BOOK VI, Part 2
The Latter Treasury
Sage Vasishta explains that true detachment is achieved only by the awakening of self knowledge (atman jnana). The result is an automatic cessation of all actions and their results. The person no longer identifies with the body or seeks enjoyment in worldly objects. It is only when this realization of ones identity with the Supreme Self (atman) remains firmly established that one attains supreme liberation (param nirvana).
Vasishta also narrates his own experiences of samadhi. The sense of separate identity is lost in this state. He knows himself as one with pure consciousness (chidakasa). With the attainment of this knowledge everything else becomes known to him. He sees himself as existing everywhere and in all places and therefore he feels no need for movement, as he has nowhere to go to. Though devoid of the sense organs, he can see everything with his eye of wisdom (jnana netra) and he thus perceives that the innumerable universes of myriad names and forms exist within the pure consciousness as his own body.
As the discourse nears its end Rama’s doubts and mental agitations are all gone. When Vasishta begins to discuss the ultimate state of bliss (nirvana) Rama and the others in the assembly listening are all lifted to the blissful plane of consciousness.
Rama, freed from the distressing thoughts that had been weighing upon his mind, is absorbed in samadhi and has no more questions to ask. As the great sage concludes his discourse, Rama exclaims in rapturous joy, “Ah! I have attained the most wonderful state of nirvana that is the end of the purpose of life! I am always in form (swarupa) but in the extremely peaceful myself there is nothing. There is nothing that is now covetable to me.”
Vasishta then goes on to explain that having attained the state of nirvana, rishis are endowed with the highest state of samadhi (sahaj samadhi) that allows them to mix with people and to perform their allotted duties in life without coming down from their samadhi state. Then Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara appear and advise Shri Rama to remain firmly established in brahman always and to joyfully carry out his work and duties in the true spirit of one who is liberated while living (jivan mukta).