Chapter 102 — Kumbha Returns and Awakens the Trace of Life in Sikhidhwaja

Vasishta said:—

Now hear me tell you about Sikhidhwaja, sitting like a block of wood on one side, and the reappearance of Chudala to him from the other.

After Chudala had given enlightening instruction to her husband Sikhidhwaja, in her disguise of the sagely Kumbha, she disappeared and traversed into the regions of air. In the empty sky she dropped the from of the divine sage’s son which she had taken by her magic spell. The enchanted form melted away in the air and she appeared in her female form of beautiful appearance. She directed her airy course to her palace in the city where she showed herself as their queen before her assembled attendants and courtiers and discharged the royal duties of her absent lord.

5 After three days she again took to her aerial journey, assumed her enchanted form of Kumbha, and advanced to the hermitage of Sikhidhwaja in the forest. There she saw the king in his woodland retreat, sitting in his posture of deep meditation resembling a figure carved in wood. Seeing him this way, she exclaimed repeatedly in herself, “O what a fortune that he is reposing here in his own soul, sitting quiet and tranquil in himself.”

“I must now awaken him from his trance in the Supreme Being or else his soul will soon forsake its mortal frame owing to his disregard of it. He will end his worldly bondage by excessive meditation. It is desirable that he should live some time longer, either with his royalty in the palace or with devotion in this forest. Then we both will depart together, throwing off our mortal bodies.”

10 “It would be difficult to instruct him in all stages of meditation. There is no end of these things. I will try to train him only in the practical aspects of yoga.”

11 Thus reflecting in herself she made a loud shout which startled the wild beasts but did not rouse the entranced king, though she repeated her loud shouts before him. 12 When neither her shouts nor shrieks could rouse he who remained unshaken as a stone in rock, she shook him with her hands in an effort to bring him back to his sense. 13 Though shaken and moved and thrown down on the ground, yet the king neither awoke nor came to his senses. Then Chudala thought on another means in the disguise of Kumbha.

14 She thought, “Ah! I see my lord is absorbed in his prophetic trance and I must find some means to rouse him to his sense. 15 Or, why should I try to rouse his deified spirit back to its sensation when he is so well absorbed in his state of disembodied meditation? 16 I also wish to get rid of my female form and reach that state of supreme bliss like him, which is free from further births and transmigrations.”

17 Thus thinking to herself, Chudala was about to abandon her own body when her better understanding stopped her from undertaking that attempt. 18 “First let me feel the king’s body,” she thought, “whether there is an end of his life or there is any feeling or pulse in his heart. 19 Should he be alive, he must come back to his sense, just as the juicy root of trees recalls flowers in spring. 20 If he is alive he will walk about like me in his state of a living liberated soul. If he be found to be no longer living, then I shall follow him to the next world.”

21 With this in mind Chudala felt his body and examined it with her eyes. Perceiving him to be living, she rejoiced and said to herself, 22 “He has still a trace of life pulsating in his heart. The beating and throbbing of his heart show his life is not yet extinct.”

23 Rama asked, “How can a little spark of vital flame be residing in the body of the self distracted yogi, whose mind is as cold as stone and whose body becomes as hardened as a clod of earth or a block of wood?”

24 Vasishta replied:—

The trace of life remains in the heart as an imperceptible atom and in the manner of consciousness, just as future flowers and fruit are contained in their seeds. 25 The calm and cold yogi who is devoid of his knowledge of unity and duality and sees all things in the same light, who remains as quiet as a rock and without the pulsation of his heart, still has the vibration of his consciousness within him.

26 The body of a temperate and tranquil minded man never wastes or swells in bulk. It never decays or grows but ever remains in the same state. 27 The body of a man whose mind vibrates with thoughts of unity and duality changes and decays. This is never the case with a yogi of unchanging mind.

28 The action of the heart is the spring of life for everybody in this world, just as the honey in the flower cup is the cause of its future fruit. 29 The frail bodies of mortals are subject to fits of joy and anger, quickness and dullness, every moment. These, O Rama, are the seeds of repeated births and they are hard to be checked or subdued.

30 When the mind is still and quiet, the body becomes as dull as if it were lifeless. The body is subject to no passion or change whatever. It remains as even as the still and clear sky which nothing can disturb. 31 The man of even and dispassionate mind is never disturbed or tainted by any fault. He remains as calm as the waters of the ocean without breeze or waves.

