6. Yoga Vashisht, Queen Chundalai, The Great Yogin
"O may thou rest thyself in Thy all peaceful Atma 63like the King Sikhithwaya who controlled the restless bird called Mind," said Rishi Vashisht to Ram.
Whereupon Ram asked him this, "Tell me, O Guru, who was the King Sikhithwaya, possessor of the peaceful Bliss? Let me learn that Jnana (Wisdom), which is the basis of everything, that it, may arise in me to its .fullest power."
The Rishi Vashisht replied: "King Sikhithwaya was born in the Dwapara Yuga 63. Over his people he ruled wisely and well. His justice had no bond by-ways. He had but one purpose—to do good and perform the works of virtue. Master over body and mind, his great joy lay in the happiness of his Subjects.
"Chundalai, his Queenly Consort, born through Tapas (Meditation), to the Queen of the Sourashtra country was like a peacock in beauty. Her beauty glowed like a jewel in the perfect setting of her sterling virtue.
"This King and Queen lived together in perfect happiness, fulfilling their duties without the slightest difference of opinion. Their youth passed delightfully, united in body and mind, and their days flowed away like water from a broken jar, and middle age hovered over them like clouds on a rainy day. They had tasted the passion fruit of worldly things. In their youth they loved this and desired that, but now materiality fell from them like an worn-out garment: The only desire left was to obtain Adhyatmic-Jnana (wisdom of the self), for this wisdom is the only certain ending of the disease of rebirth.
"Realizing there is no escape from the disease of rebirth, except through Atma-Jnan (self-wisdom), they started toward the attainment of this goal with minds fixed in true meditation. About them were gathered the Wise and Learned of their time. In this environment of Harmony and Peace, they collected a store of Wisdom, and led a truly spiritual life.
"Queen Chundalai, she of true discernment, having heard and understood well the real significance of the Sastra (Wisdom) taught by the Wise, for the attainment of the Higher spirituality, said to herself—since there exists Atma as I fully realize, why do we use the term "I"? From whence comes this illusion to the mind; to what is it due; how does it arise? The body is not the "I", as the body is visible to us, and is changeable and incomplete in itself. Nor can it designate the organs functioning in the body, nor its moving force Prana. Further, it does not describe the mind which owes its activity to thought. The term Jiva cannot be applied to the "I", as the Jiva is the individual soul. I have learned through this enquiry that Atma-jnana (Wisdom of the self) will never be attained through the senses, but through the Eternal Jnana (Wisdom). I know my Jiva exists through Atmic reality. This Atmic Wisdom become known only by knowing oneself, not through another. This self-wisdom or self light shines everywhere.
"By divine realization the Queen enjoyed the consciousness of the reality of the Atma self, and discharged her daily duties without desire for their fruits. Longing ceased, and the inclination of her mind toward the pairs of opposites, love and hate, cold and heat. She became the receptacle of Bliss as a result of the control of her mind. Then with the daily Yoga practices, the Queen developed Atmic reality, that true realization, which is a certainty beyond explanation. Only he knows it, who has realized the reality. The beautiful Queen shone with a radiant Spiritual Light.
"The King noted the refulgence of his wife's beauty with great pleasure. He asked his Queen, 'O Beloved One, you are now radiant with such great beauty, it is as if your youth had come back again, or as if you had sipped a divine nectar by which you have attained Eternal Divine beauty. You seem so happy, your mind so blessed with divine peace, that you are perfect in body and mind. Tell me, my Queen, of the wonderous purity which so dazzles me.'
"Queen Chundalai replied: 'Having abandoned and risen above this world which is form but formless, real but without reality, I attained the Mighty One, who is the reality beyond the older age or death. Hence, the radiance in my body, which is but the reflection of the refulgent peace within. I have realized That God which is the essential nature of all; being the atom of atoms; the whole, without creation or destruction. That is why my body is radiant. I have no joy in the object of the senses, yet do I partake of the Bliss and happiness of beauty. Love and hate have both gone from me, and every hour I glory in the attainment of physical beauty and contentment, but the objects my eyes and mind behold awake no response in me, either of joy or sorrow. I have attained the super-consciousness, which is the cause of my Bliss and beauty.'
"Hearing the explanation from his wife, the King without understanding or trying to understand her words, said: 'O Beloved, thou hast given utterance to words which are not befitting thee. Hast thou lost thy mental balance? How is it that thou, living in palaces and in the luxuries of wealth, should attain the realization of Atma when the greatest of men have cut themselves off from the outward world and have sought the quiet retreats of the Himalaya Mountains, in order to attain that state of Bliss, or Atma?
"'How can a Queen, like you, realize that which can only be realised by the Wise? Thou mayest say that thou hast enjoyed that blessed state, like those who were unable to reach that exalted state, but claimed they had sensed it, intuitionally, within. Tell me, how canst thou realise the Atma within? Thou who art a poor fragile creature, without Wisdom, tossed to and fro by the senses.'
"The Queen was touched by the King's remarks. She pitied the poor King, who had not reached that state in which he could understand or enjoy the Divine Bliss. Still the King and Queen lived together in Peace and Harmony as they had done in the past. The Queen had gained perfect control over her mind and desires. She thought if she were able too develop the power of levitation, then it would be easy to convince her King of her power. For this purpose she practised Madras in Yoga for the attainment of levitation."
Ram said to the Master: "Please explain how one may attain such psychic power as levitation, etc."
