deserted village or desolate country).

4. She rose up with a melancholy face, and with her heart full of sorrow and sadness; and her limbs were as lank as the leaves of plants, without being well watered in summer.

5. Sorrow sat heavy in her heart, and drove the charm and cheerfulness off her countenance; and she remained as a winter day, over cast by a cloud or covered by a hoar-frost over its face.

6. She sat awhile on the bedstead, and thought with sorrow in herself; saying, "Ah woe unto me" that my lord is gone away from here, and abandoned a kingdom for a retreat in the woods.

7. What then can I do now, than repair to my husband; where he is, because it is appointed both by the law of nature and God, that the husband is the only resort and support of the wife.

8. Having thought so, Chúdálá rose up to follow her husband and she fled by the door of a window into the open air. (This means that her spirit fled into air, by the power of her yoga).

[Pg 476]

9. She roamed in her aerial course, and by the force of her breath on the wings of air; and appeared before the face of the aerial spirits (siddhas), as a second moon moving in the skies.

10. As she was passing at the night time, she happened to behold her lord roving about with a sword in his hand; and appearing as a ghost of a vetála or demon wandering in the solitary forest.

11. The princess seeing her husband in this manner from her aerial seat, she began to reflect on the future state which awaited on her husband; and which she foresaw by power of her yoga.

12. It is certain, O Ráma! that whatever is allotted in the book of fate to befall on any body at any time or place or manner, the same is sure to take place at the very moment and spot and in the same way (and all this is well known to the holy seer and seeress by the prophetic power, which they acquire by their knowledge and practice of yoga).

13. The princess seeing plainly in her presence, whatever is to take place on her husband; and knowing it to be averted by no means, she stopped from going to him to communicate the same.

14. Be my visit postponed to him to a future occasion, when it is destined for me to be in his company again.

15. Thinking so in her mind Chúdálá turned her course from him, and returned to her inner apartment and reclined on her milk white pillow; as the crescent of the moon lies recumbent on the hoary forehead of Hara.

16. She proclaimed to her people, that the prince was gone on some important occasion; and having relieved with the consolation of his quick return, she took the reins of the government in her own hands.

17. She managed the state in the manner of her husband, according to the established rules of toleration; and with the same care and vigilance, as the husband-woman guards her ripening cornfields.

18. In this manner they passed their days without seeing[Pg 477] one another, and the conjugal pair lived separated from each other; in their respective habitations of the royal palace and the solitary forest.

19. And in this manner passed on their days and nights, their weeks and fortnights, their months and seasons in regular succession over one and another; the one counting his days in the woods and the other in her princely palace.

20. What is the use of a lengthy description of full eighteen years, which glided on slowly over the separated couple, the one dwelling in her palatial dome, and the other in his woodland retreat.

21. Many more years elapsed in this manner, until the hermit prince Sikhidhwaja was overtaken by the hoary old age; in his holy hermitage in a cell of the great Mandara mountain.

22. Knowing the passions of the prince to be on the wane, with his declining age and grey hairs, and finding herself not yet too old to overtake him in the distant forest.

23. And believing that it was the proper time for her to prevail on him, and to bring him back to the palace, she thought of joining her husband where he was.

24. With these thoughts, she made up her mind of going towards the Mandara mountain; and started from her home at night, and mounted on the wings of air to the upper sky.

25. As she was moving onward on the pinions of air, she beheld in the upper sky some Siddhawomen, wearing the thin bark of the kalpa tree and girt with jewels of clustering gems.

26. These were the inhabitants of the garden of paradise, and going out to meet their Siddha husbands; and sprinkled over with perfumeries, shedding their dews as bright moon beams.

27. She breathed the air perfumed by the flowers of the garden of paradise, and worn by the Siddhas of Eden; and wallowed in the moon beams, waving like the billows of the milky ocean.

28. She felt a purer moon light, as she ascended the higher atmosphere; and she passed amidst the clouds, as the flashing[Pg 478] lightning moves in their midst. (The fair princess flashed as the lightning).

29. She said, this flashing lightning though situated in the bosom of her cloudy spouse, is yet looking at him repeatedly with the winkling of her eyes; so must I look out for my absent lord, as I pass like the lightning in the midway sky.

