Chapter 35 — Prahlada in Praise of Self Realization

Prahlada continued:—

Om is the proper form of the One devoid of all modifications. That Om is this all that is contained in this world. It is intelligence devoid of flesh, fat, blood and bones. It abides in all things and is the enlightener of the sun and all other luminous bodies. It warms the fire and moistens the water. It gives sensation to the senses and enjoys all things in the manner of a king. It rests without sitting. It goes without walking. It is active in its inactivity. It acts all without coming in contact with anything.

It is the past and gone, and also the present and even now. It is both the next moment and remote future also. It is all that is fit and proper, and likewise whatever is unfit and improper. Undaunted, it produces all productions and spreads the worlds over one another. It continues to turn the worlds around, from the sphere of Brahma to the lower grounds of grass. Though unmoving and immutable, yet it is as fleeting and changeable as the flying winds. It is inert as the solid rock and more transparent than the subtle ether.

It moves the minds of men like winds shaking the leaves of trees. It directs the organs of sense like a charioteer manages his horses. Consciousness sits as the lord of this bodily house, carried about like a chariot by the equestrians of the senses. Sitting at its own ease as sole monarch, it enjoys the fruitions of the bodily actions.

10 It is to be diligently sought after and meditated upon and praised at all times, because only this way can one have his salvation from the pains of his age and death and the evils of ignorance. 11 It is easily to be found and as easy to be known as a friend. It dwells like the humble bee in the recess of everyone’s lotus-like heart. 12 Uncalled and not invoked, it appears of itself from within the body. At a slight call it appears manifest to view.

13 Constant service and attendance on this all-opulent Lord never make him proud or haughty, as they do any other rich master by his humble attendants. 14 This Lord is as closely situated in everybody as fragrance and fluidity are inherent in flowers and sesame seeds, and as flavor is inseparably connected with liquid substances.

15 Our lack of reason makes us ignorant of Consciousness that is situated in ourselves. Our reasoning power serves to manifest it to our sight as our most intimate friend. 16 As we come to know by our reasoning that this Supreme Lord situated in us, we come to feel an indescribable delight like the sight of a beloved and loving friend. 17 As this dearest friend appears to view, his benign influence shedding full bliss about us, we come to see such glorious prospects as to immediately forget all our earthly enjoyments. 18 All a person’s chains are broken and fall off, and all his enemies are put to an end whose mind is not perforated by his cravings, like houses dug by injurious mice.

19 When this One in all is seen in us, the whole world is seen in Him. He being heard, everything is heard in Him. He being felt, all things are felt in Him. He being present, the whole world is present before us. 20 He wakes over the sleeping world and destroys the darkness of the ignorant. He removes the dangers of the distressed and bestows His blessings upon the holy. 21 He moves about as the living soul of all, and rejoices as the animal soul in all objects of enjoyment. It is He who glows in all visible objects in their various colors. 22 He sees himself in himself. He is quietly situated in all things, like pungency resides in peppers, sweetness in sugar, and the like.

23 He is situated as intelligence and sensations in the inner and outward parts of living beings. He forms the essence and existence of all objects in the entire universe. 24 He forms the emptiness of the sky and the velocity of the winds. He is the light of fiery bodies and the moisture of aqueous substances. 25 He is the firmness of the earth and the warmth of fire. He is the coldness of the moon and the entity of everything in the world. 26 He is blackness in inky substances and coldness in the particles of snow. As fragrance resides in flowers, so he resides in all bodies.

27 His essence fills all space just as the essence of time fills all duration. His omnipotence is the fountain of all forces, just as His omnipresence supports everything everywhere. 28 As the Lord unfolds everything to light by the external organ of sight and the internal organ of thinking, so the great God enlightens gods by his own light.

29 I am that I am, without attributes in me. I am like the clear air, not stained by particles of flying dust. I am like lotus leaves untouched by their supporting and surrounding waters. 30 As a rolling stone gathers no moss, so there is nothing that touches or bears any relation to my airy mind. The pain and pleasure which affect the body cannot affect my form of the inner soul.

31 The soul, like a gourd fruit, is not injured by showers of rain falling on the outer body which resembles its hard crust. Consciousness, like lamp flame, is not to be held fast by a rope. 32 So this ego of mine which transcends everything is not to be tied down by anything to the earth, nor does it bear any relation to the objects of sense or my mental desires, or anything existing or not in existence in this world.

