1 Rama said, “Now tell me sage. What became of this sage in his house in the cave? How did he lift his body from it? What did he accomplish by his austere and intense tapas?”
2 Vasishta said:—
At last the mind of the sage was extended as the Divine Mind and he saw the Divine Soul in its full glory in his own soul. 3 He saw the primeval, dawning light of consciousness in his meditation, which displayed to his memory the scenes of his former states of existence. 4 He saw the various forms of the bodies through which he had passed in his former lives, and also those things which had passed and gone and those living with his present body in the cave.
5 He found his living body lying in the cave like an insect, and he had a mind to raise it above the surrounding mud and mire. 6 This body of Vitahavya confined in the cave was covered with the mud carried by the rain waters. 7 He saw his body pent up in the prison house of the cave with loads of clay on its back and fettered in its limbs by the shrubs carried in by the torrents of rain. 8 In his clear understanding, he thought of raising his incarcerated body out of the cave and he made repeated efforts by force of his breathing to extricate it from its confinement. 9 With all his efforts, be found it impossible for his bodily powers to extricate himself and walk upon the ground. So he exerted his spiritual power to raise his spirit to the orb of the sun.
10 He thought either of being raised upward by the golden rays of the sun, or of obtaining his disembodied liberation by the disengaging his soul from the bondage of his body. 11 He thought in his elevated mind, “I lose nothing by the loss of my bodily exertions and exercise, but rather I would loosen myself from my bonds and return to my state of blessedness.” 12 Remaining for some time in his thoughtful mood on earth, he thought, “Neither leaving nor having this body is of any good or loss to me. 13 For as we forsake one body, so we take another. The difference is the size and bulk of the one and the minuteness and lightness of the other. 14 So let me mount this golden ray (pingala) of the sun and fly in the open air. Carried by the vehicle of light, I will enter into the body of the sun. 15 I will enter in the form of my shadow in the ethereal mirror of the sun. My aerial breath will conduct me to that orb.”
16 He ascended with his subtle, spiritual body upon the air, just as the heat of fire passes out through the hollow of a pair of bellows. The mindful sun god saw the great sage in this state within his heart. 17 On seeing the sage in this state, the high minded sun god called to his mind the former acts of his tapas penance, and remembered his body lying in the cell of the Vindhya region. 18 The sun god, traversing amidst the ethereal regions, came to know the actions of the sage and saw his body lying unconscious in the cave covered under the grass and stones. 19 He ordered his chief attendant to lift up the body of the sage, whose soul had now assumed its spiritual form.
20 The aerial form of the sage now saluted the adorable sun god with his reverent mind and was then recognized and received by the sun god with due honor. 21 He entered into the body of the solar attendant, Pingala, who proceeded from heaven to the cave amidst the delightful gardens of the Vindhya range. 22 Pingala entered the Vindhya grove in the form of a cloud, which assuming the shape of a big elephant, removed the earth from the surface of the cave with the long nails of his toes. 23 Then with his trunk, he brought out the body of the sage, just as a stork pulls up a lotus stalk from amidst the mud. Then the spiritual body of the sage fled from the form of Pingala to his own.
24 After his long wanderings in the regions of ether, like a bird in the sky, the sage at last found his own body, into which it entered as its nest. He took leave of Pingala with mutual salutations, 25 and each hurried to their respective callings with their brilliantly shining forms. One fled into the air, and the other went to a lake to cleanse his body. 26 It shone like a star in the clear lake and like sunbeams under the water. Then it appeared above it like a full blown lotus on the surface of waters. 27 He rose out of the water like a young elephant after its sport in some dirty pool. Then he offered his adoration to the sun god who had restored his body and mind to their luminous states.
28 Afterwards the sage passed sometime on the bank of the Vindhya lake, filled with the virtues of universal benevolence, fellow feeling and kindness, joined with the qualities of his peace and tranquility, his wisdom and internal bliss, and above all his seclusion and retirement from society, and unconcern with the concerns of the world.