1 Vasishta continued:—
Whatever the nature of the object of any man’s desire, his mind does not fail to run after it with great eagerness in every place. 2 This eagerness of the mind rises and sets by turns with the view of the desired object, like clear bubbles of water foaming and bursting of themselves with the breath of winds. 3 As coldness is the nature of frost and blackness is that of ink, so is swiftness or momentum the nature of the mind, as stillness is that of the soul.
4 Rama said, “Tell me sage, why is the mind identified with motion, and what is the cause of its velocity? Tell me also if there is any other force that can impede the mind’s motion?”
5 Vasishta replied:—
We have never seen the motionless quiet of the mind. Speed is the nature of the mind, like heat is that of fire. 6 This vacillating power of motion which is implanted in the mind is known to be of the same nature as that of the self-motive force of the Divine Mind that is the cause of the momentum and motion of those worlds. 7 As the essence of air is imperceptible without its movement, so we can have no notion of the momentum of our minds apart from the idea of their vibration.
8 The mind which has no motion is said to be dead and defunct. The suspension of mental agitation is the condition of yoga stillness and leads to our ultimate liberation.
9 The mortification of the mind is attended with the subsidence of our sorrows, but agitated thoughts in the mind are causes of all our sorrows. 10 The monster of the mind, being roused from its rest, raises all our dangers and disasters, but its falling into rest and inaction causes our happiness and perfect joy. 11 The restlessness of the mind is the effect of its ignorance. Therefore Rama, exert your reason to destroy all its desires. 12 Destroy the internal desires of your mind that are raised by ignorance alone and attain your supreme joy by your resignation to the Divine Will.
13 The mind is a thing that stands between the real and unreal, and between intelligence and dull matter. The mind is moved to and fro by the contending powers on either side. 14 Impelled by dull material force, the mind is lost in the investigation of material objects until at last, by its habitual thought of materiality, it is converted to a material object, resembling dull matter itself. 15 But the mind being guided by its intellectual powers to investigate abstract truths becomes an intelligent and intellectual principle by its continued practice of thinking itself as such.
16 By virtue of the exertion of your manly powers and activities, and by force of constant habit and continued practice, you can succeed in attaining anything to which you employ your mind with diligence. 17 You also can be free from fears and find your rest in your reliance upon the Being without sorrow, provided you exercise your manly activities and use your intelligence to curb the tendencies of your mind. 18 By the force of your intelligent mind, you must lift up your deluded mind that is drowned in the cares of this world. There is no other way. 19 Only the mind is capable of subduing the mind, for who can subdue a king unless he is a king himself?
20 Our minds are the boats to lift us from the ocean of this world where we are carried too far by its beating waves and thrown into the whirlpools of despair, and where we are caught by the sharks of our greediness. 21 Let your own mind cut the mind’s net that is ensnared in this world and extricate your soul by this wise policy, which is the only means of your liberation. 22 Let the wise destroy the desires of their minds and this will set them free from the bonds of ignorance. 23 Shun your desire for earthly enjoyments and forsake your knowledge of dualism. Then get rid of your impressions of entity and non-entity and be happy with the knowledge of one unity.
24 Thought of the unknowable will remove the thoughts of known phenomena. This is equivalent to the destruction of desires, and also of the mind and ignorance. 25 The unknown One of which we are unconscious by our knowledge of phenomena transcends anything and everything known by our consciousness. Our unconsciousness is our nirvana and final extinction, while our consciousness is the cause of our sorrow. 26 By their own attention, men soon come to the knowledge of phenomena, but it is the unknowing or unconsciousness of these that is our nirvana. Our consciousness is the cause of our sorrow.
27 Destroy, O Rama, whatever is desirable to your mind and is the object of your affection. Then knowing them as reduced to nothing, forsake your desires as seedless sprouts and live content without the feelings of joy and grief.