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[Books 1-2. English translation. File version 1.

03, November 2009]

The YOGA of


In this century, the Yoga Vasishtha [YV] might be called "TEACH


It is a book for self-instruction; but it might be helpful to have a

guru. Ramana Maharshi has taught that "whoever merely thinks" of the
Holy Mountain Arunachala is assured of Moksha Freedom, of which
Nirvana is the base.

Since you have just thought of Arunachala, you now have a guru guide
through these thirty thousand couplets of beautiful Sanskrit.

My own thirty are a shabby try to make them resound in English poetry.

YV is a unique masterpiece in philosophical literature, in that it

combines the Manual with the Story-Book. The Story-Book is full of Dharanas,

guided meditations within stories that are as good as any others;

some full of sex and violence!

some pretty quiet....

The Manual explains the meaning of some complex terms of philosophy.

You are invited to join this adventure in translation. This ongoing translation needs your help, as a
Reader or a Scholar.
A Reader might advise if something offended his sensibilities, or did
not sufficiently offend them.

A Scholar ought to know some Sanskrit, and be able to correct my


Let me make clear from the beginning, that the central teaching of
this Masterpiece of Philosophical Literature has mainly this to say:

"This Universe in which you take so much stock,—it never was, it is

not now, and it will never be."

If you are ripe for such lunacy, then you should settle down for a
seven-year journey.

But please remember the Reader's and Scholar's duty to check me when I
do wrong.

सससससस सससस सससस ससस-ससससस सससस सससस ।

सससससस सससस सससससस ससस सस सससस ससससस [सस]

=saMtoSaH paramo lAbhaH sat-saGgaH paramA gatiH |

=vicAraH paramaM jJAnaM zamo hi paramaM sukham [19]

Contentment is the highest gain, Good Company the highest course,

Enquiry the highest wisdom, and Peace the highest enjoyment. y2.016.019


Sanskrit: Krishna Mankikar

English: Khajala



to Google Groups on Yoga Vasishtha:

In the Files section there, you can download the latest versions of the compiled files of Cantos,
working notes, etc.
Pages are posted similarly to the two-year arrangement of daily readings in the condensed
translation of Swami Venkatesananda. These postings are part of an annotated translation which
will take seven years to complete. The page files will include a glossary based on Monier-Williams,
Huet, and other sources.

There are five sorts of file:

[1] iT: The transliterated text in the Harvard-Kyoto, iTrans, and other systems: these files are
being revised.

[2] wn: Working Notes include resolution of Sandhis, extracts from the Commentary of
Anandabodhendra, literal translations of the phrases and compounds, and extracts from Monier-
Williams's Dictionary. When possible, related weblinks are given [hovering the pointer over them
will allow you to Ctl-Click connect.] The WN are intended to be a complete source, by means of
which an Advanced Beginner in Sanskrit can attempt his own translation.

[3] Canto: Files such as Canto 1.005: Shriveled Lotus are from the English Translation, by Errol
Pritchard and jivadas. It is a faithful translation that emulates the poetic forms of the original. [See
Copyright Notice below].

[4] misc.: These include side-trips into the Viveka-chudamani of Shankara, and other diversions.

[5] gl. Glossary files are given for some Cantos. Eventually these will be compiled into a
Glossary-Concordance. Where there is no glossary entry, a link is given to the Koln MW

Readers are invited to present criticisms, and their own views of this most remarkable Manual of

[Working Notes with literal translation, and Harvard-Kyoto transliteration of the Sanskrit, with Devanagari
text, can be found in the PAGES section. If no Glossary is appended, an excellent Sanskrit-English
Dictionary is available at ]


All of these files except the Canto files are free to copy by anyone, on condition that they cannot
be sold for money. A reference to this googleGroup would be a kindness.

The Canto files are Copyright © 2007 as an unpublished work, by Errol Pritchard. This copy is
for private circulation only. Publishers may request rights by posting a Discussion.

Of course, the Canto files may be freely downloaded by anyone for their own use, and copies to
their friends; preferably with a referential kindness.
The YOGA of


Book 1: The Book of Dispassion

Vairagya Prakarana


1.1.1 To that from which all beings and all things arise, and into which
they finally subsume, to that Self of Suchness, let there be praise!
2 from which come Knower, Knowledge, Known; Perceiver, Perception, the field
of Percepts; Doer, Cause, Action—to that Self of Experience,
let there be praise!
3 from which showers of Joy pour down to earth, each drop
a life, to that Self of the Joy of Brahman The Immense, be praise!

CANTO 1.001: Source of the Teaching

4There was a certain Brahmana known as Sutikshna the Pinpoint,

whose mind was overcome by doubt. So he came to the ashram of
the Mountain Man Agasti, and asked him, very respectfully:


1.5 Lord, you know everything, all of the truths of the Shastras! There is
one great doubt that troubles me. I wish you would explain it. 6 Just what
is the source of Freedom? Worship?! Can the path be Philosophy?
Or is it both? Take pity, and resolve this dilemma for me!


7 Look at the birds: each of them flies with two wings through the sky. Likewise
Religion and Wisdom jointly can win you the highest state. 8 Not
by Worship alone nor Wisdom alone is Freedom won, but by
the two together: thus the way to Freedom is twofold. 9 In this
connection, let me tell a tale that was told long ago.
There was
a lad, Karunya Pitiful, a Brahmana student who had
completed his Vedic studies. 1.10 His father, Agniveshya the
Firepit, was a professor of the Vedas and their Sciences.
When, certified by his guru, the boy came home, 11 he neglected
his duties of religion, sat in silence, and was full of doubt.
So then the guru his father seeing his son neglecting his
duties of worship, 12 spoke a word of fatherly rebuke to him:

What is this, son? Why will you not perform the rites of sacrifice?
13 You're not singing your homilies! How do you think you'll be empowered
if you don't do altar service, would you kindly explain me that?

14 "So long as thou'rt alive, thou shalt perform the Fire Sacrifice, the
Agnihotra": this is Dharma—so say the spoken and written
teachings, both. 1.15 But "Not by riches nor worship nor by progeny
comes Moksha Freedom: only by Detachment do seekers attain
deathlessness"—16 so says the Shruti. Faced with these two teachings, what am
I to do? That’s what I must know.

17 And so, my boy, with these sad words
that young Brahmana Pitiful grew silent. When the guru saw
his son so, he said this to him:

18 Listen, son, and I will tell you
a story. Take it to heart, think it over carefully; then, son, do
whatever you may wish to do.

19 There was a very seductive

Apsara Nymph called Suruchi Sunbeam. One day she flew down to
the highest peak in the Snowy Mountains, where peacocks go to play;
1.20 and where the Kinnara Whatnot boys play around with Whatnot girls,
until the River of Heaven pours down to wash away their sins.
21 She looked up and saw, in the sky, a messenger from the Godking
Indra in his aircar; and that delightful Suruchi Sunbeam,
best of the Apsara Nymphs, said:

22 Divine heavenly messenger,
where do you come from, where do you go? I am very curious,
so you must tell me everything!


23 That's a good question that you ask
(and you have beautiful eyebrows!), so I will tell you everything.
There is a Royal Rshi called Arishta-nemi Axlebar. He gave his
kingdom to his son, 24 did the King, out of detachment, and then that
Dharma-soul went to the forest to practice Tapas Sacrifice
on Gandhamadana Mountain, the Peak of Maddening Perfume.
1.25 I spoke to him, and now am on my way back to make my report
to Great Indra, King of the Gods, of what the royal Rshi said.

26 And what did you discover there? Do please tell me, most noble sir—
it is not right to keep someone—who's eager to know—in suspense!

27 Just listen, lovely lady. I'll tell everything!
So, in the woods,
the king was making hard Tapas: he was a serious yogi.
28 Then—(you have such lovely eyebrows!)—the Godking gave me his command:

"Get on your way now, Messenger. Take this mind-controlled aircar; 29 take
along with you some Apsara Nymphets; and take an orchestra;
and some Gandharva choristers; and some Siddha Adepts; and some
elvish Yakshas; and Kinnara Whatnots: a Circus of Wonders!
1.30 Fly to the Mount of Maddening Perfume, and land amongst the palms,
bamboos, and sugarcanes."
He went on, darling, 31 "Then bring me this King
Axlebar back here to Heaven, in this luxurious aircar,
where he can enjoy his reward: the company of Immortals."

32 Orders are orders. I boarded this beautiful aircar, fully

equipped as I described, and set out back to Gandhamadana.
33 I landed on the mountain-top, I went to Axlebar's ashram,
I gave my message, the command of Indra the Great, the Godking.
34 And there, honey, he heard my words, and made me this doubtful reply:

I have a question, messenger, I hope that you can answer me:
1.35 What are the pros and cons of life in Heaven? What's good? and what's bad?
When I know that, what kind of place it is to live in, then I will
do what seems best. That's my question.

36 Heaven is enjoyed according
to the virtue you bring to it: thus, the highest virtue attains
enjoyment of Highest Heaven; 37 likewise medium virtue wins
Middle Heaven; and of course the least virtuous of all can
attain only to Lower Heaven. 38 But the merits of virtue can
be lost:—by haughtiness toward superiors; by envy of
equals; or by condescension toward those of lesser rank than you.
39 So, when your merits are used up, you're reborn to this mortal world.
These are the pros and cons you will find in heaven, your majesty."

1.40 And so, darling, His Majesty made this reply to my report:

Messenger, I want nothing of your triple tit-for-tat heaven!
41 I will continue with the most severe Tapas until I slip
out of this wrinkled flaking skin, shedding it like a senile snake.
Tapas :
42 Messenger, board your aircar now, and go back home the way you came:
return to your mighty Indra, king of the gods; and fare you well."

43 So, honeybunch, it was. When I was properly debriefed, I told
it as it had happened, the tale: and everyone was dumbfounded.
44 Then Mighty Indra spoke in his slickest, sweetest, most mellow voice:


Messenger, you will go back there and lead him to an Ashrama.
1.45 There is a certain Valmiki [they call him Anthill Man]: he knows
what's what. He gave up everything to study his own intellect.
Take him this message:
"'Maharshi, Great Rshi, this is my command:
46 " 'Great Rshi, Maharshi, you see before you this King, in his rags.
He does not want Heaven. Tell him about the Thatness, Great Muni.
47 By that means show him the way to Freedom from Samsara-sorrow.' "
So they say, "Orders is orders"—, he's King of the Gods, after all,—
48 and so I set out back again toward Mount Maddening-Perfume.
48 And so I brought the king along to the Ashram of Valmiki,
the Anthill-Born Anthill Man, so that, by order of Great Indra,
the King would learn the Sadhana Practice that gives Moksha Freedom.
49 There the Anthill greeted the King with the customary questions about
his health and wellbeing: was he well; was his kingdom prospering?

1.50 Lord of the Dharma, knower of what's known and to be known, the sight
of you is itself, I would say, my good health and prosperity!
51 Lord, I have a question, which I ask you to answer fully: bound
by suffering in Samsara, how do I find Moksha Freedom?

52 Listen, King, while I sing to you the whole story of Rama's Way.
When you have heard that, with some work, you can be a Living Freeman.
53 Then I will sing the Dialogue between Rama and Vasishtha
the Supreme, just as I heard it. Listen to that like a wise man.

54 Who was Rama? what sort of man? how was he bound? how was he freed?
You are the wisest of the wise: kindly explain all this to me.

55 The lord Hari, under the power of a curse, was transformed into
the body of a prince, and he, though wise, fell into ignorance.

56 If Hari was Consciousness-Joy itself, Perfect Awareness in
the flesh, how was he cursed; and who cursed him? Kindly explain me that.

57 The lustless Sanat-kumara, the Ancient Boy, was visiting
the kingdom of immense Brahma, when Vishnu, lord of the three worlds,
came from his home in Vaikuntha. 58 And he was honored there by all
in Satya-loka the Such-World—except for Kumara the Boy.
So that potent Ishvara said: 59 "Old Boy, Sanat-kumara, you
may be free from desire, but you are full of pride, and arrogant.
Because of this you will take birth as Karttikeya, the Reed-born!"
1.60 And he replied, cursing Vishnu: "For all of your omniscience,
there'll come a time when you become as ignorant as any man!"
61 When Usha, Bhrgu's wife, conspired with the Darklings against Vishnu,
she was beheaded by his Wheel of Fire. Blind with anger, Bhrgu
the Fiery said: "Vishnu, you too will be alone without your wife!"
62 Vrnda the Many cursed Vishnu when his wife cheated on him:
"Soon another will take your own wife by the power of these my words!"
63 The wife of Devadatta the Godgift, standing by Payoshni
River, saw Nrsimha the Man-Lion and was frightened to death.
64 So Devadatta cursed Vishnu to separation from his wife:
"Sudden and soon you also will see what it is to lose your wife!"
1.65 So cursed by Bhrgu and the Boy Kumara, by Devadatta,
and by Vrnda, the lord Vishnu descended into human form.

66 And that is all I am going to tell you about such curses.

So now just listen to the whole story with an attentive mind.

CANTO 1.002: A Visit from Brahma

In heaven, on earth, and in space; outside me, and inside me too
it shines as the light of the Self: to that Self of All I give praise! 1

"I am bound and I would be free!" Whoever knows this certainly;

who is not wholly ignorant,—and neither is a Know-it-All,—
is qualified for this Shastra. 2

This is the story-telling path,

the path of Enquiry, the path of Freedom; and one who enquires
into this Wisdom is free from the painful cycle of Rebirth. 3
FoeSlayer, after "Rama's Way" I have composed this Yoga of
Vasishtha the Supreme. Hear it! 4 I taught it to Bharadvaja
Skylark, my clever student, in its entirety; and it is like
an ocean that is full of pearls. 5
That clever Bharadvaja went
to Mount Meru, and there he sang my stories to the lord Brahma,
creator of the universe. 6 And the Ancestor of the Worlds
Brahma was pleased, and said to him:


Sonny, ask me whatever you
desire and I will grant your wish. 7

Bhagavan, Master of Beings
and Becomings, this favor I would ask from you: a Way that leads
people out of Sorrow, a path for anyone and everyone. 8

Get back to the Anthill Ashram and there learn the whole wonderful
greater Ramayana. 9 Hearing it, any man is freed from all
delusion: it is like a bridge over an ocean, it is like
an icon of highest virtue. 10

So saying, that Power of Powers,
Maker of All, came along with the clever Bharadvaja, came
straight here to the Anthill Ashram. 11
I made haste to worship the god,
giving him drink, bathing his feet—and then he spoke: the Great Suchness,
friend of all creatures, spoke to me! 12
"Your tale of the adventures of
Rama,—best of munis, do not get tired, but finish it in its
immaculate entirety. 13 It is by means of this work that
the narrow strait of Samsara, this world, can be crossed easily,
as if in a swift clipper ship." 14
And the unborn Brahma went on:
"I have come here to command you to relate this entire Shastra
for the benefit of this world." 15
And then, within less than an hour's
visit, the lord Brahma vanished, to my amazement, like a wave
that softly sinks into the sea. 16
I was totally overcome
by this experience; but then at last came to my senses, and
put this question to young Skylark: 17
"What was it that the Lord Brahma
said to me, Skylark? What did he say?" And the clever Skylark then
told me just what Brahma had said. 18

The Ramayana that the Lord
Brahma related to you, you are to tell for the benefit
of the whole world of Samsara. 19 So tell me, lord, just how did they
proceed in this Samsara sea—the wise Rama and Bharata
the Bearer, and the Foeslayer Shatrughna; how did Lakshmana
Luckyman, and Sita the Fair, and all their followers and friends? 20
Tell me in plain language how they got free from sorrow, so that I
can do the same, and everyone else of those born into this world. 22

So Bharadvaja Skylark gave (with due respect) Brahma's command;
and I proceeded thereupon to do what I was ordered to. 23
I told him, "Listen, Skylark, and I'll tell you what you want to hear;
and hearing it, you will put all bewilderment far behind you!" 24
And when I had sung Rama's Way: "So, wise boy, you should carry on
like lotus-eyed Rama, with a detached Intellect, happily. 25
"Be like Lakshmana Luckyman and Bharata the Bearer and
Shatrughna Foeslayer, his three brothers, all of them great-minded;
be like their mothers, Kausalya and Sumitra, be like Sita
the Fair, and their father, who was the match for any ten chariots,
King Dasharatha Charioteer. 26
"Be like Rama's companions
Krtastra, master of Astra Weapons, and be like Virodha
the Quarrelsome, be like the wise Bodhapara; like Vasishtha
the Supreme; like Vamadeva the Divine; be like the eight great
ministers, 27 Dhrshti the Bold, and Jayanta the Victorious,
Bhasa the Bright, Satya the True, and Vijaya the Victor, be
like the frightful Vibhishana, or Sushena the Sharpshooter, not
to forget jawsome Hanuman! 28
"Those eight great ministers that I
mention were of equable and detached minds; were great souls, Living
Freemen who take the world just as it comes. 29 Be like them in all your
offerings, your charity, your conduct, your remembrance. Then, son,
be free from sorrow in this world. 30

"Fallen into the great ocean, Samsara,

becoming one with the very highest truth,
one ceases grieving, but in humility,
free of life's fevers, one rests in contentment. " 31

CANTO 1.003: The Pilgrimage

Brahmana, please explain to me the state of Living Freedom reached
by Rama and his companions, so I can be always happy. 1


I give no thought to this mirage, this world of birth: it's a rainbow
in emptiness! It is better not to give thought to such a strange thing. 2
The truth does not arise without realization that Percepts
are quite without being. Seek that wisdom, in any way you can. 3
This truth can arise here and now if you give ear to this entire
Shastra. You will attain the truth in this way. Listen to it now. 4

This world of delusion, though seen, does not, in fact, arise at all:
it is a rainbow, nothing more. Enquire into this, saintly boy! 5

"What is perceived is not": this thought cleanses perception. Realized,

it leads to joyous Nirvana. 6

Wallowing in many shastras

leads only to more ignorance over the ages and eons,
and not to joyous Nirvana. 7 Complete detachment from Habits
of Mind is the best, highest course, Brahmana, and leads to Freedom. 8
The Consciousness is like water; these Habits are like snowflakes; and
like snowflakes they must melt away. 9
This body is like a bird-cage
whose bars are the Habits of mind. Remove the bars, the bird is free! 10

These Habits are twofold: the pure and the impure. And the impure
are the cause of our being born; the pure cause the end of rebirth. 11
Impure Habituation, as the wise describe it, is a cloud
of ignorance, consisting of congealed Egoity, and is the cause
of being born again. 12 Renounce, and the seed of rebirth will be
as sterile as parched corn: Habit when purified is best for the
embodied. So say those who have known the known and the knowable.
13 They say that the pure Vasana Habits are why the embodied
Living Freemen are free from birth. For their body is illusion,
less real than a wheel of fire. 14 Where Vasana Habits are pure
there is no more useless rebirth: so say the wise Living Freemen
who know the known and knowable. 15
How the wise Rama once attained
the state of Living Freedom—that is my tale, that's a story for
the living and the dying. Listen, 16 Skylark, and hear the history
of the most wise Rama. Knowing it, son, you will know everything
always. Just listen to it now. 17

When he completed his schooling,

the lotus-eyed Rama came home and spent his days in comfort, with
nothing to fear. 18 And in due course he ruled the land as the king's son;
and he released his people from suffering and senility. 19

There came a time when Rama's mind, possessed of every virtue, grew
anxious to visit sacred shrines and ashrams on a pilgrimage. 20
So hoping, the best of the sons of Raghu the Swift approached
his father, like a swan sailing to a lotus, and touched his feet. 21

Daddy, my mind is made up: I must visit sacred grottoes, groves,
the houses of the gods, temples of sacrifice,—to see these things. 22
Whatever people ask of you, you give; so you should grant this to me. It
never happened, that you denied a fair request to anyone. 23

And so, after conferring with Vasishtha the Supreme, the King
granted Rama his first request. 24
So one day when the stars were right,
the Scion of Raghu the Swift fared forth, showered with flowers, while
the twiceborn chanted their blessings. 25 Led by Vasishtha the Supreme,
the shastra-erudite twiceborn proceeded, with a few friends who
had been selected by the prince. 26 He was showered with blessings, tugged
and hugged by all his mothers, when [buried in garlands] he set forth
from home to make his pilgrimage. 27

The people praised him with trumpets

in his procession. The ladies of the city, with ogling eyes,
sucked honey from the sight of him. 28 The farmers came and danced. It was
a riot. Then they threw popcorn , burying Rama, so he looked
like Everest Himalaya! 29

Dismissing the twiceborn wise men,

he then addressed the people; and then he cast a last backward glance,
as he approached the forest. 30
So he set forth from Koshala City,
his home, after the sacred bath, and feasting, and meditating,
honoring the ancestors, on his pilgrimage. 31
He visited
sacred rivers and holy groves, temples, and far-away jungles
and mountain-tops, and Great Ocean, Mother of Waters. 32 He saw the
moonlike Mandakini, and the Kalindi's sky-blue lotuses;
Sarasvati, the river of the Goddess of Rivers, and the
Shatadru, Chandrabhaga, and the great Iravati River. 33
He saw the Veni, the Krshna-Veni, and the swift Nirvindhya
that flows out of the Vindhya Range; the Sarayu and leathery
Charmanvati; the Vitasta, the Vipasha and Bahuda. 34 ; ; ; ki/Jhelum_River
He saw Prayaga, Naimisha, the Dharma Forest, and Gaya,
the holy place Varanasi, and Shrigiri and Kedara
and the flowery Pushkara. 35 ; ; ;

He saw the upper Manasa

and its tributary rivers; saw the mouth of the Vadava,
and such shrines; saw sea. 36 And the Fire-Shrine; Indradyumna; rivers from
rivers, manifold. 37 And Svami Karttikeya, the maNi-fold
Shalagrama, and sixty-four shrines of Hari and Hara. 38 And
moat various most wonderful places. He saw the shores of four
Seas; and the Vindhya mountains, and Mount Mandara that churned the worlds;
and the foothills. 39
He sat with the Royal Rshis, and with Rshis
dwelling in Brahman; and he sat before the gods in a sacred
Ashrama. 40 That most clever boy traveled with his brothers, and he
saw everything to be seen, from peaks to valleys, from hills to heights. 41

And he was honored by the gods and Whatnots and

humankind everywhere; and he came home unto
his home, and he was like Shiva, when he got lost
and found his way back to Shivaloka, his home. 42

CANTO 1.004: Rama's Day

The citizens showered Rama with flower-garlands, as the boy
approached the palace, like the son of Indra coming home from war. 1
He honored his father, and his guru Vasishtha the Supreme,
his brothers, cousins, Brahmanas, his clansfolk, when he came back home. 2
And all his friends, his brothers, his father, the twiceborn Brahmanas,
embraced Rama repeatedly. 3
Then, in the palace of the King,
his father Dasharatha, he spoke with his friends, and his voice was
as mellow as a bamboo flute! 4
He spent eight days celebrating
his homecoming with rejoicing people gathered, a happy crowd
from every part of the kingdom. 5
And he spent those first days there in
the Palace with his friends, telling of wonderful places and strange
customs he saw as a pilgrim. 6

Time passed. He rose at dawn, and did

his sacred oblations. Then he would visit the Royal Council
where his father ruled like a god. 7 Then he would spend a quarter of
the day with Vasishtha Supreme, hearing most wonderful stories
which were pregnant with his wisdom. 8
He would go (at his father's command), surrounded by a great army,
to hunt the boar and buffalo, hungry to hunt in the forest. 9
Then, coming home, he would perform the customary ablutions,
dine with his relatives and friends, and sleep the night with his best pals. 10
And that is how the Raghava Rama, Son of the Swift, spent his
days, with his brothers, coming home again to his father's palace. 11

He practised the kingly arts—he had learned them well!—

his people were like the moon to him in shining,—
and that is how everyday he carried on.
Dear boy, he was the very elixir of nectar! 12

Canto 1.005: SHRIVELED LOTUS: Rama Wastes Away


Now Rama was not quite sixteen and growing up with his brothers,
the Clansmen of Raghu the Swift: Shatrughna called the Foeslayer,
and Lakshmana the Luckyman; 1 (but Bharata the Bearer then
was still contentedly staying with his maternal grandfather).

And the King ruled in the kingdom like the unvanquished Lord of Worlds. 2
The politic and sagely King Dasharatha Charioteer
met daily with his ministers, about "Getting Brides for his Sons". 3

But after Rama had returned home from pilgrimage, he began

to lurk in his apartment: wan and worn, he was a brown lotus. 4
The wide-eyed face of the young prince grew pale, grew pallid, like a white
lotus withered by the attack of a barrage of bumbling bees. 5
He would sit in the Lotus Posture, his cheek resting on his hand,
sunk in his troubled thoughts, silent, unwilling to do anything. 6

Rama grew thin, with tortured thought, in unrelenting depression,

with nothing to say. He was like the engraving in black and white 7
that they call the "Shriveled Lotus".
His servants and friends had to beg him
anxiously and repeatedly to do his duties of worship. 8
Seeing that Prince of Virtue, that Rama, that Consolidation
of Quality,—seeing him so deep in the blues, they grew blue too. 9
So, with his children and his wives, Dasharatha grew sad and thin
and sorrowful about Rama. 10
11 "What is it, son? What's your worry?",

he'd ask Rama repeatedly—ask with a loving voice, and hear

not even an echo back. Then: 11
"No worry, Daddy," said the son,
sitting upon his father's knee; and then the lotus-eyed Rama
stopped short; and the rest was silence. 12

And so Dasharatha approached

the sage Vasishtha, asking him: "What's the matter with my Rama?" 13

Asked by King, Vasishtha thought a while. Then:

"There's a cause for it,

there is indeed a happy cause for Rama's sorrow. Don't worry! 14

"Misery gives rise to anger, pervading, hair-raising.

The wise, free from causation, do not undergo such things.
At the uprising of the worlds or at their last ending,
your majesty, those great beings do not suffer change." 15


The King was not convinced by these words of the Muni; and so he
continued grieving. Thus time passed; 1 and the Queens grieved in the palace,
and followed Rama's every move. 2
Now, at that very time, there came
the sage Vishvamitra Allfriend to the invincible city,
Ayodhya, to seek the King's help. 3
He was making a sacrifice,
but hordes of Rakshasa Demons defiled the sage's sacred work
with their mischief and trickery. 4 He was unable to complete
the Rite, and so he came to see the King, to seek his protection
against the demon Rakshasas. 5 So it was, seeking the death of
Demons, that the illustrious Vishvamitra, the Friend of All,
came to Invincible City. 6

"I wish to see the King," he said

to the Doorkeeper. "Tell him that the son of Kushika Gadhin
has come. And be quick about it!" 7

Hearing his voice, stricken by it,

commanded by it, Doorkeeper and guards made haste to announce him. 8
They hurried to the Audience Chamber, and told the Royal Guard
their news, that the Rshi, the Friend of All, Vishvamitra, had come. 9
So when the King gave audience, surrounded by his counselors,
the Macebearer approached him and earnestly gave him this report: 10

"Lord, at the Gate there is a man—glorious, mighty, luminous,

brilliant, blessed, and with his bright red hair all bundled in a knot. 11
His radiance illuminates the city, from the pennants on
the battlements down to the earth: everything is speckled with gold!" 12
Just so the Macebearer gave his report to His Majesty that
the Muni Friendofall had come. 13 With these words of the Macebearer
that greatest lord of men arose from his throne, and he proceeded
forth with his court and ministers. 14
They went on foot, the king with his
companions like a garland, led by Vasishtha the supreme sage
and Vamadeva, chanting praise. 15
And so it was the great Muni
Vishvamitra, the Friend of All, met with that tiger of Munis
there at the gate of the palace. 16
He rose, no matter why, just like
a rising sun upon the earth, a Brahmana in Tejas fire,
a Kshatriya in energy. 17
He was wrinkled, hoary with age,
and his fiery red hair tumbled onto his shoulders, like the glow
of sunset on a mountain-top. 18 A man of peace, a man to love,
brilliant, free from enmity, a quiet man but powerful,
generous, splendid, wonderful,19 tender, formidable, gracious,
generous, and profound, he was aglow in the bright splendor of
the radiance of Tejas fire. 20
Ancient of days, he was a friend
of everyone, without a fault, with an untrammeled and kind mind.
He carried a clay begging bowl. 21 The loving-kindness of his thoughts,
the sweetness of his looks and speech, and all his way were like nectar
sprinkling down upon everyone. 22 Adorned with the Upavita
thread, with great white eyebrows, he was an endless source of amazement
for everyone who beheld him. 23
As soon as the Earth-Lord caught sight
of the Muni, he fell down in prostration, and the jewels of
his crown were tarnished in the dust. 24
And the Muni, the maker of
a hundred Sacrifices, made in turn his obeisance, praising
the king in his melodious voice. 25
And after this the Brahmanas,
led by Vasishtha the Supreme, offered the sage Vishvamitra
the ceremonies of welcome. 26

We are as free from trouble, with
the shining sight of you, Sadhu, we are as blessed, as a lotus-
blossom is in the morning sun. 27 Your mere presence, the sight of you
today, brings boundless joy to me, a joy which, once felt, never ends! 28
We must account today to be of all days the most fortunate,
a day of Dharma, of fortune, this day you deign to visit us. 29

And so, uttering every sort of praise, the princes and the Great
Rshis came to the Court Chamber, and entered it, and took their seats. 30
Seeing the sage, so garlanded with fortune, the delighted king
proclaimed an offering to him, that foremost of the Great Rshis. 31
Then, the King granting him a proper offering, in keeping with
Shastra and Karma rules, he then circumambulated the sage. 32
Thus duly honored by the king, the smiling sage inquired into
the health and the prosperity of that mighty lord of mankind. 33
And then he met with the supreme Vasishtha, that bull of Munis,
and, smiling paid him due respect, inquiring into his good health. 34
After some further little while of such mutual greeting,
with happy hearts, they all gathered in the palace of the great king. 35
So one by one they took their seats respectively. Respectfully,
one by one, they paid their respects, inquiring into his good health. 36
When the learned sage took his seat, they performed the rites of welcome,
washing his feet, and offering sweet nectar to him, and cattle. 37
Then when these offerings were done keeping to custom, the king bowed
with folded hands to FriendofAll; and began his speech of welcome: 38

[The following dialogue corresponds with Ramayana 1.18.50, etc.]

