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LAGHU YOGA-VĀSIṢṬHA Chapter 6   NIRVĀṆA PRAKARAṆA

 6.8    THE STORY OF BHAGĪRATHA

 

Summary. Having shown that all will be Brahman through suṣupti-mauna. the author now proceeds to illustrate the fact that the same result can be achieved through the giving up of Saṅga.

 

Oh Rāma, be of an illuminated mind as clear as Ākāśa through the non-fluctuating internal Ātma, having drawn your mind away from objects and performing worldly things for duty’s sake only. Making your mind be at peace without any desires or despondency, destroying your impure mind through your pure mind and being the resolute maunin, non-dual, of the nature of quiescence alone and of an equal vision over all, you will be able to encompass all things, if you can conduct yourself like king Bhagīratha who was of a firm and pure mind unadulterated by ignorance and performed all duties that he came across.

 

Rāma asked: “Oh Āchārya, through what power of mind, was king Bhagīratha able to enjoy supreme bliss and to bring down the divine Bhagīrathi (Gaṅgā) from on high?”

 

Muni Vasiṣṭha acquainted with the four Vedas replied: “On this Earth lived a king by the name of Bhagīratha, who had cognized the non-dual Principle. He was a just protector over earth. His hand was more liberal than Chintāmaṇi (gem) itself. He was able through the introduction of the Gaṅgā waters to revive to life his many sires who had been reduced to ashes[1] (through the mere glance of Kapila) in Pātāla and thus transported them to Satya-Loka, free from the pains of hell. He brought all subjects under the one sway of his parasol white as the moon. Such a king began in his infancy to observe the ways of the world, teeming with pains. It is indeed strange that at such a tender age the subtle enquiry of spiritual things should dawn in his mind with great steadfastness. Therefore retiring into solitude, in order that he might give vent to his thoughts like a flower planting its congenial soil, he cogitated in his mind upon the real nature of this universe composed of heterogeneous objects utterly disconnected with one another. There is nothing new under the sun. All things pass away but to re-appear under another form. Days gone by return again; nights recur again and again. The same gift and the same alms-giving again and again recur. So are eating and other Karmas repeatedly performed. Persons entangled in delusion perform the same things over and over without in the least being ashamed or tired of such acts. They will ever be immersed in actions which make them droop without conferring any good on them. That is true Karma (action), the performance of which will enable one to attain that stainless One, after which there is nothing more to be longed after; but all other Karmas which tend to a conception of duality are nothing but poisonous diseases. Ajñānis will ever be repeating the same acts; but not so the Jñānis. Bhagīratha whose mind was seized with the fear of worldly things after a proper understanding of their true nature, went in search of a Guru and having found one by name Tritula prostrated himself at his feet and addressed in him secret with a great trepidation of heart thus: ‘Oh Lord of Munis, is there any limit to the dire pains of mankind generated by dotage, death, delusion and other fears? Please enlighten me clearly on this point.’

 

Tritula said: ‘If thou cognizest well thy resplendent Jñānātma, all thy pains will at once vanish; all the bondage of thy heart will be severed; all doubts will be cleared up; and all Karmas will be destroyed. Then thou wilt become the Chinmātra (Absolute Consciousness) itself that should be known. This Paramātma thou shalt hear about from me. This external and all-pervading One is neither capable of repletion or depletion. It is the true Jñāna, quiescent, immaculate, indestructible and without guṇas. Such is the One Principle.’ So said the Muni Tritula without the conception of duality.

 

Bhagīratha said: ‘How can one be without any impediment of the nature of Jñāna stated by the Devas, without perceiving body and other objects which are different from one’s Self and without associating with the base worldly actions? Oh Āchārya, please favor me with a reply.’

 

Tritula said: ‘The mind will attain Svarūpa Niṣṭhā (the meditation of Reality) through its all-pervading intelligence. Then the supreme Jīva which has become all-forms will never after subject itself to the base rebirths. The wise, having the acquisition of Mokṣa, define Jñāna as associated with the characteristics of giving up the attractions towards wife, house, etc., indifference towards pleasures and pains and an equal eye over all, the conception of non-duality within though moving in body, love of solitude without associating with the hosts of mankind, a never-ceasing spiritual contemplation and an intuitive direct perception. Paths other than these will but breed pains arising from ignorance. The annihilation of the identification of ‘I’ with this body forms the panacea for the cure of the disease of birth and death generating love and hatred. Then the Chaitanya will be directly perceived.

