SHRI ATMA SIDDHI SHASTRA of Shrimad Rajchandra
Translation by Shri Brahmachariji
This translation (verses) flows from the pen of Shri Brahmachariji Govardhandasji, who had dedicated his life to the cause of practicing and preaching the teaching and message of Shrimad Rajchandra, and as per his instructions, the author has written the English translation of the text keeping in view Shri Brahmachariji's English poetical rendering.
The translation of the text has been finalized and approved by Shri Brahmachariji. Every word of it has passed through his searching test; and by his suggestions, criticism and instructions, the author has derived immense benefit.
On completion of the translation, Shri Brahmachariji asked the author to write out the life of Shrimad Rajchandra in English. Within a fortnight after this, Shri Brahmachariji, the soul and spiritual guide of Shrimad Rajchandra Ashram left the mortal fame and the author continued the work entrusted to him by Shri Brahmachariji.
If some sincere souls find some inspiration and light to help them in their spiritual march to Self‑realization by reading this book, the labors of the author and Shri Brahmachariji who inspired him to complete this work would be amply rewarded.
Dinubhai Muljibhai Patel,
[From "The Self‑realization" published by Shrimad Rajchandra Ashram, Agas, Gujarat, India]
THE SELF REALIZATION
As real self I never knew,
So suffered I eternal pain,
I bow to Him my master true,
Who preached and broke eternal chain. 1
Salutation to the true Teacher Divine for the explanation of the true nature of my Self, the ignorance of which was the cause of my endless sufferings.
In this degrading Age, who knows ‑
Salvation‑way, mostly unknown ?
For seekers true, this Gospel shows,
Unhidden as their fingers own. 2
The sure way to Soul's salvation is mostly unknown or lost to the present age. Hence it is clearly laid down in this book for the benefit of true seekers.
Some follow rites forgetting Self,
Some learned fools believe freedom,
Misled are both, none knows the Self,
Merciful state, I feel for them. 3
In the present age, some seekers try to find their salvation through the mere observance of rites and some through pure pedantic knowledge. Both the methods are incorrect and we feel sympathy for the seekers following them.
The first are stuck in outward deeds,
With heart unturned, they save and serve,
Both prohibit they knowledge‑seeds,
Believing old as gold preserve. 4
Revelling in mere mechanical performance of rites and losing sight of their spiritual significance, the ritualists denounce the path of knowledge regarding it is unnecessary, difficult to practice and therefore unacceptable.
No bondage, freedom new or old,
The other preach, in words, the soul,
Attachment all in acts behold,
So word‑wise they get not the goal. 5
In contrast, the pedantic theorists read and interpret the spiritual scriptures either independently of a true Teacher or with the help of an ignorant teacher and repeat in words purely parrotlike that the Soul has no bondage and no salvation, that bondage and salvation of the Soul are simply figment of man's imagination, but in their daily life they behave to the contrary and are victims of deep infatuation. As a result they degenerate morally and spiritually.
Unattachment and all fruitful,
If you have knowledge of the Soul,
Of Self‑knowledge they are the tool,
The real knowledge is the goal. 6
Soul's salvation consists in leading the life of the Self with full consciousness and knowledge. It is achieved through knowledge and appropriate action, one without the other is incomplete and to no purpose. Non‑attachment, renunciation, etc. when accompanied with the knowledge of the Self, definitely cause Soul's salvation. In the absence of the knowledge of the Self, they purify the mind and the intellect and eventually cause the knowledge of the Self.
And if the heart contains no merits,
The real knowledge cannot shine,
If only satisfied with merits,
They prove the block to knowledge fine. 7
Knowledge of the Self does not dawn on a mind which is not purified by non‑attachment and renunciation. The latter are the necessary means for attaining the end of the knowledge of the Self. If a man gets attached to renunciation and non‑attachment without recognizing them as means to the final end, he loses the sight of the end and loses the game.
Whatever wherever is fit,
The seeker understands and acts,
Without this virtue, count unfit,
For seekership of the real facts. 8
A true seeker of the Self is discriminative. In different stages of his development he clearly finds out what he misses and what should disown in order to obtain Salvation and then he acts accordingly.
The ritualists should try to read spiritual significance in the performance of rites and seek after the knowledge of the Self.
The pedantic theorists should act as they talk, should shake off their infatuation, develop a spirit of renunciation and non‑attachment and thereby obtain in practice the knowledge of the Self.
Who serves true Master's feet, obeys,
Leaving aside his whims and views,
He knows the truth, what Master says,
Ascertains his own self abstruse. 9
A true seeker of Self who sets aside his personal views and prejudices and engages himself in the undivided devotion to his Guru, rightly understands the teachings of his Guru and gets a clear idea of the nature of Soul's Salvation. He finds that his Guru has knowledge of the Self and he sets out to obtain the same in his own person.
Self‑knowledge, equal eye to lot,
Behaves as destined, speech unique,
Authentic in all schools of thought,
True teacher's qualities mystic. 10
The characteristics of an enlightened Guru :
An enlightened Guru firmly possesses the knowledge of his Self and therefore is free from all desires of the not‑self. He is indifferent to worldly opposites such as friend and foe, pleasure and suffering, respect and disrespect, etc. He simply continues to live only to enjoy or suffer the fruits of the actions of his past births. His speech is unique and inimitable and enlightened by the knowledge of the Self. He is well‑versed in the fundamentals of the Six Systems of Philosophy.
Indirect Jina (Lord) cannot oblige,
As does the direct Teacher true,
Without this key, would not arise ‑
The thought of Self, or searching through. 11
The real nature of God and Religion can only be grasped with the help of a living and enlightened Guru. The teachings of an enlightened Guru help the disciple when he puts implicit faith in him.
The disciple must clearly realize that he is incomparably more obliged to his living and enlightened Guru than to the teachings of the bygone Tirthankaras ‑ the great founders and teachers of the true religion. Only on this definite understanding can the disciple think correctly about the nature of the self.
When the great intellectual minds fail to understand the most difficult teachings of the Tirthankaras of the past, an enlightened Guru renders them very easy to understand for the benefit of his disciples.
Without true Teacher's exposition,
None can know the Lord as Lord,
In ignorance no obligation,
Such understanding makes him God. 12
The Self of the Jina (The great conqueror of the Soul's spiritual enemies) which is worthy of a seeker's devotion cannot be understood without following the teachings of a living enlightened and beneficial Guru. The Jina's obligation on the seeker can only be recognized by understanding the nature of the Self of the Jina. To progressively understand the Self of the Jina is to realize it in one's Self.
True scriptures Soul and all expound,
To seekers fit, unerring guide,
Where direct Teacher is not found,
`it is next best for one's safer side.' 13
In the absence of an enlightened living Guru, the scriptures explaining the existence and nature of the Self and of the other higher worlds are authentic guides to a seeker, but they cannot compete favorably with the capacity of an enlightened living Guru for removing the seeker's delusion.
Or whatever true Teacher said,
For thinking deep, daily practice,
Forgetting sects, popular head,
Opposition of families. 14
A seeker should always study spiritual scriptures and assimilate their teachings in the presence and active guidance of a living and enlightened Guru. Such a study helps one to remove his traditional religious prejudices, to develop a spirit of non‑attachment and quietude and consequently to obtain the knowledge of the Self. Some scriptures are likely to be misunderstood by and dangerous to one, who attempts to study them independently of a living Guru.
If one controls his self‑conceit,
Gets surely as infinite Souls‑
The final state that is most fit,
So says innocent Jina in scrolls. 15
The Jinas who are free from faults of attachment, hatred and ignorance have declared for the benefit of the seekers that from endless past the Soul has lived in Self‑conceit. He has misunderstood the scriptures and as result he has moved from birth to birth. If he checks his Self‑conceit and controls it he must gain Liberation. Only by this way innumerable Souls in the past have been already liberated. The royal road to Liberation (Salvation) is to follow the advice of the living enlightened Guru.
One's Self‑conceit is checked at once,
In direct Teacher's nearness,
To root it out use other means,
It grows two‑fold, in general sense. 16
Self‑conceit can only be removed by constant contact of a living enlightened Guru. By resorting to the path of mechanical action or to the path of theoretical knowledge, in the absence of an enlightened Guru, one doubles hisSelf‑conceit.
If one has true Teacher's guidance,
Putting aside one's whims and views,
Sectarian ways, obstinacy,
`Tis termed true Faith, for direct cause.' 17
A seeker renounces his personal whims and religious obstinacy and strictly obeys the advice of his living enlightened Guru. Thereby he quickly developsright faith and he rightly follows the scriptures.
One cannot kill by Self‑conceit‑
Foes pride and all, but seek refuge‑
True Teacher's, easily defeat,
All mighty foes' extinction huge. 18
Hunger for honor, anger, etc. are deadly enemies of the Soul. They cannot be destroyed by Self‑conceit. Only by seeking refuge in the sunshine of an enlightened living Guru the very enemies are easily destroyed with little effort.
Who knew full Soul, attained Godhood,
By means of sermons such sublime,
Reveres his Teacher of true mood,
Not yet perfect for former crime. 19
Supposing a seeker obtains absolute knowledge of the Self by assimilating the teaching of a living and enlightened Guru and the Guru himself has yet to obtain it as he is not free from certain removable limitations then the seeker who has become a Lord continues to pay respects to his Guru and no sooner the Guru marks the Lordship in his disciple he begins to worship his own disciple. Thus by mutual humility and reverence both the seeker and his Guru arebenefited.
Such system of Reverence so deep,
The Lord proclaimed in holy Books,
Profit thereof they only reap,
Few fortunates, who know the nooks. 20
Such a noble path of humility is approved by the Jina. Only a few fortunate Souls realize its immense benefit to the seeker of the Self. Only the truly humble are able to serve the saints and obtain from them the right understanding of reality which in turn leads them by stages to Liberation.
If any untrue teacher takes,
Advantage of such reverence,
Goes down into the deep birth‑lakes,
Delusion great is dangerous. 21
The great saints have insisted on the need for the seeker's devotion to his enlightened Guru purely in the seeker's interest, the Guru does not need any respect or devotion from his disciple. The desire to be worshipped or respected by others indicates ignorance and infatuation.
A man of worldly pride knows that in spite of his wealth and honor he does not yet know the Self. But for one, who feels that he is a great religious Soul without getting a clear idea of religion, Self‑knowledge is very difficult.
If a religious impostor takes undue advantage of his disciple's humility, he commits sin and as a result he falls into the cycle of birth and death.
This fact the seekers understand,
The bigots draw the sense perverse,
Impartial description, attend,
Of bigots' badges, Soul aimless. 22‑23.
A discriminative seeker will serve his enlightened living Guru and worship other saints from his firm conviction of the imperative need of such devotion, reverence and worship in the path of Soul's Liberation. But he will not at all expect or like to be worshipped or respected by others. At the same time since he discriminates between an enlightened living Guru and a religious impostor, he respects the one and neglects the other. On the contrary a religious bigot will misread the advice and teachings of an enlightened living Guru.
A religious bigot is unable to conceive the nature of the Self. His chief characteristics are impartially described below purely with a view to help the seeker in easy identification and removal of religious bigotry.
