1 Vasishta continued:—
Men whose souls are expanded and content with the delight of their habitual un-attachment to worldliness have set themselves above the reach of internal sorrow and fear, even though they may be engaged in worldly affairs. 2 Though overtaken by inner sorrow, yet their countenances are unchanged owing to their uninterrupted meditation. The fullness of their hearts with holy delight is manifest in the moonlike brightness of their faces.
3 He whose mind relies on the intellect to be free of the feverishness of the world, and who remains apart from the objects of reasoning, throws a luster over those around him, just as the clearing kata fruit purifies water. 4 The wise man, though he may be moving about in busy affairs, is always quiet having withdrawn his soul from them. He may be attacked by outward sorrow, yet his inner soul shines like an image of the sun. 5 Men of great souls, awakened and enlightened by knowledge and raised high above the rest of mankind, waver on their outside like a peacock’s feather, but inwardly they are as firm as a mountain of rock. 6 The mind controlled by the soul is no longer susceptible to the feelings of pain and pleasure, any more than a piece of painted glass receives the shadow of any other color. 7 The man of elevated mind who has known the nature of superior and inferior souls is not affected by the sight of phenomena any more than a lotus leaf is affected by the color of its surrounding waters.
8 It is impossible to evade the impressions of the outer world until and unless the mind is strengthened in itself. The mind becomes strong by its knowledge of the Supreme Spirit, by removing the foulness of its fancied objects, and by meditation and enjoyment of the light of the soul, even when the mind is not in its meditative mood. 9 The mind loses its attachments through spiritual communion and internal bliss. Our worldly associations wear out of themselves only by knowledge of the soul. There is no other way. 10 The waking soul may consider itself to be in sound sleep by its unconsciousness of the outer world. Likewise it may consider itself to be ever awake and never asleep by its sight of the unfading light of the soul, by preservation of its equanimity and equality in all circumstances, and its lack of duality and differentiation of the objects of its love and hatred.
11 Being ripe in its practice of yoga meditation, the soul sees the pure light of the sun in itself until at last it finds its own and the Supreme Soul shining like the sun and moon in conjunction. 12 When the mind loses its mental powers and remains vacant, as if distracted or demented, and its faculty to imagine is at an utter stop, it is said to be in its deep sleep in wakefulness (susupta). 13 The man having attained this state may live to discharge the duties of his life, but he will be dragged to one side or the other by the rope of his happiness or sorrow. 14 Whatever actions are done in this world by a man in his state of deep sleep in wakefulness, they do not inflict him with their good or evil results, any more than a dancing puppet has any sense of pleasure or pain in its actions.
15 The mind possesses the power of giving us the perception of our pains and pleasures, and the sense of our want and bitter sorrow, but when the mind is assimilated with the soul, how can it have the power of annoying us anymore? 16 The man in the hypnotic state of his mind does his works as insensibly as he did them in his sleep, because he does them with no effort on his part and not because of his former habitual practice. The living soul that is unconscious of its actions is said to rest in its state of living liberation.
17 Rely upon this state of deep sleep while awake and either perform or refrain from your actions as you may like. Our actions are only what arise of our nature. They pass for the results of the deeds of our past lives and they are enacted by ordinances of eternal laws. 18 A wise man is not pleased with the acts of charity or penury. He is delighted with his knowledge of the soul and lives content with whatever may fall to his lot. 19 All that you do with your mind by remaining as still as in your sleep is reckoned as no doing of yours. Though doing nothing with your body, you are the doer if you do it with your mind. Therefore do your acts with your body or mind as you may like. 20 As a baby lying in the cradle moves its limbs to no other purpose than its mere pleasure, so Rama, do your duties for pleasure’s sake and not for reward.
21 Whoever has his mind fixed in his consciousness and not in any object of reasoning, and remains dormant in his waking state, is said to be master of his soul. All he does is reckoned as no deed of his doing. 22 The wise man who obtains the state of deep sleep while awake and has freed his mind from desires gets a calm coolness within himself which is equal to the cooling moisture of the humid moon. 23 The man of great valor remains coolly dormant in himself and is as full as the orb of the moon in the fullness of her digits. He has the evenness of his mind at all times and seasons like the steadiness of a hill. 24 The man with a calm soul is pliable in his outer conduct, though he is inflexible in his mind. He resembles a mountain whose trees wave with the breeze without being shaken.
25 Samadhi purifies the body of all its impurity. It is the same whether a person in samadhi perishes sooner or later, or lasts forever as a rock. 26 This state of samadhi, which is acquired by constant practice of yoga, becomes mature and perfect with time until it becomes what is called the fourth stage (turiya) by the spiritual masters and those learned in divine knowledge. 27 He becomes the most exalted yogi whose mind is cleared of all its impurity and whose inner soul is full of joy, its mental powers all quiet and at rest. 28 In this state, the yogi is in full bliss and quite giddy with inner delight. He looks upon the whole of creation as an exhibition of play and a cosmic dance.
29 Once a man has attained his fourth stage, when he is free from sorrow and fear and has passed beyond the errors and troubles of this world, he has no fear of falling from this state. 30 The man of calm understanding who has attained this holy state laughs to scorn and spurn at the whirling orb of the earth, just as one sitting on a high hill looks down upon objects lying below it. 31 After one has obtained his everlasting position in this firmly fixed fourth state of blissfulness, he becomes joyless for lack of a higher state of joy to desire.
32 The yogi, having past his fourth stage, reaches a state of indescribable joy which has no part or degree in it and is absolute liberation in itself. 33 The man of great soul is released from the snare of the reincarnation of his soul and of his repeated birth and death, and is freed from the darkness of his pride and egoism. He is transformed into an essence of supreme ecstasy and pure flavor and becomes like a mass of sea salt in the waters of the deep.