33 Who has the power to grasp emptiness or confine the mind? You may cut the body into a thousand pieces, but you cannot divide the invisible and the indivisible empty Spirit rising in me. 34 A pot may be broken or bored or removed from its place, but there is no loss sustained by the air that it contains. In the same way, the body may be destroyed, but there is no damage done to the unconnected soul. The mind is as false a name as that of a demon pisacha. 35 The destruction of the gross body does not injure the immaterial soul.

What is the mind but the perceptive power of my desires and gross pleasures and pains? 36 I had such a perceiving mind before, but now I have found my rest in quiescence. I find the mind is another thing beside myself because it perceives and partakes of the enjoyments of life and is exposed to the dangers that take the body. 37 There is another one in me which beholds the actions of the other as a theatric act and witnesses the exposure of the body to peril as its last sad catastrophe. 38 The mind is the wicked spirit caught in ignorance, but the pure spirit has nothing to suffer.

I feel neither the wish to continue worldly enjoyments nor a desire to forsake them altogether. 39 Let what may come to pass on me, and whatever may happen to pass away from me. I have neither the expectation of pleasures nor an aversion to suffering pain. 40 Let pleasure or pain take or forsake me as it may without my being concerned or taking heed of either because I know fluctuating desires are constantly rising and setting in the sphere of my mind. 41 Let these desires depart from me for I have nothing to do with them, nor have they any concern with me. Alas! How all this time ignorance, my greatest enemy, has misled me to these desires!

42 It is by favor of Vishnu and by virtue of my pure Vaishnava faith rising in me of itself that my ignorance is now wholly dispelled from me and the knowledge of the True One is revealed to me. 43 My knowledge of truth has now driven away egoism from my mind, just as they drive a spirit from its hiding place in the hollow of a tree. 44 I am now purified by admonition (mantra) of divine knowledge. The tree of my body is now set free from egoism which sat like a demon yaksha in it. 45 My body has become like a sacred tree, blooming with heavenly flowers and freed from the evils of ignorance, poverty and vain wishes which previously infested it. 46 Loaded with the treasure of sacred knowledge, I find myself sitting here as one supremely rich. Knowing all that is to be known, I see sights that are invisible to others.

47 Now I have that in which nothing can be wanting and in which there is no want. It is by my good fortune that I am freed from all evils and the venomous serpents of worldly cares. 48 My chill and frigid ignorance is melted down by the light of knowledge. The hot mirage of my desires is now quenched and cooled by my quietude. I see the clear sky on all sides without any mist or dust. I rest under the cooling shade of the tranquility of my soul.

49 It is by my glorification of God, my thanksgivings to Vishnu, my holy rites, and my divine knowledge and quietism that I have obtained, by grace of my God, a spacious room and elevated position in spirituality. 50 I have that God in my spirit. I have seen and known him in his spiritual form. He is beyond my own ego and I remember him always in this manner.

51 I remember Vishnu as the great Spirit, the eternal Brahman in his nature, while my selfish ego is confined like a snake in the holes of my organic frame, which is wholly the land of death. 52 It is entangled in the bushes of its pricking desires resembling prickly karanja ferns amidst the tumults of raging passions and a thousand other disturbances of this world. 53 It is placed amidst the conflagration of disasters, encircled by the flames of smart pain at all times. It is subject to continual ups and downs of fortune, and repeated risings and fallings in its journey in this world. 54 It has its repeated births and deaths owing to its interminable desires. Thus I am always deceived by this great enemy, my own egoism.

55 The animal soul is powerless at night, as if caught in the clutches of a demon in the forest. So while I am in this state of meditation, I feel deprived of its power and action. 56 By grace of Vishnu the light of my understanding is roused. I see my God by means of this light and I lose sight of my demonic egoism. 57 The sight of demonic egoism dwelling in the cavity of my mind disappears from my view in the same way as the shadow of darkness flies from the light of a lamp, and as the shade of night is dispersed by daylight. 58 After a lighted lamp is extinguished, you do not know where its flame has fled. In the same way, when we see God before us, we do know where our lordly egoism is hidden.

59 My rich egoism flies at the approach of reason, just like a heavily loaded robber flies before the advance of daylight. Our false egoism vanishes like a demon at the rising of the true Ego of God. 60 My egoism being gone, I am set at ease like a tree freed from a poisonous snake rankling in its hollow cavity. When I am awakened to my spiritual light, I am at rest in my unconsciousness in this world.