30. It is true, she said, that nature is irrepressible during the life time of a person; hence it is impossible for my disquieted mind, to have its quiet without the sight of my loving and lion like lord.

31. My mind roves and runs mad, when I say, I will see my lord, and when I will see these creepers turning round and clasping their supporting tree. (And all my philosophy avails me naught against my nature).

32. My mind loses its patience to see the contraction of these senseless creepers, and the excursion of the superior siddha females in quest of their consorts. (All animated nature from the vegetable to the immortal are bound by conjugal love).

33. How then and when, shall I like them come to meet the man that is situated in my heart.

34. These gentle breezes, and these cooling moon-beams and those plants of the forest, do all continue to disquiet my heart and set it on fire (instead of cooling its fervour).

35. O my simple heart, why dost thou throb in vain and thrill at every vein within me? and oh my faithful mind, that art pure as air, why dost thou lose thy reason and right discretion?

36. It is thou O faithless mind! that dost excite my heart to run after its spouse; better remain with thy yearnings in thyself, than torment my quiet spirit with thy longings.

37. Or why is it, O silly woman! that thou dost long in vain after thy husband, who possibly became too old (to require thee any more); he is now an ascetic and too weak in his bodily frame, and devoid of all his earthly desires.

38. I think these desires of the enjoyment of his princely honors and pleasures, have now been utterly rooted out of his mind; and the plant of his fondness for sensual gratifications, is[Pg 479] now as dry as a channel that pours forth its waters into a large river or sea.

39. I think my husband, who was as fond of me as to form one soul with myself; has become as callous to soft passions, as a dried and withered tree.

40. Or I will try the power of my yoga to waken his mind to sense, and infuse the eager longings and throbbings of my heart into his.

41. I will collect the thoughts of the ascetic devotee to one focus, and employ them towards the government of his realm; where we may be settled for ever to our hearts content.

42. O I have after long discovered the way to my object, and it is by infusing my very thoughts into the mind of thy husband.

43. The unanimity of the minds of the wedded pair, and the pleasure of their constant union; contribute to the highest happiness of human beings on earth.

44. Revolving in this manner in her mind, the princess Chúdálá passed onward in her aerial journey; now mounting on mountains and mountainous clouds, and then passing the bounds of lands and visible horizons; she reached the sight of Mandara, and found the glen and cavern in it.

45. She entered the grove as an aerial spirit invisible to sight, and passed as the air amidst it known by the shaking of the leaves of trees. (The spirits like winds have motion and the power of moving other bodies).

46. She beheld a leafy hut in one corner of the wood, and knew her husband by the power of her yoga; though appeared to be transformed to another person.

47. She found his body that was decorated before by a variety of jewels, and glittered as the mount of Meru with its gold; to have grown as lean and thin and as dark and dry, as a withered and dried leaf.

48. He wore a vest of rays, and seemed as if he had dipped in a fountain of ink; he sat alone in one spot, and appeared as the god Siva to be wholly devoid of all desire.

49. He was sitting on the barren ground, and stringing[Pg 480] the flowers to his braided hairs; when the beauteous princess approached before him.

50. She was moved to sorrow at the sight of his miserable plight, and thus bespoke to herself inaudibly in her mind. Alas, how painful it is to behold this piteous sight!

51. O! the great stupidity that rises from ignorance of spiritual knowledge, and which has brought on this miserable condition on this self-deluded prince.

52. I must not call him unfortunate, as long as he is my husband; though the deep darkness of his mind (ignorance) hath brought to this miserable plight. (The living husband however miserable, is always to be called true fortunate by the faithful wife.)

53. I must try my best to bring him to the knowledge of truth, which will no doubt restore him to his sense of enjoyment here, and of his liberation hereafter; and change his figure to another form altogether.

54. I must advance nearer to him to instil understanding in his mind, or else my words will make no effect in him; who treats me always as his young and silly wife.

55. I will therefore admonish my husband in the figure of a devotee, and it is possible that my admonition delivered in this manner, will make its effect in him; who is now grown hoary with age (old age must have abated the ardour of youth).

56. It is possible that good senses may dawn in the clear understanding, which is not perverted from its nature; saying so the princess Chúdálá took the shape of a Bráhman boy on herself.

