8. Yoga Vashisht, King Janak

Shiva and Parvati

by Vashista and Singh Grewal

Chapter 7 | Chapter 9

"We must understand, in the words of Muni-Kacha, that this universe in reality IS NOT, and that it is formed only by the varying intensities of the flow of consciousness. Consciousness may be compared to a powerful revolving light which leaves in darkness, that which it illumined so brightly the instant before. Therefore, when the light of consciousness reveals this universe, the universe seems real. Take away the light and the world loses reality. So it is that from conscious knowledge and Atmic wisdom the universe becomes real to us.

"To the seekers after name, fame and pleasure, the house of the mind is founded on the delusion of birth and death. But the adherents of truth will be free from these delusions, for birth is but death (or cessation of consciousness) to former life, and death is birth (or renewed consciousness) into another period of life.

"All is Brahman and the 'I' is Brahman,—relinquish the idea that the universe is something outside the 'I'. The objects of creation arising from Brahmic wisdom do not really exist, but are as the foamy spray cast up by the ocean. One principle alone Brahman is constant, enduring and eternally IS. Pleasure nor pain, nor the whirlpool of birth and death do not really exist. Brahman alone exists.

"Experience and inference teach the transient nature of fleeting pleasure and pain. Why then dwell upon them? Forget the past and the future and rest in the neutral state of truth, putting aside the duality of love and hate. Look equally upon all, steadfast in the certainty of Atmic wisdom, secure in the stronghold of mind withheld from worldly objects.

"So may you, O lotus-eyed Ram, be the crystal, which mirrors pain but does not suffer it.

"Thus Atmic wisdom will flush the dawn of the final birth. For where shall one seek the lustrous bamboo pearl, but in the bamboo clusters? For in these blessed ones, nobility, love, benevolence and clarity of intellect find residence, and these qualities of Atmic wisdom draw to them the people of the world like the melodious flute brings rapture even to the hearts of kine. "Two paths lead to liberation. On one, the faithful following of the precepts laid down by a Guru shall let delusion fall away, to be replaced with emancipation. Peace shall come either in the immediate birth or in a succeeding birth. The other path is open to one whose mind is already bulwarked by knowledge, and who will, by meditation, cultivate the fertile seed into the full blossom of wisdom.

"Of the second path this story is related: An emperor, fearless, generous and of untold wealth once reigned over this universe. Into his domain never a taint of jealousy or envy entered. This King, Janak by name, and Videha by reputation, whose noble heart embraced the world, was a true protector of his people.

"In the first days of vernal spring King Janak walked in his charming garden among his fragrant flowers. Without its gates the guards were stationed. Strolling about, the King heard the murmuring voices of the Sidhas (they who have attained the One-ness) from the hills. Hear attentively, O Ram, the songs of the Sidhas—they who have withdrawn from the pleasures of the visible.

"Chanted a Sidha…

"'In the union of the Knower and the Known lies the bliss or wisdom. Seek this wisdom, so that the unreal many become the real.'

"Another sang…

"'Desire will destroy the visible. Contemplate Atmic reality—the beacon to the eagle vision of higher spirituality.'

"From the chorus of voices…

"'Having become all-pervading, like he who sits between truth and untruth, meditate always upon Atmic wisdom, the Light of Lights.

"'To seek without for God, is like one who goes in quest of bright bits of glass, unmindful of the jewel blazing his own hand.

"'Atma is attained only by those who have controlled their desires. Those who recklessly entangle themselves in the quick sands of human experience, knowing better, can only be called asses.

"'The hissing serpents of the desirous organs must be slain by the mind; just as the great god Indra levelled the mountains to dust by his thunderbolt.

"The mind, free from delusion which calmly surveys all as one, will attain Atmic Reality—the plenum of complete bliss. This is liberation.

"The sage counsels of the Sidhas, awoke consternation in the mind of King Janak. He left behind his cool scented garden, entered his palace and dismissed his attendants.

"Seeking a quiet apartment on the top floor of his palace, he gave himself to meditation upon the wise utterances of the Sidhas. In contemplation he hoped to discover the true meaning of these blissful counsellors. He thought how the people of the world were like birds forever on the wing, fluttering hither and thither from this bush to that flower, only to drop at last with weariness, and perish. The good King cried out in his anguish of mind.