The Master answered: "I am telling you the interesting story of the Queen, and now thou dost ask an explanation of Yoga. However, I will answer thee. By control of Prana (Vital or Life Force), one may attain that power. One who wishes to attain that power should have a balanced diet: should practice Mudras and Postures. Control of the mind is also necessary as well as the study and ceaseless practice of Yoga. One should have the help of a Spiritual Teacher. One should be free from anger, love and hate. Try to understand the nature of Prana (Vital or Life Force) and control its movements, then you can Master the forces of nature, Sidhi (psychic), and attain liberation.
"There is in the midst of the one hundred Nadis (big vein or nerve), one which is called Kundalini, it is within every being from Brahma to worm. It is like a serpent, and is sleeping as the serpent sleeps in the winter. When the Kundalini power is aroused, it enables one to master the powers of nature. All other Nadis of the body are connected with the Kundalini. The powers of the Kundalini become useful, through the Light of Wisdom. This power, through meditation becomes meditation, through wisdom becomes wisdom, mind through mind, thought through thought, egoism through egoism.
"This greatest of all powers may easily be controlled, if one masters the Prana. The Prana (Vital or life force) always goes upward, the Apana, (or other vital force) always goes downward. These two vital or life forces cause death of the body. If Prana is brought down, and Apana be permitted to rise and mix in the heart, then disease would leave the body, never to return."
Ram again said to the Master: "Please explain how mental disease can be destroyed."
The Master answered: "Diseases which affect the mind are the first and are not the easiest to heal; those which affect the body may be classed as secondary. The desires which affect the mind are primary diseases; we have sunk thus far by absence of Wisdom, and lack of Mastery over ourselves. We are under the seeming power of delusion. We cannot realise to what extent we arc pulled down by such delusion. The mental disease is similar to the coming of a winter storm. When the power of desires gets hold of one, he then is liable to be guilty of fearful karma (wrong action); this in turn produces bodily disease.
"Bodily disease is also brought on by overeating, living in unhealthy places, association with the wicked, impure desires, evil thoughts, etc. These mental or indirect diseases have a direct effect upon the body.
"Now I will explain how both forms of disease perish, O Ram. The wise say that the mental diseases have two divisions, common and specific, the former affect this body only, but the latter tend to rebirth, also. The common diseases may be banished by correct eating and right thinking.
"When the mind is not in perfect harmony it may affect the blood and produce discord in any portion of the body. Mental discord will produce poison in the blood, and the poison will affect the nervous system. When the nervous system is affected, then Prana (Vital Force) cannot follow its right path. When Prana does not follow its right path, then it cannot reach all parts of the body as it should, and thus many of the nerves may wither or die. If harmony is established in the mind, all else is easy and simple. When harmony is established in the mind, it will naturally follow, that one will want to do good and read good books pertaining to truth. When peace is established in the mind, then Prana will follow its right course and all disease will vanish.
"The path of Yoga, by which one may master the power of the Kundalini, is through the practise of Pranayama, which causes the power of the Kundalini to arise, and then the holy becomes strong. By Pranayama the movement of Prana and Apana may be controlled; then the Yogin will be able to go up like a bird. The Prana is the cause, and when it is made to go up through the Sushumna, all kinds of psychic powers are attained, such as seeing, hearing and levitation."
Ram again questioned Rishi Vashisht; "How do such people become light and heavy, seemingly at will, and how do they gain control over the powers of nature?"
The Master replied: "Such powers are mastered only by one who has a consciousness of absolute purity, free from the worldly things. The self is finest of the fine, which is not the Universe, neither its association with it. But through its own thoughts becomes individual soul, and is known by the name Jiva (individual soul). This Jiva mingles with many things in the world, forgets its reality and thinks of the body as being real. When one has the last awakening or illumination and determines to know the Absolute Reality, then the gross and unreal vanish and the real nature comes to light, and is revealed or manifested. Through meditation the psychic powers are awakened and mastered. This is the truth revealed to those who have gained mastery through Yoga.
"Through Yoga means, the Queen mastered the psychic powers, and with it encircled the world, simply to convince her King. No one knew that the Queen possessed such marvelous power. That was one reason her King did not believe or gain the state of Bliss. For the King was as ignorant of her blessed power, as a child is ignorant of higher education. The King was without peace of mind, so this great Yogin did not try to raise the King to Atmic Wisdom."
Ram then said: "O Master, how can others hope to attain pure Wisdom when the great King failed, when his wife, the great Yogin, tried to help him realise the blessed Wisdom? Speak, O Master, and say which is the right means to attain the goal?"
Rishi Vashisht answered: "Faith in the word of the Guru (Spiritual Teacher) is the way, but discipleship alone is the means of reaching Atmic Wisdom."
Ram said: "If the disciple alone is the means of reaching the Atmic Wisdom, then why should it be necessary to have faith in the word of the Guru?"
The Master explained: "A certain hunter, who lived in the mountains, lost a shell while walking along through the grassy forest; he was greatly worried about the lost shell and went searching for it. After a long search he came upon a gem shining like a moon. Searching for his shell led to the finding of a precious gem. Such may be the experience of the disciple, in looking for the Guru (Spiritual teacher), he may find true Wisdom. Studying with the Guru will help, but the discipleship is the means of developing Atmic Wisdom.
"The King without true wisdom tried many means of attaining self wisdom, but he was working under illusion, as he thought lie would gain by giving gifts, bathing in Holy Water and observance of religious laws. These did not set him free from his mental suffering. At last he turned to his Queen and said: 'I am giving up everything in this world, but, I have one desire,—to go to the forest and live there a peaceful life, as delusion of wealth or pain do not hunt there. The bliss that is the highest attainable is in the forest; so let me go.'
"The Queen said, 'everything will be ready and ripe at the time, I pray thee do not go?'
