1 Vasishta resumed:—
The muni thought to resume his accustomed meditation again, and at the end of the day he entered a spacious cave in the Vindhya. 2 He continued his investigation of the soul with his command over the sensible organs. He reflected on the reality and unreality of things in his mind.
3 “I find,” thought he, “these organs of sense which before were under my control are now set at liberty in the exercise of their various functions. 4 I will now cease to think concerning the existence and nonexistence of substances. I will recline solely with my steady posture on that Being. 5 I will remain wakeful inwardly, appearing outwardly as if I were dead or asleep. Yet I am conscious in my unconsciousness as the quiet and living soul. Thus I will continue both with the vigilance and inactiveness of my spirit in the state of my quietism.”
6 “Waking as if asleep and sleeping as if awake, I will remain in my mental inactivity state of turiya, which is neither dead nor living. 7 I will remain retired like a rock from all things, even apart from my mind, and dwell in the embrace of the all pervading soul. I will abide with the Universal Spirit in my tranquility, having ease from all disease.”
8 Having mused in this manner, he sat in meditation for six days and nights, after which he was roused like a passenger wakes after his short nap on the way. 9 Then this great tapas yogi, having obtained the consummation of his tapas, passed his long life in the state of his living liberation. 10 He took delight in nothing and hated nothing. He felt no sorrow for anything and no pleasure in anything. 11 Whether walking or sitting, he was thoughtless of everything. His heart was void of cares and he conversed with his mind alone at pleasure.
12 He said to his mind, “O lord of my senses, see the unstained joy without decay that you enjoy in tranquility! Tell me if there is any greater joy than this to be found on earth. 13 Therefore O my mind who is the fleetest of all things, repress your flight and excitability. Rely on your cool composure for your lasting happiness. 14 O my mischievous senses and O you my perverted organs, you have nothing to do with me. 15 The stiffness of the outer organs is the cause of their failure. The will of the mind is the cause of its disappointment. Neither of these has the power to protect me from evil.”
16 “Those who believe the senses are the same as the soul are as deluded as mistaking the rope for a snake. 17 To take what is not the self for the self is the same as taking an unreality for reality. Lack of reason produces this mistake, but right reason removes the fallacy. 18 You my senses and you my mind, and my living soul are different things quite separate from the unity of Brahma. The mind is the active principle and consciousness is passive, so neither is related to the other. 19 Their union serves to produce the same effect, just as the wood that grows in the forest, the rope made of flax or hide, the axe made of iron, and the carpenter who works for wages all combine to build a house. 20 Such is the accidental conjunction of different things that becomes the efficient cause of producing certain effects, which could never result alone, as in the case of house building just mentioned. 21 So also the various acts of the body, such as speech and all other works, are affected by the accidental and simultaneous union of the different organs of the body and mind, without the waste or impairing of any of them. 22 Thus when the forgetfulness of death and sleep are buried in oblivion, and memory is awakened upon renewal and waking, that which is not in actuality is again brought to the position of actuality.”
23 In this manner that great devotee continued his reflections for many years in that solitary cave of the Vindhya Hills. 24 Freed from ignorance and far from temptation, he remained there in perfect joy, ever contemplating on the means to prevent the transmigration of his soul. 25 Seeing the natures of things in their true light, he avoided all that presented a false appearance. For fear of being misled by appearances, he resorted to the shelter of meditation. 26 Having his option of choosing what he liked from whatever he disliked, he was indifferent to both. His impassive mind was elevated from all that is desirable or detestable in life. 27 Having renounced the world and all its connections and the society of mankind, and setting himself beyond the bonds of repeated births and actions of life, he became one with the incorporeal unity and drank the ambrosial nectar of spiritual delight. 28 In his lonely abstraction, he seemed to be sitting in the golden cave of Sahya Mountain. He looked upon the entangled paths of the world below without any desire of walking in it or mixing in its treacherous society.
29 Then sitting in his erect posture, he thought to himself.
Be passionless, O my impassioned heart, and rest at peace my intolerant spirit. 30 I bid you farewell, O you enjoyments of the world that have tempted me to taste your bitter pleasures in innumerable births and transmigrations. 31 Your pleasures have deluded me so long, like the indulgences of children. Now I see them placed above your reach by the absence of desire in my state of holy and heaven-born nirvana trance.