Some bigots follow false teachers,
Who outwardly renounced the world,
Or their hereditary preachers,
But Soul‑aimless, believe their word. 24
A religious bigot selects for his Guru either one who is traditionally his family Guru or one who has renounced the externals but not obtained the knowledge of the Self.
Some confine their own talent,
In pompous godly congregation,
Jina's pictorial form and height,
Or superhuman revelation. 25
Besides a religious bigot mistakes the spiritual descriptions of the size, etc. of the body of the Jina and also those of the gorgeous decorations of the assembly halls where the Jina held congregations for the real description of the Jina himself and his intelligence is so much engrossed in these externals that he neither knows the real nature of the Jina nor does he make a sincere effort to comprehend it.
Even in presence of the Teachers,
The bigot takes the perverse side,
Confirms his former false preachers,
To mostly gratify his pride. 26
As a bigot is unable to recognize an enlightened living Guru he overlooks or disregards such a Guru and runs with a show of faith to a religious impostor in whose presence he is likely to earn respect both from the impostor and from the public attending on the impostor. Thereby he develops his pride and vanity.
Celestial abodes, universal lores,
He takes for inherent knowledge,
Sectarian forms and creed adores,
Believing cause of final stage. 27
A bigot, not knowing the metaphysical meaning of the scriptural descriptions of Heaven and Hell, takes them as revealed knowledge. He also considers that Salvation can only come to him by his staunch adherence to his own religious opinion and adopted dress.
Is proud of vows, ignorant all,
Of mental yearnings for world‑fame,
He does not heed to inner call,
Thus loses chance, remains the same. 28
A bigot observes a vow and practices a penance more with a view to earn respect from others and to be praised as a highly religious man than for the purpose of Self‑purification. Naturally he does not clearly know his instinctive urges nor can he control them.
If accidentally he has a chance to meet an enlightened living Guru who can put him on the right path to Soul's Liberation he elects to neglect such a Guru lest he may lose by following him, his personal honor, pride and people's reverence for him.
The characteristics of a bigot described above are also the characteristics of the mechanical ritualists.
Or talks of original state,
Of Souls, refutes practical ways,
Lip‑wisdom is not heaven's gate,
Without true means he wastes his days. 29
Or another type of a bigot may read books such as "Yogavasishtha" and "Samayasara" and accept from them formally and in words only the description of the nature of the Self but he does not make any effort to realize the truths described in the scriptures in his own life.
Formally he repeats parrotlike that the Self is ever young, immortal, pure, and never bound, hence no question of its freedom. In practice, therefore, he feels that he needs not go to any Guru to save his Soul. Nor need he read spiritual scriptures or be afraid of any behaviour good or bad since a naturally pure Self can neither be raised in status by good deeds nor be degenerated by bad deeds.
With such intellectual decisions, the bigot rejects all means of Self‑improvement and behaves whimsically and immorally.
He who follows one unduly,
Not expert in true Soul‑notion,
Neither practicing it truly,
Is drowned in this vast world‑ocean. 30
Such a bigot does not obtain the knowledge of the real and he has already rejected the right discipline for it. Not only he but all who meet and followhim sink deep in worldly miseries.
For one's prestige and selfishness,
If one lets his ideals go,
Consider that too foolishness,
The bigot he unfit also. 31
The pedantic theorist described above is also to be regarded as a bigot, as between him and the mechanical ritualists the common point is that both insist that their stand is correct and that they would not leave it. Both feel that purely by their methods alone can truth be realized. None of them is fit to be a seeker of Liberation. Both run after pride and personal fame and so they run in the direction counter to that of truth.
Controls no passions and the heart‑
Contains no unattachment true,
No frankness and no open heart,
Unfortunate that bigot too. 32
Here is a very wide definition of a bigot. One who observes a religious discipline externally having no desire to remove or lessen his personal demerits such as anger, desire for honor, delusion and greed is also a very unfortunate bigot. Such a bigot is more attached to the worldly pleasure and therefore he is far from deserving Liberation. He is a bigot till he does not feel the worldly life as most painful to him. He can very well perform external religious rites, he may successfully talk of knowledge, he may even preach to others to keep away completely from the worldly pleasures though himself feeling that he should monopolize them.
On the contrary a seeker of the Self should have an open mind to receive Truth. One cannot be a seeker of the Self till he does not develop discrimination, till he has no intelligence to perceive Truth and declare it as such, till he has a guilty mind. The bigots described as above are really unfortunate as they are incapable of Self‑realization.
In short the unfortunate bigots are those in whom the enemies of the Self such as anger, desire for honor, worldly attachment, greed, etc. have not been disarmed, those in whom the spirit of internal spiritual non‑attachment has not dawned, those who have not developed the freedom and frankness to invite the virtuous life in their being, those who have not the impartial insight to discriminate truth from falsehood.
These bigots are unfortunate as they cannot see and adopt the path of Liberation which can break through the cyclic bondage of birth, old age and death.
The bigot's badges thus described,
To give up bigotry for good,
Soul‑seeker's virtues now prescribed,
Are for attaining supreme good. 33
The characteristics of the bigots have been described above purely for the purpose of identifying the different forms of bigotry an individual might unknowingly possess in himself. If he is made conscious of them he may make efforts to remove bigotry from himself and may become thereby a true seeker of the Self ‑ the characteristics which bring a life of eternal happiness and bliss to one who possesses them.
Sainthood is there where's true Self‑knowledge,
Soul‑seekers follow such true Teachers,
Not family‑priests or one who plays,
On worldly stage the part of preachers. 34
The knowledge of the Self is always accompanied with saintliness. One, who knows the Self, is a real saint and he alone is a true Teacher, who can lead the seeker of the Self to Self‑realization.
A true seeker of the Self definitely knows the futility of worshipping or following an ignorant family‑Guru. He knows that such impostors cannot deliver him from the cycle of birth and death.
He is keen on his own Salvation and once he recognises a true Teacher he does not insist that he should be honored by the public or that he should be recognized as a Guru by his family people or that he should adopt the dress and discipline of one or other of the orthodox religious orders. In brief he has no doubt about the sincerity and genuineness of a true Teacher.
The company of the Teacher true,
Directly does the greatest good,
Soul‑seekers all accept this view,
Complete obedience understood. 35
He feels immense gratitude to a living true Teacher whom he has found out and adopted as his sole guide in his search for the Self. He completely surrenders himself to him by thought, word and deed. He scrupulously follows his Guru's advice in every way.
He realizes that in the endless series of his past lives he wandered aimlessly on account of his not meeting a living true Teacher, that he has luckily or fortunately met one such in the present life and it is a unique advantage, that meeting a true teacher of the Self is of immense benefit to himself. Therefore he decides to lead his future life strictly in accordance with the advice and guidance of his living true Teacher.
A true Teacher knowing his Self has perfect control over his mental modifications, dispositions, instinctive urges, passions and desires, thought and volitions.
He turns the mind of his disciple from unnecessary and wasteful pursuits into remembrance of the Self, meditation on it and constant repeated reading and understanding about it. He educates his disciple's speech into reading and meditational prayers needed for Self‑knowledge. He disciplines his disciple's bodily activities into adequate bodily postures helpful to meditation and service and devotion to a living true Teacher.
By aimless behavior in the absence of a living true Teacher, a seeker of the Self may invite bondage; by canalizing the same energy whole‑heartedly in the service of a living true Teacher he can obtain Liberation.
The path of perfection is the same,
In all times past, present, future,
Its path practical worth the name,
Acceptable if helps Soul‑nature. 36
The path to Soul's Salvation is one at all times. Whichever practices lead the Soul to Liberation should be accepted by it and on others.
Determines thus and tries to find,
The proximity of true Teachers,
No ideal else that eats the mind,
The Soul alone for all Soul‑seekers. 37
A true seeker of the Self determines once for all his goal and the path to it as described above and then recognizing the need of the guidance of a living true Teacher, employs all his energies unqualifiedly in the search of a living true Teacher. There is no other anxiety with him but that of realizing the Self.
If one has met already a living true Teacher he should intensively purify himself by devoting all his time to the guidance of his Guru and taking away his mind from all worldly pursuits and thoughts. Thereby one is able to take increasing advantage of Guru's guidance and quickly reach the goal.
See seekership in Soul‑compassion,
Suppression of all passions four,
The hope of only liberation,
Dejection of such rebirth‑tour. 38
The good augury for Self‑knowledge and Soul's Salvation is to be found in a true seeker of the Self when his worldly desires and attachments have been gradually reduced to nullity, when excepting the Soul saving desire for realizing the Self, he is completely non‑attached to all worldly considerations and when he has deep piety for all living beings.
On the occasion of his being censured by anyone he reflects on his nature and if there is any fault in it he tries to remove it and feels obliged to one who censures him. If he does not find any justification for other's censure of his behavior, then he decides that it might be the fruit of any action (Karma) of his past life and so he maintains calmness and feels satisfaction that the fruits of past actions are suffered and so they will be ineffective afterwards.
Taking advantage of such attacks, a seeker of the Self turns his mind more intensely to religious reading and meditation in accord with his Guru's guidance. He firmly determines that even the least desire for worldly happiness is keeping one back from the path to Soul's salvation and therefore he turns his back to it.
At the same time he has deep sympathy and fellow‑feeling for all living beings. He considers all Souls as equals and he banishes all pride from himself. By such preparation the true seeker of the Self enjoys the right state of one strongly desirous of Liberation.
Unless one reaches such a state,
No company of teachers good,
Nor Soul‑suffering gets a gate,
Cannot attain the freedom‑road. 39
Until one attains to the state of one strongly desirous of Liberation as described above one cannot take advantage of the path of Liberation and naturally one cannot remove his internal malady ‑ the ignorance of the true nature of the Self.
While one comes up to such a state,
The sermon of the saint awakes‑
The inner‑thought, that is good fate,
Soul‑seeker's sleep so deep it breaks. 40
When the disciple attains to the state of the keen aspirant for Liberation, the teachings of his living enlightened Guru work a miracle on him. Every word of the Guru is rightly interpreted and adopted. Consequently the disciple turns his mind from worldly thoughts and pursuits to the single‑minded reflection and meditation on the nature of the Self. He thinks only of his Soul's benefit. He rightly thinks of the method of Soul's Liberation on the basis of his Guru's teachings. In this way he gets a glimpse of the Soul's own happiness.
With inner‑thought, self‑knowledge shines,
That knowledge delusion roots out,
The topmost state the seeker climbs,
Thus gets the salvation, no doubt. 41
With the right reflection on the nature of the Self comes the knowledge of one's Self and by such knowledge the Soul's deep‑rooted infatuation and ignorance are removed and the Soul attains Salvation.
Six facts I say in this Gospel,
A dialogue between the two,
To stir the inner‑thought so well,
For bringing home the path so true. 42
The six fundamental truths are discussed and established below in the form of a dialogue between a disciple and his enlightened living Guru purely with a view to help the true seeker of the Self in developing a right thinking on the nature of the true Self and whereby one can have a clear idea of the path of Liberation.