"The King said: 'Do not interfere with my plans. You are young, and shalt rule in my place, as it is the wife's duty not to languish at the absence of her husband, but to protect those who are near her.'
"The King gave an order that the city should be patrolled that night, that every one should remain at home, within the house. That night the King made his way to the forest. After walking for two weeks he reached a spot in the Mandara Hills, which are surrounded by beautiful pools and wild flowers. He made a hut of leaves, a cloth bag for fruit, and a place for meditation. Then he started his practice; the first hour, for religious rites, the second and third, gathering flowers for Gods's worship, fourth, eating fruits; at night, chanting Mantras, thus the King did his tapasa.
"Next morning the Queen found the King had gone to the woods, leaving behind his Kingdom, wealth and Queen. She pitied the poor King, and wanted to know where he had gone, so she levitated and roamed in the sky. She appeared to Sidhas (psychic persons), as beautiful as the shining moon. She saw her husband in the forest, meditated upon what she should do, and reached the conclusion she would not disturb him. She thought it would be better to let him master himself; so she returned to her palace without letting him see her.
"The Master Yogin issued a proclamation to her people, stating that her husband was away on a secret mission. For eight years she ruled with royal grace of equal justice to all, while the poor King suffered a life of privation and penance in the forest.
"Realizing that the time had come for her to again see her husband, she went forth one night through the air. She alighted on a near by hill, where she saw a decrepit and care worn, old man, whom at first she did not recognize as her husband. But her clear vision soon discovered that it was indeed he, and she cried out with her grief, to see, through dire ignorance, the King bent, groaning in pain. The Queen thought, I have power to confer Atmic Wisdom on him at this moment, but he will reject me as his young wife, so I shall not appear before him in this form. I shall change to another form to accomplish my purpose. As his mind is now ripe for Atmic Wisdom, a single word from me will show him the way to that blessed state, at this time. At this hour a rare opportunity was at hand. She changed her form from woman to man by the power of Samayan (the Samayan is the highest power of the Raja Yogin), and descended from the sky before the King. The King saw the form of a young Brahman standing in the air before him.
"The King paid due respect to him, and asked him to be seated. The young Brahman returned due respect to Raja Rishi (the King), of true Tapas (prayer, meditation etc.).
"The King said: 'By thy gracious visit I am greatly benefited, as thou art my Guru.'
"The young Brahman replied: 'Who in this world has such great qualities as you possess? May you live long. May your mind be filled with Divine Peace and be free from all delusion of the world.
"'You are performing very high Tapas, as you have given up everything for the sake of liberation. You are performing Tapas as trying, as meeting the point of the sword.'
"The King said: 'Thou being a God, art well aware of my condition. May I ask thy name, and who thou art?'
"The young Brahman replied: 'I am the son of Rishi Narada, whose Atmic Wisdom shines like the sun. At my birth I was taken into the presence of Brahma (God), who paved my way to Atmic Wisdom. As I was His grandson, He named me Kumbha Muni: my mother is Saraswati (Mother of Wisdom). I continually study the Vedas (Book of Holy Wisdom).'
"The King believed every word of the Kumbha Muni. The Muni asked the King: 'What is thy name and what thy origin?'
"The King answered: 'From the pains of this world I came here for peace. My name is Sikhithwaya. I have given up my kingship as my mind was always binding me to the cycle of rebirth. I try my best to free myself from pains, but they are increasing. O Muni, the milk has surely turned to poison.'
"Kumbha Muni then replied: 'O King, without a Guru (Spiritual Teacher), the bliss of Atmic Wisdom is not to be obtained; tapas and mantras are merely a waste of time, O King. He who has not the Atmic Wisdom, but follows his duty of action is the best. Unselfish action will remove the impure desires; doing good
karma will bring about heavenly bliss, and pure desire does not make any fresh karma, but the impure one does. If you know that all is Brahma, then ignorance is destroyed; the impure desires will never arise. If the impure desires are controlled, then old age and death are also controlled, and brings one to the highest state of Brahma.
"'The mind associated with impure desires is ignorance itself, but free from impure desires it is Wisdom itself. If through Wisdom, Soul realizes Reality, then one is free from the chain of rebirth.
"'When all the wise, even Brahma, have said the attainment of Wisdom is the highest bliss, why do you not try to attain it? Why do you not try to find whence came this Universe? Why are you killing time here in ignorance? Why not try to find a Guru and from him learn what is bondage and what, liberation? Go to those who have clear vision over all. They are the embodiment of wisdom. Engage ceaselessly in enquiring, then indeed you will find the real, the reality, which is the means of emancipation.'
"The King cried with joy. 'O Guru, I have learned all this attainment of the way to bliss, and pure wisdom, by thy grace. I have left the company of the wise through ignorance, came to this forest to suffer, but now I am freed from pain, by thy kindness. I believe it is thy duty, as thou art within the forest, to point the way to bliss. Thou art my friend, thou art my Guru, thou art my parent. I shall be steadfast as thy disciple. Please accept me as thy disciple. Lead me in the path you have realized; you are equal to Brahma. Teach me the One-ness that sets people free from all pain, and into the consciousness of blissful truth.'
"The Kumbha Muni said: 'I can teach you if you will concentrate your mind, which has been roaming, from place to place. Without concentration, my word will not be of any help to you.'
