by K. Narayanasvami Aiyar | 1896 | 137,618 words | ISBN-10: 818514141X | ISBN-13: 9788185141411
This page relates “the conclusion of this prakarana”, the 10th 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. Having in this Prakaraṇa explained the means of rejecting the attraction of sensual objects in order to obtain quiescence of mind, the author, in summarizing this Prakaraṇa of nine stories, impresses upon us the idea that quiescence of mind leads to quiescence of the universe.
After Vasiṣṭha hat spoken thus, Rāghava addressed him: “How is it we do not find in a jīvanmukta’s body such higher psychical powers as walking in the sky, etc.?” To which Vasiṣṭha was graciously pleased to reply: “Those who don’t have full Jñāna are subject to bondage in this world and develop these powers through medicines, Mantras, actions, time or skill; but these Siddhis do not pertain legitimately to a true Jñānin. The latter is ever engaged in the Reality of Ātmic Vision. The Jñānins ever rest in Jñāna (Ātman) through Jñāna (spiritual wisdom) and never indulge in the desire to levitate in the Ākāśa, etc. All the heterogeneous worldly objects are nothing but Māyā. Those victors who have trampled Māyā will never sink into it again. If Jñānins will long after them, then no doubt Siddhis will arise through the abovementioned means. Medicines, Mantras, etc., will but confer, on one, Siddhis but never the beneficent Mokṣa. If a desire wells up in one for attaining a Siddhi, then with proper efforts it will be developed in him; but desires of Siddhis which do but tend to bondage, will not arise in the hearts of Jñānis. With the extinction of all de sires, Ātma-jñāna without any disconcertation will dawn in one; but those who are sunk in Siddhis which generate desires will not attain Ātman.”
Vasiṣṭha replied: “With the motion of Prāṇa, they will move; otherwise they will be immovable as a rock. Those Yogis who are able to control Prāṇa will live a long period. If the motion of Prāṇa and (therefore) the mind be arrested both internally and externally, then will death and dotage fly to a great distance. Then will abide in the body Dhātus (spiritual substances) such as will never be expelled at any time. Those only can be said to have truly cognized the Reality who, walking in the path of Ātma-jñāna, eradicate their desires, render thereby their intelligence clear and tear asunder all the bonds of the mind.“
Vasiṣṭha replied: “The destruction of the mind is twofold through the mind being composite in character, Rūpa (with form) and Arūpa (formless). The destruction of the Rūpa mind is wrought in Jīvanmukti stage while that of the other takes place in Videhamukti stage. With the existence of the (Rūpa) mind, pains are generated; with its annihilation, bliss will increase. You should so destroy mind that it will not afterwards be able to rear up its head at all. Identifying itself with the burden of the attributes of matter, it is not able to cognize its Reality and hence groans with pains. This mind is Jīva. This mind ever hankering after and involved in pleasures and pains is the seed of all Māyā. Thus much for the nature of the mind. We will then proceed to descant about the destruction of the mind, Please attend to it. The wise say that the fruitless mind can be said to be destroyed, only when a person looking with an equal vision over all is not in the least affected by pleasures or pains, like the Meru mountains in the midst of a breath of wind. Whoever is unconcerned even in the midst of enormous wealth or terrible accidents or extreme poverty or death or illusions or extreme intelligence, such men can be said to have their minds destroyed. The removal of the Avidyā which is the mind itself tends to its destruction and produces ripe (spiritual) intelligence. Such a mind which does not subject itself to the obnoxious rebirths through the pure Vāsanās associated with the four qualities, benevolence, etc., pertain to the Jīvanmuktas. Thus is the Rūpa (form) destroyed in the quiescent mind. It is in this mind that the four qualities abovementioned will bloom like a full-blown lotus in spring.
Now to the Arūpa mind. The destruction of this mind is wrought by Videhamuktas. Kaivalya in a disembodied state can be attained, only when Sattva which originates the four above-mentioned qualities perishes also. There is no other road to the destruction of this Arūpa mind than through doing away with Sattva. Brahmic state is that which has and which has guṇas nor non-guṇas, wealth nor non-wealth, dawning nor setting, contentment nor its reverse, light nor darkness as well as day nor night and the three Saṃdhyās (junction-periods) and which therefore occupies the neutral centre between the pairs. It alone is the asylum of all who have conquered all the paraphernalia of, and inclination to wards, Saṃsāra like Ākāśa, the receptacle of Vāyu, etc., which takes in odor. Those great and transcendental personages who, having the Ākāśa as their body, live in Brahmic bliss without pains or Tamas or Rājas are truly saints who have annihilated their minds.”
