1 Vasishta said:—
No man knows sorrow as long as he is in possession of his pleasant home, family and wealth. But knowing them to be a short-lived enchantment and accompaniment, why should he be sorrowful when they disappear? 2 What pleasure or pain can one derive either from the grandeur or destruction of his castle in the sky? What cause for joy can he have in his ignorant children, or of sorrow upon their death? 3 What joy is there in the increase of our wealth or family, seeing them as the increasing mirage of water which can never satisfy the thirsty. 4 There is increase of care with the increase of wealth and family. There is no happiness in the increase of worldly possessions and affections.
5 The abundance of carnal enjoyments which are delightful to the ignorant sensualist is quite distasteful and disgusting to the abstentious, wise and learned. 6 The wise seek their lasting welfare. What joy do the wise have in the possession of temporary wealth and family to which they are quite indifferent?
7 Therefore, O Rama, be truly wise in your conduct in this world. Shun the transient as they are transitory and lay hold of whatever offers itself to you. 8 Renunciation of what is not had and enjoyment of what one has are the true characteristics of the wise and learned. 9 Take care of this bewildering world where your enemies lurk in many deceitful shapes. Conduct yourself as a wise man evading the dangers that wait upon the unwise. 10 They are great fools who do not look deeply into things and who think the world is without any fraud or guile. 11 Fools are led by the deceitful speech of cheats to fall into the temptations of the world. Men of right understanding place no reliance in them, nor do they plunge themselves into the pit of errors.
12 He who knows the unrealities and who places no reliance in anything is said to have mastered all knowledge and is never liable to error. 13 He who knows himself to be as frail as anything in this frail world, who has his faith in neither, is never liable to fall into the error of taking either of them for real. 14 Placed between the unreality and reality of this and the next life, you must have the good sense to stick to the Truth and neither wholly reject nor stick to this or the next. 15 Though engaged in business, yet O Rama, you must remain quite indifferent to all things because the indifferent without desires are truly happy in this world.
16 He who has nothing to desire or leave, but lives as he is obliged to live, has his intellect unstained like the lotus leaf to which dripping waters never stick. 17 Let your accessory organs manage your outward affairs or not, but keep your impassive soul quite unconcerned with all. 18 Do not let your mind be plunged and deeply engaged with the objects of sense by vainly thinking they are your properties and possessions, but manage them or not with utter detachment of your mind.
19 Rama, when you come to feel that the objects of the senses have ceased to give any relish to your soul, then you shall know that you have reached the acme of your spiritual knowledge and passed over the boisterous sea of the world. 20 The embodied or disembodied soul, whether living or dead, that has ceased to have any taste for sensuous enjoyments has attained its liberation without its wishing for it.
21 Rama, try by your superior intelligence to separate your mind from its desires, just like they extract perfume from flowers. 22 They who have not been swept away by the waves of their desires into the middle of this world ocean are said to have got over it; but others are no doubt drowned and lost in it. 23 Sharpen your understanding like the edge of a razor, use it to erase the weeds of doubt, and after scanning the nature of the soul, enter into your spiritual state of blessedness.
24 Move about as those who have attained true knowledge and who have elevated their minds with true wisdom. Do not act as the ignorant worldling who is mindful of the present state and unmindful of the future. 25 In conducting yourself in this world, you should imitate those who are liberated in their lifetime who are great in their souls and understandings, and who are ever satisfied with themselves. Do not follow the examples of the greedy and wicked.
26 Those who have knowledge of both worlds neither slight nor adhere to the customs of their country, but follow them like other people during their lifetime. 27 Great men knowing the truth are never proud of their power or good qualities, nor of their honor or prosperity like vulgar people. 28 Great men are not depressed by adversity or elated by prosperity, but remain fixed like the sun in the sky without anything to support it. 29 Great minds, like warriors, ride in the chariots of their bodies, clad in the armor of their knowledge. They have no desire of their own but conduct themselves according to the course of the time.
30 You too Rama have gained your extensive learning in philosophy. It is by virtue of your prudence that you can manage yourself with ease. 31 Suppress the sight of what can be seen and avoid your pride and enmity. Then roam wherever you will and you will meet with success. 32 Be sedate in all circumstances, unattached to the present and wishing to know all other things in future. Have the calm composure of your mind, and go where you will.
33 Valmiki said:—
Being advised in this manner by the pure doctrines of the sage, Rama’s face brightened. Full within himself with the ambrosia of his knowledge, he shone forth like the ambrosial moon with her cooling beams.