1 Vasishta continued:—
O progeny of Raghu, after sage Mandavya advised the Kirata king in this manner, he retired to his solitary abode suited for holy saints and sages. 2 After the sage left, the king also retired to a lonely place where he began to reflect upon the nature of his soul and the manner of his existence.
3 Suraghu thought:—
I am not in this mountain nor is it mine. I am not the cosmos nor is this world me. 4 This land of the Kiratas does not belong to me nor do I belong to it. It is the consent of the people that has made me the ruler of this place. 5 Without this election I am nobody here, nor is this place anything to me, even though this city and this land may last forever.
6 The city, so magnificent with its high flying flags, its gardens and my servants, and the long retinue of horse, elephants and soldiers, is, alas, nothing to me. 7 All this was nothing to me before my election and will not be mine after I am gone. All these possessions, enjoyments and consorts neither belong to me nor I to them. 8 Thus this government with all its force and officers in the city is nothing to me, nor am I aught to it in reality except mere governmental compliments to one another.
9 I think I am my body composed of my legs, hands, and feet. I believe I am placed in the midst of these. 10 But I perceive my body to be composed of flesh and bones and not my reasoning self which, like the lotus flower rising in the water, bears no relation to that element. 11 I find the flesh of my body to be dull and gross matter which does not make my soul. I find my rational part to be not this gross flesh at all. I find my bones likewise to be unconscious substances, consequently forming no part of my sentient soul.
12 I am none of the organs of action, nor do these organs compose me. All organic bodies are composed of gross matter and consequently do not constitute the animated soul. 13 I am not the nourishment which nourishes the body, and not the soul which makes me. I am not any of the organs of sense which perceive material impressions and have no consciousness without the intellect.
14 I am not the mind which is a passive agent and minds whatever it feels. It is called understanding because it stands under all its external and internal perceptions and conceptions, and it is the root of all worldly evils caused by its egoistic feelings. 15 Thus I am not the mind or understanding or the internal senses or the external organs of action. I am not the inner subtle body or its outer material and self locomotive form, but I am something beside all of these which I want to know.
16 I see at last my intelligent living soul reflecting on what is perceptible, thence called its intelligence. But this intelligent principle being roused by others does not come under the category of the soul. 17 Thus I renounce the knowable (living soul) and do not acknowledge the intelligible intelligence as myself. It is at the end of all the immutable and pure Consciousness which remains to be owned as myself.
18 Ah, it is wonderful at last to come to know the soul and find it to be me, the infinite soul, and the Supreme Spirit which has no end. 19 As Indra and the gods reside and are resolved in Brahman, so the spirit of God pervades through all material bodies, like the string of a necklace passing through the holes of all the pearls of which it is composed.
20 The power of the soul known as consciousness is pure and unstained in its nature. It is devoid of the dirt of thinkable objects and fills infinite space with its immense and stupendous figure. 21 Consciousness is devoid of all attributes and pervades all existence in its subtle form. It stretches itself from the highest heaven to the lowest depths. It is the reservoir of all power. 22 It is full with all beauty and it is the light that enlightens all objects to us. It is the connecting chain to which all the worlds are linked together like pearls in a necklace.
23 It is formless but capable of all forms and mutations, being connected with all matters and conversant with all subjects at all times. It has no particular name or form, but is taken as varied in different forms according to the operations of the intellect. 24 It assumes fourteen forms in its awareness of so many sorts of beings contained in the two wombs of the world. It is varied in all these forms in order to be aware of all things composing the whole body of the natural world.
25 The course of human happiness and misery is a false representation of understanding. The varieties of representations in the mind are mere operations of the soul and its attribute of the intellect. 26 My soul is the same with the all pervading spirit, and this understanding in me is no other than that all knowing consciousness. The same mind represents these imaginary images in the senses of my mind and causes the error of my kingship in me.
27 It is by good grace of Consciousness that the mind is seated in the vehicle of the body and ranges with joy amidst the play and diversions of the diverse scenes of this world. 28 But this mind and this body and all diversities are nothing in reality. They are all destroyed by the cruel hand of death and not a trace of them remains behind. 29 This world is a stage stretched out by the mind, its chief actor. The soul sits silently as a spectator of this scene, under the light of consciousness.
30 Alas, I find my painful thoughts of punishment, retribution and well being of my people to be all for nothing because whatever is done for the body also perishes with the body. 31 O, that I am awakened to truth at present and released from the mirage of my long held false views. I have come to see what is worth seeing and have found everything that is worth having. 32 All these appearances seen throughout this universe are nothing more than false phantoms presented or produced by the vibrations of consciousness. They do not last long.
33 Then what is the good of these my punishments and rewards to my people, which produce their pain and pleasure for a short time and do not lead to the lasting welfare of their souls? 34 What do these pains and pleasures mean to us when they both proceed from ourselves and are alike in the sight of God? All along I have been ignorant of this truth which, fortunately, has now dawned upon me.
35 What shall I now do under the influence of this light? Shall I now be sorry or joyous for it? What have I to look at and do now? Shall I remain in this place or go away from here? 36 I behold this wonderful sphere of consciousness shining upon me in its full splendor. I hail you, O holy light which I see blazing before me, but of which I can describe nothing. 37 I am now so awakened and enlightened and come to know the whole truth in me. Therefore I hail myself now knowing infinity and omniscience.
38 Being freed from the paintings of my mind, cleared from the loss of the sensible objects, and released from the errors of this world, I rest myself in the lap of my tranquil soul as in a state of sound sleep, in utter oblivion of all my internal and external impressions.