Here Rāma interrupted him thus: “What is the seed of this Māyā ever increasing like a vine? What is its seed? What the seed of this seed? And what is the seed of the last one? Please throw light upon all these four seeds.” Vasiṣṭha answered: “This body is the seed from which generates the sprout of pleasures and pains, giving rise to the ever-gyrating creeper of Saṃsāra. The cause of this seed of body is the mind which, following the track of desires, is the receptacle of pain arising from births and deaths. It is through the mind that the hosts of bodies which do not exist, through seeming to exist, arise beyond number. It enjoys these bodily objects as in dream.
To this tree of the painful mind which is encircled by the creepers of worldly actions, there are two seeds. Of them one is the motion of Prāṇa and the other is Vāsanās. Know, Oh king, who art an ornament to the Solar race, that these are the four seeds. The one all-pervading Jñāna becomes the visible Jñāna through the motion of Prāṇa. If this Prāṇa is checked from expanding in all directions, then it will tend to one’s (progress or) welfare. The intelligence becomes tacked to the visible objects through desires. These visible objects are a source of perpetual harassment. If this solitary intelligence is in the Suṣupti state without ever returning from it (to the lower states), then it alone is Nirvāṇa; it alone is Ātma; it alone is the immaculate state. There is none else besides it. Therefore all rebirths will cease, if the longing for sensual objects arising through Prāṇa’s fluctuation and Vāsanās be gradually minimised. The excessive heterogeneity of thoughts constitutes the mind. With such a mind alone, all persons live in this world. It is only to control this heterogeneous mind, that intelligent Yogis perform Prāṇayāma through the control of Prāṇa, Dhyāna (contemplation), medicines or skill. The wise say that the beneficent control of Prāṇa leads to that of the mind and causes, in one, equality of vision over all. It generates happiness and will not in the least allow sensual objects to arise in the mind.
Now to the second seed of the mind which illuminates all objects and being coupled with Vāsanās enjoys externally the objects. Vāsanās are the ignorance which enslaves us in sensual objects, after giving up true discrimination of the past and hereafter, arising through firm determination. The Ātma (or ego) subjecting itself to the clutches of Vāsanās which make it to be transformed into the object it sees to the exclusion of others, fancies that object to be real and is deluded in the same. Through the phrenzy created by the extreme velocity (or vibrations) of the Vāsanās, it sees all things in the same illusory light. To define this mind clearly; it can be stated to be the stainful visible things; or the identification of ‘I’ with that which is not ‘I’, or that which thinks that to be real which is not so. Through this mind birth, death and dotage are caused. As the fluctuating mind arises through its gradual association with objects, births and deaths also arise. It is only when the mind quits all with out any attraction or repulsion towards objects, that it will cease to exist. If thoughts are destroyed through the extinction of Vāsanās, then quiescence will result and the mind’s destruction will ensue. If there is no thought of any worldly objects or of any place, how can the mind exist (separate) in the void Ākāśa? Therefore, Oh bountiful Rāma, I think that form exists in the mind, so long as the Vāsanās are coupled with it. Moreover the conception of the heterogeneous objects in the heart through a conception of their reality and the enjoyment of pleasures therein can be said to be of the form of the mind. How can the mind survive in those wise who, being more immaculate than Ākāśa itself, think that all the visible things do not form the subject of Karmas to be indulged in?
It is said that the cognition by one of the Reality after true discrimination that he is not in this world and that the universe is not, constitutes mind’s destruction. The wise say that the mind denudes itself of its form, even though engaged in actions, if it after dissolving all things unto itself becomes as cool as ambrosia. Those Jīvanmuktas who have disentangled themselves from the meshes of Vāsanās will but live in this world to wear out their Prārabdha, like a potter’s wheel continuing to roll on of itself through the impetus given by the potter. It is these who are in possession of the pure Vāsanās without any rebirth or pains. It is these who have a mind cognizing the Reality and yet are without (the lower) mind; who have reached the most consecrated of spots, Jñāna. It is these Jīvanmuktas that, giving up the body, attain the Cidākāśa and are termed the lofty ones. These are the two seeds of mind as stated before. They are fluctuations of Prāṇa and Vāsanās. Of these, if either of them dies, both perish. Through Vāsanās, Prāṇa’s motion is caused; through Prāṇa’s motion, Vāsanās are caused. So that we may say that these are the seeds and the sprouts to the ripe dried fruit of the mind. Again these two have their root in the visible things of the universe.
