Chapter 125 — Each Body of the King Helps the Other; On Yogis; None but Yogis Can Know the Mind of Another; Indifference to Fate

Vasishta continued:—

Now of the four bodies of the king, one was transformed into a tree in a valley called the vale of fearlessness in Saka continent. It supported itself by drinking the cascading water flowing down from the rocks above. Then the western body of the king, by the power of its mantra incantations, came to the relief of the eastern part and released it from its seventy-year long curse of a vegetable state.

Then the western body of the king that had traveled to the frigid climate was transformed into a stone by curse of the chief of a pisacha tribe. He was released from that state by the southern body offering meat food to the carnivorous pisacha. At another time, as this western body was settled beyond the western horizon, it was changed into the form of a bull by a female fiend that had assumed the form of a cow, and was freed from that state by the southern body. Again, the southern body of the king was doomed to live as a demon in a tree on a mountain in Kshemaka and was liberated from it at last by the yaksha prince. Then again, the eastern body of the king was transformed into the shape of a lion on a mountain in the province of Vrishaka. He was delivered from his transformation by the western body.

Rama asked, “Sage, how can the one king, confined in one place like a yogi, be present everywhere at the same time? How could he simultaneously perform various acts at different times and in different places by the all comprehensive universality of the mind?”

Vasishta replied:—

O Rama, let the unenlightened think whatever they may regarding this world, but you attend to what I say regarding the meaning in which it is viewed by enlightened yogis.

According to the wise, there is no other essence except the one Universal Consciousness. Phenomena are an utter nonexistence. The creation or uncreated entity of the world blends into nothing. 10 This Universal Consciousness is the eternal residence of and is the same as the eternal and Universal Soul and constitutes the essentiality and universality of the Supreme Soul at all times.

11 Say, who can obstruct the course of the great mind anywhere or by any force? It is omnipresent and all comprehensive, exhibiting itself in various forms in the endless varieties of its thoughts. 12 What can we call ours when all these sights are exhibited in the Supreme Soul or Consciousness in all places and times, and all that is present, past and future are comprised in that all-comprehending mind? 13 The far and near, a moment and an age, are the same to Consciousness which is never altered in its nature. It is both near and afar. It is the past, present and future.

14 All things are situated in the soul, yet through creation’s illusion and ignorance, they appear to be placed outside as we see them with our naked eyes. 15 The soul is the substantial omniscience of empty form. It exhibits the three worlds in its emptiness without changing its emptiness. 16 The Universal Soul appears in the universe as both viewer and the view, or as the subjective and objective in its same nature. How is it possible for the inherent soul of the apparent world to admit of a visible form in any way, unless it be by the delusion of our understanding to think it so?

17 But tell me, O sage who knows the truth, what is impossible for God for whom all things are possible at all times and places? So also to wise King Vispaschit who was conscious of his self identity in all his four forms.

18 The enlightened intellect of a yogi who has not yet arrived at his transcendent state of unity with God and retains the sense of its individuality, can yet readily unite itself with the souls of others in all places.

19 There is nothing impossible for the Supreme Soul. But the half-enlightened soul that lingers between knowledge and ignorance and has not attained transcendent wisdom is confounded in its intellect regarding the true knowledge of things. 20 The soul that is somewhat advanced in its knowledge is said to have partly progressed towards its perfection. Hence the four parts of Vipaschit situated on the four sides made up a perfect whole. 21 These four parts were like so many states of perfection which happened on Vipaschit like the rays of heavenly light. These states helped and healed each other, just as the different parts of the body assist and supply to the defects of one another.

22 Rama said, “Tell me, O venerable brahmin, why the fourfold King Vipaschit ran on all sides like brutes if he was so enlightened in every part? Why he did not sit collected in himself as he was?”

23 Vasishta replied:—

What I have told you about enlightenment applies only to yogis who, though they are combined of many parts in their minds, yet remain tranquil in themselves in the same state.

24 The four Vipaschitas were not wholly enlightened like holy yogis, but being partly enlightened, they remained in the middle state between the two, as if hanging between the states of enlightenment and ignorance at the same time. 25 They carried the marks of both at once: discretion and discernment on the one part, and passions and affections of their minds on the other. These two parts led them two different ways of liberation as well as of bondage.

