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The Chapter on Liberation

From: Introduction:

This last section has 14 stories in it. The ego in this stage reaches the Turya or fourth state, after the developed one has crossed “the three Halls” and is able to have a commanding view of the lower stages. This Prakaraṇa begins with the story of Bhuśuṇḍa, the great Yogi. Bhuśuṇḍa, meaning a crow, typifies a great spiritual power existing from a very remote period through marvelous Yoga strength and, according to his own version, had witnessed Vasiṣṭhas born eight times, Hiraṅyakshas diving with the earth down into Pātāla thrice, Dakṣa, the Prājapati losing the sacrifice twice and other mysteries. Then comes the story of Deva-Pūjā. Here is stated the true rationale of the Pūjā or worship of God now conducted by the Hindus. All the form worships are intended for the men in the lower stages alone. Brahmā, Viṣṇu, Rudra, etc., are developed entities only. Jñāna alone is the true God and the flowers, etc., with which God has to be worshipped are equal vision over all, contentment of mind, spiritual wisdom, etc. Of course this is likely to disturb the equilibrium of our orthodox men; but facts cannot be gainsaid and should be given out. After some stories are passed, the story of Arjuna comes in where in Karmas are asked to be performed without caring for their fruits. But the best story of all in this Prakaraṇa is the story of Śikhidhvaja. Some years ago it came out in The Theosophist in a series of articles. The author impresses, through this story upon a disciple, the necessity of a Guru, an adept and not an ordinary teacher in order to lead him on into the higher pursuits of occult mysteries. Otherwise the disciple will only be, like the blind led by the blind. He is asked to place implicit faith in the words of such a Guru. The Master can truly impress his thoughts upon the student’s mind only when it is rendered passive to that of the teacher, otherwise no real progress in occultism in possible. But the Hindus of modern days have degraded it to such an extent as to exact the same kind of obedience from an ordinary student towards an ordinary teacher. Then some other points have also to be noticed in this story. True renunciation lies not in immuring oneself in a closet or going to a forest, but in performing one’s Karmas with a mental abnegation. One should neither court fresh Karmas nor shirk the old ones that are peculiarly his. This should be the position of a true Jñāni(n). True renunciation or Sannyāsa is finely illustrated in this story. King Śikhidhvaja after leaving his kingdom, retires into the forest. There his wife, herself an adept, visits him in her Māyāvi Rūpa or double, assuming a male physical form and passing by the name of Kumbha-Muni. When the king found that this supposed Muni was a personage of great powers, he took him up as his Guru; he consenting to the two conditions imposed upon him as in other cases of initiation, viz., implicit faith in, and acting up to, the words of the Guru and repeated efforts to be made for the entire control of the mind. Then the Muni remarks that the King’s pains were caused by want of true Sannyāsa or renunciation in him. The King replies that he gave up his kingdom, wealth, wife, etc., and retired into the forest and wishes to know if that is not true renunciation. No, the Muni replies. Then the King gives up his love for the forest in which he is and asks if that does not constitute true renunciation. Again did the same negative word come out of the lips of the Muni. Then the King consigns the bowl, cloth, etc., which alone he has, into the fire and wishes to know if that is not Sannyāsa. Again was the same negative reply given out. Then the King ruminates over his situation; it is sin on his part to gainsay his Master’s words and hence he dives into himself and finds that the last cumbrance in him is his body which he wants to dispose of by ascending a high cliff and precipitating it down the same, when the Muni prevents him from doing so and remarks that true renunciation lies in the mind and not in the external things such as body, etc. Then the Muni sets the King aright by going into the origin of pains.


Herein is also given out the dual nature of Manas, the mind, the pure one being purely Sāttvic in nature and the impure one being full of Rajas and Tamas. The author says clearly that the non-dual Reality which exists amidst the many heterogeneous things of the world can be cognized through one’s self-cognition only and not by any amount of words or logic or thought. Therefore if a person as a Jīvanmukta cognizes through Samādhi the absolute identity of all things, and yet moves as usual in this world, then he will in course of time reach a state called Videhamukti, when he will throw aside all shackles of bodies and merge into the Absolute font of Bliss. As, at the end of every Prakaraṇa in this work, there is a chapter which summarizes the subjects dealt with in it, this Prakaraṇa closes with a chapter called Nirvāṇa Prakaraṇa, wherein are described the seven states of Jñāna, the seven states of Ajñāna having been given out in a previous chapter.


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