Chapter 11 — Subjection of the Mind

Vasishta related:—

Thinking this way, Janaka rose up to perform his daily rites as usual and without any sense of his agency. He did his duty in the way as the sun rises every day to bring the morning: without his consciousness of it. He discharged his duties as they presented themselves to him and without any concern or expectation of their rewards. He did them awake as if he were sleeping.

Having discharged his duties of the day and honored the gods and the priests, he passed the night absorbed in meditation. His mind being set at ease and his wandering thoughts repressed from their objects, he pondered in his mind in the dead of night.

Janaka thought:—

O my mind that is wandering all about with the revolving world, know that your restlessness is not agreeable to the peace of my soul. Therefore rest quietly from your wanderings abroad. It is your business to imagine many things at your pleasure because you think you have a world of thoughts present before you every moment. You shoot forth in innumerable sorrows by the desire of endless enjoyments, like a tree shoots out into a hundred branches from being watered at the roots. Our births and lives and worldly affairs are all productions of our yearning thoughts. Therefore I pray that you, O my mind, rest quietly by abandoning your earthly desires.

O my friendly mind, weigh well this transient world in your thoughts. Should you find anything of substance in it, depend upon it. 10 Forsake your fond reliance on these visible phenomena. Leave these things and wander about at your free will without caring for anything. 11 Whether this unreal scene appears or disappears from your sight, in either case you should not suffer by being affected by it. 12 You can have no concern with visible objects. What concern can one have with any earthly thing that is nonexistent of itself, like an unsubstantial shadow?

13 The world is an unreality like yourself. Therefore there can be no true relation between two unrealities. It is only a dispute over words to maintain the relation of two negatives to one another. 14 Even if we assume that you are a reality and the world is unreal, still there can be no agreement between you, as there is none between the living and the dead, or between positive and negative ideas. 15 Should both mind and world be realities and co-exist for ever, then there can be no reason for the joy or sorrow of the one at the gain or loss of the other.

16 Therefore avoid the great malady of worldliness and enjoy the silent joy in yourself, like one sitting in the undisturbed depth of the ocean with the rolling tide and waves above his head. 17 Do not be consumed by the fiery remorse of worldliness, like a puppet by fireworks. Do not be burnt down to the darkness of despair in this gloomy scene of the world.

18 O wicked mind, there is nothing here so good and great that you can attain your high perfection through it — except to forsake all mental fluctuations and depend with full resignation on the unchangeable One.