by K. Narayanasvami Aiyar | 1896 | 137,618 words | ISBN-10: 818514141X | ISBN-13: 9788185141411
This page relates “the story of bhingisha”, the 12th part of chapter 6 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 “nirvana-prakarana”.
Summary. This story will illustrate the fact that action, actor, etc., arises through the idea of ‘I’.
“Such is the true nature of this universe. It manifests itself out of Ātma-jñāna, like the misconception of a serpent arising from a rope. To those who contemplate upon the rays of the sun as no other than the sun itself, the sun alone exists. This is the much-longed-for Nirvikalpa state. But if the sun and its rays are considered as two separate ones, then there will appear a diversity between the sun and its rays. Having given up all heterogeneities, may you, Oh Rāma, be in that direct spiritual experience wherein the universe is not.
Like the wind agitating the waters, Brahman produces the fluctuating motion of Saṃkalpa. As soon as Saṃkalpa was set afloat, it expanded itself and differentiated itself into this form-world, when it became the Manas which began to see itself through itself. Therefore know this universe to be nothing but replete with Saṃkalpa. This universe is neither real nor unreal; but it manifests itself like dream creations. Know that the seer, hearer, speaker, feeler, smeller, walker and doer are no new creations; but are the one Truth. All acts of yours are no other than the stainless Jñāna itself. As the real nature of Mahat is Brahmic Reality itself, there is really no such thing as the universe. As all things are no other than the aspect of Chit, the dark clouds of universes are no other than Cinmātra. As the one Chit pervades all objects without any illusion, all objects do not really exist. Where then is Bandha (bondage) or Mokṣa (liberation)? Having therefore abandoned firmly all the differentiated conceptions of bondage and emancipation and having observed Mauna (silence) without the least tinge of Ahaṃkāra, may you, Oh Rāma, be engaged in the performance of your higher actions without Ahaṃkāra, pride and other such things. Having cleared your mind of all doubts arising from illusion and clinging fast to certitude, may you live as the great actor and enjoyer, but yet as the great renouncer of all.” At these words of Vasiṣṭha, Rāma queried him: “What are these three guṇas of actorship, enjoyment, and renunciation?” To explain which, Vasiṣṭha began thus: “To understand the real significance of these three and thus attain the supreme state without any delusion, Lord Bhṛṅgīśa went to the northern summit of Mahāmeru and having worshipped and eulogized Parameśvara who was like Cidākāśa itself, submitted the following: ‘Moving in worldly delusion and not getting quiescence in Jñāna, I have in vain roved about in perfect ignorance. How can I live with a quiescence of mind in this decayed body of the world? Please throw light upon the path of certitude which I can tread without any the least fear?’
Parameśvara deigned to answer in the following terms: ‘If after destroying thy doubts, thou clingest to Truth, thou wilt become the great actor, the great enjoyer, and the great renouncer.’
Bhṛṇgīśa asked: ‘What dost thou mean by the great (true) actor, the great enjoyer, and the great renouncer?’ Parameśvara replied: ‘He is the incomparable great actor who is indifferent to the inevitable fruits or otherwise of dire love and hatred, pleasures and pains, Dharma and Adharma and performs actions in that manner without any desires. He is the great actor who, being silent, is free from the ideations of “I” or self-identification with objects, or from surprise, performs actions without any despondency or fear or without any desires in objects so as to be merely a witness to all, is never affected by fear or happiness and does not rejoice or repine, through an equal vision over all. Know also that his mind will be undisturbed, whether in birth or death, appearance or disappearance (of objects).
He is the great true enjoyer who does not, through anger, long for or reject anything but enjoys fully only those things that befall him. We shall say more about him. He will not lose his equilibrium of mind even in the enjoyment of the illusory pleasures and pains productive of excessive fear and no bliss; he will consider in the same light and enjoy things productive of dotage or death, regality or adversity; he will taste, with neither joy nor sorrow, dainties of all tastes whether bitter, sour, sharp, or salty. Like salt, he will associate with both the virtuous and the vicious. Such is the true enjoyer.
Now listen to the description of the great or (true) renouncer. Thou shouldst know that such an intelligent personage will abandon, in toto, the stainless Dharma and Adharma, pleasures and pains, birth and death. He will not have even a scintilla of desires, doubts, actions, and certainties. Oh Bhṛṅgīśa, the Śrutis also say that his heart will be free from Dharma and Adharma, mental thoughts and actions. He will also have rooted away from his mind all thoughts of the visible things.’
So said, Parameśvara to Bhṛṅgīśa in days of yore. Having developed through practice this kind of vision over all, may you, Oh lotus-eyed Rāma, protect your subjects. Brahmic reality alone is that which is ever shining, has neither beginning nor end and is immaculate and non-dual. Naught else is. Thus shall you contemplate and being filled with bliss, perform all actions, so that the stainless quiescence of mind may be in you and thereby in all. The Jñānākāśa is alone, which is Brahman, devoid of the stainful pains, the seed of all illusions, Paramātma the great, the grand One in which all thoughts merge. Here there is none else but ‘That’. Destroy all Ahaṃkāra with the firm conviction that there is nothing else foreign to ‘That’ and that Sat and Asat will never affect It. You will therefore relieve yourself of this formless Ahaṃkāra through developing introvision, making the internal harmonize with the external, unaffected by the pains of past actions.”