by K. Narayanasvami Aiyar | 1896 | 137,618 words | ISBN-10: 818514141X | ISBN-13: 9788185141411
This page relates “the story of bhasa and vilasa”, the 8th part of chapter 5 of Laghu-yoga-vasistha (English translation). This ancient Sanskrit book contains epic legendry (similair to puranas and itihasa) and deals with the Advaita-vedanta (non-dual) branch of Indian philosophy. It is authored by sage (rishi) Valmiki and condensed (laghu) from an even larger work, forming a discourse between Vasistha (Vasishtha) and Rama. This part is included in the chapter “upashanti-prakarana”.
Summary. Through this story, it is sought to show that manifold pains will arise to the mind in the absence of Samādhi which leads to Brahmic bliss.
Thus did Suraghu and Parigha enquire into the nature of the world, evincing true love and respect towards one another and perform their respective functions. No pain will afflict those who are ever engaged internally in Adhyātma-jñāna, and take delight in the same. Oh valiant Rāma, the bull of Jīva sleeps its long sleep under the large umbrageous shadows of Moha (delusion) in the dire forest of Saṃsāra, weltering in the mire of sinful actions, goaded, by Ajñāna and lashed by the whip of the stainful enjoyments, while it is bound by the strong cords of desires and is ever and anon startled by the flea-bites of rare diseases. Power, if it can be called real, lies in lifting, through constant effort, this bull which, groaning under the heavy load of pains and being quite lacerated through ceaseless motion backwards and forwards, has fallen into the deep pool of numberless births. With the contraction of friendship with the wise, disciples should devise means for crossing this Saṃsāra, like passengers crossing on their vessels.
Whatever place there is, which is not inhabited by Ātma-jñānins whose very presence is like cool wood full of juicy fruits and fragrant flowers will be but an oasis full of venomous toads (though abounding with cool flowers, etc). Are not persons who dwell therein but Ajñānins? Wealth, friendship, Ṣāstras, kindred actions and such like are not the (real) means (for Mokṣa); but a well-trained mind alone constitutes the means of reaching the higher state of Ātma. If the mind only is made friendly (to the higher influence) and spiritual enquiry is thereupon set afloat in it, then it will reach a higher life. If a ripe mind regard this poisonous tenement of flesh in the same light as a fuel or a tile, then there is no doubt that the all-full Jñāna, longed after by the Devas, will be attained. Should the unobscured Turya (fourth stage) vision be developed in which Jñāna-light shines with its flames stainlessly and immovably that Jñāna-Light which is like the great ocean above all words, incomparable, altractionless and alone, then such a state has not its pa-rallel and can, best be described by Suṣupti which is its nearest approach and is but a poor simile. This Turya state is all-pervading like Ākāśa which contains potentially in itself all forms. If the Ahaṃkāra ot the base mind dies, then the mind will shine as the Brahmic bliss in all objects and as the Paramātmic Reality. The evidence for its characteristics can be found only in one-self like Suṣupti. No words can describe it. It can only be experienced by each one within himself only. All limited things are of the nature of Ātma only. If this mind of excessive differentiations is absorbed without parts, then the Reality of Brahman, the immaculate Deva of Devas who manifests himself as these moveable and fixed objects, external as well as internal, will shine in his own nature. It is only after this experience that all Vāsanās for objects will cease; that the light of the differenceless Principle will dawn; that through an equal vision over all, the destruction of heterogeneity will take place as a matter of course. It is this experience that Mahātmas are always in. If after having destroyed the materially minded Manas through the discriminative (or higher) Manas, one does not visit his Ātmic Principle, never will the Saṃsāric pains cease. With the extinction of the mind, bliss will arise and then Ātma-jñāna will shine.
To illustrate this experience, I will narrate to thee, Oh sweet flower of thy (namely Solar) race, a story.” So said Vasiṣṭha to Śrī Rāma and then continued: “Two Munis, the sons of of Muni Atri of great Tapas lived in the hermitage on the hills of Sahya. They went by the appellations of Bhāsa and Vilāsa and were very friendly towards one another, which good feelings waxed day by day. Their minds were so united with one another, as if they were offshoots of one and the same trunk. With the death of their parents, they sorrowfully went through all the necessary obsequies. Then grief-struck and in great tears through their mental bondage, they bid adieu to one another and parted in different directions. After they had abode for a long time in the woods and emaciated their bodies through extreme tapas, they completely denuded themselves of all desires. Then they again met.
With his mind and eye glowing with love, Muni Vilāsa opened the conversation first in the following manner: ‘My true kinsman in this ever-growing world, thou hast come to me as my Prāṇa. Where hast thou been living all this while? Hast thou been freed from thy mental pain? Hast thou recognized thy Ātmic Reality as common to all? Hast thou acquired full Jñana? Oh Bhāsa, art thou happy? To which Bhāsa looking at the face of his brother who had a mind of ripened truth, replied: ‘O my kinsman! who art as dear as my Prāṇa, through the sheer force of my destiny have I been fortunate enough to visit thee. My mind has been rendered quite cool. How can I who am whirling in this stainful Saṃsāra obtain the noble happiness? How can the absolute good arise in me, so long as I have not known all that should be known, so long as the mind is not destroyed, so long as the wheel of births is not arrested? How can the transcendental happiness arise in me, so long as the seed of desires in my mind along with its strong root is not destroyed like a tree felled by an axe, so long as Jñāna is not cognized directly, so long as the homogeneous state is not attained without the myriads of differences, so long as Brahma-jñāna is not realized? Till then, pains alone will accrue to a person. In persons who have given up all the good results of Ātma-Tattva which forms the panacea for the cure of the disease of Ajñāna, the poisonous disease of dire rebirths will wax in strength more and more. All the hosts of Jīvas whirling in this world being entangled in the midst of pleasures and pains and fluctuating in the tips and downs of births and deaths will never make true progress, like parched up leaves.
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