It is like tasting the Nectar of Immortality; like rain
falling in time of drought; it is like a blind man recovering
his sight: such is your coming here. 39 It's like a childless man getting
a son upon his barren wife; or it is like a beggar's wish
come true: such is your coming here. 40 It's like getting your heart's desire;
like meeting with your beloved; or like recovering a lost
treasure: such is your coming here. 41
It is exalting, like the sight
of a dead friend come back from heaven: such is your coming here, great
Muni, Brahmana! Be welcome! 42 Who would not be happy to dwell
in Brahma's heaven? Truly, great Muni, such is our happiness. 43
Whatever you desire, twiceborn Brahmana, whatever I can
do for you, it is yours by right, who are the foremost of the wise! 44
Formerly you held the title of Royal Rshi; but by your
glorious Tapas, you have won the name of Brahma Rshi, and
by this name I now honor you. 45
You're as refreshing to me as
the holy water of Ganges: such is the sight of you to me,
cooling my spirit inwardly. 46
Brahmana, you're free from desire,
from fear, from anger, from passion, from sickness: it is wonderful
that you would deign to visit me. 47
I feel that I am standing on
holy ground! All of my sinful works are purified, bathed in the
light of your full moon, the wisest of those who know what is to be known. 48
I am in the presence of the Brahman, the vast Immensity,
when you are here. I'm purified, Muni, by your saintly presence. 49
Sadhu, I am overwhelmed by the sanctity of your person.
I think this must be my reward for good deeds in a former birth. 50
When I behold your coming here, and honor you, and sing your praise,
I see you glowing in myself like the moon shining in the sea. 51
Whatever I can do, whatever you may need—it's yours, Muni;
for it is fitting that I do anything that is asked by you. 52
Son of the great owl Kushika, ask what you will: no argument!
There is nothing that you might ask that I would dare deny to you. 53
There is no question in my mind: Dharma dictates my duty to
your grace. Indeed, you are, to me, a species of divinity! 54

The king completed this sweet and mellifluous
speech, such a speech as a knower of the Self might make,
and the sage, famous for virtue, firm in virtue,
that bull among Munis, was overcome with delight. 55
Hearing the Lion-King proclaim his wonderful and hair-raising
oration, then Vishvamitra, the friend of all, made this reply: 1


A worthy speech for a leopard among monarchs, born in a line

of great monarchs, and instructed by Vasishtha, that supreme sage! 2
What you promised in that heart-felt speech, now is your duty to do,
Leopard King, for that is how you uphold the rule of the Dharma. 3
Bull among men, my dharma is to offer sacrifices to
attain Empowerment. But hordes of bloody Rakshasa Demons
violate my sacrifices. 4 When I offer my offerings
to the host of divinities, then they, those NightRovers, come and
contaminate my offerings. 5
Again and again, while I do
my work, the Demon Rakshasa warriors come forth, scattering filth
and meat and blood on the altar. 6
So I've been driven off from my
altar and my sacrifices, and come before you, exhausted
and despondent, in my sorrow. 7
But I am not permitted to
give vent to anger in my mind, such is the rule; and I cannot
express it by casting a curse: 8 such are the rules of sacrifice.
But with your help, your grace, I can freely complete my sacrifice
and earn by it a great reward. 9
It is your duty to protect
a supplicant. To fail to give protection is a shameful deed
in a person of high estate. 10

You have a son, a handsome youth,

proud as a lion, and as strong; as brave as Indra the GodKing.
He can rip those Demons apart! 11
Leopard-King, you must let me have
Rama, your son with raven hair, that brave boy, that superior
man, Rama, the best of the brave. 12
With the divine protection of
my Tejas, he will have the power to mangle those foul Rakshasa
Demons, decapitating them. 13
And I will celebrate his fame
throughout the three worlds, endlessly: in every way he'll be renowned. 14

Those Demons will take to their heels when they see Rama like a thick-
maned lion tracking-down a deer. 15
No other man can take them on
in battle but the scion of the Bullrider. Who else would dare
do battle with mad elephants? 16
Puffed-up with valor in battle,
those warriors are like the Kalakuta poison that turned Shiva's
throat blue. Led by Khara the Mule and Dushana the Spoiler, they
are fierce like Death, the end of things. 17
Leopard-King, even they cannot
endure the constant shower of Rama's arrows, smothering them
like dust drowned in a thunderstorm. 18
Do not, your majesty, let your
love for your son persuade you to deny me. In this world, there can
not be a limit to a great Mahatma's generosity! 19
I know most certainly that those demonic Rakshasas will be
destroyed. And you know that wise men like us know no uncertainty. 20

I know the lotus-eyed Rama to be a Great Soul, and so does

Vasishtha the Supreme, of great Tejas. So do all these wise men. 21

If you have any thought for the Dharma, for greatness, or for fame,
this you must do: give me your son. 22
Only ten nights remain for me
to make my sacrifice. Rama will kill those Demons when they try
to violate my sacred work. 23
Led by Vasishtha the Supreme,
let your ministers all give their unanimous consent. And then,
your majesty, give me Rama. 24

Son of the Swift, master of time, may I not have wasted my time
in uncompleted sacrifices. Therefore receive my blessing,
and let your mind be free from grief. 25
However slight, a duty done
in good time is pious service; however great, a duty done
too late is no service at all. 26

And with these words, Vishvamitra, the friend of all, soul of Dharma
and Policy alike, the lord of the Munis, ended his speech. 27

That best and most accomplished of munis having spoken,

the silent king considered carefully what to reply.
Wise men do not give answer without consideration;
common folk will make a quick and empty-headed reply. 28

Canto 1.008: THE KING'S REPLY


The Leopard King, hearing these words of the AllFriend Vishvamitra,
was quiet for a while, and he was not much happy. Then he said: 1


My lotus-eyed Rama is not yet sixteen years old!
I think he
is hardly fit to do battle with those demonic Rakshasas. 2
But I am commander of a force of a hundred thousand men.
I will march at their head, and battle your cannibal Demons. 3
I'll ride before my brave warriors, those men at arms, those masters of
the arts of war. My sword in hand, sir, I will be your protector. 4
Riding before warriors like them, I would take on the armies of
the god Indra himself, like a lion battling crazed elephants. 5
My boy Rama knows nothing of armed forces face-to-face, at war:
the only battlefield he knows is in the women's apartments! 6
He is not skilled in weaponry nor competent in strategy,
nor how to face a field of warriors battling with Astra weapons. 7
And as for his reconnaisance, he strolls about picking the flowers
in parks, in gardens, and in bowers and woods.
That's all he knows! 8 All he
knows is to stroll about the parks with the other princes, while their
friends cover them in cascades of flower-blossoms. 9

But lately, sir,

he's overcome by sorrow. He pines away, pale as a lotus
that's bitten by an early frost. 10 He does not take his food; he does
not go outside, but stays alone in his rooms; and he sits there in
silence, in deep melancholy. 11 Lord of Munis, because of this,
I and my wives and the servants are grown as gloomy and hollow
as empty clouds in the autumn. 12
With such a son as this, depressed,
subject to melancholy—how can I send such a boy to do
battle with night-rover Demons? 13

Sadhu, the love of children is

better than loving women. The wise say it is a better drink
than the Nectar of Immortality. 14 Men put up with their lives
in these three worlds of woe, all for love of their children.
They do this: 15
they give their lives, they even give their wives, to win a victory.
But, leopard-Muni, they don't give up their essence, their own children. 16

The Rakshasa Demons are skilled in every cruel trick of war.

Rama would be no match for them. The idea's ridiculous! 17
Besides, I cannot bear to be an hour apart from my Rama.
I could not go on living without him. Do not take him from me. 18

I waited for nine thousand long years, scion of Kusha the Owl,
for these boys of mine to be born. 19 And the first of them was Rama,
my Rama of the lotus eyes.
Without him, my three other sons
would not wish to go on living. 20 As for me, if you send Rama
against the Rakshasa Demons, you can be sure that, without my
son, you have left me a dead man. 21

Of my four sons, he's always been

first in my love. He's the eldest. And he is perfect in dharma.
You must not take Rama from me. 22

Muni, if you wish to destroy

the forces of the Night-rovers, take me! I'll lead my own army
of elephants and chariots and cavalry and infantry. 23

Tell me about these Rakshasas. Whose sons are they? What are they like?
How big are they? (giants, maybe?) Kindly explain all this to me. 24
How can such dirty fighters, such monsters be beaten by Rama,
or all four of my boys; or by myself? 25 Show me, Bhagavan, what
strategy I may use to stand against them in the field of war,
those battle-crazy Rakshasas. 26
The Rakshasa demon they call Ravana the Shrieker is famed
as a warrior. Indeed, he is the brother of the Lord of Wealth,
Kubera*, and the son of Vishravas, the everywhere-renowned. 27
If that foul-minded Ravana has set his mind to spoil your work,
even I cannot undertake to fight him. I'm no match for him. 28

It is the nature of fortune, power, and wealth, for all beings,

that at one time they come, and at another vanish in their turn. 29
As for the here-and-now, at this time, we are quite incapable
to stand against this Ravana and his allies. That's destiny. 30
Therefore I make you this appeal. My destiny is in your hands:
your grace is the sole master of my fate, and the fate of my son. 31

Not eagles nor serpents, not the Yakshasa* nor Gandharva nor
Danava armies. not the gods themselves dare battle Ravana:
how much less mere human beings! 32

Besides, that Ravana is known to be the greatest of all great

warriors in battle. How could I defeat him, with his many sons? 33

These are indeed strange times, when the best of men are weaklings. Though I'm
sprung from the House of Raghu the Swift, I am nothing but a wretch,
weak and decrepit and senile. 34
If you should tell me that it was
only the Asura Darkling, Lavana* the Salty, the son
of Madhu the Sweet;—if you said he was violating your Rites,
I still could not release my son. 35
If it were only Sunda and
Upasunda, Vaivasvata's two sons, defiling your Rites, still
I could not give you my Rama. 36

So it is, Brahmana. If you are not content with that, you must
kill me. But otherwise I think that you will never have your way. 37

So he spoke, in a soft voice, the first of the Raghus.
He was drowned in the wave of the Muni's demand, with
nothing to hold onto, not a moment of rest for
that great soul, floundering, drifting in the great ocean. 38



When he had heard those tearful and bewildered words, Vishvamitra,
the friend of all, made this reply,—this angry reply,—to the King. 1


When you have promised "I will do this thing", your duty is to do
it. Oh, Your Majesty, are you a lion, or a frightened deer? 2
It is not fitting for one of the great clan of Raghu the Swift
to fail to keep his word. Hot rays do not come forth from the cool moon. 3
If you are so incompetent, Your Majesty, I will go back
the way I came. Oh, Son of the Bullrider, promise-breaker, long
may you be happy with your friends! 4

Vishvamitra, the friend of all,
was overcome with anger, and the whole earth shuddered with it, and
the gods themselves trembled with fear. 5 Seeing Vishvamitra, the friend
of the world, stricken with anger, the steadfast, faithful, Vasishtha,
supremely wise, uttered these words: 6


Born in the House of Sugarcane,
the Ikshvakus, the ornament of dharma, you, Your Majesty,
King Dasharatha Charioteer, are honored throughout the three worlds. 7
You have always been steadfast, true to your word. Therefore you must not
forsake the Dharma Path, famed as you are for virtue everywhere. 8
Keep to a king's proper dharma. You should not forsake the Dharma.
You should do the bidding of this Muni, this lord of the three worlds. 9

You gave your word. You said, "I will do this thing." King, if you do not
do it, your good works will come to nothing. Therefore, let Rama go. 10
Sir, you are King Dasharatha the Charioteer, born in the House
of Sugarcane! If you don't keep your word, then who else will keep theirs? 11
Your people are inspired by you and men like you in their conduct.
Do not now teach them transgression; do not now forsake the Dharma. 12

Like the Amrta nectar of deathlessness, guarded by Agni,

the god of fire, Rama will be safe from the Rakshasas, Astra
weapons or no Astra weapons. 13
Vishvamitra, the Friend of All,
is the model of the heroes, wise above any in this world,
devoted to sacred Tapas. 14 He knows the various Astra
weapons, those known or unknown in the three worlds; and no other man
better knows or will know such things. 15
No gods nor other great Rshis,
no Asura Darklings, Naga Serpents*, Yaksha Guards, nor all the
Gandharva* Choristers combined are the equal of this Muni. 16
The great Krshashva* Skinny-horse taught Kaushika the Owl the high
and powerful Astra arts, when he won his kingdom long ago. 17
These weapons of Krishashva are, like the sons of Prajapati
the Grandfather, obedient to this heroic friend of all,
illumined, full of Ojas power. 18
Jaya and Suprabha were the
two lissome daughters of Daksha the Skilful, and the mothers of
a hundred powerful Astras*. Because she was granted a boon,
Jaya gave birth to fifty sons, deadly Astras that the Sura
Brightlings could control at their will. 20 Then Suprabha the Bright gave birth
to fifty other sons. They're called the Samgharsha Contenders. They
are terrible and powerful. 21
[*Astras are living weapons of great power.] 19
Therefore there is no reason for
your mind to be troubled about letting Rama attend upon
Vishvamitra, the friend of all, the World-Muni, the great Hero. 22

He's a master of Truth, the Lord of Munis:

in the company, Sadhu, of this person,
though he dies, he becomes immortal, he does
not end in misery, like the deluded. 23



Hearing the words of the Supreme Vasishtha, King Dasharatha
was persuaded, and happily sent for Rama and Lakshmana. 1
Bring me my bowman Rama, that accomplished boy. Bring Lakshmana
the Lucky, so they can protect the Sacrifice. Bring them at once. 2

Thus the king sent his chamberlain to the royal apartments. And
the chamberlain quickly returned and made his report to the king. 3

Lord, your son, the strong-armed Terror of the Enemy, sits in his
apartment, dejected. He is like a bee trapped in a lotus. 4
"I'll be there in a few minutes," he says, and sinks back into one-
pointed meditation. He is miserable. He cannot bear
the presence of anybody. 5

The king called for one of Rama's
attendants, reassuring him that he was free to speak, and asked
him about Rama's condition. 6
"What is this miserable state
that Rama's in?" the monarch asked. And the companion of Rama,
in a sad voice, addressed the king: 7

Lord, we have all become as thin
as sticks, concerned with his sad state. Your son Rama laments, and sits
in misery, and pines away. 8 The lotus-petal-eyed Rama,
since the day he returned from his pilgrimage with the Brahmanas,
is in a sorry state of mind. 9
However much we plead with him
to do his daily duties of Karma, sometimes he does, his face
a dark cloud. Sometimes he doesn't. 10
He will not go to the sacred
bath, nor worship the gods, nor join in feasts. He is so sad sometimes,
that, however much we beg him, he will not even take his meals. 11
He does not catch the buxom girls and swing with them in the courtyard;
nor does Rama delight in dance like the chataka bird in rain. 12
He does not delight in their bracelets and armlets. He's like a god
exiled from the Svarga heaven. 13
The pretty girls make eyes at him,
and the spring breezes smother them: anklets, bracelets tinkle at him;
like vines they twine around the trunk.
And this makes him melancholy! 14
Whoever comes to him,—some sweet, some tender one, the prettiest!—
his eyes are dammed-up tears, and he begins to give vent to the flood. 15

"Who are these harem-girls," he cries, "who come only to dance and tease?
All that they bring is misery." 16
Whether he dines or he reclines
or travels or loafs or goes to the sacred bath, or just sits still,
he becomes a crazy madman who sees the worst of everything. 17
"What good is good luck; or bad luck? what good is a good family?
It is all false!" he says, and then returns to one-pointed silence. 18
He does not laugh, does not pursue pleasure; and he does not perform
his Karmic duties. He just sits and sinks into sorry silence. 19
Not the girls' tossing hair, nor all the sidelong glances of their eyes
please him. Do dancing fawns delight a silent tree in the forest? 20
He thinks of lonely places, faraway places, of great rivers,
of woods and forests; and in such places he's sorry as a slave. 21
He no longer loves fine clothes, nor drink, nor food, nor giving feasts. He
acts like some meditating Sage, some Yogi making fierce Tapas.... 22

He lives alone, Lord of the People, without company. He does

not laugh or sing, does not even lament, such is his single mind. 23
He sits in Lotus Posture. feet on knees. His empty-headed chin
rests in his left hand. Everything, for Rama, is a disturbance. 24

He shows no pride. He does not wish to be a Prince: he does not have

guests; he is never 'home'. To him, pleasure and pain are all the same. 25
We don't know where he goes, or what he does, or what he wants, or what
he's thinking, or whatever he is pursuing, or following. 26
Every day he gets thinner, every day he gets paler; every
day loses his bloom, like a tree in autumn, when the autumn ends. 27

Shatrughna Foeslayer and Lakshmana Luckyman are like two

perfect mirrors to Rama. They imitate everything he does. 28
His servants, his brothers, his mothers ask Rama repeatedly
what's wrong with him, and all he says is "Nothing!" and says nothing more. 29
Or he will say to his closest and dearest friend: "Do not direct
your mind to pleasures, for they are only passing: they come, they go." 30

When, in the Pleasure-Garden, he meets with the women, in their fine

saris and jewelry, he sees only destruction greeting him. 31
"Life is a waste without the state of easy comfortable joy!"
That is the hymn he sings, over and over, in a plaintive voice. 32

"Act like a Prince!" his companions of the court urge him; but he wails
and moans his lamentations like a mad, demon-possessed Muni. 33
No matter what is said, he does not hear; put something before him,
he does not pay attention. He hates everything; no exceptions! 34

"It is like a forest, or pond of lotuses seen in the sky—

such is the mind," he says. "I take no pleasure or delight in it!" 35
The arrows of the god of love cannot touch Rama, though he is
surrounded by beautiful girls, any more than rain can pierce stone. 36
"Why do you long for wealth? It is the source of all calamities!"
Then, saying this, he gives away his wealth to all who ask for it. 37
"This fortune and misfortune are only imagined concepts, sprung
from the mind's delusion!" such is the sorry song that Rama sings. 38
"'O I am ruined, there's no help for me!'—when people say such things,
and do not turn to Dispassion, it's amazing!", so says Rama. 39

Within the forest of the Clan of the Swift, Rama's the Shala
Tree, strongest of them all; but his condition is driving us mad! 40
Great King, we don't know what to do with someone in this state of mind.
Your Majesty, show us the way out of this sad predicament. 41
Princes and Yogis counsel him. He answers with a foolish laugh,
as if he were a fool. He mocks the Royals and the Brahmanas. 42
"Whatever is this universe, wherever it may have come from,
it is not real. I am not real. This is my settled conviction." 43
He does not show respect for friend or foe; not for his brothers, nor
his mother, nor the other queens; not for good fortune, not for bad;
nor for anyone else, my Lord. 44
He is without respect, he is
without desire, without purpose, without a goal. Neither sage nor
fool, he is driving us crazy! 45
"What good is wealth?" he says. "What good
are mothers; what good are all the trappings of royalty; what good
are worldly affairs?" he says. And he wants to give up life itself. 46
The pleasures of life, of royalty, his friends, his own father, his
mother, cause him only distress. He's like the sad Chataka bird
that longs for rain in time of drought. 47

All this is like a spreading growth of vines, a cancer in the lad.

It is enough! It is for you to rescue him from misfortune. 48
Such is his present state that anything that's good seems bad to him,
bait in the trap of Samsara. Great Lord, only you can cure him. 49
Who else, what great being, is there who may be able to restore
Rama to his proper dharmic conduct in his worldly affairs? 50

Only some great mind that is free from delusion,

that is entirely pure, that is entirely good,
can lead your son out of his interior darkness,
illuminating him like the daymaker sun. 51



[The visiting guru speaks of the bright side of Rama's melancholy.]


Since things are so, gentlemen of great understanding, send and bring the darling
of the Raghu clan here at once. Lead him as a doe would lead the Chief Stag of the
herd. -1-

This madness of the Raghu prince

is not from bad luck, nor from lust:
it is his Waking to the dawn
of his Discerning Dispassion. -2-

Bring Rama here at once, and we

at once will lead him out of this
delusion, as the winds disperse
a cloud upon a mountain-top. -3-

The darling of the Raghu clan needs sprinkling with holy water, drops of logical
thought that will asperge him of his delusion, and bring him to This Highest State. -4-

A sip of the Divine Nectar

of Deathlessness will wake him up,
delight him, calm him, and soothe him;
and it will fatten him as well. -5-
He will again do his daily duties, neglecting none, with a . . . properly interested
mind. -6-
He will become the Great Suchness,
knowing this Samsara Universe,
with neither happy days nor sad:
pebbles and diamonds the same. 7


Hearing the words of the Muni,

the King, overcome, sent many
messages by his messengers
to summon Rama from his room. 8

And, at last, Prince Rama arose

from his Asana seat, and came
to his father’s presence: it was
sunrise over Sunrise Mountain. 9
He went there with his companions and brothers, to the Presence Hall, where the
King sat, surrounded by his ministers, like the Godking Indra seated in his heaven.

Approaching, Rama saw the King,

Dasharatha Charioteer,
sitting (like Indra, Lord of Wealth,
in the assembly of the gods) -11-

served by Vasishtha the Supreme, and Vishvamitra the Allfriend, and the many
disciples too of those two Shastra masters; and a council of wise ministers. 12
Attractive girls surrounded him, fanning him with their yak’s-tail fans:
and they were all as seductive as goddesses in the temple. -13-
Vasishtha and Vishvamitra and Dasharatha all could see
the Prince approaching from afar, looking like Guha, Shiva’s son. -14-

He was pervaded with pure virtue, as the Snowy Mountain is with coolness; and
everybody sought out his depth and clarity. 15 He was good-looking, equable. His
face was noble, and his mind was nobler still, and deep. His form was beautiful,
peaceful. And he possessed all of the highest skills. 16 Grown-up but blossoming
with youth,
gentle and beautiful, neither anxious nor giddy, he was at that mind-delighting
stage of life. 17
He was a student of this world-journey, possessed of purity. His one greed was
greed for Perfect Truth. Virtue took shelter in him. 18 Within the cavern of himself
excellence overflowed. His thoughts were imperturbable. His eyes sought the sight
that can’t be excelled. 19
His crown jewels were his many virtues, that best of the Swift. Beauty in beauty,
he blossomed like a sun-flower in the springtime sun. 20
When he bowed down before the court, the jewels of his coronet glistened upon
his head, and they tinkled. It was like Mount Meru being shaken by an earthquake!

Then, bowing to the Muni-lord, he touched his father’s feet, to do

him honor. So he came to court, the lotus-eyed young Prince Rama. 22
He paid obeisance, first of all, to his father; next, to the two
Munis (each equally); and then, to the Twiceborn; and then, to all
his clansfolk; then, the disciples; and so he greeted all his friends. 23
The people of the Court peeped out at him, from under bowing heads,
and spoke his praise in obeisance, falling before him one by one. 24

Then the equal-minded Rama (as lovely as Sura the Sun), and all the munis feasted
in the Presence* of Rama’s father. 25
* ||The room where the King holds Court is called the “Presence Chamber”. ||
So Rama touched his father’s feet, and the Earth-Lord embraced his son, kissed
his forehead and stroked his hair, repeatedly caressing him. 26 Likewise the King
embraced the FoeSlayer Shatrughna, and also Lakshmana Luckyman. He was a
swan-king kissing lotuses! 27
“Son, sit on my lap,” the Earth-lord said.
(But Rama chose to sit with
his favorite companions, on a carpet on the palace floor.) 28

“Son, you’re of the age of reason. You have your share of blessings. Don’t
act like a young fool. Don’t give yourself up to feeling miserable.
Learn from your elders, the Twiceborn, the Gurus. Follow their teaching.
Be good, my son, and do not chase after unworthy delusion.
“So long as you do not pursue the vapid course of delusion,
just so long shall your misfortunes be trivial and far from you." 31

Prince Rama, Master of the Bow, you are a Hero! You’ve beaten
an enemy that digs in deep and spreads out fast: the Sense-Objects.
Why act like an ignorant fool sunk in the Sea of Delusion,
drowned in the rolling waves of thought, tossing until the mind grows numb?


Tell us what is the cause of those flickering sad blue lotus* eyes? Tell us what has
been troubling you, what is it that confuses you? 34
What is the source of it, the origin, the cause of these thoughts that harass the
mind like mice or rats that tunnel and plague an old house? 35
As I think, your manifold thoughts ought to be high: only such high thinking,
Prince, is suitable for you; or the merest commoner. 36
Whatever your desire, pure soul, just tell us, and you will have it! All will again be
right with you, disturbing thoughts disturb no more. 37


So they spoke; and the brightest of the House of the Swift,
hearing the promise of the comfort he was seeking,
gave up his grieving; just as when the storm cloud thunders
the peacock stops his crying for the rain that he longed for. 38

* ||The flower in the illustration is not blue, but the description is
appropriate. Please advise. – jd ||



Thus, for the consolation of Rama, spoke the Muni-lord; and
the Prince replied in words that overflowed with his melancholy. 1

Lord, since you ask, I will reply accordingly, and totally,—
however foolishly! Who could fail to obey a wise man like you? 2

I was born here in my father's palace; I spent my childhood here;

I grew up here, and in due course I got my education here. 3
Then, lord of Munis, in pursuit of Truth, I made a pilgrimage,
visiting many sacred shrines all over this sea-girdled land. 4

About this time, I came to lose my trust in this great Samsara,

this Universe, and asked myself some questions. This is what I thought. 5
Through Viveka Discernment, I'd become absorbed in my own self,
and with an Intellect detached from pleasure, I considered thus: 6
"What is this so-called 'Pleasure' that baits the traps of this Samsara?
We are all born only to die; and we die only to be born. 7
Whatever moves or does not move, everything is impermanent;
and wicked works and worldly wealth are the fathers of misfortune. 8
While unmagnetic iron rods do not attract each other, all
our fancied Kalpanas cling to Manas, the entirety of Mind. 9
12.10 "The pleasures of this world are all dependent on the Mind. The Mind
is Asat Unreality. Why do we let it delude us?
11 Our foolish intellects are drawn to Asat Unreality
just as a thirsty beast is drawn to the waters of a mirage.
12 "Nobody ever bought us, but we are living as slaves. But, oh,
knowing all this, we're still such fools that we pursue our delusion!
13 What are the pleasures of this fivefold material world? Misery!
And we are fools and slaves bound by experiencing Delusion.
14 "I have known this for a long time, that we are each lost in the woods;
we're like a deer in the forest who has stumbled into a pit.

15 "What is the kingdom to me? What use are pleasures? Who am I?

What good's this world I've come into, which is a useless illusion?
How does this illusion arise?"

16 Thinking this way, good Brahmana,

I came to hate everything, like a traveler in the desert.

17 Now tell me this, lord: is this world bound for destruction? or is it

just being born? or, again, is it ongoing evolution?
18 The misery of age and death, and all the fortunes of our birth,
come and go unexpectedly, come and go again and again.
19 This pleasure, and that trifling one, wear us away, just as the wind
withers a tree on a mountain.
12.20 Unthinking people, filled with airs
called Prana, are hollow bamboos clacking uselessly in the wind.

21 "How do I end this misery?"—such are my burning inner thoughts.

I am like a decaying tree smoldering within with wildfire.
22 My heart is heavy as a rock with the sorrows of Samsara ;
yet I cannot let my tears flow, and alarm the common people.
23 My face is blank with tearless tears, my heart is withered with crying;
and nobody but me myself discerns the misery within.
24 I am bewildered in my state of miserable happiness:

I feel like a rich man, fallen to unexpected poverty.

12.25 O they delude the Thoughts of Mind; they break the Necklace of Virtues,
they spring the Trap of Misery,—all of our disappointing hopes!
26 It's just a source of worry: wealth is no Ananda for me, nor
are children, consorts: they are an excruciating good fortune,
like a wife pregnant in the house!


With all these wicked, all these distressing thoughts, all

transitory fading fruits of conceiving,—
there's no escape for me from the Manas, Muni:
I'm like an elephant chained up to a pillar.


I think of all these goods and ills,

in all their changeability,
and my mind trumpets its distress,
like a foot-fettered elephant.


Mischiefs, from time to time, at night, looking for someone blinded by Folly,
wander from place to place. Their clever thieving sense-object-army
invade. They're seeking everywhere to capture Viveka Discernment.
On the field, should the best of the great warriors thus abandon the wise?

They make their mischief at all times, in the dark of our delusion,
everywhere here and there they go, those master thieves the sense-objects,
everywhere round about they lurk, seeking to rob us of our wits;
who is fit to go to war when we have lost our champions?


73He's an equal with everyone. He may desire, he may reject;

he is the Master of his ship: they call him Shanta the Peaceful.
74He has touched, with his dazzling Intellect, everything—inside
and out—: sees where his duty lies. They call him Shanta the Victor.
He has a mind as cool as the cold moonshine sparkling on the dawn

frost; and he is not besieged by death, nor sated by feasting, nor

overcome in battle. They call him Shanta the Comfortable.
When he is here he is not here. He gives no praise, he lays no blame.

He is like a Sleepwalker. And they call him Shanta the Detached.

77Splashing like Immortal Nectar, his look is an outpouring of

love for all. With every splash, they call him Shanta the Friendly.

One who has come to inner coolness and is not overcome with

emotion, and not a mere fool,—they call him Shanta the Careful.

79For even at the worst of times,—on Doomsday, say,—on the Big One,—
he does not think he's wasting time. They call him Shanta the Present.

13.80 Do what he will, his mind is like Space. This person's mind does not get
distracted by worldly business. They call him Shanta the Remote.



Life is a raindrop hanging from a sprout-tip. When you least expect

it to, suddenly it lets go. 1

When poison-eaters cling to sense-objects,

without Viveka Discernment, life is a great burden to them. 2
But those who know the to-be-known, finding peace in the fulness-state
where fame and shame are all the same—Life is luxurious for them. 3
We who are living in this physical form, we live in the mess
left by a thunderstroke—this Universe! It does not give comfort to us. 4

You may say that the ambient wind is a part of the spacious sky;
and waves, part of the boundless sea;—but do not speak of trust in Life. 5
Drifting like an autumn cloud, sputtering like a spent candle, Life
is soon gone like a bursting wave. 6
A wave, moonlight, a thunderstroke,—
you may speak of them if you will, but do not speak of death-doomed Life. 7
A restless mind, the Void, Life—all these bring us misery within,
like the womb of a sterile mule. 8
In the Samsara-sprung foam of
this sea of creation, the body's a pond-creeper, Brahmana.
Living is no delight to me. 9
The state in which you get just what
you ought to get, the state without grief: that perfect tranquillity
may be correctly called "Living". 10
Plants lead a vegetable life,
and animals an animal life. Man leads a thinking life, but
Living is just a passing thought. 11
or The trees are alive; alive too are
the beasts and birds. The mind itself is alive, but by its mentation
does not live, its passing fancy*. 11
[* See Glossary tuccha.]

There are people born into this

world, who are the living Sadhus, who will not again be born here.
The rest are senile jackasses. 12

The non-Discerner cannot bear

the Shastras; and the passionate can't bear their Wisdom; the restless
can't bear Manas Mind; and non-SelfKnowers can't bear the cadaver. 13
Or: The Shastras are a burden to
A-vivekin non-Discerners; Jnana Wisdom is a burden
to Ragin Playboys; and Manas the Mind a burden to those who
do not know Peace, the A-shantas; but the burden of those who do
not know the Self, An-Atmavits, is the embodiment of Self.
[The noun <vapus> means both “wonder” and “body”.]

Life is the Manas Mind, Buddhi Intellect, and Ahamkara

I-sense, manifest as desire. It's like a porter shouldering
a load that's more than he can bear. 14
It's a constant discomfort, that
ends in suffering. Life is like a plague of lice in a bird's nest.
It is a toilsome misery. 15
Day after day, sorrows arise:
in their hundreds nibble at us, just as a rat's constant gnawing
destroys an irrigation ditch. 16

The body's a comfortable

home for bugs that suck-in our life, and then breathe out poison and flame,
like the wind in a forest fire. 17
It's seeping sweat and snot outside,
and evil things within; assailed by woodworms, like an aging tree. 18

A certain very hungry cat crouches, about to spring upon

an unsuspecting mouse: that's how the hour of death appears to me. 19
Old age destroys us with excess, just as a worn-out aging whore
drowns in perfumes and oils, or a glutton lives buried in his fat. 20

After only a few days, Youth is overcome with disrespect

for Life, and gives it up, just as someone forsakes a faithless friend. 21
The Terminator Death, the friend of Destruction, the relative
of Sickness and old Age—for him, Life is a lovely courtesan
whom he delights to bring to bed. 22

By stillness that is sweetly-spoken, by stillness

entirely forsaken; and absolutely
useless:—in this world there is nothing quite like this
lack-virtue, this darling of Death: such is your Life. 23


I’m scared by this Ahamkara Egoity: it is a fierce
enemy, sprung for nothing from Delusion, whirling worthlessly. 15.1
By means of this Egoity, the whirling Samsara pours out—
from its huge cornucopia—that misery of miseries,
this world’s useless variety. 2
By means of this egoity,—
Apad Misfortune. By means of this Egoity,—bad luck. By
means of it comes Involvement: for this “I”-ness has the virus “my”. 3

Muni, I come for refuge from that ancient foe Egoity:

I fast from food and water; what would I eat at his awful feast? 4

She dances in the Samsara, the long Illusion, Mohini

the Deceiver, with Ego-sense for a trap, as a Kirata*
jungle hunter setting a snare. 5

All our fiercely biting sorrows

spring from Egoity, just as the sturdy Khadira tree* springs from
the unmoving mountain. 6
* ||acacia, catechu; ||
It’s like the dragon of eclipse eating
away the moon of Peace; or winter frost wilting the petals of
Virtue; or autumn winds demolishing the clouds of Equanimity.

