Chapter 56 — Characteristics of Samadhi; Indifference to Surroundings

Vasishta continued:—

Proceed in this manner to know the Universal Soul in your own soul and thereby obtain your rest in that holy state.

You must consider all things by the light of the scriptures and dive into their true meaning. You will also benefit from your teacher’s lectures, by pondering them in your own mind, and by your constant practice of ignoring phenomena until you come to know the invisible one. You can attain that holy state and come to God through habitual dispassion, your acquaintance with the scriptures and their meanings, listening to the lectures of the spiritual teachers, and your own conviction.

You can also attain that everlasting state of joy without the medium of anything else by your enlightened understanding, when it is acute and unbiased.

5-6 Rama said, “Tell me sage, who is acquainted with past and future, which of these two has greater merit: one employed in the affairs of life and at the same time is enlightened and situated in his quietude, or another who remains alone immersed in samadhi apart from worldly connections?”

Vasishta replied:—

He who does not associate his soul with phenomena enjoys a cool tranquility within himself called samadhi. He who is certain that phenomena relate only to his mind and have no connection with his soul, and who remains calm and cool in himself, may either be engaged in business or sitting quietly in meditation. Both of these are happy souls as long as they enjoy a cool calmness within themselves. This samadhi is the result of great and austere penance.

10 If the mind of a man who appears to be in samadhi is unsteady, he is a mad man. 11 On the other hand, when the mind of a man who appears to be mad is devoid of desires in his mind, he is in samadhi and his foolish frolics resemble the rapturous emotions and gestures of Buddhist mendicants.

12 The worldly man who is enlightened in his mind and the enlightened sage who is sitting in his hermitage are both alike in their samadhi and have undoubtedly reached the state of enlightenment.

13 The man who is unrelated with the actions he does, whose mind is free from desires, as if engrossed with other thoughts, senses what he hears and sees only with his sense organs without being affected by them. 14 A man becomes the agent of an act, even without actually doing it, who is fully intent upon the action, just as an unmoving man thinks himself to be moving about and falling down in a ditch. 15 Know the inaction of the mind is the best state of samadhi, and one-pointedness of the mind (samadhana) is the best means to your detachment. 16 Activity and inactivity of the mind are the sole causes of the restlessness and quietness of men, and also the causes of one-pointed meditation and lack of one-pointedness. Therefore destroy the germs of your rising desires.

17 Lack of desire is called neutrality of the mind and this constitutes its steadiness and meditation. This gives singleness to the soul and contributes to its everlasting tranquility. 18 Diminishing desires leads the man to the highest station of innocence and lack of desires. 19 Thickening desires serve to fill the mind with the vanity of its agency, which is the cause of all its sorrows. Therefore try to weaken your desires at all times.

20 Samadhi or enlightenment is when the mind is tranquil, freed from its fears, grief and desires, and the soul is at rest and quiet for lack of its passions. 21 Renounce the thoughts of all things from your mind. Wherever you live, whether on a mountain or in a forest, live as calmly as you do in your own home. 22 To householders with well governed minds and to those without personal ego, their houses are like solitary forests to them. 23 Cool-minded men see living in a house or in a forest in same light as they see all visible objects, only in the light of an empty vacuum. 24 Men of pacified minds see beautiful buildings of cities in the same indifferent light as they see the woods in the forest. 25 It is the nature of ungoverned minds to see even solitary woods as full of people like large towns and cities.

26 The restless mind falls asleep after it gets rid of its labor, but the quiet mind has its enlightenment after its nirvana. Therefore do as you like. 27 Whether one gets rid of worldly things or not, it is his sight of the infinite spirit that makes him meek and quiet.

28 He is called serious and detached, and cool and meek, whose mind is expanded by his indifference to both the objects of his desire and disgust, and to whom all things are alike insignificant everywhere. 29 He who in his innermost soul sees the world in God and never as without the Divine Spirit, and whose mind sees everything in waking as in his sleep, is truly the lord of mankind. 30 As people in a market, whether coming in or going out, are strangers unrelated to one another, so the wise man looks upon the concourse of men with unconcern and thinks his own town a wilderness. 31 The mind fixed to its inner vision and inattentive to external objects thinks a populous city is like a wilderness, both when awake or asleep, active or inactive. 32 Those who are attentive to the inner mind see the outer world as a empty space. They see the populous world like a desolate desert owing to its unworthiness of attention.

