Chapter 24 — Virochana on Mind Control: Hiring Teachers and Practicing Reason & Detachment; and Realization
1 Bali said, “Sage, tell me plainly. Who is this minister that is so mighty? How can such a mighty being be defeated and brought under subjection?”
2 Virochana replied:—
Though that minister is invincible and stands above all in his great might, yet I will tell you way in which he may be overcome by you or anyone else.
3 Son, if you employ the proper means, it is easy to bring him under subjection. Otherwise, he will have the upper hand over you like a snake’s poison that is not timely repelled by efficacious mantras and incantations. 4 The ministerial mind, if it is brought up like a boy in the right way, leads a man to the presence of the sovereign soul, like royal service advancing the civil servant before his king. 5 The appearance of the master makes the minister disappear from sight, just as the disappearance of the minister brings one to the full view of his king. 6 As long as one does not approach the presence of his king, he cannot fail to serve the minister, and as long as he is employed in service of the minister, he cannot come in sight of his king. 7 The king being kept out of sight, the minister is seen to exercise his might, but the minister kept out of view, the king alone appears in full view.
8 Therefore must we begin with the practice of both these exercises at once, namely, approaching by degrees to the sight of the king, and gradually slighting the authority of the minister. 9 You must use courageous and diligent effort for both these practices in order to arrive at the state of your well being. 10 When you are successful in your practice, you are sure to reach that blissful country. Though you are a prince of the demons, nothing can prevent your entrance to it. 11 That is a place where the blessed live whose desires are at rest and whose doubts are dissipated, and whose hearts are filled with perpetual joy and calmness.
12 Now my son, hear me explain what that place is which I called a country. It is the seat of liberation and where there is an end of all our pains. 13 The king of that place is the soul of divine essence which transcends all other substances. It is the soul that appoints the mind as its wise minister.
14 The mind contains the ideal world in its bosom and exhibits its conscious form to the senses, just as a clay mold for a pot is a model of the pot, and as smoke has the pattern of a cloud in its essence and represents its shadowy forms in the sky. 15 Therefore, when the mind is conquered, everything is subdued and brought under subjection. But without adopting the proper means for its subjugation, the mind is invincible.
16 Bali asked, “Sage, how are we to quell the mind? Tell me plainly so that I may use that method to conquer this invincible barrier to bliss.”
17 Virochana answered:—
The means for subduing the mind are the lack of reliance or confidence in all external and sensible things, and the absence of all desire for temporal possessions.
18 This is the best method to remove the great delusion of this world and to subdue the big elephant of the mind. 19 This method is both very easy and practicable on one hand, as it is arduous and impracticable on the other. A constant habit of thinking so makes it easy, but lacking the habit renders it difficult.
20 A gradual habit of renouncing our fondness for temporal objects shows itself in time in our resignation of the world, just as continuous watering the roots of plants makes them grow into large trees. 21 It is difficult to master anything, even by the most cunning, without proper cultivation over time, just as it is impossible to reap a harvest from an unsown and uncultivated field.
22 All embodied souls are destined to wander about the wilderness of the world as long as their hearts do not surrender their attachments to the objects of sense in nature. 23 Without the habit of apathy, it is impossible to have a distaste for sensible objects, just as it is impossible for an able bodied man to travel abroad by sitting motionless at home. 24 The firm determination to abandon the entanglements of life and a habitual aversion to pleasures and enjoyments make a man advance to purity, just as a plant grows in open air to its full height.
25 There is no good to be derived on earth without the exertion of one’s courage. Man must give up his pleasure and the vexation of his spirit in order to reap the fruit of his actions. 26 People speak of destiny as if it were a power, yet destiny has no shape or form. It means whatever comes to pass, and it is also called our lot or fate. 27 The word destiny is also used by men to describe an accident over which they have no control and to which they submit with passive obedience. 28 They use the word destiny to repress our joy and grief. But destiny, however fixed as fate, is overcome and set aside by means of courageous efforts.
29 As the delusion of a mirage is dispelled by the light of its true nature, so courageous effort upsets destiny by effecting whatever it wishes to bring about. 30 If we want to know what causes the good or bad results of our actions, we must learn that they turn as the mind wishes to mold them to being. 31 Whatever the mind desires and decrees, the same becomes destiny. There is nothing destined in the ordinary sense of the word. 32 It is the mind that does all this. The mind is the employer of destiny. The mind destines the destined acts of destiny.
33 Life, the living soul, is spread out in the hollow sphere of the world like air in vacuum. The psychic fluid circulates through all space. 34 Destiny is no reality, only a label invented to express the property of fixity, as the word rock is used to denote stability. Hence, as long as the mind retains its free will and activity, there is no fixed fate or destiny.