And therefore I want no part of it: I renounce Egoity. 7

I am not Rama, and I have no mind for pleasure; but I want
to live in peace, and find the Self in myself, a Jina Hero. 8
Because of this Egoity, the food I offer to the gods,
eating the leavings, is worthless. What is worthwhile to me is to
abandon this Egoity. 9
Brahmana, with the thought of “I”
I am cast into misery. Without it, there is happiness.
So non-Egoity is best. 15.10 And so, Muni, I give it up!
Without it, the mind is at peace: and all those miseries are gone
that come from the ever-restless waves of the Sea of Enjoyment. 11

Brahmana, this Egoity fills the sky like a thunder-cloud;

and, like a thirsty Pitcher-plant, we blossom as we drink its drops. 12
But when the cloud disperses, the forked lightning of Craving goes too,
just as a lamp’s flame quickly goes when the wick has run out of fuel. 13

Egoity is like the mighty Vindhya range, where a raging

bull elephant roars out his lust as the storm-clouds bellow thunder. 14

Ranging in every part of this great jungle of embodiment,

the lion of Egoity wanders the world, roaring his rage. 15

The fierce lusts of Egoity hang a necklace about our necks:

each separate bead is a birth in the succession of rebirths. 16
Children, friends, wives, and all such things that Tantra and Mantra fail to
provide, are given here by our rival Egoity. 17 *
* ||A difficult shloka. Some alternative translations:
<son-friend-wife-and-all = tantra-mantra-deprived / muni are laid out here by this egoity-enemy> ||Literal trans.||
<17 Muni, it is the enemy Egoity who creates with Tantra magic and Mantra charms our sons and friends and wives to
captivate us.> ||Beta||
<We cannot be free from the likes of sons, friends and wife spread out by the foe of ego even with the help of
mantras and tantras.> ||Murthy, italics mine||
<Our inveterate enemy of egoism, has (like a magician) spread about us the enchantments of our wives, friends and
children, whose spells it is hard to break.> ||RPA||
<It is this egotism alone, without rhyme or reason, that has spread the net of family relationships to catch the
unwary soul.>|| SV|| ||

When in the state of being disinfected of the notion “I”,

you’re disinfected at the same time from every suffering. 18
When the “I”-raincloud drifts away, where is the calm-shattering fog
in the Mind-sky? Where can it float? 19
Yet, giving up Egoity,
still, in my folly, I’m troubled with sorrows. Sir, what shall I do? .20

Rest from outward misfortune and inward uncertainty

is what I am looking for, and I do not find it in
this Egoity which leaves me surrounded with sorrow;
and so I come to you, Great Being, hoping for rescue. 15.21

Many of the Tales in YV involve tribes like the Kirata,
||* A Kirata, a jungle hunter - ||
who are mostly Snare Trappers. You will soon be entering. See the wiki link, but please note:
The wiki entry is dead wrong about the date of YV—about two thousand years dead wrong. The
work before you is dated with the time of Kalidasa. There is only one verse that appears in both
Meghaduta and YV. So the date of this work depends on this question: which was the thief?
Kalidasa the Playwright? or the Valmiki playing the part of Court Guru?
Necessarily, the younger stole from the older. If the Playwright stole from the Guru, then Kalidasa
was younger than the Valmiki. If the Guru paid poetic tribute to the Playwright, then Kalidasa was
older than the Valmiki who compiled this edition. [The book is a Chinese Box of Editions, from
Anonymous back to Bharadvaja back to an archetypal proto-Vasishtha, the <mokS_o_paya mokSa-
upAya> "The Freedom Method". Not "BCE Tenth Century" but rather CE 8-10th Century.
If you know how to correct a Wikipedia entry, I can provide the appropriate citations in an article
on this subject.


This discussion of Chetas Awareness is prefatory to the long discussion of Chitta Affection that
will follow.
In the family of the root >cit, <cit> is translated as Chit Consciousness; and <citta> is Chitta
Affection. This latter term means much more than "emotional warmth"; it is the very substance
of desire, as we shall see.
<cetas> Chetas Awareness is the intermediate point between <cit> and <citta>. It has the
same relation to >cit as the words <buddhi> Buddhi Intellect and <bodha> Awakening have to
the root >budh.
<vRtti> is readily translated as Vrtti Idea, and may be familiar as one of the first YogaSutras
of Patanjali: <yogaz citta-vRtti-nirodhaH> ""Yoga is Affection-Idea-restraint". The consolidation
of <vRtti> as <vAsanA> Vasana Conditioning is a subject that lies ahead. jd

Our vices bring decrepitude, unseemliness, and disrespect:
a fierce wind pulling out the feathers from the tail of a peacock! -1-

The Chetas Awareness runs fruitlessly here and there: it is like

a hungry dog searching about the village for a scrap of food. -2-
It gets nothing anywhere. Though it finds a feast, it cannot eat
its fill. It's like trying to pour the sea into a wicker bowl. -3-
Muni, when the mind is empty, though it is besieged by desires,
it is not trapped. It's like a deer who's left the bondage of the herd. -4-
When it forsakes the shimmering waves of Vrtti Ideas, in
a flash, it leaves the present state and rests in Hrdayam, the Heart. -5-
The mind disturbed by its wishful Mentation, wandering in all
directions, makes a ruckus like the gods churning the Milk Ocean. -6-
* [see }
This awful ocean of the mind, its surging waters teeming with
magical mythical monsters—I don't know how to quiet it! -7-

The mind goes wandering, like a deer, here and there, carelessly, hungry for a taste
of durva grass, and soon stumbles into a hunter's pit. -8-
I cannot anyhow renounce this Chetas, with its ebb and surge of thought-waves in
the thought-ocean. -9- Chetas Awareness, vibrant with Vrtti Thoughts, scurrying
from worry to care,—that is what binds me.
I'm like a lion in a cage. 10

The mind rides in its carriage of

illusion, taking pleasure in
the body while destroying all
inner stability. It's like
the swan that sucks milk from water. 11

Sunk in a bed of fantasy, lord of munis, the Chitta dreams

its ideas. Though I try hard, I can't awake it from its dreams. 12
There is a knot in the veins of my heart. It's thirst. It's craving. It's
like a snagged bird, Sir, Brahmana, that I'm ensnared by this Chetas. 13
Its fickle smoke flits everywhere, flickering with flames of desire.
I thirst, great Muni, I am parched, I am burned dry by this Chetas. 14
The lust for wives and companions leaves me senseless, o Brahmana:
I am devoured by this Chetas like a corpse by a village dog! 15

Waves of foolish ideas clap against the shore, Brahmana. They

tear loose a tree from the slope. Thus I am uprooted by Chetas. 16
It makes me dizzy. I am blown from misery to misery:
flying afar, Muni, like straw in the wind, I'm carried by Chetas. 17

I always look to cross the sea of Samsara. It is as if

a dam blocaded the Milk Sea: so I'm restrained by false Chetas. 18
The mountains rise over the Pit; the Pit supports the mountains. Up
and down, a bucket in a well, I am carried by false Chetas. 19
A child is obsessed by his dream of a bloodthirsty wrinkled red
Vetala vampire. So am I also obsessed by false Chetas. 20

Brahmana, it is hard to break the grasping of the mind: it is hotter than fire, as
difficult to cross as a mountain peak, as adamantine as diamond. 21

Chetas swoops onto our affairs

like a vulture onto a corpse.
But then, like a child with a toy,
it quickly loses interest. -22-

This mad world dances as surging waves in the ocean of the mind, where I swim.
Tossed by the breakers, I'm a serpent out of water, a sea-snake thrown to the sand
shore. -23-
Though you may have the power to drink the ocean dry, or to level Mount Meru, or
to feast on fire, the chitta cannot be controlled. -24- This Chitta causes Purposes, and
so these threefold worlds arise; contrariwise we're healed from it by striving to
detach from it. -25-

When thought is centred on Chitta, pleasures and pains arise

by hundredfolds, unwelcome guests, thick as mountain forests.
But when we practise Viveka Discernment, great Muni,
those thoughts fall away, as if we took an axe to the trees. -26-

I'm bound by a great enemy, but I hope to gain virtue,

I hope to rise and conquer my fierce enemy the Chitta.
My passions are vanished; I have no affection for Laksmi
who is like a dark cloud that comes to hide away the moonlight. -27-



In the darkness of the heart, hard to destroy, endlessly thirsting,

there soar in Chit-Consciousness-sky five owls, and they are on the hunt. 1

When it is heated by the sun, and sucked dry of its juices,

wet clay dries out; and, in a word, I am drained dry by worry. 2

In my Great Forest of Chitta, all is a-whirl in confusion,

darkness, and error. There, Shakti, a cannibal Pishacha,
dances the Tandava with Shiva on DoomsDay of all the worlds. 3
The tears of my wailing, the fruits of my imaginings, are like
a mist that feeds a splendorous garden of golden chickpea sprouts. 4

Overwhelming confusion within, tremulous thirst and hope: such

is the profusion of pain, as huge and amazing as Ocean. 5
The surging, bellowing billows erode the mountain of Myself:
such is the rage of the web of the waves, waves that rise out of Thirst. 6

My strength is sapped by it, like grass drying and withered in the wind.

The Chataka bird pines for rain. Its thirst is not greater than mine. 7

The more I seek for harmony, the more I am confounded by

Thirst. It is like a rat that chews away at the strings of a sitar; 8
it is like a fallen leaf borne downstream, a straw blown in the wind,
empty clouds drifting in the drought. I'm whirled on the wheel of Worry. 9

It is something we can't hope for, to attain a better state. We are

caught in the net of Worry like nightingales in a birder's net. 10
They call it Thirst, uncle: it burns me up, I cannot put it out,
not with a potful of nectar! 11

Away and away she gallops

with me, and brings me back and back: madly in all directions runs
that crazy old mare called Craving. 12

This willy-nilly Thirst takes me

up, and then takes me down, just like a bucket in a well. 13
Tied to the body with a rope that is impossible to break,
a man is pulled about by Thirst, like a bull led on a nose-ring. 14

I'm constantly drawn by the thirst for children, friends, and family:
so I am like one of those birds for whom the world sets traps and snares. 15

It is the terror of the brave and wise. It blinds my eyes, this Thirst;
it's like a flying demon overshadowing the spangled sky. 16

Lurking, coiled, it looks tender to the touch, but it's full of poison,
springing to bite when we caress it, this dark serpent of Craving. 17

Binding the hearts of men with ropes of illusion, she offers us

only misery and mischance, this dark Demoness of Desire. 18

Its veins are strings, this instrument; but it's out of tune, Brahmana,
and plays a crooked melody, this cranky violin called Thirst. 19
It has long strings like the Katuka vine, that maddens you, that seems
so sweet, but sours your milk (it grows in a cave, this vine of Desire). 20
It gives you no joy, it is empty; full of hope, but bearing no fruit;
it gives no garlands of blessings, this withered bitter vine, Craving. 21

The Chitta chases anything at all she sees, in hot pursuit:

but never gets what she desires, as sorry as an aging whore. 22
At the Samsara Music Hall, she'll dance you any dance you wish,
to your displeasure, that fading old beauty-queen, Madame Desire. 23

Age and senility its flowers, disasters its bitter apples,

this vine, this weed of Thirst lurks in the jungle of the Universe. 24
*||Bitter Apple, the colocynth plant||

She likes to dance the Tandava, the Doomsday Dance, when she can; but
she dances without any joy, the aging danseuse called Craving. 25
She frolics in the dew of dawn; she sleeps in the light of the sun;
always she goes to some extreme, that fickle peahen we call Care. 26

Teeming with surging rolling waves, but doomed at last to dryness, so

she flows in the rainy season, the river of Thirst and Craving. 27

When her tree has grown bare of fruit, the bird Thirst finds another tree;
and in the same way she flits from cock to cock, that hot hen Craving. 28

She can pass through impassable places, always insatiable

for fruit, never stopping anywhere, the restless monkey Craving. 29

Wanting first this, then wanting that; but that never follows from this:
she's always unpredictable, that fickle fateful goddess Thirst. 30

See how she bumbles in a cave, and now soars high, and now soars low,
in heaven or in hell, the bee that browses our heart-lotus, Thirst. 31

Of all the evils of this Universe, Craving is the sure source

of sorrow, when she cuddles you in her closet in the palace. 32
Another time, she makes a fool of you. You're basking in the sun:
she brings thick clouds of Delusion, thirsty Craving the Cloudweaver. 33

All of the gentry ever born who populate this Universe

wear thought-garlands about their necks, strung by the noose-maker Craving. 34

It's multi-colored, but without substance; long, founded on impurity,

empty, standing on emptiness: such is the Rainbow of Craving! 35

Lightning will set the grain on fire in a dry autumn. The flowers
of Samvit Perception grow black with the long visit of Craving. 36

She's the Dancer of Samsara; a bird in the nest of duty;

a deer in the forest of mind; the sitar tune of memory; 37
a wave in the sea of affairs; the chain of a crazed elephant;
shoots of the tree of Creation; moonlight for the night-lotuses. 38

Her party jewels are made of grief for old age, disease and death;
ever caring, ever tormenting, that crazy dancer Craving. 39

Sometimes she's very clear to see, but then she is blinding sometimes;
sometimes bright as the Milky Way, dark as a foggy pit sometimes. 40
Craving can be brought to peace with some exercise of the body.
It's just as when the sun rises, and the night demons run away. 41
When we are fevered in our bed of delirium, in this mad
world, Nurse Thirst purges us with an injection of bacteria. 42
But everybody knows that when our worries end our sorrows end;
and they say that the Mantra* of Vishuchika leads to that end. 43
*[This mantra is taught in y3.069].

The fish that knows thirsty craving overcomes every fear, and snaps
at any bait, a blade of grass, maybe, or even a stick, or a stone. 44

Thirst dances a Death March on you, she leads men on, she heats them deep;
she is like the glare of the sunbeams that smother the lotuses. 45
Craving is a hollow bamboo, knotty and long: along its stem,
hairy prickles and sprouting shoots,—it thinks it is a string of pearls! 46

But oh what a great wonder is the sword that the intelligent

employ to sever Craving, the sword of Viveka Discernment. 47
For no other blade cuts like her, no thunderbolt, no hot iron,
Brahmana, burns as fierce as her, when Craving sits within the heart. 48

Craving's a lamp with a black wick and fiery tip. Her oil's our life.
O she is bright and glorious; but touch her once, and O she burns! 49

Though he's as mighty as Mount Meru, though a sage, though a hero,

a prince,—in a flash Craving makes a man of might a man of straw. 50

If Craving is a mountain range, she is the fearsome Vindhya, with

its hidden pits and snares waiting within its blinding burning mists. 51

There's only one single goal of gain in every creature,

a wicked goal: to satisfy the body where Craving
has her seat among the treacherously shifting rippling
waves of the ocean of this world. How sweet is her power! 52


It's packed with smelly guts and slime-smeared hamstrings; and it struts about,
waddling around this Samsara Universe, looking for trouble. 18.1
It does not know (but seems to know, full of the magic of the Self):
yoked to being (though not being); inert, nevertheless aware. 2
This body leads the confused soul into the Great Delusion, non-
Discernment where it swings between stupidity and mania. 3

It finds its bliss in trivia, and soon sheds its trivial tears.
There's nothing like the body, when you speak of the despicable. 4
It's true it has its classic brow, its flashing teeth, and O its eyes
and lips that bud into a smile!—here today, and gone tomorrow! 18.5
It is a mango tree with arms for branches, where the twiceborn* perch,
where eye-holes feed the bumbling bees; and the head is the bulbous fruit. 6
With ears and teeth and tongue for blossoms, with its limbs, standing within
a dead thicket, it is good for carpenters: no use for birds. 7
* ||Brahmanas; birds; teeth.||
This body is a tree that offers shade to passing travelers:
but who can find it, who wants it, who'd choose to stop in such a place? 8

O uncle! must we grasp at this straw in the Sea of Samsara?

Is this the rescue ship that takes us to the port of Self? 9

In this body-forest, which is full of pits, empty and waiting

among the countless hair-trees, who could walk about in confidence? 18.10

This body is a kettledrum, covered in skin, stretched with sinews.

Uncle, I'm like a curious cat, poised, waiting for it to sound. 11

An Ape they call Affection plays in the Forest of Samsara.
The trees blossom with all our cares, while the woodlice bore at their trunks. 12

It seems so good; but it is all two-faced smiles. For it is the home

of a crawling, thirsty serpent, and a crow squawking out anger. 13
The body's like a tree, a solid trunk covered with vines, the hands
like delicate branches, all its limbs and parts trembling in the wind. 14
The sense-birds find their perch upon its knee-branches. It rises and
offers the shelter of its shade to Love, the passing traveler. 18.15
The head, with tangled hair that's like a clump of jumbled weeds, creates
a soft nest for the hollow-bellied vulture called Egoity. 16
This body is a fig tree, and its tangled roots are the result
of Vasana Conditionings. I do not find it good for me. 17


This cadaver is the mansion of Egoity Householder.

But tear it down or leave it be, it offers no refuge to me! 18

His Goodwife is Craving. She struts about the courtyard. Her limbs
are painted with five shades of lust. I do not like this body-house. 19
It is a cave, a hole built on a framework of bones rubbing together,
tied together with ropes of gut. I do not like this body-house. 18.20
Stretched on a flimsy framework of sinews, plastered with blood and mud,
it's finished with a dry whitewash. I do not like this body-house. 21

The Chitta Affection is the Butler, bustling all about.

Delusion is the great front door. I do not like this body-house. 22
In one bed is a wailing child. In one bed, with her wicked ways,
is the voluptuous housemaid. I do not like this body-house. 23
It is a house where the sense-objects are like an array of pots
under the beds, exuding stink. I do not like this body-house. 24
Her ankles are perfumed with grease, and over them the two legs split
like long arms holding trunk and head. I do not like this body-house. 18.25

Behind two windows, Lady Clever and her daughter Care

are always peeking, Brahmana. I do not like this body-house. 26
With hair as thatching for the roof, the lovely moon lighting the limbs
that are its lovely turrets, still I do not like this body-house. 27
The folded limbs are like the walls, where weeds are sprouting in the cracks.
Always, indoors, an empty pot. I do not like this body-house. 28

Nails on the walls, ready to scratch; a noisy bitch growling inside;

a fireplace that smoulders and farts—I do not like this body-house. 29
It has so many doors. The winds blow in and then the winds blow out.
The two windows are wide open. I do not like this body house. 18.30
There is a monkey at the door, an ape with a hideous face,
baring his teeth to welcome you. I do not like this body-house. 31
The skin is richly anointed, soft and vibrant with the doings
indoors, where that rat the Mind gnaws. I do not like this body-house. 32
Now in the house the lamps are bright as smiles; but suddenly the lights
are overcome by darkness. So I do not like this body-house. 33
It's the abode of all disease, in a city with gray crumbling
walls splattered brown with excrement. I do not like this body-house. 34

The senses, five wild bears, stir up the forest; my cave is just an
empty hole with brown vines: I do not like this body-wilderness. 35
Lord of the Munis, I cannot carry this body. I am like
a starving elephant, stumbled into a sucking sea of mud! 36
What's Fortune to me? or what's Rajaship? — what good's a body? — what
use desires? – Within a number of days, time demolishes all. 37

It's blood and meat, inside, outside, and nothing more, Muni! Its destiny
is doomsday. So please tell me, what's the loveliness of the body? 38
And when the time of death arrives, the Jiva-soul does not follow
the body into such a place. It is no fit place for the wise. 39

The body trembles, like a drop of dew hung from the flapping ears
of a mad elephant. If it won't renounce me, I give it up. 18.40
It breaks wind unexpectedly. Its toes are ticklish to the touch.
It's old and eroding. I do not like its bitter witheredness. 41
It eats its meat, it drinks its booze, for many years, from its tender
youth on. It gets thin without exercise. Then, destruction follows. 42
It looks for happiness to what turns out to be mere misery.
Indeed, the body has no sense of its common vulgarity. 43
It lasts so long, it never stops demanding service, yet it gains
no excellence or endurance. Why waste my time preserving it? 44
In the season of old age, it hobbles into senility;
in the season of dying, likewise it slinks, at last, into death.
And here I see no difference between the rich and the poor man. 18.45

It is caught in a bubble of craving, in the old Ocean, the

Samsara Universe; and it rests there, that turtle Kacchapa. 46
The rafts that float about the Sea of Samsara are better fit
for burning, for they drift about witlessly. And they are called "men". 47

The vapors of its wickedness poison its fruit, this body-vine,

so that they fall to earth. Is this a fit vine for discerning men? 48
The body is the mud where it wallows a while. And then, presto!
it's old, and does not know or go what or where, this old body-frog. 49

These pithless bodies are like dust blown along by the fickle wind,
following Rajas Road. They don't know if they're coming or going! 18.50
When you know the comings of the body then you will understand
the goings of the wind, light's flickering, and the inconstant mind. 51
As for those bound to this body, bound to this worldly life, dead-drunk
on Delusion, I say to them "Shame on you!" and say it again. 52

"I'm not the body's; and the body is not mine": those who conclude,
with calm Chitta, that "therefore I am not this",— are the best people. 53
Much craving for human respect, much longing for mental delight:
these are the things that bind us to the body, making us mere men. 54
Within this cave there dwells a Pishacha monster with lovely limbs,
and by seductive magic she makes fools of us with her deceit. 18.55
Prajna Wisdom, wretched in her dungeon, weeping, has only the wicked
Rakshasi Demoness Misinformation for a companion. 56

Nothing that we perceive is such. It is amazing how people

are fooled by this self-destructive body, which is doomed for the fire. 57

The body blossoms, but its buds wither within a day or two,
and fall in an aging cascade like bubbles in a waterfall. 58
This body's on its way to sure destruction. It's like bubbles in
the whirling sea: wherever they want to go, bubbles burst at last. 59
It is supported by illusion, living in Dream City, doomed
to sudden, sure destruction; and I have no trace of trust in it. 18.60
Who looks for thunder in the dry season, and thinks that the City
of the Sweet Singers is made of stone, let him trust in the body. 61

Its brute ideas doom it to win everything

that is transitory and inconsequential.
So as for this corpus, with its burden of faults,-–
I cast it aside like straw: my state is happy. 62


So we have gotten into works-bearing waves, glittering peaks in
this Sea-of-Samsara universe, where Childhood is misery. 19.1

Powerlessness, calamity, want of words, craving, greediness,

giddiness, poverty: these are the only blessings of childhood. 2
It's rage, wildness and wailing, torn by misery, that time of life.
It binds a boy as surely as an elephant chained to a post. 3

Not in dying, not in old age, not in misfortune, not even

in melancholy youth is the heart as troubled as a child's heart. 4

These children get their start by crawling about like animals. Who
could respect such trivial things? Childhood is worse than death itself! 19.5
Reflected in a cloud of ignorance are the silly notions of
boyhood. In such a messy mind, where is there room for happiness? 6
Boys are like water stirred up by the wind, those babies. They are such
ignorant things, whatever they undertake ends in fear and tears. 7
The sour fruits of his fooling, the foul play, and mischief-making that
a wicked boy is given to, are that boy's final Delusion. 8

A child plays at imaginary adventures, with wicked deeds

in wicked places. Childhood is a place for punishment, not peace. 9
Where is sin, where are wickedness, disorder and foul-mindedness?
Look for them in Boyhood. They're like owls gathered in the burning ground. 19.10

"Boyhood is joyhood!"—the fuzzy-minded imagine that is how

it is. Such stupid people, o Brahmana, shame on such dead-heads! 11

A boy's mind is a pendulum that swings from thought to thought, and can't
find a fit one in all Three Worlds: can he ever be satisfied? 12
Muni, whatever there may be, and in whatever state, the mind's
in turmoil. But in boyhood, Sir, it has ten times the turbulence. 13

The mind's as fickle as the wind, but steadier than any boy.
Setting them side by side, what is the difference between the two? 14
The eyes of women, lightning-flashes, flickering flames, ocean waves,—
all of these could take a lesson from a child's fickleness of mind. 19.15

Both Childhood and the Manas Mind seem to me like twin brothers: for
everything that they undertake ends in a state of confusion. 16
All the most wicked beings, in their wicked places, prosper most
especially from a boy, as a pauper prospers from the rich. 17

If a young kid does not get some brand-new game or toy every day,
he'll have a fit, and act as if he ate a dose of arsenic! 18
Little things make him happy, and little things make him sad.
A boy is like a dog who loves best of all eating his own shit. 19
There is a constant flow of tears upon that stupid face, its cheeks
being thus watered into mud, a field of ashes drenched in rain. 19.20

Fear and desire for what boys see (or do not see) lead quickly to
melancholy, a mind that flits from misery to misery. 21
He wants this, and he must have that, and if he does not get just what
he wants, he lets you know his misery: no end to his whining! 22
With wicked tricks he gets his way; but a boy's many crooked paths
lead him to miseries, Muni, that are not fit for anyone. 23

This great forest is browned-out by a summer heat wave. That is how

a boy's mind works:—always with some great heat, a heated boy burns up. 24

A boy is sent to school: but there he finds nothing of interest

or use to him at all. He is like a bull-elephant in chains. 19.25

It is a tender time, a time for fantasy, day-dreaming, for

desires that culminate in grief: a tender time, a fragile place. 26
He shudders with a lust to eat the world, to fetch the moon to earth:—
with bubble-brained wishes like this, how can he hope for happiness? 27

Great Thinker, what's the power of an incompetent boy? Can he

escape from the heat and cold any better than an earth-bound tree? 28
A boy can be said to follow the Dharma of the Birds: he is
always flitting about for food, and fleeing from unfounded fears. 29
Childhood is the home of: fear of the Teacher, fear of the Mother,
fear of the Father, fear of the Others; and fear of Bigger Boys. 19.30

You are a great Muni, and so you understand

Boyhood is not a place anyone wants to be:
not for you, not for me. Nobody wants such a
place. For such a place gives you no satisfaction. 19.31



So, having finished with the useless Boyhood, Youth now undertakes
the affliction of Manhood. There, to his ruin, the Boy goes. 20.1

A youth, out of his own conceit, conceives a heat, and that erects
into a fancy: the numbskull leaps from the pan into the fire. 2
A youth is rendered powerless the moment that that cannibal
Desire enters the cave of his Affection, stirring up trouble. 3
A boy's concerns, his fickle thoughts, move to and fro: just like the hips
and buttocks of a courtesan. Such are the foolish thoughts of boys. 4
Vices like those make bad beginnings that grow, according to their
kind, into afflictions. Such, Muni, is the wicked path of youth. 20.5
The seed of the Great Hell grows to blossoming confusion. Those who
are not poisoned by it are not destroyed by anything, such folks! 6

With all its romance, filled with wonderful happenings, in all their
fearfulness—one who passes through Youth is truly called a Hero. 7
Youth is a momentary flash of lightning, rumble of thunder
on the rain-clouded horizon. Youth is not a pleasure to me. 8
Youth is like a new wine, mellow and sweet to the tongue, until time
turns what remains to vinegar. It is not pleasant to be young. 9
A youth has his fantasies, girls with whom he makes love in his dreams;
then quickly he is undeceived. It is not pleasant to be young. 20.10

At first it's a delight to see, just like a castle in the clouds;

and then, quickly, it vanishes. It is not pleasant to be young. 11
Fast as an arrow flies, every pleasure that youth enjoys shoots to
misery, straight into the fire. It is not pleasant to be young. 12
At best, it's a passing delight, a momentary spurt of joy,
such as you find in a whore's arms. It is not pleasant to be young. 13

Whatever happens to a youth is the occasion for sorrow;

whatever happens is a foreboding of the final Doomsday. 14
The Lord Shiva, taking the form of Bhairava the Terrible,
would himself tremble at the frightful stupidity of a youth. 20.15
Youth is oblivious of good manners, scornful of everything
intelligent, and given only to stupidity—blind youth! 16
The heart of a youth gets burned up, as if licked by a forest fire,
when he is separated from the girl that he's hankering for. 17

The mind in youth is like a broad unmuddied river that becomes

troubled and raging and impure during the season of the rains. 18
However thick with waves, however terrible the river, it
can be crossed. Not so raging youth with all its turbulence of lust. 19
"Look at those swelling bouncing breasts! O, how I love to see her face!"
A boy faced with such grave concerns grows old and grey before his time. 20.20

A young man suffering from horniness—what do the Sadhus say

of him? They do not honor him, but speak of him as worthless straw. 21
His face adorned with tiny pearls, horny with lust and mad with pride:—
a great elephant, his leg chained to a post: that's how I see youth! 22
Youth is a forest of dry-ire-crying trees with many roots, and
that wicked cobra, Dosha the Fault, slinks about in their tangles. 23

The lotus with its hairy filaments and gathered petals draws
the bee to enter into it. A youth's desire is such a flower. 24

Heart River is the hunting-ground of two bad birds called Proper and
Improper (some say Calm and Vexation). They nest in the Teen Tree. 20.25
Waves of stupidity, waves beyond counting, waves of bad
behavior, wanton waves: these are the ocean of adolescence. 26

Whatever virtue might emerge from natural proclivity,

however good, it's blown away by the furious wind of Youth. 27
White and black pepper on the face, pimples and blackheads, one by one
arise in their many thousands: such is the speckled face of youth. 28
Youth arouses a swarm of faults, withers the garland of merits.
When pleasure rises in a youth, he takes delight in wickedness. 29

Attracted by the lotus of the body, the bumbling-bee Mind

gets caught there, bound by the beams of the nubile adolescent moon. 20.30
To the seductive vine of youth, which springs up in the arbor of
the body, the Mind-bee clings, and grows mad as the vine grows and grows. 31

Chasing after the mirage of youth, in the heat of the desert

of the body, the mind-deer slips into the pit of the senses. 32

It is a momentary flash in the night of the body, it

is the dashing mane of the lion of Affection, a splashing
wave in the ocean of life, and Youth is a cold comfort to me. 33
For a number of days it lasts, blossoming in the forest of
the body. It is like springtime: it comes; it flowers; it does not last. 34

Sweet bird of youth! A little taste of pleasure, and away it flies.

It's like having a magic ring slip suddenly from your finger. 20.35

A youth may climb the highest peak and reach the summit. There he'll dance,
always desiring more, dance to and beyond the edge of a cliff. 36

When those Pishacha cannibal demons, Love and Hate, spring to life,
they never go away, but haunt the darkness of the night of youth. 37
For his miserable moments of desolating destruction,
have pity on such a youth, like a father for his dying son. 38

He thinks his ecstasy will last, more than a flash. Big Stupid thinks
so in the wisdom of his youth. He's called Nara-Mrga Man-Beast. 39
Deluded by his vanity, a youth is quickly crazed with lust.
His intellect swells with desire until he falls into the fire. 20.40

They're to be honored, those great souls, they are truly Human Beings,
who happily have travelled through the dire terrible straits of youth. 41
It's easy to cross an ocean that is thronging with its Monsters;
but not so easy to cross the deadly billow-tossed Sea of Youth. 42
A youth with good manners, who keeps good company,
who is abounding in compassion, and who is
adorned with all the virtues: in this world such a
youth is harder to find than a flying forest. 20.43



What is there beautiful about meat, et cætera: that doll who

shakes her ass, puffs her snot: what is her certain loveliness? 21.1
Look at it!: skin, meat, blood, and an ocean of tears: look at each part
and see how lovely each part is: it's a fascinating display! 2
Here is the hair. Here is the blood. There is a fascinating girl,
her body crazy, ready to spread out this way, maybe, or that. 3

Those scented garments once seemed so fair. Those limbs shifting to and fro
attract the hungry eaters of corpses of all embodiments. 4

Those breasts are like snowy twin peaks where Ganga River finds its flow.
The string of pearls upon her breast is like the foam along the shore. 21.5
But in the burning-ground the dogs chew on the breasts of girls, chew on
the penises of men—it is like a breakfast porridge for them! 6
A blood-smeared elephant lost in the woods, nothing but skin and bones—
such are the limbs of your lady-friend. Who would go hunting such a prize? 7

We think we fall in love, we think about the woman that we love.

Muni, I think it is not so: a mere romantic fantasy. 8
Riddle me this: what could be worse than the sweet overwhelming bliss
of drunkenness found in hard liquor? Maybe women could be worse! 9

Tied to their girls, like an elephant to a post, men do not come

to awakening, even when their trainer prods them with peace-hooks. 21.10

Their hair is dyed, hot to the touch, and o how they delight the eyes,
tossing their fiery braids about! Women burn men like autumn grass. 11

There is a light from a far fire: the fat crackles; the bones crack within:
it's the bonfire of womankind, a fire that's dear and terrible. 12

Her hair tosses about, and her eyes flash like slow-drifting stars, her
face is bright like the full moon: but this lotus is laughable trash. 13
Her playful glances bait a trap that leads us to destruction. She's
confusion to the intellect, a lover of long loving nights. 14

Those breasts are flowers for a hum of bumblebees; they are a feast
of eye-honey; they are a place for the drifting of fingertips! 21.15
But a girl's like a poison vine, with golden filaments for hair,
a vine that grants delirium at first, and leads quickly to death. 16

With a warm breath she gets her way, the girl snake-charmer, drawing you
out, the way a rooting elephant can suck a snake out of its hole. 17

There is a hunter called Desire who is a master hypnotist.