32 The body is never lifeless and life is always perceptible unless the mind is defunct in its action. The mind becomes unexcitable and numb in itself only after long practice. 33 The body without the action of its mind and vitality quickly rots and melts away, just as snow melts away under the heat of the sun.

34 The body of Sikhidhwaja was felt to be hot, though it was without its active mind. Therefore it was known to possess its vitality, which prevented it from wasting and rotting away. 35 The noble lady, having perceived the body of her husband to be in that plight, held it tightly with her hands and began to consider what to do with it.

36 She thought, “I will try to raise him by infusion of my reasoning into his mind. This will no doubt bring him back to his senses. 37 If I do not raise him now, he must rise himself after sometime. But why must I remain alone waiting until then?” 38 Having thought so, Chudala left her body, the framework of the senses, and entered the body of the king and joined with his intellectual essence. 39 She gave a vibration to the reasoning of her living lord. After putting it into action and motion, she returned to her own body, just as a bird quickly moves from the twig of a tree, which is shaken thereby, and comes back to its own nest again.

40 She rose in her form of the brahmin boy Kumbha and sat upon a flowery bed, where she began to chant her hymns of the Sama Veda, her soft tunes resembling the melodious chime of buzzing bees. 41 The king, on hearing the tuneful chime of the hymns, felt an intellectual exhilaration. His dormant life was awakened to its consciousness, just as the lotus bud comes to bloom by the breath of spring season. 42 His eyelids opened to light like a lotus bud blooms with sunlight, and the king’s whole body became vivid with renewed life.

43 Before him, he saw the brahmin boy Kumbha in his divinely fair form singing Sama hymns as if the god of music was present in person. 44 “O fortunate am I,” thought he, “to have found my friendly Kumbha again before me.” So thinking, he picked up some flowers and offered them to him.

45 “O how great is my good fortune,” he said to his guest, “to be thus recalled to your gracious memory. What else could cause a divine person like yourself to be so favorably disposed towards me? 46 The cause of my salvation has caused you to come and call on me. What else would bring a son of a god down to visit me again?”

47 Kumbha spoke. “O sinless prince, my mind was ever intent on you ever since I left you. Now it has come back to me as I find you well in this place. 48 I do not reap so much delight in the ever delightful region of heaven as I do here in your presence. It is because I have the great work of your redemption no longer pending before me. 49 I have no friend or companion that is dearer to my soul than you. I have no faithful pupil or confidential disciple like you in this world.”

50 Sikhidhwaja replied, “Ah! Now I see that the trees of this mountain are about to yield the fruit of my meritorious acts. They have made a retired recluse like you condescend to desire my company. 51 If these woods and trees and I, who is so devoted to you, should find more favor in your sight than the bliss of your heavenly abode, then please may you live with me in this lonely forest. 52 As for me, I am so blessed with the gift of your samadhi that I always have my perfect rest in God, even in this place. I have no desire for heavenly delights. 53 Resting in that state of pure effulgence, I enjoy my fill of heavenly bliss even in this earth below.”

54 Kumbha questioned, “Have you ever had your repose in the state of supreme joy? Were you ever freed from the misery which always attends the knowledge of duality? 55 Have you ever felt a disgust with all temporary enjoyments? Have you rooted out your taste for the tasteless pleasures of this earth? 56 Has your mind ever rested in that state of even detachment which has no liking for the desirable or dislike for the undesirable, but is always content with whatever awaits upon it at anytime?”

57 Sikhidhwaja replied, “It is by your favor sage, that I have seen all that transcends human sight. I have reached beyond the limits of the universe and obtained the best obtainable and most certain bliss. 58 After long I am freed from decay and disease and gained all which is to be gained, and wherewith I am quite content. 59 I require no further advice from anyone for my upliftment.”

“I feel fully gratified with everything in all places. I am quite at ease and freed of disease everywhere. 60 I have nothing to know that I don’t know; nothing to obtain that has not been obtained. I have forsaken whatever is not worth having, and my soul has its reliance in the supreme essence. 61 I rest quite aloof from everything. I am devoid of any fear or error or apathy of anything. I am always situated in the even and calm course of my mind and in the equality of my soul with all others. I am free from all imagination, as the clear sky is free from all tint and cloud.”