The Garuda Purana

by Manmatha Nath Dutt | 1908 | 245,256 words | ISBN-13: 9788183150736

The English translation of the Garuda Purana: contents include a creation theory, description of vratas (religious observances), sacred holidays, sacred places dedicated to the sun, but also prayers from the Tantrika ritual, addressed to the sun, to Shiva, and to Vishnu. The Garuda Purana also contains treatises on astrology, palmistry, and preci...

Chapter CCXLV - The knowledge of Brahma

Brahma said:—Now I shall discourse on the knowledge of Brahma as expounded by the philosophical systems of the Sankhya and Vedanta. As light, triply divided, resides in the sky (as lightning), in fire, and in the two great luminaries (the sun and the moon) so the supreme light (Atman) runs through three different categories as I, Vishnu, and the supreme Brahma. As butter when it remains within the organisms of kine does not impart any additional strength to them, but being prepared in the usual process and administered to them, it greatly contributes to their bodily Strength, so Vishnu, though located in the heart of every body, does not give him any special benefit without being invoked and worshipped' in a special way. Karma (action) and Jnana knowledge) are the two means open to those who wish to ascend the tree of Yoga. Alter once having climbed the tree of Yoga, let a Yogin take recourse to knowledge and renunciation. From the desire to know the external objects such as the Sound etc., proceed the sense of attachment and repulsion, from these originate greed, delusion, and anger etc., and coupled with these a man commits sin. He, whose hands, genitals, belly and speech are under control, is called a true Brahmana. The hands, which do not pilfer other men’s goods, which do not hurt or kill any creature, nor grapple dice, are said to be well-controlled hands. He, who does not look upon another’s wife with lustful eyes, is said to be a man who has controlled his generative organs. He, who ungreedily eats a moderate quantity of food, is said to be a man who has controlled his belly. He, who speaks only what is true, beneficial, and only when necessary, is said to be a man who has controlled his tongue. Of what use is the practice of austerities or celebration of a religious sacrifice to one who has controlled these organs? The concentration of the mind, intellect and the senses (cognition) on the supreme lord of the universe is called Dnyanam (Dhyanam) meditation). He, who joins his intellect, focussed in a point between the eye-browss, to thoughts of the external world, even after the cessation of the functions of the cognitive organs and before the mind has assume(d?) a state of perfect quisence, dreams many dreams both internal and external. The individualised Self beholds many such dreams even in the wakening state, this is the opinon (opinion?) of the erudite ones. The state called Sushupti (Dreamless sleep) occurs when the Jiva located in the heart and enveloped in the quality of Tamas does not remember ‘where,’ ‘when’ and ‘wherefrom.’ The state called the Turiya (lit, beyond the three states of existence) and in which the self-controlled individual is neither awake nor asleep, neither utterly forgetful nor labouring under delusion, and does not perceive the objects of the senses, occurs when the individualised self, by withdrawing the mind with the cognitive organs from the objects of perception, by merging the sense of egoism in the principle of intellection, by annihilating intellection with the principle of Nature (Prakriti), and by annihilating Prakriti with the energy of the psychic force (Chit Shakti), holds its self within its own self, the self-illuminant, the pure knowledge, the immortal purity, the eternal bliss without action, and running through all. This is what is called to be in the Turiya state. The five Gunas are sound, touch, taste, smell and sight; the Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas forming a group of three qualities. These eight qualities are the leaves of the eight-leaved lotus (the emblem of evolution) of which Prakriti (Nature), representing the state of equilibrium among the three qualities of Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas is the Karnika (the seed-capsule). The deity (self), the embodiment of pure knowledge (psychic energy), is located in the Karnika of this mystic lotus within the human heart; when the individualised self parts company with this eight-leaved lotus and the Prakriti located therein, it becomes a liberated or emancipated Self. Pranayama (control of breath), Japa (repetition of a Mantra), Pratyahara (abstraction of the mind from objects of the, senses), Dharana (comprehension) and Dhyanam (meditation) are the six principal auxiliaries of Yoga. Control of the senses is sin-absolving in its effect, and brings on the satisfaction of the Devas. A Pranayama is called Sagarbha (pregnant with a thought) when the practiser thinks of any definite deity or repeats any particular Mantra at the time of practising it; otherwise it is called Agarbha (unimpregnated.) An act of Pranayama consisting of thirty-six Matras is the best, that consisting of twenty-four Matras is the intermediate, and that consisting of twelve Matras is the smallest. All the senses evince a strong attachment to the objects of the external world, Pratyahara consists in withholding them from the objects of the senses. He, who withdraws his mind and intellect from the external world and withholds his senses from their respective objects, is said to exist in Pratyahara (abstraction). Dharana means the concentration of the mind on the supreme Brahma for the period of time necessary for practising a Pranayama, consisting of twelve Matras. Dharana means the comprehension of the Brahman in an undistracted state of the mind, in the absence of any other factor, which produces its distraction; Dhyanam (contemplation) means the reposing of the mind in the object meditated upon by one, who is oblivious of the existence of any other object. The great Munis, the foremost of the divine contemplators, call that the great meditation in which the mind is permanently and tranquilly reposed in the object of meditation. The state of mind in which the contem-plator sees the whole universe, both inside and out, filled with the presence of the object meditated upon, is called Samadhi. He, whose mind is without any cogitation, and whose cognitive senses have been withdrawn from their respective objects of perception, is said to exist in Samadhi (psychic trance). The Yogin, whose mind, dwelling upon the supreme Brahma, reposes absolutely therein, is said to exist in the state of Samadhi. Delusion, hallucination and a distracted state of the mind are the defects which a Yogin must conquer and which are hostile to the successful practice of Yoga.

