Chapter 101 — The Mind of the Living Liberated Is Called Goodness; — Kumbha Advises Sikhidwaja to Abandon His Austerities

Vasishta said:—

The king had listened to the lectures of Kumbha. For some time he remained in silent and deep meditation of his soul as if in a state of trance. He continued with his mind intent and eyes fixed, quite speechless all the while. He resembled the figure of a silent sage, or a carved statue without motion or sensation.

After a while he awoke with eyes twinkling. Chudala, still in her disguised form of Kumbha the brahmin youth, approached him.

Kumbha said:—

Say king, how did you enjoy yourself in your short lived trance? Did you feel that sweet composure of your soul which the yogis experience in their steadfast meditation and unshaken samadhi trance? 5 Tell me, were you awakened in your innermost soul and set free beyond the region of error and darkness? Have you known the knowable one and seen what is to be seen?

Sikhidhwaja replied, “O sage, by your good grace I have seen a great glory in the most high heaven of heavens. I have seen a state of bliss which is full of ambrosial delight never known to mortals and whose sight is the most ultimate reward of the wishes of the best and most intelligent men, and of saints and mahatmas. In your company today I have felt a delight which I have never experienced before. O lotus-eyed sage, never have I enjoyed such a degree of spiritual bliss which knows no bounds and is a sea of ambrosial delight!”

10 Kumbha said:—

The mind becomes composed and tranquil after its desire of enjoyments is subordinated, when it becomes indifferent to the taste of sweet and bitter, and when it has full control over the organs of sense. 11 There arises a peace in the mind which is purer than any earthborn delight. It is as delightful as dew drops falling from flowers under bright, cooling moonbeams at night.

12 It is today, O king, that your bad desires, like bitter tastes, are improved by your advancement in knowledge. 13 By your holiness, O lotus-eyed king, the filth of your person is cleansed out like ripe fruit falling from trees. 14 Only as the desires of the impure heart become purified by reason does it become capable of receiving the instructions of the wise, just like a straw drawing water inside.

15 After the bitterness of your disposition was softened by my lectures, you have been awakened by me to your spiritual knowledge. 16 Just now you have been cleansed from your impurity and immediately purified by your pure knowledge. Even now you have received my admonition and have been instantly awakened to your knowledge. 17 Today you are cleansed from the merits and demerits of your good and bad conduct. You have a new life in you through the influence of good society. 18 It was before midday today that I have come to know the enlightenment and regeneration of your soul to spiritual light. 19 I find you now, O king, to be weakened in your mind from taking my words to your heart. Having rid feelings from your mind, you are awakened to your spiritual knowledge.

20 As long as the mind has its seat and operations in the heart of man, it retains its companion of ignorance by its side. As soon as the mind forsakes its residence in the heart, pure knowledge comes to shine forth in it like midday light. 21 The mind suspended between unity and duality is called ignorance. Reducing these is known as knowledge and the way to the salvation of the soul.

22 You are now awakened and emancipated. Your mind is driven away from your heart. You are now the reality and rescued from your unreality. You are set beyond this world of unreality. 23 Rest in the pure state of your soul by being devoid of cares and anxieties. Forsake all society and do not place the reliance of your soul upon anyone or anything here. Become like a devout, divine and silent sage, saint or muni.

24 Sikhidhwaja said, “So I see, sage, that all ignorant people rely mostly on their minds, but the few who are awakened to the knowledge of God do not pay attention their minds. 25 Now sage, please tell me. How do living liberated men conduct themselves in this world? How do these unmindful men, like you, manage yourselves here? 26 Tell me fully and by the brightness of your glowing words, dispel the deep darkness that is seated in my heart.”

27 Kumbha replied:—

All that you say, O king, is exact and indisputable truth. The minds of living liberated men are dead in themselves. Like blocks of stone, their minds never grow or sprout forth in desires. 28 Gross desires that grow from wishes become the causes of men’s reincarnations in some form or other. This is known by the name of mind. When that becomes altogether extinct in men, they know the truly knowable one.

29 The desire which guides those who know the truth in this life of action in this world is known by the name of goodness. This is unproductive of future birth. 30 Great souls and living liberated men, being placed in their quality of goodness and having their organs under control, do not place any reliance upon their minds. 31 The darkened mind is called the mind, but the enlightened mind is known as the principle of goodness. The unenlightened rely upon their minds, but enlightened men of great understanding rely only upon their goodness. 32 The mind is repeatedly born with the body, but the nature of goodness is never reborn anymore. The unawakened mind is under perpetual bondage, but the enlightened soul is under no restraint.

