Home » 5.06 THE STORY OF UDDĀLAKA

« | Contents | »
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

LAGHU YOGA-VĀSIṢṬHA Chapter 5   UPAŚĀNTI PRAKARAṆA

5.6    THE STORY OF UDDĀLAKA

 

Summary. Having shown in the previous story that if Brahman, which enables one to visit personally Māyā of the nature of mind, be visited, then all ideas of the universe vanish, the author narrates the present story to illustrate that this degreeless bliss arises through Samādhi consequent upon Ātmic enquiry.

 

Thus you will find that Māyā pervades everywhere, hard to be mastered; and generating different degrees of illusions high and low, has as its substratum Parabrahm. Therefore I have to declare to you that whoever is not always in the Brahmic Reality, will be drowned by the Guṇas[1] of Māyā into pains which are ever seething like the billows of an ocean.

 

I solemnly affirm that the cruel disease can be removed only through the divine panacea of the mind-mastery and not through any other means. Oh, Rāma, the wise will perform duly all actions arising, out of their castes and orders of life, every moment of their lives during their present period, but will never concern themselves with actions, past or future. If every moment of your life you try to abandon all Saṁkalpas, desires and past actions, then this itself is called the absorption of the mind. That Jñāna which is associated with the destruction of the mind is the Jñāna of the partless Pratyagātman. Such a Jñāna is without the mental modifications and being, It is without the Vikalpa of the mind.

 

Total freedom from the bondage of Manas leads to the unveiled cognition of truth, the auspicious (or Śiva,) the Brahmic state, the omniscient, the all-full bliss which is stainless. May you, my child, after destroying Ajñāna, associate your mind in the wise Ātma-jñāna books with a true exultation of heart and a certitude of conviction; and live with bliss without any care or worry as the Absolute Consciousness itself, though ever engaged in all actions such as talking, renouncing or taking to, opening or shutting the eyelids and others. May you live in your Ātmic Reality as Brahman itself, severing mentally all your connexion with the visible things, purging your mind of all stains and destroying the weeds of bondage-giving desires. May you live as Brahman itself, the quintessence of all Jñāna without being invaded by love or hatred producing fluctuation of mind or by the poisonous pest of desires for objects, pleasurable or otherwise. May you, O Rāma live immutably as the absolute Sat and Chit by attaining quiescence through the meditation that there is non-dual Parabrahm alone without the countless conceptions of ‘I’, ‘he’, ‘it’ and other diversities. May you cognize personally that non-dual state of Ātma-jñāna like an adamantine pillar denuded of all conceptions of duality or meum and tuum. The moment you rest in that stainless and all-full Jñāna without any conception of separate existence, that moment will all conceptions of duality, the root of all delusions of rebirth, be effaced off your mind. If you cognize personally that real state yielding the blissful essence, then even the rare Ambrosia will be to you tantamount to a fatal poison. If you allow your (lower) mind to get pampered (with earthly things), then the never-drooping true Jñāna will recede to a great distance from you. Will the full-moon appear visibly to us, when dark clouds intervene between it and our eyes? So long as there is the centering of affection on this body which is non-Ātma and the mistaken identification of it with Ātma, so long will the mind grow fatter and fatter in its association with the Saṁsāra of wife, children, etc. The mind waxes stronger and stronger also through its egoistic sports (or actions) and the dualities of conception arising through Ahaṁkāra. O my son Rāghava, with every birth, the mind grows through the mental disease (of objects) getting more and more prevalent in it and the consequent tenacity of mundane existence and efforts directed towards the gain or loss of objects in the same. Of course, when women, wealth, gems, and other objects are longed after and acquired, such gain or the greed arising out of the gain produces for the time being pleasure and seems to be productive of good to him. But such good tends only to glut the mind. Having quaffed the milk of vicious desires, this serpent of mind will be invigorated and crawl about everywhere, breathing the atmosphere of the long standing enjoyments. Now Rāma, attend to what I say. Like Muni Uddālaka of old, having pulverized all the five Bhūtas (elements), thou shalt set about enquiring through thy non-painful mind.