33 The world is all cool and calm to the cold hearted, just as the body is quiet cool to one without a fever. 34 Those who are parched with their internal thirst find the world is like a burning fire because everybody sees the same outside as he sees within himself. 35 The external world, with all its earthy, watery and airy bodies, and with all its rocks, rivers and quarters, is the counterpart of the inner mind and is situated outside the mind as it is contained within. 36 The big banyan tree and small barley plants are exact copies of their foreshadowed counterparts in the eternal mind. They are exhibited outside of it as they are within, like the fragrance of flowers diffused in the air.

37 There is nothing situated inside or outside this world other than casts and copies displayed by their patterns in the great mind of God. 38 The external world is a display of the essence contained in the Universal Soul. It appears outside from within its concealment, like the smell of camphor coming out of its casket. 39 The Divine Soul manifests itself in the form of ego and the world. Everything that we see externally or think internally is unreal, except the real images that are imprinted in the soul. 40 The soul is conscious of its innate images. It sees them in their intellectual appearances within the mind and in their external manifestations in visible creation.

41 He who has his internal and external tranquility, enjoys his peace of mind, and sees the world inseparable from the soul, enjoys his quiet samadhi everywhere. But he who perceives differences and differentiates his ego from all others is always subject to be tossed about like the rolling waves of the sea. 42 A soul harassed by the troubles of this world sees the earth, sky, air and water, together with the hills and all things in them, burning like the universal fire at the end of the world.

43 The dispassionate yogi performs his work with his organs of action, has his soul fixed in its internal meditation, and is not moved by any joy or grief. 44 The tranquil yogi beholds the all pervading soul in his own self and by remaining unruffled in his mind, never grieves or thinks about anything. 45 He who looks calmly into the course of the world as it has passed or is present before him, and who sits still smiling at its changing states of fortune, that man is named the dispassionate yogi.

46 Because these changing phenomena do not belong to unchanging spirit of God. They do not participate with my own egoism. They only resemble glittering atoms of gold in bright sunshine. They do not exist in the sky.

47 He is the one who truly exists who has no sense of “I” or “you” in himself and who makes no distinction of things in his mind, such as between conscious and unconscious things, and not the other who thinks otherwise. 48 The calm and quiet man conducts all his affairs with ease by remaining like the intangible and translucent air about him, and remaining as unconscious of his joy and sorrow as a block of wood or stone. 49 He who, of his own nature and not through fear, looks on all beings as himself and accounts the goods of others as worthless stones is the man who sees them in their true light.

50 No object whether great or small is slighted as a trifle by the polished or foolish. They value all things, but the foolish do not perceive in their hearts the Reality that abides in them, like the wise.

51 One possessed of such detachment and equality of his mind attains his highest perfection. He is quite unconcerned with regard to his rise and fall and about his life and death. 52 He is quite unconcerned with anything, whether he is situated amidst the luxuries of his home or the unnecessary things of the world, whether he is deprived of all his possessions and enjoyments or is exposed to a dreary and deep solitude. 53 He is indifferent whether indulging in sensual pleasure or drunken revelry, or remaining retired from society and observing silence, 54 whether he anoints his body with sandal paste or smears it with powdered camphor, or whether he rubs his body with ash or casts himself into the flames, 55 whether drowned in sinfulness or marked by his merits, or whether he dies this day or lives for a kalpa age. 56 The man of detachment is nothing in himself and therefore his doings are not his own acts. He is not polluted by impurity, just as pure gold is not sullied by dirt or dust.

57 The wrong application of the words “consciousness” and “soul” to “I” and “you” (or the subjective and objective) has led the ignorant to the blunder (of duality), just like the silvery shell of clams misleads men to the error of silver. 58 The knowledge of the extinction of all existence in the Supreme Spirit is the only cure for this blunder of one’s entity and the only means to peace of mind. 59 The error of “I” or “you” of the conscious soul, which is the source of its vain desires, causes the varieties of mankind’s happiness and sorrow in repeated births. 60 As the removal of the fallacy of the snake in the rope gives peace to the mind that there is no snake, so the subsidence of egoism in the soul brings peace and tranquility to the mind.

61 He who is conscious of his inner soul and unconscious of all he does, eats, drinks, and of his going to others and offering his sacrifice, is free from the results of his acts. It is the same to him whether he does them or not. 62 He who slides from outward nature and abides in his inner soul is released from all external actions and their resulting good and evil. 63 No wish stirs in such a calm soul, in the same manner as no germ sprouts from the bosom of a stone. Such desires as ever rise in it are like the waves of the sea, rising and falling in the same element.

64 All this is Himself and He is the whole of this universe without any partition or duality. He is one with the holy and Supreme Soul, and the only entity called the true reality (tat sat).