"The King promised to believe and concentrate on the words of the Muni. The Muni said: 'First you should have full confidence in my words, as a child has in the words of his father. O King, hear what you will not understand; I will relate again the hidden meaning. In the olden days there was a man of wealth and great knowledge, but alas, he was without Atmic Wisdom. This man went in search of Chintamuni, a lucky stone that brings anything its owner wishes for. In the days when he was searching to find the lucky stone, which was bright and shining as the moon, the man without understanding passed by the lucky stone. He thought it might be only a common stone, as he could not find the lucky stone in such a short space of time. He thought, I am not pure, and I am only a poor man. So he left the lucky stone beside the road, and went on hunting. After a long search, weary and worn by hardships, a Sidha—a man of psychic powers—saw the poor man looking for the lucky stone. So he thought he would fool the poor, deluded man who had passed by without recognizing the lucky stone. The Sidha threw a piece of glass in front of the man, which, as soon as he saw it, he picked up, thinking surely it must he the lucky stone. He had passed by the real lucky stone and picked up instead the simple ball of glass. He was over-joyed and gave away all his wealth, with the hope that his lucky stone would bring him anything he desired. So he went to the forest, with the hope that he would find happiness there, as the lucky stone was supposed to bring him anything for which he wished. In the forest he tried to have the lucky stone bring forth the thing he wanted, but it did not bring forth anything, for the reason it was not a lucky stone at all, it was merely a ball of glass. The poor, deluded man brought all the hardships upon himself, suffering alone and without wealth.'
"'I will tell another story about an elephant, that will help you in the understanding of pure Wisdom.
In the midst of a forest there lived an elephant, the most gigantic of its kind. A Mahout of the forest followed the elephant and trapped him. His tusks were very long, sharp and dangerous. The Mahout fettered him with chains, and started to bring him to the city, tied to another elephant. This gigantic elephant became mad with pain caused by the chains, as well as the loss of his liberty. With the help of his powerful tusks he shook himself free. The Mahout seated on this elephant became frightened, and fell to the ground. The giant elephant, bewildered by his freedom, passed over the Mahout without hurting him, and raced to the security of the forest. The Mahout getting to his feet, and alarmed at the loss of his beast of wealth, went after the elephant and found him in the depth of the forest. The Mahout selected a spot where he knew the elephant would pass. Then he dug a trench and covered it with leaves. The elephant after a long time came to the place and fell into the trench. This time the Mahout fastened the elephant more securely. So again, the powerful animal was enslaved.
"'Had this gigantic elephant stepped on the Mahout, whom once he shook from his back and laid prostate upon the ground, he might easily have crushed him or dashed out his brains, then he would not have been captured again and deprived of his precious liberty. Likewise, he who does not think of the result of evil living, and that it would surely bring him to grief.
"The King asked the master: 'Please give the reason why you narrated the story of this Lucky Stone, and the story of the elephant?'
"The Master replied: 'The man who had all wealth and knowledge, without pure Wisdom, went in search of the Lucky Stone. That man is like yourself, for, although you are well versed in knowledge, you have not attained poise and peace of mind. This lesson, I meant to convey, by telling the story of the Lucky Stone. In order to overcome suffering and hypocrisy and attain true renunciation, you have forsaken your kingdom, wealth, wife and relations, which were the real Lucky Stone, and you came to the forest, which is the stone of glass.
"'The true renunciation was developing in you, little by little, in the midst of your worldly surroundings, but your mind was lead astray by the wrong ideal of renunciation. By delusion your mind was enveloped as by a dark cloud, instead of being illumined, by the clear light of Spiritual understanding. This renunciation of yours is not the renunciation which generates true happiness. With the hopes that you might attain illumination, or the realization of TRUTH—that which is real—you gave up everything that men hold dear. You have lost the Lucky Stone and are holding to the false, the stone of glass.
"'The wise say that those who reject the enjoyment which comes from their daily lives, and the mind which is filled with imaginary things, are self-destructive. By giving up your all, and running to the forest your mind did not attain Divine peace, even when the valuable Lucky Stone was laid before you. Then what advantage is to be gained by finding the stone of glass?
"'The gigantic elephant, I also applied to you. The two long tusks are discrimination and indifference. Your ignorance is the driver which inflicted suffering upon you, as the elephant was caused to suffer by the driver (the Mahout). The chain and fetters stand for desires. The chain and fetters which bound the elephant will wear out, but the bonds of desire become stronger every day. As the elephant shook itself free from the chains, so you gave up your kingdom. Throwing the Mahout, or driver of the elephant,—stands for overcoming the ignorance by the power of indifference to objects, or the fruits of your work. If we overcome the impure desires, then ignorance and rebirth will be destroyed.
"'To abandon the delusion of wealth, by sheer asceticism, will never dispel the ghost, but if the delusion of wealth is destroyed through discrimination, then the ghost of ignorance will leave forever.
"'At the time you reached this forest your ignorance was laid on the ground before you, but you did not cut its head off with the true renunciation. The great elephant did not kill the Mahout, who was once laid on the ground at his feet. At that time if the elephant had put one foot upon the Mahout, then he would not have been made to fall into the trench, and suffer when he was imprisoned there.
"'But, O King, you have suffered more than the elephant here in the forest. You threw away the Lucky Stone, that, was true renunciation, but why did you not follow the advice of your wife? But you came to this forest and picked up the stone of glass, which was not worth anything.'
"The King declared: 'I have given up my kingdom, my dear wife and all. Is not this true renunciation, O Master?'
"The Master replied: 'True, you have given up your kingdom, your wife and all, but that is not renunciation, as you are a slave to your desires, even now. But by giving up all of them, you will attain the blessed state of Brahma.'
"The King said: 'All right, I will give up this forest and hills, I have no desire for them; now, I have made the true renunciation.'
"The Master again said: 'Giving up this beautiful forest, will not make the true renunciation, as long as you have with you impure desires.
When you give them up, then only, will you attain divine joy.'
