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STORIES

FROM

TRIPURAA RAHASYAM
SALUTATION TO AUM, THE PRIMAL AND BLISSFUL CAUSE, THE TRANSCENDENTAL CONSCIOUSNESS SHINING AS THE UNIQUE MIRROR OF THE WONDERFUL WORLD

by Tejasvini

STORIES FROM TRIPURAA RAHASYAM


INTRODUCTION Tripuraa Rahasya or Haritayana Samhita is the work of Haritayana, son of Harita. The Spiritual Truths given in this sacred scripture were given by Sri Parashuraama to Harita, who in turn obtained it from Sage Dattatreya. It is said to consist of 12,000 verses in three sections - The Maahaatmya Kaanda (Section on the Greatness of Sri Devi), Jnaana Kaanda (Section on Supreme Wisdom), and Charyaa Kaanda (Section on Conduct). Of these the first consists of 6,687 verses; the second of 2,163 verses; and the third is not traceable. The section on Greatness contains the prelude to the work and later treats mostly of the manifestations of the Supreme Being as Durga, Kaali, Lakshmi, Sarasvati, Lalita, Kumaari, etc. and their exploits and found in Brahmaanda Puraana, Maarkandeya Puraana and Lakshmi Tantra. This Section contains Jnaana Kaanda. The text is in conversational form. Harita instructs Naarada that Knowledge which was taught by Dattatreya to Parashuraama. This work is a discourse on wisdom, which is unique because one will be permanently freed from misery, by listening to its discourse. This is the concentrated extract of the essence of the Vedic, Vaishnava, Shaiva, Saatkta and Paasupata lore. The present work is a collection of all stories related by Sage Dattatreya to explain the Supreme truth.

CONTENTS
1. STORY OF HEMALEKHAA AND HEMACHUDA 2. GANDASHAILAKATHA - THE STORY OF GANDA HILL 3. ASHTAAVAKRA LEARNS A LESSON FROM THE FEMALE ASCETIC 4. SOME DISCUSSIONS FROM TRIPURAA RAHASYA 5. BRIEF BIOGRAPHIES OF SOME SAGES 6. TWO PRINCES AND THE BRAHMA RAAKSHASA 7. VIDYAA GITA 8. GREATNESS OF TRIPURAA

No other Scripture will enlighten the mind as much as this one on Knowledge which was once taught by that renowned Guru Dattatreya to Parashuraama. The instruction was based on his own experience, fully rational, and unparalleled. He who cannot comprehend the Truth even after hearing this great work must be dismissed as an idiot foremost among the ignorant and stuck by misfortune. Shiva himself cannot make such a fool gain Knowledge.

STORY OF HEMALEKHAA AND HEMACHUDA


[1]

Royal Gardens of Dashaarna! On one side beautiful girls danced to the heavenly tunes of the orchestra. On another side maids were bringing royal delicacies and preparing for a feast. Some beautiful girls brought garlands of scented flowers and decorated the arena. Everywhere there was a festive mood. Everyone laughed for no reason. Everyone felt happy for no reason. The whole palace was celebrating the arrival of the new bride. But the bride? She was nowhere to be seen. The Prince knew where she would be; in some quite deserted corner of the garden or in her own room. The prince had thoroughly searched the whole of the vast grove of trees near the palace. His wife was nowhere. He treaded his steps slowly towards the private chambers of his young queen. Prince Hemachuda was worried. Actually in the worldly sense he lacked nothing to cause him any anxiety. He was the son of the Muktachuda, renowned King of DASHAARNA. He and his elder brother Manichuda were highly admired by the citizens for their noble character and wisdom. The two brothers never caused a blemish to taint the good name of their dynasty. Moreover, Hemachuda was now married to the prettiest lady on this earth. The beauty of his beloved wife Hemalekhaa was incomparable to any divine damsel of heavens. Her physical charms were enhanced by the wisdom that shone in her eyes. She was different from all other girls of her age. So patient, so calm, so compassionate; she was the epitome of modesty and wisdom. He was very lucky; merits of million births were not enough to get blessed by such a wife as Hemalekhaa! Hemachuda remembered vividly the first time he met her! He and his brother had gone for hunting in the wild forests on the outskirts of the city. A big retinue of well trained soldiers had followed them as usual. In their enthusiasm they had gone too deep into the jungles hitherto un-treaded by any humans. As they were trying to find a good place to camp, the sky had darkened suddenly. Huge clouds had gathered within seconds. The day became night instantly as if stuck by the magic wand of an evil sorcerer. To add to the confusion, a heavy storm stuck the area like a curse fallen from heaven. A tornado hitherto unseen by any of them rose in the sky. Dust filled everywhere.

The atmosphere became misty. Horses screamed terrified by the storm. They ran madly trampling the soldiers mercilessly. Screams and shouts were carried away by the winds. Nobody could see anything; nobody could hear anything. All they felt was the continuous blasts of stones and pebbles on their person. Some managed to hide under rocks. Some hugged the trees for support. Some withered on the ground in pain. But the princes had been lucky. Their loyal horses had carried them away from that danger in a flash. Fortunately his brother Muktachudas horse had returned to the palace safely. But Hemachudas horse had ventured deeper into jungles and entered an enchanting garden filled with fruit bearing trees. A stream of sweet water gurgled nearby. Beautiful flowers of countless hues blossomed everywhere mesmerizing the mind to a state of relaxed drowsiness. Birds of different colors flew in abandon singing their own songs of love. The prince had washed himself in the cool waters of the stream and was wondering who could be the resident of such a heavenly garden. As if in answer he heard the sound of anklets behind a tree. Curious he had followed the anklet sound till he had reached a beautiful cottage constructed out of forest-wood and decorated with various creepers of flowers. The anklet sound now was coming from inside the cottage. He went inside slightly hesitant. No one was there. He sat on the mat already spread out for him to be seated. He waited patiently. No one seemed to be around. Suddenly a lightning stuck; yes, a golden lightning! A beautiful damsel of golden hue stood before him. Her tender hands held a plate of delicious cut fruits dipped in honey and a bowl of sweet smelling milk. Before the prince could ask anything she had disappeared. He finished eating all that was offered silently. As he got up to go, she had again appeared and whispered, Please! Do not go away. Wait for my Father to come! He had insisted that he would wait only if she sat with him and conversed. She had reddened like a ripened fruit and agreed hesitantly. She sat in a corner half hiding her beautiful face in a veil. He had enquired about her with concern. O Beautiful lady! Who are you? Are you not afraid to live in this terrifying forest alone? Does nobody care for you? Whose daughter are you? She was silent for a few minutes and had later revealed her identity. Her words were pouring like nectar in his ears. He wanted to lift her, put her on his horse and rush off back to his palace and marry her immediately. But he was not brought up that way. He had suppressed all his emotions and listened to her patiently. She was the abandoned daughter of a divine damsel VidyaaPrabhaa who had consented to the passionate pleadings of King Vena, when she had visited the Earth for sporting in the forest Rivers. The resultant baby had been aborted by her and thrown on the river bank to wither and die. Fortunately for the suffering baby, Sage VyaaghraPaada whose hermitage was nearby had come to the river to perform his evening ablutions and he took home the dying baby. His compassionate care soon filled life into the baby and now she was sitting before him as his adopted daughter. Her name was Hemalekhaa.

The prince had looked at her with lovelorn eyes. What a beauty! Hemalekhaa! A Golden line! Yes! The golden line had pierced his heart like a sharp knife. Hemalekhaa had understood his heart but had only whispered asking him to wait for the Sage to return from his wanderings and ask for her hand. Soon the Sage had returned accompanied by his disciples. They had brought all the flowers and sacred sticks to conduct the evening worship. The Prince had saluted the Sage and stood there silently wondering how to express his innermost thoughts. But he need not have worried. The Sage was aware of his mental state in no time and understanding that his daughter was also equally in love with the prince had consented to their union. He had performed the marriage immediately and the prince had left the hermitage in the morning with his bounty seated with him on the horse. Soon he was in the palace and his parents and brother had welcomed them with affection and joy. A grand reception ceremony was held for the newly weds and Hemalekhaa was accepted into the royal family without a question. For first few days after the marriage the prince enjoyed life with his wife like Indra with his wife Sachi. He felt he had attained the supreme happiness ever could be attained by a human. His joy knew no bounds. But he discovered soon that his wife was not happy with life as he was. She was usually silent and absorbed in some deep thoughts always. She did not show much enthusiasm about any royal entertainments. Thinking that she missed her forest life, the prince took her to many a forest resort too. But she still acted aloof and was disinterested in everything. That was what worried Hemachuda now. He was puzzled by her behavior and decided to tackle her directly and enquire about her mental depression. [2]

Hemalekhaa was looking out through the window at the blue taintless sky. But her mind was elsewhere There was no one in her room. She had sent all the maids away and strictly ordered them not to disturb her. The maids had been actually surprised by her stern behavior. Hemalekhaa was absorbed in deep thinking. Her forehead was creased in worry. She was worried about her husband Hemachuda. She had not given many thoughts to the future, when she had first met the prince and fallen in love with him. He was so charming, so good, so dignified. She had lost her mind to him at first sight. She knew at that time that her Father VyaaghraPaada was getting worried about her marriage for the past few months. She was thankful to him for rescuing her as a baby and caring for her all these fifteen years. She did not want to be a burden to him anymore. If she was out of his hands he would become free to pursue his penance quietly in the hermitage she knew. So when the prince desired her, she had reciprocated equal love. But now she missed her forest trees, her hermitage friends, her pet birds, her pet animals, in fact everything of her past.

She wished she could turn back the time and be forever with her father like a child. Not that she had lost her love for the charming prince. But she had never imagined that he would be so much interested in sense pleasures. Music, dance, food, drinks, girls! She shook her head in disgust. Not a moment was there any silence in the palace. Always shouts, screams, laughter! And her husband..! He was infatuated with her beauty. Not a moment would he leave her alone. He never had enough of her. If he ever went to attend his royal duties, the maids would surround her immediately; bathing her, dressing her, decorating her; teasing her; laughing at some vulgar jokes! Only if she could divert the Prince from sense pleasures to the joy of contemplation! But how? Why would he listen to a young forest bred wife? To keep him quite even for a few minutes was difficult; he would tightly hold her and shower her with kisses even before she started to utter a word. Bewildered about her future course of actions, she had somehow managed to get some free time in her private chambers. The prince had not noticed her slipping away. He was forcefully getting some wine fed by some of his pretty maids. It would be some time before he could free himself from their embraces. Hemalekhaa had escaped to her own private room and ordered all the maids out. She had removed all the gold ornaments and royal garments and attired herself in the forest clothing she had kept hidden in her box. Her eyes were wet as she looked out into the blue sky. Some parrots flew suddenly making some noise. She wished she was one of them; she could have flown towards her fathers hermitage and hid herself there! Her thoughts were disturbed by someone approaching. It was Hemachuda! She got up with a sigh! She saluted her Lord in reverence. Hemachuda embraced her gently and got her seated. He observed the pale face and the wet eyes. He held her like a child and asked: Dearest! Why? What happened? Did anybody hurt you by any harsh words? Do you lack any comfort in this palace? Did any maid insult you? Tell me; I will not spare anyone who dared hurt you! Hemalekhaa said that no one had hurt her and nothing was the matter with her; that she was quite happy with everything. She removed herself from his tightening arms and looked out into the garden silently. Hemachuda followed her. He questioned again with concern: My pretty wife! I have been observing you lately. You seem to be lost in a world of your own. You do not show interest in anything. How is it that you are not as attentive to me as I am to you? Thou fairest of girls radiant with smiles! How is it that you are never keen on seeking pleasure or enjoying it? Are not these pleasures to your taste?

You look indifferent even during the greatest pleasures. How can I be happy if your interest is not awakened? Even when I am close to you, your mind seems to be elsewhere; when spoken to, you do not seem to listen. As I hold you in close embrace for a long while, you seem unconscious of me and then ask me, Lord, when did you come? None of the carefully planned arrangements seem to interest you and you do not take part in them. When I turn away from you, you remain with your eyes closed; and so you continue whenever I approach you. Tell me how I can derive pleasure with nothing but an unresponsive painting which is what you are; you are indifferent to all enjoyments. What does not please you cannot please me either. I am always looking to you, trying to please you like a lily looking up at the moon. Speak, dear! Why are you like this? You are dearer to me than even life. I adjure you! Speak and so relieve my mind." Hemalekhaa turned towards him and looked at his face with her lotus like eyes. She slightly hesitated before she answered his question. She wanted to drag him into a philosophical discussion and guide him towards the Supreme state of Self realization. She was also doubtful about him not paying importance to her words! She knew that he thought of her only as a forest bred innocent girl. He had no true idea of her wisdom. Somehow she gathered up some courage and slowly disengaging herself from his tight embrace said: My Lord! I also do love you and want to be in your company always. But some deep question is troubling me like a thorn in the mind. I was just thinking about what greatest undiminishing joy is there in this world that can be sought after. Though I am continuously churning my mind for the answer, I have not succeeded so far! I am after all a woman who is not in any way equal to your intellectual capacity! Do you know the answer? Then please help me by telling me the answer and relieve me of my tension! Hemachuda burst into laughter. Was that all she was worried about? Just some silly doubt befitting her young age! He suddenly felt lighter in the heart. He placed a tender kiss on her shining cheek and said: Oof! Only this little problem! Women are indeed silly and worry about worthless problems. What is the greatest joy? Indeed even the birds and beasts, nay the crawling insects know what is pleasant and what is painful. They run away from pain and seek that which makes them happy. What makes them happy they consider it to be good and pursue them; what gives them pain they avoid it as bad. What is there in it, my dear that you are always given to thinking about it? Is it not silly? Hemalekhaa did not let him know the stupidity of his answer. She flashed a silly smile at him and said: Yes, my Lord! Women can never judge anything in proper way. They do act silly always. I am not an exception. So please be kind to this brainless female and teach me the right answers. No one can clear my doubts like you. You are wise beyond your years! If you guide me in the correct way of thinking, I will stop being silly like other women. Then only will I be suited to be a perfect life partner to you in truth.

I will be then relieved of my silly thoughts and will take equal part in all enjoyments. Please be patient and clear my silly doubts. She flashed another charming smile at the handsome prince. The prince nodded his head in agreement! He was confident that he could tackle her questions easily and soon she would be participating in all amorous sports as he desired. She continued: Yes! What you told me is the right answer. What pleases one is happiness; what is not pleasing is misery. That is right. But I have a doubt here; forgive my silly objection! The same object gives pain or pleasure according to circumstances. Heat for example is pleasing in winter but unpleasant in summer. It is helpful as a fuel in cooking; but burns you to death even, if uncontrolled! Its results vary according to seasons, the places and its own size or intensity. Pleasure and pain are, therefore, functions of seasons; similarly of latitudes and altitudes. Again, fire is good for people of certain constitutions only and not for others. Still again, pleasure and pain depend on circumstances. The same reasoning applies to cold, to riches, to sons, to wife, to kingdom and so on. Observe how your father, the great emperor spends his days in anxiety even though he is surrounded by wife, children and wealth. Why does he not feel dragged towards enjoyments any more? Of course not that all equal to his age feel the same anxiety. Why do not others grieve like this? What has happened to the enjoyments in his case? He is certainly on the look-out for happiness; are not all his resources directed towards that end? Nobody is happy if you observe. There is always dissatisfaction in everybodys life. There are people who are miserable with all the wealth and pleasures at hand; there are also people who do not own any wealth to speak of and are yet happy. Do the objects really have inbuilt happiness in them? But we know it is not so. Everyone is miserable in some way or other. No one seems to possess everything that is sufficient for happiness. The question arises: Cannot a man be happy, even with such limited means? I shall give you the answer. That cannot be happiness, my Lord, which is tinged with misery. Misery is of two kinds, external and internal. External misery is connected to the body; internal misery is connected to the mind and its latent desires. Mental anxiety is worse than physical pain and no one born in the world can escape it. Desire is the seed of the tree of misery and never fails in its fruits. Even Gods are under it swaying; they live in celestial regions and have access to the nectar of immortality; yet they are slaves to desires and working incessantly as it dictates. Hemachuda had not expected this torrent of philosophical ideas from his little wife. He wanted to end the conversation then and there and hold her in his embrace. But if he acted that away, she would think of him as unintelligent and resent him more. He had to prove that he was wiser then her. He had to continue the argument. So he questioned reluctantly: When a desire gets fulfilled we are happy! So what is wrong with it? Who does not have a desire? Maybe harming others to fulfill ones wants might be wrong. But desires sanctioned by Scriptures lead a man towards the fulfillment of life!

Oh come on; why waste time on worthless discussions? Let us go out to the royal pond and play around happily! Surely such a desire in me is not a sin! He tried to pull her towards him forcefully. Hemalekhaa gently pushed his hands away and continued innocently. Have you ever thought why one feels good when a desire gets fulfilled? It is because the gnawing pain caused by dissatisfaction disappears. That is all! But that is not the end. The moment one desire is satisfied, the mind makes alive another desire and we do not rest peacefully till that also gets over with. So we go on and on, fulfilling each desire of the mind; but never have a moment of peace in our lives. Insects also are in the pursuit of such happiness only. They never rest satisfied; yet their enjoyment is distinctly better than that of men because their desires are less complex. Can you state definitely that the happiness is gained by just satisfying one desire and rest of the desires need not be bothered about? If such is the case, everyone should be happy in this world. Everyone is happy because some pain - mental or physical is removed by some act. When a man is severely burnt, smearing of the ointment is happiness for him. A man is happy when embraced by his beloved. But if he is anxious about something else or physically afflicted, the same embrace is painful to him. What is a physical union after all? It is just a physical need like excretion or hunger or thirst. An animal also feels tired when carrying a load; a man also feels tired after copulation! What difference is there? Both are just physical exertions. O My husband! What enjoyment do you get in sexual unions? It is just some thrill arising from some nerve-friction producing some changes in your brain! Same nerve friction is enjoyed by dogs also when they mate! Hemachuda was shocked! He had never though that sexual pleasures could be described in such degrading words. He retorted vehemently. No! Do not talk degradingly of my love like this. I am not just physically attracted to you. I love your simplicity, your innocence; I love you alone. Union with you is an expression of my love! There is a difference between my love and a dogs love! They do not have the emotion of love! They mate prompted by nature. But I love you as my soul partner! His face turned red in embarrassment! He looked away! Hemalekhaa held his face in her hand and looked at his eyes directly. She asked: Yes! I know you love me! I also love you! But what is love? Answer me honestly! Would you have loved me if I was ugly or ordinary looking? Hemachuda hesitated a moment. He replied with complete honesty! I fell in love with you because of your extraordinary beauty. I understood your character only later. He bent his head in embarrassment.

Hemalekhaa questioned again. I know! Nothing wrong with that! But tell me what beauty is? Hemachuda remained silent! He never had thought about these topics and had no answer to her simple question. Hemalekhaa continued. Alright! I will give the answer myself! Beauty is just a fanciful notion; like a dream experience! There is no beauty in objects. Only we superimpose the quality of beauty in the objects. Beauty is only a creation of the mind. It is just a myth. It has no real existence in the objective world. Even in the absence of objects we can conceive beautiful objects in the dream too; because the concept of beauty is only in the mind! Hemachuda was thoughtful! Hemalekhaa rang for her personal maid. She got some refreshments bought for the prince. As the prince silently partook of the snacks and drinks, Hemalekhaa continued to talk. Whatever happiness is experienced in the waking state can be experienced in the dream state too, where there are no gross objects present. You can have the same pleasure in the dream state too! Beauty is just a mental concept! Listen to this story to understand this point. There was once a most handsome son of a king; he was fairer than Manmatha himself. He was married to a fair damsel of extraordinary beauty. But she was attracted more towards an ugly servant of the royal household. They both skillfully deceived the prince and met in secret daily. In the evenings the servant got the prince drunk very heavily. As the prince lay on the bed almost in an unconscious state, the wicked servant would send a wily woman of loose morals to entertain the prince. Later the unchaste princess would meet the servant secretly and enjoy his company. The prince never understood that he was only enjoying a worthless harlot daily. He thought that he was in the company of his devoted wife and felt himself to be a fortunate person to be blessed with such an angel as his wife. But it so happened that one day the servant was very busy and did not personally attend to the drinks of the Master. He left the liquor on the table and went away. Consequently the prince did not drink as much as usual. Feeling desirous of his wifes company he rushed to the private chambers. The harlot was waiting for him as usual. The prince did not recognize her in the heat of the passion. After his passion got satisfied he noticed that the female in his embrace was not his wife, but some ugly wretch. Shocked to his senses he questioned her angrily - who she was. She remained silent terrified of the prince. The prince felt cheated. He suspected some foul play. He flew into a rage and held her by her hair and drawing his sword threatened her: Speak the truth or your filthy body will lie headless on this very bed! The wily woman confessed the whole thing. She took him to the place where the servant and his wife were enjoying each other. There he found the lovely and delicate body of his beautiful wife in the close and loving embrace of the dark, ugly loathsome savage of the servant.

The prince could not believe his eyes. He stood there speechless. He was in deep shock. He reflected within himself: Fie on me who was addicted to intoxicating drinks! Fie on those who are infatuated with females! Women are like birds on trees hopping from one branch to another. I was a fool to have loved my wife like my own soul. I should have known that women are good for only sensuous fools. He who loves them is a wild ass. Even autumn clouds may sometimes become stabilized at one place; but women cannot be trusted to be loyal to one single person. I loved her so much; I was devoted to her so much; she was unfaithful to me and was in illicit love with a savage, like a prostitute entertaining a lecherous fool! All the while she pretended to love me. I never even could imagine that she was not in my company at nights. I was too drunk but trusted her to be always a devoted wife. I believed that she served me like a shadow! I was deceived by this wicked wretch of a girl and felt happy as if I was with my wifes company! But what is in that ugly servant that is not in me to make my wife seek his company? Thinking like this the prince felt disgusted with the affairs of the world. Developing extreme dispassion he retired to the forest and lived like a recluse contemplating on Higher Truths! Hemalekhaa continued: So my good husband, does this story not prove to you that beauty is only a concept in the mind? You say that you love me because I am beautiful. There are many lovers whose love exceeds yours, even if their dear ones may not be beautiful in your eyes. Let us analyze why one sees beauty in a woman. A woman who is perceived by the senses is just an object like all other objects. All the people around her do not perceive her in the same way. A man alone sees the woman as beautiful and infatuating; because he already has the conception of a beautiful woman in his mind. He superimposes his own conception of the qualities of an attractive female on the female who stands in front of him and that female is nothing but a shape drawn by the brain. The mind draws an image as per the preconceived idea and imagines that there is a beautiful woman standing there. The fair woman that appears as the object is only the reflection of the subtle concept already in the subjective mind. The process of super imposition of beauty on the outside object and drawing the picture of a beautiful woman are repeated till the shape outside becomes gross. The mind draws an image of her beauty in conformity with its own repeated conceptions. The repeatedly drawn image becomes clearer and clearer until it appears solidly as the object. An attraction springs up (and enslaves the mind) by constant mental associations. Since the mind now deludes itself that the object perceived is a beautiful object with inbuilt pleasure, the senses get provoked. Mind becomes more restless. The desire to enjoy her rises automatically. But a mind which does not have preconceived notions does not get provoked by her sight. A composed mind does not react to the presence of the fairest maiden. The reason for infatuation in the uncontrolled mind is the fulfillment of ones own mental picture getting gratified. Children and Yogis do not get excited by the presence of young women because they do not have such conceptions of beauty in their mind.

Neither do women think of other women as beautiful. They have a preconceived idea that they are the most beautiful objects in the world. So whoever finds pleasure in anything, the beauty therein is only mental imagery. Even ugly and loathsome women are looked upon as delightful angels by their husbands. If the mind conceives anything as loathsome and not delightful, there will be no pleasure from such objects. Fie on human beings who appraise the foulest part of the body as the most delightful. If one should see beauty in that body-part which is wet with impure excretions, where will not man see beauty? Tell me! Listen Prince! The idea of beauty lies in one's own desire innate in the mind. Sweets are liked by almost everyone. Even children recognize the sweetness in the edibles. The same chemical changes happen in almost all human beings when the chemical in the sugar excites the tongue. But beauty is not innate in the object like a chemical; beauty is just a subjective concept which is different in different persons. If beauty is natural to the object of love, why is it not recognized by children too? The form, the stature and complexion of people differ in different countries and at different times; their ears may be long; their faces distorted; their teeth large; their nose prominent; bodies hairy or smooth, their hair red, black, or golden, light or thick, smooth or curly; their complexion fair, dark, coppery, yellow or grey. Yet each man finds a particular woman as beautiful and enjoys her; she may look ugly and loathsome to another man with a different conception of beauty. All of them derive the same kind of pleasure as you, Prince! Even the most accomplished among men have fallen into the habit of seeking pleasure from women, for all consider her the best hunting ground for delight. An idea is inbuilt in the mind that a woman is an object of enjoyment; and no one escapes it. Similarly also a man's body is thought by woman to be the highest source of enjoyment. The provocation of senses occurs just by the natural process in the body. To the provoked senses, the opposite sex looks beautiful and attractive till the passion is satiated. Later the same object which was pleasing and beautiful might look disgusting and loathsome. But consider the matter well, Prince! What is this body after all? It is just a shape created by the mind; it is filled with flesh and fat; some ugly round shape with liquid mass is at the top moving this way and that way; the hard ugly bones hold the flesh together. Stinking hair covers the whole structure here and there. Bile and phlegm fill the insides. Body is a pitcher of urine and faeces. It is produced by semen and ova; born from the womb! Just think of it! It is a wonder that men find pleasure in such limbs! Finding delight in such a thing, how are men any better than worms growing in offal? My king! You love me; dont you? You call me beautiful; dont you? But tell me what beauty you find in this body that you always dwell on it in your mind. Analyze this body in your mind part by part and understand the loathsome nature of it. Whatever be the exotic taste of the food consumed, it finally comes out as stinking material from ones body. Body is nothing but a fleshy pitcher of nine stinking holes; you have to clean your hand thoroughly whichever hole you chance to touch! In such a state of affairs, answer me as to what is pleasing and non- pleasing!

The Prince was in a state of shock! He sat there like a statue. His mind was in turmoil. His whole body was bathed in sweat. He quickly took leave of his wife and went to his own chambers. [3]

Hemachuda had changed. He understood the truth hidden in the words of his pretty wife. He decided to control his mind and show her that he was no less than her in Self control. He will know more than her and see to it that she admired his knowledge. He kept women, wine and delicacies away. He filled his chambers with various scriptures and spent his time studying them. He invited many worthy souls and discussed philosophy with them. He had now achieved at least a good store of spiritual vocabulary. But he was bored; terribly bored. He did not get any great bliss from philosophical knowledge. Every topic was dry and boring. Hemalekhaa might be right! Maybe beauty is the conception of the mind! But what is wrong with it? If it was real or unreal, the pleasure obtained was not less in degree because one knew about its unreal nature. After all, he did not do anything criminal by enjoying life. He was a prince; he had all facilities for enjoying life as a blessing from God! Why waste his life in worthless studies of impractical philosophies? To please whom? If Hemalekhaa did not want to be disturbed, he wont trouble her. She was too young and inexperienced in the royal way of life. As she grows old she will change. So thinking the prince slowly got back to his old ways of life. But again in a few days, he got disinterested in everything. He remembered the sensible advice given by his wife. He again refrained from pleasures and tried to spend his days in meditations and study of scriptures. Soon he got bored of all this again and reverted back to his pleasure seeking life. His mind was thus moving to and fro, like a swing. Unable to stick to one particular way of life he oscillated between pleasure seeking and pleasure avoiding acts. He neither could enjoy any royal pleasures, nor feel any joy in the spiritual path. He became pale and melancholy. He felt lost. Hemalekhaa soon observed that her husband was not in his normal moods. He avoided her completely. Even if chanced to meet, he bent his head and walked away. He looked pale and weak. The cheerful smile which always added charm to his handsome face had disappeared. He was not eating well. He desisted from all types of royal sports. He kept to himself in his room and avoided all his friends and relations. His maids and servants were worried and reported all this secretly to the Young Queen. Hemalekhaa decided to meet him and find out the true state of affairs.