The Soul exists, see it eternal,
Accepts bondage, receives the fruit,
It can be free, take means devotional,
Ignorance is the bondage‑root. 43
(1) Soul exists, (2) Soul is eternal, (3) Soul is the author of its actions (Karma), (4) It therefore has to enjoy or suffer the consequences of its actions, (5) Such a Soul can be liberated, and (6) There is a definite method for Soul's Liberation and that is true religion. A true religion liberates the Soul from the worldly cycle of birth and death.
Six subjects or six schools of thought,
Are here described as seers great,
In abstract scriptures strictly taught,
For understanding soul concrete. 44
The six truths mentioned above also include a critical appreciation of the Six Systems of philosophy. These truths have been discussed by the wise purely for explaining the nature of ultimate Reality.
These six truths provide the field for the cultivation and stabilization of Right Faith in reality. Myopic adherents of the Six Systems emphasize their doctrinal differences and result in mutual quarreling and fighting. Here in Atma‑Siddhi, on the other hand the fundamental point of all the Six Systems, namely the nature of the Self, is clearly discussed for the benefit of the seekers of the Self.
This book dispels the doubts of the Buddhists who either believe that there is no Self at all or that if there is one then it is only a momentary Self. This book argues successfully that there is not only a Self but that it is a permanent Self and that there are infinite permanent selves.
To the adherents of Samkhya System which admits of a Self which is totally inactive and yet the enjoyer of all activities of Prakriti, this book replies that there cannot be enjoyment or suffering without activity. One who does not act at all has nothing to enjoy or suffer from. An inactive Self cannot be held responsible for activities of Prakriti. Therefore the book advises to take hint from normal experience and admit that the Self does actions and therefore it enjoys or suffers from the fruits thereof.
To the Vedantins, who hold that the Self neither does anything nor it has to enjoy or suffer from actions, the book replies that the Self does actions and therefore it cannot escape the results of the actions. To other Vedantins, who say that the Self was never bound and so no question of its achieving Liberation, the book replies that since the Self is attached to actions from endless past non‑attachment from them is a stage to be obtained by conscious effort for Liberation which is significant.
To the Charvakas who do not believe in a permanent Self nor into its actions and Liberation from them and hence not in the proper way to Liberation, the book replies that since the first five truths are established the sixth also follows them. If the Self‑Liberation is meaningful then the method for it or the way to it must be equally meaningful. Therefore the book suggests the sure path to Soul's liberation or Self‑realization.
(a) THE DISCIPLE'S DOUBT
The pupil doubts the Soul's existence,
Is out of sight, its form unknown,
In any way no experience,
No‑where is Soul, cannot be shown. 45
The Self or the Soul is not seen nor felt by any or all of the senses. The Soul is not perceived by the senses. None has seen or known the form of the Soul. It seems that the Soul cannot be seen or known, nor is the Soul experienced in any other way. Now according to the Jain System the Self should be seen, known and experienced. That which is not seen, nor known, nor experienced cannot be said to exist. Hence the disciple doubts the very existence of the Soul.
The body, senses or the breath,
Can be the Soul, all else is false,
How can one know the Soul ere death ?
No clear signs I see as walls. 46
In these circumstances, since there is no sign or quality of the Soul known to us it is better to say either that there is no Soul at all or that the living body is the Soul. If one objects to identifying the living body with the Soul saying that the living body is purely inconsistent matter and it cannot know anything while the Soul possesses knowledge as its essential quality according to Jainism, then the position may be a little modified.
Yet it may be argued that the senses know (perceive) external objects and internal changes and therefore the senses instead of the whole living body may be called Soul.
If it is further objected that while the senses are momentary and they cease to function, the Soul on the other hand survives the functioning of the senses of the living body it may said that the breath continues to function when senses stop their work and therefore a further modification in the position may be made to the effect that breath instead of the senses or of the living body may be identified with the Soul.
The fundamental marks of life and active consciousness in a living being open to sense‑perception are only three. A living being moves its limbs, perceives its objects by its senses, and breathes. The third is more important than the first and the second. Whether there is a Self in inanimate object we do not know. But in all animate beings the movement, sense‑perception and breathing are fundamentally present. Therefore, the disciple suggests that the Self can exist only as breath in living beings, that breath is the Self. Those who hold that the conscious Self has qualities other than the above three found in living beings should explain them.
If there's the Soul, why it's not known ?
As pots and clothes, it should be seen;
If there is Soul's existence own,
Arguments mine are true, I mean. 47
If the Self or Soul exists as a substance then it should be seen or felt by the senses as living bodies, pots and clothes are seen by our senses. Living bodies, pots and clothes exist, for they are seen. The Self is different from the living body, its senses and breath and yet it is not seen or known as an independent substances. Hence it does not exist.
Thus there is no Soul, futile all‑
Means for freedom of the Soul‑of saints,
Destroy my doubts by any means,
To make my heart free from all taints. 48
Therefore there is no Soul. Hence it is futile to think of its Liberation. If religion is a method of Soul's Liberation it is not required at all since the Soul does not exist. Please explain the nature of Soul's existence if at all there is any.
(b) THE TRUE TEACHER'S REPLY :
The Teacher true does so explain,
The body and the Soul seem one,
Distinct are both, the signs are plain,
Remove body ‑ infatuation. 49
The body and the Soul seem one,
Distinct are both, but this deceives,
Alone the body‑infatuation,
Distinct are both as swords and sheaths. 50
From times immemorial the Self of the Soul is in close contact with material body. The Soul is ever hunting after external objects through the bodily senses. Hence it has completely identified itself with its body through which it works. It is by constant association of the Soul with the body that the Soul is felt as identical with its living body. In fact the Soul and its living body are quite different in nature as is the sword from its scabbard.
The embodied Soul has forgotten its original Selfhood so much so that it doubts its independence of the body when the realized Souls actually advise and guide one to an experience of such independence. For such Souls proper concentration on the nature of the Self can be attained by constant contact with a living and enlightened Guru. By such contact the seeker of the Self will be indifferent to the sense object contacts and he will direct all his energies to know the Self.
Now, how can the Self be identified ? As fire can be grasped by a fork, the nature of the Self can be grasped by discriminative differentiation between the nature of the Self and that of the living body, its senses and breath.
The Self is Self‑luminous and knowing. By a discriminative intellect the thoughts of the Self can be separated from those of the not‑self ‑ the body, the senses and the world at large. The intellect can clearly distinguish between the conscious and the unconscious, the living and the dead. In all forms of knowledge the knower is there but different from them. There is no knowledge without the Self, the prime knower.
By true insight the seeker of the Self will read the presence of the Self in the surrounding beauty of the Nature. In all doubtings the doubter will be known. While the material objects perceptible to the senses are momentary and subject to destruction the Self is indestructible.
In fine, leaving everything else, a seeker of the Self should have firm faith on the Self and should think and meditate on it.
The chief characteristics of the Self are eternal maintenance of its essential nature (Samata), the source of all beauty (Ramata), prime importance of its presence in all forms of knowledge and action (Urdhvata), the capacity to know everything (Sukhabhasa), the seat of all experiences internal and external (Vedakata), and the source of all enlightenment (Chaitanyata).
Ah ! one that sees the sight and knows,
Experiences one unconcealed,
Indisputable sign that shows,
The Soul itself to all revealed. 51
The Soul is the seer in sight. How can the sight grasp it ? The eye sees through the co‑operation of the Soul. In other words, the soul guides and controls the eyes to fulfill their function of seeing the objects. The senses are powerless without the co‑operation and control of the Soul. The Soul is the ruler and the senses are the ruled. Therefore one can say that the Soul sees through the eyes and hears through the ears. The Soul knows the forms.
Ever after leaving all forms of the body, the Soul being indestructible abides. All other things are transitory, the Soul is eternal. The Soul does not cease to be with the stoppage of breath. Liquidating one by one the imperfect and limited experiences of the Soul, the experience of the Self itself remains indubitably certain and it is the irreducible basis of all other experiences.
This nature of the Soul as unique and quite distinguishable from all forms of the material being is commonly experienced by the realized Souls. In every state of the living being, the Soul maintains its unlimited presence and superiority. Such experiences are positive proofs of the presence of the Soul as quite different from breath, senses or the rest of the living body.
Each sense has its own subject‑knowledge,
The knowledge of all sense‑subjects,
The Soul possesses, 'its not strange,
The ear hears, the soul rejects. 52
Every sense‑organ enables us to know only its appropriate objects, the ear cannot see and the eye cannot hear. But the Soul can know the appropriate objects of all the five senses. Without the co‑operation of the Soul, no sense can function. Not only the Soul knows the objects perceived by the five senses but also it remembers them for future reference.
The body cannot know the Soul,
Nor senses,neither knows the breath,
All do their deeds, if there's the Soul,
If it goes off, it's called death. 53
The body cannot know the Soul, nor can the senses or breath know it. On the other hand the very functions of the body, the senses and the breath depend on the presence of the Soul in them.
The Soul is conscious and intelligent, the body and the senses are unconscious and non‑intelligent; the Soul is spiritual, the body and the senses are material, they will be dead and lifeless in the absence of the Soul. Without the Soul they cannot be known as such.
Hence it is meaningless to ask as to why do the senses not see the Soul if there is one such. The body and the senses are by nature incapable of knowing or seeing the Soul. It is foolish to expect or to think of the sense‑perception of the Soul.
In all the states the Soul separate,
Is seen always as consciousness,
Distinctive mark is accurate,
To ascertain the Soul's presence. 54
The Soul, though present in all the states of consciousness (wakefulness, dream and sleep) of a living being, always experiences itself as different from each and all of them. The states of consciousness come and go but the Soul remains as their knower.
In human life, men pass through different stages but there is no change in the Soul's nature. It cannot be called young or old, human or divine, learned or ignorant. The Soul is known by its intelligence and consciousness. It is the eternal knower of everything. The
knowability of the Soul is eternal and indestructible.
You know the pots and clothes and all,
Thus them believe but not the knower,
If pots and clothes exist big, small,
Why not the Soul with knowledge‑power ? 55
What a surprising argument is yours, O my pupil ? You say you know the body, the pot and the clothes etc., the sensible objects and so you accept them as real and you donot accept the knower of these bodies, pots and clothes etc.
If the knower is absent, the knowledge and the known are automatically absent. Where is knowledge without the knower ? The presence of the knower is implicit in the knowledge of the sensible objects.
Supreme in thought, though bodies thin,
In fat, strong bodies no cleverness,
This proves the body is the inn,
And not the Soul, there is no oneness. 56
Besides, on accepting the theory of the body as the Soul, a man's intelligence will increase or decrease with the increase or decrease in his volume. But on the contrary we find slim bodied persons with extra‑ordinary knowledge and the fat bodied persons with dullness and ignorance. Hence it seems the volume of a body has no direct relation with the intellectual powers or intelligence.
If body were the Soul and Soul were ever‑knowing and intelligent the above anomaly would not arise. Therefore, we should conclude that in no circumstances can the Soul be identified with the living body.
The natures of the Soul and matter,
Are clearly quite different,
Can never be of one character,
See ages all : past, future, present. 57
The sentiment and the non‑sentient substances have quite different
characteristics and distinction between the two is unmistakably clear at all times.