 

Here Bhagīratha interrupted the Muni thus How is the idea of ‘I’ to be removed from this body which has been serving long as its state, like a tree on a rock?

 

The supreme Āchārya replied thus: ‘Should the mind be firmly repressed from entering into objects of enjoyments and be made to rest in the state of the all-pervading Sat, then Ahaṁkāra will cease. If after the destruction of desires and all objects thou art in a non-fluctuating state, then the appearance of ‘I’ will be no more and the non-dual state of Brahman will alone be. This is the Brahman declared by all Vedas. Having” given up all conceptions of differences of caste, orders of life, etc., having assumed poverty without an iota of attraction towards the three kinds of desires (wife, progeny and wealth), having relinquished thy wealth in favor of thy enemies as well as thy Ahaṁkāra and having given up thy avocations and living on the alms of thy enemies if thus thou livest without any load on thy mind, thou mayest be come Brahman, the Supreme of Supreme.

 

Having heard these words of the Muni, Bhagīratha of mountain-like shoulders was performing diverse actions with a view to control his mind. After the lapse of some time, he performed a noble Yajña called Agniṣṭoma; and all his justly accumulated wealth was spent, after the enquiry of the deserving and the non-deserving, amongst poor Brahmins of divine intents, relatives and others who came over there. In three days, he was left with nothing but a single cloth. Amidst the deafening cries of his subjects and all others, he abdicated his beloved country in favor of his enemy and being replete with all the good qualities of a Muni, wandered alone as such a personage. Fearlessly did he rove over old towns, hills and forests wherein the citizens had not known him through his face or name. In a short time, he dispelled all the desires in his heart. Then he merged into Ātma through extreme quiescence of mind. Having ranged the whole earth, he one day entered the country he had abdicated previously in favor of his enemy, and having completely mastered all his organs, he went from door to door to beg alms at the gates of his former ministers and others. Persons, who recognized in him the former crowned king, began to shed tears at his approach. Even when homage was paid to him and was requested by his enemy king to resume the scepter and protect his subjects, he would not give up his present avocation nor longed for even the smallest trifle. Thus to the infinite chagrin and disappointment of all, he went to foreign places. Filled with bliss through true quiescence of mind and without despondency of heart, he indulged in Ātmic vision within himself wherever he went along with his Guru, whether over mountains or forests or countries. Thus did the Āchārya and his disciple become of full and equal minds; and supporting their bodies, as if in sport, were indifferent as to whether they had their bodies of clay or not. Then roving at pleasure and reflecting well upon the adoption of the course consistent with the universal law, they were indifferent to pleasures and pains or their intermediates and spurned as paltry baubles wealth, women and the 8 Siddhis, such as Anima, etc., and then left for a foreign country.

 

The king of that spacious country having died without any male progeny, the ministers therein deliberated upon the nomination of a successor, when the beggar Bhagīratha of graceful mien appeared upon the spot and was pitched upon as a fit successor to the late king. Being anointed a king, he wielded the scepter over his realm, protected by innumerable hosts of armies. This news was wafted over to his former country from which the courtiers therein repaired to him and implored him thus: ‘The king, whom you installed in your stead, has expired. We are left without a ruler. So please accept the responsibilities of ruling over our kingdom too.’

 

As it is not proper to spurn the wealth which comes to one of its own accord, he assented to their entreaties. So Bhagīratha began to rule over the whole earth. Maintaining a perfect silence (or control over senses), quiescence of mind and an equal vision over all, he was without desires or oscillations to extremes. So following the even path of rectitude in all affairs, he performed a faultless Tapas for many years to emancipate his grandsires, brought down on earth the divine river Gaṅgā, and established it there without any decay of its sacredness.

 


  1. Ṛṣi Kapila reduced through a mere glance of his eyes the 100 sons of Sāgara to ahes when they troubled him in reference to the horse let loose for Aśvamedha sacrifice. [<<]