[4] The Prince was sitting on his bed. He was leaning on the backrest. His eyes were closed in deep thoughts. He did not even hear the anklet sounds of his wife as she entered his room. Hemalekhaa gently placed her hand on his shoulder and whispered My Lord! The Prince got up with a shock. He had not expected Hemalekhaa there at that time. But feeling weak he collapsed on the bed again. Hemalekhaa felt anxious about his condition. She knew he had no illness or ailment connected to the body. But he looked so pathetic, her mind melted in compassion towards him. She asked with concern: How is it, my Lord that you are not as cheerful as before? You look sad. Why so? I do not see symptoms of any particular ailment in you. Diseases are usually caused by disharmony in the three tempers of the body. Tempers get displaced by food consumed, clothes worn, words uttered or heard, sights seen, objects contacted, changes of seasons and travel in different countries. There is no way to escape it; but one need not worry about it also too much; medicines always can cure such ailments rising due to imbalance in the tempers. But your ailment seems to be different. There is no medicine for unknown ailments. Tell me dear, why you are so sad! Her tender words were like nectar to his parched mind. Hemachuda poured out all his problems to her immediately. He said: After our talks on the last occasion, I felt averse to all pleasures. But I am not able to completely devote my mind to any particular spiritual path also. I do not feel any joy in the philosophical thoughts too. I cannot even revert back to my old ways of pleasure seeking. I feel like a person under death sentence. I do not relish any luxury that has fallen to my lot. I just go through everything as I have nothing better to do. I am habituated to only this sort of life. Please my dear tell me how I should try for real happiness. Hemalekhaa felt happy by his words. She knew that this slightest sign of dispassion is a sure sign of Goddess Tripuraas grace on him. But instead of a discourse on contemplative practices, she narrated to him a light story by which he would understand the higher truths.

[5] Hemalekhaa said: Listen Prince, I will tell you my story. I have a mother who is very pure. My mother and I lived alone at first. Then my mother provided me a lady-in waiting to keep me company. That companion of mine became acquainted with a wicked lady named Avidyaa (Absence of Knowledge). This new friend could create new and wonderful things and even I started seeking her company. My lady- in- waiting was so pure that I could not remain without her company even for a second. All three of us - me, my companion and the wicked Avidyaa spent time together at all times. The wicked lady Avidyaa had an idiot son, Mr. Fool! He was completely an idiot to the core and was even addicted to drinks and got intoxicated at all times. My companion lost her reason and fell in love with him. They started living together. They did not even mind me watching all this. I was helpless. I somehow held on to my friend even as I witnessed her slow downfall. My companion soon was the mother of a child. He was named Inconstant. He was wicked like his grandmother Avidyaa and stupid like his father the Fool. My friend also started acting like a fool in their company. She no more cared for me. Fool tried to hook me too; but I was careful and remained as pure as ever. But people talked! Everyone made light of me saying that I was his slave. The baby Inconstant was left to my care and his parents were always enjoying each others company without a break. The wicked lad at last grew up and was duly married to a girl named Unsteady. Unsteady was always restless and attired herself in many forms to please her husband Inconstant. Her husband was fully under her control. Inconstant flew hundreds of miles in a second; go here, there and everywhere to please his wife and was always restless. Whenever Inconstant wished to go anywhere and whatever he wanted to have in any measure, Unsteady was ready to meet his desires changing herself accordingly and creating new environments to please her husband. She thus won his affection entirely. He was always in her company. Unsteady bore him five sons who were highly devoted to their parents. Each one was skilled in his own way. They were also entrusted to my care, by my friend. Out of love for my friend, I brought them up with care, and made them strong. Those five sons of Inconstant and Unsteady individually erected splendid palaces, invited their father to their homes and entertained him continually in turns.

The eldest of them entertained him in his mansion with different kinds of sweet music, with incantations of the Vedas, the reading of scriptures, the humming sounds of bees, the twittering of birds and other sounds sweet to hear. The father was pleased with the son, who arranged for still further sounds for him which were harsh, fearful and tumultuous like the roar of the lion, the peal of thunder, the raging of the sea, the rumblings of earthquakes, the cries from lying-in-chambers, and the quarrels, moans and lamentations of many people. Invited by his second son, the father went to stay in his mansion. There he found soft seats, downy beds, fine clothes and some hard things, others hot or warm or cold, or refreshing things with various designs, and so on. He was pleased with the agreeable things and felt aversion to the disagreeable ones. Then going to the third son, he saw charming and variegated scenes, things red, white, brown, blue, yellow, pink, smoky grey, tawny, red-brown, black and spotted, others fat or lean, short or long, broad or round, bent or wavy, pleasing or horrible, nauseous, brilliant or savage, unsightly or captivating, some pleasing and others not pleasing. The father was taken to the fourth son's mansion and there he was offered fruits and delicacies of manifold varieties. He had drinks, things to be licked, to be sucked, and to be masticated, juicy things, some refreshing like nectar, others sweet, sour, pungent or astringent, some decoctions of similar flavors, and so on. He tasted them all. The last son took the father to his home and treated him with fruits and flowers, with various scented grasses, herbs and things of different odors, sweet or putrescent, mild or acrid, others stimulating or soporific and so on. In this manner, he enjoyed himself uninterruptedly, one way or another, in one mansion or another, being pleased with some and repulsed by others. The sons too were so devoted to their father that they would not touch anything themselves in his absence. But Inconstant not only enjoyed himself thoroughly in his sons mansions, but also stole away things from them and shared them in secret with his dear wife Unsteady, in his own home, unknown to his sons. After some time, one lady named Vorax (voracious eater) fell in love with Inconstant. They both were very much attached to each other. He used to fetch enormous provisions for her. She consumed them all in a moment; yet was still hungry for more. She kept her husband always on his legs to collect food for her. He was also incessantly striving to secure provisions for her. Vorax was not even satisfied with the service of the father and his five sons put together, but wanted still more. Such was her insatiable hunger. She used to order all of them about for her needs. In a short time she gave birth to two sons. They were Master Flaming-mouth the elder and Master Mean the younger - both of course were very dear to their mother. They always stuck to their mother.

Whenever Inconstant sought his wife in privacy, his body was burnt by the fiery flames of Flaming-mouth and swooned. Whenever he fondled the younger son Mean affectionately, he was hated by all the world and he himself became as if lifeless. Inconstant thus experienced untold misery. My good-natured companion was herself grieved because of her son Inconstants grief. Being also associated with her two grandsons, Flaming-mouth and Mean, she became quite miserable and was condemned by all. I too, dear Lord, was drowned in sorrow because of her misery. Several years passed this way. Mr. Inconstant was dominated by his second wife Madam Vorax and lost all initiative. He acted like a slave in obedience when with her. Soon, Inconstant, his wife Vorax, her sons, and my companion who was the mother of Inconstant all started to live together in a city of ten gates. Though Inconstant tried his best to be happy, he always ended up in endless miseries. He was constantly burnt by the wrath of Flaming-mouth and treated with contempt by Mean. He swung hither and thither greatly agitated. He visited the mansions of his other five sons but was only perplexed, without being happy. My companion too was affected by her sons plight that and completely drowned in sorrow. Yet she continued to live in the same city with all of them. Madam Vorax, her two sons Flaming-mouth and Mean were all being nourished by Avidyaa, her husband's grandmother, and by Fool, her father-in-law. Vorax got on well with her co-wife Unsteady and was even intimate with her. (Ingratiating herself with all of them), she completely dominated her husband Inconstant. I was in a death-like state because my friend was also in the same condition. I too continued to live there because of my love for my friend. I couldnt be without her. None of them could have lived in the town without me who was their support. I was sometimes suppressed by Avidyaa; was made a fool of by Fool; became inconstant on account of Inconstant; grew unsteady with Unsteady; contacted wrath with Flaming-mouth; looked contemptible with Mean. I reflected within myself all the moods of my friend, for she would have died if I had left her even a minute. Because of my company, the common people always had doubts about my chastity, whereas discriminating men could see that I have always remained pure.

My Mother, the Supreme Good One, is ever pure and clear, more extensive than space and subtler than the subtlest. She is omniscient, yet is of limited Knowledge. She does everything, yet remains inactive. She supports all, herself being unsupported. All depend on her, and she is independent. All forms are hers, but she is formless. All belong to her, but she is unattached. Though illumining all, she is not known to any one under any circumstances. She is Bliss, yet not blissful. She has no father or mother; innumerable are her daughters, like me. My sisters are as many as the waves on the sea. All of them, O Prince, are just like me involved in their companions affairs. Though sharing the lives of my friends, I am in possession of the most powerful potion by virtue of which I am also exactly like my mother in nature. My companions son Inconstant always slept soundly on the lap of his mother when exhausted in his restless activities. When Inconstant was asleep, all others, including his sons, were also asleep; for no one could remain awake when he slept. On such occasions, the city was guarded by Vibration the intimate friend of Inconstant. He always moved to and fro by two upper gateways. My friend, the mother of Inconstant, along with him and her wicked friend Avidyaa her mother-in-law, kept a watch over the whole sleeping family. I used that opportunity to seek my mother in that time interval and remained blissful in her fond embrace. But I was obliged to return to the city simultaneously with the waking of the sleepers. This Vibration the friend of Inconstant, is most powerful and keeps them all alive. Though single, he multiplies himself, manifests as the city and citizens, pervades them all, protects and holds them. Without him, they would all be scattered and lost like pearls in a broken string of the necklace. He is the bond between the inmates and me. Empowered by me, he serves in the city as the string in a necklace. If that city decays, he collects all the inmates together, leads them to another city and remains as their master. In this way Inconstant rules over many cities always, remaining always under the sway of his friend Vibration. Though supported by such a powerful friend, though born of such a virtuous mother and brought up by me, he is never otherwise than miserable, because he is tossed about by his two wives and several sons. He is torn asunder by his sons and finds not the least pleasure but only intense misery.

Tempted by his wife Unsteady, he grieves; ordered about by the other wife Vorax, he runs about in search of food for her; stricken by his son Flaming-mouth he burns with rage, loses his sense and is baffled; approaching his other son Mean, he is openly despised and reviled by others and becomes as one dead under shame of public contempt. Already of disreputable heredity, and now infatuated by love, and tossed about by his wicked wives and sons, he has been living with them in all kinds of places good or bad; in forests with woods or thorny bushes and infested with wild beasts; in deserts burning hot; in icy tracts pierced by cold; in putrid ditches or in dark holes and so on. Again and again my friend is stricken with grief on account of her sons calamities and she nearly collapsed to death by misery. I too, though sane and pure by nature, dear Lord, got involved in the affairs of her family and became miserable. Who can hope for even the least happiness in bad company? One may as well seek to quench ones thirst by drinking water from a mirage! Engulfed in sorrow, my friend once sought me in private. Advised by me, she soon gained a good husband, killed her own son and imprisoned his sons. Then accompanied by me, she quickly gained my Mother's presence. Being pure, she often embraced my Mother. She at once dived in the sea of Bliss and became Bliss itself. In the same manner, you too can conquer your sense attractions which are only newly acquired habits and do not make your true nature. My Lord, attain the Mother and gain eternal happiness. I have now related to you, my Lord, my own experience at the pedestal of Bliss.

[6]

Hemachuda waited till she completed her story. He looked displeased with the whole discourse. He addressed her in a stern voice: Enough of this fairy tale! I know you are the daughter of an apsara and Sage VyaaghraPaada brought you up. If you wanted to amuse me and make me cheerful, you need not have imagined such a meaningless story and wasted my time. Do you think I am a fool to believe this story? Listen to my story now! Long back a clown related the following story to amuse me. A barren woman's son once mounted a chariot reflected in a mirror and decorated with silver taken from the sheen of mother-of-pearl; armed himself with weapons made of human horn; fought in the battle-field of the sky; killed the future king; subdued the city of aerial hosts; and enjoyed himself with dream maidens on the banks of the waters of a mirage. Your story is as unbelievable as this story told by the clown. Both stories are meaningless and idiotic! Hemalekhaa retorted immediately: O Lord, how can you say my parable is meaningless? I am the beloved daughter of the Great Sage and I have been taught never to utter untruths. People like us never can talk nonsense. If virtuous people resort to falsehood it will undermine the effect of their penance. Moreover, one who entertains an earnest seeker with hollow or false words will not prosper in this world nor advance in the next. Listen, Prince! My object is to help you come out of your depression and understand the right method of attaining the Supreme Truth! A man who is blinded by illness cannot have his eye-sight restored by merely hearing the prescription read. He is a fool who thinks of good advice as meaningless. Do you think, my dear, that I, your wife, would deceive you with a myth when you are so much in earnest? Use your intellect and analyze my story. An intelligent man always verifies the statement properly before deciding to accept or reject it. I will present to you the proofs myself. After my talks last time, you got disinterested in sense pleasures. You understood the truth in my words and so with reason you were able to develop dispassion. Now also I am speaking words of wisdom only. By understanding this, again you will develop more dispassion. So trust my words. Mistrust in a well-wishers words is the surest way to ruin. A man who is always suspicious gains nothing. Faith is like a doting mother who always saves her trusting son from dangerous situations. The fool who has no faith in his well-wisher's words is forsaken by prosperity, happiness and fame. A man who is always suspicious can never gain anything worthwhile. Trust alone holds the world and nourishes all.

How can a babe survive if it has no trust in its mother? How can a lover gain pleasure if he does not trust his beloved? Similarly, how is the aged parent to be happy if he has no trust in his sons? Will the farmer till the land, if he had no faith? How can humanity exist without universal trust? Mutual distrust will put an end to all transactions. Do not think everything happens by the law of cause and effect. There also one should have trust in that law. One must believe in the law that such and such a cause produces such and such a result. Is that not faith? One cant even breathe if he does not trust the air around him. Or he will fear the bacteria abounding everywhere; block his nose and die! So develop faith before you aspire for the Supreme Beatitude. If again, Prince, you hesitate to trust my words thinking that I am an incompetent person, how else can you get the solution to your problem? Hemachuda replied in a conciliatory tone: Dearest! What else can I do? If faith should be placed on any one, my dear, it should certainly be placed on those worthy of it, in order that one's ends may be served. He who is after the highest good should never trust an incompetent person. Otherwise, he comes to grief, like a fish attracted by the tempting bait at the end of a fishing line. Therefore, faith can only be put in the worthy and not in the unworthy. Like the fish trusting the bait, many have ruined their lives. But by acting skeptical and cautious many have achieved their goals without fail. I do not know your competence. I do not know whether you are competent to guide me towards my goal. Why then do you ask me how the desired end can be approached?" Hemachuda laughed aloud. Hemalekhaa would not give up. She asked again: How do you decide the competence of a person? You must have a standard of competence fixed in your mind. Right? Some one is considered to be an authority and their judgments are accepted. How do you judge something is good or bad? Again you must have standard of goodness and badness fixed in your mind! Right? Some one is considered to be an authority and their judgments are accepted. Then tell me, what is the accepted authority behind such standards? Those people are accepted as authorities due to reference to some accepted standards. Are the authors themselves worthy or unworthy? In this way, there will be no end to argument. Moreover, the person who refers to these authorities has to be judged for his competence or incompetence. This can also lead to endless argument. Therefore life moves by faith only. I will convince you with proper reason how faith alone leads to the Supreme Goal. Listen attentively. Arguments and faith both should not be carried to the extreme. Either in the present life or life in the hereafter, people cant achieve anything either by endless discussions or blind acceptance. Of the two, however, there is hope for the latter and there is none for the former. I will relate to you one anecdote which proves my point.

[7] Hemalekhaa said: Once there lived a saint, by name Kaushika, on the Sahya Hill near the banks of the Godaavari. He was serene, pure, and pious. He also had the Knowledge of the Supreme Truth. He had many disciples who sought Knowledge under his guidance. Once he had gone out on an important work. His disciples finished their respective tasks and sat down to revise their lessons. They started discussing philosophy, according to their own lights. There appeared on the scene a Brahmin of great intellect and wide learning. His name was Soonga. He joined the discussion and soon refuted all their arguments by his skill in logic. He had no faith in any philosophical thought. He had no conviction about anybodys authority. He was adept in arguments of any sort; he could debate well on any topic. The disciples of Kaushika argued that the truth must be ascertained by reference to some standard alone. But Soonga contradicted them on the basis of an unending series of standards and refuted them. At the end of his well-worded argument he said: Listen, you Brahmins, standards cannot be applied for ascertaining the merits or demerits of any statement and you cannot reach the truth using those standards. Standards can be either right or wrong. Erroneous standards will not lead to the proper end. They cannot serve the purpose of testing the statements. First we have to establish the correctness these standards. We have to present other standards to test them. Are they in their turn infallible? Proceeding in this way, no finality can be reached. Therefore no tests are possible. Ascertainment of Truth being impossible without being tested, nothing can therefore be Truth. Even what statement is finalized by me cannot be proved by any standard; nor can you prove my competence. Nothing is true. What then is the decision arrived at? Nothing! Nothing void - Shoonya alone is true. All are Shoonya! All are void! Even this statement cannot be proved by reliable facts. Hence, the statement that all are void ends in void too. Hearing his discourse, some of them were impressed by the force of Soonga's logic and became scholiasts of the void. They got lost in the maze of their philosophy. The discriminating ones among the hearers placed Soonga's arguments before their master and were enlightened by him. Thus they gained peace and happiness. Therefore, beware of dry arguments parading as logic. Use logic in the same manner as presented by Sacred Scriptures. Surely one will reach his goal of Supreme truth in this manner."

[8]

Hemachuda looked at his wife in admiration! So young; yet so wise! He addressed her with humility: Dearest! I did not realize your greatness till now. You are indeed a blessed soul! You are wise beyond your age! I too am blessed as I am wedded to you! I know you have all the answers to my questions. You are saying faith alone leads to the highest good! How does that happen? Please explain! Where should one have faith; where should not? Different scriptures teach different things. Different teachers teach different things. Even the commentaries written for the same scriptures differ. Reasoning about them will also not prove their correctness. Which of them is to be followed and which rejected? Each one stamps his own views with the seal of authority and condemns the rest, not only as worthless but also as harmful, my dear! That being the case, I cannot decide for myself. What you condemned as the School of the Void (ShoonyaVaada) turns round on others and attacks them. Why should not that school be respected? It has its own adherents and its own system of philosophy. Explain to me dearest, all these things clearly. They must indeed be already clear to you." Hemalekhaa who was well trained in the spiritual matters by her father spoke to him with extreme kindness: Dearest to my heart, listen to me attentively! The cause of all the problems in the world is the Mind! Mind is a continuous wave like vibration, never quite even for a fraction a second. It is like a restless monkey hopping from one thing to the other without a break. Mind is the cause of all anxieties in every one. A restless mind is the channel of endless troubles. But when we sleep the mind is quite and there is no anxiety or restlessness. So listen to me with complete attention without getting diverted to anything else. Hearing with a distracted mind is as good as not hearing, for the words serve no useful purpose, resembling the fruit-laden tree seen in a painting. Instead of dry logic, one must engage in purposeful discussions to reap the benefit of logic. And after arriving at the final truth of the statements through proper logic, one must follow it up with appropriate action to reap the full benefit of the discussion. You already know, my dear that aimless discussions are fruitless and that earnest efforts are fruitful in the world. A farmer ploughs the field in correct seasons because of earnest effort followed by reason. The same discrimination helps a person to estimate the value of gold, silver, precious stones, medicinal herbs and the rest. No practical work will be done if people spend all their lives in vain discussions alone.

Therefore, one should discard aimless talk and start directing his efforts in accomplishing the highest aim of life as ascertained by appropriate sincere discussion. One should not refrain from individual effort like Soonga and his followers. An earnest man never fails. How can effort fail to give results? Men earn their food; gods earn their nectar; noble ascetics attain their Supreme beatitude only by individual effort alone. Any ordinary desire also is fulfilled by individual effort alone. When has any dry discussion without appropriate action led to any benefit? True! Sometimes individual efforts meet with failures also. But they are exceptions. One should never lose faith in individual exertion. The accursed man who loses faith in individual efforts is his own ruin. Be guided by proper deliberation; be earnest about reaching the goal; follow it up with sincere effort; you will never fail; liberation is certain. Of course there are various methods mentioned by various Gurus to reach that Supreme Goal. Choose that one among them which is the surest. Which then is the surest? We have to choose a perfect method by proper reasoning and judge its surety by looking at the examples of those Knowers who have attained the goal. After being sure of the method, one should immediately start the practice. That is the best method which does not again yoke you to suffering. A discriminating man sees all the aspects of life as endowed with pain. Whatever has even the slightest misery as its accompaniment surely cannot be good. Wealth, children, wife, kingdom, treasury, army, fame, learning, intellect, body, beauty and prosperity - all these are transient and already in the process of getting swallowed by time. All these things are seeds which sprout as pain and grow into miseries. The right means lies beyond these. Why do we hanker after these evanescent things? It is the deluding power of Maheshwara, the Master Magician! He is the Supreme Creator and all are deluded by him! Everyone gets deluded even by the limited magical feats of an ordinary magician. But even there some intelligent ones see through his tricks and escape his delusion. But who can escape the illusory power of Mahaadeva? Even then, some men of wisdom manage to overcome the universal Maayaa (illusion), if the Lord is gracious. Therefore HE should be worshipped by those who are anxious to cross the Ocean of Maayaa. He with whom God is graciously pleased, is endowed with Mahaa Vidyaa, the Supreme Knowledge by means of which he surely crosses over the Ocean of Maayaa. There are other methods which are put forward as leading to the Supreme end, but they are bound to fail in their purpose if the Lord's grace be not forthcoming. Therefore worship the Primal Cause of the world as the starting point; be devoted to Him; He will soon enable you to succeed in your attempts to destroy the illusion.

Hemalekhaa continued: Why should we believe that God is the Creator of this World? Let us reason it out! We perceive the world around us. Clearly the world must have some origin. Although the origin is shrouded in mystery, let us investigate the cause from the visible effect and be guided by the sacred scriptures; and then the conclusion will be reached that there is a Creator who in no way is comparable to any known agents. All the arguments contradicting the existence of God have been logically refuted by many authoritative scriptural texts. We cannot admit sensory evidence as the only proof for disproving the existence of a Creator. Such an argument is merely an apology for philosophy and leads nowhere. Salvation is not its end but damnation is its fruit. Dry logic also must be condemned. Another system declares that the world is eternal, without beginning or end. It follows that the world and its phenomena are self-existent; thus lifeless insentient matter is its own agent and keeper, which is absurd, because action implies intelligence and no example can be cited to the contrary. Scriptures also say that the Primal Cause is an intelligent principle, and we know that action always originates from an intelligent source alone. The world is thus traced to its Creator who differs entirely from any agent known to us. Judging from the magnitude of the Creation, His power must be immeasurable in the same proportion as the unimaginable vastness of the Creation. Such a one must also be able to protect and elevate His own creatures. Surrender therefore unreservedly unto Him. I shall adduce an example as a proof of this. We find in every-day life that a Master even if he be of limited means always ensures the prospects of the man who is sincerely devoted to him and pleases him. If the Lord of the world be pleased, will anything be withheld from the devotee? Tell me. He is the only Solace of the devotees! The Chiefs and Masters of this world are not necessarily kind; may be they are cruel and ungrateful also. Their patronage is also wavering and short-lived. The Supreme Lord has infinite mercy for His devotees; is most grateful and has unlimited powers. Otherwise would people continue to worship Him from untold ages? Kingdoms perish because they do not have perfect rulers. But the world continues without ending ever. This Lord of mercy is well established and also rightly famed. Surrender yourself directly and unhesitatingly to him. He will ordain the best for you and you need not ask for it. Among the methods of approach to God, there are1. Devotion to cross over difficulties. 2. Devotion to get the fulfillment of desires. 3. Devotion without expecting anything in return. The last one is the best and surest in its results.

Hemalekhaa continued: In practical life too, a Master usually helps a man who pleads for help; but if the man had not behaved properly in the past the Master may not heed to his prayers. So also the service done only for some selfish gains bears indeterminate and limited fruit according to its intensity. Devoted service with no ulterior motive takes a long time to be recognized; yet it makes even the petty chief amiable. A human master may take long to recognize unselfish work; but God, the Lord of the world, the Dweller in our hearts, knows everything and soon bestows appropriate fruits. In the case of other kinds of devotees, God has to await the course of destiny - that being His own ordainment; whereas for the selfless devotee, God, the Lord and the sole Refuge, is all in all and takes care of him without reference to the devotees past actions. He may even break his own ordained laws. He compensates the devotee quickly, and that is because He is supreme and self-contained without depending on anything else. The predestined fate or Divine will is powerless before Him. Every one knows how He set aside predestined fate and divine laws in the case of His famous devotee, Maarkandeya. I will explain to you now the fitness of this. Listen, my dearest!
(Once upon a time, there lived a sage called Mrikandu with his wife Marudvati. Both were devotees of Shiva. The couple was childless, and so decided to perform penance so that they would be blessed with a child. Pleased by their penance Shiva appeared before them. Shiva asked the couple if they desired an idiot son who would live a long life, or an intelligent son who would live a short life. The couple asked for the latter. In due course, Marudvati gave birth to a boy and the child was named Maarkandeya (literally: son of Mrikandu). Maarkandeya was an exceptionally gifted child, and became an accomplished Sage early in his childhood. He was highly devoted to Shiva, and had mastered the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra. At the age of sixteen, his time on this earth had come to an end, and so Yama the Lord of Death came to take him away. At that time, Maarkandeya was in a temple worshipping the Shiva-Linga. Seeing Yama he embraced the Linga in fear. Immediately Shiva appeared and stuck at Yama with his trident. Yama pleaded his helplessness as he had to do his duty ordained by the Creator. Shiva blessed Maarkandeya to remain as a boy of sixteen always and thus saved him from Death. Yama returned satisfied.)

Hemalekhaa continued: The idea that one cannot escape ones destiny is applicable only to weak-minded and senseless idiots. Yogis who practice control of breath conquer fate. Even fate cannot impose its fruits on yogis. Destiny seizes and holds only senseless people. Conforming to and following nature, destiny forms part of nature. Nature again is only the contrivance for enforcing Gods will. His purpose is always sure and cannot be prevented. Its edge can however, be blunted by devotion to Him and if it is not so blunted, the predisposing cause must therefore be considered a most powerful factor in a mans life. Therefore, eschew high vanity and take refuge in Him. He will spontaneously take you to the Highest State. This is the first rung in the ladder to the pedestal of Bliss. Nothing else is worth while.

[9]

Hemachuda felt immensely happy by her discourse. Ignoring her age, gender and relation to him, he surrendered to Hemalekhaa completely in his mind and accepted her as his Guru. He questioned her with extreme humility: "Tell me, dear, who is this God, the Creator, the Self-contained One and the Ordainer of the world to whom I should take refuge in. Some say He is Vishnu, others Shiva, some worship Ganesha, some adore the Sun, some praise Nara-simha or similar such avatars; others say Buddha or Arhat is the Supreme; still others are devoted to Vaasudeva; some only control Praana, the life-principle; some adore the Moon, Fire, Karma, Nature, primordial nature and what not. Each sect gives a different origin for the world. Tell me which of them is true. I know for certain that there is nothing unknown to you. You are the daughter and disciple of Sage VyaaghraPaada. Profound wisdom shines in your eyes even though you are a girl of tender age. Please explain everything in detail to me, my precious wife! You indeed are a true guide in my journey towards the Supreme! Thus requested, Hemalekhaa spoke with pleasure: Lord, I shall tell you the final Truth about God. Listen! God is the All-Seer who generates, permeates, sustains and destroys the world. He is all the deities worshipped by all sects; yet He is not those deities too. He is Shiva, He is Vishnu, He is Brahman, He is the Sun, the Moon, etc.; yet He is not Shiva, nor Vishnu, nor Brahma nor any other exclusively. Hemachuda looked at her unable to comprehend her contradictory statements. Hemalekhaa continued: I will explain my statements; wait! Suppose one says that Shiva with five faces is the Primal Being; the Creator in this case is Shiva who would be limited by a form and endowed with a brain. He would be like an ordinary potter making pots, endowed with a body and brain. Any art or design presupposes the existence of an intelligent designer. In fact, the creative faculty in men belongs to something between the body and pure intelligence. Body itself cannot act without the brain and brain cannot complete the action without using the body as a tool. In the dream state, the brain being intelligent conceives forms and environment suited to that state; and fulfills its latent desires. The gross body lies in a paralyzed state at that time. This proves that the body is only a tool for a purpose and the agent is intelligence.