The non‑sentient objects or substances have no capacity to know anything. On the contrary the sentient substances are ever knowing. Therefore, one should not be mistaken for the other.
They would never merge into each other. A sentient substance can never be a non‑sentient one and a non‑sentient substance can by no magic or logic be made into a sentient one. Both are utterly different and are experienced as such in all times.
O ! one that doubts the Soul's existence,
He himself the Soul must be,
`Without the doubter's obvious presence,
Can there be doubt ?' surprises me. 58
How strange that the Soul doubts its own existence ! One cannot even say that there is no Soul in the absence of a Soul. Doubt implies the existence of the doubter, and the doubter is the Soul. There cannot be a doubt without a doubter.
To believe in the experiences of an embodied Soul such as seeing pots and clothes and not to believe at the same time in the Soul whose experiences they are, is to commit a folly such as believing a shadow without a substance or believing in a reflecting of a body in the mirror without believing in the body, whose reflection it is.
The Soul by nature is self‑luminous and it is illuminating all other objects. We spend more time in seeing other objects by the help of the Soul and we feel we have no time in perceiving our own self‑luminous Soul. Therefore, we come to a strange pass i.e. we doubt our Soul's existence.
(a) THE DISCIPLE'S DOUBT
By thinking deep upon your points,
Of Soul's existence, I allege,
That there must be the Soul who joints,
The diverse parts of this knowledge. 59
The disciple reflected on all the proofs of Soul's existence given by the Guru and found them to be convincing and conclusive. Therefore he declares that he has been clearly convinced of the existence of the Soul. Such a conviction is absolutely necessary for one's spiritual progress. It will help one in his firm faith of the Soul's eternal nature i.e. pure sentience or all knowability. Such a firm conviction and faith in the Soul's nature cannot be shaken by anything in future.
After getting convinced of the truth of the first proposition i.e. the Soul exists, the disciple proceeds to his doubts about the second proposition i.e. the Soul is eternal. He proceeds ‑
The second doubt now I put forth,
The Soul cannot be eternal,
The contact of the body's birth,
Destruction of union visual. 60
My second doubt is that even though the Soul exists it is not experienced as eternal or indestructible. We can only recognise Soul's existence in the experiences of a living body. None has found a Soul in inert ball of matter. To say that a man has died is simply to mean that the Soul has stopped its function in it. Therefore in the dead objects we cannot see the Soul. Why not then say that the Soul is born with the living body and expires with its expiry ?
This means that the Soul is momentary and not permanent nor eternal, that the Soul is born at the co‑operation and contact of five gross elements in a certain proposition and that it expires at the disintegration or separation of the very five elements.
Or things are transient, constant change,
Is seen in every living being,
And substances without knowledge,
I see, thus, there's no eternal thing. 61
All psychical and physical substances are found to be in constant and continuous flux or change. There is nothing in this world of space and time which is not changing. Therefore, the Soul that exists should also be existing as a momentary substance.
It may be argued that though the Soul is destroyed, at one moment, it is reborn at the next moment because of the urge of strong desires (Vasana) and this continuity of constant destruction and rebirth ends finally with the complete destruction of the strong desires or deep‑seated dispositions. And that is called complete destruction of the Soul or unqualified Liberation (Nirvana, Moksha). This is the view of the Vijnanavadin Buddhists.
(b) THE TRUE TEACHER'S REPLY
The body is only adherence,
The object seen, lifeless, with forms,
Who knows the Soul's genesis, hence,
Or death thereof ? Think of the norms. 62
Every living body is a composite of five kinds of atoms and only as such it is in contact with the Soul.
Besides the living body is non‑sentient, it can assume different forms, it can be thicker or thinner and it is always the object of someone's perception. It cannot know anything and it can be known by the Soul. It can neither know itself. Such a material non‑sentient body is naturally incapable of knowing the creation and destruction of the sentient Soul.
Thinking of every atom of the living body one has to conclude that it is non‑sentient to the core, and therefore, it can never be the birth‑place or the grave of the sentient Soul. How can a non‑sentient living body give birth to a sentient object even when it may be in contact with a sentient Soul ? Therefore, it is wrong to hold that a non‑sentient substance helps directly or indirectly the birth or destruction of a sentient Soul.
Besides, who can be legitimately held to have experienced the so‑called birth and destruction of sentient Soul in the non‑sentient body ? If A knows that B is born, A should be prior to B. But the disciple has argued that the living body and the Soul are born together and they die together. So the Soul, the knower was not prior to its birth, nor does it survive its destruction.
We have already argued that the non‑intelligent or non‑sentient body cannot know about the sentient Soul, either its eternity or its momentariness. Now we argue that on the theory that the Soul and the body are born together and that they die together, even the Soul, the knower cannot record its birth or death and therefore the theory is contrary to reason and experience.
To conclude, the theory put forth by the disciple is based on ignorance of the nature of the Soul. The Soul is ever formless, it can never be thicker or thinner, it has no size, it is pure sentience, all‑knowing, impartite, eternal and immortal. The birth and death of the living beings are simply due to the contact of five gross elements and their dis‑integration after a certain period of time.
The seer of the rise and fall,
Must be quite different from the scene,
Can hear the dead their death‑roll‑call ?
Or ere one's birth what can be seen ? 63
It is obvious that one that claims to know the birth and death of the Soul must be different from it. The Soul in the living body cannot say it was born nor can it say it is dead. Such an experience is unthinkable.
Compounds of elements can be seen,
But not the Soul that's original,
The Soul is the seer and not the seen,
Nothing can create the Soul eternal. 64
All combinations of atoms are seen and known by the Soul, but reflecting on the nature of these combinations we find none which is competent to create a Soul. Therefore the Soul is neither an atom nor a combination of atoms, nor does it result from any combination of atoms. The Soul is eternal and it is directly experienced as such by Self‑knowledge.
From matter consciousness may rise,
Or consciousness might it create,
Is not experience of the wise,
It never happens, say the great. 65
None has ever experienced the birth of the sentient from the non‑sentient or the reverse.
If out of any element,
One is not created at all,
It cannot be put to an end,
The Soul is seen thus eternal. 66
That which is not born of any contact or combination of atoms or things, cannot admit of death or destruction by the cessation of contact or dis‑integration of atoms. According to the well‑known law one that is born has to die but one that is unborn is immortal, eternal. In this sense the Soul is unborn and eteranl.
THE ETERNITY OF THE SOUL IS NOW INFERENTIALLY PROVED
In beings like snakes anger's untaught,
It shows the former birth's habit,
Therefore the wise have deeply thought,
The soul has lost last body, not it. 67
Some animals e.g. the snakes show excessive anger in their behavior from their very birth. This can only be explained by saying that these qualities found in excess in these animals are due to their dispositions of the past births.
Every embodied Soul has certain dispositions carried along from its previous births. It is agreed that man in his present life has a nature determined by the actions of his previous births. The continuity of births proves the eternity of the Soul. The living body is born and will die but the Soul in the contact of the living body is not born and will not die. Because of the continuity of the Soul, the past and present lives of an embodied Soul are connected and the experiences of the previous life are helpful in developing the present life.
The great Yogis by spiritualizing their memory and power of recollection obtain the knowledge of their past life and they are able to establish continuity in their march to Self‑realization or Salvation. And such unmistakable knowledge of the past lives is a proof positive of the eternity of the Soul.
One sees in childhood, youth and age,
There's knowledge of being the same,
So see the Soul's all states but change,
Remaining over the substance same. 68
The Soul as a metaphysical substance possessed of infinite qualities and capable of infinite manifestations (Paryaya) is eternally the same at all times. Its manifestations change with the successive changes of its qualities. As the same substance may manifest differently, the same Soul in a living body assumes different forms such as infancy, maturity and old age, itself remaining unchanged.
It knows and remembers all its different forms and this is possible only if it does not change with its changing manifestations. All its infinite qualities admit of increase or decrease in them but none of them is ever totally destroyed. Do we not say that the sea remains the same though its waves constantly change ?
One who describes absolute change,
Of everything at every moment,
Must be the same who knows and says,
This falsifies his own statement. 69
Besides, how can we say that an object or experience is momentary if we come and go with it ? One who knows that an object is momentary and says it to be so at the next moment, must be present after the momentary object is no more.
Therefore we must admit that the knower of the momentariness of objects cannot be momentary himself. On this evidence one should decide that the Soul that knows itself, its qualities, its manifestations and the world around, is eternal and not momentary.
Nothing is lost absolutely,
See water changes as the steam,
If consciousness is off totally,
Find out the ocean of Soul‑stream. 70
Besides, it is the law universal that no object in the world can be totally destroyed. That which once exists can never totally cease to exist. An object may be found in one state at one moment and in the other at next moment or after some time. Science has proved that matter changes but it is never completely destroyed. The atoms of which the material objects are formed remain indestructible though their compositions change.
If non‑destructibility is proved to be true of material objects how much more easy it is to admit the non‑destructibility of the sentient Self which is superior to all material things ?
An earthen pot when broken returns to earth and to nothing else, and a golden ornament to gold. Similarly the sentient Self will maintain its sentience at all times and it will never mix with or merge into its opposite ‑ the non‑sentient atoms.
Hence the Soul is eternal and indestructible and incapable of merging or transforming itself into non‑sentient objects. The disciple is challenged to find out any non‑sentient transformation of the sentient self that he can imagine.
(a) THE DISCIPLE'S DOUBT
The disciple is convinced of the truth of the second proposition namely that the Soul is eternal. He further doubts the truth of the third proposition namely that the Soul is the author of its actions.
He argues ‑
The third doubt as the pupil's plea,
The Soul himself does no bondage,
Or bondage acts itself ugly,
Affixed by nature, or as knowledge. 71
The Soul does not appear to be the author of its actions. Either say that there is a chain of actions, the previous action causing the subsequent one, or that though the Soul does no action, actions automatically happen.
On the other hand, if it be said that the Soul is the sole author of its actions, to cause actions will be its constitutive nature and then we will have to conclude that since the Soul by nature performs actions it can never be free or liberated from them.
The Soul is unalloyed for ever,
`Tis bondage that is really bound,
Or God is goading what's Soul's power ?
Therefore the Soul remains unbound.' 72
Or it may be said that the Soul is always un‑attached to Matter (Prakriti) and it does not do any action. Only the non‑intelligent Matter (Prakriti) acts and the non‑attached Soul though inactive enjoys or suffers the activities of Matter. This is the position of the Samkhya System. The Matter by its activities binds the Soul.
Others believe that the whole world is created by God and He induces the embodied Soul to do all actions. On this ground too, God and not the Soul, should be held responsible for the Soul's bondage or freedom. The Soul is not bound since it does not act of its own accord.
It's no use to try for freedom,
The Soul binds not, else binds for ever,
Thus I see carelessness is wisdom,
Unchanged is nature whatsoever. 73
On neither of the alternatives shown above can we say, says the disciple, that the Soul is liberated from the bondage of its actions. An all knowing Soul will not do any action if action brings bondage to it. No person normally cuts his own legs.
If action automatically happen or the previous action causes subsequent one, the Soul can then be a passive spectator of the series of actions, but it should not suffer from any bondage due to automatic actions.
