Vivekachudamani (part 5)
Sankaracharya, Translated by Swami Madhavananda
Published by Advaita Ashram, Kolkatta
401. In the One Entity which is changeless, formless and Absolute, and which is perfectly all-pervading and motionless like the ocean after the dissolution of the universe, whence can there be any diversity ?
402. Where the root of delusion is dissolved like darkness in light - in the supreme Reality, the One without a second, the Absolute - whence can there be any diversity ?
403. How can the talk of diversity apply to the Supreme Reality which is one and homogeneous ? Who has ever observed diversity in the unmixed bliss of the state of profound sleep ?
404. Even before the realisation of the highest Truth, the universe does not exist in the Absolute Brahman, the Essence of Existence. In none of the three states of time is the snake ever observed in the rope, nor a drop of water in the mirage.
405. The Shrutis themselves declare that this dualistic universe is but a delusion from the standpoint of Absolute Truth. This is also experienced in the state of dreamless sleep.
406. That which is superimposed upon something else is observed by the wise to be identical with the substratum, as in the case of the rope appearing as the snake. The apparent difference depends solely on error.
407. This apparent universe has its root in the mind, and never persists after the mind is annihilated. Therefore dissolve the mind by concentrating it on the Supreme Self, which is thy inmost Essence.
408. The wise man realises in his heart, through Samadhi, the Infinite Brahman, which is something of the nature of eternal Knowledge and absolute Bliss, which has no exemplar, which transcends all limitations, is ever free and without activity, and which is like the limitless sky, indivisible and absolute.
409. The wise man realises in his heart, through Samadhi, the Infinite Brahman, which is devoid of the ideas of cause and effect, which is the Reality beyond all imaginations, homogeneous, matchless, beyond the range of proofs, established by the pronouncements of the Vedas, and ever familiar to us as the sense of the ego.
410. The wise man realises in his heart, through Samadhi, the Infinite Brahman, which is undecaying and immortal, the positive Entity which precludes all negations, which resembles the placid ocean and is without a name, in which there are neither merits nor demerits, and which is eternal, pacified and One.
411. With the mind restrained in Samadhi, behold in thy self the Atman, of infinite glory, cut off thy bondage strengthened by the impressions of previous births, and carefully attain the consummation of thy birth as a human being.
412. Meditate on the Atman, which resides in thee, which is devoid of all limiting adjuncts, the Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute, the One without a second, and thou shalt no more come under the round of births and deaths.
413. After the body has once been cast off to a distance like a corpse, the sage never more attaches himself to it, though it is visible as an appearance, like the shadow of a man, owing to the experience of the effects of past deeds.
414. Realising the Atman, the eternal, pure Knowledge and Bliss, throw far away this limitation of a body, which is inert and filthy by nature. Then remember it no more, for something that has been vomited excites but disgust when called in memory.
415. Burning all this, with its very root, in the fire of Brahman, the Eternal and Absolute Self, the truly wise man thereafter remains alone, as the Atman, the eternal, pure Knowledge and Bliss.
416. The knower of Truth does no more care whether this body, spun out by the threads of Prarabdha work, falls or remains - like the garland on a cow - for his mind-functions are at rest in the Brahman, the Essence of Bliss.
417. Realising the Atman, the Infinite Bliss, as his very Self, with what object, or for whom, should the knower of Truth cherish the body.
418. The Yogi who has attained perfection and is liberated-in-life gets this as result - he enjoys eternal Bliss in his mind, internally as well as externally.
419. The result of dispassion is knowledge, that of Knowledge is withdrawal from sense-pleasures, which leads to the experience of the Bliss of the Self, whence follows Peace.
420. If there is an absence of the succeeding stages, the preceding ones are futile. (When the series is perfect) the cessation of the objective world, extreme satisfaction, and matchless bliss follow as a matter of course.
421. Being unruffled by earthly troubles is the result in question of knowledge. How can a man who did various loathsome deeds during the state of delusion, commit the same afterwards, possessed of discrimination ?
422. The result of knowledge should be the turning away from unreal things, while attachment to these is the result of ignorance. This is observed in the case of one who knows a mirage and things of that sort, and one who does not. Otherwise, what other tangible result do the knowers of Brahman obtain ?
423. If the heart's knot of ignorance is totally destroyed, what natural cause can there be for inducing such a man to selfish action, for he is averse to sense-pleasures ?