Instruments are necessary for human agents because their capacities are limited and they are not self-contained. Whereas the Creator of the world is perfect in Himself and creates the whole world without any external aid. So we have to conclude that God has no limitations of the body. Otherwise He would be reduced to the state a glorified human being requiring innumerable accessories for work and influenced by seasons and environments. He would be a super powered creature but not the Supreme Controller of Creations. To continue the argument, the accessories used by him should pre-exist or co-exist with him too. That would further impose limitations on his status as a Creator. This is absurd, as being contrary to the original premises. Therefore He has neither a body nor the other aids; He still creates the world, O Lord of my life! Only the ignorant superimpose a body on the Transcendental Being and worship him endowed with characteristics. But even such worship is accepted by Him and he assumes forms desired by them to please them. He is unique and fulfills the wants of all devotees of his. He is Bhakta-Chintamani. (a wish-fulfilling gem to his devotees) Nevertheless, the conclusion must be reached that He is pure intelligence and His body can only be supreme and transcendental. That CHITI- the Pure Consciousness is the Absolute; the Supreme Queen; the Supreme Ruler TRIPURAA DEVI. SHE alone shines as the Creator and the created; and appears divided, though in reality SHE is undivided. This entire world of movable and immovable things is like a reflection in the mirror. Whatever patterns are seen in the mirror, all are actually of the nature of mirror only; there cannot be a conception of higher and lower in the patterns reflected in the mirror. The noble characteristics like pre-eminence etc superimposed on godheads are imagined only in the lower nature of the Supreme. These Gods with forms are also reflections in the reflection-less mirror called Tripuraa. Just like the mirror alone appears as all the reflections, Goddess Tripuraa alone appears as all these Gods with form. There is absolutely no difference at all among all types of Gods with forms. There is no lower or higher God! Therefore a wise man should worship the Undivided Supreme without attributes. Suppose one is incapable of conceiving formless state of Tripuraa, he should worship any deity that he chooses with extreme devotion without expecting anything in return. Gradually Tripuraa herself will gradually endow him with true Knowledge through that deity whom he adores. These are the only two methods that can certainly lead one towards the Goal of Supreme Beatitude even if one has to journey through million births.

[10]

Hemachuda felt satisfied by Hemalekhaas advice. Hemalekhaa retired to her own chambers. Hemachuda sought the advice of competent teachers and learnt the proper technique of appeasing Goddess Tripuraa Devi. Hemachuda soon gained peace of mind and took to the worship of the Goddess with intense devotion. A few months passed in this manner. The Supreme Mothers grace descended on him, and he slowly developed true dispassion. His mind stopped its hankering after pleasures. He felt more composed and became cheerful. His mind naturally took to the enquiry of Self. Dawn of Vichaara or Self-enquiry is surely the result of the Grace of the Supreme; for the rise of Vichaara is the surest means for liberation. Whatever be the practices adhered to by seekers, unless Vichaara rises in the mind, there is no hope of enlightenment even in million births. Hemachuda remembered one day the apparently meaningless parable presented by his wife. He decided to ask her about the true meaning hidden in that story. He had now lost all his arrogance of manhood and intellectual supremacy and approached his young wife like a humble disciple seeking the Guru for instructions. Hemalekhaa saw through the window of her room, her husband coming towards her chambers. She immediately ran out; welcomed him with all the humility of a devoted wife. She got him seated on the royal chair, washed his feet and worshipped him with flowers. She saluted him with all reverence and offered him refreshments with extreme love and affection. After he was comfortable she seated herself close to him and garlanding his neck with her creeper like arms asked in her nectar like voice: Dearest! I see you again after such a long time. May be you were ill! Are you in good health now? Why did you not visit me all these days? You never could spend even a day without me. But nowadays I do not see you at all. Have I caused you any offense unknowingly? Forgive this ignorant girl if I have hurt you in any way. Nights are painful without your company. Not a day passed before without your seeing me and conversing with me. How have you been passing your time? I could never have dreamt that you would be so indifferent to me! What makes you so? How do you spend your nights? You used to say that a moment without me was like eternity to you, and that you could not bear it. Saying this, she embraced him fondly and buried her face on his broad chest. She appeared highly distressed.

But Hemachuda had changed. His mind was not after senses pleasures now. His only thought day and night was to understand the nature of his own Self and the identity of his Self with the Supreme Self of Para Brahman. Though embraced lovingly by his dear wife, he was not moved in the least. He lifted her face up and replied tenderly: Dearest treasure of my heart! You know that I have been guided into the right path by your compassionate heart. I do not have interest in sense pleasures now. You need not feel obliged to act like the ordinary women of your age. I understand well that you are acting as if in need of my company only to please me. I can no longer be deceived by you. I am convinced of your strength; the presence or absence of anything can not affect your inherent happiness. You are an unperturbed Sage. You know this world and beyond. I came here not to seek the company of your beautiful form. I am here to ask your advice. Now please listen. Explain to me that tale you once related to me as the story of your life. Who is your mother? Who is your friend? Who is her husband? Who are her sons? Tell me, what relationship has all these people to me? I do not clearly understand it. I no longer think it is a meaningless parable. I am sure you told me that story to teach some significant truths about our existence in this world. Tell me everything in detail so that I may understand it clearly. I bow to you reverently. Kindly clear these doubts. Hemalekhaa felt a sudden joy rushing through her limbs. She thought within herselfMy husband is now pure in mind and blessed of Goddess Tripuraa. He is evidently indifferent to the pleasures of life and is also strong in mind. This must be due to Gods Grace alone and his former virtues are now bearing fruit. The time is now ripe for him to be enlightened, so I will enlighten him. She kissed him in extreme delight and looked at him affectionately. She said: Lord, Gods Grace is upon you, and you are blessed! Dispassion cannot arise otherwise. It is the sign of Gods Grace that the mind should be absorbed in the quest for truth after becoming detached from sensual pleasures. I shall now solve the puzzle of my life-story. Listen attentively. My mother is Transcendence- Pure Consciousness. My friend is Intellect (discerning faculty/Buddhi). Avidyaa- Ignorance- Absence of Knowledge state is Madam Dark, the undesirable friend of the Intellect. The play of ignorance is too well known to need elucidation. She can delude any one, making a rope seem to be a serpent and strike terror in the heart of the on-looker. Her son Fool is the greatest of illusions - the Mind. His wife Unsteady is Thought or Conception or Imagination. Her sons are five in number, namely, Audition, Taste, Sight, Touch and Smell, whose mansions are the respective senses. What the Mind was said to steal from them is enjoyment of sense objects which leaves an impression on the mind to develop later into the proclivities (strong inherent inclination toward something objectionable) of the mind. Sharing stolen objects with his wife is manifestation of proclivities in dreams.

Madam Vorax is the desire; her sons are anger (Flaming Mouth) and greed (Mean) ; their city is the body. What was said to be my most potent talisman is Realization of the Self. Minds (Fools) friend guarding the city is the Vital principle (Vibration) which keeps moving as the Life-breath. The different cities peopled by them are hells passed in the eternal passage of the soul. The consummation of the discerning faculty is Samaadhi. My admission into my mothers chamber is Final Liberation. Such is in brief the tale of my life. Yours is likewise. Think well and be absolved. [11]

Hemachuda was wonderstruck by her explanation of the parable. He regretted his harsh retort to such a wonderful tale when she had said it on the last occasion. He embraced her with extreme love and in a voice choked with emotions said: My dearest wife! How can I express my feelings towards you? You are the result of my entire merits of the past lives. Or you must be sent as Tripuraa Devis emissary to save this person sitting here as a husband in front of you. My salutations to Her again and again. There are no words in the language of the humans to praise such an angelic wife like you! Your wisdom has no bounds. You are not an ordinary woman. You are a Sage in female form. Till now I was ignorant of your greatness. How shall I describe the profound wisdom of the story of your life, narrated to me in the form of a parable? Now I understand everything like a gooseberry resting on the palm of my hand. I am now easily able to comprehend the workings of the mind and what is the ultimate end to be strived for by every human. But I still have to learn so many things from you. Be patient with me and answer my questions. Who is this Mother of yours? How is she without beginning? Who are we? What is our real nature? Hemalekhaa was waiting for such a moment all these days. Thankfully saluting Mother Tripuraa in her mind she started to explain everything in detail to her handsome husband. My Lord, listen carefully to what I am going to say, for it is very subtle. Investigate the nature of the Self with a pure intellect. By realizing the Self alone can you realize the nature of the Supreme Mother. Do not bother about the statements given in any book or by any person. Analyze the nature of your own Self by yourself. Reason it out by your own intellect. What is Self? It is not an object to be perceived, nor described; so how shall I then tell you of it? You cannot specify or define the nature of the Self; so a teacher cannot teach it. But it is your own Self; you know it all the time as yourself. It resides in the unblemished intellect. Self pervades all; beginning from the personal God to the amoeba; but it is beyond the cognitive powers of the mind or senses.

Self alone illuminates everything; but it cannot be illuminated by anything else. Self is everywhere and is always there. Self cannot be demonstrated; Self cannot be proved through discussions. How, where, when, or by whom has it been specifically described even a little? What you ask me dear, amounts to asking me to show your eyes to you. Even the best teachers cannot bring your eyes to your own sight. Similarly your own Self cannot be shown by a teacher. He can at best guide you towards it and nothing more. I shall also explain to you the means to realization. Listen attentively. As long as you are contaminated with notions of me or mine (e.g., my home, my body, my mind, my intellect), the Self will not be found, for it lies beyond cognition and cannot be realized as my Self. That which cannot come under the category of mine is the Self, because it is You and not yours! Retire into solitude, analyze and see what objects are cognized as mine; discard them all and transcending them, look for the real Self. For instance, you know me as your wife and not as your Self. I am only related to you and not part of you; much less your very being. Analyze everything in this way and discard it. What remains left over, where you cannot cognize any object as mine that is the Self! Self transcends all cognitions, all perceptions, all conceptions, all appropriations, and all relinquishments. That knowledge is final Liberation.

[12] Hemachuda was delighted by the instructions given by his wife. He felt the whole practice to be easier than he imagined. He wanted to realize immediately and attain the bliss which every known Sage strived for. He now trusted his wife implicitly. He felt realization was just a step away. What he needed was now a solitary place. He hurriedly took leave of his wife; mounted on his horse and galloped away from the city. He soon entered a royal pleasure-garden beyond the outskirts of the town and into a wellfurnished crystal palace. He dismissed his attendants and ordered the keepers: Let no one enter these rooms while I am in contemplation - be they ministers, elders or even the king himself. They must wait until you obtain my permission. Then he climbed up to a fine chamber in the ninth storey which looked out in all directions. Cool winds blew from all sides. Fragrant flowers filled the chamber with intoxicating scent. The room was well furnished befitting the royal status of the prince. He sat down on a soft cushion. He collected his mind and began to contemplate thus: How the world is deluded by the Supreme power of Shiva! No one knows even the fringe of the Self! But everyone acts only for the sake of the Self! Some recite the scriptures, a few study them and their commentaries; some are busy accumulating wealth; others are ruling the land; some are fighting the enemy; others are seeking the luxuries of life. Everyone is always engaged in selfish activities; yet they never enquire about the nature of their own Self! The whole world acts confused because no one has the Knowledge of the Self! If one does not know his own Self, then everything is in vain and as unstable as a dream experience!

I am fortunate! I know now what the Self is! All that has to be done is to categorize all cognitions into I and mine. When I no more have any mine-cognitions, then the remaining thing is the Self! So easy! Let me analyze now properly; hmmm..! My home, wealth, kingdom, treasure, women, cattle - none of these is me, and they are only mine. Hmm..! This body? It is fair in complexion; well built and handsome too as befitting my royal genes! I always thought of this body as my Self, but it is not me, but mine! It is only a tool to experience the world. Most people identify themselves with the body and suffer. Fools indeed! I know better! Reflecting thus, he considered the body. He could not identify the body as the Self, and so began to transcend it. This body is mine, not me. It is built up of blood and bones, and is changing each moment. How can this be the changeless, continuous me? It is akin to a bonded slave; it is as aloof as a sleeping body from a dream experience. I cannot be the body nor can the vital force be the Self; mind and intellect are clearly my tools so they cannot be I. I am surely something apart from all these, beginning from the body and ending with the intellect. When all cognitions are removed what do I see? I exist this thought is always there; I do not exist this thought is never there. I exist always aware of my own existence is undoubtedly true. I am always aware; I am aware of objects of the outside world; I am aware of my thoughts, actions; I am aware even of my thinking now; but I never seem to be aware of my own awareness! I am aware of darkness; I am aware of light; but I am not aware that I am aware! I am always aware, but do not realize that pure state of awareness. I am aware; true; but how my existence is made possible- I do not know! The reason of this inability is not clear to me. I am aware of the objects of the outside world through the senses. If the senses were absent, I may not cognize them. The vital energy- Praana is cognized through the sense of touch; the existence of mind can be inferred by the Knowledge of the world obtained. The existence of intellect is proved by its action of discrimination and decision-making. Existence of my own self is inferred by what? I do not know! If my existence is not dependent on these other inferred entities like world, mind and intellect, then I will not think of them. I will put a stop to the workings of the senses, mind and intellect and remain quiet. Then only can the Self shine by itself. Thus reflecting, he abandoned everything that was accessible to the mind. He arrested his thoughts completely. The next moment he saw deep darkness! He decided that was the true nature of his Self and felt very happy; but feeling doubtful, he decided to try once more. He forcefully arrested his thoughts once more through Hatha-yoga and plunged within. Next instant he perceived a brilliant mass of light without beginning or end.

Then he again woke up. He was surprised by his experiences. He wondered why he perceived the Self differently at different times. He decided to try once more. He arrested his mind through Yoga again. This time his mind relaxed into sleep and he did not wake up for a long time. He had various types of dreams with many wonderful visions in his sleep. When he woke up he felt anxious about the whole thing. He reflected like this: Why did I fall asleep and had so many dreams? Then I believe that darkness and light seen were also must be of the nature of dream only. Dream is just a play of the mind. How do I avoid it? I will try to attain the state of Self once more. Resolving thus he stopped the thoughts in the mind mind forcibly through Yoga. The mind became quiet. He felt as if he was drowned in the ocean of bliss. But within minutes there was a vibration in the mind and he woke up. He wondered again: What happened to me? Was it a dream or was I hallucinating? Oh no! It was a real experience! It is inconceivable; I did not experience anything even a little. How did I become blissful? Ah! Nothing so far experienced in this world equals even an infinitesimal part of that bliss. I was senseless as if in the state of deep sleep. How did this bliss occur? Nothing was there to cause such a state; then how did it happen? Though I was engaged in knowing the Self, I do not yet know anything. I see my Self differently at different times. What can it be? Is it light, darkness or bliss or some other thing? Or, is my Self is of the nature of all these appearing in succession? I am not able to find an answer to my doubts. I will clear my doubts with my learned wife. [13]

Hemachuda sent a messenger to his wife at the city-palace to come and meet him in the tower where he was now. Within an hour or so, his wife Hemalekhaa was climbing the steps of the mansion like the Queen of night (Moon) moving across the sky. She hurriedly entered her husbands room and found him cheerful, calm and of a peaceful mind. She seated herself very close to him and embraced him. As she nestled close to him he opened his eyes and found her sitting next to him. Hemalekhaa whispered with nectar like tenderness: My Lord! What can I do for Your Highness? I hope you are well. Please tell me why you called me up to this place? Thus addressed, he spoke to his wife: Dearest! As you yourself instructed I came to this solitary place and started to enquire about the Self exactly as you said, so that I could know the true nature of my Self. Though my mind was fully concentrated on the Self, why did I have different visions of the Self? Tell me!

Self is always attained; we cannot newly attain it; I know! It is always there as my awareness. Thinking that the constant Self-awareness is dimmed by the uncalled-for interference of mental activities, I forcibly repressed my thoughts, and remained calm. Darkness superseded, light appeared, sleep supervened and finally a unique bliss overpowered me for a little while. Tell me my dear, is this the nature of the Self or could it be another somewhere? Analyze my experiences and tell me how to perceive the true nature of the Self. Hemalekhaa who was a knower of this world and beyond replied sweetly thus: Listen to me my dear, closely. Your effort in controlling the mind is indeed praiseworthy. All Knowers approve of it and it is a very important step in the process of realizing the Self. Without the control of the mind nobody can achieve Self-realization anywhere anytime. But that alone does not become the cause of the attainment of the Self, because Self is always attained! You can attain a thing which is hitherto not attained. Self is always there as yourself; so Self cannot be attained newly. Mere mind control is not going to cause the attainment of the Self. The very word attainment of the Self is fallacious. When something is covered by darkness, you shine a lamp and you perceive the objects as if newly attained. When a man forgets his purse, he steadies the mind and remembers the location of the purse. He will again say- I gained the lost purse; but his steadying of the mind did not produce the purse newly. So just controlling the mind is not the cause of Self realization. Self is always there whether you control the mind or not. You do not recognize it because you never knew what it was. A villager, who has always been spending his life with tiny lamps, if he chanced to see the dazzling lights of the royal court at night, will ignore its magnificence at first sight. You also have missed the Self because you could not catch its magnificence. You perceived darkness at the end of your mind control. There was an infinitesimal effortless natural state just after the mind control and before the perception of the darkness. Always reflect on that residual state which is the giver of highest bliss. Here in the world, everyone is gripped by the great delusion and direct their sights outwards and do not reach the Self state even though they search for it repeatedly; they get frustrated by failure in their efforts. Here in this world exist great scholars, intellectual wizards and good logicians. They too grieve day and night unable to understand the Self-state! That state cannot be attained by skill in interpreting words. They are like theoretical sculptors. As long as a scholar seeks the Self state through discussions only, he can never ever reach it because Self is beyond the grasp of the intellect. By going far you cannot reach it; but remaining still you can always be in that state. You cannot analyze it and know it; but by remaining silent it shines forth. Like you cannot chase the shadow of your own head, Self state cannot be reached by any sort of activity. A child who sees thousands of reflections in a taintless mirror fails to observe the existence of the mirror; similarly an ignorant man seeing the reflection of the world in his own Self does not know his own Self; because he is not acquainted with his own Self.

Everyone perceives the objects only and never the space which exists all around! Though Self is always there as their own awareness, nobody seems to be aware of it. My Lord! See with your subtle eyes; the world consists of Knowledge and known. Knowledge is Self-evident. In the absence of Knowledge nothing can be known. Knowledge proves the existence of objects; known things are dependent on the Knowledge for their existence. Knowledge in turn is dependent on the knower for its existence. Knower is not dependent on any thing else for his existence. The knower is the only reality behind Knowledge and known objects. That which is self-evident without the necessity to be proved, is alone real; rest are all unreal. The proof of all proofs itself must be Self-proved! You have to accept it as true as it need not be proved. It cannot be attained as such by proving its existence and attaining it like an accomplishment. One who denies Knowledge has no support to stand on and neither questioning or answering is possible for him. Knowledge is undeniable. It is like the surface of a huge mirror which reflects everything. If mirror itself is denied, then there can be no chance for other discussions. Everything exists like the reflections in the mirror. There is no differentiation of space and time even. Space and time are also reflections in the mirror. A pot may appear to be creating a division in space. But in truth there is no difference or division in the space outside and inside the pot. Similarly all objects including the limitations of space and time appear in the mirror of Knowledge like reflections and have no existence apart from Knowledge. Objects and their knowledge are only reflections in the eternal, self-luminous, Supreme Consciousness which is the same as the knower and which alone is real. Therefore, Prince, realize with a still mind your own true nature which is the one pure, undivided Consciousness underlying the restless mind which is composed of the whole world in all its diversity. By the complete attainment of the pervasion of that undivided consciousness, one attains the state of the Doer of all. I will explain to you how to perceive it directly, so that you can reach that state. The intervening part between sleeping and wakeful states; the interval between two perceptions; intermediate state between knowledge and the known (the state of pure knowledge before the recognition of object occurs); observe that state with your subtle intellect. This is the natural state of Self, obtaining which one does not grieve again. Ignorant of this truth, the world is in this deluded state. In this state of the Self, exist not the form, taste, smell, touch or sound; neither happiness, nor sorrow; neither any to be grasped nor that which grasps! Though the support of everything and though it exists as everything, it is free of everything. That alone is the supreme Lord, the Creator, Vishnu, Shiva and Sadashiva! See inside controlling the mind for a little while; reject the outward going nature and be intent only on moving inward. There need not be a forced effort in controlling the mind. The very concentration on ones nature quietens the mind by itself. Do not even entertain the thought that you are seeing anything. Be like a blind man seeing yet not seeing with an unmoving mind. What you are that you are! Be that alone!

[14]

Hemachuda did accordingly, and having gained that state referred to by his wife, he remained peaceful a long time, unaware of anything beside the Self. Hemalekhaa noticed that her husband had attained the state of Supreme Peace and so did not disturb him He remained in the Samaadhi state for about a muhurtha (48 minutes) and woke up. He saw his wife sitting next to him. He desired to be in the trance state alone and closed his eyes. Hemalekhaa immediately took hold of his hand and questioned sweetly: My Lord! Tell me, what you gain by closing your eyes and what you lose by opening the eyes? My dearest! I am very curious. Do tell me what happens on the eyes being closed or left open. Hemachuda slowly opened his eyes. He looked as if drunk. He replied reluctantly and languidly as follows: My dear, I have found at last pure untainted happiness. I cannot find the least pleasure in the activities of the world as they are evanescent and result in pain after the enjoyment is over. Enough of them! They are tasteless to me like a fruit whose juice has been sucked away or like the dried up cud chewed by the cattle; an indulgence for those who want to wastefully pass through their lives! What a pity that such people should be to this day unaware of the bliss of their own Self! Just as a man goes a-begging being ignorant of the treasure buried under the floor of his own abode, so did I run after sensual pleasures unaware of the boundless ocean of bliss within me. Worldly pursuits are laden with misery and pleasures are transient. Still I was so infatuated that I mistook them for enduring pleasures, was often grief-stricken, yet did not cease to pursue them over and over again. The pity of it! Men are fools, unable to discriminate pleasure from pain. They seek pleasures but gain only sorrow. Enough of these activities which only increase the relish for such pleasure! My dear, I beg you with hands clasped. Let me fall again into the peace of my blissful self. I pity you that though knowing this state, you never seem to be in it and engage yourself in wasteful activities of the world. The wise Hemalekhaa gently smiled at all this, and said to him: My lord, you do not yet know the supremely sacred state, remaining in which the learned ones with noble hearts do not get perplexed; that state is still far from your reach like the sky for man standing on the ground! What little you know is equal to not knowing anything. That state is not experienced by closing or opening the eyes. By doing any action or by not doing any action no one can ever attain that state. That state cannot be reached by not going or going anywhere. By closing the eyes, or by doing or by going how can it be completely attained? If due to the opened eye lid of the measure of eight barley grains only, that state can be hidden, then would that state be complete? What shall I say of your muddled wisdom! The deluded state of yours is amazing!

That, in which millions of Worlds are situated in just an infinitesimal corner; that seems to be hidden on account of opening the eyelid measuring a fingers breadth! Listen Prince! I will tell you further. As long as these knots are not cut asunder so long will bliss not be found! There are millions of knots apparent in the rope of delusion. Non-recognition of ones true nature is the rope of delusion. Knots (Granthi) are of the form of false perceptions or mistaken understanding. The first knot is the identification of oneself with the body; it causes the course of the worldly life to be spread for which there is no antidote. It gives rise to the perennial stream of happiness and misery in the shape of the cycle of births and deaths. The second knot is the differentiation of the world from the Self on which the phenomena are simply reflected as in a mirror. Similar knots of misconceived ideas are there like so many knots; one such is the firm belief in the difference between the individual soul and God. These misconceptions came into existence long ago; by occurring repeatedly, they have assumed the form of knots; because of them a man is bound. Untying the knots leads to liberation Supreme! That state which you easily obtain by closing the eyes is your true state- Pure Consciousness which nothing can transcend. That alone is the great surface of the mirror which reflects the picture of the entire world. When, where and with what form does it not exist? Prove if you can, that everything is not contained in it. Whatever you admit as known to you, is in the knowledge conveyed by that consciousness. Even what may be surmised to be in another place and at a different time, is also within your consciousness. If you state that Self-consciousness does not exist in some place and in some form, it is indeed a false surmise like the description of the nature of a barren womans son. Reflections cannot exist without a mirror; so also nothing can exist apart from consciousness. By renouncing that state, there exists nothing whatever anywhere. So by opening the eyes what difference can occur in the state of the Self? Now the main knot to be cut asunder by you is this misconception namely - I know it as such and such. Otherwise it proves you have not reached your true state. Whatever you think as the state of the Self cannot be the true state of the Self! If you think that you have attained that state by closing or opening of the eyes, then it is not the complete state of the Self because you believe it is attained or lost by some action of yours. O Lord! Where exist not the great undivided consciousness, the dazzling fire of destruction? It is the fire that consumes huge collections of fuel in the form of conceptions! When you know the Supreme State, there is no activity left for you to perform. Remove that knot sitting in your heart as I see my Self and uproot the firmly anchored knot namely I am not this! See your own Self filling everything as unbroken bliss. See the entire world in your own Self like the reflection in a mirror. Again do not think that you are the Self filling everything; after reaching the residual reality, just remain as that alone.

[15] After listening to her, Hemachuda of pure heart was cleared of all his doubts. He understood the true nature of his Self and was freed from delusion. Gradually he was able to be established firmly in the Self-state. Later he spent his life sporting happily with Hemalekhaa and other pretty maidens. He ruled his kingdom well over and made it prosperous, engaged his enemies in war and conquered them, studied the scriptures and taught them to others, earned enough wealth, performed the sacrifices like Ashva-Medha and Rajasooya and lived for twenty-thousand years, liberated while yet alive (JivanMukta).
(Scholars say that "One thousand" is a peculiar expression for 'four.' Thus twenty-thousand stands for eighty.)

The king Muktachuda having heard that his son Hemachuda had become a Jivan-Mukta consulted his other son Manichuda. Both agreed that Hemachuda was not as before, but that he had changed so that he was no longer affected by the greatest of pleasures or the worst of sorrows; that he treated friend and foe alike; that he was indifferent to loss or gain; that he engaged in royal duties like an actor in a play; that he seemed like a man always intoxicated with wine; and that he did his duty well notwithstanding his absentminded or other worldly look. They pondered the matter over and wondered. Then sought him in private and asked him the reason of his change. When they had heard him speak of his state, they too desired to be instructed by him, and finally became Jeevan-muktas like Hemachuda. The ministers were in their turn desirous of attaining that state, and eventually reached it after receiving proper instructions from the king. So were the citizens, the artisans and all classes of people in that city. All of them gained the summum bonum (highest good) of life and transcended desire, anger, lust, etc. Even the children and the very old people were no longer moved by passions. There were still worldly transactions in this ideal state, because the people consciously acted their parts as the actors in a drama, in accord with the rest of creation. A mother would rock the cradle with lullabies expressive of the highest Truth; a master and his servants dealt with one another in the Light of that Truth; players entertained the audience with plays depicting Truth; singers sang only songs on Truth; the court fools caricatured ignorance as ludicrous; the academy only taught lessons on God-knowledge. The whole State was thus composed only of Sages and philosophers, be they men or women; servant-boys or servant-maids; dramatic actors or fashionable folk; artisans or laborers; ministers or harlots. They nevertheless acted in their professions in harmony with creation. They never cared to recapitulate the past or speculate on the future with a view to gain pleasure or avoid pain, but acted for the time being, laughing rejoicing, crying or shouting like drunkards, thus dissipating all their latent tendencies. The Rishis, Sanaka and others called it the City of Wisdom when they visited it.

Even parrots and cockatoos in their cages spoke word of wisdom: Consider the Self as pure intelligence bereft of objective knowledge. What is known is not different from that intelligence; it is like a series of images reflected in a mirror. Absolute consciousness is the world; it is I, it is all, sentient and insentient, mobile and immobile. Everything else is illuminated by it whereas it is alone and Selfluminous. Therefore let those sensible people who are desirous of CHIT (Pure Consciousness) turn away from illusory knowledge and contemplate their own Self - the Absolute Consciousness - which illumines all the rest, and which is their being too. The town where even the lower animals convey such supreme wisdom is famous to this day as (Vidyaa-Nagari) the City of Wisdom on Earth, which reputation it owes to that one wise princess Hemalekhaa by whose advice Hemachuda became a Jivan-Mukta, all the rest following in his wake.