"The King answered: 'If this is not true renunciation, then, I will give up the rest.'
"So the King threw his garments and all that he had into the fire and presented himself to the Master and said: 'Now, by thy grace, I have freed myself of all things and thoughts that were only bondage, and the seed of the rebirth. By giving up all desires I have set myself free, and attained the true renunciation by thy kindness. What else remains to be done, O Master?'
"The Master replied: 'You have not done any thing. What you call a true renunciation is only vain delusion.'
"The King said: 'While I remain within this body, the five snakes, which are the sense organs remain. Therefore, I shall give them up in your presence.'
"So the King prepared to kill himself.
"The Master stopped him by saying: 'What foolish thing are you trying to do? Is your body holding you from progress? 'What will you gain by giving up your body? To kill or destroy your body is not true renunciation. O
King, if you will give up the seed or cause of this body, which is the seed of rebirth, then you will make the true renunciation.'
"The King besought the Master to tell him how he might give up or control the cause, or the seed of the body.
"The Master said: 'The Wise say the mind, with its thoughts, called by many names, is one. The cause is attached to delusive objects. This restless mind forms the Universe and bondage. It is the mind which is the seed of all karma (spiritual cause and effect), and moves this body to and fro, like a tree in the wind. Controlling this mind is true renunciation and Godly Bliss. O King, all other renunciations are not true.
"'After reaching the true renunciation you will be illumined in mind, free from oscillation; then you will recognize your true self with the self of Brahma, and you will be radiant with glory.'
"The King asked: 'What is the cause of the mind? What is its true nature? How should I master it? O Master, enlighten me.'
"The Master answered: 'The true nature of the mind is determined by the desires, as mind and desires are one. Know, O King, the ideal of the "I" (Ego), which is the house in which exists all qualities of good and evil: this, is the seed of the mind. The first sprout that comes out of this seed is Egoism, and originates without form. Its apperception is by inner experience. This sprout is called Budhi (the reasoning intelligence). From this little shoot the many branches known as thoughts take their origin through differentiation. The thought of the mind, the reason and intelligence, called by different names are really only Egoism. If you try to cut off the branches (thoughts) of the tree of the mind, you will not succeed, as the branches will produce more and more, through desires. But if you cut the root of the tree with the ax of Wisdom, then the branches will die themselves, and the karma that causes the branches (desires) will disappear with them. But to merely cut off the branches, will not harm the tree of the mind. You should cut the root of the tree or through virtuous actions overcome the ideal of the Ego.'
"The King said: 'I am the Nature, that pure absolute consciousness which evolves. preserves, and destroys everything. I do not know the cause of the "I", which is the nature of Wisdom. I have not been able to find the means which will remove the Egoism, the seed of the treacherous mind. My mind betrayed me as I tried to overthrow this Ego, but it clings to me.'
"The Master said: 'No effect can be found without a cause. So search within to find the cause of the Egoism that is always within you. Answer me, O King.
"The King answered: 'The cause of this impure Egoism is the knowledge of the mind. How have I become mixed with this knowledge? I sink back when the knowledge of objects arise. How am I to arise above the objective world?'
"The Master answered: 'If you tell me the cause of knowledge, then I will give you the means to arise above it.'
"The King then said: 'The existence of the illusory objects of knowledge is produced through mind. If the illusory objects cease to exist, then no knowledge arises. Then the seed of the mind, Egoism will be absorbed.'
"The Master answered: 'As the illusory objects (body etc.) exist so the knowledge, but the illusory objects (body etc.) are unreal. Then what is the basis for knowledge, O King?'
"The King replied: 'Tell me first, O Master, how the body which enjoys all karma, which performs through organs, (hands etc.) can be unreal?'
"The Master answered: 'This body, arising through karma, cannot be the cause, therefore, neither the effect of intelligence, as it is itself illusory or nonexistent. The Egoism and all other illusory objects which arise through the delusion of knowledge are not real. Therefore, all the objects which are not of the nature of cause and effect, are not real, any more than the mistaken conception of the snake in the rope.'
"The King said: 'All are the creation of Brahma, who was alone in the beginning of the Universe. How, then, can you say that Brahma is not the cause of it?'
"The Master answered: 'Prior to the creation, the Parabrahma (Universal soul) alone shone as Truth, which is nondual and quiescent. He alone is without a second, then how can the Brahma be the cause?'
"The King asked: 'Is not Parabrahma (the Universal Soul) the cause?'
"The Master replied: 'Parabrahma (Universal Soul) is the emancipation, the imperishable, birthless, deathless, without beginning and without end. The non-dual and unspeakable can not be reached by thought. How can Parabrahma (Universal Soul) be the cause which is above the reach, of the mind and thought? How can one be an actor and an audience? As it would be impossible, it must follow that this Universe is not created by any one, nor is self-created. The Supreme Will of the Absolute Consciousness is the Brahma (God), nothing else is the one true Wisdom. All the objects created out of that Wisdom can be said to be none other, than the form of that Wisdom.
"'All is Brahma itself. Realize the one Reality, which will destroy ignorance, never to rise again. There is no other path through which to destroy the delusion of karma, which will surely vanish when ignorance and illusion are destroyed. The Brahmic (Godly) state will be attained, then the mind through all-pervading Wisdom will merge into Paramatma (God), and will never be evolved into new creations by thoughts. That which is called Brahma, through the Atmic Tattva (highest pure wisdom of the self), is none other than the latent aspect of the Universe.'