35 After the mind is set at rest, there remains the principle of the living soul (jiva). This is called the embodied spirit (purusha) which is the source of the energies of the body and mind. 36 Whatever the living soul intends to do by means of its spiritual force, the same comes to take place and nothing else. 37 Reliance on this spiritual power will uproot your dependence on bodily food.
There is no hope for spiritual happiness until there is a distaste towards temporal enjoyments. 38 It is hard to attain the dignity of the all conquering self-sufficiency as long as one has the dastardly spirit of his earthly cravings. 39 As long as one is swinging in the cradle of worldly affairs, it is hard to find rest in the covered shelter of peaceful tranquility. 40 It is hard to get rid of your serpentine desires without continued practice of detachment and unconcern with worldly affairs.
41 Bali replied, “Tell me, O lord of demons, how does indifference to worldly enjoyments take deep root in the human heart and produce the fruit of longevity of the embodied spirit on earth?”
42 Virochana replied:—
The sight of the inner spirit produces indifference to worldly things, just as the growth of vines produces grapes in autumn. 43 The sight of the inner spirit produces our internal unconcern with the world, just as the glance of the rising sun infuses its brightness in the cup of the lotus. 44 Therefore sharpen your intellect with the whetstone of right reasoning. See the Supreme Spirit by withdrawing your mind from worldly enjoyments.
45 There are two modes of intellectual enjoyment for those who are imperfect in their knowledge. One consists of book learning. The other is paying attention to the teacher’s lectures. 46 Those who are a little advanced in learning have the double advantage of their mental enjoyment, namely, reflecting on book learning and consultation with wise teachers on practical points. 47 Those who are accomplished in learning also have two parts to their duties, namely, the profession of teaching the scriptures to others and the practice of detachment for themselves.
48 The soul being purified, a man is fit for spiritual learning, as only clean linen is fit to receive every good color. 49 Like a boy on the path of learning, the mind is to be restrained by degrees by means of persuasion and good lectures, and then by teaching scriptures, and lastly by discussion of their doctrines. 50 After its perfection in learning and the dispersion of all difficulties and doubts, the mind shines like a piece of pure crystal and emits its brightness like cooling moonbeams. 51 Then, by its complete knowledge and clear understanding, it sees in both its God, the Spirit, and its body as the seat of its enjoyments on earth. 52 It constantly sees Spirit before it by means of its understanding and reason, which also help it relinquish its desire for worldly objects and enjoyments.
53 The sight of the Spirit eliminates desires, and the absence of desires brings the light of Spirit to sight. Therefore they are related to each other like wick and oil produce lamplight to dispel the night’s darkness. 54 After one loses his taste for worldly enjoyments, and after sight of the Supreme Spirit, the soul finds its perpetual rest in the essence of the Supreme Brahman. 55 The living souls who place their happiness in worldly objects can never taste true joy unless they rely completely on the Supreme Spirit. 56 It may be possible to derive some delight from acts of charity, sacrifices and holy pilgrimage, but none of these can give the everlasting rest of the Spirit.
57 No one feels a distaste for pleasure unless he examines its nature and effects in himself. Nothing can teach the way of seeing the soul unless the soul reflects on itself. 58 My boy, that which requires no effort to attain is of no good whatsoever. There is no true happiness without the surrender of earthly enjoyments.
59 The supreme joy of resting in the state of Brahman cannot be found anywhere in creation, whether in this mundane sphere or anywhere else beyond these spheres. 60 Therefore always expect that your soul will find its rest in the Divine Spirit. Rely on the exertion of your courage and leave aside your dependence on the eventualities of destiny. 61 A wise man detests all worldly enjoyments as if they are the strong bolts locking the door of bliss. It is the settled aversion to earthly pleasures that brings a man to his right reason.
62 As the increasing gloom of rain clouds is followed by the serenity of autumn skies, so clear reasoning comes after detestation of enjoyments that flee with the advance of reason. 63 As seas and the clouds of heaven help one another by lending each other their waters, so right reasoning and apathy to pleasures tend to produce each other by turns. 64 Disbelief in destiny and courageous efforts follow each another, as helping one another follows friendship.
65 You must grit your teeth to create a distaste even for those things you acquired legally according to the customs of your country. 66 First you must acquire your wealth through courageous effort, then get good and clever men in your company by means of your wealth. 67 Association with the wise, by exciting the reasoning power, produces an aversion to the sensual enjoyments of life which in turn produces an increase of knowledge and learning. 68 These lead gradually to the utter renunciation of worldly objects. 69 Then, by means of your reasoning, you attain that supreme state of perfect rest and holiness of your soul. 70 You will no longer fall into the mud of your misconceptions, but as a pure essence, you will no depend upon anything and you will become as the venerable Shiva.
71 Thus the steps to attain perfection are first, the acquisition of wealth according to the custom of the caste and country, then its employment in the service of wise and learned men. Next follows your abandonment of the world, which is succeeded by your attainment of Spiritual Knowledge by the cultivation of your reasoning powers.