END

II

GANDASHAILAKATHA - THE STORY OF GANDA HILL


[1]

The Sacred City of Sundara in the country of Vanga was ruled by a wise King named Susena. His younger brother MahaaSena was extremely loyal and revered his brother like Lakshmana devoted to Sri Rama. Under the righteous rule of the King the citizens lived happily without any problem. They adored their King like God. Susena once performed the Horse-Sacrifice or the Ashva-Medha Sacrifice.
(This Sacrifice can be performed only by the most powerful of Kings. A suitable horse chosen and dedicated for Sacrifice is allowed to roam wherever it pleases. The King himself or his chosen representative follows the horse at a distance accompanied by a retinue. The horse is a challenge to the kings in whose country it roams; many battles are fought until the horse is successfully brought back and the Sacrifice performed.)

As ordained by the scriptures, the horse was left free to wander as it pleased. Many valiant princes accompanied by a huge army followed the horse. They conquered many a king who opposed them and at last reached the banks of River Irrawaddy.
(The Ayeyarwady River or Irrawaddy River flows from north to south of Burma (Myanmar). It is the country's largest river -about 1350 miles or 2170 km long.)

One Royal Sage named GANA was sitting on the river bank absorbed in penance. The princes and their army were too bloated in their heads by their victorious journey and did not even bother to salute the Sage. They just ignored him and walked past him with marked arrogance. The Sage had a son aged about ten years. He was playing on the river bank when he noticed the arrogant behavior of the Princes and their army. He was infuriated by the insult rendered to his Father. He caught the horse and ran away. All the soldiers were annoyed by the childs prank and chased him. He was soon surrounded by the whole of the army. The child ran towards a small hillock called GANDA situated nearby. In front of their very eyes, the boy entered that hillock and vanished from sight. The soldiers puzzled by this magical feat went round and round the hillock searching for any hidden door. Finding no entrance anywhere, they started to break the hill in anger. Immediately the boy came out of it with a huge army, fought them all and defeated them in no time. He took many prisoners of war, including all the princes and re-entered the hill. Some wounded soldiers somehow escaped from there and reported all that had happened to King Susena.

[2]

King Susena became anxious about the whole thing. He called his younger brother MahaaSena and addressed him thus: Dear brother! I am highly anxious about the happenings at the banks of the River Irrawaddy. A Sage should never be disrespected. These Sages who perform penance have more power than even Gods. You immediately go there where Sage Gana is performing penance. Apologize to him profusely and ask forgiveness for the idiotic behavior of the princes and their armies. Bring them back with his permission. The horse Sacrifice has to be performed soon and there is no time to waste. Do not in any way act arrogantly towards the Sage. Do not become the object of his anger in any way. If enraged, these Sages have the power to reduce the whole world to ashes. Approach him with respect. Appease him with proper worship. Your purpose is to bring back the horse and the army. So be very careful as to how you behave. MahaaSena accepted his assignment without hesitation and immediately left on his mission. Soon he reached the place where Sage Gana was performing penance. The Sage was deeply absorbed in contemplation. He appeared devoid of thoughts and was like a deep calm ocean where there danced no waves. MahaaSena was overcome by devotion and saluted the Sage with all humility he could muster. He recited hymns in praise of the Sage and praised him with wonderful words. The Sage was not moved. But MahaaSena continued his worship without a break. Three days passed this way. The Sages son was watching all this unobserved by the visitor. He was highly pleased. He approached MahaaSena and said: I am happy that you have shown respect to my father. Tell me what you desire and I will immediately fulfill it. I am the son of this Sage Gana, the Supreme ascetic. MahaaSena did not feel much enthusiastic about the words uttered by the boy. He said he wanted to talk only to the Sage and was waiting for him to wake up from his penance. The boy patiently explained to him everything. Listen O King! My father is now in Kevala Nirvikalpa Samaadhi- the contemplative trance state of Self without the slightest vibration! He remains in that state for twelve years before he wakes up. Now only five years have passed. You have to wait seven years for him to wake up. So better tell me what you want! Do not think degradingly of me. I am in every way a true son of my revered father. Nothing is impossible for a Sage in penance! I will fulfill any request of yours. Ask!

MahaaSena understood the greatness of the boy and immediately saluted him with due respect. He held the hands of the boy and pleaded: O Child of the Great Sage! I want only one thing! Please fulfill it! I want to request your father for something urgently. Wake him from his contemplative state. Then I will ask him what I want to ask. I cannot wait for seven years as you say! The boy patiently replied: O King! Your request is hard to grant. But I cannot break my promise to you too! But wait for at least an hour or so and be a witness to my Yogic powers. My father is in deep trance. He cannot wake up by external efforts. I will have to enter his inner faculty and wake him up. So saying he sat in a yogic posture; withdrew his senses; united the in-going and out-going breaths; exhaled all the air out; and was motionless for a while. He entered his fathers mind in a subtle form by Yogic power; created an agitation there and returned to his own body. Next moment the Sage woke up. He saw MahaaSena sitting in front of him in a humble posture. MahaaSena recited hymns in praise of the Sage and saluted him. The Sage understood immediately all that had happened. A gentle smile appeared on his face and he called his son near him. Seating him on his lap with affection said: Child! What you have done is not the right thing. Anger is an obstacle to penance. We Rishis can peacefully perform penance because the king protects us from all dangers. The king is now performing a Sacrifice and we should not cause any hindrance to it wantonly. Be a good boy and return the horse and the princes immediately. Do not delay because the Sacrifice needs to be completed in the appointed hour. The boy consented to his fathers command and immediately went to the hill. He entered inside and brought back the horse and the princes. He handed them over to MahaaSena and sat happily on his fathers lap. MahaaSena ordered the princes to return to the city with the horse quickly.

[3]

He saluted the Sage once again and enquired in wonderment: O Lord! The hill is so small. Moreover there is no visible entrance also anywhere on it. Then how was it possible for your son to hide the horse and the army inside the hill? The compassionate Sage replied: Listen O King! In the past, I was an emperor ruling the kingdom bound by oceans on all sides. I was an ardent worshipper of Tripuraa Devi. Soon Her Grace descended on me and I got disinterested in all worldly affairs. All the wealth and luxuries appeared worthless like trash to me. I handed over the Kingdom to the care of my sons and retired to the forest. My wife also accompanied me. We passed many years in austerities and penance.

But one day my wife was overcome with passion and embraced me when I was absorbed in the contemplative trance. She gave birth to this child. She was struck with remorse. She woke me up, deposited the child in my hands and gave up her life. I brought up this motherless child with extreme care and affection. When he grew up a little he heard that I was an emperor in the past. He requested me that he too wants to be an emperor. I initiated him in Yoga. He practiced it diligently and attained all the Siddhis. By his own power, he created a world inside this hillock and rules it. That is where he took the horse and the princes. This is the secret of the hill. The Sage smiled and embraced his son affectionately. MahaaSenas curiosity now knew no bounds. He asked the Sage eagerly: Ah! What a wonderful account! Such a small hill and a world inside it! Can I be permitted to see it? Will you please grant my request? The Sage nodded his head and addressed his son thus: Son! Take him wherever he wants and satisfy his curiosity. The Sage relapsed back into his Trance state. The boy took MahaaSenas hand in his hand and went near the hill. As soon as he reached the rocky wall, he just entered inside and vanished. MahaaSena was stranded outside. He stood there stupefied. He called out for the Sages son from outside the hill. The boy shouted back from the inside. He came out and said: Listen King; this wont do! You do not seem to possess enough Yogic power to enter the hill. We have to use some other technique. I cannot disobey my father. You saw how I used my Yogic power to wake up my father. You have to do something similar to it. So leave your gross body in a hole and cover it with bushes so it is safe from animals and insects. Then enter the hill along with me only covered by Manomaya Kosha- the Mind sheath. The King prepared a hole and sat there. He covered the hole with bushes and controlled his breath. Nothing happened. He called out to the boy and said: I am not capable of moving out of my gross body. If I forcibly block my breath I will die. Tell me how to walk out of this body and obtain the subtle form! The boy laughed aloud and said: You do not seem to know any proper Yogic methods. I will help you. First close your eyes. The King closed his eyes and became unconscious within seconds by the Yogic power of the boy .Then the boy entered the Kings inner faculty in a subtle form, dragged the subtle form of the King which was desirous of seeing the Kingdom inside the hill. The gross body of the King lay in the hole covered with bushes as if lifeless.

The boy entered inside the hill along with the subtle body of the King. Once inside, he woke up the sleeping mind of the King to the dream state. The King woke up to see a wide expanse of space all around him. He was overcome with fear. He pleaded with the boy not to forsake him in that infinite space to perish. The boy was amused by the behavior of the frightened King and laughed aloud. He consoled the King saying: Do not be frightened. I will not forsake you. Just observe everything fearlessly and enjoy the journey. The King gathered up courage and looked all around him. He understood that he was now in his subtle body and had more freedom to float anywhere without meeting any obstacle. He looked up. Above him was the dark sky filled with innumerable stars. He ascended into the night sky and looked down below. He floated towards the moon and shivered in cold. He was frozen. He floated towards the sun and felt its scorching rays. He was burnt. The boy used his powers to make the King feel normal. Then guided by the boy, the King understood that the region where they were was a counterpart of heaven. The boy took him to the summit of the Himalayas and the king saw the Earth below it. The boy gave him yogic vision and now the king was able to see the entire Earth. He could see distant lands and even other worlds beside this one. In some worlds there was only darkness; In some worlds everything was gold; there were oceans and island continents traversed by rivers and mountains; there were heavens peopled by Indra and the Gods, the Asuras, human beings, the Rakshasas and other races of celestials. He witnessed a huge court room where the boy was sitting on a diamond studded throne as the Emperor of that world. The court room was filled with ministers and other attendants. He saw an enormous fortress where a huge army was waiting to do any bidding of the emperor. He saw a beautiful city where people moved about doing their various errands. He also observed with wonder that the boy had divided himself as Brahma in Satya Loka, Vishnu in Vaikunta and Shiva in Kailaasa while all the time he remained as his original-Self, the emperor ruling in the present world. Such a small hill; and inside it - a complete world with its own Gods! The King was unable to understand the phenomenon. He felt overjoyed by all these amazing sights. He wandered here and there like a child gifted with a new toy and at last returned to the presence of the boy beaming in happiness. The boy looked at him with amusement for a few seconds and announced with an expression less face: Well done! Only a day has elapsed in all these sight seeing adventures. But twelve thousand years have passed in your world by now. Let us return to my father. The King was shocked by his statement. Before he could retort he was drowned in senseless sleep. The boy came out of the hill with the subtle body of the King; united it with the gross body in the hole covered with bushes and woke him up.

[4]

MahaaSena opened his eyes and walked out of the hole. He looked around in utter disbelief. The world had changed completely. The people were different; river was different; trees were different; in fact it was in no way like the world he left behind when he entered the hill! He collapsed on the ground exhausted by the sheer shock. With choking voice he asked the boy: O Great one! What has happened? Where are we? Where are all the familiar scenes? In which world are we? How long have we been inside? The Sages son laughed again and said: O King! This is the same world we left behind! We have been away for quite a long time. Countless changes have occurred here meanwhile. In our world we spent just a day touring all the places. But in this world our one day of that world equals some twelve thousand years; that is why everything looks so different now! People have changed a lot and so has the language, culture all changed! But it is natural; nothing to be amazed about it. I have seen such changes myself many times. See in that direction. My father is still sitting in his trance state. See that place..? That is where you sat and recited hymns in his praise. See in the other direction. That is the same hill we entered and came out now! The King held his head in his hands and closed his eyes in utter bewilderment. He could not even scream. The shock was too much for him. Incoherent sounds came out of his mouth. He managed to steady himself for a second and asked: My brother? My country? My wife, children..? Where are they? The boy was not able to understand the agony of the king. For him this time-change was just a sport. It was his regular game. Go inside the hill and come out; the whole world outside would be different. He used to enjoy the changed environment and played there till its newness was exhausted. And getting bored of that world he would enter the hill again. After a few hours when he re-entered this world, many thousand years would have elapsed and he would again play for some time in the new world. Since only a few hours passed in his life, he never aged. His father was there always in a trance state. He could wake him up any time he wanted; so their life had no problems. It was a common occurrence for them. The Sage protected his own body and the hill belonging to his son from damages, by the power of his Yoga. But to the King who was used to only one life in one world, all this was shocking. The boy was unable to understand his anxiety. The King was weeping aloud now!

[5] The boy felt compassionate and explained everything to him patiently. O King! Your brother is no more ruling your country. His progeny has increased to thousands. Even your country does not exist any more. Dark impenetrable jungles cover that area; jackals, tigers and many other wild creatures wander there now. The Vanga country with the city of Sundara is not there. But one VeeraBahu who is born in your brothers line rules the Country of Maalva, with his capital as Vishaala on the banks of the River Kshipra. Another Susharma of the same dynasty rules the country of Dravidas with his capital as Vardhana, situated on the banks of River Tambrabharani. That is how the world changes in course of time. Nothing ever remains the same even for a short span of time! Rivers change their courses; mountains break down and raise elsewhere; lakes get covered with grounds and new lakes appear elsewhere! Mountains subside; plains heave high; deserts become fertile; plateaus change to sandy tracts; rocks decompose and become silt; clay hardens sometimes; cultivated farms become barren and barren lands are brought under tillage; precious stones become valueless and trinkets become invaluable; salt water becomes sweet and potable waters become brackish; some lands contain more people than cattle, others are infested with wild beasts; and yet others are invaded by venomous reptiles, insects and vermin. Such are some of the changes that happen on the Earth in course of time. But there is no doubt that this is the same earth as we were in before. MahaaSena could not believe what he heard. His head reeled. A wailing scream escaped his throat and he fainted instantly. The boy felt anxious. He sprinkled some cool waters on the Kings face and revived him. He made the King comfortably seated under a shady tree. The King was weeping uncontrollably. He remembered his noble brother and his family; he remembered his own wife and sons. He called out their name again and again and shed tears. The boy waited till the King poured out all his sorrow. The King had no more tears left. He leaned on the tree trunk exhausted by sheer mental anguish. His eyes were staring blankly at nowhere. The boy sat next to him and said in a tender voice: O King! You are sensible man! What are you crying for? Who are you mourning for? What have you lost? What purpose does your crying serve? Do not act childish! Do not act senseless! Steady yourself and answer me; why are you immersed in such heavy sorrow? What use is your grief? What do you think you have lost?

The King was surprised by the boys enquiry. He answered in a slightly irritated tone: Why am I sad? As if you cannot understand it, being a great Yogi of unknown powers! Cant you see? I have lost everything; everything..! The King burst out crying once more. Then after a while he composed himself and said: Everyone feels sad when any member of the family dies; nay even if an acquaintance dies. I have not lost just a relation or friend; I have lost my whole world! I am in a strange world with nobody to call my own! I am alone in this world now; I miss my brother, my wife, and my children! Oh! What shall I do? What shall I do? He again started weeping uncontrollably. The boy waited for sometime and said: O King! Do not get offended by my words. My intention is not to hurt you. I just want to bring clarity into your thoughts. Why should one cry if any one dies? Is it a custom or followed as a necessary ritual generation after generation? Is it a great sin not to cry at death and destruction? Or do you think you can get back everything by such grieving? Why should you weep at all? What has happened to make you so sad? The King stared at the boy with slight irritation. He turned his face away and looked at some far away mountain, as if not interested in further conversation. The boy was not to be disconcerted. He continued his talks as before: Ok! Let us agree that you have to mourn for your close relatives and friends as a customary ritual like eating when hungry or drinking when thirsty. You may have been habituated to cry at deaths. But death has been happening always to everyone. Even your fore-fathers have died in the past; why dont you mourn for their loss? Maybe you will tell me that you are mourning for those related by blood. Then do the bacteria which existed on the bodies of your parents and others are also related to you? They were part of your parents bodies too! Why dont you cry for them too? They were nourished by the blood of your parents. They are your relations too! Who are you and who are they? Whose deaths cause you this unbearable grief? The King looked at boy. His interest was kindled. But he did not give any reply but did not seem to mind the continuous chatter of the lad. The boy continued: You think you are this body made of flesh, blood and bones! Your body is just a conglomerate of different substances! Even if one small part is damaged, the whole body suffers. Every second old cells keep dying and new cells get generated without a break. If all the bacteria, cells, and limbs are the You, then you must cry when sweat pours out too, when excretions happen too! But you dont mind their loss! Those whom you consider as mother, father, brother, wife, children etc. are bodies too made of similar parts.

The bodies are just a collection of atoms and dissipate into the atmosphere when death occurs. Dust returns to dust! Bodies are just made of earth and return to earth at death; earth resolves into energy! Nothing is lost! Moreover the body you identify with as you is actually yours and not you! It is as much yours as the garment you wear is yours! There is no difference between both. Can you doubt this statement? Neither this body nor any other body of any other person has any relation to you. But you call this body as yours; that is all! Just like any garment worn by others and your own garment do not differ except for the ownership; just like you cannot consider another persons clothes as yours; you do not claim ownership of other bodies too! There is indeed no difference between a garment and a body. Why then mourn over the loss of bodies, which are in no way different from garments. Whatever part of the body you identify with as yourself is actually referred by you as my body, my eyes, my life, my mind and so on! Just tell me who you are!

[6]

MahaaSena was intrigued by this topic and started to think over the matter. But he could not find any suitable answer to the query placed by the boy. He requested for some free time to analyze the topic and got up. He wandered for some time alone on the river bank thinking deeply about all that was said by the boy. But unable to come to a conclusive answer, he returned and addressed the boy with humility: O Lord! I do not know who I am! I have thoroughly analyzed the topic, but still cannot find out my true identity. I cannot tell you also why I cry for the dead ones; it is just a natural reaction of the mind; I cannot account for it. O Master! I seek your shelter. Explain to me everything. Every one cries when someone dies; every one is overpowered by grief when his or her relative dies. And no one knows his or her own Self; and no one mourns all deaths and losses. It is an individual preference! You seem to know everything. Please accept me as your disciple and enlighten me about everything. Being thus requested, the Sages son spoke to MahaaSena: Listen, O King! Misery is synonymous with ignorance. All are deluded by the illusion cast by the Supreme Queen Tripuraa. Ignorance of the Self alone is the cause of all miseries. As long as the ignorance lasts; so long will there be misery. Misery is meaningless. Ignorance alone takes the form of misery. A person who is dreaming is alarmed by the happenings in the dream and suffers in the dream. A fool is terrified by the serpents created in a magic performance. Similarly a person who does not know his own Self is miserable and afraid of life. A dreamer when awakened instantly loses all fear. A person who understands the unreal nature of magic creations instantly laughs at his own foolishness. The person who is aware of his Self stops grieving about anything.

O Valiant One! Batter down the impregnable fortress of illusion and get rid of your sorrow; realize your own Self and be always blissful! Take recourse to discrimination and do not act brainless! MahaaSena now was stable enough in mind to argue back; he said: Master! Your examples are not correct. The unreality of the dreamer or a magic trick can be realized to be illusory by waking up or after the show is over! But this hard concrete world which you term as illusory is always there as a real experience. It cannot be disproved. It exists as a continuous perception. You cannot wake up out of this illusion like waking up from a dream; you cannot wait for the show to be over! The show ends only with death! The Sages son answered: S.S (Sages Son): No, the analogy is not wrong. You are now having a double delusion like a dream inside the dream! Tell me your experience of the dream. Answer me from the position of the dreamer and say whether the trees do not afford shade to the pedestrians, and bear fruits for the use of others in the dream-world? For the dreamer, the dream experience is real. He does not realize the unreal nature of the dream when he is dreaming. M.S (MahaaSena): Dream is rendered false after waking up. S.S: But in a dream or in deep sleep, the waking world is falsified; is it not so? M.S: Waking state continues as it was after the dream is over; not so in dreams. Dreams vary and differ every night! There is no continuity in dreams night after night. The continuity is not evident in dream states. S.S: But dont you know that every moment you are seeing a different world in the waking state? Is not the continuity broken up there? Do you suggest that the hills, the seas and the earth itself are really permanent phenomena, in spite of the fact that their appearance is constantly changing? Is not the dream-world also similarly continuous with its earth, mountains, rivers, friends and relatives? M.S: One cannot believe in the permanency of dream objects.

S.S: Extend the same reasoning to the nature of the wakeful world and know it to be equally evanescent. The ever-changing objects like the body, trees, rivers, and islands are easily found to be transitory. Even mountains are not immutable, for their contours change owing to the erosion of waterfalls and mountain torrents; ravages by men, boars and wild animals, insects; thunder; lightning and storms; and so on. You will observe similar change in the seas and on earth. Analyze and tell me whether it is not so? M.S: Dream and wakefulness resemble each other in their discontinuous harmony like a chain made up of links. There is no unbroken continuity in any object. One new appearance presupposes the disappearance of a previous state; the new appearance implies its later disappearance; but continuity cannot be denied in the fundamentals underlying the objects. Clay becomes a pot; pot breaks again and becomes pieces; but clay is the fundamental similarity in all the three states of the pot.
(The impermanence seen in the waking world is not like the impermanence of dream objects.)

The Dream objects get falsified in the present wakeful state. S.S: The fundamentals underlying the dream objects and waking state objects are same. Both the dream pot and the waking state pot are made up of clay only. M.S: Dream is an illusion; the fundamentals are also of illusory nature. Clay of the dream pot is as illusory as the pot. But in the waking state the objects do not get obliterated and are therefore real! S.S: What is an illusion? M.S: Illusion is determined by its transitory nature. S.S: Transitory nature means appearance to and disappearance from the senses. Right? But everything gets obliterated in deep sleep. M.S: Dream state is false in the waking state and waking state is false in dream state; both are false in deep sleep state. Such Mutual contradiction is unreliable as evidence and so proves nothing.

S.S: It means self-evident sight alone furnishes the full proof! This world experience is Self-evident! Quite so, people like you do not have a true insight into the nature of things. Listen to my words. The present world is similar to the dream-world only. Long periods pass in dreams also. Therefore, purposefulness and enduring nature are in every way similar to both states. Just as you are obviously aware of the world in your waking state, so also you are in your dream state. These two states being so similar, why do you not mourn the loss of your dream relations? The wakeful world appears so real to all only by force of habit. If the same be imagined vacuous it will melt away into the void. One starts imagining something; then contemplates it; and by continuous or repeated association resolves that it is true unless contradicted. In that way, the world appears real in the manner one is used to it. My world that you visited furnishes the proof thereof; come now, let us go round the hill and see. Saying so, the Sage's son took the king, and went round the hill and returned to the former spot. Then he continued: Observe O King! The circuit of the hill is hardly two miles and a half and yet you have seen a world within it. Is it real or false? Is it a dream or otherwise? What has passed as a day in that land, has counted for twelve thousand years here! Which is correct; which is real? Think, and tell me. Obviously you cannot distinguish this from a dream and cannot help concluding that the world is nothing but imagination. My world will disappear instantly if I cease contemplating on it. Therefore convince yourself of the dream-like nature of the world and do not indulge in grief at your brothers death. Just as the dream-creations are pictures moving on the mind-screens, so also this world including yourself is the obverse of the picture depicted by pure intelligence. It is nothing more than an image in a mirror. Realize this and tell me. Will you anymore be elated by the accession of a dominion or depressed by the death of a relative in your dream? Self is the self-contained mirror projecting and manifesting this world. Self is pure unblemished awareness. Do not waste time! Realize the Self and attain transcendental bliss!

[7]

MahaaSena pondered over all the truths he heard from the boy. At last he got convinced of the dream-like nature of the world. He stopped sorrowing for his dead relatives. He addressed the Sages son thus: O Great one! You know this world and beyond. I do not believe that there is anything that you do not know. Please answer me now. How can you say that the whole world seen is pure imagination? However much I may imagine, my imagination does not materialize. But you have created a world by the force of your will. How do time and space differ in these creations? Please tell me. On being thus asked, the Sage's son replied: The grossification of an imagination depends upon the strength of the mind whether it is uniform or broken up by indecision. We know that this world is a Creation of Brahma. This World is his imagination. This looks real and permanent because the original desire (of Brahma) is so powerful. Whereas the world of your creation no one takes seriously, and your own mistrust makes it useless. How can we materialize conceptions? Lord Brahma naturally conceives this world and creates it because it is his ordained function. Yakshas and Rakshasas (classes of celestial beings) possess magical gems (Chintaamani) which can make true their wishes. Gods have the magical tree (Kalpa-Vriksha) to bestow their desires. Yogis do it by the power of Yoga. Siddhas have attained miraculous power of hymns and create anything they want. Sages perform penance and gain power to do any impossible feat. Vishvakarma can build any wondrous structure because the boons he possesses. How can imagination become grossified? As long as the old idea is alive, a new idea cannot take root and materialize. Suppose I ask you create a world inside this hill, you cannot do it because you have a fixed notion that the hill is small and the world is big and will not fit inside the hill. Your own doubt about your own creation proves an obstacle in grossifying your imagination. One should forget the old associations in order to make ones new conception effective. The new conception will remain alive as a material as long as your will holds it as true. Smallest doubt about its existence will immediately destroy it. Your will must be strong. Only then can the imagined world of yours can be stable. Anything is possible that way. You must practice focusing your thoughts if you desire your creations to be stable. And you were asking me also about the mystery of space and time.

This world is full of varieties. What is good for one proves harmful to another. The Sun helps all to see but blinds the owls; water is the abode of fishes but drowns man; fire burns a man but is food to tittiri (a species of bird); fire is ordinarily put out by water but it flourishes in the middle of ocean at the time of dissolution. Similar discrepancies are evident elsewhere. Similarly what we perceive also differs from person to person. A jaundiced eye sees everything yellow and myopia produces the double image of a single object. Abnormal visions are thus the direct result of abnormal eyes. The Karandakas, in an Eastern island, are said to see everything red; so also the inhabitants of Ramanaka isle see everything upside down. One hears many more strange stories of the kind, all of which are based on abnormalities of vision. They can all be remedied by proper treatment. Other senses also give different experiences to different people. Mental faculty also differs in everybody. Every ones personal experience is unique. We can confirm the similarities only with the help of language, but actually each person carries his own world in his mind. For a man waiting, time is lengthy; for a person who moves, time is shorter. For a person who walks, the distance proves to be longer. His conception of space and time is longer than the person who travels by a horse. Even the space and time experienced by a horse rider is smaller for a person who uses an air vehicle. Thus space and time experience is different for different persons and relative to the mind of the observer. There is no absolute space and time fixed as such. We only create space and time projections and place the objects nearer or distant. I have conceived that only a few hours should pass for me inside the hill in comparison with the hundreds of years outside the hill. It helps me pass time quickly and my father can remain in penance for a longer time without being anxious about my welfare. He knows that I am safe inside the Hillock-world. Every time I come out, I see the changes that have happened outside the hill and get entertained. I do not age also because of living in the Hillock-world. The space and time inside the hill are my imaginations. I keep them alive as fixed ideas in my mind. I believe and know for sure that there is a world inside it; whereas others see it only as a rocky surface. They can never imagine a world inside it. So they can never see it. If I stop imagining it, it will cease to exist. In your observation there is an inside the hill-world and outside the hill-world. How do these ideas of external and internal occur? Let us analyze now! What do we mean by external? All that is outside of us is external! We conceive of the outside world as some picture on a screen. We perceive it; so it is outside; thus we imagine. But here we have a misconception and identify ourselves with the body. We always imagine the world to be outside the body. How is it feasible? Like a pot seen outside in the world, this body also is seen by us outside only. It is also a part of the picture seen on the outside screen limited by space-time ideas.