Therefore if the visible things are destroyed, then Prāṇa’s fluctuation and Vāsanās will be eradicated to their root like a tree. It is the mental actions that are the seed of the visible things. If the intelligence does not play its part (in the visible things), then the they will cease to exist. For will sesame oil exist in the absence of the sesamum seed? There exists not the difference of the visible things, externally or internally. The dawning Jñāna will produce a kind of creation. Through Saṃkalpa, this Jñāna will see in itself the visible things. Just as in a dream, though one forgets himself yet he sees all things in it through some inherent power in himself, so the visible things are known through Vṛtti-Jñāna. Those who through their present pure efforts of discrimination have destroyed this reflected intelligence, whether they have previously analyzed it or not, will also have destroyed their dire Saṃsāra. It is the non-destruction of the reflected visible things that lands us in the great Saṃsāra; but with their destruction, the supreme end is attained. So say the great ones. Do not the visible things entail on us immeasurable pains? Oh Rāma, the absence of the visible things and the non-cognition of objects do generate Nirvāṇic bliss. May you give up all oscillations of the mind, in blissful ignorance of all objects and yet not in an inert state and abandoning all worldly enjoyments. Thou alone art the Paramātma, the Jñāna in which states the visible things are not seen. This is undoubtedly true.” So said Vasiṣṭha.
Here Rāma asked the Muni: “How can non-intelligence arise where there are no visible things? How can the visible things vanish from where there is no Jñāna?”
Vasiṣṭha replied: “Ātma, the all-pervading one without any attraction, which has neither the power of knowing nor non-knowing any inert object is without the visible things or intelligence. If it should sttain that Jñāna not linked to visible things, it will be without visible things or Vṛtti-Jñāna, though performing all actions. As the heart Ākāśa (in which Ātma is) will not in the least come in contact with (or be affected by) the visible things, he alone is a Jñāni. He alone is not inert and without perception of material objects. He alone is a Jīvanmukta. Such a person through his voluntary destruction of all Vāsanās is like a child or a mute in intelligence. In that state, all visible objects being abandoned, he attains full Ātma-jñāna without any Vṛtti-Jñāna. Then will his Jñāna not at all recur to any objects; and freed from all pains through Nirvikalpa Samādhi, he will be filled with full bliss, like the blue color permeating all throughout the Ākāśa. A Jñāni therefore will always cling fast to such a Samādhi without in the least longing after visible things and will always be revelling in the bliss of his own Ātma. Whether standing or walking or talking or touching, he will be disassociated from them, not having any attraction for them. Though without the visible things or the bliss in and the knowledge of them, he will be the great bliss itself. Grasping firmly this kind of vision (or conduct), may you become the ocean of Jñāna itself, after mounting up from the sea of pains though enga ged in the base worldly actions.
To this Jñāna (or intelligence), the noble Sattā-Matrā is the Seed. Out of this primeval Sattā (Be-ness), Jñāna rises as a light from flame. This Sattā has two aspects. One is heterogeneity and the other is homogeneity. Now we shall explain them both. Pots, pictures and other objects, although they appear diverse and many, are yet one, in that they are only the differentiations of the one Sat (substance, namely earth). The state of Sat is that wherein it is Sattā alone, non-dual without any attributes. Besides, thou shalt have to free thyself from the three Sattās of Kāla (time), Deśa (space) and Vastu (substance) and merge thyself in the non-dual Sattā-mātra. Though from one standpoint, the three Sattās mentioned above, when they are divested of their actions (or characteristics), are really the non-dual Sattā, they are not in their manifestation Sattā, the non-dual one, As these three Sattās are the causes of all creating diversified actions in this world, how can they be called the immaculate Sattā (which cannot be a cause)? Having contemplated alone upon this non-dual Sattā which is common to all, may you pervade all quarters with Self-bliss. That which is the end of the Sattā (Sattā-Sāmānya) common to all, that state is the seed of this pure Sattā. From the end of this Sattā-sāmānya, Chit and others of this universe arise. It is at this terminal point that all Saṃkalpas of thoughts have to be relinquished and the enjoyment of bliss takes place thereby. It is this that is the seed primal. But there is no seed to the Jñāna bliss state (after that). Those whose Jñāna is absorbed lastingly in this bliss without any varieties, will never after drown themselves in pains. This is the cause of all; but it is a causeless cause. It is the essence of all; but there is no essence to it. In that great glass, all objects differentiated by this or that, will appear reflected as images, like trees on the bank of a river appearing in its waters. It alone is the stainless. It alone is the ageless. It alone is Ātmic Reality. With the attainment of that state, the mind will become quiescent. May you, after cognizing it firmly, become that Ātma. May you attain that Nirvāṇic state.”