57. She reflected a little on the Agni-soma-mantra, and changed her form as the water turns to a wave; and then alighted on the earth, in the shape of a Brahman's lad.

58. She advanced toward her lord with a smiling countenance, and the prince Sikhidhwaja beheld the Bráhman boy advancing towards him.

59. He appeared to come from some other forest, and stood before him in the form of devotion itself; his body was as bright[Pg 481] as the molten gold, and his person was ornamented with a string of pearls.

60. The white sacrificial thread graced his neck, and his body was covered with two pieces of milk white vests; he held the sacred water pot on one hand, and with his pupils staff in the other, he made his approach to the prince. (The order of the students was called dandi from their holding the sacred stick in one hand, like the pilgrim staff in Europe).

61. His wrist was entwined by a string of beads, and a long and double chain of rosary hang from his neck to the ground. (Double and triple threads of sacred seeds worn about the necks of saints).

62. His head was covered over by long and flowing jet black hairs, in the manner of the strings of black bees, fluttering about the tops of white lotuses; and the radiance of his, shed a lustre on the spot.

63. His face ornamented with earrings, glowed as the rising sun with his lustre of rosy rays, and the knotted hair on the top of his head with the mandára flower fastened on it, appeared as pinnacle of a mountain with the rising moon above it.

64. The husband that sat quiet with his tall stature, and his limbs and senses under his subjection; appeared as a mount of ice with the ashes rubbed all over his body.

65. He saw the Bráhman boy appearing before him, as the full moon rising on the aureate mount of Meru; and rose before him with the respect. (Which is paid to that luminary by her worshippers).

66. Thinking his guest as the son of some God, the prince stood with his bare feet before him; and addressed him saying, obeisance to thee O thou son of a God, take this seat and sit thyself there.

67. He pointed out to him with his hand the leafy bed that was spread before him, and offered him a handful of flowers which he poured into his hands.

68. The Bráhman boy responded to him saying: "I greet thee in return, O thou son of a king! that lookest like a dew drop or the beaming moon-light sparkling on a lotus leaf." He[Pg 482] then received the flowers from his hand and sat upon the leafy bed.

69. Sikhidhwaja said:—Tell me O thou heaven born boy, whence thou comest and whither thou goest, as for me it is lucky day that has brought thee to my sight.

70. Please accept this pure water, and fragrant flowers and this honorarium also; and receive this string of flowers, that I have strung with my hands; and so be all well with thee.

71. Vasishtha related:—So saying, Sikhidhwaja offered the flowers, the wreathed blossoms, the honorariums and other offerings; as directed by the ceremonial law to his worshipful lady.

72. Chúdálá said:—I have travelled far and wide over many countries on the surface of this earth, and have never met with so hearty a reception and such honors; as I have now received from thee.

73. Thy humility, courtesy and complacence bespeak thee to be highly favoured of the Gods, and betoken thee to be attended with long life on earth. (Because the meek and gentle are said to be long lived on earth).

74. Tell me O devotee, whether you have ever applied your mind towards the acquirement of your final liberation and extinction; after the abandonment of all your earthly desires, by the magnanimity and tranquillization of your soul for a long time. (It is true you have long forsaken the vanities of the world, but have you set your heart to seek the eternal emancipation of your soul?).

75. You have, my dear Sir, chosen a very painful alternative for your final liberation, that you have made the vow of your undergoing the hardship of this forest life, by forsaking the care of your large dominion. (The care of the state is painful, but the pains of hermitage are much more so).

76. Sikhidhwaja replied:—I wonder not that thou must know all things, being a God thyself and thou wearest this form of the Bráhman boy, yet the supernatural beauty of thy person, bespeaks thee to be an all-knowing deity.

77. Methinks these members of the body, are bedewed[Pg 483] with the ambrosial beam of moonlight, or how could thy very appearance shed such nectarious peace even at the first sight.

78. O handsome boy! I see in thy person a great resemblance of the features of my beloved one, who is now reigning over my kingdom (and whom perhaps I will see no more in this life).

79. Please now to refresh thy fair and fatigued frame, with wearing these flowery chaplet from the head to foot; as the vest of a hoary cloud, invests a mountain from its top to bottom.