 

At which Śrī Rāma asked Vasiṣṭha thus: “How did Muni Uddālaka, manage to destroy the five Bhūtas (elements) and to introspect within himself?”

 

Vasiṣṭha replied: “Through Ātmic enquiry, Oh graceful Rāma, did Muni Uddālaka conquer the five Bhūtas and reach Brahman, the non-dual state. His story I shall now proceed to relate. This Muni lived on the slopes of the Gandhamādana hills teeming with forests of flower-bunches redolent of camphor. He was a stainless Muni of great intelligence and enquiring spirit. But he had not yet reached that quiescent Plenum in which all pains are destroyed, though he had purged his mind free of all impurities. With the following of a virtuous course, the due performance of a Niṣkāma Tapas (or a Tapas without the longing after fruits), a right understanding of the significance of the spiritual books and a proper observance of Yama[2] and Niyama, an unsullied discrimination set in upon Uddālaka’s mind and he began to meditate thus:

 

‘What is that state which is the safe asylum without pains? What is that imperishable state without the pang of rebirths? Is it not this, that above all should be soon sought after? When shall I be able to secure and rest for a long time in that non-dual immaculate Brahmic state without any Saṁkalpa of the mind, like clouds in the top of Mahāmeru? When shall I be able to rid my mind of the wealth of material enjoyments, which mind after having exhausted one, yet craves for another in an agitated state? When shall I be able to cross, through the instrumentality of the vessel of my intelligence, this ocean of my desires with its seething billows of the mind with its egoism? I shall therefore ever exult in the state of the Light within my heart without actions or inactions, attractions or repulsions towards objects. I shall therefore remain in Nirvikalpa Samādhi as immovable as a rock in the caves of a mountain, having merged in Ātma without any Saṁkalpas. When shall I, through my one-pointed and deep concentrated Dhyāna (meditation), become oblivious of a bevy of birds building their nests on my head with the hair on it and inhabiting it?’ Thus did Uddālaka contemplate in his mind and be coming ecstatic within, resolved upon the mastery of Brahmā Dhyāna. But the monkey of his mind perched speedily from one branch to another of sensual objects; and therefore he was not able to master Samādhi which lands one in the ecstatic realm of Reality. In forests, he roamed without any settled mind: at another time being freed from all external vision, his mischievous mind went into Samādhi with great difficulty. Thus was he whirling his days in various ways in the mountains. That cave[3] in which no creature exists and which is hard to be reached by all is called the state of Mokṣa. Into such a cave did the Muni enter alone; and having spread a deerskin on the sylvan bower leaves and having through his discriminative mind lessened the actions of his mind, he began to contemplate like Buddha. With his face towards the north, he seated himself in Padma posture and saluted Brahman; and having concentrated his mind whirling through Vāsanās, began to meditate thus, in order to develop Nirvikalpa Samādhi:

 