But because we have the misconceived idea of our identity we think that the world is outside our body which is actually a wrong conception. Even our wrong imagination makes it real for us. From generation to generation we maintain the wrong idea that the world is outside our bodies. How does it happen? When we say that the world is outside the hill, we remove the picture of the hill from the outside world. We then project the world outside the hill with the hill as the idea inside us. We thus have many external and internal space ideas like inside the house, outside the house, inside the cart, outside the cart etc. Each time we withdraw the picture of a particular object and see the world as external to it. Body has become a permanent inner idea for us. We never project it as external; we make it the centre of our perceptions and see the entire world as external to it. The world all around the body alone is our external world. Each one keeps his or her body as the central point of his or her world. What our consciousness illuminates only becomes the picture of our world. Each person is aware of only his or her world. The illuminated objects are within the vision of the illuminant. Body also is part of the illumined external world. All those which are illumined by the illuminator are objectified as existing outside the illuminator. The illuminator and illuminated cannot be the same. The illuminant cannot be the object of his own illumination. How can the illumination by which he sees be apart from him? Light reveals all the objects. Light does not reveal itself. Light is self-revealing. Illuminant illuminates all the objects including the body; illuminant does not need another illuminator to illuminate him. He is self-luminous. He is the Self. He is the illumination in perfection - only one, and the being of all. The illuminator projects the conceptions of limited by space and time and illuminates them as if they are outside. But he is all the three; the illuminant, illumination and the illumined. The ideas of external and internal also are part of the illumination only. He extends as time and space. How can then anything be outer unless it is like a peak on a mountain? The whole world is thus in the illumination which shines self-sufficient, by itself, everywhere, and at all times. Such illumination is Her Transcendental Queen Tripuraa, the Supreme. She is called Brahma in the Vedas, Vishnu by the Vaishnavites, Shiva by the Shaivaites, and Shakti by the Shaaktas. There is indeed nothing but She. She holds everything by Her prowess as a mirror does its images. She is the illuminant in relation to the illumined. The object is drowned in illumination like the image of a city in a mirror. Just as the city is not different from the mirror, so also the world is not different from Pure Consciousness. Just as the image is part and parcel of the clear, smooth, compact and one single mirror, so also the world is a part and parcel of the perfect, solid and unitary consciousness, namely the Self.

There is no solid world outside ones mind. Space is just a void projected by the mind to locate objects. The world is, always and allthrough, a phenomenon in the Self. How then the Pure Consciousness being void, is dense at the same time? A mirror is dense and impenetrable and contains all the images within itself as itself. Pure consciousness is dense and impenetrable and yet displays the world by virtue of its self-sufficiency. Pure consciousness is all-pervading, dense and single; it holds the mobile and immobile creation within it; wondrously variegated; with no immediate or ultimate cause for it. Whatever be the amount of reflections appearing in the mirror, the mirror is never tainted by them. It continues to reflect as clearly as always. In the same way the one consciousness illumines the waking and dream states; but is never affected by them and stays as pure as ever. O King! Analyze again your dream experience and imaginations of the mind. Though they are perfect in detail, they belong only to the mind. Consciousness permeating them obviously remains unblemished before creation or after dissolution of the world. Even during the existence of the world, it remains unaffected as the mirror by the images. The mirror reflects the space inside it as external to itself. Though unperturbed, unblemished, thick, dense and single, the Absolute Consciousness being self-sufficient manifests within itself what looks exterior. This is the beginning of ignorance and also the beginning of Creation. It is the darkness! (ignorance) Starting as an infinitesimal fraction of the whole, this ignorance manifests as the idea that something exists outside it. It is a property of the ego-sense. The unmanifest Vaasanaas prepare a stage for their manifestation through this first seed of ignorance. Each Vaasanaa projects outside a field of experience for its own manifestation and ego-sense appears as the experiencer seeing a world outside him or her. There is no identity with the original consciousness. It is now simple, insentient energy. The present Creation is the mental product of Brahma or HiranyaGarbha, appointed as the Creator by the will-force of the Primal Being, Sri Tripuraa Devi. Time, space, gross creations, etc., appear in it according to the imagery of the agent. A certain period is only one day according to my calculation whereas it is twelve thousand years according to Brahma: the space covered by about two miles and a half of Brahma is infinite according to me and covers a whole world. In this way, both are true and untrue at the same time. Similarly also, imagine a hill within you, and also time in a subtle sense. Then contemplate a whole creation in them; they will endure as long as your concentration endures - even to eternity for all practical purposes, if your will-power be strong enough. That is why I say that this world is a mere figment of imagination. Therefore what looks like the external world is really an image on the screen of the mind.

Consciousness is thus the screen and the image, and so Yogis can perceive long distances of space and realize long intervals of time. They can traverse all distances in a moment and can perceive everything as readily as a gooseberry in the hollow of one's palm. Therefore recognize the fact that the world is simply an image on the mirror of Consciousness; cultivate the contemplation of I am; abide as pure being and thus give up this delusion of the reality of the world. Then you will become like myself and be self-sufficient. On hearing this discourse of the Sage's son, the King overcame his delusion; his intellect became purified and he understood the ultimate goal. Then he practiced Samaadhi; became self-contained without depending on any external agency; and led a long and happy life. He ceased to identify himself with the body, and became absolute as Transcendental Space (Turyaa state) until he was finally liberated.

END

III

ASHTAAVAKRA LEARNS A LESSON FROM THE FEMALE ASCETIC


INTRODUCTION
JANAKA King Janaka ruled the city of Videha. WHO ARE JANAKAS? In ancient India, Janakas were the Kings of Videha Kingdom. Their capital was Mithilaa, which is believed to be present day Janakpur, Nepal. The most famous Janaka was SeeraDhwaja, who has the plough banner because his daughter Seetaa sprang up as a baby from the furrow when he was ploughing the ground and preparing for a Sacrifice to obtain offspring. There are references to him in Brhadaaranyaka Upanishad, MahaaBhaarata and Puranas. The Janakas were known to be well-versed in the Knowledge of the Atman, and remained free from attachments even while living as householders and rulers. Seeradhwaja Janaka was not only a brave King, but was also as well-versed in all the Scriptures and Vedas equal to any great Sage of those times. He was the beloved pupil of Sage Yaajnavalkya, whose exposition of Brahman to the King is included in the Brhadaaranyaka Upanishad. In the Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna cites Seeradhwaj Janaka as an illustrious example of the Karma yoga. SeeraDhwaja Janaka was also said to be a Raajarshi (Royal Sage) having spiritually advanced and reached the state of a Rishi (Sage), though he was a king ruling the Kingdom of Mithilaa. He was also instructed by Sage Ashtaavakra upon the nature of the Self or Atman. This exposition forms the content of the famous treatise Ashtaavakra Gita. WHY ARE THEY KNOWN AS JANAKAS? One King of the Solar dynasty (Soorya Vamsha) named Nimi died without leaving a successor. The Sages subjected the body of Nimi to attrition, and produced from it a prince who was called Janaka, from being born without a progenitor. He was the first Janaka, and twenty generations earlier than Janaka, the father of Sita.

ASHTAAVAKRA Ashtaavakra was a Sage in ancient India. Ashta means eight. Vakra means bend or deformity. Ashtaavakra means a person with eight bends. Sage Uddaalaka ran a school (Ashram) teaching Vedic Knowledge. Kahola was one of his best disciples. Uddaalaka was so pleased with him that he had his daughter Sujaataa married to him. Sujaataa, eventually got pregnant and in the natural desire of wanting her child to imbibe spirituality and intelligence, began to sit in the classes taught by Uddhaalaka and Kahola, listening to their chanting of Mantras. It is said that when expectant mothers expose themselves to spiritual teachings, the child in the womb listens to it and becomes a Knower. One day Kahola recited the Vedas within the hearing distance of the child growing in the womb. Being already aware of the correct pronunciation of every syllable, the child in the womb squirmed in distress whenever Kahola pronounced a syllable wrong. Sujaataa informed Kahola that he had pronounced the syllable wrongly as indicated by the child in the womb. This happened on eight occasions. Kahola observed this as arrogance on the part of something yet to manifest itself in the world and cursed the fetus with eight deformities. So, when the baby was born, it had eight bends; was crooked in eight places. Naturally, he was named Ashtaavakra (a person of eight bends). Around the time Ashtaavakra was born, his father was invited to argue with the great philosopher Bandi. Bandi easily defeated Kahola. Kahola lost the argument and had to submerge himself in the river, as per the rules of the contest. Ashtaavakra was therefore raised by Uddaalaka and his disciples and within a short time mastered everything that was expected of a Brahmin. Uddhaalaka and his disciples took pains to see that Ashtaavakra was always kept in the dark about the fate of his father. However, Ashtaavakra came to know the truth when his young uncle Shvetaketu inadvertently blurted out that the person who Ashtaavakra thought was his father, was in fact not his father. Ashtaavakra then demanded the truth from his mother and decided to confront Bandi and defeat him in an argument.

THE STORY FROM TRIPURAA RAHASYA


[1] King Janaka ruled the city of Videha. Nobody knew his real name. He looked after the citizens like a father caring for their wealth education and morality that every one addressed him only as Janaka- father. He became renowned by the name of Janaka all over the world. Janaka from his young age was given to Self-enquiry (Vichaara) and was a realized soul by the time he ascended the throne of Videha. He was always engaged in philosophical discussions with great Sages and learned men. His main hobby was to arrange debates on highly paradoxical topics of philosophy and lavishly reward the winner. He was an ardent devotee of Supreme Goddess Tripuraa and had realized Her as his own Self. Once he performed a Sacrifice honoring Goddess Tripuraa and invited all the learned men all over the world. As it was an unforgettable experience to participate in a Sacrifice arranged by King Janaka, all the Brahmins, scholars, hermits, critics, those versed in the Vedas, those accustomed to share in sacrificial rites and Sacrifices, etc. all arrived there without fail. Lord Varuna the God of waters, meanwhile arranged for a similar Sacrifice at the same time and invited all the learned men and Sages to attend the same. But everyone highly admired the hospitality of the King and went off to attend the Sacrifice conducted at King Janakas palace. They ignored Varunas invitation. Varuna felt offended. Varunas son was a great dialectician. He consoled his father and promised him that he will soon bring all the Brahmins there without fail. He changed his form to that of a Brahmin and entered Janakas palace with the rest of the Brahmin crowd. King Janaka prostrated before every Brahmin and sought their blessing. He saluted the disguised Vaaruni too. The Brahmin cheat, now named Bandi, blessed the King duly and addressed him thus in front of the entire assembly of learned men. O King! I pity you! What sort of people have you invited to your Sacrifice? Your Sacrificial Hall looks like a lotus lake ravaged by crows, jackdaws and herons. Look at all these incompetent fools assembled here waiting for the delicacies and gifts but not having an iota of Knowledge worthy of you. No swan has arrived here to adorn this beautiful lotus pond! I feel awkward to be seen with such idiots. I think I will leave immediately if you permit me.

[2]

There was immediately a big commotion in the assembly. All those assembled there stood up in anger. They addressed the arrogant Brahmin thus: You charlatan of a Brahmin! How dare you insult everybody? What is lacking in us? What Knowledge is there that we do not know? You are just an arrogant rascal coming here to insult all of us! Do not run away with an excuse after insulting us all like this. Stay and prove your supremacy in Knowledge. Great men of Supreme Knowledge are here to honor the Sacrifice of the Great King Janaka. Do you think you know anything better than them? Choose any topic you like and prove us your proficiency at least in that topic. Vaaruni accepted the challenge and addressed the assembly thus: I need only a minute or two to outdo you all in a debate. But I have this one condition before we start the debate. If I get defeated, throw me into the sea; if you are defeated, I will consign you to the sea one after the other. Are you ready for such a fate? The scholars assembled there did not give much value to the words of the arrogant Brahmin. They all thought that he was just acting like a fool and would soon be under the waters as he himself had announced. The debate started in earnest. Vaaruni was a wizard in language and all the scholars assembled there duly entered the sea waters being defeated by him in no time. But to their surprise they found themselves in the Sacrificial hall of Lord Varuna and were overjoyed. They were welcomed with due honor by the God and they participated in his Sacrifice happily. One of the Brahmins who were sunk was of the name Kahola. He had a scholarly son named Ashtaavakra. Ashtaavakra was enraged hearing the fate of his father. He immediately rushed to the court of King Janaka. He challenged the disguised Vaaruni for a debate. Vaaruni was defeated soon; and was condemned to enter the seas by the young avenger. Vaaruni humbled before all discarded the Brahmins form and stood there in his true form. He restored back all the Brahmins who were sunk in the sea. Kaholas son Ashtaavakra felt extremely proud of his learning and thought of himself to be the greatest scholar in the whole world. He addressed all those assembled there with offensive words and humiliated one and all. All the scholars stood in front of the young man with bent heads and were highly embarrassed by their own ignorance.

[3]

Just then there was some commotion at the entrance and in came a beautiful female ascetic. Her eyes shone with extraordinary light of Knowledge. She appeared to be a lady of extreme charms, though she was attired in ordinary bark garments and her hair was covered with matted locks. Her eyes shone with compassion and she looked at all the scholars with understanding and smiled at them cheering their broken hearts. The King got up from his seat and welcomed the charming maiden with due honor. Ashtaavakra looked at her with disgust! A female..! What would she be capable of! How dare she enter an assembly ornamented by a great scholar like himself! The female ascetic addressed Kaholas son thus: O Child! O son of Kahola! You indeed are a highly accomplished Sage; for these Brahmins have been rescued by you after you defeated Vaaruni in the debate. I am just a female of lesser intelligence. I will not waste your precious time in worthless debates. I will just ask you a short and simple question and you give me a straight, explicit and unreserved answer; that is enough. Ashtaavakra agreed! What did he not know in the world? What great question can this female ask after all? He was confident that he would make a fool of her within minutes! He looked at her impatiently. The female ascetic asked: What is that state by attaining which one becomes immortal? What is that state by knowing which one becomes completely free of doubts and uncertainties? What is that state established in which one annihilates completely all desires? If you have realized that state, then describe it to me! Kaholas son lost no time in answering that simple question. He had completely read all the Scriptures and knew every word of those texts without a miss. He said: I know the answer. Listen to my words. There is nothing in the world not known to me. I have mastered all the Sacred Scriptures fully. I can easily answer your question. That state which you enquired about is the primal and efficient cause of the World! It has no beginning, middle or end. It is not affected by space and time. It is pure, unbroken, single Consciousness. The whole world is manifested in it like a city in a mirror.

One who knows that transcendental state becomes immortal; all doubts and uncertainties vanish there; one is no more fooled by the sight of innumerable images; desires will not arise any more; the experience transcends everything. It is also unknowable because there is no one to know it besides itself! Ashtaavakra flashed an arrogant look at the female Sage and held his head high like a Supreme Intellectual whose equal was nowhere in the world.
{Anyone who has even glanced superficially at some scriptures will know how to elaborate on the topic of Self and Para Brahman. Ashtaavakra was no exception. He had studied all the available texts including those which teach about Self-state. But he had not himself attained that state by proper enquiry. He was stuck in his intellectual supremacy and did not go beyond the understanding level to the realized level of the Supreme Truth.}

Female ascetic flashed an enchanting smile at him and ignoring his arrogant behavior said: Young Sage! I appreciate your promptness in answering my question. What you have said is the correct answer and accepted by one and all without objection. But there are some statements uttered by you which are contradictory to each other. You admitted that the transcendental state in question is unknowable for want of a knower outside the Consciousness. You also stated that Knowledge of such a state confers immortality and perfection. How are these two statements to be reconciled? Either admit that Consciousness is unknowable; and you do not know it; so it does not exist! Or, say that it is knowable; and you know it; so it is not unknowable. You evidently speak from second hand Knowledge, and just quoting from Scriptures. You do not have personal experience of the Supreme state; you have not realized that state truly! You stated that the whole world is manifested in it like a mirror and one is no more fooled by the sight of innumerable images. Your words amount to only this - you have a personal knowledge of the images but not of the mirror. How can that be? Havent you straddled enough in the presence of this great King? Ashtaavakra stood there silently. He had no words to speak back. He felt embarrassed. He remained with bent head and thought about the argument presented by the female ascetic. He understood his lack of Knowledge and addressed her with great humility: O Great Ascetic! I do not know the answer to your question. Accept me as your disciple and clear my doubt. I have not deliberately uttered false statements; for I know that any merits a liar may have, are counteracted by his lies so that he is condemned as unworthy. As you observed, I only quoted these statements from the Scriptures. Pray tell me how the two scriptural statements are to be reconciled.

[4]

The female ascetic was pleased by the humility and sincerity of Sage Ashtaavakra and addressed him with compassion: Child! Ultimate Reality is not a subject to be dealt with such lightness. It is well guarded on all sides to get trapped in dry polemics. Everyone cannot realize by just a textual rendering of the statements of the Scriptures. Many well versed scholars live in a state of delusion, without ever realizing the Sublime Truth. Even in this assembly, only the King and I are in the actual realized state. Self is not a subject for discussion. The most brilliant logic can only approach it but never attain it. Though it is beyond the grasp of even the sharpest intellects and logic based arguments, it can be realized easily by the Grace of God and service to ones Guru. You are the son of a reputed Sage. Listen attentively and try to understand my teachings. You can listen to this topic a thousand times from many a realized Sage; but it is just a useless activity if you do not verify the statements by the actual enquiry into your own Self, with a concentrated mind. Suppose a prince who is wearing a pearl necklace gets a mistaken notion that his necklace has been stolen, you cannot convince him about the truth of the necklace still adorning his neck, unless he himself finds it around the neck by his own effort like touching or seeing in the mirror. O Young man! However clever a person is, he cannot know his own Self by the mere teachings of others unless he realizes the Self as a personal experience himself. One cannot realize the Self with the mind turned outward. A lamp illumines everything around it but itself. It does not illumine the light of another lamp too. It shines without depending on another source of light to illumine it. Light of a lamp is Self-luminant. It shines by itself. Can you say by reason of that, that they do not exist or cannot be known? Similarly everything is illumined by Consciousness or Awareness. It is Self-shining. How can you doubt the existence of awareness itself? How can anything be apparent to you without Consciousness? In deep sleep state you are aware of nothing; but to say nothing is apparent to you at that state, you should be conscious of nothingness there. Is not your awareness of your unawareness also due to Consciousness? When is Consciousness ever absent? If its infinite nature is inferred by you then find out whether the light of Consciousness is self-shining or not through proper enquiry. You cannot enquire like this with an outward turned mind.

As long as ones mind is restlessly moving outward without control, one cannot engage in Self-enquiry however learned and proficient one may be. As long as thoughts keep rising in the mind, you must understand that the turning inward of the mind has not been accomplished. As long as the mind is not turned inward, so long the Self cannot be realized. Turning of the mind inward means the absence of desires. How can you stabilize the mind on the Self-enquiry, if desires have not been annihilated? Of course lamp light or any such source of light is insentient; it cannot be self aware. Still, their existence or manifestation is under no doubt. That means they are self-luminous. Can you not similarly analyze with a mind turned within in order to find out if the all-knowing Self is conscious or not conscious? That Consciousness (Chit) - is Absolute. IT transcends the three states of waking, dream and deep sleep states. IT contains within itself the entire World, supporting its manifestation. Nothing can be apprehended without its light. Therefore, develop dispassion and get established in your Self. Remaining as your own Self does not need any special effort; it is spontaneous. The state where there is complete cessation of thoughts and Self-enquiry ceases - that is the state of your Self. When you later analyze it intellectually, you will understand the significance of its being knowable and unknowable at the same time. Thus realizing the Unknowable one the Self state shines endlessly. I have finished my talks. Salutations! Farewell! I believe that you have not comprehended my words fully, because it is the first time you are hearing this. This King standing here is the wisest among men. Request him to clear your doubts; he will be too glad to help you. The King and the assembly were amazed by her speech. They saluted her and hailed her with praises. She instantly dissolved in air and disappeared from human sight.

[5]

Ashtaavakra now humbly approached the King seated in the court room filled with great scholars and said: O King of Videha, I have not clearly understood the teaching of the ascetic because of its brevity. Please explain to me then, Lord of mercy, how I shall know the unknowable. Being thus asked, Janaka, as if surprised, replied: O Son of the Great Sage! Listen attentively. It is neither unknowable nor remains unknown at any moment. How even the ablest of the teachers can guide one to something which remains always unknown? If a Guru can teach about it, then it means he knows it! This Knowledge is extremely easy and extremely difficult too. It is easy for him whose perception is turned back towards his own Self; it is extremely difficult to attain for one whose perception is turned outward. It cannot be taught at all if it always remains unknown. The fact that the Vedas point to it only indirectly as Not this - Not this (NETI-NETI), shows that this Knowledge can be imparted to others. Analyze this subtle intelligence by which you know everything else. This underlying Consciousness though abstract and different from material objects, illumines them all the same. Know it to be the Truth, O Sage! What is not self-luminous can only fall within the range of Consciousness and cannot be consciousness itself. Consciousness is that by which objects are known; it cannot be what it is if it becomes the object of Knowledge. What is intelligible must always be different from intelligence itself, or else it could not be made known by it. This Pure Consciousness (Chit) is not made of parts like the intelligible objects which appear in a variety of shapes. Eliminate all those which are made of parts and shapes and perceive the Pure Consciousness (Chit) without parts. Look at the mirror reflecting images. The mirror itself takes on the hues of images and appears like them. Similarly the Pure Consciousness (Chit) also assumes the different shapes of objects by virtue of its holding them within itself. If you cease to observe the reflections of images, the mirror will appear aloof from the reflections yet holding the reflections inside itself. Reflections will also appear as the mirror alone.

Similarly the Pure Consciousness (Chit) assumes the different shapes of objects by virtue of its holding them within itself. Eliminate from it, all that can be known; then the Pure Consciousness (Chit) will manifest by itself. It cannot be defined as of having any characteristics and made known; because it is the very support of all other knowable things with characteristics. Self cannot be cognized like other objects; it alone cognizes everything else. Self is not the body, senses, or mind; they are all transient; they are all changing continuously. Body after all is composed of food. How can it be the Self? How can the body be You? When you cognize the objects, there is no sense of your body; there is only the ego sense- the I! This I surpasses the body, senses and mind at the time of cognizing objects. The body, mind and senses can be only cognized by the I. The I sense is always there. It is self luminous. The bodily conception does not exist along with the perception of objects. Otherwise the two perceptions must co-exist which is disproved in personal experience. If it is argued that nobody has the flash of the I at the time of cognizing objects, it is a senseless statement; if I or you were not there, how can the perception of objects take place? If I did not shine forth at that time, the objects would not be perceived, just as they are invisible in the absence of light. Then why is the flash not apparent? Perceptibility is always associated with insentient matter. Who else is there to see the self-luminosity of the Self? It cannot shine in absolute singleness and purity. However, it is there as I. Moreover every one feels I perceive the objects whenever an act of cognition takes place. If I was not there as a permanent feature, a doubt would arise always- if I am or if I am not - which is absurd. If it is argued that the I sense refers to the body at the time of cognizing objects, it is an incorrect statement. What is perception? The subtle intellect the Self itself takes on the shapes of the objects at the time of perception; it takes on the shape of the body also and identifies itself with it. It cannot be argued that, at the time of perception there exists the sense of a person with some name and other characteristics who is doing the act of perception. A person named Chaitra cannot have the idea that I am Chaitra; so and so when perceiving another object. There is only the awareness of the object. The idea of the agent is a later thought process. The Chaitra identity overpowers the I sense and shines forth as the cognizing agent. But the I idea is the substratum of the Chaitra idea.

In Chaitra sense, I sense may not be apparent; but Chaitra sense inheres the I sense only. When a perception occurs, one is aware of the object; but I am seeing an object is a later thought process. I am such and such name/form is another thought process. But I exists as the awareness itself, transcending the thought processes. I is the continuous unbroken awareness which is the support of all our broken experiences. The limited ego is just one more thought accompanying all the cognitions. Ego is a mind created identity. I is the awareness, pure and undivided. There is the continuity of I in deep sleep state and in Samaadhi state too. Otherwise after sleep a man would get up as somebody else. In the Samaadhi state one is absorbed in deep contemplation and the continuity is not lost there also. In those states the Self remains unqualified. It does not have the identity of the limited ego of the waking state. There exist two kinds of Is; qualified and unqualified. Qualification implies limitations whereas its absence implies its unlimited nature. I is associated with limitations in dream and wakeful states, and it is free from them in deep sleep and Samaadhi states. In the deep sleep and Samaadhi states, I exists without the three fold division of subject, object and the relationship of perception. It is pure and single and untainted. It persists as the pure I and nothing else. It is Perfection! The Supreme Queen, the Pure Consciousness (Chit) alone exists as the ever-shining I. SHE is all; SHE knows everything at all times. You are SHE in the abstract sense. Realize your own Self by turning your glance inwards. You are the Pure Abstract Consciousness. Do not delay; do not procrastinate. Realize it now; this very instant. A good disciple realizes the Self at the moment of instruction itself. Glancing inwards does not mean glancing with the physical eyes. It is the eye which you use in dreams; it is the inner eye by which the cognition becomes complete; it is the eye of the eye. How can we see inwards? Perception is possible when the sight is turned towards an object. The sight must be turned away from other objects and fixed on a particular object in order to see it. Otherwise that object will not be perceived in entirety. It is as good as not seeing if the sight is not fixed on the object. Same is the case with hearing, touching etc. The same applies to the mind in its sensations of pain and pleasure, which are not felt if the mind is otherwise engaged.

When you perceive objects of the world you have to eliminate all other objects from your cognition and concentrate on only one object which you want to perceive. Similarly when your goal is Self-realization, you have to eliminate perceptions in their entirety. Self-Realization differs from ordinary act of cognition in that it requires only one condition; elimination of all perceptions. Of course Consciousness is unknowable; yet it can be realized by the pure mind. This fact cannot be grasped by even learned scholars. Let us analyze the Act of perception of objects in the world. External perceptions of the mind are of two kinds. First is elimination of all perceptions. Second is fixation on the particular object of perception. When the mind is turned away from other perceptions, it is in an indifferent state. In that state there is the absence of any kind of perception. Therefore concentration on any one particular object is necessary to perceive the external objects. But one cannot concentrate on the Self as an object because Self is Consciousness and not different from the mind. Consciousness alone manifests as the mind when perceiving objects. If one just stops perceiving other objects, Self shines by itself. Cessation of all perceptions results in self-realization. Suppose a man wants to pick out one particular image among a series of images passing in front of him as reflections on a mirror, he has to turn his attention from all other reflections and concentrate on that particular one he desires to see. Suppose he wants to see only the space in the mirror, he just turns his attention from all the pictures and the space manifests without any attention on his part. He need not specially concentrate on space because space is immanent everywhere and is already reflected there. He did not notice it because of the interspatial images dominating the scene. Space is the support of all images; it is immanent in all images; it becomes manifest if only the attention is diverted from the panorama. In the same way, Consciousness is the supporter of all and is immanent in all; it pervades the mind too. Diversion of attention from other items is all that is necessary for SelfRealization. Is it ever possible that the Self-illuminant can ever be absent from any nook or corner? There can indeed be no moment or spot from which Consciousness is absent. If Consciousness is absent, everything else is absent too. Therefore Pure Consciousness or Self becomes manifest by mere diversion of attention from things or thoughts. Self Realization becomes possible through absolute purity of mind and not by concentrating on it. That is why Self is said to be Unknowable.

Purity of the mind is the sole necessity for Self-Realization. What is the impurity of the mind that has to be removed? Thought is the impurity of the mind. To make the mind thought-free is to keep it pure. Do you understand now why purity of mind is advocated to a seeker after Self-realization? If mind is not pure how can one realize his Self? Or, how is it possible for the Self not to be found gleaming in the pure mind? All the injunctions in the Scriptures are directed towards this end alone. Qualities like unselfish action, dispassion, and devotion are all advocated for this purpose only. Transcendental Consciousness is manifest only in the stain-free mind.

[6]

Ashtaavakra again questioned: O King! You are saying that the passive mind where no thoughts arise is pure and makes way for the Self to manifest by itself; then such a passive state is found in the deep sleep state too: there also thoughts do not arise. Then sleep also should make way for the Self to manifest since it satisfies your condition and there is no need for any kind of effort. King Janaka spoke: I will clarify this doubt of yours. Listen carefully. In the deep sleep state, the mind indeed is silent. But it does not act there because of darkness or absence of perceptions. It is blocked like a mirror covered by tar. Such a blackened mirror does not reflect images; it does not reflect space too. Is it enough in that case, that images are eliminated in order to reveal the space reflected in the mirror? Mind at the time of sleep is veiled by darkness; it is blinded and rendered unfit for illuminating thoughts. Mind is in a state of eclipse; how can such a mind reveal the glimmer of Consciousness? Only a clean untainted mirror can reflect the images. Would a chip of wood held in front of a single object to the exclusion of all others reflect the object simply because all others are excluded? Similarly realization of the Self can only be with an alert mind and not with a stupefied one. Even new born babes do not have thoughts; do they realize the Self? Their minds are not alert. Let us analyze the example of the mirror covered by tar. The tar may prevent the images from being seen, but the quality of the mirror is not affected, for the outer coating of tar must be reflected in the interior of the mirror. The mind in deep sleep is diverted from dream objects and the waking state objects; but is not free of ignorance. This ignorance also is reflected in the Consciousness. This is evident by the recollection of the dark ignorance of sleep when one wakes up.