61 I have escaped from the hand of my captor and gained my permanent ascendency over others. I have my internal equanimity and I have allayed the mirage of my thirst after vain glory. 62 I have bathed in the cold bath of rainwater and I am pacified like a rock after the cooling of its conflagration. I am cleansed of my egoism by my knowledge of the true meaning of the term.

63 What is ignorance and what are our pains and affliction? What are our evil desires and what are our diseases and dangers? All these with the ideas of heaven and liberation, together with the hope of heaven and the fear of hell, are only false conceptions proceeding from our egoism or selfishness. 64 As a picture is drawn on a canvas and not in empty air, so our thoughts depend upon our selfish principle and its want. As clear linen receives the yellow color of saffron, so the pure soul receives the image of God. Egoism weakens the soul with the irritable passions of the heart, like the inborn color of a dirty cloth makes a good dye defective. 65 Purity of the inner soul is like the clarity of the autumn sky. It is devoid of the cloudiness of egoism and the drizzling drops of desires.

66 I bow down to you, O my innermost soul inmost that is a stream of bliss to me, with pure clear waters amidst and without the dirt of egoism about you. 67 I hail you, O my soul that is an ocean of joy to me, not infested by the sharks of sensual desires and undisturbed by the undersea fire of the latent mind. 68 I prostrate myself before you, O my living soul that is a mountain of delight to me, without the hovering clouds of egoistic passions or the wild fires of gross desires and desires. 69 I bow to you, O soul in me that is the heavenly Lake Manasa to me, with blooming lotuses of delight and without the waves of cares and anxieties.

70 I greet you, my internal spirit floating in the shape of a swan on the lake of the mind of every individual, and residing in the cavity of the lotus crown chakra (brahmarandhra) with your outstretched wings of consciousness and standing. 71 All hail to you, O full and perfect spirit that is the undivided and immortal soul which in your several parts of the mind and senses is like the full moon containing all its digits in its entire self.

72 Obeisance to the sun of my consciousness is always in its ascendency and dispels the darkness of my heart. My consciousness pervades everywhere, yet it is invisible or dimly seen by us. 73 I bow to my intellectual light which is an oil-less and wick-less lamp of benign brightness that burns in full blaze within me. It is the enlightener of nature and quite still in its nature.

74 Whenever my mind is heated by Kama Deva’s fire, I cool it by the coolness of my cold and detached intellect coolness, just as they temper red hot iron with a cold, hard hammer. 75 I am gaining my victory over all things by killing my egoism by the Great Ego, and by making my senses and mind destroy themselves. 76 I bow to you, O all subduing faith that crushes our ignorant doubt by your wisdom, that dispels unrealities by your knowledge of the reality, and that removes our cravings by your contentedness. 77 I exist solely as the transparent spirit by killing my mind by the great Mind, by removing my egoism by the sole Ego, and by driving the unrealities by the true Reality.

78 I place my body’s reliance only upon the moving principle of my soul, without consciousness of my individual existence, my egoism, or my mind and all its efforts and actions. 79 At last I have obtained, of its own accord and by the infinite grace of the Lord of all, the highest blessing of cold heartedness and detachment in myself. 80 By subsiding the demon of my ignorance and from disappearance of the demon of my egoism, I am now freed from the heat of my feverish passions.

81 My false egoism has fled from the cage of my body by breaking its string of desires to which its feet were fast bound. I do not know where it has fled. 82 I do not know where the bird of my egotism has flown from its nest in the tree of my body, after blowing away its thick ignorance as dust. 83 Ah, where is my egoism fled, with its body smeared with the dust and dirt of worldliness, and battered by the rocks of its desires that can never be satisfied? It is bitten by the deadly serpents of fears and dangers, and pierced in its heart by repeated disappointments and despair. 84 O, wonder to think what I had been all this time when I was bound fast by my egoism in the strong chain of my personality.

85 I think I am a new born being today, and to have become high-minded also, by being removed from the thick cloud of egoism which had shrouded me all this time. 86 I have seen and known and obtained this treasure of my soul, as it is presented to my understanding by the verbal testimonies of the scriptures, and by the light of inspiration in my hour of samadhi meditation. 87 My mind is set at rest and released from the cares of the world, like a fire that is extinguished. It is released from all other thoughts and desires and the error of egoism. I am now set free from my affections and passions and all delights of the world, and also my craving after them.

88 I have passed over the impassable ocean of dangers and difficulties and the intolerable evils of reincarnation by the disappearance of my internal darkness and the sight of the one great God in my consciousness.