"'Annoyances beset me. Worries, doubts and circumstances enmesh me in this uncertain world. I spin about like a leaf in a whirlpool. When I reflect that time in its true nature is eternal. I cannot but deem the one hundred years of my life, as a moment in eternity. Why, then, do I value my life so greatly and allow my strong desires to throw me into confusion and dejection? What greater debasement than a mind despoiled of tranquility? That I should consider for a moment this unsettled existence. This world of pain I rule is but an atom among the countless universes. Search as I will, I can find nothing which remains constant and beneficent, even for a fleeting moment. Behold the incongruities of this world. The greatest shall be dust, even as the lowliest. Wealth! Have I fancied riches real? Name and fame! The great men of ancient times and their valorous deeds have vanished. Where, then, is the certainty that the achievements of my time shall persist?

"'The myriad worlds with their rulers and wealth have perished, like sand washed into the sea. Where, O my distraught mind, have these universes gone? So shall this, my world, go the way of eternity. My desires and my illusions have led me to believe in a permanency, which does not exist. My many deaths have taught me nothing. When shall the blessed time come when I shall seek and find THAT, which has no end? About me the objects of the world wear the shrouds of destruction. Every instant of every day, the ignorant walk the paths of perdition their bodies enacting the baneful deeds of pleasure and pain. In youth they are unwise; maturity finds them entangled in the meshes of passion and the burden of the world bows them down in old age.

"'Harassed from birth to death, doing the deeds of desire, how can they find time to pursue virtue and seek the eternal truth? Illusion dances in this world like a will-o-wisp, and my mind dances in unison with illusion—both specters of the Real in this unreal theatre.

"'Untruth is an excrescence upon the Crown of Truth, and pain thrusts its talons into the side of Virtue. Since pain is the accompaniment of pure and impure pleasure alike, how may we discern the difference between them? If between the opening and closing of my eyes many Brahmans are created and destroyed, what is my puny self before them? Great wealth breeds pain in the mind of its owner, but a thing fraught with peril, becomes a source of 'happiness, for a mind which controls it rightly. It is only the worldly life which is the source of pain. Can happiness enter a life submerged in worldliness? The tree of the ignorant mind sprouts from the root of delusion and its branches bear poison fruits.

"'Mind is the thinking principle. By the discipline of thought, the mind itself can easily be controlled. The extinction of delusion controls birth and death. Oh, I know at last the thief who has robbed me of the Atmic jewel of my Self. His name is Mind. Long and grievously I have suffered, I shall impale him with his own bright sword of thought.

"'Until now I have not been able to pierce the pearl of mind. Now I will string this pearl upon the strand of experience, and with it adorn my person. I have listened well to the wise counsels of the omniscient Sidhas. At last I rest in the bliss in which the great Brahman floats. The unrealities of me and thee have dropped away, and I will never permit them to return.

Victory is mine over the mighty adversary of mind, who despoiled me of Atmic wisdom, and pain has ceased its affliction. I have attained the life of sustained peace. Great wisdom has rolled back the ponderous door to freedom; my adoration is thine.'

"Thus did King Janak rest motionless in Samadhi, having controlled the fluctuation and vacillation of his mind. After a long period of Samadhic bliss he looked anew upon his world, his vision cleared of the fog of desire. He reflected that he had no objective for which to strive in this world. His clear sight scrutinized the world for illusion and found pure wisdom.

"'I know nothing,' he rejoiced, 'but my immaculate divine wisdom, the realization of my Self. I shall neither seek nor turn from any object in this world. I shall remain constant in my divine Self. Events will transpire as pre-ordained.' So saying, the King was enveloped in Brahmic bliss.

"As the warm sun in the sky, without volition or desire, causes the growth of seeds in the ground, so King Janak performed the duties, which arise daily without exultation or longing. Giving heed neither to the past nor the future, productive as such cogitation is of discontent,. King Janak met the present serenely, with an undivided heart and mind.

"The Atmic enquiry engendered by the words of the Sidhas, brought quiescence of mind, O Ram, to the ruler of the world, King Janak; for the wisdom of Atma can be attained only by the pure and beautiful Atmic enquiry, and not by following the ways of the worldly. For worldlings long for other goals than Atma, and realization comes only to those who have sought it faithfully. Therefore, O Ram, destroy ignorance, which slinks like a hungry wolf on the desert, that is the world.

"To the wise, the precious jewel of wisdom enthroned in their minds, will bring in a moment whatsoever they wish, like the Kalpa tree which produced any fruit one desired. Love and hate cannot dent the armour of those who dwell in Atmic bliss. The dense mist of egoism screening the Sun of Brahman obscures the intelligence, and will be cleared only by the heavenly wind of divine wisdom. He who aspires to the Supreme Brahmic throne must banish desires from his mind, for is not the ground well-tilled before the planting of the seed?"

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