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Summary. Even wars, etc., will not create differentiations in the mind, if it longs not for the results of actions.


At these words of Vasiṣṭha, Rāma said thus: “I have known all that should be known. I have seen all that should be seen. And yet I have to put another question to you in order that bliss may be enjoyed in full. Please describe the form of this Puryaṣṭaka body which, like an image in a glass, creates this universe many times over and over again.”


To which Vasiṣṭha replied: “Brahman which is without beginning or end and which is the seed of the universe, becoming differentiated, is Jīva; subjecting itself to the idea of separateness, it becomes Ahaṁkāra; with Manana (contemplation), it becomes Manas; with the certainty of intelligence, it becomes Buddhi; then the (five) objects (sound, etc.), through Indriyas (the organs). With the thought of the body, it becomes the body itself; with the thought of a vessel it becomes the vessel itself. A form (or subtle body), having such a nature, is called by the wise Puryaṣṭaka body (composed of the eight: Manas, Ahaṁkāra, Buddhi and the five objects of sense, sound, etc). The speedy transformation of the pure knower, or actor, or enjoyer and witness into the Jīva consciousness is called Puryaṣṭaka body. Through the newly engendered Puryaṣṭaka body, dreams upon dreams will pile up and this universe will appear (real) with the many creations of illusion.


Now therefore hearken to the path pointed out by Lord Kṛṣṇa who strode the earth. Just as Vijaya (Arjuna) will pass his time fearlessly, so also, Oh Rāma, shalt thou pass thy time.”


There Rāma queried: “When will Arjuna (Vijaya) be born? And what will Srī Kṛṣṇa, the Lord of Lakṣmi initiate him into?” Then Vasiṣṭha related the path pointed out by Srī Kṛṣṇa to Vijaya in the following manner: “Yama (death) will, at the end of every four Yugas, brood over the carnage of Jīvas (egos) perpetrated by him during the Yugas and therefore will perform Tapas. At one period, he will sit at it for eight years; at another, for ten years; at another, for twelve years. Sometimes he will sit for five years; again for seven years; again for sixteen years, and so on. While Yama thus performs Tapas without slaying any Jīva, the Jīvas will become so great in number that the earth will be thick with them. It is at such junctures that the Lord has been relieving the earth of its burden through proper means from the very commencement. Then will the four Yugas, the countless Jīvas, the universes and all else will perish.


In conformity to this universal law, Yama, the son1 of the sun will retire into solitude for the performance of Tapas for twelve years, satiated with the carnage of Jīvas, in order to attain a state free from the trammels of pains. Then the goddess of earth unable to bear the load of the multitudinous hosts of non-deceased Jīvas will fly for asylum to Viṣṇu. Viṣṇu, exhorting her to return with the promise that he would incarnate on earth in two forms, one as the son of Vasudeva and another as the son of Pāṇḍu will fulfill his promise by passing under the two names of Vāsudeva (Kṛṣṇa) and Vijaya (Arjuna). Then the victorious sons of Dhṛtarāṣṭra, Duryodhana and others along with their kith and kin will2 wage an unjust war with Arjuna and his hosts. In the battlefield, melting with compassion at the prospect of the death of his innumerable kinsmen, Arjuna will relax his hold over his bow and faint. On account of which, Kṛṣṇa will initiate him into Jñāna. Now mark well the truths which Kṛṣṇa, the Śarīri (the spirit within the body) will impart to Vijaya, the Śarīra (the body).


They are as follows: ‘Now Arjuna, cognize, without any fluctuation of mind, the Ātmic Reality which cannot be known through the mind and which is without beginning or end. It will be without stains. You will, thereafter, not be born or die in this fleshly tabernacle. You will be Sat only. There will be no birth or death then; no form then to differentiate with the terms, ‘I’, ‘thou,’ etc.; no ego to reincarnate then. Though in the body of this eternal and ancient Principle, you will never be destroyed. Without omitting to perform your actions, do them without the least longing after their fruits. If you tread the in destructible path of Brahmārpaṇa (relegating all things to Brahman), you will, in an instant, be of the nature of Brahman. Ascribing all things to the Lord, may you become of the form of Īśvara himself; and having become the Lord of all Jīvas under bondage, may you reach Mokṣa without the hold of Saṁkalpas and with equal vision over all, of quiescent mind and with Tapas, Sannyasa (renunciation) stainless Yoga and Jñāna.”


Arjuna asked: “Oh Lord, what dost thou mean by the destruction of Saṅga (association or attraction), the relegating of all things to Brahman or Īśvara, Sannyāsa and the undifferentiated Jñāna and Yoga?


Kṛṣṇa replied: “The wise say that the Brahmic Principle is ‘That’ which is devoid of Saṁkalpas, pains or thoughts. The efforts at attaining the non-dual Brahman is Jñāna. Such efforts are also termed Yoga by the wise. The cognition, after true discrimination of the identity of the universe and ‘I’ with Brahman is Brahmārpaṇa. The renunciation of the fruits of Karmas (actions) is Sannyāsa. The destruction of the painful Saṁkalpa of the mind is the destruction of Saṅga in the eyes of the great. The giving up of the conception of duality through the idea that there is one only Īśvara in all our thoughts is Īśvarārpaṇa (or Brahmārpaṇa). If after contemplating upon and worshipping me you attain unto me with due prostrations and eulogies, then the true Reality of ‘I’ will shine within you with its full light.


I have two forms (or aspects), one the ordinary or the lower and the other the Supreme. The ordinary is where I am represented with a body having hands with discus, conch, etc. In the other, I am Brahmic Reality of a non-dual and an imperishable nature without any beginning or end. All that are stated in this world to be Brahman, Param, etc., are no other than the latter. This is the supreme aspect of mine. So long as your mind is weak enough not to grasp this aspect of mine, you better engage yourself in the worship of a god with four hands. Through such a worship, your Jñāna will become full in you and you will then attain my supreme form. Then the disease of existence will not afflict you. Being freed from (Abhimāna) identification of self with objects, Ajñāna and all other attractions, those Jñānis will ever continue in the path of Brahmic state, who worship my supreme reality, indifferent to pleasures and pains and devoid of all desires. The wise say that those who are engaged in the continued efforts of actions without any Saṁkalpa generating desires, have burnt all Karmas in Jñāna fire. May you without afflictions be always performing only those actions which will help you to obtain Jñāna, the Reality without any thought of worldly prosperity or objects in the future. The wise will never in the least deviate from the proper path into which they are initiated by their Āchāryas, whether Pralaya (deluge) sets in with unabated fury or the Vindhya hills are shattered to pieces. Through the absence of stainless Tattva-jñāna, Vāsanās will appear as if eternal; but if the great ocean of Tattva-jñāna begins to expand in one, then it will wash away all Vāsanās.”


Thus was Śrī Kṛṣṇa pleased to initiate Arjuna into; and then the former kept silent when the victorious Arjuna addressed him thus:


Oh Āchārya, all the pains afflicting my mind have disappeared and like a full blown lotus at the approach of the sun, it has merged into the Brahmic Principle.’ ”

  1. Our present sun is called Vivasvat, the father of the present Manu. []
  2. This shows that the incidents herein were before the Bhārata war. []