80. I see thy face as beautiful, as the stainless moon; and thy limbs as delicate, as tender petals of flowers; and I find them now waning and fading under the solar gleams.

81. Know pretty youth that it was for the service of the gods, that I had wreathed the flowers together; and now I offer and bequeath them to thee, that art no less a God to me.

82. My life is crowned today with its best luck by its service of a guest like thyself, for it is said by the wise that attendance on guests is meritorious than the merit of attending on the Gods. (Hence the law of Hospitality is not less binding on the Hindu than it is with the Bedouin Arabs).

83. Now deign O moon faced deva (deity) to reveal unto me what God thou art, and the progeny of what deity that dost deign to dignify me with thy visit; please tell me all this and remove the doubts that disturb my breast.

84. The Bráhman boy replied:—Hear me, prince, relate to thee all that thou requirest to know of me; for who is there so uncivil, that will deceive and not comply to the request of his humble suppliant.

85. There lives in this world, the well known, the holy saint Nárada by name; who is the snowy spot of pure camphor, on the face of those that are famed for the purity of their lives.

86. It was at one time that this Godly saint sat in his devotion in a cavern of the golden mountain; where the holy river of Gangá, fast flows with her running current and huge billows dashing against the shore.

[Pg 484]

87. The saint stepped out once to the beach of the river, to see how it glided on in its course; like a necklace of gems torn down from the mountain on high.

88. He heard there at once the tinkling sound of trinkets and bracelets, and a mixed murmur of vocal voice; and felt the curiosity to know what it was and whence it came.

89. He lightly looked towards the sacred stream and observed there an assemblage of young ladies, who equalled the celestial nymphs Rambhá and Tilottamá in the beauty of their persons; who had come out to sport by and bathe in the clear waters of the holy river.

90. They plunged and played in the waters removed from the sight of men, and were all naked with their uncovered breasts; blooming as the buds of golden lotuses in the lake.

91. These were jogging to and fro and dashing against one another like the ripened fruits of trees, and seemed to be filled with flavoured liquor for the giddiness of their observers.

92. Their swollen bosoms formed the sanctuary of the God of love, and were washed by the pure waters of the sacred river.

93. Their fullness with luscious liquor, put to blush the sweet waters of the sacred river of Gangá; they were as mound in the garden of paradise, and as the wheels of the car for the God Káma to ride upon.

94. Their buttocks were as pillars of the bridge in water, obstructing and dividing the free passage of the waters of the Ganges; and their upper part of the body, gives a lustre of world's beauty.

95. The shadow of one another's body was clearly visible to the naked eye, on the limpid waters of the Gangá; like a Kalpa tree in rainy season, with all its branches.

96. The thick verdure of the verdant season, had put to shade the light of the day; and the flying dust of flowers, had filled the forest air with fragrance.

97. Water-fowls of various kinds were sporting on the banks, as they do by the sea side and about the watering places[Pg 485] round the trees; while the budding breasts of these dames, had put to blush the blooming buds of lotuses.

98. They held up their faces, which were as beautiful as a bud of lotuses; while their loosened hairs hung by them, like swarms of bees; and the loose glances of their eye-balls, were playing as the fluttering black-bees.

99. Their swollen breasts resembling the aureate lotuses, which were used by the Gods as golden cups to hide their ambrosial nectar; therein for fear of its being ravished by the demons and demi-Gods.

100. They were now seen to be hiding themselves in the secret bowers and caverns of the mountain, like lotuses hidden under foliage; and now hastening to the cooling beach of the river, to leave their lovely limbs in its limpid stream.

101. The saint saw the bevy of the young ladies, resembling the body of the full moon complete with all its digits; and his mind was ravished with their beauty (as the minds of men are turned to the delirium of lunacy by looking at the moon-light).

102. He lost the balance of his reason, and became elated with giddiness; and his breath of his life throbbed in his heart, by impulse of the delight that raged and boiled in his breast.

103. At last the excess of his rapture, gave effusion of his passion; as the fullness of a cloud in summer, breaks out in water in the rainy weather.

104. The saint turned as wan as a waning moon, and as the pale moon-light in frost; and like a fading plant, torn from its supporting tree.