I will now explain to you again the difference between the state of sleep and Samaadhi. The cognizing mind has two states; Illumination and consideration. Illumination (pure awareness of objects without particularities) means the association of the mind with the external objects. Consideration (cognizing of the object with particularities) means deliberation (Vimarsha) on the object seen. In the state of illumination the limitations of the objects like shape, name etc. are not seen. Deliberation is qualified by the limitations pertaining to the objects seen; objects remain clearly defined in that state. In the preliminary state of illumination there does not arise any distinctive qualities of the object; so illumination is said to be unqualified. In the next state following it, the object becomes defined and is said to be such and such, and so and so. That is the perception of the object after deliberation. Deliberation is again of two kinds; one is actual experience and fresh; the other one is cogitation over the former and called memory. (Direct experience and memory of experience) The mind always functions in these two ways. Dream state is qualified by perception of objects. Mind is functioning there projecting various experiences. But dream objects do not continue their existence in the wakeful state. Sleep is a state where perception of objects is absent. Mind is non-functional in that state. Dreamless sleep is characterized by illumination of sleep alone and the experience lasts unbroken for some time. Wakeful state is characterized by deliberations only overflowing with thoughts without a break. The perceptions of the objects are vivid here also as in the dream state; but the objects appear to have continuity. So it is said to be different from dream and deep sleep states. Light is luminous; yet it is insentient; similarly sleep is free of thoughts and consists of illumination alone; yet it is a state of nescience. Flame is insentient; but sleep is gleaming with Consciousness. In sleep the insentient phase of stupor overpowers the sentient phase of deliberation. But the factor of illumination is ever present and deliberation alone is absent. That is why sleep is said to be the state of ignorance, as distinguished from wakefulness which is conceded to be Knowledge. In the sleep-state, Vaasanaas remain dormant and unmanifest. In the wakeful state, Vaasanaas manifest as varied experiences. Sleep is the first manifestation of the Unmanifest Brahman. It is the potential state where Vaasanaas are ready to become experience fields.

The wise say that the mind is submerged in sleep because it is illumining the unmanifest condition. The prevailing experience in the sleep state is nothing exists. In truth nothing exists in the wakeful state also; yet the mind projects the objects and creates the sense of an existing world. Only difference between the wakeful and sleep states is the absence and presence of thoughts. Sleep is free of thoughts. Wakeful state overflows with thoughts. The darkness or the naught state is the basic state of the ego which is the beginning of ignorance. Continuous rising up of thoughts become an addition of such a state in the waking experience. So, when thoughts are absent, naught state alone exists in the deep sleep state. The Unmanifest alone exists there; but the mind is incapacitated in that condition. All the Vaasanaas remain in the seed form still blocking the Reality. Only the unmanifest is there with the mind blocked of its cognitive capacity. When the cognition process occurs, the first part is deliberation-less state as in deep sleep. Later only the idea of the object appears as a perceived phenomenon. I am not telling this as just a fanciful statement; it has been actually experienced by me. Even the most intelligent get perplexed in this topic. Listen attentively. The mind has three levels which are characterized by the absence of perturbation; Samaadhi state, deep sleep state and the instant of cognizing objects. Yet we differentiate among these states when we recapitulate these states and understand that they illumine different perceptions. Absolute Reality is manifest in Samaadhi; a void or unmanifest condition distinguishes sleep; and diversity is the characteristic of cognition in wakefulness. The illuminant is however the same all through and is always unblemished. It is known as Pure Consciousness. We can easily understand the thoughtless state in the Samaadhi and the deep sleep because their experience remains unbroken for some appreciable period and can be recapitulated after waking up. But we do not recognize the thoughtless state at the time of cognition because the experience lasts for a fleeting fraction of a second only. We would not recognize this deliberation-less state in Samaadhi and deep sleep if they were also fleeting. The deliberation-less state in the wakeful state at the time of Cognizing is like a fleeting experience of Samaadhi or deep sleep state. It is possible to remember a fleeting experience of sleep state because we all know what it is like through experience. But the fleeting Samaadhi state at the time of Cognition goes undetected because we usually do not know what the Samaadhi state is like.

O Brahmin! Fleeting Samaadhi is indeed being experienced by all beings even when they are engaged in day to day activities; but it passes unnoticed by them for they are not acquainted with it. Samaadhi state is completely free of thoughts and musings at every instant. It is a synonymous word for denoting the absence of thoughts. In the waking state prior to cognition and the deep sleep state there are no thoughts. But all the proclivities of the mind remain latent in those states; they are in a ready to manifest state. In the wakeful state, at the instant prior to the recognition of the object, there exists the infinitesimal moment of thoughtlessness. That state is exactly like the state of Samaadhi. Sleep is the unmanifest state; entire world of perception is absent there. It is the first step in the manifestation of the perceived world. All Vaasanaas exist in a potential state ready to burst out into fields of experience. It is the first-born of the Pure Consciousness (Chit). But it is the insentient phase of the Supreme Consciousness. Nothing is revealed because there is nothing to be revealed. Sleep is therefore the manifestation of the insentient state. In the state of Samaadhi, Tripuraa the Supreme Consciousness is continuously glowing. SHE pervades all time and place. SHE destroys all ignorance. SHE is Supremely pure. How can SHE be the ignorance of sleep? Therefore sleep is not the end-all and the be-all.

[7]

Ashtaavakra questioned again: O King! You told me that subtle states of Samaadhi exist in even ordinary day to day experiences. Please explain it more clearly. O King! Under what conditions do the states of Pure Consciousness without thoughts occur? The King spoke: Listen, O Brahmin! I will explain clearly where all such Samaadhi states occur in day to day life. When a man is tightly embraced by his newly married beloved wife for the first time; at that instant he does not understand inside or outside; he has no perception of the outside world and there exist not the internal emotions. He is not overcome by sleep also at that moment; that state is called Samaadhi. When a person desires to have something for a long time and has well-ascertained its unavailability; if he acquires it all of a sudden; at that instant he does not understand inside or outside; he has no perception of the outside world and there exist not the internal emotions. He is not overcome by sleep also at that moment; that state is called Samaadhi. When a man is walking cheerfully on the road without any fear or apprehension, if he chances to see all of a sudden a terrifying tiger in front of him; at that instant he does not understand inside or outside; he has no perception of the outside world and there exist not the internal emotions. He is not overcome by sleep also at that moment; that is called Samaadhi. When a man suddenly hears about the death of his dearest son or someone close, who was an expert in all the affairs of the house and had not a hint of any illness; at that instant he does not understand inside or outside; he has no perception of the outside world and there exist not the internal emotions. He is not overcome by sleep also at that moment; that is called Samaadhi. There are other instances of Samaadhi occurrence too. Listen attentively. Samaadhi state exists in the infinitesimal intervals between waking, dream and sleep states. When the mind switches from one state to another, there is a tiny interval of thoughtless state. That is the state of Pure Consciousness.

Analyze how cognition takes place! If one wants to perceive some object at a distance with one pointed mind, mind becomes elongated like a leech crossing from the tip of one grass to the tip of another grass. The whole mental structure consists of the appearance of the body in the body and the nature of the object in the object. (As the perception involves both the limited identity of the perceiver and the perceived object, the mind projects the limited ego along with the object perception.) The mind is aware of the existence of the object at a distance. On one side is the pure awareness with the cognizing power. On the other side are the characteristics of the object ready to manifest. That which connects them both is the mind. Remaining as the Cognizer on the one side and the characteristics of the object on the other side, the mind recognizes the object. But before it understands the characteristics of the object, before it gets the idea that I am seeing such and such an object, there is an infinitesimal instant of thoughtless silence. That is pure awareness. What is Cognition? The mind projects itself and takes the appearance of the object and that alone is termed as Cognition. There is awareness first; then the projection of the mind towards the object; then the three folds experience of perceiver; perceiving; perceived. The state of pure awareness before the perception of the object is the silent state of Samaadhi. Carefully watch that state. What use is a mere verbal discourse! You can grasp it with your subtle reasoning. Listen attentively. In the day to day activities, for any one, (cognizing) Knowledge is not wholesome. The day to day perceptions consist of a collection of broken perceptions. That is why the noble ascetics describe the Self or the Pure Intellect as One separated from varied momentary cognitions. The interval between these broken perceptions is the thoughtless state of Pure Intellect. O Son of Kahola! Know this! For a Knower, Samaadhi state exists at every moment. For the ignorant, this state is like the hares horn. Though I have described how this state of Samaadhi is intermingled in all states of the mind, it cannot be easily grasped by the ignorant. It needs a highly subtle intellect and a thorough practice in remaining in the witness state.

[8] Ashtaavakra questioned: O King! Samaadhi is a higher spiritual state paving the way towards liberation. If the Samaadhi state devoid of thoughts exists in all the day to day activities including sleep, then why should there be the bondage of worldly existence? The Self being Pure Intelligence, why does it not recognize itself and remain always liberated? Please be kind and clear my doubts. King Janaka spoke: I will reveal you the secret! Ignorance is the very cause of pains and pleasure experienced by every one. This ignorance is there from time immemorial throughout the cycle of births and deaths. This experience of the world is only dream like and unreal. Such a deep rooted ignorance can be destroyed only by the Knowledge of the Supreme. Identification with the ego bound by limitations is ignorance; identification with the Supreme Self is Knowledge. Just by remaining thoughtless, one cannot destroy the ignorance. Just by the experience of unqualified expanse of Consciousness as in Nirvikalpa Samaadhi does not destroy the ignorance. A trance state of thoughtless state is not equal to Knowledge. Such a state is equal to the state of existing as the clean canvas used in painting. A person in the Nirvikalpa Samaadhi state (unperturbed by any vibration) is like a mirror without reflection; a canvas without pictures. But it is not Knowledge. Pictures do not contaminate the canvas nor does it lose its pure state by the pictures. The world seen all around is not the actual ignorance. It is the Savikalpa state (perturbed by perceptions); the Pure Consciousness with thoughts; the canvas with pictures; the mirror with images. Knowledge does not mean wiping out all the pictures. Knowledge is the understanding of the canvas as the support of the pictures. Knowledge is understanding that the mirror alone is all its reflections yet is different and untainted by the reflections. Mirror is the same with or without reflections. Para Brahman or Pure Consciousness is the same whether perceptions are present or absent. Savikalpa or the manifest state of perceptions is not ignorance. World is not a condemned existence. Escaping to Nirvikalpa state is not liberation. Understanding the unreality of the perceptions while perceiving them is liberation. Being in the Nirvikalpa state when in the Savikalpa also, is liberation. Seeing the Unmanifest in the manifest is liberation; not blocking the manifest through trance states.

The course of worldly existence does not cease till the cessation of ignorance. Ignorance does not cease without the Complete Knowledge of the Perfect Self. Perfection is free from the limitations of space and time. The Perfect state of the Self is without parts; it is undivided. Parts can appear only with time, space and form. How does the Unmanifest become the Manifest? Unmanifest state of the Self is free from the limitations of space and time. Unmanifest state of the Self is without parts; it is undivided. The Pure Self with its completeness appears at first without these limitations but only with a yearning for them; which in turn becomes a want; the limitations appear next; and the fundamental cause of existence as I am comes into being. That is the embryonic seed from which shoots forth the sprout of the body as the individualized Self. This starts the continuous cycle of births and deaths. This cycle does not cease unless ignorance is destroyed. This can happen only with the perfect Knowledge of the Self. The complete Knowledge of the Self is determined to be of two types; Paroksha and Aparoksha indirect and not-indirect.
{Aksha means sense. Pratyaksha means directly perceived by senses. Paroksha is experience beyond the senses. (Abstract Knowledge obtained through Guru and Scriptures) Aparoksha is not abstract but direct experience beyond the senses. (State of the Self)}

Indirect Knowledge is obtained through a Guru and Scriptures. Such an indirect Knowledge is not the direct means for liberation. Direct Knowledge is the Supreme understanding ripened by the practice of Samaadhi. It is capable of destroying the ignorance together with the visible world; leads to the auspicious goal of realization. Indirect Knowledge should be first sought for; then one should practice contemplation; then the direct Knowledge is produced. If one does not possess the indirect Knowledge through the Guru and the Scriptures, there is no attainment of liberation for the ignorant, even though the Samaadhi state occurs at all times. (They can never have the true understanding of it). A man who has no Knowledge of gems cannot recognize the emerald by the mere sight of it in the treasury. (Ignorant) A person who has somewhat heard and known the gem recognizes it instantly being intent on finding it. (A man after liberation) One, who is not intent on finding it, though seeing the gem which has been heard of to be somewhere, does not recognize it though he might be an expert. (one who has not strived for attaining liberation even after the study of scriptures, like Ashtaavakra)

An expertise in Scriptures does not lead to realization unless one seeks it with all his heart. His theoretical Knowledge does not help him in recognizing the Samaadhi state which occurs in the day to day experiences also. But a person whose goal is Self realization, even if he is not a scholar but knows a little bit about it, immediately understands these states. Even a learned scholar is no better than a fool, if he does not pay attention when a thing is explained to him. A man looking up at the sky cannot identify the individual constellations if he has not paid attention to the lessons properly. On the other hand, a man though not a scholar but yet attentive, having heard all about the planet Venus, goes out in confidence to look for it knowing how to identify it and finally discovers it; and so is able to recognize the same whenever he sees it again. Inattentive people are simply fools who cannot understand the ever-recurring Samaadhi states in their daily lives. They are like a man who ignorant of the treasure under the floor of his house, begs for his daily food. O Brahmin! Therefore just experiencing these fleeting states of Samaadhi in daily life is not of any use in the attainment of Self-realization. Even just born babes have no thoughts; still they cannot attain Self realization because the ignorance has not been destroyed. Nirvikalpa Samaadhi (Absence of perceptions) clearly will never eradicate ignorance. Therefore in order to destroy it Savikalpa Samaadhi (Self-state when perceptions are present) must be sought. First perform meritorious selfless actions; the Supreme Controller Ishvara is pleased by such virtuous actions; after many births one gets the desire for liberation. Otherwise even in million births one does not get the desire for Self realization. It is through extreme good fortune does one gets born as a sentient being; countless merits are needed to get a human birth. To be endowed with both virtuous tendencies and sharp intellect is indeed an extraordinary occurrence. Observe O Brahmin! The world is mostly filled with immobile objects. Mobile creation occupies a very small fraction of the immobile; human beings again form a very small portion of the animal world; most of the human population is just a level more than animals ignorant of the good and bad, or right and wrong. The sensible crowd among them runs after pleasures just being intent on fulfilling desires; a few learned ones are beset with the desire to enter heaven after death. Of the remaining few, most of them have their intellects dimmed by Maayaa and cannot comprehend the oneness of all as the Supreme Reality. How can these poor folk, held in the grip of Maayaa, extend their weak sight to the sublime Truth of Oneness? The Knowledge of the Self is beyond the grasp of those deluded by Maayaa.

Suppose even if by some good fortune one gets interested in these truths and grasps them intellectually, even then he may not get convinced of their truths and brush them away as some intellectual trash. He may not like to follow the path for want of self-control and be swayed by desires. He may justify his non-belief by some fallacious arguments and get drowned in the worldly entangles more and more. Greater misfortune awaits those who have the fortune to understand the Supreme truths through their intellect yet do not do any effort to practically realize the truths personally. Wondrous is the Supreme power of Maayaa that they throw away the magical gem of Chintaamani thinking it to be just a pebble. Only those who cultivate devotion to the Supreme Goddess of Self can transcend the Maayaa and discriminate the Truth. By the Grace of the Supreme Goddess, they get endowed with proper discrimination and earnestness; soon they get established in the transcendental oneness and get absorbed into Her. I shall now relate to you the path towards liberation. Due to the result of meritorious deeds of countless births, one develops devotion towards God; then he worships Him for a long time with intense devotion. Then gradually dispassion towards pleasures rises up in the mind. This gives rise to an intense longing for realizing the Truth and he devotes every minute of his life in trying to accomplish that goal. He then searches for a suitable Guru and learns from him all about the transcendental state. He gains the theoretical knowledge from his Guru. After this he ponders in his mind about the validity of the theoretical knowledge and by constant churning of the intellect, he ascertains the Truth. He becomes completely convinced of the truths mentioned in the Scriptures and the statements of his own Guru. He is able to ascertain the Highest Truth (Self) clearly without any doubt. The Ascertained Knowledge of the Oneness of the Self must afterwards be brought into practice, even forcibly, if necessary, until the experience of the Truth (Self) occurs to him. After experiencing the Inner Self, he will be able to identify the Self with the Supreme and thus destroy the root of ignorance. There is no doubt about it. Further practice in contemplation leads him to the fulfilled state of realization, where he remains without any perturbation. That state alone is termed Nirvikalpa Samaadhi. After waking from such a state, he retains the memory of the Supreme and acts in the world with complete identification with his own Self. His ignorance is now completely annihilated. Thoughts do not rise in him without control. He is now in the state of the canvas and does not mind whatever picture is drawn over his Consciousness. He is in complete peace with the world. He is no more deluded by the perceived objects. No event, good or bad affects him. His blissful state of the Self never is lost. He is liberated while living. He is a JeevanMukta.

All aspirants do not need the same effort or time for realization. They can be roughly categorized into three types; the best, the middle and the lowest; Uttama, Madhyama and Adhama. The best ones attain realization the moment they hear the Truth. As they enquire, they realize and become liberated. Their ascertainment of the Truth and the contemplative state occur simultaneously. Realization of the Truth does not need even the least of the efforts by them. O Brahmin! I, King Janaka also realized it in that way. It was a beautiful moonlit summer night. I was in the royal garden lying on a soft bed enjoying the company of a pretty maiden. I was in a slightly intoxicated state by drinking the wine fed by her. She had held me in a tight embrace. At that time five Siddhas who were travelling in the sky descended into my garden. I could not see them, but was able to hear their words clearly. Each one uttered a verse explaining the Supreme Truth of Para Brahman. As I heard those verses, I realized the Supreme state instantly; I was in the Samaadhi state for an hour or so. What a wonderful bliss I experienced at that instant! Even the post of Indra, the King of Gods cannot be equal to a fraction of that supreme Bliss! Even the Creator Brahma cannot experience that bliss. I was suddenly stuck by a disgusting attitude towards everything. I felt I had wasted all my life in worthless routine acts. I had been a fool I thought; I was surly equal to an idiot who possessing a wish fulfilling Chintaamani lived like a beggar on streets without knowing its value. I wondered how the people of the world waste their lives seeking external pleasures ignorant of the fountain of bliss within themselves. I decided to put a complete cessation to all sorts of pleasure-seeking and remain totally immersed in that bliss. I did not want to continue as an ignorant fool anymore. I felt life was nothing but wasteful repetitions of the same acts; same foods; same bed; same perfumed garlands; same ornaments; same enjoyment from women; nothing new at any time! I had decided to walk out of the foolish panorama and live like a recluse the whole of the remaining life. However immediately another thought arose in me contradicting my own decision of renunciation. What confusion I am in! Although I am always in the perfection of Bliss, what is it I want to do? What more can I acquire? What do I lack? When and whence can I get anything? Even if there were anything new to be gained, would it endure? How can I who am Infinite Consciousness-Bliss know effort? How can I act? All around me what world I see is unreal. I create the world in my dream by projecting my own mind. All the Individual bodies perceived by me in this wakeful world as people, their senses, minds, etc., are similar to visions in a dream; they are also projected from me. Even this body which I called as mine till now is also a projection. I have controlled just one mind (named Janaka) and made it free of perturbations. But control of one mind leaves all other minds as they are. So what is the use of controlling my mind? Minds, controlled or uncontrolled, appear only to my mental eye.

Even if I suppose all minds are controlled, my mind seems to be utterly free; it is like infinite space, the receptacle of all things. Who is to control it and how? There seems to be no one here as a person. There is no one out there too as real persons. There is the experience of only unbroken bliss; nothing else looks real. What more should I strive for, when already I am in that state of perfect bliss? My own Consciousness manifests diverse activities all about the world which is again my own manifestation. What matters if one manifests as action or inaction? Where is the gain or loss in such manifestation? What matters if I am in perceiving the world or not perceiving the world? What matters whether I stay in Nirvikalpa Samaadhi or not? Samaadhi or no Samaadhi, I am the same Perfection and eternal Peace. Let the body do what it likes! Thus thinking I continued enjoying the company of the pretty maiden without any botheration; and I am still acting the part of the king as a sport of my own Self. The bliss of realization I experienced at that moment has not diminished any time. I always exist as my Blissful Self whatever be the perceived world around me. My experience is typical of the best aspirants. Lowest aspirants attain wisdom in the course of many births. As for the middle class, these aspirants attain realization in the same birth but in a slow and gradual process of - first learning about the Truth of the Self; then getting convinced of it; then Savikalpa Samaadhi and Nirvikalpa Samaadhi and lastly Sahaja Samaadhi. The last state of Sahaja Samaadhi is very rarely found. What use is Nirvikalpa Samaadhi if one has no Knowledge of the Truth? Even if one experiences it a hundred times, he will not attain liberation. That is the reason why I tell you that the fleeting experiences of Samaadhi in the wakeful state are useless. A man who is truly liberated has no trace of ignorance. Though he eats, sleeps, talks like everyone else; he sees every perception of his as a projection of his own Self. He never swerves from the blissful state of Self anytime. Pure Consciousness (Self) is the background support of all the phenomena that is exhibited on it. So in the absence of the phenomena it must manifest as itself in absolute purity. It remains unrecognized because it is not distinguished from the phenomena displayed by it. On their being eliminated it becomes apparent. Nirvikalpa Samaadhi is characterized by the experience of the true Self alone, namely, Pure Consciousness (Chit - the principle of Existence, Knowledge and Bliss).

O Brahmin! Think over what you have now learnt, and you will realize the Truth. With the wisdom born of your realization, you will inhere as the Self and be eternally free After giving these instructions to Ashtaavakra, Janaka sent him away. Ashtaavakra reached his own place and put the lessons into practice. Very soon he too became a JeevanMukta (liberated while yet alive).

END

IV

SOME DISCUSSIONS FROM TRIPURAA RAHASYA


Why are all individuals different? Supreme Queen Tripuraa Devi, the Transcendental Consciousness- ParaaChiti pictures the whole world in Her being like images in a mirror. She takes on the individuality of HiranyaGarbha, the golden Wombed Brahma. Considering the predispositions of the egos enclosed in that egg (HiranyaGarbha), SHE unfolds the Scriptures for the wellbeing of the beings. HiranyaGarbha contains within himself the infinite unfulfilled Vaasanaas in his being. Since the embryonic individuals are full of unfulfilled desires HiranyaGarbha begins to think out the means of their fulfillment. He elaborates a scheme of cause and effect, of actions and fruits, and consequently the individuals get born to revolve in that wheel of cause and effect. They take different shapes and are placed in different environments consistently with their predispositions. After passing through innumerable species, the individual evolves as a human being owing to the merit he has accumulated. In the first few of his human births, the individual engages himself in selfish pursuits alone. But his desires keep on increasing and he undertakes more and more births in the process of fulfilling them. After many ups and downs, after innumerable births he will by chance develop a desire for liberation. Failures are inevitable everywhere. Disappointments result. Yet, the aspirants accumulated merits reinforced by association with the wise and by divine grace, make him persist in the course, and gradually take him step by step to the highest pinnacle of happiness. Is there a difference in the state of realized Knowers? The state of the Knowers also differs, according as his efforts have been great or less. A person with dense Vaasanaas who gets a glimpse of the Realized state does not slip into Sahaja Samaadhi state immediately. He has to engage himself in regular practice of contemplation and destroy his hidden Vaasanaas. In few more births he will reach the final realization. There are different types of realized Yogis. There are differences in states of realization according to the level of intellect and the quality of actions performed. The Trinities- Brahma Vishnu and Shiva are Knowers by nature. They manifest in the beginning as all Knowing Lords of the World. Their actions never bind them. They are eternally free.

Knowledge is not affected by the hue of the form or mind. Even the three sons of Atri have different states of Knowledge. Sage Durvaasa is easily annoyed. Chandra is married to twenty seven daughters of Daksha. Dattatreya cares not what he wears or not wears on his form. Sage Vasishta is the family Preceptor of the Solar dynasty. He never fails in the strictest adherence to duty as prescribed by the Scriptures. Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatsujata and SanatKumaara, the four sons of Brahma are totally indifferent to any action including religious rites. Naarada is a devotee of Lord Naaraayana. Bhaargava or Shukraachaarya the well-known preceptor of Asuras supports the enemies of the Gods whereas the equally great Sage Brhaspati supports the Gods against their enemies. Vyaasa is ever busy codifying the Vedas, and propagates their truth through Mahabharata, the Puraanas and the Upa Purana. Janaka is famous as the ascetic-King. Jada Bharata looks like an idiot. There are so many others with individual characteristics such as Chyavana, Yaajnavalkya, Vishvaamitra, etc. Yaajnavalkya is the Sage of Sages mentioned in Brhadaaranyaka Upanishad. Vishvaamitra is the originator of Gaayatri Mantra. Best of the Sages do not have any Vaasanaas. Even the desires they express do not bind them. Any trace of the subtle Vaasanaa is destroyed by Contemplation on the Self. Dispassion need not be very marked in their cases. Such people need not repeatedly engage in the study of Scriptures or seek instructions from a Guru, but straightaway pass into meditation and fall into Samaadhi .They live always as JeevanMuktas. Another class of Sages does not consider it worthwhile to eradicate their desires. If by chance desires arise due to the old habits of the mind, they do not make any effort to remove them. These desires do not disturb their Self-state. Therefore their desires continue to manifest even after realization as before. They are not tainted by such Vaasanaas. The Vaasanaas do not bind them. They are said to be emancipated and diverse-minded. They are also reputed to be the best class of Knowers. He whose mind clings to the ignorance of the necessity of Karma (Rituals) cannot hope for realization even if Shiva offers to instruct him. Similarly the person who is indifferent towards the truths taught by Scriptures or who misunderstands the statements of the Scriptures cannot attain realization. On the other hand, if a man who is besought with desires and attachments slowly gets over his indifference and strives hard will surely reach the goal though only with considerable difficulty and after a long lapse of time by repeated hearing of the Sacred Knowledge; discussion of the same; and contemplation on it.

Such a Sage will perform fewer actions because he is entirely engrossed in his efforts for realization. A Sage of this class has by his long practice and rigorous discipline controlled his mind so well that Vaasanaas are totally eradicated and the mind is as if dead. He belongs to the middle class in the scheme of classification of Sages and is said to be a Sage without the mind. The last class and the least among the Sages are those whose practice and discipline are not perfect enough to destroy mental predispositions. Their minds are still active and the Sages are said to be associated with their minds. They have not yet become Knowers and are not JeevanMuktas like the other two classes. They experience the pleasures and pains of life like other ignorant men and will continue to do so till the end of their lives. They will be liberated only after death. Praarabdha Karma means those actions which have begun to bear fruit. Sanchita Karma means those actions which are in store and which will bear fruit in the future. AAgaami Karma means those actions which are performed at present and will bear fruit later. All three types of these Karmas get annihilated by the Realization of the Self. The mind is the soil in which the seed namely Praarabdha sprouts (into pleasures and pains of life). If the soil is barren, the seed loses its sprouting power by long storage, and becomes useless. Praarabdha (past karma) is totally powerless with the middle class, who have destroyed their minds by continued practice. How does action affect our lives? The Supreme Tripuraa Devi is the undivided taintless Consciousness without a second. In Her exist all possible states of Existence. Anything that can be expressed as an idea can create a field of experience with a world around it. Such potential possibilities are termed as Vaasanaas. These have no beginning or end. These states exist as the very nature of the Supreme Consciousness inherent in it like the ocean consisting of waves. When any potential possibility (Vaasanaa/Smriti/Brain signal) randomly expresses itself as a thought, an appropriate field is created projecting a threefold unit of experiencer, experienced and experiencing. The experiencer is not a person with a particular identity, but a cognizer of the field of experience. Every moment, nay every fraction of a moment some potential possibility is getting expressed as the threefold unit of experienced experiencer and experiencing. In that fraction of a second there is the experience of the whole world with infinite space and time. Next moment another Vaasanaa might express itself as a field randomly; another ego experiences the cognition. If the experiences are stored in a memory configuration, there appears a mirage of an individual living a life; he is the Jeeva.