He lures a man into a place where women bind him with their limbs. 18

There is an elephant who's chained by the fetter of his delight

to a girl; and she holds him there, and she won't let him say a word. 19

We are fish in the pool of birth, wallowing in the mud of our

Affection. On the line of bad Habits, women are the cocked hooks. 21.20

She's like a stable for your horse, a tether for your elephant,
a mantra that puts snakes to sleep: such is a pretty-eyed woman. 21

It smells good, Muni, and various, this Pleasure-Land. It tastes good too.
It is like this, as I believe, a woman's shelter to a man. 22
A woman is a jewel-chest full of magical charms, and they
are always captivating traps. That's sufficient woman for me! 23

What do I do, tell me, with these tits, how do I do these eyes, how
caress these brows, embrace this meat, tell me please what to do with it? 24
A pound of meat, a pint of blood, they flow from the bone, Brahmana,
and every month the body of a woman is thus ripped apart! 21.25
Uncle, look at those gross girls, they are wonders of mankind, indeed they are,
o Muni, with their scattered limbs, dreams dreamed in the Cremation Grounds. 26

The sprouting blossom of a girl, the budding shoot—one passing cloud

and that remarkable face fades, withering in the wilderness. 27
Her hair blows in the wind like a yak's-tail whisk on the Burning-ground.
Her bones shine just like the stars that drift daily across the horizon. 28
The grains of dust drink up the blood, the scavengers fight over it,
the jackals gnaw the hairless skin, the Prana forces fade away. 29
And soon the wanton's lolling legs are now so sleek no longer. When
I explain this to a man, how can he go on chasing her? 21.30

A woman is a construct of five interplaying elements,

called "a girl". What is there to catch the eye of the intelligent? 31
She is a vine that stretches fast; sometimes her fruit is sweet, sometimes
it's sour. They call her Care, the vine that follows me, dogging my tracks. 32

Without his woman, the lovelorn man is a mere cloud of desire,

given to his delusions, like a lost and herdlorn animal. 33
A boy goes for a girl. He weeps much like a grieving elephant. 34
Where there's a woman, there's the taste of her:—no woman, no source for
the tasting. Give up women and give up the world; and be happy! 21.35

Fallen here into delights and burdensome enjoyments,

not for me, Brahmana, this pleasure like the flickering
wings of a bee. I fear death, disease and senility.
I seek my peace in the Highest, and win foothold . 36


Youth swallows helpless babyhood, and is devoured in its turn
by old age. See how mean each is, with insatiable appetite! 22.1

The river bears away a tree from its eroded banks; frost strikes
the lotus; and a cloud is chased by wind. Old Age rots the body. 2
It is a subtle slow poison that streaks the skin and slims the limbs,
slowly deforms the bones, and sinks the brain into senility. 3

He shakes with fear in every limb, that old withered cadaver. Girls
hold just one opinion of him: 'he's like a dying elephant'. 4
Lazy, useless, in the grip of Age, abandoned by reason,
the Old Fool is without respect, disgusting even to his wife. 22.5
The servants, children, womenfolk, inlaws, relatives, and friends too—
behind his back they all snicker at the shaky crazy old man. 6

This hideous old thing, this yellowish drooping senility,

all virtues gone, is like a vulture perched beside the burning ground. 7

Lust burns forever in the heart of an old man. Lust is his harsh
companion, and she is the only lover he will ever know. 8

"What is to come for me in the Beyond? o misery's to come,

pitiless misery, my just reward!" So the old fogey frets and fumes. 9

"O what a misery I am! and what shall I do next? and when?
I might as well just sit and fret!" Misery fuddles the old man. 22.10

"What's in it for me? something like sweet, maybe ... a feast from Someone?"
Forever and again burns the Affected Senior Citizen. 11
Desire is there, but there is no delight for him: his heart burns for
what he cannot enjoy. Such is depravity in an Old Fart! 12

O this withered Old Age is like a crane perched on the Body Tree,
croaking in pain and fear as it's attacked by poisonous serpents. 13
It comes upon us in a flash; but where, Muni, does it come from?
How it loves the blinding darkness, this Kaushika, the Owl of Death! 14

When evening comes, the darkness soon runs after it; and when Old Age
is observed in the body , then Death in its turn runs after it. 22.15

When he sees the body-tree still blossoming, even in Old Age,

then, like a ravenous monkey, Death falls upon it furiously. 16

A ruined city is a splendid thing; so is a barren tree;

so is a land in time of drought;—not so aging senility! 17

The vulture gobbles up its food, coughing because it eats too fast;
and Old Age gobbles up a man quickly in his senility. 18
A lovesick girl sees a night-lotus, seizes it and quickly plucks
its blossom for her hair. And that is how Old Age plucks the body. 19

Leaves seem to hiss as the wind blows and scatters them about the tree;
and the decrepit old man sighs and wanders about pointlessly. 22.20

A lotus withering beneath a covering of snow: Old Age

withers the body underneath gray markings of senility. 21

When the moon shines on a bald head the coughing and the farting winds
wither the lotuses, the white patches of hair that linger there. 22
The Lord of Time, examining the withered pumpkin-head of an
Old Man, gives it a little salt, and eagerly devours it. 23

It is a tree standing on the shore of Jahnu's daughter, Ganges,

whose waters carve away the bank. The tree falls in, and drifts away. 24

Old Age the Cat, licking her chops, eats up the mouse of Youth; and then
curls up and waits for the next feast of mouth-watering body-meat. 22.25

Is anything in the whole world more fearsome than a jackal's howl

in the jungle? An old man yowling in the jungle of his flesh! 26
The coughing crackle of an old man's flame heard in the blackness of
its smoke: this is the only warmth that waits upon a Senior Citizen. 27
His pale spotted and crooked limbs are like the twisting runners of
a creeper, bending with its load of flowers: such is an old body! 28

O Muni, the elephant Death attacks the white Karpura tree,

uprooting it, the camphor-white body-tree of Senility. 29
Muni, Old Age is the royal standard-bearer, who fans King Death
with a white yak's-hair whisk, amidst misfortune and calamity. 22.30

Not conquered by his enemies, he retreats to a mountain cave.

The Demoness Decrepitude still finds him out in his hideout. 31

In an Old Man, the senses are like babies in a freezing house,

who cannot move out of their crib, for fear that they may freeze to death. 32

Having a staff for a third leg she dances the Danda, coughing,
wheezing, stumbling: such is the last sad performance of Lady Age. 33

It wanders this wandering world, its body is a thing of sticks,

with a topknot of greying hair that looks like someone's chowrie whisk. 34

When Old Age comes to Body City, shining like the silver moon,
it awakens the white lotus to blossom: the lotus of Death. 23.35
Within the whitened walls of Body Palace, in the harem, three
wives are waiting, called Calamity, Misery and Impotence. 36

Old Age comes first, then non-being follows fast, for everyone grows
old. Then, Muni, what hope is there for a slow-minded man like me? 37

Uncle, what good can this Old Age be, which is

so hard to reach, and so hard to hold? yet it
cannot be avoided by anyone, this
long painful journey into the Great Beyond! 22.38


With all our fancy fantasies and clever talk, these distinctions
and quibbles, still we find ourselves lost in the cave of Samsara. 23.1
How can wise people bear to live in this cage of ribs, this body?
Here, we are like children drooling for a fruit seen in a mirror! 2
Whatever happiness we know, whatever vine of pleasure grows
in our garden, the rat called Time comes quickly; quickly chews it up. 3
There's nothing in the world that Time declines to eat, voracious Time:
like the fabled submarine fire, he even eats the ocean waves. 4
Time terrorizes all of us with perfect equanimity:
he is the Lord who gobbles-up everything that seems to be. 23.5

This god keeps even the greatest of us only a moment, then

eats up the endless Everything, being the self of Everything. 6
They call him Year, Epoch, Aeon, as he diversely manifests;
in such forms does the formless Time arrange everything in order. 7

Time eats all that's beautiful,—even the gurus on Mount Meru,—

like belly-crawling snakes devoured by Garuda, the King of Birds. 8
The merciless, the violent, the fierce, the harsh, the miserable,
the lowest of the low,—at last, time has a taste for everyone. 9
He has one thing upon his mind: eating. He eats infinitely,
he gobbles up the galaxies, and still he is not satisfied. 23.10

He does his business, he destroys, he acts, he kills, and then he eats.

He dances the Samsara Dance, one actor playing many parts. 11

He is a parrot, very fond of pomegranate seeds. He pecks

away at these illusory, various pomegranate trees. 12

Time is an elephant that roars in rage, wading into the lotus-pond

of birth, digging with his tusks of good and evil, uprooting us. 13
Though the Immensity Brahman is root and seed of this divine
orchard, Brahma Forest, here Time hungrily feeds from tree to tree. 14

At night the bumbling bees creep into the closing day-blossoms of

the vine of years and ages,—Time the Creeper—there to rest in peace. 23.15

Scratch him, and he does not bleed. Set him on fire, he does not burn. Peek
at him, and you do not see him: Muni, he's the thief's wishing-stone! 16

In one eyeblink of time there is a moment of awakening,

or a moment of destruction: a moment of imagining. 17

Time feeds us all on pleasurable misery, doleful delights: then takes

this matter-made-form, and sends it into a fresh round of rebirth. 18

A leaf of grass, a grain of dust, Indra the Great, King of the gods,
Mount Meru, a leaf, or a wave—Time gobbles all he calls his own. 19
He overflows with cruelty, this burden of desire and greed,
the father of our sorrows, unreliable and hard to bear. 23.20

Time is a boy playing a game of catch, tossing two balls against

the garden wall, and catching them again, tossing the sun and moon. 21
Then, his diversions duly done, he trips the Doomsday Dance—and from
his neck a chain of every sort of skull and bone hangs to his feet. 22
On Doomsday all of this explodes, drifts in the shifting winds of time,
clusters of fragments everywhere, like birchbark shavings in the air. 23

He who was Rudra the Roarer may also be Indra the King
of the gods, or the Grandfather Brahma, or Shakra the Great, or
Kubera, or Vaishravana; or he may be nothing at all. 24

He offers-up his fiery sacrifices, boundless, luminous.

He's an ocean that day and night rests its waves in the Self-ocean. 23.25

He plucks the trees of the Forest of Ages,—the fruit called 'Deva

gods', or else 'Asura darklings'—cooking them into a chutney. 26

Time is that mighty mountain tree, the Udumbara, whose fruits are the
Brahmanda Universe, where we gnats and mosquitoes grumbling hum. 27

Beside Sat-Suchness lotus pond, in the moonlight of Consciousness,

the body entertains itself in Lady Action's lovely arms. 28

Time sits in state upon a throne of bounded boundlessness, high as

the uprisen Himalaya, and equally immovable. 29
Sometimes Time wears the darkest dark; sometimes shines bright as the full moon;
sometimes neither, at home alone. What he feels like doing, he does. 23.30

Time is the essence that conjoins the uncounted universes;

he is the essence of your own Self; and indeed he's this planet
Earth itself, this substantial firmness, this foothold of bondage. 31

Time shows no respect nor disdain. He does not come, he does not go,
he does not rise, he does not set, though hundreds of Great Ages pass. 32
By himself he preserves the Self alone, egoless, outspread; he
maintains the playful game of rising worlds as a great cloud of suns. 33

In the lotus-pond of Self, in the course of time, see how the red
day-lotus grows from last night's mud, while clouds of bees bumble about. 34

Time is an aged miser, who holds in his hand a broom. He goes

about Samsara Mountain, sweeping every particle of gold. 23.35
He trims the wick of his lamp with his fingertips and searches, seeks
everywhere in the World-house: that miser Time will find what he wants. 36

Under the eye of the sun, in the moments of the day, he cooks
his meal: the World-Guardians that ripen in the woods of this world. 37
Samsara's his dilapidated shack; and here, amongst the mess,
Time hides away the Jewel-Worlds, guarded by Death, his treasurer. 38
He wears the worlds as jewelry, diamonds glinting on his neck;
then, in a fit of passion, breaks the chain, scattering the jewels. 39

The day-swan's beating wings arouse a constant trembling in the chain

of night-lotuses, with star-like filaments, on the neck of Time. 23.40

Time is a butcher who carves-up the horned Earth-ram into mountains,

waters, day—and who daily drinks the sparkling starlike drops of blood. 41
Time is the moon that fades the Youth-lotus, the lion that attacks
the Life-elephant. Nothing—trifle nor treasure—escapes that thief. 42
He plays with Ages and Aeons, he grinds people like wheat, he makes
the unreal real: and that it is how Time finds his greatest enjoyment: 43
Time is the Doer who enjoys, Terminator, and Memory. 44
He is not troubled, and he simply plays his game
wearing whatever body pleases his fancy,
manifesting and maintaining everything:
so Time the reckless boy plays among humankind. 23.45



Hear now of the stimulating fun, the dangerous adventures

of Prince Kala, Time, who is of immeasurable potency. 24.1

These are his travels, filled with sorrows, roaming like a foolish beast,
a Hunter, withered with decrepitude, in the World-jungle-net. 2
The Ocean of the Ages is Time's lotus-pond, where submarine
fires are like underwater flowers, shining radiantly everywhere. 3

A bowl of pungent, bitter, sour curds from the Ocean of Milk, stale
from storing overnight: Time takes his tasty morning breakfast treat. 4
His mistress Chandi runs about the Forest of Samsara with
her Company of Mothers, fierce as a tigress, murderous everywhere. 24.5
Earth rests in the clasp of his hand: Earth is Time's sable drinking-cup,
overfilled with the Elixir of Life. Earth turns and tosses, like
a wind-blown blue lotus, that is all adorned with a silver net. 6

Nr-simha Man-lion, for all his horrid roaring, his fierce claws,
is quiet as a cooing lovebird, caught close in the hand of Time. 7

In autumn, Time the Great, beneath the radiant blue sky, picks up
his lute, and strums it playfully, like the song of a cuckoo chick. 8
Like a constant thunderstorm, or an endless spew of vomit, his
Bow of Abhava Unbeing sends arrows flying everywhere. 9

There's nothing to compare with this wandering, roving,

everywhere seeking, constantly aging, scholarly
ape, one more in a chain of births,—this wretched body,
which Time enlivens, animating it to action. 24.10

Canto 1.025: THE DANCE OF TIME


There is, in this world, the prince of wicked players, who does his work,
and eats his fill. They call him Kala Time, or sometimes Daiva Fate. 25.1
Of Time no other form is seen than Consequence, taking the form
of self-vibration. It is neither Causation nor wishfulness. 2
He leads the entire procession of incarnate beings into
nonentity like an ice-garland under the heat of the sun. 3
The world anywhere seen is his playground, his Theater of Dance. 4

Time's third name is Krtanta Terminator, a sight terrible

to bear, dressed in his bones, crazy. As Daiva Fate he stomps this world. 25.5

O Muni, that great lover Krtanta constantly dances with

his girl Niyati, Lady Destiny, the most supreme lover. 6
The moonlike serpent Shesha and the ways of the Ganges make up
the threefold sacred cord across the bosom of that Samsara. 7
The circles of the sun and moon are golden bracelets for her hands;
and the Brahmanda Cosmic Egg is a love-lotus in their grasp. 8
His garment is of star-spangled Space, washed white in the Ocean of
Milk, dried in the lecherous heat of the flowerlike hurricanes. 9
And now she dances before him, Niyati the ever-lover;
constantly stirring up and down, she dances the dance of the worlds. 25.10
That great dance of seduction, at the center of this world-circle,
in the form of unchecked vibration, is our coming and going. 11

The creatures of all of the worlds of the gods are bright jewels that
adorn her limbs; the halo of her hair flows down from heaven to hell. 12
They call her Narakali Hellfire. All our evil works are strung
as bells on her ankles: tinkling she dances in Patala Hell. 13
Her beauty-marks are the letters inscribed by Chitragupta*, Death's
Recorder, in the Doomsday Book that chronicles the deeds of all. 14
*[For the Thai version of Chitragupta see,%20Suwan%20en
%20Suwaan.htm ]
And when the goddess dances Doomsday, directed by her husband,
she shakes the mountains, stirs the clouds, clattering like a thunderstorm. 25.15

At his side, as his triple eyes cause you to gasp, wide, staring
eyes fearful to behold, peacocks roll and sway in the Doomsday Dance. 16

Hara the Destroyer, wears five different heads, whose locks dangle
and toss about, as he whirls round about his golden Gauri the
Goddess, and her long braids adorned with coralFlowers are his fan. 17

That fearsome Bhairavi dances her warDance, leaping, mountain-huge,

beating her swelling belly like a drum, hung with a hundred skulls. 18
She takes the form of many withered bodies bearing skull-headed
maces; she fills the sky so fearsomely that she frightens herself. 19

The circlet of skulls round her neck is like a garland of white flowers,
bouncing as she cavorts with kicks, doing her dreadful Doomsday Dance. 25.20
Come Doomsday, whirling hurricanes drum like the Damara tambour,
and the Gandharva Singers all flee in fear from the Carnival. 21
Krtanta dances, and the sun and moon are his earrings, and stars
gleam in the moonlit sky, and the sky is a feathery flywhisk!22
On his one ear Snow Mountain shines like an ornament carved in bone;
and on the other ear the great Mount Meru sparkles with its gold. 23
The sun and moon are earrings shining on the glory of his face;
she wears the mountain range surrounding all the world around her waist. 24
Here they come, and there they go in their dance—and lightning flashes from
their bracelets. A drifting cloud, she sways her hips in their pure white cloth. 25.25

When Death appears, he comes with spears, missiles and lances, javelins,
vomiting forth their sharpness, maces clubbing, he destroys the world. 26
The long noose of Samsara hangs down from Time's hand: it is the snake
Shesha—all of our pleasures strung like precious jewels in a chain. 27
Brilliant with Life, sparkling with sea-creatures as jewels scintillate
with light, all Seven Seas circle his arms as his seven bracelets. 28
The curls are customary deeds, the streaks of hair are pleasure and
sorrow, are lightness streaked with dark: such are the hairs on his belly! 29

And then Krtanta Finisher, having thus danced the Doomsday Dance,
withdraws, and lets Maheshvara, the Great Lord, make it all again. 25.30
But now the Lady does her Lasya Dance—it's the Round Dance of Love—
and in this new creation she offers age, grief, sorrow, and shame. 31

Again and again he makes these many worlds—makes this world—

here in the heart of the wilderness, with its mud and air,
the still things and the moving, an entire creation where
babies and little children may grow up in misery. 25.32



Things being as they are with Time and all its vagaries, Muni,
in this Samsara, tell me what hope is there for the likes of me? 26.1

O Muni, all of us are slaves to Daiva Fate and Niyati

Destiny. This material body's a deer lost in the woods. 2

Lord Time has no proper worldly manners, with his gaping gulping
gullet. He likes to throw unarmed people into the Sea of Woe. 3
He burns us with inner despair, this misbehaving deity,
and at the last he burns us up, in the final fire of Doomsday. 4
His fickle Lady Destiny does not respect propriety,
so fickle is her nature. She is known, therefore, as womanly. 26.5

Krtanta Finisher is like a snake that feeds on air. Waving

his sword, he leads this ageless human form into decrepitude. 6
The Emperor of Cruelty, Lord Yama Death, shows no mercy.
Someone with pity for all beings, such a one is hard to find. 7

O Muni, we who are called "enjoyers of the world" enjoy,

powerlessly, suffering endless sorrow, and sheer misery. 8
This life is endless change. Death is a solitary place. Youth is
a whirling tornado. Boyhood is stolen by stupidity. 9
This world is a corruption of moments; kinsmen are bondsmen
of being; pleasure is the plague of being. We're like herdlorn deer! 26.10
Our senses are our enemies; what is Such comes to unSuchness;
the self struggles against the Self; mind itself is the mind's worst foe. 11

It is the Egosense that is at fault: it leads the Intellect

to Action, and our sole pleasure becomes addiction to women. 12
Looking for sensual pleasure we lose sight of the marvelous
Suchness, when women draw the eye. The Nectar is unnectarized! 13

Because of Egosense, the insubstantial seems substantial; shot

through with unBeing, Being and Becoming do not appear. 14

It burns me through and through, Sadhu, the mind with its dancing disease
of passionate attachment; and Dispassion is not to be found. 26.15
Crippled is the red Rajasic Force. Black Tamasic Perception
rules everywhere; nor does Suchness go unto Thatness, far apart. 16

Nothing lasts. The fixed becomes unfixed, what was solid trembles, and
Death draws closer, while we devote our passions to the substanceless. 17
The mind's a mess of slothfulness, the spirit fallen from the One;
senescence blazes in the flesh so it shoots sparks of wickedness. 18
Youth is a trouble to endure; Good Company is hard to find;
the Way is not known anyhow; and nothing's what it seems to be. 19
Mind gets bewildered within. Sympathy flies far away. The warmth
of compassion does not arise. We become lowest of the low. 26.20
Wisdom turns to unwisdom, a stumble brings an awful fall. It's
easy to mix with the wicked; but hard to get good company. 21

Experiences come and go for us who are bound by Being;

and all the long line of creatures are led willy-nilly by such. 22

The four winds change; countries flourish and disappear. When great mountains
crumble away to dust, what hope can there be for the likes of me? 23

When Satta Suchness eats up the heavens, and gobbles our lives;
when Earth itself is doomed, what hope can there be for the likes of me? 24

The oceans all at last dry out; their waves grow still. Even Siddha
Adepts meet their demise. What hope can there be for the likes of me? 26.25

When the gods are destroyed in war and the pole-star shifts from its place
and the immortals die, what hope can there be for the likes of me? 26

The godKing is himself under attack! The Lord of Death is doomed!

The windGod cannot breathe! What hope can there be for the likes of me? 27

The Soma Moon to emptiness comes away. The DeathEgg Sun gets
snuffed. Agni Fire gets swamped. What hope can there be for the likes of me? 28

The Supreme takes into its state Hari the Unborn; existence
becomes non-existent. What hope can there be for the likes of me? 29

And yet Time accumulates, and Destiny destines, and Space spreads
infinitely outward; what hope can there be for the likes of me? 26.30

By the unheard, unspoken, hard-to-see Thatness, unknowable

in form, somehow we beings are tricked into this great Delusion. 31
The fragments of Egoity are indwelling and everywhere,
and there is nobody in these three worlds who is not bound by it. 32
We're as lost as a rock thrown in the forest: or horse-drawn, Daymaker
Sun pulled willy-nilly over the stony mountain-range ramparts. 33

This Earth-globe, home of Sura Brightlings and Asura Darklings, spins

within its sparkling shell of stars. It's a hot walnut in its shell! 34
The gods in their Sky, us people on our earth, the Naga Serpents
in their Pits—we're imaginings, journeying to decrepitude. 26.35

Kama Desire, the lord of lust, having once done battle with Lord
Shiva, made bold to fan this world with his wings. How he flutters here! 36
In spring, an elephant goes mad, drunk on his own juices. The skies
are everywhere a rain of flowers, so Awareness goes crazy too. 37
Not even a Great One, rich in Viveka Discernment can quite
resist chasing after the roving eyes of a beautiful girl. 38
Those with concern for others, with their suffering torments—they are
wise and happy because of the gentleness of their inner thought. 39

Rising and falling, stirred by the wind and the submarine fire, by
whom can the many billows in this Ocean of Life be counted? 26.40
All of us humans, bar none, are snared in the snare of the trapper
Moha Illusion. We are like a deer snagged in the underbrush. 41

What a waste is this sequence of birth after birth, worlds won

by our own wicked works. Life is a tree grown in the sky,
with Time's Noose hanging from its branches: a fact we men so
clever in Vichara Inquiry do not understand. 42

"Today's a Feast. It's the season for a Procession. Here

are all the relatives. What an opulent banquet!" So
a fool looks at things, smiling in his dilemma as his
unsteady little mind pours out this whole world before him. 43



O Uncle, does it really matter whether

this universe offers disgust or delight?
For finally it offers nothing whereby
the constantly conceiving mind can find rest. 27.1

When boyhood's done with fancies and love-lolling,

where the mind-deer slips into perilous pits;
then this rotten little body shrivels in
its decrepitude, as the world consumes it. 2

This body-lotus floating in this pond is

stricken by frost, as Old Age comes to visit;
then, with tics, jerks, and shaking of the body,
the Pond of Samsara dries and disappears. 3

This body is a clinging vine that ripens

with not a few beautiful young sprouts bearing
sexual passion, bringing decrepitude,
rotting the vineStalk to its very center. 4

Here, in this world, there is a mighty stream called

Craving River, and on its crumbling bank's edge
there grew a tree called Santosha Contentment,
but now the river has carried it away. 27.5

We are afloat in the Ocean of Being,

tossing and tumbling in this skin-hulled vessel
until we are caught and dragged underwater
by those sea-serpents that we call the senses. 6

This hungry forest-wanderer is roaming

among a thousand branches bearing Kama
fruit; and it wanders round and around, wasting
the moments, craving fruit, but never tasting. 7

Those who do not grow crazy in their sorrow,

nor grow haughty and mean in prosperity,
who do not grow dizzy with comely women,
such people are hard to find, in their greatness. 8

They call those people heroes who, in the heat

of battle, face a wave of elephants; but
I call a hero only one who stands up
before the waves of thought and overcomes them. 9

There never will be seen a good fruition

for the unworthy works of the Affections,—
the acts and the imaginings of Chitta:—
people will not thus find the peace they're seeking. 27.10

Some fill this world-cave with their glories, and their

homes with blessing and fortune, because of their
clear-minded and unshaken stability:
but in this world such people are hard to find. 11

You may huddle in a stony mountain cave,

or take refuge in the Abode of Thunder:
everything quickly comes that's coming to you,
whether it's endless blessedness or sorrow. 12

Our children and our wives and wealth, we're thinking,

are a life elixir that keeps us living
(but it is really stupefying poison,
and they are no antidote to our dying). 13

Full of dejection, in a terrible state,

stuck in his wind-filled body, an old fellow
sits and remembers his experiences
here, and he feels an awful inner burning. 14
When all our works are only for Desire,
Power, and Righteousness, from birth to dying,
and the mind-peacock shivers its tail-feathers
for shame,—where is comfort for such a person? 27.15

Because of what you have, or what's past getting,

through wave after tidal wave of time, Daiva,
our Lady Fate, awaits with what you're needing,
or what's coming to you, in this two-faced world. 16

"I want this", "Give me that", all of our doings

are for the boundless pleasure of our charming
wives and our families; but very quickly
the Chetas mind grows weak, feeble, and senile. 17

Just as a withered leaf falls from a tree-branch,

just so our birth also proceeds to fading
for us without Viveka Discernment; and
all the worlds too decay in their due season. 18

And when we wander here and there on worldly

affairs, and then come home at the day's ending,
if we have not done wisely in that business,
how can we hope for any rest at nightfall? 19

A person's enemies, defeated, run! for

Lady Fortune is visiting, with treasure:
but what good are such mortal pleasures, seeing
that her Lord Death is lurking in some corner? 27.20

How can it be that every little thing, each

trifling experience momentarily
perceived, becomes a trouble to the people
of this world? and o! a terrible falling. 21

Our dear lives having being tagged and tied-up by

Time, each of us people-sheep is destined for
the Altar of Sacrifice, ever always
bound to the body, be it fat or skinny. 22

They come across the sea, so quickly rising;

they crash upon the shore, so quickly breaking:
where do these people come from, in their endless
undulant ocean of birthing and dying? 23

They are a danger to us men, these women!

They steal away our hearts with their temptations,
red-petal lips. Their eyes are always flitting
like bees buzzing about a poisonous vine. 24

And so at last everything comes to nothing,

we are just one more in this long procession
of wives and relatives gathered together
like businessmen come to an office meeting. 27.25

The days of our lives are like an oil lantern

that must be fueled (otherwise the darkness!).
In this long chain of Samsaras, the Thatness
will not be known by those who do not seek it. 26

This whirling Samsara is like a wobbly

potter's wheel, or froth bubbling in the spring rains;
but those wanting in intellect consider
it to be enduring and unmoving! 27

All of the radiant beauties of youth are

utterly blasted when we reach our old age.
Youth is not something that we can rely on:
the lotus withers when it feels the winter. 28

Over and over, time after time, Daiva

Fate does its worst. Though a tree offers freely
its fruit, it is not proof against the axe-man.
What comfort is there here for anybody? 29

It seems delightful, but (it is bad thinking,

and bound to give rise to your inner ruin,
like poison ivy or a poison berry)
unwise to seek the company of people. 27.30
Where do you find someone without blemishes?
Where do you find someone not burned by sorrow?
Where is a person who can be relied on?
Where is a deed that can't be called Illusion? 31
As for those who live through a Kalpa Aeon,
beginning with Brahma the Immense, whether
they live a long time or only a short time,
this trap of Time is likewise an illusion. 32

Look anywhere, and mountains are made of stone;

earth is composed of mud, and trees are wooden;
and people are raw meat (holding a Person).
Nothing exists that is not made from something. 33

Some see the world as a fulness of water,

some see the sky as a vastness of wind.
It is according to their definitions:
in fact, the world is not other than it is. 34

This wonderful world, a sort of illusion

of Chetas Awareness, is a wonder for
us humans; and what wonder? when our dreaming
illusion is also a sort of wonder. 27.35

This intellect, this creeper in the heavens,

gives rise to our conceptions. So when noble
actions do not arise, when we are driven
by greed, should we be surprised by our thinking? 36

Seeking to reach the peak of their ambition,

driven by craving, men are like a hungry
beast on a mountain cliff, where a tree grows: it
leaps to gather its fruit, slipping, and falling. 37

The people of today can be compared to

a useless vine that grew within a chasm:
call it the Body Tree. It grows in shadow,
it bears foul fruit, and nourishes destruction. 38

Here people wander in the beautiful parts

of the interior country, and there they
stumble into more terrible dark places,
like antelopes lost in the boundless forest. 39

Although each new day is ever delightful,

its beauty brings a flurry of confusion,
of wicked babble, gossip: not surprising
even to a dead man, after some thinking. 27.40

People are driven by desire to a variety of clever

artifices—-even in our dreams a reliable good person
is hard to find. Our deeds, good or bad, are a congress of mistakes. Tell me,
What course am I to pursue through all these various stages of life? 41



O Brahmana, everything that we see, all that is still and all

that stirs, is just a flick of life, like the companions of a dream. 28.1

Look at this dried-up ocean, o Muni. Let someone dig it up,

and it will be a mountain, with a crown of clouds about its peak. 2
Where you see forests scattered on a mountain-top, constantly licked
by the winds, in a few days it will erode into a deep well. 3

The body which is today clothed in perfumed silks will at last be

thrown like a diseased dog, naked, to rot in some far distant hole. 4

Where now a city can be seen, bustling with its many trades,
someday hereafter it will be an empty soundless wilderness. 28.5
A human being now, in his glory, rules over a great realm:
but oh Your Majesty, in a few days they call him an ash hill. 6

There are great forests full of fear that in this spacious sky will fly
flurries of banners to announce the presence of a new City. 7
A fearful place of clinging vines once was a playground; but, someday,
after a little while, it will become a barren Sahara. 8

The sea-waters evaporate, the oceans become land. And thus

everything turns into its opposite here in this present world. 9
Boyhood passes; youth passes too. This hunk of matter, this body,
passes from one state to another, surfing the waves of the world. 28.10
Life in this world is like the wick of a candle flickering in
the wind, and all the glory of this world is just a lightning-flash. 11
Everything becomes something else, one incarnation soon follows
another, like seeds sown in the field, sprouting again and again. 12

This Manas Mind is like a flag tossed about in the constant wind,
making us many with its Fate and melodramatic moments. 13

Look at our condition, born to wander about this Jagat World!

It is like a whirling danseuse playing "The Tale of Samsara". 14
It is like a city of the Gandharvas, in the clouds, where she
dances alone, skilled in her craft, and oh her glancing amorous eyes! 28.15
This is a talented actress playing this play called "Samsara":
her eyes flicker here everywhere like thunder-flashes in the night. 16

Those were the days, with their great people, those were good times, and good
they're all for the memory-book. Death will soon come: just a moment.... 17
Day by day it runs to ruin, day by day it's born again. But
for the present there is no end to this death-dealing destruction. 18

When people become animals, and animals become human,

and the gods lose their godhood, whatever can we depend upon? 19

Playing with his net of rays, night after day, again and again,
Ravi the Sun whiles time away, bound for the Day of Destruction. 28.20
Brahma the Immense, and Vishnu the Pervading, and the Awful
Rudra,—and every sort of being, for that matter,—they all chase
after their own destruction, like water chasing Submarine Fire. 21
Our days on this forgiving Earth, the wind in midair, mountains, streams,
north-south-east-west,—all of these are only the ripe tinder-dry fuel
for Vadava, the Submarine Destructive Phosphorescence. 22

Some people have plenty of money, servants, family, and friends:

but all of these turn bitter-sweet when people feel the fear of death. 23

Wise sir, all our experience in this world, all that we enjoy,
is instantly made memory by the demon of destruction. 24

One moment we're masters of men; one moment we are stumble-bums;

one moment our disease is cured; one moment we have a relapse. 28.25

Where's the wise man who is not deceived by this Self-destroying world-
maze of contradictions, where things are never what they seem to be? 26
At one moment the spacious sky appears smeared with tamasic mud;
at one moment it's a gush of golden glowing, so good to see. 27
Here, now, this moment is a cloud-cave covered in blue lotuses;—
one moment blue, it blackens with thunder, then it's silent and free. 28
One moment it is star-spangled, one moment it is bright with sun,
one moment it is all full moon, one moment the world is all dark. 29

This coming and going-away, this fizzle of moments—where is

the Hero who is not afraid of this transient Samsara? 28.30

Misery lasts only for a moment; and just for a moment

Fortune visits. There is a moment to be born, and a moment
to die. O Muni, is there anything that's not for a moment? 31
One moment I was someone else; but then, after a moment, was
born as myself,—o lord, always a different, never-lasting self. 32
A pot is seen to be a cloth; a cloth is seen to be a pot;
nothing is what it seems to be in this inconstant Samsara. 33
It spreads out, it makes things happen:—it eats away, kills, and creates,—
in due course, day after night, things happen, one after another. 34
A Hero is killed by a Villain; a lone man kills a hundred;
Commoners can become Nobles; this world is often upside-down. 35

Another birth quickly follows, in its due course, as the Inert

springs into Vibrancy: it's like an endless procession of waves. 36
Boyhood lasts only a few days; the joys of Youth lead to Old Age.
When there is no consistency in the body, what of the world? 37

One moment it is filled with joy; one moment drowned in misery;

and then in calm placidity:—the Mind's an actor on a stage. 38
Now it plays with this one, and now with that one, and then now with that:
it is like an ill-mannered baby breaking all its toys, one by one. 39
It seeks, it finds, begets, kills, eats, and it creates, all in due course,
constantly, as night follows day: such is the business of a human. 40
Now you see it and now you don't. That is the Rule of Enjoyment.
Nothing lasts long for anyone, be it Fortune or Misfortune. 41
Time plays his part, and he leads us from blessing to catastrophe:
one moment we are making love, next moment we remember it. 42

Alike or different, they hang ripening, and

every day they fall into the universal fire,
this ordered multitude of creatures of the three
worlds, hanging from the branches of the Samsara Tree. 43



And so I am burned-up in this great forest fire of Consciousness.