On the Samkhya view also, the Purusha or the Soul does not act at all and therefore it is wrong for the Samkhyas to make the Soul suffer for the activities of the non‑intelligent Prakriti i.e. Matter, the Soul can be held responsible for its actions and not for those of the Matter.
Lastly, if God directs the Soul to do or not to do as He pleases then it will be unjust to say that the Soul should suffer for the actions done by it under the compelling inspiration of God, who is the author of the whole universe including the Souls.
If the Soul does not act at all it never gets bound by actions and there is no need to think of the Soul's Liberation. If the Soul's nature is to act, and to act is to be bound then Soul can never be liberated as it is impossible for the Soul to change its nature. Hence it is useless to waste time in thinking of the path to Soul's Salvation or Liberation.
(b) THE TRUE TEACHER'S REPLY:
In bondage if the soul not acts,
Who can accept the bondage worse ?
Examine minutely the facts,
No conscious acts in lifelessness. 74
Reflecting on the distinct and different natures of the sentient and the non‑sentient, it will be evident that all actions (Karma) of a living being are induced by the sentient Soul in it. The sentient Soul induces the living body to action and therefore, the Soul is rightly regarded as the author of its actions. The non‑sentient body cannot act at all much less can it inspire any action.
In any way if Soul is still,
No bondage it acquires ever,
It's thus no nature's work so ill,
Nor character of Soul's own power. 75
If the sentient Soul does not induce the living body to activity, no actions issue from it. Hence, it is wrong to hold that actions automatically happen or that one action causes another action, on the other hand, it is equally wrong to say that as all actions of living beings are induced by the sentient Souls therefore it is the nature of the Soul to induce any actions good or bad.
All actions of living beings good, bad or indifferent depend upon their attachments or hatreds. Compelled by a strong attachment to money a man accumulates wealth and impelled by a strong desire to destroy his rival in business he develops hatred towards him and he brings him down when he is strong and his rival is weak and exposed to his attack.
The sentient Soul by a strong determination can control and be completely free from attachments and hatreds and thereby it can be free from all bondage to actions.
It is a trial of strength, a tug of war. The aspirations and deep‑seated desires of attachment and hatred are very strong but the Soul can assume more strength than they, and being victorious over them it can be completely liberated from all actions. Hence, it is wrong to hold that the Soul's nature is not to induce actions and thereby incur bondage. Nor it is the quality of the Soul to do actions. The Soul's qualities are knowledge, faith and conduct, etc.
Since on a higher plane the Soul is not related to any action, a philosophy of Soul's liberation as freedom from actions is preached by Jainism.
The Soul, reflecting on the nature of the non‑sentient and identifying itself with it, owns actions and therefore for it, bondage and freedom are real experiences. The Soul reflecting on its own nature and being fixed in it is eternally free.
The actions are momentary, they come and go, while there is nothing momentary in the Soul.
If Soul is so bondageless quite,
To you it appears not why ?
Unalloyed is Soul, that's right,
To one who knows his self, else, dry. 76
In fine, the Soul led by strong attachment and hatred induces the living body to do actions. If the embodied Soul were for all times non‑attached to actions it should have been experienced as such by all persons. The Soul is non‑attached to actions from a higher point of view. In ordinary life every embodied Soul is attached to actions and therefore it has to attain liberation from them by adopting a definite discipline for the purpose. The Soul becomes non‑attached to actions only when it clearly knows its own nature.
God does not bind, nor helps creation,
Perfection (purity) of the Soul is God,
If He instigates, where's perfection ?
Nothing He does, such is the Lord. 77
Since according to Jainism the pure and eternal Soul liberated from all actions is God, He can neither create the world nor be the author of the actions of the living beings. Should He be regarded as inducing the Souls to do actions, He will be to that extent defective and that will be a contradiction.
If one himself really knows,
The Soul behaves in only knowledge,
But binds himself in ignorance,
As childish plays in younger age. 78
If the Soul is Self‑conscious it is the author of its manifestations. Till it is not Self‑conscious it is the author of the impulses to actions good, bad or indifferent.
The moment the Soul's consciousness turns towards the Soul's fundamental or real nature i.e. pure sentience, freedom, etc., the Soul realizes its real nature and it subsequently functions as it really is. Here it is the author of its own sentient nature in the sense of its manifestations. Till it is ignorant of its real nature, it turns towards the living body and the other non‑sentient objects and it becomes the author of impulses to actions good, bad or indifferent.
(a) THE DISCIPLE'S DOUBT
The disciple is now convinced of the truth of the third proposition namely that the Soul is the author of its actions. But he has doubts about the fourth proposition namely that the Soul enjoys or suffers the fruits of its actions. He argues ‑
The Souls may bind, but not receives,
The fruits thereof, who likes the worse ?
No knowledge lifeless bondage has,
How can it allot the fruit as worth ? 79
Admitting that the embodied Soul acts, it does not necessarily follow that it enjoys the fruits of its actions. All actions are non‑sentient and material. The non‑sentient matter cannot be said to bring consequences of these actions to sentience and intelligence in non‑sentient matter and this is absurd.
Believe fruit‑giver God impartial,
Defective Godhood sounds unwell,
In any other ways the Soul,
Receiver of the fruits, don't tell. 80
If it is said that God is the giver of the fruits of actions to the Soul, it can be admitted that the Soul has got to enjoy or suffer the fruits of its actions. But a question arises as to the propriety of God's interference in Soul's business.
Again, God who is non‑attached, perfectly liberated Soul, in His pure and perfect nature cannot be interested in adjusting actions and fruits thereof with the Souls. It seems to be quite an uncalled for and interminable botheration. However, if God indulges in it, He will be full of faults and ultimately He will lose His Godhood.
Without good God chaos must shine,
No proper place for good, bad deeds,
To distribute ill fruits or fine,
Impartial person must be needs. 81
If the existence of God as the power that makes for order and system in the world is challenged and is to be set aside for want of adequate proof, one will have to admit complete anarchy and chaos in the world and as a consequence we will be forced to say that there is no such arrangement in nature as good begets good and evil, evil. Nor can we think of Heaven and Hell as rewards for saints and sinners respectively. Under such circumstances one has to admit that the Soul has not to enjoy or suffer the fruits of its actions.
(b) THE TRUE TEACHER'S REPLY
The Soul‑activity is animate all,
Impure thoughts are self‑bondages,
Soul‑strength vibrates, infinite small‑
Gas‑forms of bondage form the cage. 82
Actions are of two types : sentient and non‑sentient. The disciple has referred only to the non‑sentient actions. The Soul's deluded imagination originates sentient actions such as impulses, desires, etc. They induce the Soul's energy to work in attracting to it the superfine material elements (Karma‑vargana) and the latter interwine with the Soul resulting in its bondage. This is how the Soul is said to be bound by material actions.
Understands not nectar nor poison,
That it should cure or kill the eater,
The Soul gets fruits of what is eaten,
Thus bondage bears fruits bad or sweeter. 83
A non‑sentient matter cannot know its qualities or effects. For example, nectar and poison have their objective qualities. As material objects they do not know their qualities and their effects, nor do they know whom they will benefit or harm, but they help or harm a living being who takes them. Nectar regains life, poison ends it.
Similarly material actions have their objective nature, though they are incapable of knowing it. The Soul has a certain type of interest in doing an action and according to the interest good or bad, it enjoys or suffers when its actions yield it fruits.
See one errant and one empress,
Without some cause, no results strange,
Both human beings, unevenness‑
Is due to bad or good bondage. 84
The results of good and bad actions are unmistakably experienced, enjoyed or suffered by living beings in this world. We find in the world the differences of the prince and the pauper. One is born with a silver spoon in his mouth while to the other the whole life is a burden, a tale of series of unsuccessful struggles and frustrations.
According to the law of causation there is no effect without a cause. The differences of status and enjoyment or suffering found in society must have their causes.
One must admit therefore that if a man suffers for no fault of his in present life he does so for some of his bad actions of the past life. Similarly if a man enjoys good of life without being good in his present life, he does so for some of his good deeds of the past life. By this unfailing law ‑ "as you sow, so you reap", every Soul has to enjoy or suffer the fruits of his good or bad actions done in the past.
Fruit‑giver God is not required,
By nature bondage fructifies,
No more the Soul the juice enjoyed,
The bondage falls, without surprise. 85
The actions done by the Soul have in them the natural potency of yielding definite fruits. Like nectar and poison all good and bad deeds yield appropriate results, and thereafter they become ineffective. The Soul becomes free from its actions only after it enjoys or suffers the fruits thereof. There is no need to posit God as the giver of rewards or punishments as fruits of the Soul's actions.
Do we not find that a small seed has a potency to develop into a huge tree ? Do we not find that the words of men create conflicts and lead to war, that they work sharper and stronger than the deadly weapons ? Do we not observe that a man‑made machine say a railway engine carries away his loads? From these examples, it is easy to hold that actions of the Soul have a natural power to yield definite fruits without fail.
The place and things of various kinds,
These are eternal heaven and hell,
The truth is deep beyond your finds,
It's here exposed in a nut‑shell. 86
From the cosmic point of view every substance is higher, middle or lower, according as it is pure, mixed or impure. Every Soul cherishes his good, bad or mixed motives while doing any actions. Accordingly it will go to the higher world (Heaven), the nether world (Hell) or the middle world (the Earth) to enjoy or suffer the fruits of its actions impelled by these motives.
The special nature of the Soul and its body is to feel elevated by good actions, depressed by bad actions and have mixed feelings by partly good and partly bad actions. And from the point of view of the law of justice it is quite correct to admit that Heaven and Hell are by nature places of enjoyment and suffering for the good and bad Souls respectively. They are not specially made by God.
The philosophy of actions and the places of enjoying or suffering their fruits in Heaven, Hell, etc. is very difficult to grasp, it has been described in detail in relevant scriptures. Only its brief idea is given here.
Ananda Shravaka by his spiritually enlightened vision could see the world of Gods (Deva). By rightly digesting the revealed truths received from the scriptures and the enlightened Guru one can easily know the whence and whither of a particular Soul. Such knowledge is also very deep and difficult to grasp.
(a) THE DISCIPLE'S DOUBT
The Soul may bind and get the fruit,
But never can it get the freedom,
Infinite time has passed, the root‑
Of birth and death is not undone. 87
The disciple is now convinced of the truth of the third and fourth proposition namely that the Soul is the author of its actions and it has to enjoy or suffer the fruits thereof. He further doubts the truth of the fifth proposition namely that the Soul can be liberated.
The disciple is convinced by his Guru's arguments and proofs that the Soul owns actions and enjoys or suffers the fruits thereof. But he has doubts about the Soul's liberation. He argues ‑
I admit that the Soul does actions and enjoys or suffers the fruits thereof. But how can I admit that the Soul can be liberated or that it can be absolutely freed from the bondage of actions ? The Soul has gone on doing actions in its endless past, therefore it was bound during its long history. Even in the present it follows its age‑old habit of doing actions. It means that the fault of the Soul namely to do actions and thereby to incur bondage was with it in endless past and continues to be with it at present.