‘Oh, my ignorant mind, of what avail are all your illusory lives? Will the wise ever involve themselves in actions generating pains? Those who, not caring for the insatiable nectar of quiescence, long for material objects, resemble persons who give up an heavenly garden of Kalpa trees breathing good fragrance in favor of a poisonous and hot oasis. Whether Brahmā-loka or Pātāla loka is reached by one, he will never be able to attain Nirvāṇic bliss without this supreme nectar of quiescence. All these vain actions which are of the nature of the mind within, are productive of intense pains and are never pleasurable. Oh ignorant and idiotic mind of mine which squats like a toad in sound and other properties, why dost thou reel in vain ceaselessly? Why hast thou subjected thyself to pleasures or pains? Why is it, thou art not able to immutably fix thyself in the ever nectar-like equilibrated state of quiescence? Oh my ever-expanding foolish mind, do not die. like the deer (Kuraṅga)[4], through associating thyself with sound, the property of the organ of hearing. Neither shouldst thou subject thyself to pains by running after the property of touch arising from the skin, like a male elephant going in amorous quest after its consort. Nor shouldst thou, O mind, associating thyself with form, the property of the eye, singe thyself to death, like a moth in the light of a lamp. Nor shouldst thou, O mind, associating thyself with taste, the property of the tongue, perish like a fish caught by a bait. Nor shouldst thou, O mind, be bound by odor, like bees in quest of honey, through associating thyself with breath proceeding from the lotus-like heart. Hence the deer, elephant, moth, fishes, and bees (which here do stand for the mind as compared above) do each die through sound, touch, form, taste and odor respectively. But if thou art afflicted with all the five combined together, then where is true bliss to thee? In order to bind thee, the Vāsanās are the woven net. Oh thou stainful mind, if these Vāsanās of objects are mastered, then thou hast scored a tremendous victory. What for do I address thee thus? In those wise persons in whom Ātma-jñāna enquiry is fully developed, there exists not the (lower) mind. How is it possible for the all-pervading eternal Jñāna, subtle as it is, to exist in the mind? Can an elephant enter a Bilva fruit? Notwithstanding the analysis and examination in diverse ways of this body from top to toe, ‘I’ does not pertain to this body. The ideation of I pervades every where. I shall look upon this universe as the supreme Jñāna itself, pervading all the quarters, being invisible with out fluctuation and self shining. In that Jñāna, I do not find names or forms, dualities or non-dualities, smallness or great ness or any other characteristics. As I am myself the true Jñāna, thou alone, Oh mind of mine, that hast generated all differences in this world art the cause of pains. I shall promptly destroy thee through the dint of Jñāna developed through discrimination. This thou shalt presently witness. How can I be the flesh, blood, bones, Prāṇa composed of Vāyu or any other thing pertaining to this body P In this body flesh, blood, bones and Karmendriyas (organs of action), Jñānendriyas (organs of sense), etc., are different and separate. While so, how can it be applied to them? How can ‘I’ be applied to the eyes, skin, fat ears, nose or the moist tongue? The ‘I’ is all-pervading ‘I’. Not even in the slightest degree can I exist in objects? This is the true vision (of knowledge). There is no other path; Oh ignorant and artful mind of mine, thou hast beguiled and intimidated me in all manner of ways me who am the stainless Jñāna itself, like wild dogs frightening a cow’s calf. I have, through divine laws, now discovered that villain of Ajñāna who purloined out of my hands the Ātmic jewel. Never hereafter shall I have to do anything with him.

 

The five organs, though free from Vāsanās, do yet incline towards their respective external objects. The Vāsanās are not the cause of all the organs. Therefore, Oh ignorant five organs, if after purging the stains within you should perform all actions, no pains of any degree will begin to fix their habitation in you. Like a silk-worm which having spun a web out of its mouth dies in its meshes, thou, Oh child of the organs that play in all visible things, wilt share the same fate. Oh thou mind, the state of all Indriyas (organs), mayest thou cognize the Reality of Jñāna with the Indriyas perfectly under thy control. Mayest thou permanently attain Jñāna of non-dual Nirvāṇic bliss without any attractions (towards objects). Having without any the least stains given up all Vāsanās of ‘I’ which is attended by its poisonous disease of objects and having overcome rebirths through the means of the Mantra of non-desires, mayest thou, Oh mind, become of the nature of the Lord and reach that state from whence there is no return. I shall disport myself in this long Jñāna state, having disentangled myself from this forest of ‘I’, wherein Saṁkalpas are the trees and desires are the plants. Amusing myself according to my free will and pleasure, I have now reached the Brahmic state. I am alone. I am a victor. I have here become of the nature of Mokṣa. I am actionless, and differenceless. Spiritual illumination, excessive intelligence, Tattvic knowledge, Jñāna, the inseparable Satya, the noble bliss, quiescence, a true exultation in the performance of good Karmas, all-fullness, nobility, good qualities, an unveiled vision, a bountiful heart, an undiminished luster, the qualities leading to the oneness, fearlessness, homogeneity these are the virgins which though associating with the mind of myself that has attained its Ātmic Reality, do not agitate it.’