424. When the sense-objects excite no more desire, then is the culmination of dispassion. The extreme perfection of knowledge is the absence of any impulsion of the egoistic idea. And the limit of self-withdrawal is reached when the mind-functions that have been merged, appear no more.
425. Freed from all sense of reality of the external sense-objects on account of his always remaining merged in Brahman; only seeming to enjoy such sense-objects as are offered by others, like one sleepy, or like a child; beholding this world as one seen in dreams, and having cognition of it at chance moments - rare indeed is such a man, the enjoyer of the fruits of endless merit, and he alone is blessed and esteemed on earth.
426. That Sannyasin has got a steady illumination who, having his soul wholly merged in Brahman, enjoys eternal bliss, is changeless and free from activity.
427. That kind of mental function which cognises only the identity of the Self and Brahman, purified of all adjuncts, which is free from duality, and which concerns itself only with Pure Intelligence, is called illumination. He who has this perfectly steady is called a man of steady illumination.
428. He whose illumination is steady, who has constant bliss, and who has almost forgotten the phenomenal universe, is accepted as a man liberated in this very life.
429. He who, even having his mind merged in Brahman, is nevertheless quite alert, but free at the same time from the characteristics of the waking state, and whose realisation is free from desires, is accepted as a man liberated-in-life.
430. He whose cares about the phenomenal state have been appeased, who, though possessed of a body consisting of parts, is yet devoid of parts, and whose mind is free from anxiety, is accepted as a man liberated-in-life.
431. The absence of the ideas of "I" and "mine" even in this existing body which follows as a shadow, is a characteristic of one liberated-in-life.
432. Not dwelling on enjoyments of the past, taking no thought for the future and looking with indifference upon the present, are characteristics of one liberated-in-life.
433. Looking everywhere with an eye of equality in this world, full of elements possessing merits and demerits, and distinct by nature from one another, is a characteristic of one liberated-in-life.
434. When things pleasant or painful present themselves, to remain unruffled in mind in both cases, through the sameness of attitude, is a characteristic of one liberated-in-life.
435. The absence of all ideas of interior or exterior in the case of a Sannyasin, owing to his mind being engrossed in tasting the bliss of Brahman, is a characteristic of one liberated-in-life.
436. He who lives unconcerned, devoid of all ideas of "I" and "mine" with regard to the body, organs, etc., as well as to his duties, is known as a man liberated-in-life.
437. He who has realised his Brahmanhood aided by the Scriptures, and is free from the bondage of transmigration, is known as a man liberated-in-life.
438. He who never has the idea of "I" with regard to the body, organs, etc., nor that of "it" in respect of things other than these, is accepted as one liberated-in-life.
439. He who through his illumination never differentiates the Jiva and Brahman, nor the universe and Brahman, is known as a man liberated-in-life.
440. He who feels just the same when his body is either worshipped by the good or tormented by the wicked, is known as a man liberated-in-life.
441. The Sannyasin in whom the sense-objects directed by others are engulfed like flowing rivers in the sea and produce no change, owing to his identity with the Existence Absolute, is indeed liberated.
442. For one who has realised the Truth of Brahman, there is no more attachment to the sense-objects as before: If there is, that man has not realised his identity with Brahman, but is one whose senses are outgoing in their tendency.
443. If it be urged that he is still attached to the sense-objects through the momentum of his old desires, the reply is - no, for desires get weakened through the realisation of one's identity with Brahman.
444. The propensities of even a confirmed libertine are checked in the presence of his mother; just so, when Brahman, the Bliss Absolute, has been realised, the man of realisation has no longer any worldly tendency.
445. One who is constantly practising meditation is observed to have external perceptions. The Shrutis mention Prarabdha work in the case of such a man, and we can infer this from results actually seen.
446. Prarabdha work is acknowledged to persist so long as there is the perception of happiness and the like. Every result is preceded by an action, and nowhere is it seen to accrue independently of action.
447. Through the realisation of one's identity with Brahman, all the accumulated actions of a hundred crore of cycles come to nought, like the actions of dream-state on awakening.
448. Can the good actions or dreadful sins that a man fancies himself doing in the dream-state, lead him to heaven or hell after he has awakened from sleep ?
449. Realising the Atman, which is unattached and indifferent like the sky, the aspirant is never touched in the least by actions yet to be done.
450. The sky is not affected by the smell of liquor merely through its connection with the jar; similarly, the Atman is not, through Its connection with the limitations, affected by the properties thereof.