For the purpose of bringing about the concentration (lit, undistracted state) of the mind, the Yogin shall meditate upon a gross or material object at the outset, and thereafter concentrate his attention on the sun (solar plexus), after the mind is perfectly settled. Nothing really exists in the universe except the supreme Brahma. It is the supreme self that is imaged in this universe; he, who knows this, transcends all delusion. Pranava Mantra (Omkara) is the symbol of the supreme Self; he, who meditates upon this Mantra, located in the cavity of his heart, by an act of psychic projection, and as an embodiment of the Self, that is without body or self-consciousness, transcends all delusion. First let a man meditate upon the self in his heart, which is enveloped in the principle of Nature (Pradhanam), the latter in its turn being successively encircled by the circles of Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, which are respectively coloured black, red and white, and wherein the Purusha, denominated as the individualised self (Jiva), is located. Over that should be contemplated as located the eight-leaved mystic lotus of qualities and attributes, of which knowledge forms the petals; and science and philosophy, the pollens. Apathy to worldly concerns forms the stem of that mystic lotus, while the religion of Vishnu forms its bulb. Let the votary meditate upon the Omkara, located in its pollens, with the individualised self as its receptacle, whereby he would be able to work out his liberation. He, who quits this life, meditating upon the mystic lotus in his heart as above described, ascends to the region of the supreme Brahma. A Yogin, by meditating upon the god Hari, ensconced in the cavity of his heart, becomes an emancipated self. Some there are who behold the Self in their persons with the help of the sight of Yoga, others with the help of Sankhya knowledge, others with the aid of Yoga. Knowledge. is that which makes the Brahma visible, and which unfetters the bond of existence; an absolute concentration of the mind in Brahma is called Yoga. The Yogin, who, illuminated, with the light of pure knowledge, reposes in the supreme Brahma by conquering his mind and senses, is said to be an emancipated self. The different kinds of seats and postures are not the real auxiliaries of Yoga, the so-called essential paraphernalias are but so many impediments to its successful practice. Even the evil-souled Shishupala realised his Self through the constant practice of meditating upon Hari; those; who are addicted to the practice of Yoga, behold their selves within themselves. Compassionate to all creatures, and hostilely disposed to the evil-souled, the Yogins, who have conquered hunger and reproductive functions, become emancipated selves. A Yogin, devoid of all sense-perceptions, reposing in the Supreme Brahma, and existing inert like a log of wood, is said to be an emancipated self. The intelligent one by reducing to ashes all impieties done by him, incarnated as a female, or a member of any caste whatsoever, with the fire of meditation, becomes an emancipated self, and comes by the highest bliss. As fire becomes manifest through churning, so the God Hari shows himself through meditation; the communion which conclusively establishes the oneness of the Supreme and the individualised soul is the best of Yogas. The beholding of the Supreme Brahma, by dint of Sankhya or Vedanta knowledge, or by practising the rules of Yoga, is is called emancipation. The universe is but a series of appearances, of perceptions of the non-soul as soul, and of the unreal as real.