There is no hope for pleasure here: there's no real lake in a mirage! 29.1
Day follows day, and it stinks worse, such is the state of Samsara,
ripening in the rot of time, fatal as Neem* bark to the tongue. 2
*||See gl.1.029 for a note on this tree of many uses, some poisonous.||

It is a time when wickedness increases, and goodness grows scarce,

and a king grows as bitter as a crabfruit in his people's taste. 3
The customs of this world do not endure: presto!—a fingersnap
and everything changes: it's like cracking roast lentils with your teeth. 4
Lord of the Munis, to rule a kingdom, to loll in luxury,
those are a fool's daydreams: far better to follow a moral path. 5

No joy for me is my garden; no pleasure for me my women;

no thrill are all my luxuries: I am making peace with my mind. 6
It is a world of Craving, shifty, pleasureless, awful to bear,
not to be trusted, the fruit of fancy;—uncle, how can it rest? 7
I offer no welcome to death, I offer no welcome to life;
however I am, that's just how I am, when my sickness is gone. 8
What use to me is the kingdom? what good are pleasures and desires?
Such things may please the Egosense, but that's fallen away from me. 9

Our births are like a leather thong strung with knots—the senses—that bind
us. But the best of us always strive for Vimoksha the Unbinding. 10

The Mind gets stirred-up by seductive women, following Kama's

Goat-banner*. It's like a flower ground underhoof by elephants. 11
*||This is the theosophical reading, with the sense of the horniness of Old Goats, and recalling the Satyrs of Ancient Greece. Other
readings of <makara> can be found in the Working Notes ||WN||. Vihari Lal Mitra ||vhl|| omits the banner entirely, taking "the goat-
bannered one" to mean "the god of love": a purer, but less accurate translation.||

O King of Munis, if we do not cure this disease now, making

the Chitta Affection pure,—will we ever get around to it? 12

A cup of poison is not real poison; it is the poisonous

senses that bring rebirth to us; the poison cup only brings death. 13

Neither pleasures nor sorrows, neither friends nor family, neither

living nor dying:—none of these bind understanding wisdom. 14

What I want to become like, o Brahmana,—you are the foremost

of historians and prophets!—and how to become it, free from
sorrow and fear and such troubles—Sir, you should teach me that at once. 15

Wrapped in the trap of Vasana Conditioning, that crown of thorns,

that forest full of chasms, pits and traps for the unknowing fool, 16
o muni, I can barely bear this seesaw Samsara, that saws
away, the senses murdering me, gouging, grinding, slivering. 17

"This is not so, this is so"—when the vibrant Chetas Awareness

finds freedom from such delusions, it's like wind blowing dust away. 18
This Craving is a cord that holds the living Jivas strung like beads
on a rosary, and Chitta Affection is the guru-bead.* 19

* [The guru-bead is the head-bead of a rosary, where the ends of the string get tied].

I'm tired of the terror of Samsara, a noose clings round my neck

like a tiger. I want to rip it off, as lions rip a net. 20

Now in the foggy forest of my Heart, my mind wanders in fear.

Best of the That-Knowers, bring me a lamp so I may understand. 21

Great Soul, they are, alas, not to be found here,

those who can bring some peace to our distresses;
but, in collaboration with such great minds,
the dark of night is blazoned bright with moonbeams. 22

Our pleasures are as transitory as clouds, where raindrops wait to be shaken

loose by the winds of life, or by the tremulous lightning that plays among
masses of clouds, bursting at last into cloudbursting floods of boyish lust. I
offer them all in sacrifice, to bring to peace this strong Chitta Affection. 23


For me, the disappointments of this narrow cave the world come by
the hundredfold, and I am sunk in the muddy quagmire of thought. 1
When I ponder about these things, my mind becomes bewildered and
my limbs shiver and tremble like dry leaves upon a dying tree. 2

The mind cannot attain perfect contentment, firm security:—

it's like a young bride in her new home, with a puny young husband. 3
We're overwhelmed with the conceptions of the Inner-Doer:—as
a deer falls in a pit that's covered with dry grass and autumn leaves. 4
Without Viveka Discernment of the Sat Suchness state, sinking
in misery, we splash in the dark muddy well of the senses. 5

She finds no permanence, things do not happen to her taste. Lady

Chinta Concern frets, but wholly depends upon her lord Jiva. 6

Whatever we do in old age, grasping or loosing, we're like an

autumn vine, slipping from the safety of a tree in shriveling death. 7

I have surrendered everything, rejected every interest:—

grasping or loosing, I remain settled in an unsettled self. 8
My mind is all a seething flux of non-discernment. In the dark
I see a robber lurking. When I look again, it is a tree. 9

The fickle Chetas Awareness feasts in the garden of this world,

in love with its own recklessness, as the gods love their flying cars. 10

So tell me what is that great state like no other, delusion-free,

that effortless, that perfect state where a person does not know grief? 11
Good people like King Janaka the Populous, people like him,
how do they carry on their business, while seeking the Highest? 12

To put it plainly to you, Venerable Sir, I stand here decked

in filth from head to toe. How can I ever get cleansing of it? 13
What teaching have you taken to, you gentlemen free of the stain
of wickedness, you Enquirers, Living Freemen, Seas of Wisdom? 14
It is the sense-objects that are the Serpent's bitter sting. How do
you people get free from this fear of stinging? could it ever be? 15
A madly muddied elephant driven by Wickedness, how does
it come to the Supreme Grace, o you rivers of understanding? 16

So long as we dwell here in this Samsara, we Samsaris can-

not escape bondage: a lotus in a pond can't help getting wet. 17

Whether it is the Self or leaves of grass on which a person thinks,

how does one reach the Ultimate, which the mind's fancies cannot touch? 18
What is the Teaching that you know, that's taught by the Supreme, and once
I hear it, I shall nevermore fall in the slough of misery? 19
What should we know as Fortunate? what should we know as Fruit? and just
exactly how do we proceed properly in this Samsara? 20
Teach me something of the Thatness, Sir, that lies at the root of all
the past and future tremulous instabilities of this world. 21
O Brahmana, how do I cleanse the Chetas Awareness of its
impurity? how do I see the full moon rise in the Heart's sky? 22
Should I do this, should I not do that? What's right, what's wrong? What other
alternative synthesis? I would rather rest like a mountain. 23
By means of what Holy Mantra can this Samsara, this horrid
pest of a plague,—how can it, sirs, be comfortably brought to peace? 24
How do I find coolness within, shaded by the Ananda Tree,
its flowers like the harvest moon? Teach me how I may settle there. 25
How do I become full within of the Fulness, so I never
shall grieve again? Let all you great saints and sages teach me the way. 26

But o, Great Soul, what use is all this babble?

So long as I do not find that perfect state
of rest in the unsurpassed Ananda Joy,
I'm like a starving dog lost in the forest. 27



Life is so brief. It's like the tip of a trembling leaf on a tree-

top, where a drop of water clings and quivers. Life is as fleet as
a beam of the crescent moon that glints from Ishana Shiva's crest. 1
It is as shaky as a bass-violin-voiced frog, mired in a swamp
and croaking. It's trap after trap. Even friends cannot be trusted.* 2

The winds of Vasana Conditioning bring forth a storm-cloud of

illusion, rumbling with lightning, bearing a bitter chilling frost. 3

Swaying her hips, the Goddess dances the Doomsday Dance, with her flock
of greedy peahens, and she slaps her body like a wooden drum. 4

The cruel Terminator Cat prowls in places of peace, and then

pounces, and eats the Living Mouse, who never knew where it sprang from. 5

What is the Method? What the Path? What of the trouble? What the help?
It is a dark sunrise that I see in this dark Forest of Life. 6
There is on earth and in the heavens, there among the gods, wisdom
that,—even to trifling questions,—offers beautiful answers. 7

This fiery Samsara, this mess of many moments, how can I

discover some sweetness within its insipid stupidity? 8
The growth of hope is like a cleansing beauty-bath of milk. Hope springs
up like a bursting flower that suddenly adorns the earth. 9

This my moon-Mind, waxing and waning, how do I get it clean, how

do I get it Nectar-bright, freed from the foul filth of Desire-dirt? 10
Who is the Ranger of this Samsara Forest, remover of
all seen and unseen obstacles? What path will he lead us in? 11
Passion and Anger are twin plagues where people wallow in their wealth.
How can they not give up such stuff, those Samsara-Ocean=rovers? 12
How do they survive in this fire of cognitive Recognitions,
those chosen by Wisdom? They are like Mercury Quicksilver, which
has an essence that will not burn. 13
How in the world can you avoid
the business of this world? When you jump in the ocean, you get wet! 14
Here there are no good works without their passion or anger,
goodSpace and badSpace equally. There's no candle that doesn't burn. 15

In the mentations of the Mind, out of the Suchness, the Three Worlds
are born. Somewhere, there's no distress without a remedy. Sir, tell
me where is that wonderful place? 16
Those who can carry-on here in
this world and never suffer—Sir, tell me their wonderful teaching. 17
How is it, by what means, what is it, the fruit of highest Chetas
Awareness, where men of old found perfect purified Manas Mind? 18
Tell me. o lord, how you and these other Sadhus have come to know
how to disperse the Illusion, and realize sorrowlessness. 19

Otherwise, Brahmana, if you, knowing and realizing some

precept, decline to teach me what you know, and tell me nothing, then, 20
since I cannot know it alone, that unsurpassed, that restful peace,
I must now give up this my "I", the Ahamkara EgoSense:— 21
I will no longer eat, I will not drink water, I will not put
on new clothes, and I will not attend to my religious duties:
no more sacred bathing, no more food-offerings, none of those things. 22
No more activity for me, lucky or tenfold-unlucky!

What remains for me, o muni, except to renounce this body? 23

I will become entirely free from fear, "my"-lessly unselfish.
I will just sit here, as silent as a figure in a painting. 24
So I hereby renounce the in- and out-breaths and the process of
Samvit Perception, and give up this useless thing called the body. 25
I don't belong to this Thing, nor to anything else: for peace is
a burned-out lamp, its oil run dry. I will not have this Cadaver. 26


So saying, young Rama, his face as spotless as the cool-

making moon, ended his long desperate enquiry, there
in that Gathering of the Great, and then grew waitfully
silent, like a thirsty peacock sighting a thunder-cloud. 27

* This maxim comes from the young Prince Rama in a court where somebody is plotting to depose him from
succession to the Kingship, which is his right. In fact his Court Title was 'Yuvaraja' <yuva-rAja>, the "Young-King". His
father Dasharatha the Charioteer was the Maharaja <mahA-rAja>, the "Great-King" of Ayodhya. Read the first book of
the Ramayana <rAmÂyaNa> for details of the conspiracy. In such circumstances, only your best brother Lakshmana
<lakSmaNa> Luckyman is to be trusted. Sita <sItA> is far ahead of us at this point in Rama's journey.

Canto 1.032: CHEERS FROM THE SKY: A Shower of Flowers


So he ended this speech to end mental delusion, he, Rama

the Lotus-petal-Eyed, back in the days when he was a teenage
Crown Prince. 1

All of those standing there were wide-eyed with wonder. It seemed

that the hairs of their body pierced their clothing, having won Freedom
through Rama's words. 2
They were all washed in the Nectar-waves one full hour,
detached from impassioned desires, attached now to unity. 3

as stone statues they attended to each word of Rama's speech, and
they were filled with inner Joy. 4


great Vasishtha the Supreme, and
Vishvamitra the Allfriend
and all the Munis seated in the
and by Jayanti Victorious and Dhrshti the Bold
and all the King's Ministers, skilled in the art of Policy; 5
the ManLords like Dasharatha Charioteer;
and by all the
people of the city;
by the Outlanders;
by the Princes;
the twiceborn Brahmanas and by the Brahmana philosophers; 6

and by his choice companions and his friends;

by the birds perched in their

cages in the pleasure-garden
who did not chirp
or flap a wing;
by the horses that stopped grazing; 7

and by Kausalya and the wives

sitting in their balcony and damping the clink of their jewels;

by the vines in the garden there;

by the perfectly silent birds;

by the Siddha Adepts

and by the Nabhas-chara Sky-rovers,
and by the Gandharva Chorus,
and Kinnara Whatnots;
and by
the foremost among the bull-like Munis, Narada* Mangift; and
Vyasa* the Fulsome; Pulaha; 10
and by the gods and their godLords;

by Vidyadhara Magicians,
and great Mahoraga Belly-
his words were heard by all. 11

||*, , , ||

And so Rama rested at last

in silence, Rama the Lotus-eyed, Rama the moon in the sky
of Raghu's clan, who loves the Moon. 12

The voices of all the Sadhus

together sang in chorus with the Siddha Adepts, who scattered
a multitude of blossoms through the sky. 13
They showered forth a cloud
of flowers from the Coral Tree, that buzzed with amorous bees, like
boys and girls gone mad with the sweet delightful scent. 14
The luster of
the smiles of those angels was—it was as if the winds of heaven
had shaken loose meteors, and they fell to earth in a rain of stars. 15

It was an orgasmic burst; it was thunderclouds spitting rain; it

was lumps of butter in the churn*, congealing one by one; 16 like snow,
or a scattering of precious pearls, or a necklace of moonbeams,
or curds* congealed in Milk Ocean. 17

Delving the lotus blooms, bumbling

in the Kadambara blossoms, bees buzz their love of sweet perfumes
that drift in the wind, 18 wandering, flashing among aromatic
Ketaki flowers, now drifting among white lotuses, browsing
the bright jasmine among the white lilies: 19
the courtyards were covered
and the rooftops too, as the men and women of the city looked upward
in surprise. 20
Not a cloud in the sky, and here came a shower of blue
lotuses,—such a sight never seen before, all the people were
wonder-struck. 21
Out of the sky the unseen crowd of Siddha Adepts
showered a gentle rain of flowers:
four full hours the rain fell. 22

with that peaceful rain of blossoms, the people assembled below
heard these words sung by the army of Siddha Adepts, 23
who sang:


"We've wandered the heavens, but have not yet heard anything
like this essence of Scripture! 24
Raghu the Swift himself never gave
so wonderful a speech as this, from the moonlike Prince, born of his
dispassion. 25
Wonderful wonder! such a speech as this, that came from
Rama's lips into our ears, shows Rama's merit. What a delight! 26

It is the sweet nectar of immortality,

peace that will burn away our cares. What we have
heard from the darling of the Raghu clan surely
will lead us all at once to our awakening!" 27

¶ ||* Many readers will not know that butter is made by pounding fresh cream with a
perforated rotating paddle, until the Ghee Butterfat congeals into lumps. When the delicious
Butter lumps are removed, the residue is called Buttermilk. On a Canadian farm we would slop
it to the pigs, but save a cup or two for making Sunday pancakes. ¶ In India curds are made by
heating milk with lemon juice until it congeals. The particles of curd float in a pond of whey. ¶
For "orgasmic" see Working Notes. jd||



Now let us hear the judgment of the Great Maharshis upon these
purifying words spoken by the bright star of the Raghu clan. 1
Narada, Vyasa, Pulaha, and all you great Maharshis, you
bull-like Munis, address us now! 2
Let us descend into that bright-
as-gold court of Dasharatha, like bees lighting on a lotus. 3

So said that great assembly of the Siddha Adepts. Having sung
the praise of Rama, they came down to earth in a divine parade: 4

First of all, Narada, never defeated by an enemy;

next, Vyasa the Fulsome himself, dark as a cloud swollen with rain. 5
There were great Munis like Bhrgu the Fiery, and Angiras
the hymnodist, and Pulastya Straighthair; as well as Chyavana
the Shaker, sweet Uddalaka, Ushira, and Sharaloma:
a great crowd. 6
They were so close, their deerskins and water-pots got knocked
together, as they fingered their mantra beads. 7 They were like clusters
of stars in the night sky, beaming as bright as yellow Trumpet Flowers,
a galaxy of suns, brightly uttering songs in Rama's praise. 8

Some wore strings of gemstones, some had coats of many colors, they were
like a pearl necklace that sparkles with brilliance. 9
Some were like a shower
of moonbeams, some like radiant suns, or like the moon grown to Fulness. 10
Like a bright raincloud in the net of stars Vyasa shone; like a cool
starbeam in that sea of stars, there Narada shone; 11 Pulastya shone,
a Brightling Lord among the gods; Angiras like the Sun itself
among the gods, shone bright. 12
And then the army of Siddha Adepts
descended from the sky to earth, to that Muni-overflowing
court of King Dasharatha the Charioteer. 13
That amazing mix
of SkyRovers and EarthRovers, that radiant mingling crowd shone in
the ten directions*. 14
*||The four Directions like North; the four intermediate Directions, like North-West; Above; and Below.||
Some held bamboo staffs in one hand, and lovely
lotuses in the other; and their hair was bound with Durva grass,
and adorned with crest-jewels; 15 some with twisted red hair, some with tufts
or topknots, some with bracelets, some with jasmine armlets; 16 some were dressed
in strips of bark, some in silk, wearing garlands, some in shabby grass
skirts, some like tail-spreading peacocks. 17
Vasishtha and Vishvamitra
respectively paid honour to that company of Sky-rovers
with water, words, and footwashing. 18
And the Sky-rovers, with respect,
paid the same honours with water, words, and footwashing, to the wise
Vasishtha and Vishvamitra. 19
With every courtesy the King
honored that cloud of Siddha Adepts, asking after their health, and
the Siddhas paid the same honors to the King. 20
Each to each offered
obeisance, everyone greeted everyone; until at last they
took their seats, those SkyRovers and EarthRovers 21
They sang Rama's praise,
and showered him with flowers, and bowed before the Prince and honored him. 22

Then Rama, blessed by the Goddess, took his seat in the company
of the King's Ministers, beside Vishvamitra and Vasishtha. 23
There were there Narada Mangift, son of Brahma; and Vyasa the
Fulsome, that bull-like Muni; and Marichi the Mirage; and the
naked Durvasas; and likewise the Muni Angirasa. 24
were Kratu the Determined; and Pulastya Straighthair; and the
wise Pulaha; Sharaloma Grasshair, that Lord of Munis; and
Vatsyayana the Logician; and Bharadvaja the Skylark;
and Valmiki the Anthill Man (that mighty Muni!); 25
there were there
Uddalaka, and Rcika, and Sharyati, and Chyavana, 26
and every sort of leader of men, masters of the Vedas and
the Vedic Sciences, knowers of what is to be known, Great Souls ... 27

And then Vasishtha and Vishvamitra, with Narada and all

the other VedaMasters, sang to young Rama with downcast eyes: 28

O truly wonderful are these simple words of the Prince who is
the touchstone of nobility, sprung from his honest Dispassion: 29
words of accomplishment, full of intelligence, fitting, simple,
thrilling, and dear, and worthy of a Prince, proper, and simple. 30
words uttered by Prince Rama, are easily understandable,
satisfying and simple—who would not be overcome by them? 31

Not one in a hundred could so say what is wonder-filled for all,

each word selected for precise meaning, as if Sarasvati
herself had spoken them. 32
O Prince, who except one like you, so full
of Viveka Discernment, comes to the complete unfolding of
Wisdom-Simplicity? 33
||or ... comes to the full flowering of the Wisdom-Vine?||
One who is like Prince Rama, in whose Heart
the flame of Wisdom beacons forth, giving light to others,—only
he alone should be called a Human Being. 34
Puppets made of blood
and meat and bone know nothing. They are without understanding. 35 They
are crazy beasts who love this track, where birth and suffering and old
age and death follow each other constantly, and give no thought to
such matters. 36
Where and when was there ever someone like this abode
of purity, this conqueror of the foe? He is now worthy
to enquire into the First and the Last Things! 37

What is there—for fruit

of unrivaled wonder, of beautiful shape and color, happy
but hard to find in this world—to equal the fragrant mango tree? 38
Never before have we seen such perfect Viveka Discernment
as this within his worthy mind. 39

There are trees in this land that are

covered with buds and fruits, that are beautiful and hard to find, but
none equals the sandalwood tree. 40
The words we have heard from Rama
are like the cool light of the moon, or flowers bursting on a tree,
or fragrance bursting from a bloom—such speech is truly wonderful! 41

Look in a forest and you'll find fruit-bearing trees of every sort;

but none is such a great delight as the most wonderful Clove Tree. 42
Here in this fiery Samsara, where the gods battle with the bad,
O you Twiceborn, the true Essence is very hard to attain to. 43
Those who have come to attain that Essence, who meditate on that
glory, whose wealth is that Suchness, they alone are Perfect Persons. 44
There is nobody to be found in this wide world who is Rama's
equal in Viveka Discernment; and will likely never be. 45

They are a source of amazement to everyone,

these deep thoughts of Rama, of the House of the Swift!
If we do not take them to heart, most certainly
we're no Munis, but rather feeble-minded fools. 46

[Working Notes with literal translation, and Harvard-Kyoto transliteration of the Sanskrit, with Devanagari
text, can be found in the PAGES file. If no Glossary is appended, an excellent Sanskrit-English Dictionary is
available at ]

सससससस सससस सससस ससस-ससससस सससस सससस ।

सससससस सससस सससससस ससस सस सससस ससससस [सस]

=saMtoSaH paramo lAbhaH sat-saGgaH paramA gatiH |

=vicAraH paramaM jJAnaM zamo hi paramaM sukham [19]

Contentment is the highest gain, Good Company the highest course,

Enquiry the highest wisdom, and Peace the highest enjoyment. y2.016.019

[End of Book 1: The Book of Dispassion. Vairagya Prakarana]





After that great outcry in the Assembly, praising Rama's speech,
Vishvamitra the Allfriend too praised Rama with these wondering words: 1


Scion of Raghu the Swift, nothing remains to be known by you.
With your own, subtle Intellect, you have understood everything. 2
All that is needed now is a good cleaning, so that your spotless
nature is seen in the clean mirror of your Buddhi Intellect. 3

You are just like Shuka the Bright, the son of Vyasa the Profuse.
He also knew all worth knowing, and knowing all still sought Repose. 4

How can it be that when the son of Vyasa the Profuse, Shuka
the Bright, first heard the Wisdom Teaching, he found no rest? but only
after further thought, found repose? 5

He was just like you, Rama: that
young son of Vyasa also sought the end of this round of births. Just
listen: I'll tell you his story. 6

He sits there, just beside you, Lord

Vyasa the Profuse, on his seat of gold, silent as a mountain
lizard basking in the sun, or like the glorious sun itself. 7
He had a moon-faced son, a clever youth, wise and understanding,
as still as a temple image, and he was called Shuka the Bright. 8
He made deep enquiry into this wicked world-whirl. In his Heart,
just as in your Heart, the art of Viveka Discernment arose. 9
And so by himself alone he practised Viveka Discernment,
my dear, until at last he understood Satya, the what-is-so. 10

By himself, Shuka gained a better wisdom, yet could not calm his
mind. Thinking that "This is Reality", he did not know the Self. 11
His Chetas Awareness detached from what is transitory: he
abstained from pleasures with all their many frustrations. He was like
a cuckoo thirsting for the rain. 12

Once that immaculately wise

young man was on Mount Meru, where he asked his father Vyasa, the
Black-Islander, with all respect: 13
"This jangling Samsara, Muni,
how does it rise up, and how does it come to peace again? and why?
and whence? and when?" 14

So that Muni Vyasa, a Knower of the Self,

explained everything to his son, expounding all that can be said. 15

"O yes, I had already worked that out; now you tell me again
what I already know, father!" That brilliant young Shuka did not
think much of his father's teaching. 16

Then Lord Vyasa, giving some thought

to what his son had asked, replied: "In fact, I don't know anything. 17
But there's an EarthLord— Janaka the Populous—who is far-famed
throughout the earth. And he knows everything worth knowing. You should learn
the truth from him". 18

So, thus advised by his father, Shuka set forth

from Mount Meru, across the world to Videha the Bodiless,
the city where Janaka ruled. 19

The Macebearers announced him to

King Janaka the Populous: "Shuka the Bright, who is the son
of Vyasa the Profuse, is at the palace door, Your Majesty." 20

Janaka greeted Shuka thus, quite rudely: "Sit down there!" he said,
and did not speak another word for a full seven days. 21
But then
Janaka let Shuka enter the courtyard, where he had to sit
for seven full days, growing greatly confused and disconsolate. 22

Then Janaka admitted Shuka to the Inner City, and

the Raja was not seen again for a further full seven days. 23
There Janaka tempted the moonlike Shuka with sexy young girls,
sumptuous feasts, and similar seductive pleasures of all sorts. 24
All these pleasures—all these sorrows—did not move him, such was the mind
of Vyasa's son, just as the wind cannot disturb a firm mountain. 25
Even-minded, self-abiding, delighting in his silent mind,
Shuka sat there, full as the moon. 26
King Janaka quite understood
Shuka's condition, and summoned him to his presence, paying him
all honors. 27
"Nothing's lacking for you who enjoy every delight;
but if there's something else you wish, then you are most welcome to it!" 28


This Samsara, this brouhaha, Teacher: how has it come about?
and how does it come to rest? Tell me all about that, if you please. 29

But when Shuka put his question to Janaka, that teacher said
exactly what Shuka's father, that Great Soul, had told him before. 30

I learned this by myself alone through Viveka Discernment; and
when I asked my father, he said exactly the same things to me. 31
What Your Honor has taught to me, in masterful words, can also
be found in the aphorisms of all the Shastra Manuals: 32
that out of our imagining this fiery Universe springs up;
extinguish that Imagining, and (have no doubt!) the Fire goes out. 33
"Tell me the changeless truth: how does this restless Chetas Awareness
find Rest in the world-illusion? 34


Nothing remains for you to know, o Muni: you have learned it all,
all by yourself, and you have heard it all again from your guru
your father. 35
There is only one Self,—undifferentiated
Chit Consciousness,—that gets bound by the Samkalpa Concept of "self",
and, without that Concept, is free. 36 So you have plainly known what all
Great Souls know. Thus Dispassion from Perception has risen in you. 37
You're a Great Hero! for your mind has learned Detachment from the long
disease of pleasure. What else can you wish to know? 38

Your own father,

settled in his Tapas, immersed in the Great Ocean of Wisdom,
has not yet come so far as you! 39 I was myself a pupil of
Vyasa; and you are his student and his son. But when it comes to
detachment from pleasure, Your Grace, you're indeed the better student. 40
You have got everything there is to get, Your Grace, with full Chetas
Awareness: you do not fall in the net of Perception. Be free,
giving up all this delusion. 41

Taught by that Great Soul Janaka,

young Shuka rested in silence, in the supreme Reality. 42
He was free from every grief, he was free from every fear, settled
in Dispassion, free from all doubt; and there on Mount Meru, Shuka
rested in perfect Samadhi. 43
There for a thousand years times ten,
practising Nonconceptual Nirvikalpa Samadhi, he
settled in the Silence of the Self, like a lamp run out of oil. 44

Fallen away from all his impure attractions,

by himself in his own pure Self, in that condition
he was just like a waterdrop in the ocean,
all his Conditioning dissolved into the Oneness. 45

[Working Notes with literal translation, and Harvard-Kyoto transliteration of the Sanskrit, with Devanagari
text, can be found in the PAGES file. If no Glossary is appended, an excellent Sanskrit-English Dictionary is
available at ]


As for the story of that son of Vyasa, and the cleansing of
the Mind, Rama,—here is how it relates to you. 1
You Muni-Lords,
Rama understands entirely what is to-be-known. Pleasure does
not please him. Sickness does not please a well person. 2
Now, here's the mark
of those who know the to-be-known: that all the great variety
of pleasures do not pleasure them. 3
Through the enjoyment of pleasures
there rises solid bondage to the unreal, the not-So; but through
Upashanti Peacefulness, this world-bondage is brought to rest. 4

It is the thinning of your Vasana Conditionings that's called

'Moksha Freedom' by all the wise; likewise it is the thickening
of such Conditioning that we call 'Bondage'. 5
Now, connection with
the truth of the ownSelf is seen to arise generally among
humankind, o Muni, by means of aversion from sense-objects,
for whatever foolish reason. 6
A Pandita Scholar sees all
things that are known and knowable. Pleasures have no power to delight
that Great Soul. 7
Such a one who walks without regard to fame, for whom
the pleasures of this world are no delight, they call such a one a
Jivan-mukta Living Freeman. 8

So long as the to-be-known is

not understood, dispassion for worldly things does not arise in
people. It is like a creeper withering in desert land. 9

So you
see that the Scion of Raghu is one who understands the to-
be-known, and the pleasures of this world are no pleasures to him. 10
Rama knows internally, when he hears it confirmed by you, that
young Muni-lord will bring to Rest his troubled Chitta Affection. 11

Entirely resting in the sense of Wholeness, Rama's Intellect

has become autumn-lovely, like a place for taking perfect rest! 12

Now let the blessed Lord Vasishtha clearly tell whatever brings
to rest the Chitta Affection of that Great Soul, of Raghu's Clan. 13
Vasishtha has forever been the powerful Clan-Guru of
the line of Raghu the Swift. He knows all things, and sees all things with
flawless sight throughout the Three Times. 14

—- Lord Vasishtha, perhaps you may

remember what, so long ago, himself, the Lord Brahma taught us
to bring us to a truce*, what has been a blessing to all thinkers. 15
*||The battles of Vasishtha and Vishvamitra are discussed in the Boyhood Book of Ramayana, and many other places.||

On Nishada Throne Mountain, on the table-land, in the pine grove

where the Munis dwell, we were taught this wisdom by the Lord Brahma,
the Lotus-Born. 16
When That is well understood, Brahmana, Wisdom
quite overcomes the Vasana Conditioning: the Samsara-
rover then comes to Shama Peace, as darkness fades before the sun. 17
So, Brahmana, clearly explain to the inward-dwelling Rama
what is to-be-known about how Vishranti Repose is attained. 18

Troubles are no longer for him, this Rama who is free from fault.
Now that the mirror is spotless, the moonlike face shines clear and bright. 19

For all that That-Wisdom which is given in Shastra Manuals,

o Sadhu, that is laudable only when taught to a proper
dispassionate student. 20
A non-student, without dispassion, what
he's taught, it just proceeds to rot. Who stores milk in a dogskin bag? 21

People like you, free from passion, fear, and anger, drained of all their
wickedness,—when you speak, the thoughts are brought to peace, right here and
now! 22

So spoke the son of Gadhi the Owl; and Vyasa and Narada
and all the rest of the Munis sang many choruses of praise. 23
And then rose, at the King's right hand, Vasishtha the Supreme, on fire!
He was the son of Brahma the Immense, born out of the Brahman
Immensity, that Lord Muni! 24

Muni, as you command me, so
I shall unfailingly do. For what wise man worth being called wise
would disobey the order of one so perfectly wise as you? 25
So, then, with Jnana Wisdom I will brighten the darkness of mind
of Rama and the princes, like a lamp lit in the dead of night. 26
I remember everything taught to us then by the Lotus-Born
Brahma, the Jnana Wisdom that pacifies the World-Illusion. 27

So saying to the Family and Court, that great,
that fiery orator, Vasishtha the Supreme, then
related this teaching, to quell ignorance, and
for our Awakening unto the One Highest State. 28


What I heard long ago, at the Dawn of Creation, from the Lord
Brahma, the Wisdom of the LotusBorn, for bringing peace into
this world, all this I will relate to you. 1

[Vasishtha has scarcely a chance to speak before Rama interrupts him with a question. We must not forget
that Rama is a sassy 15-year-old who just happens to be the Crown Prince of Ayodhya, and who is suffering
from the Serious Blues. jd]

Lord, you will soon enough
relate your Freedom Story.
But I've just been struck with a Great Doubt.
You can resolve it. 2

