"The very first step in understanding what this is all about is giving up the concept of an active, volitional 'I' as a separate entity and accepting the passive role of perceiving and functioning as a process." - Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Story of Vitahavya - 6

Sage Vasishtha

In the evening the sage once again entered the forest with which he was familiar, for the practice of intense meditation. He thought "I have already realized the falsity of the senses; any further enquiry concerning them will be a contradiction." Having abandoned all vain imagination ('this is' and 'this is not'), he sat in the lotus posture again and in him arose the knowledge 'I am established in the consciousness of total equanimity. Awake, I remain as if in sleep. Established in the transcendental state of consciousness, I shall continue to be, till the body drops away.'

Thus resolved, he meditated for six days, which passed as if in a moment. After that he lived a long time as a liberated sage. He was free from exultation and sorrow. At times, he would address his mind thus: 'O mind, look how blissful you are, now that you are in a balanced state! Remain like that all the time.'

He would address his senses as follows: 'O senses! The self does not belong to you, nor do you belong to the self. May you all perish! Your cravings have ceased. You will no longer be able to rule me. The error of your existence arose from ignorance of the self, even as the non-perception of the rope gives rise to the erroneous perception of a snake. All these errors exist in the darkness of non-wisdom and in the light of wisdom they vanish.

O senses! You are different from the self, the doer of actions is different from all these, the experiencer of experiences is again different and the infinite consciousness is again different from all these - what is whose error and how does it arise? It is like this: trees grow in the forest, ropes are made of other fibres with which the timber is bound together, the blacksmith fashions axe etc. With all these the carpenter builds a house for his own livelihood, not because he wants to build a house! Thus in this world all things happen independently of one another and their coincidence is accidental - like the ripe cocoanut falling coincidentally when a crow alights on it, making ignorant people feel that the crow dislodged the cocoanut. Who is to blame for all these? When this truth is known, error remains error, knowledge becomes clear knowledge, the real is real, the unreal is unreal, what has been destroyed is destroyed and what remains remains.'

Thus reflecting and established in this knowledge, the sage lived in this world for a very long time. He was established in that state which is totally free from ignorance and error, and which ensures that he would not be born again. Whenever there was contact with the objects of the sense, he resorted to the peace of contemplation and enjoyed the bliss of the self. His heart was free from attraction and aversion even when all manner of experiences came to him unsought.

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सर्वभूताधिवासं यद्भूतेषु च वसत्यपि।
सर्वानुग्राहकत्वेन तद्स्म्यहं वासुदेवः॥

That in whom reside all beings and who resides in all beings,
who is the giver of grace to all, the Supreme Soul of the universe, the limitless being:
I AM THAT. -- Amritabindu Upanishad