That which could not be removed in the endless past, nor in its present, could easily be held to be irremovable even it its future. Looking to the past and the present of this fault of the Soul, its total removal in the future or the Soul's liberation seems to be inconceivable and impossible. Hence, to wish for the Soul's liberation is to live in a fool's paradise.
Good deeds give heaven and bad, hell,
The Soul is errant and world wheel,
What state is bondageless, please tell,
Try any way, result is nil. 88
Under the circumstances one should not think of the Soul's freedom at all. The Soul was never free and will never be free. At best we can admit that the Soul can choose to do good, bad or mixed actions, and that doing good actions leads to Heaven, bad actions to Hell and mixed actions to the middle world the Earth, to enjoy or suffer the fruits of its actions. Do good actions to enjoy their fruits in Heaven etc. Do bad actions and suffer intense agonies in Hell etc. In none of the four kinds of the living beings Gods, devils, men and lower animals the Soul is free from bondage of actions.
(b) THE TRUE TEACHER'S REPLY
As good or bad deeds give the fruit,
Non‑action too is fruitful, due,
O ! wise, with talent see acute‑
There's freedom from the bondage true. 89
O my disciple, as you have realized that the Soul does good or bad actions and therefore enjoys or suffers the fruits thereof, so should you know, O intelligent one, that the detachment from actions yields positive fruit and it is liberation. Do actions and be bound by them, cease to do them and be free from their bondage. It is possible for Soul to refrain from doing actions and therefore liberation as its result is not only unthinkable but practical and real.
Infinite time has passed till now,
For good or bad ideas maintain‑
The chain of bondage anyhow,
At hand is freedom, break the chain. 90
It is true that the Soul wasted away its endless past in doing good and bad actins, but it never stopped or refrained from doing them. Nor does it do so in the present. It could not do otherwise as it was attached to them, as it felt as if doing actions was its real nature.
If the Soul is now made to decide clearly that its nature is to be free from actions and not to be attached to them, it can start its life anew and by developing a spirit of complete detachment to all actions and their fruits, it can achieve liberation.
A strong apathy towards the Soul's bondage is absolutely essential for the discovery of the path to liberation. The Soul's impatience for liberation is a welcome sign for its spiritual progress. One must strongly feel the loss of peace to obtain peace.
To firmly reside in one's own nature i.e. to behave as a Soul free from actions is not possible without a clear and firm conviction of the Soul's true nature.
The bound Soul must realize that it is led by ignorance and actions, that it is in state of misery and distress, that it is tormented by the cycle of birth and death. Only then such a soul will search out an enlightened Guru, and following his guidance in letter and spirit it will be enlightened to know its own nature. Then it clearly knows what is soul's liberation and the path to it.
The guidance of the enlightened Guru, the disciple's implicit faith in it and his conscious effort at strict obedience to his Guru's advice definitely brings to the disciple a right understanding of the Soul's nature.
In order to bring this about, the bound Soul must feel strongly uneasy at the ways of the world and it must strongly aspire for its liberation from them.
The human Soul must realize the importance of the human birth as it is only in human birth that it can search out an enlightened Guru and by his help attain to liberation. Such an excellent and unique opportunity for the Soul should not be wasted away.
What could not be done by the Soul in its endless past could be achieved in its human birth simply by consciously following the teaching of an enlightened Guru, who knows the path to Soul's liberation and therefore one who is capable of leading his disciple to success. Therefore once the enlightened Guru is accepted as a guide, one should devote all energies to his guidance and eventually free one's Soul.
Absolute loss of bodies and all,
Puts forth the freedom‑state‑renown,
Eternal status of the Soul,
With happiness infinite own. 91
The Soul in its endless past has experienced many a time its separation from mental, vital and physical contacts. But such separations were temporary. It left one body to enter another. But nowhere did it absolutely disconnect itself from attachments of all kinds, while its absolute separation from all sorts of contacts brings with it experience of complete Self‑realization.
A completely self‑realized or a liberated Soul enjoys for ever its natural and eternal bliss. A Soul free from all actions enjoys liberation. When attached to actions good or bad, the Soul invites a series of births. In contact with different bodies the Soul gets associated with other external objects and thereby it forms strong attachment and hatred towards them. This cycle of the worldly life of the Soul is carried to the present from endless past. The very Soul becomes a `Siddha' or a completely liberated Soul when it gets freed from all attachments and actions.
(a) THE DISCIPLE'S DOUBT
May there be freedom of the Soul,
There's no irrefutable means,
By which, of time infinite all‑
The bondages may lose bobbins. 92
The disciple admits the reality of liberation for the Soul. But he has a further doubt about the truth of the sixth proposition namely that there is a sure path to Soul's Salvation or Liberation.
He argues that there is such a heap of the actions done by the Soul in its countless past lives, that to expect their complete extinction in the short span of its present life is almost impossible. He respectfully asks his Guru, therefore, to show him a path to Soul's salvation that is flawless and acceptable to all.
Or many a creed and schools of Thought,
Show steps to freedom differently,
What step is true, I can't make out,
What must I choose, (I) ask reverently. 93
Supposing for the sake of argument that a man can be free from all actions in his present short life, the fundamental question remains.
Every system of philosophy and religion formulates its own path for Soul's salvation and claims its infallibility and superiority. When there are many such systems it is difficult to decide as to which of the proposed paths to liberation is correct and worthy of adoption by a true seeker of the Self. In the atmosphere of diverse alternative paths to liberation one cannot easily discriminate the right path from the wrong ones.
What caste or grab leads one to freedom,
Is not determined, all differ,
The true religion must be one,
So many baffle, when they whisper. 94
In the world one religion holds that a Soul in order to be liberated must be born in a Brahmin family, the other holds that the Soul in a woman's body does not deserve liberation. In the third we may find that there are various orders of the disciples and they adopt different uniforms for their identification. Under these circumstances no one decides clearly and once for all, the caste and the uniform the Soul should be in for liberation.
The diverse opinions divide the disciple's mind and confuse his thinking. This could not happen if there were an universally approved single path to Soul's liberation. The many paths of liberation proposed by the various systems of philosophy and religion are not only different but are mutually conflicting. Therefore they appear to be all wrong without exception. Conflict of opinions in religion is its great fault.
Thus I conclude the means of freedom,
Does not exist in any way,
What is the use of such a wisdom,
Of Soul's existence, ever‑stay ? 95
Therefore it may be concluded that one cannot know the universally accepted path to liberation since there is none such. If there is no un‑failing path to liberation it is futile to know the ultimate nature of the Soul.
On the contrary, the knowledge of the real nature of the Soul will bring us more pain when we cannot find a means to realize it. To know and pine for what one cannot achieve is extremely distressing.
THE DISCIPLE CONCLUDES
Your five replies satisfied me,
About that I am doubtless now,
If I know now the means ah ! me !
Full fortunate I feel freed how ! 96
I am completely satisfied with your replies to my first five doubts. I should consider myself the most fortunate one, would I get similar satisfaction regarding my sixth and the last doubt.
The disciple has developed firm faith in the state of Soul's liberation and so intense is his desire for liberation that should he come to know a sure path to Soul's salvation, he would headlong plunge into it, would never leave it and would leave no stone unturned to obtain salvation. He has now a firm faith in his Master and he is sure that once his Master shows him the path of liberation, he will follow it and will quickly obtain liberation. Therefore in a joyful mood he says that he is away from liberation only till he hears about the sure path to it.
In this stanza the words "Udaya udaya sadbhagya" suggests fitness of the disciple for obtaining liberation. The disciple is intent on acting up to his Master's guidance in the subject.
In the beginning the disciple was pessimistic and depressed in view of the different and conflicting paths of liberation preached by various systems of philosophy and religion, and he felt that there was no sure path to Soul's salvation, but when he put his doubt to his Master he regained his faith in the capacity of his Master to dispel all his doubts and lead him to Liberation. Therefore he became joyful and optimistic.
(b) THE TRUE TEACHER'S REPLY :
Convinced you are of five replies,
The same way means you shall know soon,
An answer comes, the doubt soon flies,
The way to freedom is a boon. 97
May you be assured that you shall know from me the sure means to Soul's liberation and so your sixth and the last doubt will be easily dispelled as in the case of your first five doubts. The Self in you will as a rule realize and assent to what I say about the path of Soul's liberation as it has so done in the case of your previous doubts.
The bondage‑cause is self‑ignorance,
Self‑steadiness is freedom‑cause,
Ignorance is like darkness, trance,
The knowledge‑torch brings it to pause. 98
Ignorance of one's real nature is the cause of Soul's bondage and actions. The Self‑equipoise of the Soul is the cause of its liberation. Ignorance is destroyed by knowledge as darkness is dispelled by light. The light of the real nature of the Soul will destroy the darkness of Soul's ignorance.
The Soul must decide that its true nature is quite different from that of the body and the worldly objects, that ultimately it has to settle in its true nature, finally renouncing all wanderings in the not‑self.
Knowledge is the nature of the Soul. Ignorance associates the Soul with actions. Therefore ignorance is compared with darkness. Attachment and hatred are raised by ignorance and they enshackle the Soul in the worldly cycle of birth and death.
At the dawn of knowledge the Soul and the non‑sentient objects appear in their true colors and a realization of the Soul, as quite distinct from and unrelated to the body, results. The Soul becomes fearless and free from the cycle of birth and death.
The bondage‑causes whatsoever,
Follow path of bondages,
Destroy those causes, being clever,
That path of freedom for all ages. 99
That which causes bondage is the path to bondage and that which causes liberation is the path to liberation. The Soul's state in which the causes of bondage are destroyed is the path of liberation and so it leads to the end of the Soul's cycle of birth and death.
Attachment, hatred, ignorance‑
Are three chief knots of bondages,
The path of freedom, find at once,
If they fall off, leave no traces. 100
The fundamental knots of bondage and action are three ‑ attachment, hatred and ignorance. That by which these three knots can be loosened and destroyed is the path to liberation.
Infatuated behavior of the Soul due to its attachment and hatred and wrong understanding of the nature of the Soul or ignorance of the Soul's real nature are together the fundamental source of all actions.
The chief cause of Soul's bondage is the Soul's feeling of oneness with its actions. Actions of the past life may fructify in the present life but if the Soul develops attachment to them, it gets further involved in the cycle of birth and death. If the Soul develops non‑attachment and equanimity or indifference to them the knots of actions get gradually loose and it is freed from them. It is also freed from fresh actions as it is non‑attached to all that is the not‑self.
The Soul that's living, conscious, beauty,
Quite free from all deluding views,
That leads to perfect purity,
Serves for the means of freedom huge. 101
The Self or the Soul is an eternal indestructible substance, and its fundamental characteristic is sentience. It shines by its own light (knowledge) and illumines all other objects around it. The way by which this absolute pure nature of the Soul can be realized and experienced is the sure method of Soul's salvation.
Many people, not knowing the Soul, imagine it to be a fancy or an illusion and by such experiences they declare that they have seen the Soul. Some believe that the Soul is the controlled breath. Others imagine that the light they sometimes see in their meditation is the Soul. The activity of the living body is the criterion of life in it. Some people believe that the criterion of life is the same as the criterion of Soul.