"The King replied: 'All that you have taught me is very reasonable. As before creation there was no Creator; so there is really no Universe, there are no objects; illusory things do not really exist according to your clear teaching. I understand the reality of myself and recognize that external objects do not really exist. I have worshipped myself through many substances. Now I realize that all were unreal, through this wise teaching. I have become one without a thought of a second, as one Akasa (Ether) is everywhere.'
"Through the Master's reasoning, the King realized his reality, also, the true discrimination of time and space.
"Mental activity is to understand the Universe, in all its different aspects. They have existed in your mind a long time, but they will depart, leaving only Brahma alone.
"The King was illumined by the Wisdom he attained and was immediately freed from Maya (illusion). He reached the state of Brahma or Brahmic (Divine) state and sank into Samadhi.
"After some hours he awakened from meditation, and the Master asked: 'Are you free from all passion? Have you enjoyed the Brahmic Bliss? Have you enjoyed the Brahmic seat which is fulness of all wealth? Have you attained Atmic Wisdom? Are you freed from all delusion? Have you met that which is worth meeting? Have you seen the Blessed One that is worthy to be seen?'
"The King replied: 'I have now the eternal peace. I have indeed reached the Brahmic state, which is above all. With thy kind help I have reached the Brahmajnan state, the powerful state of Divine Wisdom. O Master, why was I not able to reach this high state before?'
"The Master answered: 'When mind becomes absolutely at rest and one sees all with impartial eyes, with vision turned inward, with all impurities of the mind gone, then it is easy for the Master to help the disciple, as there is no doubt in the mind of the student.'
"'Doubt is the big stone in the road of divine wisdom. The king attained the wealth of wealth, bliss of bliss, which is the divine wisdom, and the highest good.
"'Master,' said the King, 'Are not the Jivanmukta (bodily emancipated) performing actions through their mind?'
"The Master answered: 'The mind is nothing without desire; mind and desires bind one to rebirth. If one knows himself (the divine self), there is no fear of rebirth. Truth sets them free. Those Jivanmukta (bodily emancipated) have realized the reality; therefore, their Minds do not generate impure desires, but generate pure desires. With pure desire, you do not create rebirth. The lower mind, or work done under the influence of the lower mind produce cause but the higher mind or work done under the influence of the higher mind does not produce any cause.'
"So the King gave up the idea of doing good for reward, but sought to do good for the sake of good. Give up the idea of going to heaven, then you will shine like the Light of Lights that is in all, and is everywhere,—which really you are. Let the lower mind go, that has a hankering to go from place to place, from earth to sky, and from sky to earth.
"With the control of the lower mind, the rebirth is also controlled,—becomes peaceful, immovable, then you become one with pure Wisdom (motion and non-motion).'
"'O, Master', said the King. 'How am I to attain that state where motion and non-motion is one?'
"The Master replied: 'As the ocean is rippled by the waves, but is still one, so all the Universe is non-dual, is Absolute Consciousness, compelling, drawing intelligence unto itself. The ignorant will not understand the difference, how the Truth and Brahma is the Universe itself,—motion in itself,—this Universe Created by itself. If you realize this outwardly, then the blessed state is yours. This merely reverses the appearance, seen as the real cause, as the rope in the dark appears as a snake.
"'By following pure wisdom, and association with the wise., then the spiritual vision will develop; then only can you truly realize as I have explained to you—this creation and the destruction of the Universe.
"'If you practise according to your will, do your duty conscientiously, then you will not fail to attain the Brahmic state. Does not that do away with all the differences that arise from delusion and ignorance?'
"The Master disappeared, and the King thought to himself,—how can I understand that I am All Peace, All Rest, All Bliss, and Absolute Truth? The King sank into Samadhi, which is above all pain, misery and the Universe. It is True Peace, and True Silence. The Master resumed the tender form of the Queen, and went through the sky by levitation to her chamber in the palace. There she again graciously ruled over her people three years.
"With her higher mind and power she changed her feminine body for a masculine form, and again visited the King, as she was teaching her King in the form of a Master.
"When she reached the forest where the King was, she found him in a seedless Samadhi. To acquaint him of her arrival she caused the forest to re-echo with her voice. This did not disturb the King, as he was not awakened from the seedless Samadhi. Though she shook him vigorously, he evinced no evidence of her presence.
"'This is truly wonderous', said the Queen, 'he has merged into the seat of Brahma, I will concentrate on his finer body. If I find any residue of truth typifying the seed of intelligence in his heart, I will join my King and live with him joyfully; otherwise, I shall have to give up my feminine form, and myself obtain the Brahmic State, then I will be free from re-birth.'
"The Queen concentrated on the finer form of the King, and found there was still a residue of good qualities in the heart of the King."
Ram asked: "When one's mind has control, and has merged into the inner vision, how can there still be a residue of good or bad qualities in the heart?"
Rishi Vashisht answered: "Like the tree, the branches, flowers, and fruit are all contained in the seed, so the cause of intelligence, like Satwa, always rests in the heart. The Jivanmukta (bodily emancipated) who has controlled his mind, does not die and is nut affected by diseases or pains,—he is living in the world, but above the world, like the Lotus flower that lives in the water, but does not get wet. Even in the heart of the Jivanmukta, the cause of the intelligence, latent in the heart, is like the tree that is in the seed.
"O Ram, the Great Yogin Queen gave up the grosser body of the Master and merged into the finer form of the King, that is, higher consciousness,—without beginning or end. She caused it to vibrate and return to her body, as a bird to its cage. Again in the Master form, she chanted the Divine Song, which brought the King to consciousness, as the rays of the Sun make the Lotus flower bloom.
"The King saw his dear Guru (Spiritual Teacher) sitting before him. With great joy he praised the Master (Queen).