451. The work which has fashioned this body prior to the dawning of knowledge, is not destroyed by that knowledge without yielding its fruits, like the arrow shot at an object.
452. The arrow which is shot at an object with the idea that it is a tiger, does not, when that object is perceived to be a cow, check itself, but pierces the object with full force.
453. Prarabdha work is certainly very strong for the man of realisation, and is spent only by the actual experience of its fruit; while the actions previously accumulated and those yet to come are destroyed by the fire of perfect knowledge. But none of the three at all affects those who, realising their identity with Brahman, are always living absorbed in that idea. They are verily the transcendent Brahman.
454. For the sage who lives in his own Self as Brahman, the One without a second, devoid of identification with the limiting adjuncts, the question of the existence of Prarabdha work is meaningless, like the question of a man who has awakened from sleep having any connection with the objects seen in the dream-state.
455. The man who has awakened from sleep never has any idea of "I" or "mine" with regard to his dream-body and the dream-objects that ministered to that body, but lives quite awake, as his own Self.
456. He has no desire to substantiate the unreal objects, nor is he seen to maintain that dream-world. If he still clings to those unreal objects, he is emphatically declared to be not yet free from sleep.
457. Similarly, he who is absorbed in Brahman lives identified with that eternal Reality and beholds nothing else. As one has a memory of the objects seen in a dream, so the man of realisation has a memory of the everyday actions such as eating.
458. The body has been fashioned by Karma, so one may imagine Prarabdha work with reference to it. But it is not reasonable to attribute the same to the Atman, for the Atman is never the outcome of work.
459. The Shrutis, whose words are infallible, declare the Atman to be "birthless, eternal and undecaying". So, the man who lives identified with That, how can Prarabdha work be attributed ?
460. Prarabdha work can be maintained only so long as one lives identified with the body. But no one admits that the man of realisation ever identifies himself with the body. Hence Prarabdha work should be rejected in his case.
461. The attributing of Prarabdha work to the body even is certainly an error. How can something that is superimposed (on another) have any existence, and how can that which is unreal have a birth ? And how can that which has not been born at all, die ? So how can Prarabdha work exist for something that is unreal ?
462-463. "If the effects of ignorance are destroyed with their root by knowledge, then how does the body live?" - it is to convince those fools who entertain a doubt like this, that the Shrutis, from a relative standpoint, hypothesise Prarabdha work, but not for proving the reality of the body etc., of the man of realisation.
464. There is only Brahman, the One without a second, infinite, without beginning or end, transcendent and changeless; there is no duality whatsoever in It.
465. There is only Brahman, the One without a second, the Essence of Existence, Knowledge and Eternal Bliss, and devoid of activity; there is no duality whatsoever in It.
466. There is only Brahman, the One without a second, which is within all, homogeneous, infinite, endless, and all-pervading; there is no duality whatsoever in It.
467. There is only Brahman, the One without a second, which is neither to be shunned nor taken up nor accepted, and which is without any support, there is no duality whatsoever in It.
468. There is only Brahman, the One without a second, beyond attributes, without parts, subtle, absolute and taintless; there is no duality whatsoever in It.
469. There is only Brahman, the One without a second, whose real nature is incomprehensible, and which is beyond the range of mind and speech; there is no duality whatsoever in It.
470. There is only Brahman, the One without a second, the Reality, the One without a second, the Reality, effulgent, self-existent, pure, intelligent, and unlike anything finite; there is no duality whatsoever in It.
471. High-souled Sannyasins who have got rid of all attachment and discarded all sense-enjoyments, and who are serene and perfectly restrained, realise this Supreme Truth and at the end attain the Supreme Bliss through their Self-realisation.
472. Thou, too, discriminate this Supreme Truth, the real nature of the Self, which is Bliss undiluted, and shaking off thy delusion created by thy own mind, be free and illumined, and attain the consummation of thy life.
473. Through the Samadhi in which the mind has been perfectly stilled, visualise the Truth of the Self with the eye of clear realisation. If the meaning of the (Scriptural) words heard from the Guru is perfectly and indubitably discerned, then it can lead to no more doubt.
474. In the realisation of the Atman, the Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute, through the breaking of one's connection with the bondage of Avidya or ignorance, the Scriptures, reasoning and the words of the Guru are the proofs, while one's own experience earned by concentrating the mind is another proof.