32 I hail you, O spiritual delight that made me forget my past pleasures. I thank you pains that have led me to the inquiry of the soul with so much intense enthusiasm! 33 It is by you, O sour misery, that this blissful state is revealed to me. You are to be thanked for bringing me under the cooling shade of heavenly delight. 34 I thank you, O adversity, for you have revealed the joy of my soul to me. I bless you, my friend, for your making the vanity of worldly life known to me. 35 O my body that is so intimately united with me, I see your union to be only a temporary one, like the short lived amity of interested men who forsake their beneficent friends in a moment. 36 Thus am I forsaken by all my bodies in my various bygone births. So my soul has forsaken them all in its repeated transmigrations in different forms of living bodies.
37 Even in my present state, my body brings its own ruin on itself by being slighted by the soul’s advancement in spiritual knowledge. 38 It is not my fault that the body is discontented at my contentment, or that it should be impaired by my abstinence and broken down by my poverty. 39 Grieve not, my mean greed, that I have grown adverse to gain. You must pardon me, O my fond desires, that I have become so devoid of wishes and adopted the virtue of renunciation (vairagya). 40 I have now taken myself to my detachment and want to thrive therein. I pray of you, O you restless desire, to have no more any concern with me. 41 And I bid my last farewell to you, O you god of piety and pious deeds, that I may no more engage myself in the performance of acts.
42 I am lifted from the pit of hell and placed in heaven. I bid farewell to the tree of pleasures growing in the soil of wicked acts and bearing the torments of hell as its fruits. 43 I bid farewell to the tree of sin that bears the flowers of our punishment, whereby I was doomed to repeated reincarnations in lower births. 44 I bow down to that unseen form of delusion which uttered the sweet voice of a sounding bamboo and covered itself with a garment of leaves.
45 I bow to you, my holy cave that is my associate in this devout tapas. You are the only refuge for this weak body of mine after its weary journey in the rugged paths of the world. 46 You were my kind companion and the remover of all my desires. You have been my only shelter after I fled from all the dangers and difficulties of the world. 47 You are my pilgrim’s staff that was the support of my aged body and arm. I have found my best friend in you for relieving my fatigue and guiding my footsteps in this dangerous and cavernous retreat.
48 I also thank you, O my aged body that is the support of my life, even in this old age of yours when you are reduced to your ribs covering your bloodless entrails and shriveled veins and arteries. 49 Depart now, my dilapidated body, with the core and foundation that there yet remain in you. Away with your excrements that required my repeated ablutions and purifications.
50 I bid farewell to all my acts and dealings in the world that have been the destined causes and my connate companions in all my reincarnations in this world.
51 I next bid you farewell, O my vital airs, who kept company with me through all my various births and from whom my soul will soon fly away. 52 How often have I passed with you to foreign parts and rested in the valleys and gardens of mountain meadows. How long have we played about in cities and dwelt in mountain retreats. 53 How many times we have run in different directions, engaged in various works of life. In fact there was no time or place in the universe when and where we did not live together. 54 In truth I have never done or seen or given or taken anything apart from you. Now I bid you farewell my friend, as soon I must part from you.
55 All things in the world have their growth and decay and are destined to rise and fall by turns. So also are the union and separation of things, the unavoidable course of nature. 56 Let this light which is visible to sight reenter the sun from where it proceeds. Let these sweet scents which come to my smell mix with the flowers from which they are breathed and blown. 57 Let my vital breath and vibration join with the ethereal air. Let all the sounds I hear return from my ears to the empty sphere. 58 Let my taste revert to the orb of the moon from where it has sprung. Let me be as quiet as the sea after its churning by Mount Mandara, and like the cool hour of the evening after the sun has set. 59 Let me be as silent as the dumb cloud in autumn and as still as creation after the great deluge at the end of a kalpa age. Let me remain thoughtless, as when the mind is concentrated on the syllable of Om, and when my soul rests in the Supreme Soul. Let me be as cold as when fire is reduced to ashes and as extinct as the extinguished lamp without oil.
60 Here I sit devoid of all actions and removed from the sight of all living beings. I am freed from the thoughts of worldly things. I am resting in the peace of my soul which is seated in my crown (brahmarandhra hole at the top of the head).