But the correct path of Soul's Salvation is that of experiencing its true nature as pure, absolute, eternal, sentience, free from all contacts. And this experience is quite different from the beliefs mentioned above.
The bondage has infinite forms,
The chief are eight, with one foremost,
`Deluding Karma' the name adorns,
To cut it off, take pains utmost. 102
There are infinite varieties of actions, chief of them being eight (1. Gnanavaraniya, 2. Darshanavaraniya, 3. Vedaniya, 4. Mohaniya, 5. Ayu, 6. Nama, 7. Gotra, and 8. Antaraya). Of these eight varieties the most prominent is one ‑ deluding action (Mohaniya Karma) which infatuates the Soul and misleads it. The method of destroying it is described below.
In reply to the disciple's question as to `how can actions of infinite time be destroyed ?' the Guru maintains that the Soul's characteristic attributes are infinite and the actions of one or the other types cloud these infinite attributes and make them ineffective. Therefore the varieties of the actions are also infinite in number.
It may also be said that the Soul's bondage of action is determined by its inclinations and as they are infinite in number, the varieties of actions too are infinite. But these varieties can be classified in eight main types.
Of these eight varieties of actions the most common and important one is the infatuating or deluding action. It effectively binds the Soul. It is compared with liquor. As a man under the influence of liquor totally forgets himself and does many actions unbecoming him, so does the soul under the influence of Self‑ignorance cherish many dreams and whims and holds wrong beliefs.
It believes that its body is its self, that sense‑enjoyment is the source of abiding pleasure and happiness, that its body is holy, that there is no soul apart from living body. Misguided by such beliefs the Soul behaves with prejudices and meets with confusion and chaos, and it gets entangled in feverish activities.
If the infatuating action is rendered ineffective and destroyed then all the rest of the actions get easily gone.
It pollutes Faith and Conduct both,
Unfailing means accordingly,
Enlightenment by Teacher's truth,
Unattachment true distinctly. 103
There are two types of the infatuating actions.
The first is called the `Darshana Mohaniya' the action which clouds the Soul's faith in its nature. In it the Soul confuses the transient with the eternal, the changing with the permanent. The Soul under the influence of this action considers the not‑self, as the Self and the Self as the not‑self.
The second is called the `Charitra Mohaniya' the dispositions of the past life ‑ aggressive passions (Kashaya) and mild passions (No‑kashaya) which hinder the Soul from renouncing the world and which disturb and obstruct the Soul's abidance in its true nature.
The first type of infatuating actions (Darshana Mohaniya Karma) can be destroyed by the knowledge of the Soul's true nature, the second type of infatuating actions (Charitra Mohaniya Karma) is destroyed by a spirit of non‑attachment.
Wrong understanding is Darshana Mohaniya Karma. Its opposite is the right knowledge of the nature of the Self. Infatuating behavior (Charitra Mohaniya Karma) results from attachment and its opposite is a spirit of complete non‑attachment to the worldly objects.
As darkness is dispelled by light, right knowledge of the nature of the Self and behavior guided by a spirit of non‑attachment are the sure remedies to remove the clouds of Darshana Mohaniya Karma disturbing the Soul's natural Self‑equipoise.
For, a right knowledge of the nature of the Self results from following the experienced advice of a true and enlightened Teacher. Only then these advice are appreciated and acted upon by the disciple. As a result the disciple sets his firm faith and love in his Master and consequently realizes his true nature.
When the disciple after a clear conviction of the true nature of the Self acts on the advice of his Master, his attachments to the world get removed and he strongly makes efforts for abiding in his true nature.
All experience that passions bind,
Their antidotes as forgiveness,
Make one free from that bondage‑kind,
No doubt there is, it's common sense. 104
By anger, etc. the Soul is bound by actions. By forgiveness, etc. the Soul is freed from the bondage of the very actions that is to say that anger is stopped or controlled by forgiveness, pride by humility, deceit by frankness, greed by contentment, likes and dislikes by a spirit of unconcernedness, etc. This is the proper method of removing the binding effect of the actions. That way lies freedom and salvation, and this is or can be the matter of everybody's experience.
Anger, infatuation, etc. can be controlled and removed. One who stops the binding effect of actions paves the way for a state of complete freedom from actions. This is or can be experienced here and now in this world. Then where is the ground for doubt regarding the way of Soul's Salvation ?
In order to destroy the Kashaya and No‑kashaya i.e. the Charitra Mohaniya Karma one should not indulge in anger, pride, deceit and greed. In short, one should develop a life burning with a spirit of non‑attachment and indifference to all worldly pleasures. To some extent this practical method of self‑improvement is a matter of experience of every human being.
Once the right path is decided, one should start acting up to it, and not remain in an unhappy state of doubt and indecision.
If one gives up self‑guiding whim,
And blind religious pursuit, creed,
By following this Gospel‑cream,
He has few births, no doubt indeed ! 105
One is likely to believe in a path of Soul's salvation as imagined by him to be the only path or as accepted by him as a result of his prejudices or as a result of his family training and social customs and beliefs. Accordingly, he will try to emphasize its strong points and explain away its weak points, he will give his own definitions of Self‑realization and Soul‑saving knowledge. Such an attitude keeps one away from the vision of truth.
The moment one becomes the disciple of an enlightened Guru, he should set aside his likes and dislikes, prides and prejudices and he should scrupulously follow the path of salvation laid down by his Guru.
Those who will act up to the advice of their enlightened Guru and follow the path of Soul's salvation as described above, leaving aside their doubts and prejudices, will be completely liberated from the worldly cycle of birth and death in a short time i.e. in the present life or in a few births.
Led by one's own whims one may make persistent efforts at liberation for ages, but he will never gain the Soul‑saving knowledge. On the contrary following the advice of an enlightened Guru one may attain to liberation in a surprisingly short period of time.
Six questions of six doctrines asked,
Foundation of True Faith They lay,
If mind in these is doubtless fixed,
The path of freedom that's, saints say. 106
O my disciple, your six questions on the six fundamental truths cover the general doubts of many prominent thinkers of the world about the nature of the Self.
The six replies given here cover everything that needs be said about the Self, its existence and eternity, its relations to actions, its bondage and Salvation and the method of Salvation. All the six truths have been here established beyond any shadow of doubt.
Whosoever understands all these truths and lives up to them, attains to Liberation without any reservation. Whosoever disregards any one of these six truths due to his one sideness does not get liberated.
Look not to caste or garb distinction,
The path aforesaid is essential,
Whoever takes it gets Liberation,
No distinction in status final. 107
The birth in a particular community, gender or the use of any religion's uniform have no bearing on the knowledge of the Self nor on the attainment of Soul's salvation. One may belong to any sex, community, creed, or religion or race but if he becomes the disciple of an enlightened Guru, follows his advice and acts upto the path of liberation as laid down above, he obtains Liberation without fail. For all souls the path of Liberation is the same, and it is the knowledge of life in the Self.
One has to change his attitude, he has to turn away from the world and the objects of the senses and has to concentrate his attention to and interest in the Self. One may know and accept the path of Salvation and yet may not act upto it or may be sluggish about it, then to that extent he keeps himself away from liberation.
Attainment of the Self consists in one's active effort to destroy the binding effect of actions.
THE SPIRITUAL ASPIRANT FOR LIBERATION :
Mark knowledge‑thirst: inner compassion,
Suppression of all passions four,
The hope of only Liberation,
Dejection of such rebirth‑tour. 108
One whose spiritual enemies such as anger, etc. have been gradually disarmed and are nearing destruction, one whose only desire is his Soul's Salvation and consequently one who is indifferent to the worldly pleasures and is full of sincere compassion for all living beings is the true spiritual aspirant for Liberation.
Such a spiritual aspirant realizes the futility of worldly joys and sorrows and knows that the worldly life has no place for abiding spiritual happiness. On the other hand, he regards the world as a source of affliction and tortures. He decides that his Soul is unhappy with the worldly life and that he must leave it for a better spiritual life and find out the most effective way to it. This is his burning passion.
A step further, a spiritual aspirant desires that all his fellow beings should also try for Liberation, renouncing like him, all the worldly pleasures.
To such aspirants true Teacher's preaching,
Inculcates faith, awakeness vision,
They are inspired by such true teaching,
They deeply think for purification. 109
Should such a spiritual aspirant get the advice of an enlightened Guru, he will have unswerving faith (Samakita) in his Guru's advice and teachings and by following his Guru he will start Self‑improvement. He will find out and remove his faults and purify his being by upright thought and action. As engaged in internal Self‑improvement he will employ all his energies towards it and will attain to Salvation.
They give up bias for blind faith,
Self‑guiding views, fellow precept‑
Of true Teacher's, earn right pure faith,
Where's no discord or party ‑ spirit. 110
Such a Soul will set aside all his religious and other prejudices and will whole‑heartedly follow his Guru's advice and teachings. As a result he himself realizes the nature pure Self.
He realizes that the Self‑realization is certain, indubitable and beyond all theoretical religious differences. There may be minor differences in the practice of the seekers of Soul's Salvation due to their different circumstances, situations and stages and the differences in the modes of advice of different enlightened Gurus. But doctrinally the goal for all aspirants is Soul's Salvation and so they will have similar experiences regarding the nature of the Self.
The religion consisting in the experience of the nature of the Self is same for all aspirants, may they belong to different communities, creeds or religious orders.
Either they have Soul ‑ experience,
Attention to it continuous,
Internal vision's Faith so glorious. 111
Such an aspirant of the Self realizes the true Self and always tries to retain and prolong the realization. When he is unable to do so due to adverse circumstances, he has still fixed interest in his constant attraction for it. In case he forgets both he atleast retains the right understanding that the Soul is totally different from the body and the rest.
As Faith grows deep, false faith falls down,
Rises right conduct gradually,
Full non‑attachment is the crown,
Of conduct right perpetually. 112
The progressive right understanding of the nature of the Self becomes intense and removes misgivings of the Soul ‑ joys and sorrows, etc. and helps the Soul to maintain its Self‑abidance and a state of absolute non‑attachment arising from total destruction of attachment, hatred, etc.
Continuous flow of knowledge pure,
Of one's Self‑nature unalloyed,
Is termed the perfect knowledge sure,
Liberated he is though embodied. 113
In such a state the aspirant has the absolute and incessant knowledge of the nature of the Self. It is free from all illusions and limitations. It is ever irreducible and indestructible and so it is called absolute knowledge.
The Soul with the absolute knowledge experiences highest liberation though it is embodied. In brief, non‑attachment brings Liberation or Salvation. Even when the destructive actions (Ghati Karma) of a released living soul (Jivan‑mukta) are destroyed his non‑destructive actions (Aghati Karma) still remain and so he continues to live. Inspite of his bodily life he is just like a totally liberated master Self. Such living Souls are Gods in living human bodies.
A dream of million years ends soon,
When one awakes, so Self‑knowledge,
When shines, goes off one's Self‑delusion,
Of time eternal: it's not strange. 114
From times immemorial the embodied Soul wrongly believes and acts as if he is a body and not a Self. He identifies himself with the activities of the body not knowing the nature of the Self in him. But the moment he receives the absolute knowledge of the nature of the Self, all his past mistakes and shortcomings are removed like a removal of a long dream by return to wakefulness. The dawn of absolute knowledge in the Soul destroys in a wink all his ignorance of the endless past.