105. He faded as the stalk of a creeper parted in two, and withered away as a sapling after it has lost its juicy sap.

106. Sikhidhwaja asked:—How is it that the pure and peerless saint, who is liberated in his life time and acquainted with all knowledge; who is void of desires and devoid of passions, and who is as pure as the clear air both in the inside as well as outside of his body?

107. How is it that even he the holy Nárada himself, could lose his patience and countenance who leads his life of celibacy all along?

[Pg 486]

108. Chúdálá replied:—Know, O princely sage! that all living beings in the three worlds not excepting even the Gods; have their bodies composed of both ingredients (of good and evil) by their very nature.

109. Some remain in ignorance, and others in knowledge to the end of their lives; and some remaining in happiness, and others in misery to the end of their days.

110. Some thrive in happiness with their virtue of contentment and the like, and are enlightened in their minds like a room by the light of the lamps; and as the bosom of the sea by the light of the luminaries of heaven.

111. Some are tormented by their hunger and poverty, and are involved in misery like the face of nature under the darkness of clouds.

112. The true and pure reality of the soul (divine spirit), being once lost to one's sight (the visible or phenomenal world): makes its appearance before him, like a dark and thick cloud of rainy weather.

113. Though one may be employed in his continuous investigation into spirituality, yet a moment's neglect of his spiritualism is sure to darken his spiritual light; as the apparition of the world appears to sight.

114. As the succession of light and darkness makes the course of the day and night, so the return of the pain and pleasure indicates the progress of life. (This variety kills the monotony of life).

115. Thus the two states of pleasure and pain, are known to accompany over lives from birth to death; as the results of our prior acts (of merit and demerit).

116. This impression of past life marks the lives of the ignorant entirely, as the red colouring sticks for ever in a cloth; but it is not so with the intelligent, whose knowledge of truth wipes off the stigma of their pristine acts.

117. As the eternal hue of a gem, whether it be good or bad, is exhibited on the outside of it; and also as a crystal stone, however clear it may be, takes the colour of the outward[Pg 487] object in it (so the ignorant exhibit their inherent nature in their outward conduct, and partake also the qualities of their surroundings).

118. But it is not so with the intelligent knower of truth (tatwajna), whose soul is free from all inward and outward impressions in his life time; and whose mind is never tinged like that of the ignorant, by the reflexion of anything about him. (Knowledge of truth is vitiated by nothing).

119. It is not only the contiguity or presence of things or pleasures, that taint the minds of the ignorant; but the absence and loss also are causes of great regret, from the stain they leave in the memory; as it is not only a new paint that paints a thing, but also the vestiges that it leaves behind, give it also a colouring. (The remembrance of past things, gives a colouring to the character of man).

120. Thus as the minds of the ignorant are never cleansed from the taint of their favourite objects, so they are never free from their bondage in this world; like the liberated sage by his want of earthly attachment. Because it is the parvitude of our desires that contributes to our liberation, while the amplitudes of our wishes lead us to our continued bondage in this world. (This passage presents us with the pains of memory, instead of the pleasures which some poets have portrayed on its face).

121. Sikhidhwaja said:—Tell me my lord, why men feel sorry or joyous at their pain or pleasure, to which they are bound by their birth in this world; and for what is far off from them (either as past or gone and what is in their expectation in future, since both the past and future are absent from us)?

122. I find your words my lord to be as clear as they are pretty and full of meaning, and the more I hear them so much the more do I thirst to listen to them; as the peacock is insatiate with the roarings of clouds.

123. Chúdálá answered:—It is pleasant to inquire into the cause of our birth, and how the soul being accompanied with the body, derives its knowledge through the senses, and feels thereby a delight which is apparent in babes. (We see by[Pg 488] observation how babies are pleased with the exercise of their limbs and senses).

124. But the living soul (or the vital principle), which is contained in the heart and runs through the Kundaliní artery as the breath of life; is subject to pain and sorrow by its very birth. (Hence we see, new born child coming to cry out no sooner it comes to life after its birth).

125. The living soul or vital spirit (which is as free as air), comes to be confined in the arterial chains of the prison houses of the different bodies; by its entering into the lungs breathing with the breath of life. (The spirit of God was breathed into the nostrils of man).

