Chapter 34 — End of the Story of Dama, Byala & Kata: Bhima, Bhasa & Dridha

Vasishta continued:—

Now, hear me describe what Samvara did after the flight of Dama and his army, and how he remained in his rocky stronghold in the region of hell.

After the complete overthrow of Samvara’s entire army and their downfall from heaven like innumerable raindrops falling from a great cloud, and after dispersing itself and disappearing in autumn, Samvara remained motionless for many years in his strong citadel, numbed by the loss of his forces defeated by the gods. He wondered about the best means of overcoming the gods.

He thought, “The demons Dama and others that I produced by my black arts are all defeated in battle by their foolishness and vanity of pride and ego. Now I will produce some other demons by the power of my charm, and endue them both with the power of reason and acquaintance with spiritual science so that they may know and judge for themselves. These, being acquainted with the true nature of things and devoid of false views, will not be subject to pride or vanity, but will be able to defeat the gods in combat.”

Thinking in this way to himself, the arch-fiend produced a host of good demons by his skill in sorcery. These creatures of his spell filled the space of the sky, like bubbles foam and float on the surface of the sea. They were all knowing and acquainted with what could be known. They were all dispassionate and sinless and solely intent on their allotted duties, with composed minds and good dispositions. They were known under the names of Bhima, Bhasa and Dridha, and by the holiness of their hearts, they looked upon all earthly things as mere straw.

10 These infernal spirits burst out of the ether and sprang up to the upper world, then spread over the face of the sky like a swarm of locusts. They cracked like guns and roared and rolled about like the clouds of the rainy season. 11 They fought with the gods for many cycles of years, yet they were not elated with pride owing to their being under the guidance of reason and judgment.

12 No one could defeat them because they had no desire of having anything and no thought that “this is my own.” They had no identity as a personal existence, such as, “This is me, and that one is another.” 13 They were fearless fighting the gods because they knew that they were as mortal as themselves, and because they lacked any knowledge of any difference between one another. 14 They attacked with a firm conviction that the unsubstantial body is nothing, the intellect is lodged in the pure soul, and that there is nothing which we call “I” or “another.” 15 These demons were devoid of the sense of themselves or their fears. They necessarily had no fear of death. They were employed in their present duties without thoughts of past or future. 16 Their minds were attached to nothing. They slew their enemies without thinking themselves as their slayers. They did their duties and thought themselves as no doers of them. They were utterly free from all desires. 17 They waged war under the sense of doing their duty to their master, while their own nature was entirely free from all passion and affection, always remaining at even tenor.

18 The infernal force under the command of Bhima, Bhasa and Dridha bruised and burned and slew and devoured the celestial phalanx, as men knead and fry and boil rice and afterward eat it up as their food. 19 The celestial army, harassed on all sides by Bhima, Bhasa and Dridha, fled precipitately from the height of heaven, as the Ganges runs down from the Himalayan heights. 20 The defeated legion of the gods then resorted to the god Vishnu, sleeping on the surface of the ocean of milk, just as the clouds of heaven are driven by winds to the tops of mountains.

21 The god Vishnu, lying as Narayana folded in the coils of the serpent like a consort in the arms of his mistress, gave the gods their hope of future final success. 22 The gods hid themselves in that ocean, until it pleased Lord Vishnu to proceed out to destroy the demons.

23 Then there was a dreadful war between Vishnu and Samvara which broke and bore away the mountains as in an untimely great deluge of the earth. 24 The mighty demon, finally overthrown by the might of Narayana, was sent to and settled in the city of Vishnu after his death. 25 The demons Bhima, Bhasa and Dridha were also killed in their unequal struggle with Vishnu and were extinguished like lamps by the wind. 26 They became extinct like flames of fire, and it was not known where their vital flame fled. It is the desire of a person that leads him to another state, but these having no wish in them had no other place to go. 27 Hence the soul without wish is liberated, but not the mind full of yearning desires.

Therefore, O Rama, use your reason to have a mind and soul without wishes. 28 A full investigation into truth will immediately put down your desires, and the extinction of desires will restore your mind to rest like an extinguished candle. 29 Complete wisdom consists in the knowledge of there being nothing real in this world, that our knowledge of reality is utterly false, and that nothingness is the true reality.

30 The whole world is full with the spirit of God, whatever otherwise one may think of it at anytime. There can be no other thought of it except that it is a nothingness, and this forms our perfect knowledge of it. 31 The two significant words “will” and “mind” are mere insignificant fictions, like the head and trunk of the ascending and descending nodes of a planet which, upon their right understanding, are lost in the Supreme Spirit.

32 The mind accompanied by its desires is confined in this world, but when the mind is released from desires it is said to have its liberation. 33 The mind gains its existence in the belief of men because of the many ideas of pots and pictures and other things that are imprinted in it. But when these thoughts are repressed, the mind also vanishes of itself, like the phantoms of yaksha demons. 34 The demons Dama, Byala and Kata were destroyed because they relied on their minds, but Bhima, Bhasa and Dridha were saved by their belief in the Supreme Soul as pervading all things. Therefore, O Rama, reject the examples of the former and imitate those of the latter.

35 “Be not guided by the example of Dama, Byala and Kata,” is the lesson that was first delivered to me by Brahma the lotus-born and my progenitor himself. 36 This lesson I repeat to you, O Rama, as my intelligent pupil, that you may never follow the example of the wicked demons Dama and others, but imitate the conduct of the good spirits Bhima and others in your conduct.

37 It is constant pain and pleasure that forms the fearful feature of this world. There is no other way of evading all its pangs and pains except by your apathetic behavior, which must be your crowning glory in this life.