Chapter 88 — Lessons to Be Drawn from Vitahavya’s Tapas

Vasishta continued:—

After Vitahavya had passed beyond the bounds of nature and crossed this ocean of misery, he also pacified the fluctuations of his mind. Being thus calmed and brought to the state of perfect inertness, he was absorbed in his ultimate mental impassiveness, like a drop of rainwater and the particles of waves mix in the ocean. Sitting continually in his mentally inactive state, his body became thin and lean, without food or its functions. Without water or nourishment, it quickly decayed like a fading lotus in winter. His vital breaths fled from the tree of his body and entered into the cavity of the heart, like birds let loose from the net fly to their nests. His physical body composed of flesh, bones and the organs of sense remained beneath the shady branches of the woodland retreat, but his spirit roved beyond the bounds of the elemental worlds above.

His individual consciousness was absorbed in the ocean of Universal Consciousness, just as particles of metallic substances are fused together in the same metal. So the soul of the sage found its rest in its intrinsic nature of the Supreme Soul.

Thus have I told you, O Rama, about the rest of the sage in his torpid quietism. All this is full of instruction, and you must consider well its hidden meaning. O Rama, know that by your good gifts of these things and perfections, you will be able to attain that state of beatitude. O Rama, consider well all that I have already told you and what I will expound to you now and in future. 10 As I myself have known and well considered all these things in my long life, and by my experience of the past and my knowledge of present and future events, so will you be also. 11 Therefore have the clear sight and clairvoyance of the sage, as I have shown you, and know that only through your transcendental knowledge can you have your emancipation in both worlds.

12 The light of knowledge dispels the darkness of ignorance and destroys the mist of false fears and sorrows. Knowledge alone is the cause of that result which nothing else can bring about. 13 See how sage Vitahavya destroyed all his desires by means of his knowledge, and how he cleared the mountain of his mind from all its poisonous plants of worldliness. 14 His conscious, clairvoyant knowledge of other spheres led the sage to penetrate the solar orb of his desire on the wings of his rays, and from there return (by his memory) to restore his buried body from the cave of earth. 15 This sage was the personification of the mind, and it is the mind which is personified in the conscious or visible forms of “I”, “you”, “he” and this other. The mind is also this world which consists in it, and without which it is not known to exist.

16 By knowing this transcendent truth, and being freed from the faults of passions and feelings, and far removed from the faults and frailties of the world, the silent sage followed the dictates of his mind and thereby attained the endless bliss of his soul, the supreme good of human life.