Chapter 185 — Kundadanta Completes His Story, Attains Liberation from Listening to Vasishta

Kundadanta narrates:—

The old sage, having said this much, closed his eyes in meditation. He became as motionless as a statue or picture, without any action of breath or mind. We prayed to him with great fondness and endearment, yet he uttered not a word to us. He seemed to be so rapt in his meditation as to have become utterly unconscious of the outer world.

We then departed from that place, our hearts broken and faces dejected. After a few days journey, we were received at home by our glad friends. We live there in joyous festivity, as long as the seven brothers were living. We passed our time narrating our adventures and stories of bygone times. In course of time, the eight brothers perished one by one into the vast ocean of eternity, like the seven oceans at the end of the world. They were released from their worldly cares, like so many of my other friends.

After some time, my only remaining friend also sank like the setting sun into darkness. I was left alone to lament their loss in sorrow and misery at our separation. Then, with sorrow in my heart, I returned to the devotee under the kadamba tree to derive the benefit of his advice to dispel my mental suffering. There I waited on him for three months until he was released from his meditation, when upon my humble request, he decided to answer me as follows.

The devotee replied, “I cannot pass a moment without being engaged in my meditation. I must return to my meditation practice without any loss of time. 10 As for you, you can not derive benefit from my transcendental advice to you unless you diligently engage in the practice of my teachings. 11 Now I tell you to go to the city of Ayodhya where King Dasharata reigns and lives with his son Rama. 12 Go now to this Rama who has been listening to the lectures of sage Vasishta, the preceptor and priest of the royal family who delivered these lectures before the princes assembled in the imperial court. 13 There you will hear the holy sermon on the means of attaining our final emancipation, and thereby you will obtain your highest bliss in the divine state like that of mine.”

14 Saying so, he became absorbed in the cooling ocean of his meditation. I came here and arrived at last before Rama and this princely assembly. 15 Here am I, and all these are the incidents of my life, as I have related, regarding all that I have heard and seen and experienced.

16 Rama said, “Eloquent Kundadanta who has just made this speech has been constantly sitting by my side in this assembly. 17 This same brahmin named Kundadanta has sat here all along and has heard the entire sermon delivered by the sage on the means of obtaining our liberation. 18 Now ask this Kundadanta, who is sitting here by me, whether he has understood the context of this lecture and whether his doubts are wholly dispelled or not.”

19 Vasishta said:—

Upon Rama saying so to me, I looked upon Kundadanta and asked him the following questions. 20 “Tell me, O good brahmin Kundadanta, what have you learnt and understood by your long attendance upon my lecture calculated to confer liberation on men?”

21 Kundadanta replied, “Sage, your lecture has wholly removed the doubts of my mind. I find myself to be perfect master of myself, by my victory over all selfish passions and by my knowledge of the knowable one. 22 I have known the pure One that is to be known and seen the One without decay that is worth our seeing. I have obtained all that is worth obtaining and I have found my rest in the state of transcendent bliss. 23 I have known this totality to be the condensation of that transcendental essence, and that this world is only a manifestation of this same soul (chidakasa). 24 The Universal Soul, being also the soul of every individual, is likewise the soul inherent in all forms of things. Only the self-existent Soul becomes apparent in all existences and all places.”

25 “It is possible for the human mind, which is smaller than the molecule of a mustard seed, to contain the whole world in itself, though it is nothing but a mere zero before the clear sight of the intelligent. 26 It is possible for a little room to contain the seven continents of the earth, though the room itself is no more than a mere empty space. 27 Whatever object is perceptible to us at any time or place, is only the concrete form of the Divine Spirit which is quite apart from everything that is being experienced.”