126. The breath of life circulating through the body, and touching its different parts or the organs of sense, raise their sensations in the soul; and as the moisture of the ground grows the trees and shrubs on earth, so doth our vitality produce the sensations of the pleasure and pain in the soul.

127. The living soul being confined in the arteries of different bodies, gives a degree of happiness and steadiness to some, which the miserable can never enjoy. (The poor are bereft to the comforts of high life).

128. Know that the living soul, is said to be liberated in the same proportion as it manifests its tranquilized state; and know also that it is bounden bondage in the same degree, as it appears to be sorry in the face and choked in its breathing. (The dejected and depressed spirit does not breathe out freely).

129. The alternate feeling of pain and pleasure, is likewise the bondage of the soul and no other, but this and it is the want of these alternations, that constitutes its liberation; and these are the two states of the living soul.

130. As long as the deceptive senses, do not bring the false sensations of pain and pleasure unto the soul; so long does it rest in its state of sweet composure, and the calm tranquillity of the positive rest.

131. The invisible soul coming in sight of some transient pleasure or want of pain, becomes as joyous as the cheerful sea passing the reflexion of the bright moon-beams in its bosom.

[Pg 489]

132. The soul equally exults at the sight of pleasure, as it grieves at the knowledge of its unsteadiness; as a foolish cat rejoices to see of fish, which it has not the power to catch or hold fast in its clutches.

133. When the soul, has the pure knowledge of the intelligibles and the cognition of itself; it comes to know, that there is no such thing as positive pain or pleasure; and has thereby its calm and quiet composure for ever, and under every circumstance.

134. When it comes to know that it has no concern with any pain or pleasure, and that its living is to no purpose at all; it is then said to be awakened in itself, and to rest in its quietude of nirvána-extinction (unconsciousness of one's self or its consciousness of itself as a cypher, is termed the state of its nirvána-annihilation).

135. When the living soul comes to know by its internal intuition, that pain and pleasure are unreal in their nature; it is no longer concerned about them, but rests quietly within itself.

136. When the soul comes to the belief, that the visible world is no other than the vacuity of Intellect or Brahma himself; it gets its rest in its quietness, and becomes as cool as an oilless and extinguished lamp. (Here is the vacuism of Vasishtha again).

137. The belief that all nature is vacuity, and all existence is the one unity together with the thought of an infinite inanity; is what leads the soul to its unconsciousness of pain and pleasure. (All is but void and vacancy, and mere air-drawn phantasy).

138. The thoughts of pleasure and pain therefore are as false, as the false appearance of the world; and this error is inherited by the living soul from Brahmá the first of living beings in the world. (The error of taking the unreal for real began with Brahmá himself).

139. Whatever was thought and ordained by the first creative power in the beginning, the same has taken root in the living soul; and is going on even to the present time as its nature.

[Pg 490]

140. Sikhidhwaja asked:—It is only when one feels some pleasure in his mind, that it runs in the blood through his veins and arteries; but the holy Nárada could not be affected by the sight, nor drop his semen from him.

141. Chúdálá replied:—The animal soul being exited (by the existent sight of women), excites the living breath of prána to motion; and the whole body obeys the dictate of the mind, as the body of soldier obeys the command of their commander.

142. The vital airs being put to motion, they move the internal sap and serum from their seats; as the blowing winds bear away the fragrance of flowers and the dust of leaves, and drop down the fruits and flowers and leaves of trees.

143. The semen being put to motion falls downwards, as the clouds being driven together burst into the rain water.

144. The semen then passes out of the body by the canals of the veins and arteries, as the running waters pass through the channels and canals of a river.

145. Sikhidhwaja said:—O thou divine boy! that knowest both the past and present states of things, as it appears from thy instructive discourse; please to instruct me at present, what you mean by the nature of things by the Brahmic power of Brahma.

146. Chúdálá replied:—Nature is that intrinsic character, which is implanted in the constitution of things at the beginning of their creation; and the same which continues to this day the essential part of the ghata, pata, and all other things.

