Chapter 42 — God Realization in the Form One Worships God

Vasishta continued:—

The lotus-eyed Vishnu, having said all this to Prahlada, left the abode of the asura with the whole concourse of assembled gods, kinnaras and men. Prahlada and his associates threw handfuls of flowers on the departing god as he was mounted on the back of Garuda, the king of birds.

The god crossed the heavenly Ganges and reached the Milky Ocean, where he took his serpent couch like a black bee sitting on a lotus leaf. The god Vishnu sat on his serpent seat with as much ease as Indra sits in heaven in the assembly of the gods, and as the lord of the demons was made to sit in the infernal region wholly devoid of all his cares.

Rama, now I have told you the whole story of Prahlada coming to his sense from the samadhi state of unconsciousness. This story is as charming to the holy listener as cooling moonbeams are refreshing to a tired traveler. The man who ponders in his mind the manner of Prahlada awakening to life is regenerated in that blissful state from the sinfulness of his former condition. A simple repetition of this story wipes off the sins of men. The deep consideration of its spiritual meaning leads one to his eternal salvation. The ignorant are released from their ignorance, and the deep thinker is released from his sins. Therefore, do not neglect to ponder well on it for the remission of all your sins. The man who considers well the manner of Prahlada attaining liberation gets a remission of all his sins committed in his repeated previous states of life.

10 Rama said, “Tell me sage, how did the sound of the five-note conch shell rouse the mind of devout Prahlada from its immersion in holy meditation?”

11 Vasishta replied:—

Rama, know there are two states of liberation attending sinless persons. One is the emancipation in his embodied state in this life and the other is after his departure from here. 12 Embodied liberation means one continues in his living body, but with a state of mind freed from its attachment to worldly things and liberated from the desire of fruition and reward of all his meritorious acts. 13 Disembodied liberation is obtained after the soul is released from the body and is settled in the Supreme Spirit. It is freedom from the recurrence of future life and birth in this mortal world.

14 The living liberated man is like a fried grain whose germinating power is parched within itself and the desire of whose heart is purified from every expectation of future reward or regeneration. 15 He who resigns himself solely to the meditation of the great soul remains in the pure, holy and magnanimous state of his mind. He continues as if he were asleep in his living and waking states. 16 Being thus entranced in his inner meditation, he continues in a samadhi state for a thousand years and wakes again to his senses if he is allowed to live after that period. 17 Prahlada remained thus with his holy thoughts suppressed within himself until he was roused from his samadhi by the shrill sound of the conch shell.

18 Vishnu is the soul of all beings, and he who assimilates himself to that god in his thought becomes identified with the Supreme Soul, which is the cause of all. 19 No sooner the god thought that Prahlada should come to his sense than his sensation came immediately to him at the Divine Will.

20 The world has no other cause but the Divine Spirit which with the assistance of the causal elements takes different forms upon itself at the time of creation. Therefore it is the spirit of Vishnu that constitutes the world. 21 Worship of God (as Vishnu) in spirit presents Vishnu to the spiritual sight. Worship of Vishnu in his outward form represents the figure to the soul and the inner mind. 22 O Rama, put all visible sights out from your view and look at the innermost soul within yourself. When you are accustomed to such spiritual meditation, soon you will have the sight of your God.

23 The world presents a scene of gloomy rainy weather with showers of grief falling on all sides. It is likely to freeze us in ignorance unless we look to the sun of our reason. 24 By grace of God we can avoid the delusions of the world, just as we can escape a demon by means of a spell. 25 The thick darkness of the mind is dispersed and cleared off in time through the will of the spirit. The world is a network of delusion which is scattered like smoke by the breeze of reason.