How is it that Vyasa the Fulsome, father

and teacher of Shuka the Bright, has not attained the Bodiless
Freedom? and how is his son a Freeman? 3

Within the radiance
of the Supreme Sun, the three worlds are like dust-particles, rising
and setting. Who would care to count them? 4 Who could count the horde of all
those millions of worlds? No-one can number them. 5 They are each all
separate waves in the Supreme Ocean, they rise and fall again
and again. How to count them, I hardly know. 6

[This is a very beautiful answer, but most remote from Rama's question. Vasishtha is also being sassy, in his
own way... jd]

You have talked about
what has been and what will be, in this flood of world-creations; but
what about now, this present time? 7

The animals, human beings,
and gods also, meet their demise; but in a while they're seen again. 8

[He now gives some intimations of what interesting subjects lie ahead for our contemplation. jd]

It's in the Ativahika Subtle Body that the three worlds

are released in your own Heart-Space. It is the Chitta Affection
released within the Space-Self as Anubhava Experience. 9

And there the dead are dying, and they'll die ten times ten thousand times.
Our expectation in this world:—another fitting death, alone. 10

This world is a construct of Samkalpa Conceptions. It's Fancy's

Delight—a Magical Mala—or a Tale in a Story-book. 11
It is like mistaking a fart for an earthquake; or like a child
frightened by monsters; or a pearl necklace suspended in midair;
or trees that move north as the ship sails south. 12
It is like Dream City,
or a remembered Sky-Flower, this world-wandering.
And it is how,
in his own dying a man becomes himself. 13 Then there is a great
transformation and suddenly it all appears: "Here comes the World!"
In the living Jiva-Space it blossoms. 14

Here again in rebirth,

while his experiences lead him toward death, the just-reborn
imagines the "Next World". 15

Within a person are other people,

nested each within another, like a Chinese doll,—the Samsara. 16

For the dead there are no material elements, no wandering

in the world; and yet again they fall into the world-illusion. 17
Ignorance is a many-branched river of dull stupidity,
endlessly making its creation-waves. 18
With the extension of
the Supreme Awakening, o Rama, the waves of creation
appear, one after another, each different from the other. 19

As a whole, sometimes they are just the same, the same sort of mental
attributes; sometimes they are somewhat similar; and sometimes they
are totally different. 20

This Muni, Vyasa the Profuse—I

have known him 32 times before. Seeing and Understanding are
one for him, such is his realization. 21 Twelve Vyasas were none
too bright, of the same family, and of similar looks; the rest
were of a different sort. 22
And there will be again other Vyasas
and Valmikis too, Bhrgus and Angirases and Pulastyas,
in the same and different forms. 23 And Human Beings will arise,
and hordes of Sura Brightlings and Rshis and gods, arising and
disappearing at all times one by one. 24

In this Brahma-Aeon,
this is the thirty-second Treta Age. There has been, and there is, and there
will be another you and I. This I know. 25 Now, in the order
of things, this Muni here, this Vyasa the wonderworker, makes his
tenth incarnation here. 26

We two have both been born before, he as

Vyasa; and I as Valmiki, together here not a few times;
we two have both been born before, many times more, and on and on. 27
We two have both been born before, each like the other in Wisdom.
We two have both been born before, in different forms, in the same place. 28

Yet eight times more he will create his Itihasa History,

the Mahabharata. What tales! 29 Then, arranging the Vedas, he
will be the Glory of his Clan. He will find Bodiless Freedom
in the Brahman Immensity. 30
Today, free of grief and fear, in
peaceful Nirvana, fancy-free, a Living Freeman—such is his fame,
this mind-conquering Vyasa the Profuse. 31

Raised by our own Chitta

Affection into family and strength by karma and learning
and understanding, we are all the same Beings, though we appear
different. 32 Beings appear in their hundreds of creations; then
again they don't. In this way this
Maya Illusion has no end. 33
Sometimes these beings rise by the
hundred; sometimes not; but, whenever they arise, this is
just Maya, just Illusion, that is without any end. 33 We are
subjected variously to these many incarnations, like
a farmer's heap of seeds that are sown from season to season. 34
so it is that these different forms, at different times, arise again
and again in the cycles of creation, waves in Time's Ocean. 35

The Inner Controller has turned off

ten thousand Vikalpa Fancies. Warmed with
the Nectar of Perfect Peace, The Ess-
ence of Identity, the wise one rests. 36



Paurusha <pauruSa> is a most interesting concept. It is not unique to YV, but receives far
greater stress here, I think, than anywhere else in the philosophical literature.
I have translated it as "Personal Effort", although its literal meaning would be "Personality".
"Effort" is implied in the context, which uses terms like <yatna> Effort. Generally, I will not
translate the word. It is not "Will Power": that is <icchA-zakti>. "Dutiful Effort" would be apt.
Etymologically the term is derived from <puruSa> Purusha, a Person. But its more ancient
sense—the sense in this epic of the Treta Yuga,—is that of "Pur-Usha", a "City-dweller", as
distinguished from a Townsman. The Townsman was a rustic, like the young Krishna.
The City-dweller dwelt in the shadow of the court, and imitated its refined <saMskRta>
Sanskritic manners. There are many resemblances between the Indian Epics and the European
tales of Chivalry.
But this history of about Century X B.C.E. also contains the personal sense of Kaliyuga.
In this Canto, "Paurusha" is opposed directly to the notion of <daiva> Fate: the intervention
of the divine, about which Rama has already expressed contempt in Canto 1.026. Here in the
tenth couplet below, Vasishtha is equally blunt:
"As / for that conceit of dull dimwits that they call Daiva Fate, there's no / such thing."
Much more will be said on this subject in the next three, and later Cantos.||

Dear boy, the water in the wave is, at last, just water: likewise,
the Freedom of the bodiless Muni is not different from
that of the embodied, 1 because embodied or disembodied,
since Freedom is not in the sense-objects, which give no enjoyment,
what pleasure is there to enjoy? 2
You see before us here the best
of Munis, Vyasa the Fulsome: he is a Living Freeman; he
is without inner attachment. 3

For those who are formed from wisdom

where is the difference between embodiment or lack of it?
Water's water, raging or calm! 4 There is no difference between
the embodied and bodiless Freemen. Whether the wind blows or
it dies, it is still only air. 5
Embodied or disembodied,
there are not two sorts of Moksha Freedom. What's for the one is for
the other: Unity has no distinctions. 6
Now listen to this
teaching as I explain it, for it is beautiful to hear, full of
the Wisdom that ends the blindness of the ignorant. 7
Darling of
the Raghu Clan, anything in this present Samsara can be
had by anyone, by means of properly employed Paurusha
Personal Effort. 8
It is like the rising of the moon, it is
cool and delightful to the heart: only by Personal Effort
can we attain the fruit we seek. 9
The vibrant fruitfulness of such
Paurusha is a matter of personal experience. As
for that conceit of dull dimwits that they call Daiva Fate, there's no
such thing. 10
The path the Sadhus teach, let the Mind make its struggle there.
That is Paurusha, that bears fruit: otherwise, it's a fool's folly. 11
Whoever seeks his goal, if he will earnestly go after it,—
unless he gives up halfway through,—he will attain the goal he seeks. 12
By Personal Effort alone some living being has attained
the state of Indra the godKing, Lord and Master of the three worlds. 13
By Personal Effort alone one abides with the Lotus-born
in the Brahman Immensity, the radiance of Consciousness. 14
Some Human being has become the eagle-bannered Vishnu, who
has attained the highest goal: who has become the Supreme Person. 15
By Personal Effort alone some have attained to Shiva-hood,
united with his Shakti, and wearing the half-moon for a crown. 16
Paurusha Personal Effort is twofold: past, and present. By
present effort, previous Personal Goals are to be won. 17
*||The four Purushartha Personal Goals are Kama Desire, Artha Meaning, Dharma Justice, and Moksha Freedom; often
translated as Desire, Wealth, Righteousness, and Liberation.||
By use of will and Paurusha arises Prajna Wisdom. Thus
mountains as great as Su-meru crumble before Paurusha. What
then of previous Paurusha? 18

This perfect Paurusha, when it is governed by

the Shastra Teaching, is the Person-hood
of a Purusha Person, a Siddhi Power
that bears its desired fruit. But yet when it
is evoked by fools foolishly, it is fruitless. 19

Sometimes an old man, in a shaky condition,

on account of his time of life,
can hardly scoop up a handful of water
without splashing it all away;
sometimes a man of a like age rules over a vast
sea-bound land, all its great
mountains and cities, because of his deeds.
This wide earth is not too wide for him. 20

One who proceeds according to the Shastras from the very first:—
his works are wonderfully coloured like the light of a rainbow. 1
Whoever seeks a mental goal by acts that are not in keeping
with the Shastras, attains only his mad delusion, not success. 2

However he strives, by striving he attains his goal, only by

his own Karma. It is not that unlikely thing that they call Fate. 3

Paurusha is of two kinds: one keeping to the Shastras, and one

apart: the former yields supreme fruit; the latter, no fruit at all. 4

Where differing Personal Goals, one from the past, and one present,
do battle, they are like two rams butting heads. The weaker loses. 5
And so a Human should direct his personal effort in such
a way, in union with the Such*, that present efforts overcome. 6
*[In this translation, the terms <sat> and <tat> are translated as "Such" and "That", in keeping with the
usage of YV in later cantos, where "Being" does not suit the text.]

Like two rams butting heads they fight, two differing Personal Goals—
your own and somebody else's—and certainly the stronger wins. 7
Where there is Paurusha according to the Shastras, where it is
unfruitful, it's the power of the previous bad Paurusha. 8
To conquer prior Paurusha, grit your teeth: grind impurity
with purity: this is the way present Paurusha overcomes. 9
"My former aspirations bind me to my present condition":—
such thoughts are actually false, things do not follow in this way. 5.10
When good Paurusha is employed as far as possible, with hard
work, the impurities that came from prior effort are subdued. 11
Former transgressions are subdued by present virtues, there's no doubt:
yesterday's faults are amended by the good works we do today. 12

Forget about that nonesuch Fate: but always with uplifted thought
strive to attain the crossing of the Samsara within the Self. 13
One who does not constantly strive is like a human jackass; but
exerting himself, keeping to the Shastras, he wins in both worlds. 14

You must use your energy and personal effort to get free
from this Samsara Cave, just like a captured lion in a cage. 15
Every day you should consider that the body's impermanent.
Don't be a beast, but let your deeds be what a good person should do. 16
Our pleasant tastes for women, food, and drink in our comfortable
home—it's like a fly sucking wounds. All our hard work is burned to ash. 17

Certainly from good Paurusha comes good fruit. Just as certainly

bad bears bad always. There is no such thing as so-called "Daiva Fate". 18
To rely on conjecture, in the face of the self-evident
is like attempting to escape your hands, mistaking them for snakes. 19
"It is my Fate that governs me!"—with such heart-warming thoughts they blame
their lack of good fortune. Hearing them, Lady Lakshmi* turns away. 20
*[Shri, the goddess of good fortune.]

By Personal Effort one should first have recourse to Viveka

Discernment, and then to the great Shastras, the Wisdom of the Self. 21
When the Affection has a goal not in accord with the Shastras,
it will not be accomplished anyhow. Pity the silly fools who go this way! 22

Sometimes Paurusha seems without an end: effort does not attract;

and not even the greatest effort wins the gem of perfect peace. 23
A pot has its limitations; a cloth has its limitations;
and likewise the Personal Goals also have their limitations. 24
Only with good teaching, good company, and good conduct is good
fruit certainly attained; otherwise, no achievement of the goal. 25
Such is the very nature of Paurusha: when a man makes such
an effort, it will never prove to be fruitless at any time. 26

Though afflicted with misery, poverty, and sorrow, there is

some excellent person who has, merely by Personal Effort,
become like the godKing Indra. 27 With powerful constant practice,
the Shastras, and Good Company, Virtue, and Personal Effort,
people achieve their purposes. 28

In the face of all evidence

experienced and heard and done, when they suffer, "O it is Fate!",
so say the dismal dunderheads! 29

If laziness had any worth at all in this world,

we'd all be millionaires, or else learned professors!
It is because of laziness that this earth with its
oceans is a planet full of man-beasts and paupers. 30

At childhood's end, with its constant fancies and games of love,

then, in the blossom of manhood, take to Good Company,
a pure Intellect seeking out the right meaning of things,
making Enquiry into your own virtues and vices. 31


And so, the Muni having said these words, the day was gone;
and the evening sun, as was its custom, setting, was gone;
and the Assembly, to perform their ablutions, were gone:
darkness devoured everything, when Ravi the Sun was gone. 32

||The end of the first day of Vasishtha's instruction of Rama.||


"Fate" is just prior Paurusha—nothing else. Therefore let us, with
good company and the Shastras, forcefully overcome our life. 1
Whatever effort you exert, it produces similar fruit:
and so it is Paurusha that people mistake for Daiva Fate. 2
Out of suffering, in their time of suffering, people cry out
"OMIGOD!"; and the meaning of this word "omigod' is just "Fate". 3

There is nothing but your own prior karma that can be called "Fate".
Such karma can be conquered, just as a grownup controls a child. 4
Just as the wrongs of yesterday can be corrected by today's
good works, so all prior karma is purified by present acts. 5

One who strives for victory but does not curtail his attachments—
he's a pathetic common fool who clings to the Wheel of Fortune! 6
If karma were Fate's Paurusha, it would still be negated by
a more powerful Paurusha. 7
It is as if, of two fruits, one's
grown wild, and hangs hollow within; the other, cultivated, is
lush with the juice of consciousness. 8
Those who wander this world and have
attained the highest, will at last attain—Doomsday (such is the great
Paurusha of the Doomsday-maker)! 9
They're like two rams butting heads,—
two Personal Goals, one on one:—whichever is the stronger, he
quickly conquers the other one. 10

Once a beggar monk was chosen

to be a king by the royal elephant. This was the combined
Paurusha of the ministers, citizens, and the elephant. 11

By Paurusha we get our food and grind it up between our teeth:—

so by recourse to Paurusha a hero grinds his enemy. 12
The poor are the food of the rich: their works and efforts are morsels,
lumps for that hungry appetite. 13
What a competent person sees
as Event, the incompetent, not seeing, calls "Fate". It's the un-
awakened Self-awakening. 14
Among the beings are many
differences of strength. Is this Fate the Autocrat? do the wise
work hard, just to get exercise? 15

The shastric consensus of the

ministers, elephant, and people was the Paurusha that gave
the kingship to the beggar-monk. 16 (When a beggar-monk is made King
solely by the elephant's selection, his prior Paurusha
is the only powerful cause.) 17
The present Paurusha destroys
the prior, or the prior kills today's. For sure, the stronger wins.
(He vibrates with his Purusha Person, the unanxious victor!) 18
Of the two, present Paurusha will derive from the prior:
so the present conquers Fate, as a boy is beaten by a man. 19
When a drifting stormcloud destroys a year's cultivation, it is
the cloud's Paurusha that conquers: the strong win. 20

Winner or loser,
if the goal is not won, the good works remain: what is the use of
complaining against all those gods? 21
In such a case, where I can, I
have sorrow. I'm not dead yet, yet death entails my daily weeping. 22

Place, Time, Action, Substance—all these flash forth as this world-appearance,

emerging as the fulfilment of effort. 23 Therefore have recourse
to the power of Paurusha, together with the Shastras and
Good Company: and so finding immaculate Shastra-wisdom,
get free from the Samsara-net. 24
The Present and the Prior Trees
both bear the fruit of Personal Goals, growing in Purusha Forest.
The stronger of the two bears fruit. 25

A person whose prior karma

is trifling must first purify his desire; otherwise he is
ignorant of the Self, and so subject to pleasure and sorrow. 26
One who is driven by the gods, hoping for heaven, fearing hell,
he is a beast without a doubt. 27
But O he's highly wonderful
who follows faithfully the path out of the world-delusion, like
a lion loosed out of his cage. 28
"Something drives me to do this!"—this
is the useless misconception of a low-minded person. Keep
such an idiot at arm's length! 29
There are a thousand things to do,—
as many methods to pursue according to Shastra, or not,
whereby pleasures or sorrows come to you. 30 For those who conduct them-
selves according to the Shastras, they are rewarded with all the
treasures in the Vault of Ocean. 31

"Paurusha" is the effortful

pursuit of your particular goal: and such Shastric effort will
result in Siddhi Attainment. 32
An act, that is just personal
energy, gains its special goal when it is encouraged by the
Shastras and, too, Good Company. 33
The Joy of Equanimity
is boundless and Supreme, so say the wise; and it is to be gained
through the teaching of the Sadhus. 34
Back from the world of the gods, our
past and present worlds are ever-purified. And that is why Fate
is considered "Daiva Divine". 35
But that one thing will follow from
another cannot be denied: only fools think that it all comes
from Fate. They're doomed to destiny. 36
By self-effort the present and
past worlds are ever-purified: the light of our present good deeds
transmutes our past activity. 37

It's as clear as a gooseberry

that fruit comes from the efforts of Paurusha. And only a fool
ignores the obvious, and talks of that delusion, Daiva Fate. 38

Since it has nothing to do with cause and effect,

since it is the product of our own conceiving
this Fate has no basis in Sat Reality.
Depend instead on your Paurusha self-effort! 39
When you observe good conduct, and the Shastras, and customs
of the country, the fruit is great: for what springs up within
the Heart is manifest in the Chitta Affection, and
your actions. This is called Personal Effort, Paurusha. 40

Having wisely attained the fruits of Paurusha Effort

by means of your own hard work, you attain Humanity;
and this is brought to further fruit by devoted service
of Truth, the Shastras, the Sadhus, the people, and the wise. 41

And so while you practise this excellent enquiry

into Fate and Personal Effort,
always, complete your conquest by dutiful, untiring,
faithful service of all good people. 42

In the continuing course of the disease of rebirth

let every being take the best medicine, and Paurusha
is the best medicine. It brings you Peace and joy. Take it
under the guidance, and in the service of great doctors. 43


Having obtained a body free from disease, rest within your one
equanimous and thought-free self: so you will not be born again. 1 *
* or
The body, free from disease, gives no further thought to it. Within
the equanimous, thought-free self, there is no cycle of rebirth. 1
||* The shloka is not translatable. It involves two puns, one involving "sama" and "Adhi", and the other
involving some obscure marriage custom. See Page wn.2.007 for a literal translation. Suggestions are
welcome. jd.||

Whoever wishes to avert Daiva Fate by personal acts,

whether in this world or the next,—his wishes are today fulfilled! 2

Those who neglect to practice, who are stuck on the Wheel of Fortune,—
who are the enemies of Self,—never reach their Personal Goals*. 3
*[Kama Desire, Artha Power, Dharma Order, and Moksha Freedom].
It is the Samvit Awareness, the Spanda Energy of Mind,
the Energy of the Organs, that bear the fruit of our Personal Goals. 4
According to the perceptions of Chetas Affectivity,
a like energy arises, and so the body stirs, and so
we are the enjoyers of fruit. 5

From childhood on, our actions make

our destiny, by one means or another. Where do you find Fate?
This world is only Paurusha. 6
Brhaspati, through personal
striving, became the guru of the gods; likewise, Shukra the Bright
was guru to the DemonLord. 7
Sadhu, the best of men, though they
live in flea-bitten poverty, by means of Personal Effort
become the equals of the gods. 8 The worst of men, although living
in wealth and luxury, become, by means of their bad Paurusha,
guests in the hell called Naraka. 9
Thus, by force of their regular
Self-Effort, men attain the good, or they endure the bad, through all
the thousands of incarnations. 10
There are three paths to Power: by
the Shastras, by the Guru, and by yourself. Thus the goals of life
come to you; and never through Fate. 11
When you're gripped by impurities,
only with effort do you cross over:—that is the nature of
Chitta Affection; and that is the consensus of the Shastras. 12

What is excellent, what is important, what removes obstacles,

that sort of study, son,—with effort,—is what the Gurus prescribe. 13

Whatever sort of efforts I exert, they get a suitable

result. Through Paurusha I taste the fruit; and not through Fate. 14
Through Paurusha one catches sight of Siddhi Power. Through Paurusha
one learns. "Fate" is a shallow salve for the aches of a shallow mind. 15

It's always here under your nose, the spoor of Paurusha. He's like
a traveler who leaves his marks in the forest. He's bearing gifts. 16

The Eater gets full, not the Faster. The Goer gets going, not
the Slacker. The Speaker speaks, not the Silent. Action makes the man. 17

It is by means of Paurusha that the wise cross over every

danger; by effort they do so, and not by fruitless laziness. 18
In short, whoever makes an effort will get its particular
fruit. But sitting around, moping,—such a do-nothing gets sour grapes. 19

Certainly with a rightful goal comes good fruit. Just as certainly

bad bears bad always. Knowing this, Rama, do just what you think best. 20

"Fruit that comes from a Personal Goal, at the proper time, in its
proper place, quickly or slowly": that's how I define "Daiva Fate." 21
What others call this Daiva is not perceived by the senses; and
it is not in some other world; it is the karmic fruit to be
eaten in the Svarga Heaven. 22
A person born into this world
grows, and grows up, and then grows old. But our Fate does not grow like that,
through days of Age, Youth, or Childhood. 23
"A concentrated effort to
realize a proper result"—the wise call this "Paurusha". It's
the way of making things happen. 24
Going from place to place, holding
something in hand—that's the business
of the limbs, not an act of Fate. 25
"A concentrated effort to
attain an improper result"—this is the sorry delusion
of a crazy mind. Nothing whatsoever comes to you this way. 26
The action of dharmic Spanda energy, spurred by good
company and the Shastras, will get you the Goal for which you seek. 27

They are our last resort, the Sadhus of the Shastra, for they teach
the highest goal of life, the Joy of boundless Equanimity. 28
The Shastric way attracts the mind; the mind follows the Shastric way:
the lotus beautifies the pond; the pond beautifies the lotus. 29

Someone like you, who from boyhood has heard the teachings of the wise,
applying them personally, is certain to attain his goal. 30
When the Lord Vishnu Pervader conquered the Daitya Demons and
brought order to the three worlds, it was just his Paurusha,—not Fate. 31

Therefore, whatever Personal Goal you under-

take to gain, Lord of the Raghus, work hard to get it.
But always avoid the tree they call The Serpent,
and you will live without fear, and ever be happy. 32


||In which Fate is rejected in favor of action.||

If it has no shape, and no karmas, no Spanda energy, no
vitality—what can you say about it, Rama, except that
it is a mistaken notion? 1
Reaping the fruit of their karma,
people proclaim their own result as if it were the power of Fate. 2
Yet for the muddy-minded, there is surely Fate, without a doubt:
just as their misunderstanding takes a rope for a snake. 3

Yesterday's bad deeds are purified by good works. Likewise today's

effort adorns what is to come. 4
Those silly-minded idiots
who place their faith in Fate, thinking "My fate is not to burn" would jump
unthinkingly into the fire. 5
If Fate is the Doer of things,
what about our daily duties—sacred bath, charity, sitting
in meditation, going to the toilet—will Fate do these things? 6
And who is to instruct such a human jackass, as he tromps down
the road of Fate—by whom is the Shastric path to be taught? 7
In this world there is nothing that stays still—maybe a corpse!—but it's
Spanda Energy that bears fruit, while Fate is a pointless concept. 8
Nor can there ever be cooperation of that formless Fate
with a Person possessing form: so Fate is a pointless concept. 9
It is cooperation of the limbs that we call Doership. If I
cut off your hands, do you expect that your work will be done by Fate? 10
Unlike the Manas or Buddhi, this Daiva's not experienced,
whether by cowboy or by sage,—and so it's a total Nonesuch. 11
The intellect gives different meanings to a word. So, if it is
a matter of definition only, then why not call it Paurusha? 12
The formless has no connexion with the formful: it's empty air,
and is without embodiment. But form requires connexion. So
there's nothing at all to be found anywhere that can be called "Fate". 13
If there is some such liberating force in the three worlds, then let
us all lie down and take our rest, and let Daiva do everything. 14
"I do these things because I am directed so by Fate"—such talk
is a great consolation, but is not Fate in its better sense. 15
Fools have invented this riddle of Fate, and follow it to their
ruin; while the intelligent proceed toward the highest state. 16
As for the heroes, and the warriors, and the Scholars and the wise
of this world, tell me, do any of them have regard for Daiva? 17
When the fortune-tellers predict long life for a condemned man, and
he still lives after his head is chopped off, then Daiva is supreme! 18
When the fortune-tellers prescribe scholarship for someone, although
he has no schooling, and he gets his Doctorate—that's Daiva Fate! 19

This Muni Vishvamitra—he attained the Brahman-wisdom when

he cast aside the notion of Fate, and relied on his Paurusha. 20
Some of us, Rama, have achieved our state—through our long Paurusha—
of Muni-hood, and the art of traveling through the spacious sky. 21
How was it but by Paurusha that the mighty Danava lords
were rulers throughout the three worlds? 22 Their forces shattered everywhere,
with Ojas Power the Sura Lords subdued the demon Danavas,
and ruled the world. 23
Rama, dear boy, it's just this kind of Paurusha
that can create a wicker jug so well that it holds water. It's
Paurusha, and not Daiva Fate. 24
Rama, in all our lifelong work,
helping and giving and taking, the cure for all our discontent
is certainly not known as Fate. 25

Fate has nothing to do with cause or effect: it is

a fabrication of our own fancies. Pay no
attention to this Daiva Fate, but have recourse
instead to purifying Paurusha effort. 26


[How different Actions lead to various Consequences: of Paurusha and Daiva,
Personal Effort and Fate.]

Lord, you're the knower of all things, perfect in your tranquility.
What in the world exactly is this thing that people call Daiva? 1

Rama, it's Paurusha alone that is the doer of action, and the enjoyer of its fruit.
Daiva is not the cause of it. 2
This Fate does nothing: it does not enjoy or know; is neither paid attention to nor
reverenced. It's nothing but imagining. 3
The fruit achieved—whether it is good or bad—comes from your present Paurusha.
It is only that that is denoted by "Daiva". 4 It is the getting of objectives—wished or
not, desired or not, dependent on our Paurusha,—that is denoted by "Daiva". 5
When a being subdues himself in single-minded pursuit of his goal in this world-
struggle, then he wrongfully calls it "Daiva". 6
Consider, Scion of Raghu: this Daiva is like Space, empty
of form. Without reality, it neither does nor does not do. 7
When a personal goal results in happy or unhappy fruit, and people say "So it's
ordained", that's how they talk of Daiva Fate. 8
When people get their karma-fruit, they say, "That's what I had in mind, I knew
that that would come about." That's how they talk of Daiva Fate. 9
Whatever fruit they get, whether good or bad, people say "This is my Fate!"—as if
that were any consolation. Such is "Daiva". 10

Lord, you know everything about the Dharma Way; and you have said about Fate,
'Fate is prior stored karma.' Don't you now contradict yourself?* 11
*||or How can this karma be removed?||


Excellent, scion of Raghu: you will know all: listen, and I

will tell you all about it,—how there really is no Fate at all. 12

Those Vasana Habits of Mind that long ago sprang up like so many weeds, grow to
seed, through the process of Karma, in a man. 13 A person with this Vasana
Conditioning, Rama, becomes a Doer from it; but without prior karmas, it is not so.

Headed for town, you get to town; seeking the city, you get there.
Whatever sort of Vasana it is, that's what it strives to be. 15

Whatever springs up out of the karmas established long ago,—that alone is what is
to be understood by the word 'Daiva'. 16
Thus, by the law of Karma, these Vasana Latencies grow ripe; and Vasanas are of
the Mind; and Mind is Purusha Person. 17
What they call Daiva is these karmas: but karma, Sadhu, is only the mind, and
mind is the person; and there is nothing to be called Fate. 18

The Manas Mind is the person. Whatever good thing it strives for,
that is exactly what it gets: so you yourself are your own Fate. 19

Manas Mind, Citta Affection, Vasana, Karma, and Daiva—Rama, these are
misunderstood, not as they are known to the wise. 20
This is how it happens, Rama: wherever one fixes his thoughts, whatever one
strives for, that is the fruit which he obtains at last. 21
So only from personal work, best of the Raghus, does good come
to you; there is no other way. May your good efforts prosper you! 22

The net of prior Vasana has got me in its hold, Muni.
I come to you like a beggar: tell me what I'm supposed to do! 23

Just so it is, even for you, Rama: your own prosperity
comes from your own effort, from your Paurusha, and not otherwise. 24

There are two sorts of Vasana, the good and bad, pure and impure;
and these again are twofold, the prior and the present kind. 25
If you surrender to the flow of the flood of good Vasana, and follow it, Rama, you
will be led to the eternal state. 26 But then, if your bad inclinations lead you into
parlous straits, such prior effort must, by your hard work, be subdued by Your
Grace*. 27
*[Sometimes Vasishtha refers to the Prince as "My boy"; sometimes as "Raghava, Scion of the Raghu Clan".
Here he uses the courtly (and flattering—Vasishtha often uses this approach to the young Prince) "Your
You're conscient intelligence, not the inconscient body. Will you conceive anything
by another's Chetas Conscience? 28
Will someone else do your practice? Who'll do the same for him? and who will do
his work? So on and on .... 29
Vasana River flows in two branches, one good, the other bad. With personal effort,
the course to be followed is the good one. 30 When taken by bad purposes, overcome
them with better ones: use your own mind for your goals, by your own might, best
of the mighty. 31
A person's Affection is like a child, that must be directed from the bad to the good,
and not the opposite. Thus, certainly,32 Chitta Affection, like a child, is not taught
suddenly, but step by step, gently rebuking it: and that is personal effort. 33
By your past practice, the flood of Vasanas has liquefied—both the good ones and
the bad ones.
Now you must concretize the good. 34

Know this, FoeSlayer: it is from your prior practice that today's good Vasana has
borne its fruit. 35 Right now, sinless boy, Vasana Conditioning is strengthening
through your regular practice.
Therefore make your practice good. 36
A Vasana from the past, when it has not ripened, is stunted through good practice,
so that it will not grow. So be happy, my boy! 37
When in doubt, make your best effort to nourish the good Vasana: for from the
increase of the good no fault whatever can ensue. 38

Whatever practice you pursue returns in corresponding form;

and so, from childhood practice, you may grow into wise certainty. 39

Be always of good Vasana, subduing the five senses, and relying upon Paurusha,
and you will get empowerment. 40

While the mind is without experience, Your Majesty, while you do not know That,
follow the path set by the gurus and shastras. 41
When the bad Vasanas are thus overcome by the good, through your
understanding, even the good likewise should be renounced by you. 42

What is most fortunate is to serve the good people.

That is to be pursued. With understanding Buddhi,
approach the ungrieving state. For one thing follows
another, Sadhu: first give things up, then take your rest. 43


In this canto we submerge in another time frame. You need to remember that we are reading
about Treta Yuga, the Age before the present Kali Yuga. Check out the two links below for two
different Vedic Cosmologies. It is in Treta Yuga that Vasishtha makes his claim to be the son of
the deity Brahma the Immense. But here in Kali Yuga he repeats his claim in English.

I must ask readers to make what Coleridge called "The willing suspension of disbelief that
constitutes Poetic Faith". Let him be the thought-conceived Son of Brahma the Immense. And
you be a child. Just imagine....

This is a marvelous story book that can remind old men of their childhood mind.

The Brahman-Thatness, as it comes to be Satta Suchness, is called
Niyati Destiny. It is the teacherhood of the teacher,
the teacher of the teachable. 1
So have recourse to your own self-
effort, for your own good. Let it be your constant companion, your sole
single-minded Affection.
Now, pay attention to what I say! 2

Samata Equanimity arises when the destructive

illusions of your sense-desires are subdued by your Paurusha. 3
There is a method to attain empowerment, and all the fruits
of human striving, and Freedom: and I shall now tell it to you. 4

"Give up forever the Vasana Attachments of Samsara.

