The Garuda Purana
Chapter CCXLII - The Jnanamritam Stotram
Narada said:—He, who is bound by the pairs of opposite, by anger and passion, by good and evil, by objects of the senses, is veritably an evil-minded and tyrannised being. O thou destroyer of Tripura, do I wish to learn from thee, the means of sailing across the sea of existence. Hearing this word of Narada, Shambhu, the three-eyed deity, with his countenance beaming with joy, replied as follows:—
Maheshvara said:—Hear me, O thou foremost of the Rishis, the extremely secret hymn of Jnanamritam, which dissipates all misery and dispels the fear of chains of re-births. He, through whose illusion all the inmates of the universe, from the humblest animalculum to the four-faced Brahma, are enveloped in a delusive sleep of Nescience; if through the grace of such Vishnu one quits his sleep (delusion) and wakes the wakening of perfect knowledge, verily he liberates himself from the chain of necessary rebirths, so difficult of achievement even by the gods. Indifferent to cultivation of the knowledge of the Real, an individualised Self (man), introxicated with the wine of power, pride and luxury, sinks down, like a cow, in the oozy mire of worldliness. Fondly attached to their sons, wives and relations, men sink in the ocean of worldliness, as old and worn out wild elephants are drowned in one and the same ocean through an unconquerable instinct of companionship. I do not find the emancipation of that foolish peoson, even in the course of a hundred millions of re-births, who, like a silk-worm, imprisons his self in a cocoon of delusion. Hence, O Narada, constantly meditate upon the self of Vishnu, the undecaying god of the gods, the lord of the universe, and worship him with the greatest self-control. He, who contemplates the birthless, originless, endless, omniscient, unmoving, all-pervading spirit, contained within its own self, is liberated from the trammels of life. He, who constantly contemplates the eternal Vishnu, the only reality that is unknowable, and which is without any parts (indivisible) and affections, lying beyond the sphere of mortality, the embodiment of sacrifice, the manifest and unmanifest, is liberated from the trammels of life. He, who contemplates the eternal, blissful, occult, all-seeing Vishnu, the infinite reality, devoid of all qualities, beyond all Nescience, is liberated from the trammels of life. He, who constantly meditates upon the disembodied, immoveable, omniscient, all-pervading Vishnu, the ordainer, the enjoyer of thoughts and sentiments, becomes an emancipated self. He, who constantly contemplates the lord Vishnu, who knows without the aid of sensations, who is unmanifest and without any substitute, and lies beyond the sphere of illusion, unaffected by disease or affection, the god VasudeVa, the preceptor of all, is liberated from the trammels of life. He, who constantly contemplates the birthless Vishnu, the pure and perfect knowledge, which cannot be known by the senses, whom the mind comprehendeth not, and the speech fails to describe, the one unconquerable entity, is liberated from the trammels of life. He, who constantly contemplates Vishnu, who is without any limitation, mind, and sense of egoism, and is not affected by the pairs of opposite, is liberated from the trammels of life. He, who constantly Contemplates the eternal, birthless, deathless, decayless, fearless Vishnu, that suffers no change, and has sprung from no seed, is liberated from the trammels of life. He, who constantly contemplates the great Vishnu, the deathless spirit, the infinite joy whom sin touches not and the senses cannot reach, is liberated from the trammels of life. He, who constantly contemplates the great Vishnu, devoid of good and evil, free from the dashings of the six kinds of waves (propulsions of the senses), the only knowable, sinless entity, is liberated from the trammels of life. He, who with undisturbed mind contemplates Vishnu, the embodiment of self, whose determitiation (cogitation) is truth, and whose seat is purity, is liberated from the trammels of life. He, who constantly contemplates the most excellent Vishnu, the lord of the universe, the knower of past, present, and future, the witness to whatever takes place in the universe, and who is beyond all speech (description), becomes an emancipated self. He, who constantly contemplates Vishnu, that lies beyond the ken of knowledge, the undecaying, eternal subjectivity, is liberated from the trammels of life. He, who constantly contemplates Vishnu, the protector of the universe, the friend, the grantor of all desired objects, the spirit that occupies the three regions and is imaged in the universe, is liberated from the trammels of life. He, who'constantly contemplates Vishnu, the dissipator of all misery, the grantor of all bliss, the extinguisher of all sin, is liberated from the trammels of life. He, who constantly contemplates Vishnu, who is always served by the Devas, Gandharvas, Apsarasas, Siddhas, Charanas, Munis, and Yogins, is liberated from the trammels of life. He, who wishing to be liberated from the bond of existence constantly contemplates Vishnu by hymnising him in the abovesaid way, becomes a liberated self. The universe is established in Vishnu, Vishnu is established in the universe; he, who constantly contemplates the birthless Vishnu, the lord of the universe, is liberated from the trammels of life.
Suta said:—The bull-ensigned deity thus addressed the holy Narada of yore. I have narrated to you (the hymn) exactly as Shiva narrated it to that holy sage. O my child, by thus meditating upon the changeless, indivisible Brahma, you shall attain his eternal Self. The merit of celebrating a thousand horse-sacrifices and a hundred Vajapeya Yajnas does not rank a sixteenth part of what is acquired by meditating, for a moment, with undivided attention, on the eternal Self of Vishnu. The celestial Rishi (sage) having learnt from Ishvara (Shiva) of the superiority of Vishnu to all the gods devoutly worshipped him and attained to the region of Vishnu. He, who recites this excellent hymn, or hears it recited by others, stands absolved of sin, committed by him in the course of a million re-births. He, who, in a devout spirit, recites this hymn of Vishnu, liaitaied by Mahadeva, comes by immoriality.
Footnotes and references:
Ekarnave is the word that occurs in the text. It may as well mean the universal ocean of undivided waters at the dissolution of our earthly globe. Perhaps the Rishi had the picture of Pralaya in his mind; worn out elephants, the remnants of a defunct race, being drowned in the waters of that ocean.— Tr.