147. It comes on by a kákátálya or accidental course of its own, as it is compared by the learned with the rise and fall of waves and bubbles in the water; and the marks of the lacuna in wood and iron. (The fortuitous combination of the atomic principles, is the cause of the formation of concrete bodies; according to the Atomic philosophy of Leucippus, Democritus and the Epicureans of old).

[Pg 491]

148. It is under the power of this nature, that all things move about in the world in the various forms; and with all their properties of change and persistence. It is only the indifferent and inappetent soul that is liberated from the subjection of nature, while the apparent is fast bound to its chains and wander with their prurient nature in repeated transmigrations.

[Pg 492]


The Production of the Pot (or the Embryonic cell).

Argument:—The birth of the Bráhman boy from the seed of Nárada, preserved in a pot whereby he was called the pot-born, and his education.

CHUDALA continues:—It is the nature of everything in the extensive world to be born in its own kind (i.e. the similar only springs from the similar and nothing of a dissimilar kind). All persons and things continue to go on in it by their desires and tendencies, whether it be in the directions of virtue or vice or good or evil. (Nature is the invariable quiddity of a thing; but its desire or inclination is a variable property or quality of it).

2. When this desire or want of the mind of a man is either diminished or brought under his control, he is no longer subject to the acts of goodness or vice but becomes exempt both from merit and demerit; and their consequences of reiterated births and deaths by the utter indifference. (Neutrality in action is the way to one's inanity in both worlds. This is not a right rule since the commission of a good action is as commendable, as an omission in the discharge of duty is held culpable in law and morality).

3. Sikhidhwaja rejoined:—O eloquent speaker! your words are as full of sense as they are of great import to me, they bespeak your great penetration into the depths of wisdom.

4. My audience of the sweet exultance of your speech has given me a satisfaction, equal to that of my draught of a large dose of the ambrosial water.

5. Now be pleased to give me a brief narration of the story of your birth and pedigree, and I will hear with all my attention your words of sound sense and wisdom.

6. Please sir to relate unto me, what the son of lotus-Brahmá—the venerable sage Nárada, did with the seminal strength, which unconsciously fell from him on the ground.

[Pg 493]

7. Chúdálá related:—The muni then curbed back the infuriate elephant of his beastly mind by the strong bridle of prudence; and bound it fast in the iron chain of the great intelligence.

8. His virile strength which was as hot as fire, resembled the molten moon melted down by the flame of the final conflagration; and as liquified as the fluid quick-silver or other metallic solution.

9. The sage who had a water-pot of crystal stone fast by his side, laid hold of the same and put the fluid semen in it, in the manner of his depositing the liquid moon-beams in the disc of the moon.

10. There was on one side of the mount of Meru, a projected rock with a deep cavern in it; the passage of which was not obstructed by the heaps of stones which lay before it.

11. The muni placed the pot inside that cave as the embryo is situated in the belly, and he filled the pot with milk which he produced by his will; as the lord of creation has filled the milky ocean with its watery milk. (The sages are said to have miraculous powers by force of their yoga).

12. The muni neglected his sacred offering and brooded over the pot, as a bird hatches over its egg; and it was in a course of a month that the foetus grew up in the pot of milk, as the reflexion of the crescent moon increases in the bosom of the milky ocean.

13. At the end of the month the pot bore a full formed foetus, as the orb of the moon becomes full in the course of a month; and as the season of spring produces the lotus bud with its blushing petals.

14. The foetus came out in the fullness of its time, and with the full possession of all the members of its body; as the full moon rises from the milky ocean without diminution of any of its digits.

15. The body became fully developed in time, and the limbs were as beautiful as the horns of the moon shine brightly in the lighted fortnight.

16. After performance of the initiatory ceremonies (of tonsure and investiture of the sacred thread); and the sage instructed[Pg 494] him in whatever he knew, as one pours out the contents of one vessel into another.

17. In course of a short time the boy became acquainted with all the oral instructions (Vangmaya) of his father, and became an exact ectype of the venerable sage. (The best son likens his father).

18. The old sage became as illustrious with his brilliant boy, as the orb of the moon shines brightly with its train of resplendent stars.

19. Once on a time the sage Nárada went to the empyrean of his father Brahmá accompanied by his young progeny, and there made his obeisance to the prime progenitor of mankind.

20. The boy also bowed down before his grandsire, who knowing him to be versed in the vedas and sciences; took him up and set him on his lap.