"The Master said: 'From the day I parted from you my mind did not find blessed peace. Even in the Higher Heavens, there is no joy for me, except with you.'
"The King replied: 'Blessed, Holy God, I have obtained this blessed state by Thy favor, and am freed from all pain and misery. Even the Higher Heavens did not give me the blessed joy that I have from the seedless Samadhi (trance-like meditation). Now I am Master of ail. Blessed Peace is mine. I can roam freely in Heaven and on earth.'
"The Master asked: 'Have you tasted the Brahmic Bliss,—God—like joy, which is above all pleasure and pains? Have you given up all older thoughts from which arise the ideas of, this is mine, and that is thine? Can you hold and equal vision over all? Are you able to do your daily duty without effort, or being affected by it? Are you free from hate and love? Have you realized your all?'
"The King replied: 'Indeed, I have acquired all the spiritual benefits. I have known all that is worth knowing, have seen all that is worth seeing, there is nothing that I long to see or hear.'
"So the Master (Queen) and the King with great respect for one another, enjoyed great bliss and Divine joy, as one in mind and one in everything. They had destroyed delusion of Maya, (illusion), by the pure Wisdom. They were firm like the Himalayan Mountains, not to be shaken by the rustling winds.
"The Queen in the form of the Master, found by the power of Samyam (highest concentration of the Raja Yogi), that the King's mind was pure and free from all illusion. She also thought, if one is filled with wisdom, shouldn't he enjoy the joy that comes without seeking; or how can it be said he or she had true wisdom? She thought she would interrogate the King further. 'There is a festival in the Higher Heavens to-day,' said the Queen, 'I shall be there, I will return tonight.'
"The Queen discarded her heavy male body, and resumed her own beautiful form. She reached her palace by air, and performed her Queenly duties all day. After sunset she again went forth by levitating her body to the forest where the King was. The Queen resumed her disguise of the Master's form, descended before her husband with dejected mien, long and downcast heart.
The King rising said: 'My Perfect One, my Guru, what has affected you,—you are suffering from pain? What is it? May you overcome it as a person of Wisdom. You are not affected by pain or joy, as the water falling on the duck's back, does not affect her.'
"The Master related the following story: 'The true Jnani who visions all with an equal eye, and sees all in all, will never be a true Jnani as long as he does not use his organs, as long as he possesses a body. Otherwise, that person is an imposter. The ignorant are those who do not perform their karma (actions), but try to avoid them. They will suffer as they are trying to separate the oil from the mustard seed, which is inseparable. As long as the body exists, pains and pleasures remain. They who try to do away with affections and so forth, are like a man who tries to cut air with a sword. Pain and an impure body always go together. The Brahma has the organs of Karmaendriya (organs of action), and the Jnanendriya (organs of sense), and follows the path which is forever followed by the ignorant and wise, which has moved the concourse with Universal Law.
"'The Wise daily do their duty, as long as they stay in their bodies. They are not affected by performing actions, but the ignorant mind is never at peace, is ever moving and affected by pain and pleasure.
"'The Cause of my pain—it is not pain when told to those we love. This morning I went to the Higher Heavens for the meeting. I went there by air. After the meeting, when coming through the sky to this place, I saw before me the Rishi Divwasa coming through the clouds. I said to him, Thou art ill clad; and I acted like a silly woman whereupon the Rishi cursed me. He said, 'You are acting like a woman, so your form will change to female from now on, every night.' Hearing this I begged for pardon, but the Rishi disappeared. This is the cause of my distress. I have to change to woman's form every night. I am ashamed.'
"'Do not grieve,' said the King, 'changing your form will not change you from wise to ignorant, only the unwise can be so affected by pain.'
"'The sun is setting,' the Master (Queen) said to the King, 'and the change in me is taking place.'
"The King said: 'you are wise, and you know the true path, so you shall not be affected by the change.' So they retired for the night.
"At dawn the Queen was again the Master; so she was a man by day, and by night a woman.
"'O King, how long, I ask, are we going to live like this? I want to have a husband, but I cannot find one to equal you in the three worlds. You should marry me, without the fear of Heaven or Hell.'
"The King was prepared for her proposal, and made ready for the marriage rites. White silken robes were procured by the power of thought. When the sun set, the marriage ceremony took place. Every other day the King went into Samadhi (deep meditation), then the Queen would go to her Palace, perform her Queenly duties, and return to the forest before the King awakened from his Samadhi. Thus the time passed away.
"The Queen wanted to enquire into her husband's mind, so one day with power of her Yoga, she created a heaven of illusion in the forest, also an illusory God to appear before the King. When the King saw the God and His Heaven, he asked: 'What good karma have I performed to induce you to visit me?' "I am attracted by your love and purity, and I came to take you to the Higher Heavens. It is fitting for you to leave. The Divine Maidens will wait upon thee, and will always be at your command. O King, you will live there as long as you wish. This place is not good enough for you to live in; Heaven is the place for you, and you will not want to leave it. For that reason I came to take thee."
"The King with a gesture of gentle remonstrance, replied, 'I have known all the pleasure of Heaven. One locality is the same as another to me. Wherever I am, there is my Heaven and Bliss. Be pleased to return to your throne. I have no desire to go with you.' Hearing this, the Indra (God) disappeared. The Queen felt that the King had attained Master control.
"The Queen decided to try the King further. It chanced that the King was sitting at the Holy Ganges watching the Moon rise. The Queen, with power of thought, created a lover and embraced him. When the King came out of his trance and found his wife in the company of another man, he returned to the river at once, without disturbing his peace of mind. When the Queen went to the King, with embarrassment, she appeared before her husband, ashamed. Without evincing the least sign of anger, he said tenderly: 'Why did you, my dear, leave your lover so soon?—If you wish you may go back to him and gratify your passion.' Thus spoke the king without anger.