 

Then he began (to calm himself and) meditate powerfully through his all-pervading mind now brought into subjection without any fluctuation; seated in Padmāsana with his eyes partially opened like a half-blown lotus, this supreme personage uttered Prāṇava (Om) without any difficulty and with its appropriate high-sounding intonation. Then Muni Uddālaka who uttered Prāṇava of the nature of Jñāna began to cognize Brahman. But when he intoned the first part or akāra of Praṇava (Auṁ) which is of three mātras and raises one by itself without any support to the transcendental Jñāna that is all-pervading and stainless, all the noble Prāṇa-vāyus shone with effulgence in his body, producing and raising sound in it. Then did the process of Rechaka (expiration) arise in the whole body exhaling the Prāṇa-Vāyu without. Like Muni Agastya who sipped with one sip the whole ocean and rendered it void of water, his whole body was rendered void of Prāṇa-Vāyu which lifted itself up to the regions of Brahmākāśa of partless Jñāna essence. The great Agni of the heart (or Jñānāgni) pervaded the whole body and burnt it up (within). This is the first stage of Prāṇava. This stage of Rechaka shines or (arises) not through Haṭhayoga. For does not Haṭhayoga generate dire pains? Then in the equilibrated stage of the second, namely ukāra of the noble Prāṇava, the immoveable Kumbhaka (cessation of breath) was induced in the Prāṇa-Vāyus which pervaded the whole body, The non-agitated Prāṇa-Vāyus were then full both externally and internally, high and low and in the quarters and the Ākāśa, like bellows stuffed with air. In an instant, the Agni which burnt the body in the previous stage was now extinguished, like a flashing lightning. The body became snow white like the burnt white ashes, thereby revealing within it bones, muscles and other things in regular order. All the network of bones appeared in a regular gradation, as if sleeping in a bed of camphor. With Vāyu, these white ashes were raised up in the air and in a moment permeated the whole Ākāśa. All these collected themselves in one place like wintry clouds. Thus was the second stage of Prāṇava attained, wherein he was till his longed*for required time. This stage was developed not through Haṭhayoga; for does not Haṭhayoga generate endless pains? Then in the third quiescent stage of Prāṇava, viz., makāra, the Prāṇa-vāyus reached the stage called pūraka[5] on account of their pūrana (fullness). In that painless stage, all the Prāṇas entered the nectar of intelligence. All the Prāṇa-Vāyus which were cool, as if drenched in snow, became the Maṇḍala (sphere) of the moon in the midst of the Ākāśa, like the evaporated smoke in the atmosphere transmuted into the cool clouds. Then the Prāṇas laden with the nectary showers descended down from the Ākāśa and soaked the bodily ashes lying below. The strong resplendent body of Muni Uddālaka glowed like the form of Viṣṇu with the four arms and the luster of the moon stainless through the ambrosial draughts as of the divine Gaṅgā flowing from the head of Īśvara. All the Prāṇas saturated with nectar, permeated the whole body and saluting Kuṇḍalinī Śakti (in the navel), circumambulated it.

 

Thus did the Muni Uddālaka, seated in Padma posture, render his body proof against destruction: and then forcibly controlled his mind which whirled like an intoxicated bee. Preserving silence, he calculated the speed of the soft Prāṇas and Apanās and gradually controlled them. With great difficulty, he separated the Indriyas (organs) from the objects to which they clung He severed himself completely from all external objects. With a firm mind free from all attractions, he rendered non-existent all objects that arose in his mind through his firm vision. In order to prevent the exit of Prāṇa-Vāyu, he closed first the primal avenue and thereby all the nine avenues of the body just as a house, when its front gate is closed, prevents ingress into the minor gates within. Then he pinioned his mind in the supreme heart Ākāśa in a state verging upon death.