21. The lord Brahmá pronounced his blessings on the boy, and knowing him to be born of the pot and acquainted with the vedas; gave him the name of Kumbha or the pot.

22. Know me O hermit! to be the son of the sage Nárada, and grand son of the great lotus-born Brahmá himself; and know by the appellation of Kumbha from my birth into the pot.

23. I have the four vedas for my companions and playmates, and I always delighted with their company; in the heavenly abode of my lotus-born grandsire—the Divine Brahmá.

24. Know the Goddess Sarasvatí to be my mother, and the Gáyatrí hymn as my maternal aunt; my habitation is in the heaven of Brahmá where I dwell as the grand-child of the lord of creatures.

25. I wonder at my pleasure, throughout the wide extended world; I rove about with a soul full of felicity, and not on any errand or business whatever.

26. I walk over the earth without touching it with my feet, and its flying dust do not approach my person; nor is my body ever fatigued in all its rambles. (The spiritual body is intangible and unwearied).

27. It happened this day, that I came to behold thy hermitage[Pg 495] in the course of my etherial journey; and so directed my course this way, to see thee in this place. (This is the substance of my life, as I have now related unto thee).

28. Thus O forester! I have given you the whole account of my life as you have heard just now; because it is a pleasure to good people, to hold conversation with the good and wise.

29. Válmíki said:—As they were talking in this manner the day past away to its evening service, and the sun set down below the horizon; the court broke and every one repaired to his evening ablution, and met again with the rising sun on the next morning.

[Pg 496]


Continuation of the same and enlightenment of Sikhidhwaja.

Argument:—Sikhidhwaja's praise of Kumbha and expression of his sorrow, he turns to be a disciple of the same and professes his faith in the vedánta doctrines.

SIKHIDWAJA said:—Sir, it appears to me that the hoarded merits of all my former lives, have brought you today to my presence here; as an unforeseen hurricane drives the waters of the sea on the dry mountain tops. (i.e. thy speech is as cooling draught to my perished soul).

2. I reckon myself as highly blest among the blessed today to be thus favoured by your presence, and cooled by your speech distilling as ambrosial dews from your lips.

3. Never did a more sensible speech, touch and cool my soul to such a degree as yours ere this; wherefore I deem your holy presence as more precious to me, than the gaining of a kingdom.

4. The unrestrained delight which is felt in general (from the words of the wise), which are free from self-interest and selfish motives; is far superior to the self-restricted pleasure of sovereignty, which is delightful once in imagination only (and not in its actual possession).

5. Vasishtha said:—As the prince was uttering these encomiums, the Bráhman boy Kumbha passed over them in silence; and interrupted him by saying:—

6. Chúdálá said:—Please put a stop, sir, to these words of yours, and give me an account of yourself as I have given mine to you; and tell me who you are, and what you do in this lonely mountain.

7. How long is it that you have passed in this forester's life of yours, and what is your main object in view. Tell me the bare truth, because it is beyond the probity of an ascetic,[Pg 497] to utter anything but the plain truth. (The ascetics are names of satyavrata or vowed to truth).

8. Sikhidhwaja replied:—Lord as you are the offspring of a God, everything must be well known to you; and as the Gods are full well acquainted with the secrets and circumstances of all people, I have very little to relate to you about me.

9. It is from my fear of the world (and its temptations), that I have abandoned it and taken my abode amidst this forest; and this though you well know, will I now briefly state unto you.

10. I am Sikhidhwaja the ruler of a country, which I have long relinquished for a seat in the forest; and know, O knower of all truths, that it is my fear of the trap-doors of the world and future transmigration in it, that has driven me to this retired wilderness.

11. It is no more than the reiteration of pain and pleasure, and of life and death in this accursed world; and it is to evade all these, that I have betaken myself to my austerities in these solitary woods.

12. I wander about on all sides, and perform my rigorous austerities without any respite; and I give no rest to myself, but keep my vigils like a miser over his little stock.

13. I am without any effort or attempt, and so without any fruit and fruition also; I am lonely, and so helpless likewise; I am poor and therefore friendless also, and know me Divine personage! to be pining in this forest like a withered tree perforated by worms