Chapter 62 — Vasishta Exhorts Rama How to Conduct Himself

Vasishta speaking:—

The diligent and rational inquirer after truth has a natural tendency to rely on the company of the wise and the well matured guru, and discusses matters of the scriptures by the rules of the scriptures he has learned before, and not talk randomly. In this way, by discussing the abstract science of yoga with the good and great and un-avaricious learned, he can attain true wisdom.

The man who is so acquainted with the true sense of the scriptures and qualified by his habit of dispassion in the society of holy men shines as the model of intelligence, like yourself. Your liberal mindedness and self-reliance, combined with your cool headedness and all other virtues, have set you above the reach of misery and all mental affliction, and also has freed you from future reincarnation by your attainment of liberation in this life. Truly have you become like the autumn sky cleared of its gloomy clouds. You are freed from worldly cares and you are filled with the best and highest wisdom.

He is truly liberated whose mind is freed from the fluctuations of its thoughts and from the flights and fumes of its thickening fancies and ever crowding particulars. Henceforward all men on earth will try to imitate the noble disposition of the equanimity of your mind, which is devoid of its passions of love and hatred, as also of affection and enmity.

Those who conform to the customs of their country and conduct themselves in the ordinary course of men in their outward demeanor, and cherish their inner sentiments in the close recesses of their bosoms, are reckoned as truly wise and are sure to get over the ocean of the world on the floating raft of their wisdom. The meek man who has a spirit of universal toleration like yours is worthy of receiving the light of knowledge and of understanding the significance of what I say.

10 Live as long as you have to live in this frail body of yours and keep your passions and feelings under the sway of your reason. Act according to the rules of society and keep your desires under subjection. 11 Enjoy the perfect peace and tranquility of the righteous and wise, and avoid both the cunning of fox-like deceivers of others and the silly foolishness of children.

12 Men who imitate the purity of manners and conduct of those who are born with the property of goodness also acquire the purity of their lives in process of time. 13 The man who is habituated in the practice of manners and the modes of life of another person is soon changed to that mode of life, though he be of a different nature or of another species of being.

14 The practices of past lives accompany all mankind in their succeeding births as their preordained destiny. Only by our vigorous efforts are we able to avert our fates, like kings using their greater might to overcome a hostile force. 15 Only through patience does one redeem his good sense. Only by patient effort may one advance to a higher birth from his low and mean condition. 16 The good have attained better births in life because of their good understanding. Therefore, O Rama, employ yourself polishing your understanding. 17 A God-fearing man is possessed of every good and exerts his efforts to attain Godliness. Only by manly efforts do men obtain the most precious blessings.

18 Those of the best kind on earth long for their liberation in future, which also requires the exertion of tapas and meditation for its attainment. 19 There is nothing in this earth or below or in the heaven of the celestials above which is unattainable to a concerned man through his self-efforts. 20 It is impossible for you to obtain the object of your desire without the exercise of your patience and dispassion, and through the exertion of your prowess and austerities of celibacy (brahmacharya, a chaste student). Nor is it possible to succeed in anything without the right use of reason. 21 Try to know yourself and do good to all creatures by your courage. Employ your good understanding to drive away all your cares and sorrows. In this way you will be liberated from all pain and sorrow.

22 O Rama who is filled with all admirable qualities and endued with the high power of reason, keep yourself steady in acts of goodness and never may the false cares of this world overtake you in your future life.