 

Having thus captured and stowed away his mind like a rutting elephant in a mountain pitfall, his mind became as clear as a placid sky and was devoid of all Vikalpas which are but the reflections (of the Truth) like a champion killing with his sword his foes who rise against him again and again, he destroyed, as they arose, all thoughts of objects. With the extinction of all Vikalpas, he destroyed through his discrimination that (mental) darkness which intervened between himself and the spiritual Sun in his heart as black as collyrium. With the internal disappearing, he saw before him a radiant light which the Muni tided over. In that stage, the mind of the Muni began to whirl and daze away as in the dead of night. This dizziness being over, void Ākāśa was known by him, and then came Moha (delusion). Even this Moha was dispelled off his mind by this Muni of blissful vision, like darkness disappearing at the approach of the sun in this world.

 

Passing thus through the stages of darkness, light, sleep, and Moha, the Muni at last reached the stage of Nirvikalpa Samādhi when his mind enjoyed quiescence for one moment (at least). With freedom from all pains, he attained the real Jñāna shining everywhere as all forms, like water which when clammed up fills up all the previously unfilled spots. Through long practice and cognition of his true Jñāna, his mind became of the nature of It, like gold converted into an ornament. Being deprived of its attributes of hardness, it became Chit (Consciousness) itself, like a pot amidst clay. Being divested of all visions of objects, it contained Consciousness proper, like an ocean in its ordinary equilibrated state without the disturbance of waves, etc. The Muni freed from all attractions towards objects, became of the nature of Prāṇākāśa pervading everywhere and being the substratum of all the mundane egg. He was drowned, as in an ocean of nectar, in the practical enjoyment of the great bliss where the seer alone exists without the visual or the sight. He reached that Jñāna-state which is above all and in which nothing but truth exists and became the ocean of eternal Jñāna and the all-pervading Absolute Consciousness. The swan (Haṁsa) of intelligence of this Brahmin began to disport itself in the permanent pool of spiritual bliss. Thus did the Muni enjoy himself in his Ātma, like a full-moon in an autumnal sky or a lamp shining in a still atmosphere or an ocean without waves or the form of a picture or a cloud pregnant (or laden) with water without showering its contents.

 

Perceiving the Muni in Brahmic state in this great world, Siddhas, Devas, and others began to encircle him. Deva ladies flocked to him in great numbers. Devendra offered to the Muni his Devaloka which the latter disdained to accept along with other objects offered him. The Muni was too deep-thoughted to succumb to the wily charms and amours of the celestial ladies, he being like an innocent lad to them. So being without the idea of sensual enjoyment, he shone resplendently in his house of bliss, like the sun in Uttarāyaṇa (northerly course) for a period of six months. Thus did the Muni rest in Jīvanmukti state, wherein the supreme Trinity, Devas, Siddhas and others abide which state is above all, being ever full and replete with bliss. This state can be stated to be both with full bliss and without it. Whether the wise rest in that Brahmic state for one moment or a hundred years, they will never afterwards long for the sight of objects which are the generators of rebirth. After six months, the Muni awoke from his Samādhi in which he discarded all longing for pleasures of Svargaloka (Devachan). Awaking he described the Siddha hosts before him, who eulogized him thus: ‘Please see this vehicle of ours. It will take thee up to Devaloka. Gladly mount it. In all the other worlds, there is no bliss to vie with that in Svargaloka. Thou wilt be able to enjoy, till a Kalpa’s end, all its fruits. Oh Lord, all thy Tapas is only for the attainment of Svargic bliss.’

 

Opening his eyelids, he took them to be great personages and paid them due respects; and then being one with an unwavering mind that neither longed after nor hated the Svarga pleasures, he asked the Devas to depart and was bent upon the performance of his own actions. Then the Siddhas too finding it useless to wait any longer in anticipation of Uddālaka’s mind returning to their Svarga pleasures, vanished off the scene. But the Muni enjoyed Nirvāṇic bliss as long as he willed, in this forest and amidst the company of the true devotees of the Lord. He would spend in one sitting days, months, and even years in deep Samādhi and then would wake up. From that time forward, he was ever engaged in Nirvikalpa Samādhi, when his mind reached the non-dual state. He was full everywhere, like the sun’s rays pervading the whole world. Through the long unintermittent practice of merging in the Chit-Sāmānya (or the one Universal Consciousness), he reached the Sattā-sāmānya (or the Universal Be-ness). Uddālaka who was thus unlike the sun in the month of Chaitra (April May) appearing and disappearing in this world, became of a quiescent mind through the attainment of Jīvanmukti state, and of the nature of Jñāna which is the one true Self-light without birth or doubts or stains, like a pure autumnal sky.”

