Chapter 43 — Vasishta Exhorts Rama; Rama without Questions

Vasishta said:—

I well understand what the god told me. You too, O Rama, know the nature of this world very well. When the false world appears in a false light to the false understanding of man, and everything is proven to be only vanity of vanities, tell me, what is true and good and what is untrue and bad?

The alternative of something is not that thing itself, so the form of the soul, though not the soul itself, yet serves to convey some idea of the soul. As fluidity is the nature of liquids and fluctuation is that of wind, and as emptiness is the state of the sky, so is creation the condition of the spirit or Divine Soul.

5 Ever since hearing Shiva’s explanations, I have worshipped spirit in spirit and given up my eagerness for the outward adoration of gods. I pass these days of my life under this rule, even when I am peacefully employed performing prescribed and popular rituals. I have worshipped the Divine Spirit in all modes and forms and offerings of flowers as they present themselves to me. In spite of interruptions, I have uninterruptedly adored my God at all times, day and night. All people in general are concerned with making their offerings acceptable to their receiver, God, but the meditation of the yogi is the true worship of the spirit.

Having known this, O lord of Raghu’s race, abandon the society of men in your heart and walk in your lonely path amidst the wilderness of the world, thereby remaining without sorrow and remorse. 10 When exposed or reduced to distress or aggrieved at the loss or separation of friends, rely on this truth and think upon the vanity of the world. 11 We should neither rejoice nor regret the acquisition or loss of friends and relations because all things are so frail and unstable in this transitory world.

12 Rama, you well know the precarious state of worldly possessions and their destructive effects. They come and go of their own accord, but overpower a man in both states (of prosperity and adversity). 13 So uncertain are the favors of friends and fortune and so unforeseen is their loss, that it is impossible for anybody to account for them. 14 O sinless Rama, such is the course of the world, that you have no command over it nor is it ever subject to you. If the world is so insubordinate, then why should you be sorry for something you cannot manage?

15 Rama, mind your spiritual nature and know you are an expanded form of your consciousness. See how you are cooped up in your earthly frame. Forsake your joy and grief at the repeated entrances and exits of your corporeal body. 16 Know my boy that you are purely of the form of your consciousness, inherent throughout all nature. Therefore there is nothing in the world that you can assume or reject. 17 What cause of joy or grief is there in the changing fortunes of things in the world? They are all the results of the mind’s revolutions on the pivot of conscious intellect. They resemble the whirling waters of the sea caused by a vortex current. 18 Rama, take yourself to the fourth stage of deep sleep trance (susupta). This even course of action results in samadhi. 19 Be as cold and composed, with your peaceful face and expanded mind, as the quiet spirit of God is diffused and displayed throughout all nature. Remain as full as the vast ocean in the contemplation of that soul, whose fullness fills the whole.

20 You have heard all this already, Rama! You are filled with the fullness of your understanding. Now if you have anything else to ask with regard to your former question, you can ask.

21 Rama said:—

Sage, my former questions are all dispersed at present. I have nothing more to ask you. 22 I have known all that is to be known. I have a heartfelt satisfaction at this, and now I am free from the foulness of the objective, of dualism and of fictions.

23 The foulness of the soul proceeds from ignorance, and this ignorance which had darkened my soul is now removed by the light of spirituality. 24 I have now come to understand that I was under error that is neither foul matter nor is it born nor does it die at anytime. 25 I am now confirmed in my belief that all this is Brahman diffused throughout nature, and I have ceased from all doubts and questions on the subject, nor do I have any desire to know anything more about it. 26 My mind is now as pure as purified water. I have no need to learn anything from the preaching and moral lessons of the wise.

27 I am unconcerned with all worldly affairs, just as Mount Sumeru is unaware of the golden metals in its bosom. Having all things about me, I am quite indifferent to them because I have not what I expect to have, nor do I possess any object of my fond desire. 28 I expect nothing that is desirable nor reject anything to which exception can be taken, nor is there a mean between desirable and undesirable in this world. There is nothing that is really acceptable or avoidable in the world, nor anything which is truly good or bad.

29 Thus, O sage, the false thought of these opposites is entirely dispelled from me. I neither care for a seat in heaven nor fear the terrors of hell. 30 I am as fixed in the one Spirit as Mount Mandara is firmly seated in the sea. That one Spirit scatters its particles throughout the three worlds just like that mountain splashed water when it churned the ocean. 31 I am as firm as fixed Mandara, while others wander in their errors of discriminating between positive and negative and the true and false. 32 The heart of that man who thinks the world is one thing and the Divine Spirit is another must be entangled with the weeds of doubts. 33 He who seeks his real good in anything in this world never finds it in the unsubstantial material world, which is full of the confused waves of eternity.

34 It is by your favor, O venerable sage, that I have passed over the noisy ocean of this world to the limits of its perilous coasts. I have arrived at the shore of safety and found the path of my future prosperity. 35 I am no longer lacking that supreme joy which is the supreme good of all things. I am full in myself as the lord of all. I am quite incapable of being subdued by anybody since I have defeated the wild elephant of my own greed. 36 Being loosened from the chain of desire and freed from the fetters of choice, I am rich and blessed with the best of all things. This is the internal satisfaction of my soul and mind which gives me a cheerful appearance in all the three worlds.