If the Jeeva firmly starts believing in his name/form identity and the existence of a solid world around him, that particular ego as a Jeeva develops possible states of Vaasanaas which need more and more fields of experience. Since Jeeva is not a person but only an idea of identification with the body or form/name, a shift of field is imminently possible. If the continuity of experiences is there without a memory of the previous field of experiences, it is termed rebirth; if it is the same field of experience it is called a life in the world. Every thought is a potential world maker. A hoarding idea can create a rat hoarding its treasures; a vengeance idea might create a tiger with its world; dirty vulgar ideas might create a mosquito world or a cockroach world; a quiet nature may result in a cows world. These are not rebirths, but Vaasanaa-fields which appear as such creatures. Any thought created in any mind will grossify randomly into a field and a world around it. Therefore a world around you filled with fights, wars, deaths, diseases, bacteria are nothing but the collective thoughts of all the minds which are acting as egos. The worst possible state around you, you call it Kali Yuga; best thoughts around you is Sat Yuga; and so on. But while all this goes on, the Pure Consciousness remains unaffected by all this play. At the same time it is the pure untainted, undivided whole without any space time projections. It is just Pure Existence, Pure Knowledge, and Pure Bliss. It contains within itself all these possibilities, all potentialities, all worlds, all fields of experiences, all space time projections as its very nature. The mirrors very nature is to reflect. Ordinary mirrors reflect something external to them. But this Tripuraa mirror itself is the reflecting mirror of itself in itself. All this space/time projections, all Vaasanaas, all thoughts, all egos, all experiences are nothing but the Supreme Consciousness. There is no one existing as second person experiencing anything apart from it. SHE is the very awareness in each one of the ego experiences. SHE only experiences everything, every life, every World. Jeeva is just an experience. He is as unreal as a picture drawn in space. Name and form are just imagined identities. One must cease to be a carrier of Vaasanaas and destroy the Jeevatva, the livingness. Then the original a state of Pure Tripuraa Consciousness alone remains. If it is argued that the life is quite enjoyable without the realization of the truth, it is like saying that the hallucination created by the brain through drugs or alcohol or some such substance is enjoyable and should be continued.

Moreover there does not exist any continuous person anywhere any time with a name and form identity. Every moment a Vaasanaa creates a field of experience with a name and form and a built up random memory (Smriti). Every moment there is a world with all dream characters as your world denizens. The Vaasanaas queue up in the unconscious; grossify every moment with a new experience and new ego, new Jeeva, with new memory configuration giving the appearance of a continuity. All names and forms are unreal; all name and form identities are unreal; all perceptions are unreal; all space time projections are unreal; there is no solid world with solid living beings anywhere anytime.
THAT

alone is REAL; THAT alone Exists as all this; THAT alone should be realized as the Self. Realization alone destroys the mirage of the perceived phenomenon.
TAT EVA SAT. THAT ALONE EXISTS.

THE VARIED PERSONALITIES OF REALIZED BEINGS


A realized person does not instantly become a superman with all the knowledge of future. He does not become a miracle maker. However if he wishes to attain such powers he will follow the required practices and possess them like Krishna Vaasudeva or Vishvaamitra. But Sages like Janaka do not care for such Siddhis. Janaka arranged many a debates on Self-Knowledge and invited many great Sages and scholars to his courtroom and entertained himself in listening to their discourses. He lavishly rewarded the winner and spent his wealth in a just cause. All realized beings need not be clever in worldly activities too. Each may have their own talent and wisdom as connected to their life narratives. A realized person may practice the art of walking on water, but a person who walks on water is not a realized man. Miracles are not the symbolic feature of a realized person. It is also possible that some realized souls may get devoted to some particular deity like Sage Naarada, the devoted disciple of Lord Naaraayana. Rama realized the Self at the age of sixteen before he left for the forest with Sage Visvaamitra. Remaining in the Self state itself, he married Seetaa and got ready for his Avataar work. Krishna realized by the age of eight or ten when he was a student at Sandeepani School.

Seetaa was a realized knower at a tender age of six or seven. She was always an interested listener sitting on the lap of her father at all the Knowledge debates conducted at the courtroom of Janaka. Scriptures were her kindergarten books. She was a pet disciple of Sage Yaajnavalkya and knew all that had to be known when she married Sri Rama. Emotions do not cease in these realized beings. Rama and Seetaa are the ideal human beings ever born. Seetaa coveting a golden deer is a childish whim and not a taint on her realized state. Her realized state alone gave her the strength of mind to endure the hardships at the palace garden of Raavana. Gaargi was another female ascetic renowned for her logical prowess. She was always an ardent Opposer of Yaajnavalkya in all the debates conducted by King Janaka. They all exist as the Supreme Self alone. There is no change in their blissful inner existence. But the minds acting as their identities differ. The personalities also differ. The mental faculties exist in them as shadows, like burnt up ropes, just maintaining a vague ego-like existence. Each mental faculty assumes a particular shape to suit the particular function. But it is the one single mind of Tripuraa acting as different shapes to perform different functions at the same time. The mind of the best among Knowers is the state of the Self and yet manifests as all without suffering any change in its eternal blissful nature as the Self. They are therefore many-minded. The Praarabdha of Knowers is still active and sprouts in the mind but only to be burnt up by the steady flame of Knowledge. Pleasure or pain is due to the dwelling of the mind on occurrences. But if these are scorched at their source, how can there be pain or pleasure? Knowers of the highest order, however, are seen to be active because they voluntarily bring out the Vaasanaas from the depth of the mind and allow them to run out. Their action is similar to that of a father sporting with his child; moving its dolls; laughing at the imagined success of one doll over another; and appearing to grieve over the injury to another; and so on; or like a man showing sympathy for his neighbor on the occasion of a gain or loss. The Vaasanaas not detrimental to realization are not weeded out by the best class of Knowers because they cannot seek new ones to crowd the old out. Therefore the old ones continue until they are exhausted and thus you find among them some highly irritable, some lustful and others pious and dutiful, and so on. The lowest order of Knowers still under the influence of their minds, know that there is no truth in the objective world. Their Samaadhi is not different from that of the rest.

What is Samaadhi? Samaadhi is being aware of the Self, and nothing else - that is to say - it should not be confounded with the Nirvikalpa (undifferentiated) state, for this state is very common and frequent as has been pointed out in the case of momentary fleeting Samaadhi. Every one is experiencing the Nirvikalpa state, though unknowingly. But what is the use of such unrecognized Samaadhi? A similar state becomes possible to the Hatha yogis also (Trance state without SelfKnowledge). This (trance) experience alone does not confer any lasting benefit. A realized man can still perform his duties perfectly well even while remaining in the same unperturbed state of the Self. That is the real state of Samaadhi. (Sahaja Samaadhi Natural state of the Self) What is Sahaja Samaadhi? Sahaja means Saha+JA - born with- natural. When an ignorant man moves in the world, he is completely identified with his body, senses and mind. He assumes that he is of a particular form and name. It is a natural state for him to act as his body. He need not repeat every moment that he is so and so and look in the mirror continuously and say I am of such and such a form. He is what he is; of such and such a name and such and such a form. Similarly a realized person does not repeatedly say I am the Self. He is naturally the Self-state. He is always THAT. This state is known as Sahaja Samaadhi. How is that state experienced by realized beings? The wise say that Samaadhi is the control resulting from the application of the experienced truth (the awareness of the Self) to the practical affairs of life. This Sahaja Samaadhi is possible only for Yogis who follow the path of Knowledge. A realized devotee has to maintain a tiny vibration of identity as a different person and worship the chosen deity as a separate Godhead.

HATHAYOGA The Hatha yogis are of two kinds: the one intent on eliminating all perturbations of the mind - starts with the elimination of the non-self and gradually of all mental vacillations. This requires very long and determined practice which becomes his second nature and the yogi remains perfectly unperturbed.

The other practices the six preliminary exercises and then controls the breath (Praanaayaama) until he can make the air enter the Sushumna nadi. Since the earlier effort is considerable owing to control of breath, there is a heavy strain which is suddenly relieved by the entry of air in Sushumna. The resulting happiness is comparable to that of a man suddenly relieved of a pressing load on his back. His mind is similar to that of man in a swoon or a state of intoxication. Both classes of Hatha yogis experience happiness similar to that of deep slumber. JNAANAYOGI AND HATHA YOGI A Knower on the other hand, has theoretical Knowledge of the Self, for he has heard it from the Guru and learnt it from the study of Scriptures and has further cogitated upon the teachings. Therefore, the veil of ignorance is drawn off from him even before the consummation of Samaadhi. The substratum of Consciousness bereft of perceptions is understood by him as a mirror reflecting images. He remains in the Self-state and remains free of thoughts even when not sitting in contemplation. A Hatha yogi cannot remain in such a state as the Knowers Samaadhi; where the veil of ignorance is removed and perturbation of thoughts is absent. In the Hatha yogi's Samaadhi, the thoughts and perceptions are absent, no doubt; but yet it is covered by the veil of ignorance. This veil of ignorance is torn off by the Knower in the process of his contemplation. His Samaadhi state is not like deep slumber but a complete awakened state of bliss rising from the Self-state. What is the difference there is between the Samaadhi of a Hatha yogi and the sleep of an ignorant man? In the sleep state of the ordinary man, the mind overpowered by deep ignorance is covered by dense darkness. In the Samaadhi state of a Hatha Yogi, the mind, being Saatvic acts as a thin veil for the self-effulgent principle. Here the mind is not destroyed by the fire of Knowledge. The Self may be compared to the Sun obstructed by dark and dense clouds in sleep-state of the ordinary man; and by a light mist in the Samaadhi-state of a Hatha Yogi. For a Knower, the Self shines in its full effulgence like the Sun shining unobstructed in the sky. This is how the Sages describe Samaadhi.

What is Samaadhi? Samaadhi is absolute Knowledge uncontaminated by the perceived objects. Such is the state of the best Knowers even when they take part in the affairs of the world. The blue color of the sky is known to be an unreal phenomenon and yet it appears the same to both the knowing and the unknowing, but with this difference that the one is misled by the appearance and the other is not. Just as the false perception (mirage etc) does not mislead the man who knows, so also all that is perceived is known to the wise as unreal; he will never be misled by them. Since the middle class of Knowers have already destroyed their minds, perceived objects do not exist for them. Their state transcends the mind-level. They can remain in the Turyaa state when contemplating. When perceiving, the mind assumes the shape of the objects and creates an external world with objects. It believes those objects to be real and gets agitated. In these middle class of Knowers, thoughts are absent and the unperturbed state of the Nirvikalpa Samaadhi is experienced. That is the transcendental state of Turyaa. A Knower of the highest order need not seek the Contemplative states to remain in the state of the Self. He is always in the contemplative state even while performing a variety of actions. Every action is performed with a mind newly raised. He is always many-minded performing many actions and yet he remains in the unbroken state of Samaadhi. His is absolute Knowledge bereft of the ignorance of the reality of perceptions.

V BRIEF BIOGRAPHIES OF SOME SAGES

STORY OF BHARATA Bharata was born in the Solar Dynasty, in the line of Manu Svayambhuva, the eldest of a hundred sons of a saintly King by the name of Rishabha Deva, who ruled over the earth. When Rishabha Deva became old, he entrusted the rule of his Kingdom to Bharata and retired to the forest to perform penance. King Bharata married a girl named Panchajani and five sons were born to them. Bharata ruled the kingdom righteously for a long time. When Bharata became old he entrusted his kingdom to his sons; renounced everything and lived in a hermitage in the forest performing penance. One day while performing the worship of the Sun on the river bank, he saw a pregnant doe towards the lake to drink the water. The deer looked weak and exhausted. Suddenly a lion appeared from nowhere and roared at the deer. The doe was terrified and jumped into the water and started to swim towards the other bank. Half way through the stream, the doe gave birth to a young deer midstream and died in exhaustion. The royal Sage was watching all this. He was moved by compassion towards the young cub which had lost its mother. He rescued it took it to his hermitage and cared for it like a mother. Soon he became attached to the young deer. His mind was always apprehensive about its welfare. One day death overtook him. Even then he was thinking about the deer only when he drew his last breath. That Sage was born as a deer in his next birth. As a result of his penance of the previous birth, he still remembered the occurrences of his past birth. He understood his foolishness. Determined to correct himself, he lived near the hermitages of Sages and listened to their talks to gain knowledge. In the next birth, he was born in a Brahmin family. Now he was free of all attachments and remained stone-like in all situations. He did not talk or respond when people conversed with him. He soon became famous as a dunce and was known by all as Jada Bharata. He roamed as an Avadhuta (those ascetics who do not care about their appearance or bodily needs). He was ill treated sometimes, worshipped some other times; yet he did not bother. He just remained without reaction to any event of his life. It so happened that once he was even bullied into carrying the palanquin of King Rahugana of Sauvira Kingdom who was visiting Sage Kapila. Bharata was clumsy and couldnt balance the palanquin properly. The king reprimanded him with harsh words.

Without getting affected Bharata asked him, Who am I? Who are you? Neither you nor me are these inert physical bodies. Self alone exists as all. Self does not carry the palanquin. Self is not sitting in the palanquin. Who is scolding whom? The king was shocked by Bharatas words. He stepped down from the palanquin; fell at the feet of Jada Bharata and asked him to forgive him for his stupidity. Bharata gave him instructions about Self realization. STORY OF RIBHU The Sage Ribhu taught the Knowledge of Brahman to his disciple Nidagha. However Nidagha was unable to comprehend the abstract knowledge of the Self and remained addicted to the performance of rites as prescribed in the Karma Section of the Vedas. One day Ribhu decided to find out the depth of knowledge of his disciple and visited Nidhaga disguised as an ordinary villager. Nidagha at that time was absorbed in watching a royal procession. Ribhu approached him and enquired him about what the procession was about. This is how they conversed: Oh! It is the King. He goes in the procession! But where is he? There, on the elephant. You say the King is on the elephant. Yes, I see the two beings there. Which is the King and which is the elephant? What! exclaimed Nidagha. You see the two beings, but do not know that the man above is the King and the animal below is the elephant? What is the use of talking to a man like you? Please! Do not be impatient with an ignorant man like me, the villager apologized. But you said above and below; what do they mean? Nidagha was highly annoyed. He retorted angrily You are seeing two beings there; the King and the elephant, the one above and the other below. Yet you want to know what is meant by above and below. If objects seen and words spoken can convey so little to you, action alone can teach you. Bend forward and you will know it all too well. The villager did as he was told. Nidagha got on his shoulders and said: Understand! I am above as the King; you are below as the elephant. Is that clear enough?

The villager said, No! I do not understand yet! You are saying you are above like the King, and I am below like the elephant. The King, the elephant, above and below all these words are clear now. But two words I do not understand yet. Who is I and who is You? Nidhaga was shocked and understood that his Guru alone was standing in front of him disguised as the villager. He fell at his feet and realized the Self under his guidance.

STORY OF CHYAVANA Bhrgu Maharshi married Khyathi, daughter of Kardama Prajaapati. He had two more wives named Ushaana and Pulomaa. Pulomaa became pregnant in due course. One day, the Sage went to the river for performing rites. Pulomaa was alone in the house, attending to her own duties. She was preparing the Sacrificial Fire. A demon also named as Puloma came there attracted by the beauty of Pulomaa. He asked the God of fire about Pulomaa. Fire-God was forced to tell the truth and gave off the truth that she was Bhrgus wife. The demon changed himself into a boar and carried her away. The baby inside her womb got angry and came out of the womb and looked at the demon with sharp and angry eyes. The demon was reduced to ashes. Pulomaa carried the baby and returned to the hermitage. That child was later known by the name of Chyavana because he slipped out from the womb (Chyut -to slip out) Agni (Fire-God) was cursed by Sage Bhrgu to become a SarvaBhakshaka (Omnivorous). Yet he blessed Agni that he will never lose his purity even if he consumed everything. Chyavana mastered all the Scriptures. He decided to do penance and went off to Vaidoorya mountain area and settled near a lake called Payoshni (luke warm waters). He entered Nirvikalpa Samaadhi. Ant hills covered his physical attire. Thousands of years passed this way. King Sharyaati once came there to hunt accompanied by his family and a huge army. Sharyaatis young daughter Sukanyaa was playing around with her friends. She saw two glowing points from the inside of the anthill. Curious, she poked those points with a stick. Blood poured out of the holes. Frightened she ran away. Chyavana was a great Sage and the injury caused by the immature girl led to many ill-effects. The entire army suffered because of the cessation of their excretory functions. Soon the king came to know of his daughters blunder. He apologized to the blind Sage and offered his daughter in marriage to him. Sukanyaa served the Sage with devotion. Years passed. The Sage did not even look at his wife for once. Her beauty did not affect him in any way. He was always absorbed in contemplation. Sukanyaa never complained. But her beauty attracted the divine physicians Ashvini Kumaaras. They pleaded with her to leave the old Sage and come and live with them in heaven. Sukanyaa refused them outright and told them about the greatness of the Sage. She advised them to refrain from such immoral conduct.

Sage Chyavana came to know of this. He and the two celestial physicians took a dip in the waters of the sacred lake and came out handsome and young; identical in every manner. Sukanyaa by her devotional power recognized the Sage and saluted him. Later the Sage created a beautiful world for her sake and enjoyed the marital bliss with her for many thousands of years. STORY OF VISHVAAMITRA Vishvaamitra was a King in ancient India, also called Kaushika (the descendant of Kusha). He was a valiant warrior and the great-grandson of a great King named Kusha. On one of his exploits, he and his soldiers took rest in the hermitage of Rishi Vasishta. His entire army was offered food by Sage Vasishta. Vishvaamitra was surprised and found out that this was possible because of calf named Nandini which was gifted by Indra. Nandini was the daughter of KaamaDhenu (wish fulfilling cow) residing in the Indras heaven. Kaushika wanted to take away Nandini to his palace so that the whole kingdom could benefit by its power. As Vasishta refused to part with the calf, Kaushika tried to seize it forcefully. Vasishta produced a huge army and defeated the king and his retinue. As Vasishta was a Brahmarshi and had the power of penance, the king decided to attain the same state by performing severe penance. Many obstacles blocked his path from reaching the goal. He fell for the beauty of Menakaa the divine damsel of the heaven once. At another time he helped king Trishanku (who had become a Chaandaala by curse) by creating an upside down heaven for him when he was thrown out of the heaven by the Gods. Kaushika remained stubborn and performed penance till he purified himself. At last he was acclaimed by Vasishta himself as a Brahmarshi. Because of his compassionate heart, he was known by the name of Vishvaamitra, A complete friend of the world.

END

VI

TWO PRINCES AND THE BRAHMA RAAKSHASA


Once upon a time, a King by name Ratnaangada ruled the city of Amrita on the banks of the Vipaasha. He had two sons Rukmaangada and Hemaangada - both wise and good and dearly loved by their father. Rukmangada was well versed in all the Scriptures; but Hemaangada was a Knower of the highest order. Once both the brothers went to the forests with a huge retinue to hunt wild animals. They spent a long time enjoying the sport of hunting. Later getting exhausted they rested near a spring. Nearby lived a Brahma Rakshasa; a Brahminic devil. The devil was well versed in all the Scriptures and very learned. He used to challenge many a learned person who passed that way for a scholarly discussion and defeat them easily; in the end he ate them and satisfied his hunger. Some travelers passing that way informed the princes of the danger lurking nearby and hurried off before the devil saw them. Rukmaangada felt amused about this learned ghoul and decided to confront it in a scholarly debate. Both the brothers went in search of it, found the Brahmaraakshasa resting on a huge tree. Rukmaangada challenged the devil and engaged him in an argument. However his textual supremacy was not up to the devils wisdom and he was soon defeated in the debate. The ghoul emitted a terrifying laughter and grabbed him tightly in its huge hands and got ready to consume him. Hemaangada who was watching all this immediately shouted: O Brahmaraakshasa, do not eat him yet! I am his younger brother. Defeat me also in argument so that you may eat us both together. The ghoul was not to be put out. He did not let go of Rukmaangada and replied: I have long been without food. Let me first finish this long-wished for prey, and then I shall defeat you in debate and complete my meal with you. I hope to make a hearty meal of you both. The younger Prince decided to engage the wise ghoul in conversation and said: O Brahmaraakshasa! You do not look like an ordinary being. You are very learned and wiser than even many a human scholar! Why do you defeat people in scholarly disputes and eat them? Please answer me before you eat my brother.

The ghoul said: In the past I ate anyone who passed this way while crossing the jungle. Once DevaVrata, a disciple of Sage Vasishta passed this way. When I pounced on him, he got angry and cursed me saying, May your mouth be burnt if you indulge in human prey any more. I prayed to him with great humility and he condescended to modify his curse thus: You may eat those who are defeated by you in debate. Since then I am in strict obedience of his words. I have waited all this time for a prey. This food which I have caught is very dear to me. Allow me to eat your brother who has been defeated by me. I shall deal with you after finishing this meal. Hemaangada again stopped him sayingWait, Wait! Listen to my words! Please release my brother. If food is your only problem, I will get you some other food to replace him. I will give you more food than you can ever imagine. But please, let my brother go! I beg of you! The ghoul laughed aloud and said: How can I let go of this long awaited feast just because you promise me some other food in bargain? Listen O prince! There is no such price for redemption. I will not give him up. I would be a fool if I let this food slip away from my hand. I am too hungry now to bargain with you. But you appear to be wiser than your brother. However I shall tell you now a vow which I have taken. There are many questions deeply afflicting my mind. If you can answer them satisfactorily, I shall release your brother. Hemaangada was too glad to oblige. He requested the ghoul to present any question he desired fit and he would try his best to answer all his queries. Here is how the conversation of the Brahmaraakshasa and Hemaangada went forth. Brahmaraakshasa: What is more extensive than space and more subtle than the subtlest? What is its nature? Where does it abide? Tell me, Prince. Prince Hemaangada: Listen o Ghoul! Pure Consciousness (CHIT) is wider than space and subtler than the subtlest. Its nature is to glow. It abides as the Self. BR: How can it be wider than space, being single? How is it subtler than the subtlest? What is that glow? And what is that Self? Tell me, Prince.

PH: Listen o Ghoul! Being the material cause of all, Pure Consciousness is extensive though single. It is beyond the grasp of the mind; so it is subtle. Glowing obviously implies consciousness and that is the Self. BR: Where and how is this Chit (Principle of Knowledge) to be realized? What is the effect? PH: Listen o Ghoul! The intellectual sheath must be probed for its Realization. One-pointed search for it reveals its existence. Rebirth is overcome by such Realization. BR: What is that sheath? What is concentration of mind? Again what is birth? PH: Listen o Ghoul! The intellectual sheath is the veil drawn over Pure Consciousness; it is inert by itself. One-pointedness is abiding as the Self. Birth is the false identification of the Self with the body. BR: Why is that Supreme Consciousness which is ever shining not realized? What is the means by which it can be realized? Why did birth take place at all? PH: Listen o Ghoul! Ignorance is the cause of non-Realization. Self realizes the Self; there is no external aid possible. Birth originated through the sense of doer ship. BR: What is that ignorance of which you speak? What is again the Self? Whose is the sense of doer ship?

PH: Listen o Ghoul! Ignorance is the sense of separateness from Consciousness and false identification with the non-self (body). As for the Self, the question must be referred to the Self in you. The ego or the I-thought is the root of action. BR: By what means is ignorance to be destroyed? How is the means acquired? What leads to such means? PH: Listen o Ghoul! Rational enquiry cuts at the root of ignorance. Dispassion develops rational enquiry. Disgust of the pleasures of life generates dispassion towards them. BR: What is Enquiry? What is dispassion? What is disgust in pleasures? PH: Listen o Ghoul! Enquiry is analysis conducted within oneself, discriminating the non-self from the Self, stimulated by a stern, strong and sincere desire to realize the Self. Dispassion is non-attachment to surroundings. Disgust in pleasures occurs if the misery resulting from attachment is understood by the mind. BR: What is the root cause of the whole series of these requirements? PH: Listen o Ghoul! Divine Grace is the root cause of all that is good. Devotion to God alone can bring down His Grace. This devotion is produced and developed by the company of the wise. BR: Who is that God? What is devotion to Him? Who are the wise?

PH: Listen o Ghoul! God is the Supreme Controller of the world. Devotion is unwavering love for Him. The wise are those who abide in Supreme state of the Self and melt with love for all. BR: Who is always in the grip of fear? Who is always in the grip of misery? Who is always in the grip of poverty? PH: Listen o Ghoul! Fear holds a man possessed of enormous wealth. Misery holds a man possessed of a large family. Poverty holds a man possessed of insatiable desires. BR: Who is fearless? Who is free from misery? Who is never needy? PH: Listen o Ghoul! The man with no attachments is free from fear. The one with controlled mind is free from misery. The Self-realized man is never needy. BR: Who is he who is beyond the mens understanding and is visible though without a body? What is the action of the inactive? (Who does not do anything though doing action?) PH: Listen o Ghoul! The man liberated here and now is beyond the mens understanding. He is seen (as a body) though he does not identify himself with the body. His actions are those of the inactive. (He does not do anything though doing actions) BR: What is real? What is unreal? What is inappropriate? Answer these questions and redeem your brother.

PH: Listen o Ghoul! The subject (Self) is real. The object (non-self) is unreal. Worldly transactions are inappropriate. I have now answered your questions. Please release my brother at once. When the Prince had finished the ghoul released Rukmaangada with pleasure. Instantly a Brahmin of virtuous glow appeared in the place of the Brahmaraakshasa. The two princes were amazed by the miraculous occurrence. They saluted the Brahmin and asked him who he was. The Brahmin said: I was formerly a Brahmin of Magadha. My name is Vasumaan. I was famous for my learning and known as an invincible debater. I was very vain headed about my intellectual supremacy and always participated in the debates conducted in the assembly of those learned scholars who collected in my country under royal patronage. There was amongst them a great saint, perfect in wisdom and entirely Self-possessed. He was known as Ashtaka. I went there for love of debate. Though I was a mere logician, I argued against his statement on Self-Realization by sheer force of logic. He backed his arguments by profuse quotations from the Sacred Scriptures. Since I was too arrogant of my learning, I continued to refute him. Finding me incorrigible, he remained silent. However one of his disciples, a descendant of Kashyapa lineage, was enraged at my audacity and cursed me in front of the king, saying: You wretched Brahmin! How dare you refute my Guru without first understanding his statements? May you at once become a Brahma-Raakshasa and remain so for a long time. I was shocked and frightened by the curse and took refuge at the feet of the Sage Ashtaka. Being always in the state of the Self, the compassionate one took pity on me though I had arrogantly argued with him before. He modified his disciples curse by pronouncing redemption to it as follows: May you resume your old shape as soon as a wise man gives the correct answers to all the questions which were raised here by you, answered by me but refuted by your polemics. O Prince! You have now released me from that curse. I therefore consider you as the best among men, knowing all that pertains to life here and beyond. The princes were surprised by listening to the story of his life. The Brahmin requested Hemaangada to clear some more of his doubts. Hemaangada obliged with extreme kindness and answered all his questions. Here is how the conversation went forth.

