Chapter 26 — Bhushunda’s Self-Control and Spiritual Knowledge Are the Cause of His Longevity

Bhushunda continued:—

This is the tranquility of the mind that I have attained by degrees through my meditation on the nature and course of vital energy in me. I sit quietly at all times, my attention fixed at the movement of my breath. I never stir even for a moment from my meditative mood, though Mount Meru may shake under me. Whether I am awake or asleep, or move about or remain unmoved in my seat, I am never without this meditation even in dream, nor does it slide a moment from my steadfast mind. I am always calm and quiet, ever steady and calm in this ever varying and unsteady world. I always remain with my face turned inward in myself, fixed firmly on the object I have at heart.

5 The breeze may cease to blow and the waters may stop to flow, but nothing can prevent my breathing and meditation of them, nor do I ever forget to live without them. By attending to the course of my inhaling and exhaling breaths, I have come to the sight of the soul and have thereby become freed from sorrow by seeing the prime Soul of all souls.

The earth has been sinking and rising repeatedly since the great flood, and I have been witnessing the submersion and immersion of things and the destruction and reproduction of beings without any change in the calmness of my soul and mind. I never think of the past and future. My sight is fixed only on the present and my mind sees the remote past and future as ever present before it. I am employed in the business that presents itself to me. I never care for their toil or their reward. I live as one in sleep and solely with myself.

10 I examine all that is and is not, and what we have or have not, and consider likewise all our desires and their objects. Finding them to be only frailties and vanities, I refrain from their pursuit and remain untroubled by their cares forever. 11 I watch the course of my inhalation and exhalation and behold the presence of the super excellent (Brahman) at their coming together. By this I rest satisfied in myself and I enjoy my long life without any sorrow or sickness. 12 I have no such ruinous thoughts of mortal men like “I got this boon now and I will get that beautiful thing later”, so I live long with no discomfort.

13 I never praise or disparage any act by me or others. My indifference to all concerns has brought me to this happy state of carefree longevity. 14 My mind is not elated by success or depressed by adversity, but preserves its self-control at all times, and this is what has brought this happy state on me. 15 I have relied upon my religious renunciation of the world and upon my apathy to all things at all times. I have also abandoned the desire of sensuous life and the objects of the physical senses, and these have set me free from death and disease. 16 O great muni, I have freed my mind from its faults of unsteadiness and curiosity, setting it above sorrow and anxiety. My mind has become deliberate, calm and quiet, and this has made me live long without sickness.

17 I see all things in an equal light, whether it be a beauty or a ghost, a piece of wood or stone, a straw or a rock, or whether it is air, water or fire. My self-control has made me sane and sound in every state of life. 18 I do not think about what I have done today or what I have to do tomorrow, nor do I become troubled under the fever of vain thoughts regarding past and future. This has kept me forever sound and sane. 19 I am not afraid of death, disease or old age, nor am I elated with the idea of possessing a kingdom. My indifference to anything good or evil is the cause of my long life and the soundness of my body and mind. 20 O brahmin, I do not regard anyone in the light of friend or foe, and this equality of my knowledge of all persons is the cause of my long life and lack of complaint.

21 I regard all existence as the reflection of the self-existent One who is all in all and without beginning or end. I know myself as consciousness and this is the cause of my longevity and lack of disease or decay. 22 Whether I get or give away anything, or walk or sit, or rise and breathe, or am asleep or awake, I never think of myself as the gross body but its pure consciousness, and this made me long lasting and durable forever. 23 I think of myself as quite asleep, and I believe this world with all its bustle to be nothing in reality, and this has made long-lived without decay. 24 I take the good and bad accidents of life occurring at their stated times to be all alike to me, like my two arms both of which are serviceable to me. This has made me long lived and imperishable. 25 With my fixed attention and the cool clarity of my mental vision, I see all things in their favorable light. I see all things as even and equal, and this view of them in the same light has made me lasting without any waste. 26 I never see my material body in the light of my ego, and this has made me undying and without decay. 27 Whatever I do or take as my food, I never take them to my heart. My mind is free from the acts of my body, and my freedom from action has caused my undiminished longevity. 28 O sage, whenever I come to know the truth, I never feel proud of my knowledge but desire to learn more about it. This increasing desire of knowledge has increased my life without life’s usual infirmities.

29 Though possessed of power, I never use it to do wrong or injure another. Though wronged by someone, I am never sorry. Though ever so poor, I never crave anything of anyone. This has prolonged my life and kept it safe and sound. 30 I see in these visible forms the consciousness that abides in all bodies. As I behold all these existent bodies in an equal light, I enjoy an undiminished longevity. 31 I am so composed in my mind that I never allow its faculties to be entangled in the snare of worldly desires and expectations. I do not allow these to touch even my heart, and this conferred on me the bliss of my unfading longevity.

32 I examine both worlds as two balls placed in my hands, and I find the nonexistence of the visible world as it appears to a sleeping man. The spiritual and invisible worlds appear fully open to my view, as the world does to a waking person, and my sight has made me as immortal as the world of immortality. 33 I behold the past, present and future as set before me. I see all that is dead and decayed, and all that is gone and forgotten as presented anew in my presence. This view of all keeps me alive and fresh to them alike.

34 I feel myself happy at others’ happiness and sorry to see the misery of other people. This universal fellow-feeling of mine with the welfare and grief of my fellow creatures has kept me alive and fresh at all times. 35 I remain as unmoved as a rock in my adversity and I am friendly to everyone in my prosperity. I am never moved by lack or affluence, and this steadiness of mine is the cause of my undiminished longevity.

36 The firm conviction that has laid hold of my mind, and which has made me live long without feeling sick or sorry for another, is that I am neither related nor belong to anybody, and that none is either related or belongs to me. 37 It is my belief that I am the one Ego with the world and with all its space and time, and that I am the same with the living Soul and all its actions. This faith of mine has made me long lived and undiminished. 38 It is my belief that I am the same Consciousness which shows itself in the pot and the picture, and which dwells in the sky above and in the woods below. My firm reliance has been on this full Consciousness and this has made me long abiding and free from disease.

39 It is thus, O great sage, that I live in the receptacle of the three worlds like a bee living in a lotus flower, and am famous in the world as the everlasting crow named Bhushunda. 40 I am destined to dwell here forever in order to behold the visible world rising and falling in tumultuous confusion in the infinite ocean of the immense Brahman, and assuming their various forms for all eternity like the waves of the sea at their alternate rise and fall.