"'It is the duty,' said the Queen, 'of a good husband to overlook the faults of his wife, who is ignorant and carried away by her emotions; and I am trusting that you will forgive me.'
"The King replied: 'The sun may rise in the West, but never will anger arise in me. A house may be built in the air, but anger will never arise in me. I have controlled both love and hate.'
"The Queen understood that her husband was really a Master, and had attained the pure Wisdom of Divine Peace.
"'The time has now arrived for me to show myself in my true colors, and let him see me as I really am.' She assumed her Queenly body and appeared before him. The King beheld his Queen, whom he had left at his Kingdom twenty years ago. He could not believe his eyes.
"'How is this. Am I beholding my Queen? Who are you, please speak?'
"The Queen replied: 'Yes, I am your wife, with whom you have lived for nearly one hundred years. You left me at the Palace when you retired to the forest.'
"'So dearest, it was you who came in the guise of Master Kunbhamuni to save me?'
"'It was I who took the form of Master; it was I who gave you Divine Wisdom; it was I who took the Madanika (another woman's form); it was I who tested your Wisdom. Now go into Samadhi; then you will understand all that has been happening,' said the Queen.
"The King went into Samadhi, the Brahmic or Universal consciousness. In that state he saw all the events and remembered them from the time he vacated his kingdom, to the time of his appearing to his Queen Chundalai in her feminine body. When he came out of his Samadhi, he was blessed with divine peace and joy. With joy he looked upon his wife who was standing before him. He embraced her, who was the embodiment of pure love and grace.
"The King could not find words with which to thank his wife. Later he began to speak: 'Through your great Wisdom you have saved me, who was crying in the darkness from ignorance. Who is there in the Universe to equal thee? You are the Blessed Light, dispelling the fear of the ignorant. How can I repay thee for all that you have done for me? You are on equality with the Divine Mother 108:
"'I saw you in despair,' lovingly replied the Queen. 'Your self-imposed penances were destroying your body. That kind of penance is used only by the ignorant. I came to save and lift you from worldly pain. Do not praise me. I but did my duty. Tell me, dear husband, are you free from the world's troubles? Have you reached the divine state which will not be affected by action or thought?'
"'All doubt and desire have vanished from my mind,' said the King. 'I shall never fall through the senses. I have become like Askasa (Ether). I am above pain or pleasure. I have attained the highest Samadhi. There is no joy like the joy of Samadhi. I have reached the highest state; I am the Sun of the Suns; I am the Light of the Lights; I am pure Wisdom; I am the Absolute Consciousness. I realize my Reality, which is none other than THAT (God). My wife, you are my Spiritual Teacher. I worship Thee.'
"'What do you intend to do next,' questioned the Queen?
"'From now on,' answered the King, 'according to thy dictates, I shall perform my duties. I will live in the world, but not of it, like the
Lotus flowers which grow in the lake but never get wet.'
"'If Thou art willing to do as I say, then let us go back and reign over our Kingdom, as Jivanmuktas (bodily emancipated).'
"'I will do as you say,' replied her husband.
"The Queen then created an elephant. It was decorated with rubies and other gems. They both mounted the elephant's back, and when they came near the town, with the power of her mind she created an army to escort them into the city. They were received by their people.
"The King and Queen were enthroned, and ruled wisely and well ten thousand years, and then they gave up the bodies and attained emancipation of the Soul.
"O Ram, do you daily karma. Pure wisdom will develop in you. You will reach the Blessed state Which the King and Queen have attained,—Liberation."
Thus spoke the great Rishi Vashisht of Wisdom, to Ram.
MAHABHARATA xii. 293 ff.
"When old and grey, when strength decays,
By foes when crushed, in evil days,
From fortune's heights when downward hurled—
Yes, then let men renounce the world;
But not in days of youth and health,
When crowned with glory, blest with wealth.
Those scripture texts which praise as best
A life ascetic, lone, unblest,
Dragged sadly on in gloomy woods,
And dreary, doleful solitudes,
Are fictions hatched in squalid schools
By needy unbelieving fools,
Which look like truth, but proved, are found
To rest on no substantial ground.
"To savage beasts it is not given
By forest life to merit heaven;
Yet this same life, by hermits led,
Their future bliss ensures, ‘tis said!
"When men no pleasure feel, nor pain,
A state of stupid torpor gain.
They then have reached perfection, rise
To heaven, so say the would-be wise.
But should not trees,—if this be true,—
And boulders, gain perfection too?
For they are calm and torpid, feel
Nor pain nor pleasure, woe nor weal;
They dread no want, they seek no ease,
Like self-tormenting devotees.
"Abandon, then, thy vain design;
By kingly virtues seek to shine.
See how by acts all mortals strive
Their ends to gain, through effort thrive,
Inaction ne’er perfection brings;
From strenuous deeds alone it springs."
Translation by J. Muir. For more, readers should look in the Metrical Translation from Sanskrit writers.
Suggestions for Further Reading
- Title Page and Front Matter
- Sri Ram, the Truth Seeker
- How the Wise Ought to Live
- How Suka Attained Highest State of Bliss
- The Way to Blessed Liberation
- Creation of the Universe
- Queen Chundalai, The Great Yogin
- The Great Egoist—Bali'
- King Janak
- How Suragho, the King of Hunters, attained realization of self'
- The Long-Lived Yogi and the Secret of His Longevity
- The Goal of the Yogi and Levitation'
- How to Live
- India's message to other Countries
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