Here Rāma, casting his eyes on Vasiṣṭha, said: “Thou hast been pleased to vouchsafe an explanation about the nature of these seeds. Through what efforts can one soon attain this Jñāna bliss state?” Vasiṣṭha replied: “Through properly directed efforts in the direction of those serial seeds (or causes) of pains that I gave out before, the Nirvāṇic state can be expeditiously acquired. In order to attain that state which is above all the other states, and at the other end of the Sattā common to all, you will have to kill out through your human endeavors, all the hosts of Vāsanās without any the least hindrance to your progress and cognize your Tattva- Jñāna; and then at the very moment when you are merged in the imperishable State of your Reality, you will have attained that Tattva-State. Should the Sattā-Sāmānya above described be first reached by you, then with slightly increased efforts, you will attain this state. Therefore direct your meditation towards the acquisition of this Sattā-Sāmānya state and then the other will result as a matter of course with some more efforts. I have already, Oh Rāma, informed you of one’s inability to reach that state, so long as one confines himself to the contemplation of the visible things. At no time or place, will the cognition of the Real take place through the intelligent perception of objects (alone). If, through proper efforts, you destroy the idea of dual Vāsanās, then the fell mental disease and other pains will vanish. Even with all the full efforts, one will find it difficult to destroy Vāsanās. One will cope with more difficulty in eradicating Mahāmeru to its root than the ever-growing Vāsanās. So long as the mind is not destroyed, so long the Vāsanās are not destroyed. Vice versa, so long as the Vāsanās are not destroyed, so long is the mind not destroyed. (They are both in the position of a seed and the sprout). So long as the Tattva-jñāna is not attained, so long will the mind not be destroyed. Conversely so long as the mind is not destroyed, so long will Tattva-jñāna not be reached. Again so long as the base Vāsanās are not destroyed, so long will Jñāna not be attained; so long as Jñāna is not attained, so long the Vāsanās will not be destroyed. Therefore all these three, the dawning of Tattva-jñāna, the annihilation of the mind and the extinction of the Vāsanās are mutually interdependent and depend upon no other cause than themselves for their mastery. But if through the firm human efforts of a Yogi of discrimination walking in this path, the illusions of enjoyments arising from the five senses be kept at bay, all the above three will be developed. So long as the three are not developed pari-pasu with great efforts, the Reality will not be reached, even after the lapse of myriads of years. With the association of these three equally for a long time, good results will accrue; but if they should be developed separately one by one, no firmness in any one of them will take place and hence no results. In the former case, the three will destroy the bondage of the mind.
Like the straight thin filament of a lotus stalk which does not part asunder, even though the stalk is broken, all the Vāsanās which have been clinging to us from a long time are not and will not be destroyed except through a long continued practice of Dhyāna (meditation) The wise say that the control of Prāṇa is tantamount to (or leads to) abdication of the external Vāsanās. Therefore, firm endeavors should be made in that direction also. With the giving up of Vāsanās, the mind does not exist; the same result accrues with the control of Prāṇa. Hence follow that course which commends itself to your reason. Through a long practice of Prāṇa’s control and through the initiations by a Guru, Āsana (posture), diet and Dhyāna (meditation), Prāṇa is controlled. But the Vāsanās will be extinguished through the performance of actions with out any attraction or desire, the non-contemplation of Saṃsāra (or the absence of love for this mundane life) and the seeing of all things of form as formless. If there is an end to the life of our antagonist, the Vāsanās, the mind too will not arise. Should the winds cease to blow, will particles of dust be seen floating in the atmosphere? The fluctuation of Prāṇa is that of the painful mind. Therefore the control of Prāṇa should be the natural and unfailing duty of all spiritually-minded persons of wisdom.
