Chapter 169 — Description of the Calm and Tranquil Mind

Vasishta continued:—

He who is not delighted with his delights or dejected in his distress and looks only within himself for his peace and solace is truly called a liberated man in his lifetime. The mind of a self-liberated man is not moved from its steadiness in the solid rock of intellectuality towards the worldly enjoyments that are spread before him. The liberated soul rests in its intellectuality and has its mind ever fixed in it. He delights in intellectual culture and he has his calm rest therein. The true liberated soul rests in the Supreme Soul. His mind does not slide from divine contemplation, nor does he take any delight in the visible objects that are all around.

Rama said, “Sage, I think that the man who feels no pain in pain, who derives no pleasure from what is pleasurable, and who is entirely unconscious of both, is a mere block devoid of both senses and consciousness.”

Vasishta replied:—

The self reposed rests only in his empty consciousness. From the purity of his understanding, his soul derives a spontaneous delight that can be found in nothing and nowhere else. He rests in the Supreme Soul whose mind is cleansed of its doubts in all things and who by discrimination has obtained the true and certain knowledge of everything. He who takes no delight in any earthly thing is said to rest in God. Though he is outwardly employed in discharging the duties of his life, yet his soul is fixed in his God. He is known to be tranquil whose activities are all without any aim or expectation. He lives contentedly with whatever offers itself to his fate. 10 In this world of sorrow and misery, he alone is happy and successful who, in his long, restless, helpless and tiresome journey in it, has found his rest in the Supreme Spirit through his own intellectual improvements.

11 They who, after running their long race in the active course of worldly life, have come at last to set themselves at ease and quiet at the latter end of their lives, are like men who appear to have fallen fast asleep, enjoying their rest after the distressing dreams of their busy days. 12 In the open sphere of their intellects, they shine as brightly as the glorious sunrises in the sky, running his daily course without stopping anywhere. 13 Good people seem to be sleepy in their minds, though they seem awake and employed in business with their bodies. They remain as inactive as any inert body, though they are never inactive in their souls.

14 They who lie asleep on their beds, drowned in their reveries and dreams, are said and believed to be sleeping, though they are conscious of the workings of their minds. 15 When a tired traveler rests after a long and wearisome journey and is unable to utter a word from his hard breathing, such dullness does not indicate his dead silence or sluggishness.

16 The man of transcendent knowledge, with perfect peace and tranquility of mind and soul, remains as blind to the splendors of day as the blind owl. He remains as quiet as anybody in the darkness of night, when the whole creation sleeps in the gloom of ignorance and unconsciousness. 17 He is a happy man who, presented with the varied scenes of this visible world while awake, sleeps through them without noticing its sorrows. 18 He who pays no regard to ceremonial rites, remaining sincere to the welfare of his own soul, such a man is said to be self satisfied from his communion with himself. He is never, O Rama, considered as dead himself. 19 He who has passed over the miseries of this world and reached the other side remains supremely blessed in himself because of his sense of heavenly bliss in his inner soul.

20 He who is tired with his long journey in this world, always deluded by the five senses and the objects of the senses, becomes dissatisfied with his enjoyments in life and in the end meets with the phantoms of despair. 21 Overtaken by hoary old age, he is battered and shattered by the hoarfrost of diseases. Then like a old and worn-out antelope, he vainly wishes he could return to his native forests and plains. 22 Forsaken by the Supreme Soul, the only faithful guide in our journey through life, we are exposed to intricate mazes of thorns and thickets until the weary traveler, sitting in a shady grove, is at a loss to know where to take his rest. 23 Here we are robbed of our passport and money by the highwaymen of our sins and sensualities. We are overcome by our weakness and exposed to numberless dangers and difficulties along the way.

24 He who is possessed of his soul through his own spiritual knowledge crosses the ocean of the world (samsara) and reaches spiritual regions. There he rests calmly on the bedstead of his spirit and without the bedding of his body. 25 The man who moves about without any aim or effort of his own, and without his dream and sound sleep, whose mind is ever wakeful and whose eyes are never closed in sleep, such a man sleeps softly in the lap of his soul. 26 Like a well bred horse that sleeps standing and running, the self-possessed person sleeps in himself, even though he is employed among mankind with the acts of life.

27 How very sound and profound is the trance of the philosophic mind that it is not disturbed even at the roar of thunder or the explosions of volcanoes. 28 How wonderful is the ecstasy of the right discerner of truth who sees within himself all that an external observer with his open eyes sees as lying outside. 29 The man who sees the world disappear from the sight of his open eyes is joyful with his ecstatic sights, and not with intoxicating liquor. 30 Ah, how happily he sleeps in his reverie whose soul is satisfied and at rest after it has swallowed the visible world and drank the ambrosial drink of self satisfaction. 31 How happily does the self-possessed man sleep in his singleness, who is always joyful without anything to enjoy. He enjoys the everlasting bliss of unity. He sees the bright shining light of his inner spirit without any mortal thing on the outside. 32 Happy is the self-possessed soul who is blind to the objects of common desire and rejoices in the blaze of transcendent light in himself. He delights in subtle and spiritual joys as much as others take delight in their solid food and gross enjoyments.

33 The spiritual man sleeps happily with the inner peace of his mind. He shuts his eyes against the outer world which abounds only in sights of sorrow and the restlessness of the exuberant mob. 34 The self-possessed rest in the perfect peace of their minds. In their outer behavior, they debase themselves as the meanest of the mean, but in the greatness of their souls, they consider themselves to be the greatest of the great. They rest in the lap of the vast emptiness of their selves.

35 The knower of truth sleeps happily in the Universal Soul, his body resting in its vast emptiness which contains an infinity of worlds in every atom. 36 The knower of truth rests perfectly blessed in the Supreme Spirit which is full of indescribable light. He sees the repeated creations and dissolutions of the world in the Spirit, without being destroyed himself. 37 Blessed is the godly man who, seeing the world like a dream in his sleep, rests in the spirit of his God where he sees everything as clear as daylight and as bright as open sky. 38 How blessed is the knower of truth with his musings, who contemplates on the essences of all substances and absorbs the entirety of nature in himself, and whose comprehensive mind grasps the cosmos in itself, just as the emptiness of space comprehends the whole universe within its ample womb.

39 How happily does the self-communing sage sleep in his abstract contemplation of the clear and bright heavens in himself. He sees the entire universe in the light of the clear sky, resounding with the sound of his own breaths and snoring. 40 How happily does the self-communing sage rest in the depth of his innermost thoughts. He finds himself as empty as the infinite void itself. He sees the universe hovering like a dream in a corner of that emptiness. 41 How cheerfully does the self-musing sage lie down in his humble bed, which he finds to be like a mat made of straw swept before him by the tide of time and the current of contending circumstances.

42 The sage, by his diligent self-reflection, has come to know the true nature of himself. He lives in his lifetime as if in the state of dreaming. He deems his dream to be an aerial figure existing in empty air. 43 The sage, by his diligent self-reflection, has come to the knowledge of his own emptiness. He comes to the same knowledge of all nature at large, until at last he comes to reduce and assimilate himself to that emptiness.

44 The waking man falls asleep and the sleeping person rises to wake again. In this manner they pass their time in endless turns. Only the sound sleeper is ever wakeful to his true friend, self-liberation. 45 He who, having passed his days in the company of his best friend, self-liberation, comes to enjoy the sweet companionship of that friend self-liberation in his future life for a long period of time. He is truly entitled to perpetual rest and everlasting bliss in the state of the Divinity itself forever.