33 Now sage, you have become of the nature of goodness and you deserve the title of he who has forsaken all things. I understand that you have completely gotten rid of the inclinations of your mind. 34 I find you today as brilliant as the full moon freed from the shadows of an eclipse. Your mind has become as lucid as the clear sky without any stain in it. 35 You have that equanimity which is characteristic of the complete yogi. This which you exhibit in yourself is called total renunciation of all.

36 Enlightened understanding is free from the restraints of any desire for heaven or future rewards. By means of superior divine knowledge, it is free from the restraints of observing austerities and charity. 37 All austerities and mortifications serve only to obtain a short lived cessation of pain. The happiness that is wholly free from decay is only found in one’s equanimity and detachment under all circumstances of life. 38 That thing must be truly good if it is different from the temporary enjoyment of bliss of heaven, and altogether different from a transitory pleasure that is preceded and followed by pain.

39 We are all doubtful of the happiness that awaits us hereafter in heaven. Our religious acts serve to procure some happiness for those who are unacquainted with the complete joy of their souls derived from their spiritual knowledge. 40 Let them use their ornaments of brass who have no gold ornaments for their decorations. Let the ignorant adhere to their rituals and not the wise who are quite happy in their knowledge.

But you, O king, have happily come both to your knowledge and happiness in the company of your Queen Chudala and others. 41 Therefore, why are you vainly devoted to the observance of your austerities? Mortifications and penance of asceticism are prescribed for the atonement of men’s prior misdeeds. 42 Both the beginning and end of asceticism are attended with pain. Only the middle promises a short and temporary happiness. Mortifications are mere preparations for the purification of the soul.

43 Remain steady in that pure knowledge which is said to be the result of penitence. When the soul is pure with the clarity of the intellectual sphere, all things and thoughts will be as transparent to view as in the clear light of the sky. 44 All things are seen to rise and disappear in the empty sphere of Divine Consciousness. Thoughts of our good and bad actions are like drops of rain that mix with the waters of the immeasurable ocean of the Divine Soul.

45 Therefore, O Sikhidhwaja, abandon the barren soil (of rituals) and resort to the abundant field (of divine knowledge). As you would ask a good friend, ask me to know your best good. 46 As a wife who wants to be close to her husband should refrain from asking him for petty things, so you should refrain from asking your God for trifling blessings if you want to be in communion with him. Know that the objects of your desire are not always for your good.

47 No wise man runs to grasp the sun’s reflection in water. You should never pursue the pleasures of heaven or the joy of liberation after you have found Him in your own spirit. 48 Forsake what is unstable, though it may appear stable to you. You are always stable by leaving the unstable to perish by itself. 49 Knowing the instability of things, preserve the stability of your mind, because the motionless mind perceives no fluctuation of its thoughts and no change or motion of things.

50 All our evils proceed from the actions of our bodies and the thoughts of our minds. These two are the mainsprings of men’s miseries in all places and times. 51 If you desire to enjoy the happiness of quiet and rest, curb the unsteadiness of your mind and be ever calm and quiet. 52 Know that all motions and their lack dwindle into perfect rest in the mind of a truly wise man. Therefore hold them in equal light and be happy forever.

53 Sikhidhwaja said, “Tell me sage, how can the motion and force of a thing be one and the same with its immobility and rest? I dare say that you, who is the remover of my doubts, will quickly clear this point for me.

54 Kumbha replied:—

Only one thing is the all and whole of this universe. It is like the water of the sea and it is agitated by its intelligence, just as the sea is agitated into waves. 55 The immensity of Brahman, which is called the only essence and has the form of pure consciousness, is seen in the shape of the world of forms by the ignorant.

56 The agitation of consciousness is all in all in the world and constitutes the moving principle of the universe. 57 The agitation of consciousness, being the Divine Spirit, is the same as its stillness. The unity of these two forms, agitation and stillness, is the spirit of God called Shiva. 58 The agitation of the Divine Spirit in the work of creation vanishes before the sight of perfect understanding. To the ignorant, it appears to be in active operation, like seeing a false snake in a rope.

59 Conscious intellect is ever busy and active, from which it derives its name (chit, consciousness). But the inactive spirit which is all pervasive is both inexpressible as well as inconceivable because it is devoid of all attributes (turiyatita). 60 By long study of the scriptures and association with the wise, and also by continued practice of yoga, the light of the Supreme Spirit dawns in the inner soul like the rising moon with her benign beams. 61 The Supreme Spirit is only perceived from the benign rays it radiates, which the wise call the light of the Supreme Spirit. We perceive it by our understanding.

62 Now you have known the essence of your soul which is without beginning, middle or end and which must continue forever as your real and true state. There is no other distinct form of the great intellectual soul. Know this as yourself, and remain free from all sorrow and pain.