26 Those who are ever vigilant in the discharge of their pious acts, wavering between their temporal and eternal concerns such as the Vipaschitas, continue in their course of action. Such persons cannot be perfect, esoteric yogis in this life. 27 Devotees devoted to a particular god, as the Vipaschitas were devoted to the god of fire, are called concentration yogis. Only if they attain transcendental knowledge are they called transcendent yogis. 28 The learned yogi does not see any mist of ignorance obstructing his sight of the light of truth. But the ignorant devotee is blind to truth, though he may be received into the favor of his favorite god.

29 The four Vipaschitas were all subject to ignorance. They rejected knowledge of the true soul by their attachment to gross material bodies which are, at best, only vain unrealities. Therefore listen to what I will now tell you about those who are liberated from their grossness even in their lifetime.

30 Yogis, of course, retain their knowledge of the material as they conduct the external affairs of life. Liberation is the virtue of the mind, consisting of its freedom from subjugation to gross materials. Liberation exists only in the mind and not in the body or its consciousness. 31 But, as the bodily properties are inseparably connected with the body, and as consciousness cannot be separated from the body, therefore a liberated soul is not attached to the body, nor does a yogi ever take any heed of the body in his mind. 32 The mind of a liberated yogi is never reunited with his body, anymore than pollen ever returns to its parent stalk. The physical properties of the body of a living liberated yogi always remain the same as those of worldly persons.

33 All can equally perceive the bodies of both yogis and worldly people, but not the minds which are hidden in them. A liberated soul cannot be seen by others, but the imprisoned spirit is known to all by its addiction to the discharge of its bounded duties. 34 A person can well recognize self-liberation in oneself, just as his perception of the sweetness of honey and the taste of other things are well known to him. One is well acquainted with his liberation and bondage from his consciousness of pleasure and pain from the one or the other. 35 Thus one’s inner perception of his liberation is why he is called liberated. It is also the inner coolness of his soul and the detachment of his mind that constitute his liberation even in his lifetime. 36 Neither bondage nor liberation of the soul, nor the pleasure or painfulness of one’s mind can be known to another, whether you divide the body into pieces or place it upon a royal throne.

37 Whether laughing or crying, the liberated soul feels no pleasure or pain because in either state he remains situated in the unalterable spirit of God. 38 The minds of liberated persons are settled in the Divine Spirit and nowhere else, even when they are receiving or doing anything with their bodies. But learned men of the different schools are seen to be quite otherwise because they are unacquainted with liberation. 39 The bodies of liberated persons are not affected by external events. Though such a one may appear to be weeping, yet he never weeps in grief, nor does he die with the death of his mortal body. 40 A great man who is liberated in his lifetime does not smile though he has a smiling face. He is not affected by or angry at anything, though he seems to be moved by affections and anger. 41 Without any delusion, he sees the delusions of the world. Unseen by any, he sees the failings of others. All pleasure and pain seem as ideals to him.

42 Everything is like nothing to a liberated sage, like flowers growing in the garden of the sky. The existence of the world is nonexistence to he who sees only unity in all existence. 43 The words pleasure and pain are like flowers in the sky to the liberated who are indifferent to them. They have become victorious over their feelings by their liberation from all sensations in their lifetime.

44 They who have known the truth are unchanged in their nature, just as the mouths of Brahma are unflinching in the recital of Vedas. 45 Shiva, with the nail of his finger, ripped the upper head of Brahma like a lotus bud. Brahma neither resented it nor grew another head, which he was well able to do. So the meek yogi does not resent any harm done to him.

46 Of what use is the upward looking face to he whose inner, intellectual eye shows him the emptiness of all things around. Hence, possession of the external organ of sight is useless to he who sees everything within himself. 47 Everyone gets what allotted to him by his fate in retribution of his past actions. Fate affects not only mortals, but also binds the god Shiva to the sweet embraces of Gauri, as well as to his somber contemplation forever. So also, the Milky Ocean bears the ambrosial moon in his ample bosom.