Without resorting to proper means, the mind can never be controlled. Can a ferocious rutting elephant be mastered otherwise than through sharp-pointed goad? The four means for controlling the mind are (1) the cognition of the one Jñāna, (2) the association with the wise, (3) the renunciation of the painfal Vāsanās, and (4) the control of the fluctuation of Prāṇa. The subjection of the mind through the above four means may be compared to the subsidence of the dust on earth through the showers rained down on it by the clouds. Persons who resort to other means than these to control the rnind, are like those who, having turned their face from the light, try to dispel darkness through darkness itself. Those who try to control mind through dint of sheer force other than through the means mentioned above, will resemble men who endeavor to bind a rutting elephant with the filament of a lotus stalk. The mind of the ignorant will ever be timid with pains and looking small with them, will never believe in anything, like a shy stag when brought amidst a concourse of people in town. The vain waste their time, like brutes, long in the fruitless illusions of Tapas, Yajña, holy waters, the visiting of sacred shrines, the worship of gods, gifts and others. But you should abandon these as tending to rebirth; and clinging tast to the one immaculate Brahmā Jñāna, destroy all desires. Oh Rāma, after perceiving the one Jñāna state without the Saṃkalpa of thoughts and free from the perceived visible things, may you rest in your heart without the bondage-giving thoughts. Though engaged in actions, may you always shine in the Brahmic state of non-actor, wherein is the wealth which is the common property of all mankind.
Those stainless persons who are able to destroy their mind through enquiry can be stated to have truly realized the fruits of rebirth. Though slight, this mind will rear up its thousand-headed hood and think in diverse ways through unceasing contemplation and enquiry. But the blooming tree of right enquiry will root itself so firmly in this pedestal of earth that no whirlwind of flitting thoughts will ever be able to shake it from its stable position. It is averred by the great ones that those who perform, like the brutes, the offices of walking and standing, eating and sleeping and such like without devoting their minds to any (spiritual) enquiry are mere carcases. Through the indestructible Jñāna vision, you should either through yourself or the aid of the exalted Ones be ceaselessly engaged in the pursuit of this gentle enquiry of, ‘who am “I”?’ and ‘what is this universe?’ It is this true enquiry alone that generates Jñāna in the path of Adhyātma science which concerns itself with the discovery of truth without any doubt. Through right enquiry, the object of enquiry can be found like the essence in milk. One who has equality of vision though the enjoyment of the final beatitude will wear it as his foremost ornament; will never degrade himself from that state; will be able to digest all things taken in like sugar candy by a swan whether such things are polluted or mixed with poison or are injurious to health or adulterated. Whether they swallow virulent poison or counter-poison or milk or sugarcane juice or food, they will preserve a perfect equanimity of mind. Whether one points his dagger deep in their head or preserves it, they will regard them neither as foes or friends. Since persons of equal vision will look upon all equally, their heart will be filled with bliss. The wise will always arrest their mind through their intelligence from entering the visible filled with the illusion of the inert senses. The ignorant who have not known their own self which is of the nature of Jñāna without the least despondency of heart, will be preyed upon by their senses, like the grass nibbled by a company of deer.
Through Saṅga (association or attraction of the mind), material objects are caused; through it, all accidents are generated; through it all desires arise; through it, this mundane existence arises. Therefore it is the renunciation of this Saṅga that is said to be Mokṣa. Through its destruction, all rebirths do cease. Having destroyed the association of the mind with objects, may you, Oh Rāma, attain the Jīvanmukti state.”
Here Rāma questioned Vasiṣṭha thus: “Oh Muni, who resembles the hot winds meeting the snow of doubts, what do you mean by Saṅga?”
To which the Muni replied: “Saṅga is the impure Vāsanās of love or hatred entertained (by the mind) in the existence or non-existence of the diverse objects of the world. In fact, Saṅga is the impure Vāsanās themselves. To the Śarīrin (ego) of a Jīvanmukta, the pure Vāsanās which annihilate all pleasures and pains without any rebirths will cling firmly. But in the case of Ajñānis who are not Jīvanmuktas, the impure Vāsanās imply Saṅga. If you remain unaffected by joys, envy or sorrows, you can be said to have relinquished all Saṅga without desires, fear, or anger. If without rejoicing in joy and pining under pains, you do not subject yourself to the trammels of desires, then you alone can be said to have rid yourself of Saṅga. Being indifferent to pleasures or pains, if you are content with whatever you get, then you can be said to have cast off all Saṅga. With an equal vision over all and a Sattvaguṇa in your heart, if you be performing all actions with a renunciation of all the visible things here, then you will attain Brahmic bliss, Oh Raghunātha (Rāma).”
Footnotes and references:
The four qualities are benevolence, contentment., compassion and indifference to vice.
Sat is existence and hence is applied to the many objects which change. Sattā is Be-ness and hence is here applied to the one principle from which many objects arise. Sattā Mātra is the eternal Absolute Principle.