Immerse yourself in Peace and Contentment, upon this noble path. 5
"Through Vichara Enquiry the Vishaya Sense-objects subside,
the mind is made indifferent, and your own Self is realized. 6
The end of pleasure and sorrow, the bringer of surpassing Joy,--
this is the Method of Freedom that I will teach you."
Just listen! 7
"Having heard this Freedom Story, like all Vivekin Discerners
you will attain Sorrowlessness,--the loss of what was never known!" 8

These words were said in another Age by the Supreme Lord Brahma.
They bring an end to sorrow. They are consolation to your grief. 9

Brahmana, why was this revealed to you by the Selfborn Brahma,
so long ago, and how was it received by your Grace? Tell me that. 10

It is the endlessly playing, everywhere-going, everywhere-
resting Consciousness-Space: the Self, the Primal Light in everyone. 11

From the joining of the vibrant and the still, Vishnu Pervader
was born like a wave arising in the still Ocean of Nectar. 12
From the Heart-Lotus—with Meru its center, the directions for
petals, the stars for filaments--the Most Supreme manifested. 13
Surrounded by the Vedas and the Veda-wise, the gods and Munis, he brought forth
the universe as Manas Mind, the infinite ocean of thought. 14
Here, in a corner of Jambu-dvipa*, the part called Bharata,
he created a flood of beings troubled by pain and disease. 15
*[For the Vedic Universe the Wikipedia article takes one point of
view, and the viSNu-bhaktas
another ]
Now happy, now miserable, they fall, they rise, they fall again,
this mass of various beings with multifarious desires. 16
Seeing these people's suffering the maker of the worlds became
overcome with pity, just like a father when his son is sad. 17

"What can I do for them, who are bereft of hope, who suffer till
they are bereft of life?" He thought briefly but deeply about this. 18
Then having so considered he created the ascetic Fire
of Tapas, and the Dharma, and Honesty, Generosity,
and all the holy shrines also. 19
Yet with this creation, the god
gave further thought to the matter, concluding:
"Not by these means will
the people end their suffering. 20
"Nirvana is supreme delight.
By knowing That, there's no rebirth: you are not born, you do not die. 21

"A person can cross Samsara—but not by Tapas, Charity,

or Pilgrimage. Only Jnana Wisdom is the effective means. 22
"I will immediately proclaim this means of crossing Samsara,
a way to freedom from sorrow for these desperate people." 23

So carefully considering, seated on his lotus, the lord

Brahma, by the conception of his mind, at last created me. 24

How did this happen? I arose out of my father instantly,

like a wave rising from a wave. 25
The Lord bore a clay waterjar,
and I had my own waterjar. He had his rosary and I mine.
I bowed to him and greeted him. 26
"Come, son," he said to me, seated
upon a lotus, like moonlight playing its rays on a white cloud.
And then he took me in his hand. 27
He wore his deerskin, I wore mine.
My father Brahma said to me—an emperor swan to a crane!—28

"Just for an hour, my son, let your Chetas Awareness become like
a fidgeting monkey, or like the spotless moon marred by its marks." 29

Under his curse, I forgot everything that comes from Enquiry:

the immaculate form of All. 30 Then I withdrew into mental
misery, troubled by sorrow, a pauper hungering for peace. 31
I would complain, "O, Oh, this Samsara! how did this evil come
to be?" But then I grew silent. 32

And then my dear old father said,

"Son, why be sad? Ask me about the remedy for sorrow, and
you will be forever happy." 33
Then, seated on a gold lotus-
petal, I asked him, the maker of all the worlds, what cure there was
for the disease called Samsara. 34

I put this question to him: "Sir,

Lord, how does this Samsara come to such great misery? and how
can people find an end to it?" 35

Then I, by my father's inter-

vention, was filled again with That-Wisdom as it was taught to me—
Wisdom that is a sacred fire. 36
And so again I knew what's-to-
be-known, seated again in my natural state; and then the World-
maker, the all-cause, spoke to me. 37

"By my curse I brought you into a state of ignorance, making

you, son, an enquirer into the essence of Jnana Wisdom,
for the perfection of all people. 38
"Now the curse is withdrawn. You have
come to high understanding. 'I' has become one with the One Self,
like ore refined into pure gold. 39
"Now you must go to Greater Earth,
Sadhu, to Rose-Apple Island, to the Land of Bharata, to
bring grace and comfort to the world. 40 There, my clever son, you must teach
the rules of Ritual Worship, always keeping to tradition. 41

"But those whose Chitta Affection has grown dispassionate, Sadhu,--

teach those very wise Enquirers the Joy-giving Jnana Wisdom." 42

So I have been appointed here, Rama, by Brahma my father.

And I carry on, for the sake of the endless parade of beings. 43

"Nothing remains for me to do, there is nothing at all

to be established by me"—such was my firm conviction.
This world is nothing but a dream to me, a waking dream.
I do my work, but yet I do not do the work at all. 44


Now I have told you all about the crossing of Wisdom to Earth,
just as the wish was made in me by the LotusBorn Lord Brahma. 1
It is because of your past works that your Chetas Awareness has
become enamored of this most wonderful wisdom of Jnana. 2

How was it, Brahmana, that this crossing of Wisdom to the world
came as an afterthought to the Supreme, after his creation? 3

Brahma is, of his own nature, the same as Brahman, the Boundless Immensity,
born of it as a vibration or motion, as a wave is born from the ocean. 4
And so the Lord saw the entire suffering course of creation, past, and present, and
future. 5
He saw the decline of Worship at the end of the Golden Age,—
saw the delusion of the world, and was overcome with pity. 6
The Lord, having created me and imbued me with his wisdom, he then released me
to this wide world, where I subdue ignorance. 7
Like me, he sent other teachers,—Sanatkumara the Ancient Boy, and Narada the
Mangift. 8 Teaching ritual worship, and then Jnana Wisdom, we were sent to deliver
the world from its bondage of mental delusion. 9

It was long ago, at the end of the Krta Age that the Great Rshis saw that the
practice of pure ritual was in decline. 10 So in order to oversee the rules of ritual
worship, they created the nations, and made kings to be their Protectors. 11 And
they conceived and dictated scriptures and manuals of Law, Prosperity and Power.
The wheel of time turns on, and things decay; and the people think only of getting
their rice and eating it. 13 Border disputes arise among the Earth-lords. The people
suffer many punishments. 14
Now the kings can no longer govern the earth without going to war with one
another, and they as well as their people suffer from these things. 15

To drive away their misery, we and others have expounded,

step by step, the entire mighty system of Wisdom-teaching. 16

This Science of the Inner Self, taught to Princes so long ago, is today celebrated
through the world as "The Royal Science." 17 The Royal Science, the Royal Secret,
the perfect Inner-Self Wisdom—o Scion of Raghu, it's by this means that princes
come to supreme sorrowlessness. 18
Now all those ancient kings have come and gone, their glories passed away; and
now you're born here, Rama, to Dasharatha the Charioteer. 19 Foeslayer, now in
you there has risen a fire in the mind of disinterested Dispassion. 20
Rama, in each and every Sadhu, though he's a Discerner, though he is filled with
Dispassion, rajasic passion arises. 21 But unexpected, suddenly arisen, the most
wonderful discernment of reality is a pure Sattvic quality that comes from your self-
Discernment. 22
Disgusted with the sense-objects, who would not be dispassionate? With
Discernment, there arises full Dispassion from the Suchness. 23

There are some whose mind is pure, who are totally without motives, in whom
Vairagya Dispassion has arisen. They are the Mighty Ones, they are the Wisdom-
wise. 24

A person's thought, adorned with the wonder of self-Discernment and

dispassion, is like a young groom adorned with his wedding garland. 25

Those who take control of Samsara with Viveka Discernment

and with Vairagya Dispassion—they are the true aristocrats! 26

By force of self-Discernment, by constant unending Enquiry,

find and forsake the enchantments of Illusion, by your own power. 27

Faced with ruin, catastrophe, the burning ground—who would not be

dispassionate? But the highest Dispassion must be sought within. 28
With sincere Dispassion you have attained at last to greatness: you are worthy of
the essence of Wisdom, a seed in need of rain. 29
It is by grace of the Supreme Lord, of the Deity, of the SuperSelf, that someone
like you, with a pure Buddhi Intellect, pursues Viveka Discernment. 30
By Ritual, by great Tapas, by regulation of conduct, by generosity, or by
pilgrimage, after a long time, there is Viveka Discernment. 31 When the residue of
bad works is removed, there is enquiry into the higher nature, it is like the crow and
a person's Buddhi Intellect spontaneously is aware. 32
*[This is a Nyaya illustration about Cause. A crow alights on the branch of a palm, where a coconut has just
reached maturity, and is about to fall from the branch. It would have fallen just at that moment, perhaps,
whether or not the crow had alighted there. See the Working Notes and Glossary for <kAkatAlIya>.]

Relying upon Ritual, confused by the commands of kings,

the people wander in a maze, and cannot grasp the supreme state. 33
But seeing this world thus, as this Samsara compounded of thought, and rejecting
it, they come to the Highest, like elephants unchained from the tethering-post. 34

It's hard to understand, Rama, this universe and this body's transmigrations. The
best of men, without Jnana, fail to see it. 35 With Jnana-wisdom some great minds
have even swum this Samsara Ocean, so hard to cross, in a moment, best of the
Raghavas! 36
Let people pay attention to this reasonable Wisdom. With attentive intellect, they
should sink in wisdom, not Samsara. 37 Otherwise, without considered reasoning,
the agitation of worldly sorrows and fears burn long within. 38
And how but by rational Wisdom, Raghava, scion of Raghu, do Sadhus endure the
twofold miseries of burning winds and freezing cold? 39
Now, Craving wears a crown of Fire, that sparks the dry grass into flame, sparks
that burn a foolish fellow blistered by his own sad concerns. 40
When Prajna knowledge is known as it should be known, properly seen, your cares
will not burn you, as fire does not burn a rain-soaked forest. 41
Whirled in the wind of Samsara Desert, the knower of Thatness stands steady as
the Kalpa Tree. 42

To know the Thatness, then, a wise man should approach the wise man of
experience, awake to Self, respectfully seeking advice. 43 Questioning an
experienced teacher of high intelligence, you should soak-up his words, the way a
cloth soaks-up the saffron dye. 44

One who does not know the Thatness, whose words are not conformable
to Truth;—and one who questions such a man:—which is the greater fool? 45
One who does not follow the instruction of an experienced authority, questioning
him, and practising accordingly, he is called an inferior man. 46
The Wisdom or unWisdom of the teacher, judging by his works,—one who resolves
this question is called an intelligent seeker. 47
One who doubts his teacher, one who asks foolish childish questions, he's a poor
enquirer, unworthy of this great truth. 48

When asked by one with a good intellect that is able to reason, a reply may be
given; but not to someone of an animal nature. 49
As for the teacher who does not look into the fitness of mind of the seeker, yet
teaches him—the wise call him a foolish man. 50

Scion of Raghu, you are known for your skill as a questioner;

and I can give a good answer. We two have this much in common. 51
You are a most intelligent listener, Rama. Therefore, take
my words to heart; and then decide what it is that you ought to do. 52
You are great, and dispassionate. You are a knower of That Truth.
What you've learned colors you within, as saffron-water dyes a cloth. 53
Pay close attention. What you hear will enter your intelligence
as Viveka Discernment, like sunshine reflected in a pond. 54
What I tell you should be received into your Heart as your right work. But you must
question it, or it will be of little use to you. 55 Manas Mind is a monkey swinging in
the Woods of Samsara.

Mind purified within the Heart will hear the Song of Perfect Truth. 56
The non-Discerners, the unWise, people who don't pursue the truth,—
keep away from such people, and make the Sadhus your company. 57
Viveka Discernment will always come from keeping company with the wise. And
there are two kinds of fruit on the Viveka Tree, known as Enjoyment, and Freedom.

The gate to Freedom is kept by four Warders, known as Santosha Contentment,

Shama Peace, and Vichara Enquiry; and, fourth, Sadhu-sanga, Good Company. 59
These four should be attended to with faithful service: or just three; or two; and
they'll let you into the Palace of Moksha Freedom. 60
With firm commitment, at the risk of life itself, even just one may be resorted to.
When one is won over, the three are, too. 61
With firm commitment, practising restraint of breath, even just one
may be subdued. But then, when one is won over, the three are, too.
A person of Viveka Discernment is the embodiment of Shastras, Wisdom, Sacrifice,
and Tapas. He's bright as the sun! 62 Not understanding, unaware, thickens things.
It stills the water; and the water goes from stiffness* into stony frigidity. 63
*[The term <jaDa> has two senses: it is portrayed as the solidification of water into ice; and as the mind
becoming stultified in stupidity. What some people call a "blockhead" or a "dimwit".]

Raghava, not content with all the virtues of nobility

and Shastric teaching, you blossom within, a lotus in a pond. 64
So hear this Wisdom-song and realize it with excited ears,
as people at a concert hear the vibrant sound of the plucked lute. 65
Make Vairagya Dispassion your treasure, Rama: an equable good nature that
always endures. 66
In olden days, Shastra-study, good company, austerity, and self-restraint were the
means by which Prajna Understanding grew. 67
Even a fool with half a mind who studies this Shastra will find an end to his folly. 68

Samsara is a poison tree, the sole abode of misfortune. Ignorance is its fruit, the
death of fools. 69
When a fool dances in his Heart, touched by the serpent of despair the fool recoils,
as if he'd touched a fingertip to a hot stove. 70
When there is this Understanding, the real meaning of the perceived reality shines
like the moon, a cloudless circle in the sky. 71

One who can grasp a logical argument, and thereby expands

his thought, he is alone worthy to be called a Human Being. 72

Expansive, clear, radiant, free from tamasic

darkness, the passions cooled by enquiry, with such
a heart full of virtue, be dispassionate: with
purity shine like the moon in an empty sky! 73
[On the greatness of Wisdom-Yoga, and the need for Dispassion.]

Scion of Raghu, your overflowing mind is honored among those who ask questions.
You hear and understand what you have heard. And may I say, respectfully, that 1 I
can see in you the very Allness: you are a garland of virtues among Questioners.
And I am not without the virtues of an Orator: may my words be an open treasure-
chest in the murkiness of deep waters. 2
Now let the mind be without the red Rajasic Force, and the black Tamasic too, so
that only clear Sattvic Force remains. With the mind settled in the Self, be still: give
heed to this Jnana Wisdom. 3

When you attain Dispassion, son, Discernment springs from it, just as
the moon draws moisture from moonstone. 4
From childhood on, your long practice has been of Sattvic quality, like a long
spread of lotuses, a mass of white on a blue pond. 5
Now give your close attention to what I tell you, for only you above all others are
worthy to hear it. The pure Kumuda lotus will not blossom until the moon awakens
it. 6
The one who undertakes this path, what he understands will certainly bring
him finally to peace. 7

If some Repose of Understanding does not arise in the happy Chetas Awareness, if
we Sadhus do not cause this to come about, who then is able to bear it, the burden
of stupidity? 8

When the Supreme is gotten, they disappear, all those mentations,—a range of
mountains melting together under the Doomsday Sun. 9
It is hard to bear, Rama, this poison-needle of Samsara. By the fire of the mantra
Garuda* it is overcome. 10
*[This may refer to the proper mantra of Garuda, <om pakshi svAhA>, about which little is known; but more probably refers
to the mantra of Vishuchika the Needle, y.3.069.]

Let a seeker join with the wise, and inquire into the Shastra.
This is the means whereby higher Wisdom is surely to be got. 11

**So it is clear that when Enquiry is pursued, it will be found that all sorrows are
thus brought to an end. Those who enquire into their perceptions should not be
regarded with disdain. 12
An enquiring person, faced with this cage of misery, is like a snake just at the
point of shedding. He should slip his skin! He who is not a Unitive Perceiver should
beware the magic of Indra the Godking, and behold the world with Unitive
Perception. Oh, it is beyond sorrow. 13
The terrible disease called Samsara is like a serpent. It stings like a sword, pierces
like a spear, binds like a rope, burns like fire, and it blinds those who are not
already stirred by fear, like a pitch-black night. It leaves them dumb as a stone. It
mars their Prajna Intelligence, ruins their condition, destroys them with Craving.
There is not a single sorrow in Samsara that does not afflict such a person. 14
And the end, alas, is harder: for if the sense-plague of this world is not cured
somehow, the treasures of the cities of hell await him, according to his deeds. 15
There, there is eating of rocks; a hundred swords lightly striking; pelting with
stones; burning with fire; burying in snow; severing of arms and legs; there you
must grind sandalwood paste from trees infested with woodworms, and smear it on
your skin!
All around there is a continuous fire of slicing burning fire-arrows falling, and skull-
splitting swords, as thick as the shower-baths that cool you in the summer palace;
so that you cannot sleep or even breathe in that great disintegration. 16

**[The occasional passages in italics, in this translation, represent passages written in prose form. 99%
percent of YV is written in 16-syllable couplets (shlokas), all of which are translated in 8-syllable segments.
Many of these are set in prose form, while the most interesting are indented in couplet form. The more
complex poetic forms, like those below, are translated in a similar number of syllables. ¶ It should also be
noted that there is considerable irony in Vasishtha's description of "hell", as in his description of woodworms
above. ]

There are a thousand similar miseries here in this Samsara Machine, Raghava,
Scion of Raghu; and they are not to be ignored. They must be considered and
investigated, with inquiry into the Shastras, and Oh at last the best things will
ensue. 17

Otherwise, moon of the Raghu Clan, all these great Munis and great Rshis and
Brahmanas and Princes who have covered their bodies with the armor of Wisdom:—
being sorrow- and grief-free, how could they experience the misery-making, idea-
overflowing entirety of this pointless Samsara, like the foolish-minded? 18

About this has been said—

"The dispassionate, without confused imaginings,

are the equals of Vishnu, Shiva, and Brahma. They're
the best of men, absorbed in Self-illumination,
with purified Intellects, here in this present world." 19
"When our delusion disappears it melts away into a cloud of
Jnana Wisdom: it is the Thatness comprehended, it is the Self
approached, attained: it is the Self spreading everywhere. Then, when the
ness is seen in thought, this world becomes a delightful place to wander." 20

And there has also been said, o Raghava:

"When a person attains Peace in his Chitta Affection, and the Heart
dances in the Supreme, where all beings enjoy perfect Peace in their
perceptions, then such a one's Inner Doer sees all its enjoyments
equally. Truth is known, and it becomes a pleasure to rove this world." 21

"The body's a chariot; the organs of motion are horses, fed with
Prana Airs, whipped by sense-objects; or else its driver is the Primal
Atom. In this body he travels, making his way, to purity.
So mind perceives the Truth, and it becomes a pleasure to rove this world."



When the Perception of the Self arises in wise Intellects,

they travel through this Samsara like fresh-anointed emperors. 1

They do not grieve, do not desire, do not seek out the good or bad.
Whatever they may do, they do not do here anyhow at all. 2

They dwell in purity, they act and move in purity; they are without dichotomies of
good and bad. They are in their ownSelf. 3

They come here and they do not come; they go forth and they do not go;
and though they do they do not do; they do not speak and yet they speak. 4

Whatever undertakings and perceptions are judgmental in nature, they fall away
when that State is attained. 5
Casting aside every wish, his mind is filled with pleasant thought: everything
comes to good, as if silvered by cooling moonlight. 6
Though inattentive to his undertakings, and undisturbed by external events,
in the Self alone and not apart, he drinks immortal nectar. 7

He does no magic tricks, he does not chase after Attachments. He

lets go of his childish whimsies. His radiance is everywhere. 8

Vrtti-Attitudes like these come from experience of the Self as Thatness, and not
otherwise. 9 And so by Enquiry this very self should be sought, should be studied,
should be known by a person while he lives. There is no other way. 10
When your experience and the shastras and guru all agree,
through constant practice your own Self in its eternity is known. 11


Those who ridicule the Shastras, those who disdain good company,—
there is no equanimity but only sorrow for such fools. 12

The fool who takes the body for himself is ripe for suffering greater than any
sickness or calamity or poison or any misery on this earth. 13
For somewhat more intelligent intellects, reading this Shastra, the Shastra will
eradicate their follies. There's no other way. 14

This is something worth hearing. It's delightful with its beautiful illustrative Tales;
it's easy to study. It is a Shastra for those who love literature. 15

Unbearable catastrophes, and trivial banalities,—

these all come from stupidity, like thorns from the Khadira tree. 16

There is more profit in taking a beggar's bowl into the streets of the Shacktown of
the outcastes, than in witless stupidity. 17
Better to live in a pitch-black well, or in rotten holes of trees, a worm in a black
hole, than to be a misery-stricken fool. 18

Having discovered this light, this Freedom-Method, a person is

not blinded again by any sort of Tamasic delusion. 19
The sun of Viveka cannot rise in its dawning, while Craving shrivels the human lotus-
bud. 20
The way to Moksha Freedom from the sorrows of Samsara is found from friends
like me, who have known the natural form of the Self; and from the testimony of the
Gurus, Sadhus, and Shastras. 21
Jivan-muktas, Living Freemen, travel this world like Vishnu, or Shiva, or the
Brahmarshis, or many another. That's how you should conduct yourself, Raghava. 22

Sorrows are infinite; pleasures are like dry grass. Therefore do not
let your vision be bound by pleasures which are sorrow's company. 23

But let a person of understanding work hard to attain that endless, easy essence
of power. 24
Only the best of people are deserving of this supreme state, wherein they reach
their highest goal, free of the Samsara fever. 25
Those who dream of sex and banquets and princely comforts—consider them to be
frogs in a dark well. 26
Those who keep company with gallows-bound rogues, such as are inclined to
wicked deeds, those who are foes in the form of friends:—they are like devotees
honouring gluttons. 27 They come from a hard go, to hardship; from sorrow, to
sorrow; from fear, to fear; from hell, to hell,—those delusion-twisted Intellects. 28


When good and bad meet, one destroys the other. There is no lasting happy
condition there. Life is a raging thunderstorm. 29

Those great Mahatmas of Viveka Discernment, detached from life:—know them to

be worthy of both worldly enjoyment and Freedom together. 30

Having recourse to Viveka Discernment and to the practice of the Yoga of

Dispassion, the calamitous and fierce Samsara River can be crossed. 31

They are not worth dreaming about, the lying Samsara-illusions. They are a deadly
stupefying poison for the Vivekin Discerner. 32

Someone who dwells in this Samsara, and is not afraid of it,

is asleep in a burning house on a straw bed. 33

When they reach it, they do not turn away; when she achieves it, she does not
grieve. That State is Wisdom-gotten. Of this there is no doubt. 34
If That does not arise through your
Enquiry, where's the harm in it?
But if That does arise, you will
have crossed the Ocean of Being. 35

As soon as a person begins enquiring, looking into this Freedom-Method, he's

known as a Moksha-bhagi Freedom-Sharer. 36

Free from obstacles, free from care, self-reliant, confusion-free:—in the three
worlds such a state is not known without experience of the Kevala Absolute. 37
When That is attained, when the Ultimate is attained, afflictions
don't arise. Against them, wealth is no help, nor friends, nor family. 38
Nor are your hands, nor your feet; nor is roaming the countryside, nor
suffering ascetic pain, nor visiting holy sacred shrines. 39
By sole devotion to the goal, by the constraint of Vasanas,
by absolute That-mindedness,—that is how that state is attained. 40

By single-minded devotion to Viveka Discernment; by Enquiry into unity: these are

the means of escape from the net of worldly misery. 41

Sitting in a comfortable
posture, enquiring into That
alone, when that state is attained,
you do not grieve, nor are reborn. 42

What is beyond all pleasure, what the Sadhus know, that high stillness is what they
call Supreme Essence. 43

Experiences fade, whether they are human or heavenly. There is no pleasure that
is not thirsty-deer=water: a mirage. 44
Mind-conquest should be given thought—the practice of Peaceableness, and of
Unbounded Equalness, from which there is Ananda Joy. 45

Whether it is moving or still, be it a flying monster, or

a roving Rakshasa demon, whether a mortal or a god, 46
when the mind gets tranquillity, then, perfect happiness is got:—
the blossoming peace-flower bursts forth, then, upon the Viveka Tree. 47

He carries on his many duties, fruitfully or fruitlessly.

He's like the sun on the horizon, shining equally on all. 48
The mind that is at peace, as clear as crystal, free from confusion,
and unattached to anything, does not renounce, nor does it wish. 49


Let me tell you about the four Doorkeepers of the Freedom Gate.
With adherence to just one of them, the Gate can be entered. 50

The long phase of wicked pleasures, in the vast Samsara Desert, is cooled in a
person by the cooling beams of equanimity. 51
Through peace comes the higher state of which Peace is the perfection. Peace
is the auspicious Shiva; peace is Peace*; peace frees us from folly. 52
*[NOTE: <zama> and <zAnti>
Both these terms are translated as "peace". To distinguish between them, I translate them as
Shama peace and Shanti Peace. Shama peace is the incipient peace that flowers as the Shanti Peace
of the Shanta, the Peaceful one. A similar distinction may be seen in <cetas> Chetas Awareness and
<citta> Chitta Affection. – jd]

A person perfectly at peace, completely content; a cool, clear

person, his Affection at peace:—his fiercest foes become his friends. 53

Those for whom the full moon of peace is their most beautiful refuge, shining above
the Milk Ocean:—for them is perfect purity. 54

For him within whose Heart-lotus

the Peace-lotus is blossoming
in the Sat Suchness, then is he
not like the two-hearted Hari? 55
Sweet peace shines in his moonlike face, as honored as the Lunar Clan, of
captivating beauty. 56
High estate in the three worlds does not bring such joy,—whether measured in
terms of Samraj Dominion, or Good Fortune,—as the Peace-Powers. 57
Whatever misery, whatever unbearable craving, whatever indignities: when
Chetas Awareness is brought to peace, it is like darkness being removed by the
stars*. 58
*[<arkeSu> "suns" is in the plural, and here translated as "stars". I have personally been in the
Southwest Desert on a moonless night, and seen my shadow, cast by the light of the Milky Way.]

The coolness of the moon is not

half so delightful as the grace
that fills the mind of all beings
who know this wonder-working Peace. 59

Someone of peaceable nature,

someone friendly with everyone,—
in such a person the Thatness
becomes established in himself. 60

Just as (whether they are naughty or nice) all beings follow their mother trustingly,
so they are with a person of peace. 61

Not by drinking magical potions, not by fortune, not by signs is happiness to be had,
with inner peace of mind. 62
By every grief and misery stirred, hobbled by Craving, your mind is asperged,
Raghava, with the consoling Nectar of Peace. 63
Whatever you do with the coolness of peaceable thought—when you eat, the sweet
is super-sweet, not otherwise, dear boy,—in your mind. 64
The flavor of Peace Nectar is
a wonder; leads the mind to Joy.
O Raghava, it heals all wounds. 65

Not Pishacha Cannibals, nor Rakshasa Monsters, nor Daitya Demons, nor other foes,
neither tigers nor serpents will trouble somebody steeped in peace. 66
With all your limbs armored, protected by the nectar of perfect peace, no sorrow
can pierce you. Can an arrow pierce Diamond Mountain? 67
A king in his palace is not so glorious as an equable pure intellect given to
Tranquillity. 68

What's dearer than his life itself

does not give such Content as when
he meets a person of peace, and
finds his own Peace within himself. 69

The Sadhu who conducts himself in a peaceable way lives here in this world with
praise. 70
When a Sadhu works his karma with a humble mind, at peace, all the creatures in
the world sing his praises. 71

What he hears, what he touches, what

he sees or tastes or smells, whether
it is pleasing or displeasing,
does not delight, does not disgust
him they call Shanta the Detached. 72

He's an equal with everyone. He may desire, he may reject;

he is the Master of his ship: they call him Shanta the Peaceful. 73
He has touched with his dazzling Intellect everything inside
and out: knows where his duty lies. They call him Shanta the Resigned. 74

He has a mind as cool as the cold moonshine sparkling on the dawn frost. His mind
is not besieged by death, nor sated by feasting, nor overcome in battle. They call
him Shanta the Comfortable. 75

When he is here he is not here. He gives no praise, he lays no blame.

He is like a Sleepwalker. They call him Shanta Dispassionate. 76

Splashing like Immortal Nectar, his look is an outpouring of

love for all, with every splash: They call him Shanta the Ally. 77

One who has come to inner coolness and is not overcome with emotion, and not just
a fool,—they call him Shanta the Careful. 78 For even at the worst of times,—on
Doomsday, say,—on that great day,—he does not think he's wasting time. They call
him Shanta the Present. 79

Do what he will, his mind is like Space. This person's mind does not get
distracted by worldly business. They call him Shanta the Remote. 80

When among the ascetic Tapasvis, or great scholars, or ritual worshippers, or royal
Lords of Men, however powerful, however great their virtues, a peaceable person
stands out over all. 81
In great and virtuous minds that adhere to Peace, the Affection becomes a source
of delight, like the cool radiance of the moon. 82
On the borders of Virtueland, Paurusha is the only defender: in danger and in fear,
Peace is the happy victor. 83

Peace is deathless, safe and secure, a secret of

the gentry*, descended from the Supreme. It attains
the supreme state. Raghava, follow the footsteps
of those of great experience to that Siddhi Power. 84

*NOTE: Royal Yoga

The reader must never forget that we are in the Court of King Dasharatha Charioteer. To the
best of his ability he must hear this Shastra with Rama's ears. That is what is called Dharana,
or Imagining.

NOTE: <zama> and <zAnti>

Both these terms are translated as "peace". To distinguish between them, I translate them as
Shama peace and Shanti Peace. Shama is the incipient peace that flowers as the Shanti Peace
of the Shanta, the Peaceful one. A similar distinction may be seen in <cetas> Chetas
Awareness and <citta> Chitta Affection. — jd
[On Enquiry, Action, and the Absolute]

For one who clearly understands the Shastra, with pure perfect thought, the
knower of causality,—constant enquiry into self! 1
Through Enquiry, thought becomes sharp: and it beholds the Perfect State.
For the disease of Samsara, Enquiry's the best medicine. 2

In Disaster Grove grow the trees of unending desire. Attacked

by the axe of Enquiry, not very soon do the trees grow back. 3

Where there is delusion, or death in the family, or dire straits, confusions

everywhere, Rama, Enquiry is the wise one's way. 4
The wise and learned understand that there's no path but Enquiry: by Enquiry
what's miserable becomes the wonder of the wise. 5

Bala Strength, Buddhi Intellect, Tejas Vigor,—these are all the fruit of action; and
they come by the Enquiry of the wise. 6 It is the seeker's light, that shows what is fit
or unfit for him; it is the lighthouse whereby he safely sails the Samsara sea. 7

The Heart-lotus=ravaging elephants of this Delusion are scattered

by the Self-purified Vichara, the prowling lion. 8

Even fools in the course of time can gain the Perfect State by means of the
unrivalled expansion of the clear light of Enquiry. 9
Kingdoms, fortunes, great abundance, pleasure, and eternal Freedom:—oh Scion
of Raghu the Swift, the Age-ending Aeon Tree called Enquiry, bears us these sweet
fruits! 10

Blossom-bursting with Viveka, the minds of the great, here and now,
do not drown in misfortune. They're a gourd pot floating on a wave. 11

When Enquiry arises in their thoughts, no matter what they do,

people become entitled to super-splendiferous sweet fruits. 12

A poisonous karanja vine destroying hope, there in the Heart-

grove, blossoming with misery: that's the weed called non-Enquiry. 13

The sleep of non-Enquiry is dirty as charcoal on the hands,

or whisky muddying the mind. Rama, that way lies destruction! 14

Enduring great calamities, enquiring into the Suchness, he does not drown in
delusions, radiant in the tamasic dark: 15 in crystalline Mind Lake, his lotus of
Enquiry comes to bloom.
Such an enquiring person bursts with blossom, shines like Snow Mountain. 16

One who is wanting in Vichara, with a mind slow to study,

sees lightning flashing from the moon. A baby sees Yaksha Monsters. 17

Those men who are like sorrow-weeds growing thin within a dark cave: Rama, keep
far away from such undiscerning inferiors. 18

When people are in difficult

straits, hard-going, hard-suffering,
without Vichara Enquiry
they are like Zombies in the dark. 19

Non-Enquiry is like a lonely tree away from the forest, useless alone. Best of the
Raghu clan, keep far away from it. 20
Someone's discerning mind, free from desire, self-controlled, finds its rest, like
the full moon, within the Self. 21

When Discernment arises in

a body, everything is cool
and beautiful and unbounded,
like moonlight silvering the earth. 22

Under the banner of Highest Meaning, fanned by a fine white fan, a person is cooled
by Enquiry as the night is by the moon. 23

The clever people who enquire

shine in the ten directions, like
the world-illuminating sun,
subduing all the fears of life. 24

When a boy raises in his mind, at night, the vision of a life-sucking Vetala Zombie, it
will disappear with Enquiry. 25

These world-appearances seem dear,

without Vichara Enquiry.
Unthinking Such-appearances
shatter after such Enquiry. 26

For human beings, with obsessive conceptions, and some sad woes, the aged
Zombie Sam-sara must be subdued by Vi-chara. 27
Equable, sweet, untroubled, endless, independent, Rama, know this Absolute
Experience as fruit of the Enquiry Tree. 28

Noble, stable as a mountain, with clear delightful energy, when desirelessness

it's like the coolness of the moon. 29

When the Sadhu takes Enquiry,

the great medicine which bestows
ultimate comfort, he does not
desire nor refuse anything. 30

Chetas Awareness, settled in that state, immense, splendid, here, does not set nor
does it rise, like the sky in the great expanse within. 31

He does not give, does not receive;

is not exalted nor subdued.
He is a witness seeing the
wholeness: the world-enjoyer rests. 32

He does not rest in peace within, not even waking he abides. Karmaless, he does not
outgive; nor is he tangled in karmas. 33
He does not care about past things; does not go after anything. Not troubled and
not untroubled he seems as full as the ocean. 34
And so with a Full Mind these GreatSelfs, the Mahatmas, these oceans, as Living
Freemen travel here: and so the yogis pass their time. 35

They dwell here for a long long time,

those clever folk, just as they please;
and at last cast the body off,
and reach the outspread Absolute. 36

"Who am I? Where does Samsara

come from?" Faced with misfortune, wise
thinkers should consider such things,
and the Self as a remedy. 37

In the complex matters of state, Scion of Raghu, a king knows what will be fruitful,
and what not, only by means of Enquiry. 38
From establishment in the teachings of the Vedanta, this state is realized by
Enquiry, as the moon lights the earth at night. 39 It is not blinded by darkness, nor
dazzled by its own brilliance, but sees all with discernment. This Enquiry is a helpful
eye. 40

To be blind to Discernment is
worse than to be blind from birth: bad
from every point of view. But the
Viveka-self wins all he sees. 41

This wonder of Vichara is

the honored joyful unitive
nature of the Self, and should not
be forsaken for a moment. 42

The clever person who enquires

is glorious among the great:
he is ripe with delight, just like
a delectable mango fruit. 43

Those for whom Enquiry is dear do not always continually wallow in swamps of
sorrow: those folks have walked the ways of Wisdom. 44

A sick man does not moan his woes so loudly,—not an old man with a hundred
frailties,—as a non-Enquirer ignorantly wails. 45

Better live in a slimy slough,

better to be a worm in shit,
better a snake in a black hole,
than someone who does not enquire. 46

It is the home of frustration, the terminus of unsuccess, the dread bane of all the
Sadhus. Therefore avoid nonEnquiry. 47
The great Mahatmas constantly practise Enquiry. It's a rope of rescue from the
darkest pit. 48

All by yourself alone the Self

can be grasped: for by Vichara
Enquiry, the great Ocean, this
Samsara Universe, is crossed,
when seen to be the mind's mirage. 49
"Who am I? and just how did this wicked Universe get started?"
With reason, you reach an answer: that is Vichara Inquiry. 50

The blinding-the-blind cloud of delusion, blowing to sorrow, all and always,—makes

the heart of the thick-headed nonEnquirer stone. 51

For those taking the surge of

non-being for being, here now,
the Thatness is not to be known
anyhow but from Enquiry. 52

From Enquiry, Thatness is known; from Thatness is Repose in Self:

then there is Peacefulness of Mind, and every sorrow fades away. 53

He is fruitful, and his karmas bear their fruit here,

now, in this present world. He finds, in the sudden
clarity of his Vichara perception, what,
thus, having enquired, at peace, leaves him radiant. 54


[A few words about the third Gatekeeper.]