Vasumaan: Prince! I shall ask you a question. Please answer me. I learnt about the Supreme Truth from Ashtaka and later from you. You are a Sage; but still, how is it that you go out hunting? How can a Sage be engaged in work? Work implies duality; wisdom is non-duality; the two are thus opposed to each other. Please clear this doubt of mine. Hemaangada: O Brahmin! Your confusion owing to ignorance has not yet been cleared up. Knowlede arising out of Self-realization is eternal and natural. How can it be contradicted by work? If Knowledge is affected by work, then it will be worthless like a dream experience. No eternal good is possible in that case. All actions performed exist on the support of Self-awareness or Knowledge. Being so, can work destroy Knowledge and yet remain in its absence? Knowledge is that Consciousness in which this world with all its phenomena and activities is known to exist as an image or series of images. Duality essential for work is also a phenomenon in that Non-dual Awareness. There is no doubt that a man realizes the Self only after purging himself of all thoughts and that he is then released from bondage once for all. Your question has thus no basis and cannot be expected of the wise. Vasumaan: True, O Prince! I have also concluded that the Self is pure, unblemished Intelligence. But how can it remain unblemished when a willful thought arises in it? How can a realized person be untainted by his actions? A coil of rope alone appears as a snake. So also the thought is a modification of the Self alone. So, is not the Pure Intelligence blemished by appearing as a thought? Hemaangada: Your question is wrong again. You are not able to distinguish between confusion and clarity. Sky appears blue, even though the space is colorless in truth. A person who knows this truth and another who is ignorant of the truth, both see the sky only as blue. The sky appears blue to all alike whether they know that space is colorless or not. In this case, the one who is ignorant of the color-less space is confused. The one who knows the truth is not confused. The wise man also sees the blueness of the sky but his apparent confusion is harmless like in the presence of a dead snake. Similarly the Knower of the Self is untainted by his actions. He remains as his Self always.

Just like the reflections do not taint a mirror, a knower is also unaffected by his apparent actions. There lies the difference between a Sage and an ignorant man. The former has accurate knowledge and unerring judgment, whereas the latter has a blurred conception and his judgment is warped. A Sage never is lost to the Knowledge of his Self, even though he may appear to be immersed in actions. All his activities are like reflections in a mirror for, being Selfrealized, ignorance can no longer touch him. Misconception due to sheer ignorance can be corrected by true knowledge. But misconception due to some fault cannot be so easily corrected. So long as there is myopia, the eyesight will be blurred and many images of a single object will be seen. The body which has arisen out of some past action cannot vanish when one realizes the Self. The body and the world around it continue to get perceived by the knower though he knows their unreal nature. So long as there is the Praarabdha (residual past karma) unaccounted for, the manifestation of the world will continue for the Knower, though only as an unreal phenomenon. It is like an arrow already shot from the bow and has to end only when its goal is reached. The life-existence which is the result of a past Karma can only end at its death and the Knower continues to see this world as long as his body remains alive in this world. This will also vanish as soon as the Praarabdha has played itself out and then pure, unblemished Intelligence alone will remain. Therefore I tell you, there is no blemish attached to a Knower though he appears active and engaged in worldly duties. Vasumaan: O Prince! How can there be any residue of past karma in a Knower? Does not Jnaana burn away all actions like fire destroying a heap of camphor? Hemaangada: Listen Brahmin! There are three kinds of Karma, as you already know. Praarabdha- Actions of the past which have begun to take fruit; Agaami Karma- the results of the present actions which are yet to bear fruit; Sanchita Karma- the results of the actions of innumerable births of the past which still not have begun to bear fruit. The first of these alone remains for the Knower and the other two are burnt away. When a person realizes the Self, both the Agaami and Sanchita Karma fruits get annihilated; but the Praarabdha alone remains. Since it has already begun to yield fruit, it continues its course even for the Knower.

Karma matures in course of time. This is the ordained law of the Creator. When mature, it is bound to yield its fruits. But the Karma of the Knower is rendered ineffective because of Self-Knowledge. Karma already in the maturing state and yielding results is called Prarabdha: it is like an arrow already shot from a bow which must run its course until its momentum is lost. Perception of the world is apparently similar to one and all. Praarabdha of a person results in creating a particular environment for him. Knowers view the world around them differently according to their own levels of Realization. Pleasure and pain are cognized by the least among the Sages, but do not leave any mark on them as in the ignorant. These Knowers act equanimous to both pain and pleasure. They still have the sense of what is pleasure and what is pain. Pleasure and pain operate on the middle class of Sages in the same way; however, they react only indistinctly to their surroundings, as a man in sleep does to a gentle breeze or to an insect creeping over him. They do not bother about either of them. They find no meaning in either of them. They too have a very vague sense of what is pleasure and what is pain. Pleasure and pain are experienced by the highest among the Sages; yet they look upon them as unreal phenomenon equaling a hares horn. For them, pleasure and pain are not indistinct experiences. Nothing bothers them. The ignorant always experience pains and pleasures as real. They always make efforts to gain pleasures and avoid pains. After every experience they remember the measure of pain or pleasure in every event; reflect over them always; and are left with a strong impression on their minds. The ignorant are not aware of the pure Self; they see it always blemished (as the body). They believe in the reality of objective world and are therefore affected by the pleasures and pains of life. The lowest order of Knowers experience the Self-state intermittently (only when contemplating); and spells of ignorance overtake them whenever overcome by their Vaasanaas. They look upon the body as the SELF and the world as real. They sometimes conquer the Vaasanaas with effort. But there is always a struggle between Knowledge and ignorance - each of them prevailing alternatively. The Knower tries his best to attain the Knowledge of the Self and fights the ignorance until it is thoroughly destroyed, and Self alone remains as his true state. In that state of Self-Knowledge there are no differentiations.

Forgetfulness of the Self never overtakes a middle class Knower and wrong knowledge never possesses him. However he of his own accord brings out some Vaasanaas from his own mind in order to maintain his body according to Praarabdha. This is the conduct of a Knower who has attained the Self state through sincere practice. As for the aspirant, there is no forgetfulness of the Self so long as he is engaged in practicing contemplation. But the accomplished Knower never is lost to the Knowledge of the Self and picks out his own Vaasanaas according to his own choice. The highest Knower makes no difference between Samaadhi and worldly transactions. He never finds anything apart from the Self and so differentiations do not exist for him. The middle order Knower is fond of contemplative state of Samaadhi and voluntarily seeks it. He may feel affected by the world a little when he is engaged in worldly affairs, or even in the maintenance of his body. On the other hand, the Knower of the highest order is always in the Self-state even when dealing with the worldly affairs and he is never affected by anything. The Knower of the middle order and of the highest order have no tinge of Karma left in them because they are in the Self-state and do not perceive anything apart from the Self. How can there be anything of Karma left when the wild fire of Knowledge burns away all the faults of ignorance? Knower has the root of misery cut off at the instant of realizing the Self. It is immaterial for him if he dies in sacred place or in tainted surroundings; remains conscious or unconscious before death. He is liberated always. If one realizes Shiva, the Self of all even once as guided by his Guru, or by scriptural statements or by enquiry, there could no longer remain any tinge of obligatory duty on his part because he is liberated for ever. His actions appear to be real only for the ignorant onlooker. I shall explain this point further. The state of the Knower is said to be identical with that of Shiva. There is not the least difference between them. Therefore Karma cannot taint a Knower. Vasumaan had all his doubts cleared by this discourse of Hemaangada. He had a clear understanding of true Realization. Vasumaan and the prince saluted each other and returned to their respective places.

END

VII

VIDYAA GITA

BRAHMA LOKA Once at the abode of Lord Brahma there was a very distinguished gathering of great Sages. Among those present were Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatkumara and Sanatsujata, Vasishta, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Bhrigu, Atri, Angiras, Pracheta, Naarada, Chyavana, Vamadeva, Vishvaamitra, Gautama, Shuka, Paraashara, Vyaasa, Kanva, Kashyapa, Daksha, Sumanta, Sanka, Likhita, Devala and other celestial and royal Sages. As they were casually conversing among each other, a subtle and sublime discussion made its way. The question that troubled them all was to find out who was the best among all Sages. Each one of them spoke of his philosophical view point with courage and conviction and maintained that it was better than all the rest. But they could reach no conclusion and so they questioned Lord Brahma: Lord! We are Sages who know all about the world and beyond. But each ones way of life differs from that of the others because the dispositions of our minds differ. Some of us are always in Nirvikalpa Samaadhi; some are engaged in philosophical discussions; some melt in devotion; some have taken to the performance of action; and others appear exactly like the ignorant men of the world. Who is the best among us? Please tell us. We cannot decide ourselves because each one thinks that his way is the best of all. Lord Brahma pondered for a while and confessed his ignorance about the matter. He spoke to the perplexed Sages: O Great Sages! This is really a perplexing question. I also do not know the answer. But I feel curious too. Let us approach Lord Shiva. He is an All-Knower. He will surely know the answer. They went to Vaikunta and reported the problem to Lord Vishnu. He took them all to Shiva Loka. Shiva heard their request patiently. He understood that the Sages lacked confidence and will not heed to his words whatever he said.

Shiva addressed Brahma: O Creator! I am not in a position to answer this question. Let us pray to the Great Goddess Tripuraa Devi. The Supreme Queen possesses unconditioned Knowledge. SHE will make us understand even the sublets of Truths by Her Grace. As per Shivas advice everyone including the Trinities contemplated on the Supreme form of Tripuraa, on Her Divine Majesty, the Transcendental Consciousness pervading the three states of life (waking, dream and sleep). Thus invoked, SHE manifested in Her glory as the Transcendental Voice in the expanse of Pure Consciousness. They all heard the Voice speak like thunder from the skies: Speak out your minds, O Rishis! Be quick, the desires of my devotees will always be fulfilled immediately. Hearing the majestic voice of the Queen, the exalted Rishis prostrated and Brahma and the others praised the Goddess the Absolute Consciousness pervading the three states of life. Salutations to Thee! The Greatest! The Best! The Most Auspicious! The Absolute Knowledge! The Consciousness of the three states! The Creatrix! The Protectress! The Dissolver in the Self! The Supreme One transcending all! Salutations again! There was no time when Thou wert not, because Thou art unborn! Thou art ever fresh and hence Thou never growest old. Thou art all; the essence of all, the knower of all, the delighter of all. Thou art not all. Thou art nowhere, with no core in Thee, unaware of anything, and delighting no one. O Supreme Being! Salutations to Thee; over and over again; before and behind; above and below; on all sides and everywhere. Kindly tell us of Thy relative form and Thy transcendental state, Thy prowess, and Thy identity with Knowledge. What is the proper and perfect means for attaining Thee, the nature and the result of such attainment? What is the utmost finality of accomplishment, beyond which there remains nothing to be accomplished? Who is the best among the accomplished Sages? Salutations again to Thee!

Thus propitiated the Goddess of Supreme Knowledge compassionately answered the Sages: Listen, Sages! I shall methodically explain to you all that you want to know. I will offer you the nectar extracted as the essence of all sacred Scriptures. I am the Supreme principle of Knowledge from which the world originates, by which it flourishes, and into which it dissolves like the images reflected in a mirror. The ignorant see me only as the perceived phenomenon of the world; whereas the Knowers know me as their own true nature eternally shining forth as the I within. This realization is possible only in the deep silence of thought-free consciousness similar to that of the deep sea bereft of waves. The other class of knowers, who have realized my non-dual nature, love me as the Supreme Goddess. They worship me with complete devotion and sincerity. They know the Self as Me, the essence of all. I fill their bodies, senses and mind as the very essence of existence. They know that nothing could exist without me and I alone am the truth sought by the sacred scriptures. Such is my absolute state of Supremacy. I manifest as the eternal couple - the Supreme Lord Shiva and Shakti - always in undivided union. I abide as the Eternal Consciousness pervading the three phenomenal states of waking, dream and sleep. I recline on the cot whose four legs are Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva and Ishvara; whose surface is SadaaShiva; which is contained in the mansion known as Chintaamani; enclosed by the garden of Kadamba trees in the Mani-Dweepa situated in the expansive ocean of nectar surrounding the world and extending even beyond. Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Ishvara, SadaaShiva, Ganesha, Skandha, the Gods of the eight quarters, all forms of Shaktis, celestials, serpents and other superhuman beings (Yakshas) are all manifestations of myself. However, people do not know ME the Supreme one, because their intellect is shrouded in ignorance. I grant boons to those who worship ME. There is no one besides ME worthy of worship or capable of fulfilling all desires. The fruits of worship are put forth by Me according to the mode of worship and the nature of individual desires. I am undivided and endless. Being non-dual and Pure awareness I naturally manifest even as the smallest object in the World and also as the entire world filled with objects. Though I manifest as multifarious forms and exist in every thing as the essence of all, I still remain untainted because I transcend all in my true nature. This is My Supreme Power beyond the comprehension of all.

Therefore, O Rishis! Understand this truth with the sharpened intellect. Though I am the abode of all and pervade all, I remain always pure. I am always free and unattached to everything. Yet, I wield My power called Maayaa; become covered with ignorance; appear full of desires; seek their fulfillment; grow restless; project favorable and unfavorable environments; am born and reborn as individuals; until growing wiser I seek a Guru; learn the truth from him; put it in practice and finally become liberated. I am the ignorant Jeeva; I am the liberated knower both. Yet I remain pure; untainted and transcendental. I always shine forth as the Absolute principle of Knowledge. This manifestation of the ignorant and the liberated and the entire phenomenon of the world is called My creation which arises without any accessories. My power is too vast to be described. I will briefly enumerate it. The world is only the manifestation of unmanifest possibilities as perceptions. Knowledge relating to me is beyond the comprehension of the intellect. I am of both the dual and non-dual natures, of which the former relates to worship and the latter to realization. Worship my dual nature as Tripuraa. Realize my non-dual nature as the Self. Listen to the intricacies of both practices. Dvaita or Belief in the God with form is expressed in manifold ways because it depends on the concept of duality and manifests as worship, prayer, incantation, meditation, etc.; all of which are due to nothing more than mental imagery. They are equal to the dream images only. The form-worship has to end in the realization of my non-dual nature only. Worship of the Supremacy as with form paves a way for non-dual realization. Only when I bestow my grace can a devotee surely attain the Self-Knowledge! Non-dual realization (Self-realization) is the same as Brahman or the Supreme principle of Knowledge bereft of perceptions. Such realization nullifies all perceived phenomena revealing its unreal nature like the painted picture of a pouncing tiger or of an enraged serpent. The state where the mind has completely become one with the Self-state is called Nirvikalpa Samaadhi. After waking up from it, the person is overpowered by the memory of his experience as the one, undivided, infinite, pure Self. He knows I am That (Supreme Self) as opposed to the unreal I- (limited ego) of the ignorant. That is Supreme Knowledge (Vijnaana or Pratyabhijna Jnaana).

Theoretical knowledge consists in differentiating between the Self and the non-Self through the study of the Scriptures, or listening to the instructions of a realized Guru, or by ones own deliberation. Supreme Knowledge is that which puts an end to the identity with the non-Self (limited identity of form) once for all. Non-dual realization leads to the state of the Self which is the essence of all things perceived, like a mirror pervading the reflections. When one realizes, all doubts vanish like autumn clouds. Mind remains pure and free of desires attachments etc. It becomes harmless like a fangless viper. The fruit of Self-realization is the end of all misery here and hereafter and absolute fearlessness. That state alone is known by the name of Liberation. Fear implies the existence of something apart from oneself. After the non-dual realization, when one knows the Self alone as real, what is there to fear? From whom? Can the sense of duality persist after non-dual Realization, or can there be darkness after sun-rise? O Rishis! There will be no fear in the absence of duality. On the other hand, fear will not cease so long as there is the sense of duality. What is perceived in the world as different from the Self is perishable. What is perishable must certainly involve fear of loss. Differentiation presupposes misery. Union implies separation; so also acquisition implies loss. Liberation cannot be different from the Self-state. If Liberation be external to the Self, it implies fear of loss, and is therefore not worth aspiring to. On the other hand, liberation is a state of fearlessness and so is not outside the Self. The state where the three phases of perceiver, perceived and perceiving merge as one is a state totally free from fear and leads to Liberation. Jnaana (Supreme Wisdom) is the state devoid of thoughts, will and desire. Ignorance is absent in that state, like darkness in the presence of sunlight. Though Knowledge (Self) is the very nature of the individual, it remains unknown. Only the study of the Scriptures or the guidance of a Guru can lead one towards the realization of the Self.

The Self is the pure state of consciousness free from all thoughts. Self alone appears as the perceiver perceiving the perceived phenomenon. The perceiver, perceived and perceiving are not real as different entities. When differentiation among them is destroyed, their true nature is revealed in the realization of the non-dual consciousness (Self-state); which is also the state of Liberation. Liberation is always there as the Self in all. It is here and now as the essence of all. Liberation is not a state to be gained newly. Differentiations are perceived only for the world affairs to go on smoothly. But actually Self alone shines as all without differentiations. The cycle of births and deaths is perceived real like a huge solid mountain as long as the differentiations are perceived. As soon as the undifferentiated state of the Self is realized and identity with the non-self is destroyed, the cycle of births and deaths is destroyed once for all like the cloud dispersed by strong wind. Thus you find that sincere effort is the only requisite for Liberation. No other requisite is needed if the longing for Liberation is intense and unwavering. What is the use of hundreds of insincere efforts in the absence of a real and unswerving desire for Liberation? That alone is the sole requisite and nothing else. Intense devotion signifies mental abstraction as the devotee loses himself in the desired object. He is absorbed in the thoughts of the deity always and soon will attain a thoughtless state. He surely is liberated. Such unwavering devotion must certainly succeed and success is only a question of time which may be days, months, years, or even the next birth, according as the predispositions are light or dense. The mind of the ignorant is usually tainted by evil propensities and therefore nothing good flourishes there. Consequently, the people get boiled in the seething cauldron of births and deaths. Of these evil propensities, the first is lack of faith in the instructions of the Guru and in the Scriptures. The second is addiction to desires; and the third is dullness (i.e., inability to understand the revealed truth). This is a brief statement of them. Of these, lack of faith is betrayed by ones doubts regarding the truth of the statements of the Scriptures and the incapacity to understand them. The doubt arises whether there is liberation and later misunderstandings lead to its denial. These two are sure obstacles to any sincere efforts in the path of realization. All obstacles are set at naught by an ascertained belief in the contrary; that is to say ascertained belief regarding the existence of liberation. It will destroy both uncertainty and misunderstanding.

How is this ascertained belief made possible when there is lack of faith? Cut at the root of this lack of faith. What is its root? Want of faith has its root in unfavorable logic. Give it up and take to approved logic as found in the sacred texts and the teachings of a realized Guru. Then enlightenment becomes possible and faith results. Thus ends the first evil predisposition. The second predisposition namely desire (Raaga), prevents the intellect from following the right course. The mind filled with desires cannot engage in a spiritual pursuit. The abstraction of a person filled with lust is well known to all; he can hear or see nothing in front of him. Anything said in his hearing is as good as not said. Desire must therefore be the first impediment to be destroyed before aspiring for the Supreme state. Desire gets destroyed by cultivating dispassion. The evil predispositions are manifold, expressing variously as attachment, anger, greed, pride, jealousy, etc. The worst of them is thirst for pleasures (Trishnaa) which, if destroyed destroys everything else. Pleasure may be subtle or gross. As soon as the thought of pleasure arises, it must be dismissed by the will-power developed by dispassion. In this way, the second evil predisposition gets conquered. Neither of these two predispositions (lack of faith and desire) must be indulged in, even in thought. The third, known as dullness resulting from innumerable wicked actions of the past births, is the worst of the series and hardest to overcome by ones own efforts. Contemplation and understanding of truth are not possible when dullness prevails. There is no remedy for it other than worship of the Goddess of the Self (adoration, prayer, meditation, etc.). When worshipped with devotion, I remove the devotees dullness according to his worship, quickly, or gradually, or in the succeeding birth. He who unreservedly surrenders himself to Me with devotion is endowed with all the requisites necessary for Self-Realization. He who worships Me, easily overcomes all obstacles to Self-Realization. On the other hand, he, who being arrogant does not take refuge in Me - the Pure Intelligence manipulating all that is there- is repeatedly met with obstacles and will fail in his effort. Therefore, O Rishis! The chief requisite is one-pointed devotion to God. The devotee is the best of aspirants. The one devoted to Pure Consciousness excels every other seeker. Final beatitude lies in the discernment of the Self as distinguished from the non-Self.

The Self understood as identified with the body is the result of delusion. When the true nature of the Self as opposed to the non-self is realized, one wakes up from the sleep of ignorance. The Self is experienced even at this very moment by all; but it is not discerned rightly, for it is identified with the body, mind etc. leading to endless suffering. The Self is not concealed or hidden. It is always shining forth as the I! But this I is mistaken for the body, because of ignorance. When the ignorance is rid off, the I is understood as the Pure Consciousness and all doubts cease to torment any more. This alone is commended by all the Sages as the Supreme goal to be achieved. Miraculous powers or Siddhis such as flying in space, etc., are all fragmentary and not worth a particle of Self-Realization. Self is unbroken state of bliss which includes all the joys of the perceived phenomenon within. Siddhis are also hindrance to Self-Realization. Of what use are they? They are lowly gratifications of desires for fame and wealth. Even the state of Brahma is trivial for a Self-Knower. What use are these powers which are absolutely worthless? There is no accomplishment equal to Self-Realization which is alone capable of ending all miseries because it is the state of eternal bliss. Self-Realization differs from all accomplishments in that the fear of death is destroyed once for all. State of Realization differs according to the amount of practice and the degree of purity of mind which may be perfect, middling or dull. You have seen great scholars well versed in the Vedas and capable of chanting them quite correctly amidst any amount of distractions. They are the best. Those who repeat the Vedas quite correctly when chanting them without other distractions are the middle class who do it for worldly gains. Whereas others are constantly chant them trying to master them. They are of the lowest order among scholars. Similarly there are distinctions among the Sages also. Some Sages abide as the Self even while engaged in performing worldly duties, such as ruling a kingdom (e.g., King Janaka). Others can do so in intervals of work. They need contemplation hours to think of the Self. Still others can do so by constant practice alone. They have to continuously struggle to control their minds and understand the abstract truths of the Scriptures. They are respectively of the highest, the middle and the lowest order. Of these, the highest order represents the utmost limit of Realization.

Unbroken supreme awareness even in dream is the mark of the highest order. The person who is not helplessly controlled by his mental predispositions but who invokes them at his will is of the highest order. He who remains in the Self state as I as naturally as the ignorant man remains identified with the body, is again of the highest order. He, who though engaged in work looks at the world as not different from the Self is a perfect Sage. He who even while doing his work remains as if in a sleep is a perfect Sage. He is unaffected by the world as a man in deep sleep. Thus the best among the Sages are never out of Samaadhi, be they working or idle. He, who is from his own experience capable of appreciating the states of other Knowers including the best among them, is certainly a perfect Sage. He, who is not influenced by happiness or misery, by pleasure or pain, by desires, doubts or fear, is a perfect Sage. He, who realizes pleasure, pain and every other phenomenon to be in and of the Self, is a perfect Sage. He who feels himself pervading all - be they ignorant or emancipated - is a perfect Sage. He who knowing the trammels of bondage, does not seek release from them and remains in the quiescent state of the Self is a perfect Sage. The perfect among the Sages is identical with Me. There is absolutely no difference between us. I have now told you all these in answer to your questions. You need no longer be perplexed with doubts. Having said so, Transcendental Intelligence became silent. Then all the Rishis saluted Shiva and the other Gods and returned to their own abodes.

END

VIII

TRIPURAA THE SUPREME SELF


SHE is THAT which exists as the Self is Pure Knowledge Transcending all. SHE is the Perfect one, aggregate of all the egos identified with her. SHE is Self-contained, and manifests as Maayaa by virtue of Her own prowess. Being one without second, SHE makes even the impossible happen and thus reveals the world as a series of images in a mirror. SHE manifests as the individual egos falsely identified with bodies. SHE is Ego in perfection, while remaining as Pure Consciousness. This is the nature of Abstract Principle of Knowledge. This unbroken I I consciousness remains before creation as will, self-sufficient and independent in nature and is also called Svatantra. SHE turns into action (kriyaa) during creation and is called Maayaa. Creation is not vibration or metamorphosis; it is a mere reflection of images like those in a mirror. Shakti is untainted by time and unbroken. SHE is eternal. The World has no origin. SHE herself appears as all this. SHE who is transcendence, pure awareness and totality of all egos, of Her own Will divides Herself into two sentient and insentient. The sentient phase is SadaaShiva Tattva. SadaaShiva identifies the insentient phase with His body at the beginning of Creation. Then he goes by the name Ishvara, the Ruler. This tainted Higher Ego, namely Ishvara, divides Himself into the three aspects Rudra, Vishnu and Brahma (representing the modes of Ego associated with the three qualities Tamas, Rajas and Sattva) who in their turn manifest the creation consisting of countless worlds. Brahmas are innumerable, all of whom are engaged in creating worlds; Vishnus are equally taken up in protecting the worlds; and the Rudras in destroying them.

This is the way of Creation. But all of them are only images in the grand mirror of Abstract Consciousness. These are only manifest, but are not concrete, since they have never been created. The Supreme Being is always the sum-total of all the egos. Just as you fill the body and identify yourself with different senses and organs without deviating from the Ego, so does the transcendental Pure Intelligence similarly identify itself with all, beginning from SadaaShiva and ending with the minutest protoplasm, and yet remains single. Again, just as you cannot taste anything without the aid of the tongue, nor apprehend other things without the aid of other senses or organs, so also the Supreme Being (SadaaShiva) acts and knows through the agency of Brahma, etc., and even of worms. Just as your conscious Self remains pure and unqualified although it forms the basis of all the activities of limbs, organs and senses, so also the Supreme Intelligence is unaffected though holding all the Egos within Herself. SHE is not aware of any distinctions in the vastness of the world nor does SHE make divisions among the Egos. In this manner, the perceived world shines in her like a reflection in a mirror. The perceived world shines forth as Her reflection. The individuals in the world, namely you, I, and other seers are all flashes of Her consciousness. She remains untainted and unaffected by the manifest world. Just as the mirror shines forth pure when reflections are absent, and also remains untainted when the reflections appear on it, so also Pure Intelligence subsists pure and untainted whether the world is perceived or not. This untainted Supreme Intelligence is one without a second and is filled with Bliss. The sum-total of all happiness of all the living beings has taken shape as the Supreme One because SHE is obviously desired by all. SHE is the Self, the principle of Bliss, because the Self is the most beloved of every being. Pure Intelligence is indeed Bliss because it is the only one sought for. For the sake of the Self people discipline their bodies and subdue their desires. Pleasures of the senses are mere sparks of Bliss inherent in the Self. Sense pleasure is the joy felt in the absence of pain or the joy felt in the absence of perceptions as at sleep. People do not recognize the Bliss inhering as their Self, because of their ignorance. They always associate pleasure with the events of the world.

Sages know the Self alone to be unique, real and untainted by its own projections, namely, the world, etc. like the mirror untainted by reflections. The relation of the perceived phenomenon to Pure Intelligence, i.e., Abstract Self, is like that of a pot to earth, or of an ornament to gold, or of sculpture to the granite rock. Denial of the existence of the world does not amount to perfection. Denial is absurd. For, it implies intelligence, and intelligence displays itself as the world. The intelligence denying or admitting the world is there shining over all! Can the world be erased out of existence by mere denial of it? Just as the images appear in a mirror and partake of its nature, so also the perceived world is of and in the Self, and real inasmuch as it is the Self. This wisdom in perfection is the realization of all as the Self. Consciousness appears as objects by its own virtue, as a mirror appears as the images on it. This is the whole essence of the Scriptures. There is no bondage, no liberation, no aspirant, and no process of attainment. The transcendental Conscious Principle alone subsists in the three states of being. SHE remains as the one uniform, absolute being. SHE is ignorance. SHE is wisdom. SHE is bondage. SHE is liberation and SHE is the process thereof. This is all that need be known, understood and realized. There is nothing more. The man who knows it rightly will never be overtaken by misery. Such is the section on Wisdom, recondite with reason, subtlety, and experience. Should any one not gain wisdom after hearing or reading it but continue to wallow in ignorance, he should be put down as nothing more than a stock or a stone. What hope is there for him? Hearing it even once must make a man truly wise; he is sure to become wise. Sin or obstruction to wisdom is destroyed by reading it; wisdom dawns on hearing it. Writing, appreciating and discussing its contents respectively destroys the sense of duality, purifies the mind and reveals the abiding Truth. SHE goes by the name of Liberation when clearly and directly realized by enquiry as the one undivided Self of all; otherwise, SHE goes by the name of Bondage. SHE is the one Consciousness threading the three states of being, but untainted and unbroken by them. SHE is the sound, word and the significance of HREEM

SALUTATIONS TO TRIPURAA MY OWN SELF

About the Author: Maa Tejasvini The author spent many years doing research on ancient Sanskrit texts in the Himalayan region. She was exposed to many unique spiritual experiences which are beyond human comprehension. Her mission in life was to translate all renowned spiritual texts and literature of Sanskrit and bring them to the light of the public.