 

Here Śrī Rāma interrupted Vasiṣṭha with the question “What is Sattā-Sāmānya?” To which Vasiṣṭha replied thus: “When one’s mind being denuded of all false thoughts, becomes of the nature of the all-pervading Chit-Sāmānya, and when all thoughts are lessened gradually, then this Chit-Sāmānya is itself Sattā-Sāmānya. When all the visible things vanish from one’s mind as unreal as the horns of a hare, and when Vṛtti-Jñāna (the actions of the lower mind) is merged into Ātmic Consciousness, then this Consciousness is itself Sattā-Sāmānya. When all external and internal objects as well as diverse things and bodies are annihilated (from the mind) and when the mind exists as Consciousness itself, then this Chit-Sāmānya is Sattā-Sāmānya. Without any thought of the visible things though they appear before him, if one dies (or withdraws himself) into Ātma like the head of a tortoise in its carapace, then such an ego is Sattā-Sāmānya. That supreme vision in which the transcendental Jīvanmuktas and Videhamuktas are, is the Sattā-Sāmānya. It is also termed the state of Turyātīta.[6] This divine vision arises in those who have developed Samādhi through knowledge and discrimination or arises voluntarily in persons through the memory of previous workings; but not in the case of the ignorant. Such a divine vision is inseparable from Jīvanmuktas like the wind and atmosphere or the earth and odor. It is this divine vision that the Trimurti and other Devas attained, as well as Ṛṣis Nārada, etc., myself and others. It is this Sattā-Sāmānya, the abode of the world that Uddālaka lived in, as long as he liked, free from all variegated states.

 

With the lapse of a long period, this Muni resolved upon becoming a Videhamukta and abandoning his body in the beautiful caves of Gandhamādana hills. So he seated him self again in the beneficent Padma posture. With his eye lids half open, he blocked the front gate of the body and thereby all its nine internal avenues. Then he reduced through his mind, organs and objects into one and meditated upon his all-full Jñāna as still as an ocean without waves, having previously controlled the speed of Prāṇa-Vāyu with his body and neck erect and thrust the tip of his tongue below the base of the uvula.[7] His face began to radiate with luster with his eye and mind diverted from all objects, external and internal, high and low, as well as the void Ākāśa. The speed of Prāṇa-vāyu being arrested with his two rows of teeth closely set, one over another, his body grew impregnated with Jñāna; and quite exhilarated with joy with his hairs standing on end in his body, he became through practice the Chit-Sāmānya itself, and through it, Brahmic bliss reigned in his mind. After quaffing fully the ocean of Brahmic bliss, he quitted the Chit-Sāmānya stale for Sattā-Sāmānya state which being itself infinite is the substratum of all. In which state he was completely quiescent and free from all the pains of mind. Through this grand bliss far above all measurable bliss, his face was blooming like a fresh lotus. Having reached the stainless state, his hair ceased to stand on ends in his body, his mind gradually melted away, all delusions of birth wore away little by little and he became pure Sattva itself. Like a statue and a full moon in a cloudless sky, he commingled for sometime in his Rea and at last became one with the Brahmic Light, like the verdure of the trees scorched by the rays of the sun.

 

  1. The three Guṇas of Māyā, being Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. [<<]
  2. Yama and Niyama or forbearance and religious observance are the two first parts of Yoga. [<<]
  3. Viz., the cave of the heart. [<<]
  4. Kuraṅga is also stated to he a species of bird attracted by and perishing through sound. [<<]
  5. Inspiration. [<<]
  6. Turyātīta. The state beyond the fourth state. [<<]
  7. This is called the Kecharī Mudrā. [<<]