Contentment is the best blessing, the synonym of happiness.

FoeSlayer, when you are content, you will attain Tranquillity. 1

Such a hero, of quiet mind, is ruled only by Contentment, and all the powers of a
king are only stalks of withered grass. 2
The intellect that is endowed with Santosha Contentment is untroubled by worldly
affairs and misfortunes at any time. 3

For those who drink the nectar of Contentment and come to Shanta satisfaction,
even the greatest wealth is like poison to them. 4 Waves of divine nectar are not
half so sweet as this Contentment, the antidote of all evil. 5

Forsaking his ungotten wish; getting it, grown equanimous—neither pleased not
displeased by it—such a one is called "contented". 6
The self that is not, in itself, contented mentally, is a weed in the cavern of the
mind, that brings distress and misfortune. 7

The cool, content consciousness, cleansed by pure knowledge, quite suddenly

unfolds its petals, blossoming like a lotus warmed by sunbeams. 8

Without Contentment, the Chitta Affection wanders uncontrolled;

it is a dirty mirror, where the light of Wisdom cannot shine. 9
The lotus is not withered by the empty cloud of ignorance,
nor is a man who basks always under the sun of Contentment. 10

Though penniless, that person lives in happy independence, free

from care and misery, whose mind is settled into Contentment. 11
He does not crave what does not come; what comes in due course he enjoys:
one who follows this path of Sameness, they call a "contented" man. 12
Content, perfectly satisfied, the fulness of his consciousness
is as pure as the Ocean of Milk, and his face shines like the goddess's. 13

Take your shelter in the Fullness, by your own self, in your own Self: with Paurusha,
with hard effort, give up all manner of Craving. 14 Someone filled with the nectar of
Contentment, and peaceful, cool thought:—his mind finds its stability, flooded with
moonbeams that endure. 15

When the mind blossoms with Contentment, it is like a wealthy king:

when the king rises from his throne, his faithful servants follow him. 16

When a person is settled, by the Self, in the Self, himself, his troubles are quickly
subdued, just as the rain subdues the dust. 17
He is always cool, Rama. Though spattered with mud, a person of pure thought is
ever-shining with the radiance of the full moon. 18

A face with equanimity, with Sameness, is a beautiful

face that grants satisfaction that a heap of money cannot give. 19

Darling of the Raghu Clan, those who are adorned

with Sameness of Mind are clothed in virtue, they are
sovereigns among the people! They are praised by all
the great Munis, and even the sky-roving gods. 20



Moreover, your wise Majesty, when princes cross the Samsara,

they will always get benefit from the company of Sadhus. 1

There is a tree, Good Company, whose blossom is Discernment. Great Mahatmas

cultivate it. They are worthy to enjoy its succulent fruit. 2

When the empty comes into fullness, then death is a festival,

calamity looks like fortune, in the company of wise people. 3

They're snow on the lotus-pond of sorrow, melted by delusion-destroying winds

which alone win this world: how good is good company! 4

It brings increase of Intellect, axes the tree of Ignorance,

drives away your melancholy—such is the Good Company of Sadhus. 5

Discernment is the Perfect Lamp, lit by keeping Good Company—

mind-bending brilliance indeed!—a peacock's tail sparkling with dew.* 6
*NOTE ON <iva> &c—Analogies—
More literally this would be "a bunch of blossoms after being sprinkled with water". For most of a
century, English poets have had a disdain for Similes using terms like "like", preferring the
Metaphoric Image. We prefer the equation to the analogy; rather than "her thigh is as silken as the
trunk of an elephant", we would say "Her thigh's an elephant's silk trunk".
Indeed, in this case, I would go farther, and say, perhaps, "Her thighs that shock my fingertips",
using a metaphor that is less quizzical to the Western mind.
Cases like this are the only times that I depart from my goal of a literal translation.

Deathlessness, harmlessness, restfulness, ever-abundance: these are the riches of

Good Company. 7
When the worst of the worst befalls,
when in a state of helplessness,
people should not at all forsake
the Sadhus and their Company. 8

The good company of Sadhus is a light on the path. Blinding Affections disappear in
the radiance of the Wisdom-sun. 9

When you can bathe in the cool, clear Ganges of good companionship,
what use are charity, or pilgrimage, austerities, or rites? 10

If the Sadhus know the way of dispassion, free from doubt, all knots loosed,—then,
sinless boy, what need for austerities and pilgrimage? 11

Those with Repose of Mind get rich

by their continual Effort.
As paupers see precious jewels,
so we should see those great Sadhus. 12

Good Company is a delight.

The thinking of the wise is like
the Lotus Goddess shining bright
in a crowd of Apsara Nymphs. 13

Therefore one who wears the crown of Enquiry finds increase of fortune, when he
keeps good company. 14

The That-knowers, who have unravelled the truths of this work, those great sadhus
of renown, by all means should be served, for they are the means to cross this
Ocean of Being. 15

The good are quenching rainclouds, and the rest are hellfire's kindle-grass. 16

Poverty, death, and suffering—

all such distressing diseases
are wholly brought to rest by the
medicine of Good Company. 17

Contentment and Good Company,

also Enquiry, and Peace,—
these are the means whereby a man
can cross the Ocean of Being. 18
Contentment is the highest gain, Good Company the highest course,
Enquiry the highest wisdom, and Peace the highest enjoyment. 19

These four unsullied paths, these ways of being, when they are practised, become
the means to cross over the troubled Ocean of Being. 20

When only one of these four is

perfectly practiced, any one
of this quaternity becomes
the best of blessings to your mind. 21

In this seeding-ground, each and each of these can be attained: resort to one, and
the others follow. 22
Good Company, Contentment, and Enquiry, when enquired into,
all come to the same port of Peace, like three ships on the same ocean. 23

Enquiry and Contentment, when

avoiding evil company,
increase the blessings of a man,
like the sheltering Kalpa Tree. 24

Enquiry, Peace, Good Company,

Contentment—in someone with these,
it's as if the full moon shone with
the virtues of nobility. 25

Good Company, Contentment, Peace,

Enquiry—in someone with these
in mind, they're like good ministers
who guide a king to victory. 26

Whichever of these may seem best to you, best of the Raghus, with your Personal
Effort, conquer the Mind: with effort, gain virtue. 27

Having recourse to Paurusha,

the elephant of Affection
is conquered. Just one of the four
virtues suffices for the Path. 28

So long as your mind has not been filled with these virtues, Rama , you must grit
your teeth, with Paurusha. 29
Whether you be god or demon, a human bring or a tree, that in itself, great archer,
is not anyhow a Path for you. 30

When even one fruit-bearing virtue gathers its strength, then are worn
away,—all, indeed, at once,—the sins of a hapless Awareness. 31

When any virtue increases, all the other virtues increase, giving victory over vice;
and when a vice increases, such vices disintegrate virtue. 32

In a mind-deluding forest,
the rushing Vasana River,
that flows between good and evil,
takes many people in its course. 33
Whatever bank you head toward, that is the bank to which it will carry you. So, do
as you wish. 34

With powerful personal effort in the mind-

forest, o wise young man, make for the better bank
of the great river of your daily existence,
and that is how you will never be swept away. 35


[A glimpse of the contents of this Shastra]


In this world, Raghava, he who has inner Discernment is fit to learn this song of
Wisdom—as a Prince studies his Polity. 1

Forsaking the company of the dense and dull, he is fit for

the pure sea of pure enquiry, like the autumn moon in the sky. 2

You're distinguished for your recourse

to virtue. I am now going
to say some words that will destroy
illusion. Listen carefully. 3

Only the pure, only the noble are worthy of these words, which bestow this highest
realization. It is not to be known in this world by the inferior. 4

This Moksha Freedom Manual, this collection of collections,

this essence of the essential, in thirty-two thousand couplets,
when it is known and understood, grants you the gift of Nirvana. 6

As the light of a lamp shines forth upon a waking man, even if he does not wish it,
by means of this work, Nirvana shines forth. 7 Studied alone or heard from someone
else, it calms your confusion, and clarifies what was clouded, like a stream in Svarga
Heaven. 8

The rope that seems to be a snake

is recognized when it is seen;
and likewise Samsara-sorrow
is recognized at last as Peace. 9

Logical, meaningful statements, described distinctly one by one,

by means of beautiful stories—of these there are six Books in all. 10

First comes "The Book of Dispassion", the Vairagya Prakarana, which nourishes
Dispassion, just as water does a desert tree. 11
From these thousand* verses, when enquired-into in the Heart, the light of Purity
arises, as a gem shines when it is polished.12
*[The estimate is approximate, but close to the actual account. The Introduction will deal
further with this subject.]

"The Work of the FreedomSeeker" is the second Prakarana, consisting of a thousand

verses that are cleverly composed. 13 In this Book, a Freedom-seeking person is
thoroughly described.

Then come the expository verses of "The Book of Outfall". 14

Here are seven thousand stanzas presented for understanding the World, the
Seer, and the Seen, seen in the form of "you" and "I". 15
Here is discussed the Uprising of the Unborn, and here is taught This World. Hear
it within, and it will catch you fast, entirely. 16

This world, with its "Us" and "You", its

sky and mountains, when there is no
material grasping, has no
foundation nor stability. 17

It is without material elements, a conceptual construct, like a town remembered

in a dream, wholly fantasy. 18 Gandharva City is a similar baseless illusion; it is like
a drunkard's double moon, or deer drinking from a mirage. 19

It is like sailing on a boat.

Onshore, the mountains seem to rock.
Like an imagined goblin. This
world's a flower without a seed. 20

It's a tale in a storybook,

or a pearl necklace in the sky;
the goldenness of a bracelet;
the waviness of the waters. 21

Like blueness in the sky, the unSuch is ever arising. Without a foundation or body,
it's an enchanting illusion. 22
Whether you see it in the sky or in a dream, a picture has no painter. It's a fire
that does not burn, a fire in a painting. 23
And so the world is "Jagat", Going into the essential unSuch, seeing the dance of
perception, a chain of blooming lotuses. 24

The chirping of the chakra birds

sounds just like falling waterdrops;
the leaves are withered into dust
as summer makes the woods go dry. 25

Here's the home of an Affection bewildered by death: a mountain cave where it

dances alone in the blackness, drunkenly bumbling. 26
In the world, understanding is an autumn cloud, it is the fog of ignorance. This
world's a carved pillar, a picture on the wall. 27 Its creatures, sentient, insentient
alike, are made of mud. 28

Thus in three thousand verses, this

discussion, with examples, shows
the mutual interdependence
of the world and the egoSense. 29
The discernment of the Seer and the Seen here are thoroughly discussed, and the
rich, radiant Mandala of the Ten Directions that is this world-illusion. 30
So far has this book grown that some have come to speak of it as "long".

Next, "The Book of Tranquillity" offers you five thousand verses. 31

This fifth book is a purifying one, full of most beautiful arguments about "this
world" and "I" and "you"—those delusive errors. 32

How things are brought to peace is told

within the scope of its verses.
When this Book of Tranquillity
is heard, Samsara comes to Peace. 33

Our errors, when they are subdued, are like an army in a rout, shattered in a
hundred pieces. 34
This world's like someone else's Samkalpa Conception, as unreal as Shri City: not
to be won, even in the thunder of long war. 35 It is the peaceful mind gone mad, a
crazed, fearsome thunderous cloud; building a city based on the pattern of a
forgotten dream. 36
In that city that's not yet built, in a garden, there's a barren woman, of pure
beauty, whose tongue tells harsh tales about labour pains. 37
It is like a painter who mounts a canvas he has not finished upon the wall, while
forgetting his plan to paint a city there. 38

It is an unblown breeze that blows

at all seasons through an ungrown
forest, strewn with unblooming flowers
redolent with the scent of spring. 39

It is like the interior subsidence of the turbulent waves of Soma River, this next
Book, known as "Nirvana", the sixth. 40

This final book, when followed through, contains the Great Wisdom of That,
in which the Intellect becomes the wonderful Peace of Nirvana. 41

The immeasurable Self, the luminous conceptless Chit Consciousness, the Self of
Vijnana Understanding, embodied as perfect crystalline Space, subdues the
confusions of all beings. 42

When this world-journey is over,

when what's to be done has been done,
those undertakings are just like
yesterday's flashing thunderbolt. 43

You have drunk the mirage-waters

of countless worlds. For now you are
a Space-being, who sees the world
as merely mental creation. 44

Duty, doing, doership, perceptions of right and wrong, are forsaken. Without a body,
he seems to have one; though within the Samsara, he seems without it. 45
Composed of Consciousness, he's like a massive stone without a gap; the darkness
here below is lighted by that sun of Consciousness. 46
Though formed of surpassing illumination, he comes to profound
darkness, the wicked play of Samsara, that hope-destroying plague. 47
When the Vetala Zombie "I" is overcome, the embodied becomes cadaverless. A tip
which of a thousand of its hairs is this Lakshmi-glorious world set, like a bee
somewhere on Mount Meru, nestled in a flower? 48

In primal atom after primal atom, Consciousness-Space, in

his cavern, makes and manifests and sees thousands of glorious worlds. 49

A Great Thinker, within the great expansiveness

of his spiritual Heart, is as outspread as
the unequalled vastness of all. And not Hari,
Hara, or Lotusborn Brahma are his equals. 50


[Vasishtha explains his method of teaching by means of Exemplary Tales, and how
this method is to be understood.]


For example, in this work, in the basic Chitta-Affection,

Understanding is produced as if from the Tree of Suchness,
from its sowing inevitably-becoming=Suchness-fruit. 1

Whatever study you undertake will be worth your Effort if it's consistent with the
Shastras. Otherwise even the Rshis are to be avoided. And so should one act who
is right-thinking. 02 *
* > ... nyAyAd anapetam nyAyyam tad eva mukhyam ity anusaratA bhAvyam puruSeNa i.a. | ... ||< Comm
¶ api pauruSam AdeyaM – Even if offered by a Person // Indeed worth the Effort — It will be worth your
Effort — zAstraM ced yukti-yodhakam – if consistent with the Shastra — or the Laws of War — anyat tu
ArSam api tyAjyaM – otherwise even the Rshis are to be forsaken — bhAvyaM nyAyya-eka-sevinA – to
be experienced by the ordinary-One-server — So should act one who is right-thinking —

A teaching that's useful to hear,

even if uttered by a child,
is better than dust in the wind,
even if scattered by Brahma. 3

When somebody says, "This well, by the kindness of our ancestor,

is for our drinking", while refusing the holy Ganga Water
right there before him,—what hope is there for that super-ascetic? 4

When the dawn breaks the sun will of

necessity arise. Likewise
your purified Chitta will come
into Viveka Discernment. 5

Whether it is learned from a wise teacher, or studied by oneself, with progressive

Enquiry, the Intellect thereby becomes trained. 6
Moreover there arises in the student a sense of the meaning of the ancient
Maxims, as beautiful as the vines that decorate this assembly hall. 07

High Civility arises,

with the quality of greatness,
whereby he comes to find friendship
with kings, even immortal ones. 8

Knowing the given Datum and Probandum to be proved, always, a man becomes an
Intellectual. He's like a torchbearer at night, he has keen night vision. 9

Greed, delusion, all such evils fade away soon enough. The thoughts
are the ten directions, when the autumn comes and the fog comes clear. 10

Even if it teaches discernment of thoughts through the use of Viveka Discernment, it

is a fruitless work without your Personal Effort. 11

Mind comes to grace, as in autumn,

when Sameness overtakes the lake,
like the Ocean [so still!] before
the gods had got to churning it. 12

When a dirty lamp is cleansed, it shines like a jewel that breaks through the curtain
of darkness. So unobstructed learning allows us to make distinctions of meaning. 13
Though miseries and poverty abound, they're seen as perceptions from within.
Such armor protects the tender parts from sharp arrows. 14

His heart is not besieged by horrendous Samsara-fears:—a wise

man is like a great rock struck by arrows, guarding a great city. -15-

"What would it be like, the Primal Origin? what about births and karmas? or divine
Fate and human Effort?" Many doubts like these bring peace:—before the dawn, the
dark! 16
Always, with all conditions, perfect peace arises, like the moon setting in peace, or
the sun bringing light to the people. 17 Deep as the ocean, sitting firm as a
mountain, and inwardly cool as the moon, rises the Enquirer. -18-
That Living-Freeman-hood of him, by the Bhumika Stages come to maturity,—at
peace with all distinctions of meaning,—he becomes hard for words to describe. -19-
Such a one is all-purpose-cool, pure, intent to serve the Supreme Sun. Thus he
comes to higher illumination under the cool radiance of the autumn moon. -20-

In the heart, in Space, in the clear

peace-light of the Viveka-sun,
neither lucky or unlucky
Dragons* ever arise at all. -21-
*[These are the Ketus, the comets which were regarded as omens; and more particularly the Dragon thought
to be the cause of eclipse.]

They go to peace, they go to purity, those worthy Brahmanas rest in the Most High.
Though water does not flow they are unthirsting, as in an autumn dressed in
clouds. 22

They turn away from wilfully cruel, vulgar conduct, as man-

eating Pishacha Monsters dance and disappear at dawn of day. -23-
On the foundation of Dharma, with strongly-fixed firm-centered thought,
troubles are no trouble. The wind does not trouble a sculpted vine. -24-

A Knower does not drive into

a pothole, being detached from
Sensations, for what person who
knows the road runs into the ditch? -25-

From virtuous activities according to Shastra, without obstructive karmas, thought

gets its pleasure just as it comes, patient as a goodwife in a courtyard of the Inner
City. -26-
Each of the Primal Atoms is just one of millions of billions of worlds, creations that
stand within the thoughts of those who are unattached. 27
As a result of learning the Freedom Method, the pleasure-ocean gives no distress
to someone with pure inner control, nor traps him in any joy whatever. 28

In atom after atom all

the categories rise and fall
incessantly. He sees them all
like waves, or like a waterfall. 29

He does not hate external works,

nor too much love internal works:
indeed, this awakened person's
as unawake as any tree! 30

You will find him to be

an ordinary person in this world,
taking things as they come, wished or
unwished, unvanquished in his heart. - 31-

He has understood this entire Shastra,—has studied it and has discerned its sense
with Viveka,—for this is for experience, not chanting (like a boon or curse). -32-

This Shastra, with its poetic embellishments, is an epic

full of drama, with many Exemplary Tales and Adventures. -33-

This work can be understood by himself, by one who knows a thing or two about
words and meanings. And what he does not understand alone, he can learn from a
scholar. -34-
When Scripture is studied and known, what need is there for Sacrifice or Chanting,
when Freedom's attained? -35-
After practising the substance of this Shastra, with long, devoted inquiry, if your
study is not fulfilled, it is a mark of the Chitta Affection. -36-

When "I" and the "world" arise, it

is like seeing a night-demon:
and a demon at sunrise is
himself subdued effortlessly. -37-

This illusion of "World" and "I", though established, is brought to peace

when seen as a dream-delusion. It does not then delude again. 38 —

Just as in an imaginary city the pleasures and pains of a person are not binding,—
it is the same here and now, when the world-mirage is examined. 39
When a picture of a serpent is inspected, it does not arouse any serpent-fear. Thus
the mere perception of the serpent, when inspected, itself offers neither pleasure
nor any pain. 40 By inspection, the serpentness of the image of a serpent is
removed. Likewise, Samsara, though extant, becomes pacified. 41

When wheat is being threshed, or when

a flower is fading, whenever
disturbance arises, there is
damage to stalk or flower. But when
the highest state has been attained,
there's not the slightest disturbance. -42-

The branch vibrates, when you pluck-off a leaf; but when thoughts are restrained,
then there can be no limb-trembling. -43-

It comes about by sitting in

an easy posture, eating what
comes to hand: not by carrying
on in some fancy pleasure-trap. -44-

Whenever it may be, wherever you may be, whatever company you keep, then
happily and deeply make Enquiry, with this Shastra or some other one. 45

Thus you will find a Peace-giving

Samsara, full of Great Wisdom,
where there will not again arise
the squeezing of the womb-machine. -46-

As for those who are surrounded

by evil, swimming in their taste for
pleasures, they're worms burrowing in
their own mother's shit, —not something
to sing about, those foul fellows. 47

Now pay attention. Next after what I have told so far, Scion of Raghu the Swift!, in
this vast expanse of Jnana Wisdom, is the quintessence of Intellect. 48

Now you will hear the Method, hear it as it has been heard, and the manner in which
it is to be studied, and some Definitions. -49-
"Something by means of which, when where there is a lack of experience, there is
a perception useful for understanding, a fruitful help to experience,"—that's how the
wise define an Example — 50

Without an Example, Rama,

a formerly unknown meaning
is easily misunderstood;
just as, without a lamp at night,
there can be mischief in a house. -51-

By whatever examples, o Scion of the Bullrider, you gain understanding by me,

though each has its causality, all lead to a noncausal Suchness. -52-
The objects and subjects of comparison appear as if cause and effect. Barring the
supreme Brahman Immensity, everything can be understood this way. 53
In the Brahman-Teaching, any Example such as I relate to you, as having a
ground and similar qualities, should be considered in that light. -54-

When something is given as an

Example for understanding
the Thatness, it should be known as
within this dream-born world-journey. 55

"So, how can the Brahman Immensity, as formless Suchness, be said to have
form?"— in dream there don't arise such fool questions. -56-
By showing that an Example is unproved or contradictory, it is seen that the world,
seen as a dream, does not arise at all. -57-
The insubstantiality of past and future—when discerned in the present—whether
waking or dreaming—we've known since childhood. 58
Whether this world-as-dream meditation be curse or cure is made
clear by means of Examples that show the That-formness of the world. 59

The Freedom-Method presented in a text-book—well, others also have made similar

books. This is only one, with a unique basis for understanding all that is worth
understanding; -60- for the dream-likeness of the world is taught in shruti and
The tale is not told quickly and must be told in proper order. -61-
The comparison of a dream-city, or one seen in meditation, or the like, is only
an illustrative example, being preferred to some other. 62

When something causal is compared

with the causeless, there is not there
identity of nature. So
we have recourse to Simile. -63-

Between the subject of comparison and the object of comparison, there is a single
light, a common dharma, which they share. And this is their agreement, in the
opinion of the wise. -64-
For the purpose of perceiving something, except for the light of a sensible lamp,
indeed, not the lampstand nor the oil nor wick are to be considered at all. 65
Because of their similar grounds, we recognize the Subject of Comparison as a
likeness with the Object compared: e.g., a 'light' that's cast upon a special meaning
of a word, and the luminous glory of this poem. 66

Knowledge of the knowable thing may be grasped by only some special feature of
an Example. This is good when it leads to conviction about some Great Maxim. 67
It avoids false reasoning, which corrupts our understanding with what are
contradictory to what we know, false imaginings. -68-

After Enquiry, what's opposed to experience,

though clearly expressed in words, and though it is followed
by us or others, even if said by a woman,
if it departs from the highest Vedic Truth, it is
a babble of words and not according to scripture. 69

We have accumulated in the mind, and here also,

the great pronouncements and statements of the Shastras. We have
discovered that those Shastras which deal with the Great Maxims
are worth devoted study. And here is the evidence. -70-



The correspondence of some common aspect between two things is

the substance of a Simile. Identities can't be compared. -1-

It is by means of Examples
we come to understanding of
the Self=Wisdom taught by the Great
Maxims*, the Peace called Nirvana. 2

* The Maha-vakyas, such as <tattvamasi> or <oM tat sat>.

Whatever notion is discerned by such exemplification,

the connection is to be seen in the light of the Great Maxims. 3

Know Peace to be the highest good.

Make every effort to enter it.
When such a feast is to be had,
what need to seek the recipe? -4-

For the sake of understanding, the causeless is compared with the causal, subject
with object, by a likeness on a common ground. -5-

A person given to pleasure,

devoid of Self-discernment, is
no better than a fat blind frog,
born in the depths of a stone well. -6-

It is by means of Examples, and Personal Effort, that the Supreme State is to be

won. A person given to Enquiry will thus be endowed with the Peace that is taught
in the Shastras. -7-
Study of the Shastras, virtue, intelligence, wise company—these activities
variously promote the Personal Goals. -8-

So long as the Intelligence

makes Enquiry, there is repose
in Self, leading to the changeless,
the Peace that they call the "Fourth State". 9

One in the Fourth State of Repose

transcends the Ocean of Being.
He may be active as a house-
holder, or silent as a monk. -10-

Without regard to religious duties, without debating Scripture or philosophy, he's

the Ocean, when at rest, before the gods churned it:—his state is whatever state
comes to him. -11-

It is by useful similes,
comparison on common ground,
that what is to be known is known.
Bodha-beaking* is not the way. -12-
* <bodha-caJcu>, a difficult term to translate. "Nitpicking" might also serve. It also suggests indiscriminate
Although by some whatever means
the understandable should be
understood by them, it's not seen
by the bewildered Bodha-beaks. -13-

One who does not see the worth

of Awareness in the Heart-space,
repose in Self-experience—
he may be called a Bodha-beak. 14

By his imaginings, a fool

fancies himself intelligent,
clouding his own understanding
as a raincloud darkens the sky. -15-

The basis of every sort of proof—as the sea is the source of the waters—the sole
Pramana Evidence treated here is Pratyaksha Witness, as you shall hear. -16-
The all-seeing essence, the witnessing Percipience, is what the highest thinkers
know; in fact, establishment in that understanding is known as That-witness. -17-

That which has the experience,

sensation, and conviction of
things as the witness,—that is known
by us as the Living Jiva. -18-

That is Samvit Awareness; that is Puman Humanity; that is the gist of I-ness:—that
understanding by which it arises is called Padartha Meaning. -19-

By means of Samkalpa concepts

and Vikalpa fancies all of
the various delusions of
this world are manifest, just as
water is seen within its waves. -20-

It comes indeed without any prior cause, from the creative origin by creative play,
emanating causal being as its own witness in the self. -21-
And so the unSuch, in the non-enquiring living Jiva, seems to be Such, and the
world-form assumes materiality. -22-

When, through enquiry, one brings to

an end the very body in
which he arose, then he acts as
the witnessing supreme greatness. -23-

Having thus made his Enquiry, directing his analysis to the Self, then only the
indescribable supreme remains. -24-
When the mind is dispassionate, at peace, by its own internal instruments no
purpose at all is done–neither indeed is it undone through lack of intention. -25-

When the mind is dispassionate,

at peace, the action-organs cease
to follow the karmic process,—
a wheel that slows and stops spinning. 26

The Mind-machine vibrates, the cause

of its actions is Vedana
Percipience. It's just like a
puppet ram butting its head, by
the intervention of a string. -27-
The multitude of forms and sights that make our thoughts, Percipience,
are called "the world", exactly as vibrant motion is called "the wind". -28-

The pure realization of all-Self arises as the manifesting of That. It appears

as the outward embodiment of what's inward, in space and time. -29-

Whatever is perceived as a perceptual appearance and

abides as identity, is just That manifesting as Form. -30-

The Self of All arises and sports in splendor. Just as it shines,

so it appears: taking a form, so it manifests everything. 31
Out of this All-Self the Perceiver connects with the Perceptions:
but such Perception is merely the Perceiver: it is not real. -32-

There is not any cause at all for the Brahman to manifest.

Perception is the producer and not the proof of what we see. -33-

Let those who are devotees of 'Daiva Fate' ,

cast this notion away, and take to hard work.
Sadhu, only by heroic personal
effort this High State is at last won within. -34-

By Enquiry into this teaching, passed down

from age to age, with your own clear and cool mind,
with your own unclouded Buddhi Intellect,
you will at last attain that infinite form. -35-



With Good Company and the like,

there is growth of Intelligence,
and out of this comes Greatness, with
the qualities that come with it. -1-

Whatever virtue a person excels in, that is the virtue

that he should cultivate, and thus the Intellect will grow. -2-

O this Great-Personhood brings Peace and other blessings; but, Rama,

without Unitive Consciousness, there's no Siddhi Empowerment. 3

From Wisdom, praiseworthy virtues

like Peace spring up, and good conduct
is like an inner rain that gives
nourishment to the seedling plant. -4-
By means of virtues such as Peace,
there is growth of highest Wisdom;
as by the sacrifice of rice
there comes an abundance of rain. -5-

Virtues like Peace come with Wisdom;

Wisdom nourishes such Virtues:
the lotus beautifies the lake;
the lake glories in lotuses. -6-

Wisdom derives from Good Conduct;

Good Conduct from Wisdom. And so
the two mutually increase.
Such are Wisdom and Good Conduct. -7-

A wise person possessed of peace,

intelligence, and the like, who
seeks his Life Goals, should practise both
of these, Wisdom and Good Conduct. 8

For both of these, my boy, must be

practised together equally,
Wisdom and Good Conduct, both, or
there can be no Empowerment. -9-

It's like a girl in a rice-field

who sings and claps her hands to drive
away the circling birds, whereby
she manifests the joy of song. -10-

By Wisdom and good conduct, thus equally, by the nonDoer in the guise of a Doer,
desirelessly, That State is got. -11-

Darling of the Raghus, I have explained to you the practice of

good conduct. Now I will teach you the practice of Jnana Wisdom. -12-

This teaching brings glory, long life,

and all the goals of life, and should
be heard from those who are adept
in it by one who would be wise. -13-

Hearing this, Buddhi Intellect is purified, and you attain

That State, just as the Kataka cleansing nut purifies water. -14-

Knowing the knowable, the Muni's mind, free from

subjection, comes at last to that supreme, endless,
highest state which, realized, by the force of that
realization, is not again forsaken. -15-

[Working Notes with literal translation, and Harvard-Kyoto transliteration of the Sanskrit, with Devanagari
text, can be found in the PAGES section. If no Glossary is appended, an excellent Sanskrit-English
Dictionary is available at ]
सससससस सससस सससस ससस-ससससस सससस सससस ।
सससससस सससस सससससस ससस सस सससस ससससस [सस]

=saMtoSaH paramo lAbhaH sat-saGgaH paramA gatiH |

=vicAraH paramaM jJAnaM zamo hi paramaM sukham [19]

Contentment is the highest gain, Good Company the highest course,

Enquiry the highest wisdom, and Peace the highest enjoyment. y2.016.019

[End of Book 2: The Conduct of the Mumukshu Freedom-Seeker]

[End of Book 1-2]