48 Good minded men are seldom seen to abandon their passions, though they are capable of doing so in their lifetime. But they become quite dispassionate upon their death when the five elemental principles of their bodies are burnt away upon the funeral pile. 49 But the living liberated man gains nothing by doing anything, nor does he lose anything by doing nothing. He has no concern with any person or interest whatever with anything here on earth. 50 What avails one’s passion or dispassion in this world? What is fated in this life cannot be averted by any means.

51 Vishnu, who is liberated in his life, does not cease from his work of slaying asura demons or to have them slain by the hands of Indra and others. He becomes incarnate to die himself or by the hands of demons. He is repeatedly born and grows up to become extinct at last. 52 No one can immediately give up his alternate activity and rest, nor is there any good to be reaped by his attachment to the one or his renunciation of the other. 53 Therefore let a man remain in whatever state he may be, without having any desire of his own. So Vishnu is without any desire in himself, being only the form of pure Consciousness and Intelligence.

54 Changing time changes and moves the steady soul on every side like a ball, just like it makes the fixed sun appear turning around the world. 55 The lord of the day is not able to restrain his body from its apparent course, though he is seated in his nirvana as he is, without any desire to change his place. 56 The moon also appears to be waning under his wasting disease, though he remains always the same in all kalpa ages of the world. So the soul of the liberated person continues the same, though his body is subject to decay with age.

57 Fire also is ever free and liberated in itself because nothing can extinguish its latent heat at anytime. Though it was suppressed for a while by the sacrificial butter of Marutta and the seminal liquid of Shiva, yet it revived again as it was before. 58 Brihaspati and Shukra, the preceptors of gods and demigods, were liberated in their lifetime and with all their ambitious views of predominance, they acted like dull and miserable persons. 59 The sagely King Janaka is perfectly liberated in his mind, yet he is willing to rule over his kingdom and defeat his enemies in battle. 60 The great Kings Nala, Mandhata, Sagara, Dilipa, Nahusa and others were all liberated in their lives, yet they reigned and ruled over their kingdoms with all the vigilance of sovereigns.

61 A man acting wisely or foolishly in life is neither bound nor liberated in this world. His ardent desire or apathy to worldliness is what constitutes his bondage or liberation. 62 The demon Kings Vali, Namuchi, Vritra, Andhaka, Mura and others lived quite liberated in their lives, yet they acted as unwisely as if they were elated by their ambition and passions. 63 Therefore the existence or disappearance of passions in anyone’s conduct makes no difference to his spiritual character. Pure vacancy of the human soul and mind constitutes his liberation in this world.

64 Being possessed of the knowledge of God as pure vacuum, the living liberated person is assimilated to the likeness of emptiness itself. He is free from the duality of thinking himself to be other than the Divine Spirit. 65 He is conscious of the fallacy of phenomenal appearances, which he knows to be no more than like the variegated rainbow reflected in empty air. 66 As the various colors are seen shining in a rainbow in the field of empty air, so these countless brilliant worldly bodies are only empty particles appearing in infinite space.

67 This world is an unreality that appears like a reality. It is unborn and uncreated, yet it is irresistibly conspicuous to our sight, like the appearance of the empty sky. 68 It is without beginning or end and yet appears to have both. It is a mere void seeming to be a real substantiality. It is uncreated, yet thought to be a created something. It is indestructible, though thought to be subject to destruction. 69 Its creation and destruction are phenomena occurring in the empty essence of God, just as the structure of a wooden post and statue takes place in the substance of the wood.

70 The mind freed from its imagination and drowned in deep samadhi, as in the state of a sleepless sleeper, comes to the sight of an even intellectual emptiness, absorbing the sights of all the worlds as if absorbed in it. 71 As a man passing from one place to another is unmindful of the intermediate scenes, so when attention is directed solely to the sight of the intellectual void, the thought of the world and other existences is wholly lost. 72 The thought of duality is lost in unity in this state of intense meditation. This idea of oneness disappears in that of a vast void which ends in a state of conscious bliss. 73 In this state of mental sameness, the duality of the world is lost in the nothingness of emptiness. The knowledge of self personality is decreased by spirituality. All future presents itself clearly to the view of the clairvoyance of the enrapt yogi.

74 The perfect yogi remains with his mind as clear as the empty sky, enveloping phenomena in its ample sphere. He sits silently, still and cold as a stone. He views the world in himself and remains quiet in rapturous amazement at the view.