475. Bondage, liberation, satisfaction, anxiety, recovery from illness, hunger and other such things are known only to the man concerned, and knowledge of these to others is a mere inference.
476. The Gurus as well as the Shrutis instruct the disciple, standing aloof; while the man of realisation crosses (Avidya) through Illumination alone, backed by the grace of God.
477. Himself knowing his indivisible Self through his own realisation and thus becoming perfect, a man should stand face to face with the Atman, with his mind free from dualistic ideas.
478. The verdict of all discussions on the Vedanta is that the Jiva and the whole universe are nothing but Brahman, and that liberation means abiding in Brahman, the indivisible Entity. While the Shrutis themselves are authority (for the statement) that Brahman is One without a second.
479. Realising, at a blessed moment, the Supreme Truth through the above instructions of the Guru, the authority of the Scriptures and his own reasoning, with his senses quieted and the mind concentrated, (the disciple) became immovable in form and perfectly established in the Atman.
480. Concentrating the mind for some time on the Supreme Brahman, he rose, and out of supreme bliss spoke as follows.
481. My mind has vanished, and all its activities have melted, by realising the identity of the Self and Brahman; I do not know either this or not-this; nor what or how much the boundless Bliss (of Samadhi) is !
482. The majesty of the ocean of Supreme Brahman, replete with the swell of the nectar-like Bliss of the Self, is verily impossible to express in speech, nor can it be conceived by the mind - in an infinitesimal fraction of which my mind melted like a hailstone getting merged in the ocean, and is now satisfied with that Essence of Bliss.
483. Where is the universe gone, by whom is it removed, and where is it merged ? It was just now seen by me, and has it ceased to exist ? It is passing strange !
484. In the ocean of Brahman filled with the nectar of Absolute Bliss, what is to be shunned and what accepted, what is other (than oneself) and what different ?
485. I neither see nor hear nor know anything in this. I simply exist as the Self, the eternal Bliss, distinct from everything else.
486. Repeated salutations to thee, O noble Teacher, who art devoid of attachment, the best among the good souls and the embodiment of the essence of Eternal Bliss, the One without a second - who art infinite and ever the boundless ocean of mercy:
487. Whose glance, like the shower of concentrated moonbeams, has removed my exhaustion brought on by the afflictions of the world, and in a moment admitted me to the undecaying status of the Atman, the Bliss of infinite majesty !
488. Blessed am I; I have attained the consummation of my life, and am free from the clutches of transmigration; I am the Essence of Eternal Bliss, I am infinite - all through thy mercy !
489. I am unattached, I am disembodied, I am free from the subtle body, and undecaying, I am serene, I am infinite, I am taintless and eternal.
490. I am not the doer, I am not the experiencer, I am changeless and beyond activity; I am the essence of Pure Knowledge; I am Absolute and identified with Eternal Good.
491. I am indeed different from the seer, listener, speaker, doer and experiencer; I am the essence of Knowledge, eternal, without any break, beyond activity, limitless, unattached and infinite.
492. I am neither, this nor that, but the Supreme, the illuminer of both; I am indeed Brahman, the One without a second, pure, devoid of interior or exterior and infinite.
493. I am indeed Brahman, the One without a second, matchless, the Reality that has no beginning, beyond such imagination as thou or I, or this or that, the Essence of Eternal Bliss, the Truth.
494. I am Narayana, the slayer of Naraka; I am the destroyer of Tripura, the Supreme Being, the Ruler; I am knowledge Absolute, the Witness of everything; I have no other Ruler but myself, I am devoid of the ideas of "I' and "mine".
495. I alone reside as knowledge in all beings, being their internal and external support. I myself am the experiencer and all that is experienced - whatever I looked upon as "this" or the not-Self previously.
496. In me, the ocean of Infinite Bliss, the waves of the universe are created and destroyed by the playing of the wind of Maya.
497. Such ideas as gross (or subtle) are erroneously imagined in me by people through the manifestation of things superimposed - just as in the indivisible and absolute time, cycles, years, half-years, seasons, etc., are imagined.
498. That which is superimposed by the grossly ignorant fools can never taint the substratum: The great rush of waters observed in a mirage never wets the desert tracts.
499. I am beyond contamination like the sky; I am distinct from things illumined, like the sun; I am always motionless like the mountain; I am limitless like the ocean.
500. I have no connection with the body, as the sky with clouds; so how can the states of wakefulness, dream and profound sleep, which are attributes of the body, affect me ?