Let go the body‑infatuation,
And you will not have bondage new,
You will not have deed‑fruition,
This is Religion's secret true. 115
O my disciple, if your delusion ‑ that you are the body, etc. and not the Self is removed, you will realize your pure Self and you will no more be the author of actions or the enjoyer of the fruits thereof.
The root‑cause of all miseries consists in the Soul's ignorance i.e. in its Self‑identification with the body and bodily activities and considering one's wife and children as one's own. This is called Self‑delusion.
Therefore one should learn to distinguish between the Self and the body, etc. ‑ the Self as the sentient knower and seer, the body, etc. as the non‑sentient objects, the known. Attachment, hatred, etc. are born of ignorance. The knowledge of the nature of the Self removes it and then such an enlightened Soul realizes the Self as the seer and not the author of actions nor the enjoyer of the fruits thereof.
To remove the Soul's delusion of believing the body, etc. as the Self is to destroy the existing actions binding the Soul and not to create the fresh ones, and that is the secret of religion. All religious methods aim at removing the Soul's attachment to the body etc. The more non‑attached one is the more truly religious he is known.
This true Religion leads to Freedom,
You are image of Liberation,
You are undisturbable Wisdom,
You are infinite knowledge, vision. 116
The above described path of Liberation alone can bring about the Soul's Liberation. O my disciple, as pure Self you are Liberation itself, eternal, all‑seeing, all‑knowing, free from limitations and imperfections and the seat of abiding happiness and bliss.
Enlightened, pure, full consciousness,
Self‑brilliant, home of happiness,
What more to say ? Have eagerness,
Think deep and you shall realize this. 117
You are pure, enlightened, sentience‑embodiment, self‑luminous, abode of eternal bliss. What more should we say in this connection ?
To be brief, think deep and realize your Self. On realizing the Self, the Self is eternally pure, free from all actions and therefore holy. As it is knowledge itself it is powerful to know everything else. It is the sentience‑embodiment, free from any relation to the material body. The Self has moved from body to body in the mundane journey but in none of the births the Self has changed itself into the material body. No part of the Self separates from it. Therefore it is one and impartite. The Self's light of knowledge is eternal, all pervading and bringing to light everything else.
Bliss is the nature of the Self alone. The bliss experienced and enjoyed by enlightened Soul comes from its own Self and not from any extraneous source. The Self is bliss indestructible. The powers of the Self are infinite and cannot be exhaustively described.
The Self can be realized by deep thinking and meditation, be aspiring for it alone, by sincere hankering for it, by concentrating our interest in it.
In the above discourse the enlightened Guru has completed his say on all six questions raised by the disciple. Mere hearing or talking about Liberation is not enough. One gains only by acting upto the advice and teachings of the enlightened living Guru.
This sums up all absolute view,
Of all wise men, who knew the Soul,
The dialogue ends. The Teacher true,
Absorbs himself in nature cool. 118
The enlightened living Guru finally declares that all the enlightened Souls have arrived to the same conclusion as arrived here. The teachings embodied above constitute their universal message. And endless line of enlightened Souls in the past have obtained Liberation in the same way as declared here.
For the benefit of the disciples, the enlightened living Guru has to take resort to speech, a function of the body. Since the purpose is served, the Guru retires in his own nature as the Self and maintaining silence enters into the deep concentration on the Self.
The pupil praises his true Teacher,
"I know what I had never known,
By teaching of my own true Teacher,
Ignorance passed and knowledge shone." 119
By the unfailing teachings of the living enlightened Guru the disciple obtained the unprecedented right understanding of the Self and realizing his Self he found that his Self‑delusive ignorance was removed.
The disciple reveals his experience of the Self to his Guru so that in case there be any error the Guru can remove it. He feels infinitely obliged to his Guru and expresses his heartfelt devotion to him.
With regard to the first truth about the Self's existence, the disciple reveals the existence of the Self as distinct from the body and the rest. His attachment to the body is totally destroyed.
I knew myself as pure consciousness,
Immortal, ever‑lasting, strong,
Above all body‑states ageless or deathless,
Perpetual existence, no wrong. 120
As to the eternity of the Self, the disciple reveals that he experiences the Self as pure sentience, free from old age, death and destruction, for they are only the stages of the material living body and never of the Self. The Self is experienced as eternally identical, immortal and indestructible and quite distinct from the body.
As we can feel a kernel separate from the shell of a dry coconut, the Self is now experienced by the disciple as quite separate from the living body.
In delusion one does the deeds,
Receives the fruits, but non‑doer,
He is, when sows the knowledge‑seeds,
And constantly remains the knower. 121
Under the effect of Self‑delusive ignorance the Self does actions and enjoys or suffers the fruits. But from the moment it turns all its attention to the Self and realizes it to be different from the living body it is liberated from the actions and then it neither acts nor enjoys or suffers the fruits thereof.
Or as pure consciousness it acts,
The fruit as consciousness it reaps,
Without volition see these facts,
Thus call the soul as does, receives. 122
Or it may be said that the Soul in the state of Self‑realization is the author and enjoyer of its pure sentient manifestations, though in fact they are spontaneous and the Soul is free from all notions of doing or enjoying them.
The perfect pure state of one's Self,
Is taught to be true Liberation,
The way to it is right one's Self,
This true Saints' path is intuition. 123
Purity of the Soul is called Liberation. The way to it is the way of Liberation. In this discourse the enlightened Guru has explained in short, the complete path of Liberation laid down by the Lord Victorious.
The disciple summarized the teachings of the living enlightened Guru and now he expresses his deep gratefulness to him for his enlightenment.
Thanks ! the Holy True Teacher,
Unfathomable ocean of compassion,
I'm highly obliged, Oh ! good Teacher,
The pupil poor has no expression. 124
O, my great enlightened Guru, the unfathomable ocean of infinite compassion, the more I think of your experience and power, the more submissively do I fall in your feet, the more obliged I feel to you for your immense favor to me though undeserving of it. You had no selfish motive in enlightening me and still you took all the troubles for me. Your only interest in enlightening me is that any Soul in the world may obtain Liberation by your teachings. Such spiritual saviors are few and far between.
What a great surprise it is that though you can lead the whole world you show your humility in your readiness to be the disciple of anybody in the world. You address anyone without any sense of pride or expectation of receiving worship.
You are the ocean of compassion. The enlightened Souls like you continue to live only for two purposes : (1) to enjoy or suffer the fruits of their past actions, and (2) for the spiritual uplift of the world at large. For these two reasons they are embodiment of compassion. As compared with them, a disciple like me struggling with the forces of life and aspiring for Liberation finds himself at a very low rung of the ladder.
O my Master, though I was full of faults and worldly attachments, notwithstanding them, you lifted me up from the worldly mire to the elevated condition of the spiritual enlightenment. This unqualified and immeasurable obligation you have done me is beyond my comprehension.
Even one word of the enlightened Saviors like you properly accepted and followed leads the disciple to Liberation. Therefore one is always benefited in thinking and appreciating their favors done to him.
The Self begins to enlighten him if he constantly meditates on the disinterested compassion and obligation of the enlightened Savior to him.
How wonderful and astonishing is the height of spiritual attainment and obligation of the spiritual Saviors like you !
We feel lifelong obligation of those who give us employment in worldly life. Then what to talk of the obligation and compassion of the enlightened living Guru who transformed my life, who saved me from suffering in the world cycle of birth and death, whose contact changed my perspective, who removed my Self‑delusion and ignorance of the endless past and by whose compassion I turned away from the external worldly activities and directed all my energies to the knowing and experiencing the Self ‑ the internal spiritual nucleus in me.
Only when I think of the difference between what I was and what I am made by the Guru, then I can, to some extent, realize the value of my contact with and the obligation of the enlightened living Guru.
Humility is the way to greatness. Humility brings modesty and modesty is the key to all good and great achievements in life. Modesty opens us to the other people's virtues and removes in us the false sense of pride.
One who feels himself to be the only wise and more important than the rest, blocks his progress and stagnates. One who is humble and modest is easily suitable for obtaining Liberation. The greatness of Guru is more appreciable by the humble and modest disciple.
With the proper understanding of the Guru's greatness the disciple begins to love and worship him and obtains knowledge of the Self.
What should I offer to you, Lord ?
In Soul‑comparison all is trifle,
The Soul is gifted by the Lord,
I wish to act to your oracle. 125
What should I offer to you O, my spiritual Savior in return of your immense obligation to me ? As compared to the invaluable spiritual Self all the objects of the world are trifles. And that very Self is given to me by you in the sense that I could not have realized its presence in me without your teachings.
Under the circumstances I firmly decide to live at your pleasure for the rest of my life and that is the only way open to me.
Henceforward this my body and all,
Are at your feet, I wish to serve,
Your humble servant, poor Soul,
Even servant's state I don't deserve. 126
Therefore the disciple declares that from the moment he obtained the spiritual enlightenment he would employ his body, breath and all material things which he used to call his, in the unqualified service of his enlightened Guru. He is in all respects the obedient servant of his Guru. Still more, he declares that he is the servant of his Guru's servants. These expressions of the disciple reveal his humility and modesty.
Explanations of doctrines six !
As swords from sheaths so clearly,
The Self is shown by you distinct,
You obliged me immeasurably. 127
O, my spiritual Savior, by your convincing teachings regarding the six fundamental truths, you have revealed to me the nature of the Self as quite distinct and different from that of the body, etc. as the sword is different from its sheath. This is your immense obligation to me.
Six schools of thought lie in six doctrines,
If one thinks deeply in details,
The vital truth he ascertains,
Undoubtedly, he never fails. 128
The teachings of the Six main schools of philosophy (1. Charvak, 2. Buddhism, 3. Samkhya ‑ Yoga, 4. Nyaya Vaisheshika, 5. Mimamsa and 6. Jainism) are covered by the six fundamental truths established and explained in this book. The more one thinks and meditates on them, the more easily are his doubts about them removed for good.
There's no disease as self‑delusion,
The well‑versed doctor's Teacher true,
The Teacher's precept's prescription,
Thought, concentration's medicine due. 129
No disease for the Soul is so deadly as its Self‑delusion. The only expert physician who can cure it is the living enlightened Guru. The only restriction to observe for curing the disease is to act wholeheartedly according to the guidance of the expert physician, the enlightened living Guru, and the only medicine to cure the disease is thinking and meditation on the nature of the Self as advised by the Guru.
To realize the Self, to liberate one's Soul, one should combine thinking, meditation and knowledge of the Self with appropriate conduct in strict accordance with the Guru's guidance. With the removal of ignorance, by knowledge, one gets free from doubts and becomes fearless. But this is difficult of practice.
Very few people have anxiety about their Self. Very few realize that they have to go a long way to remove their Self‑illusion and ignorance and attain knowledge and experience of the eternal Self. Normally people are very anxious of their bodily health. They would undergo any sacrifice to cure their bodily diseases.
But they have to be taught to realize that while bodily diseases may at best destroy their present life, the spiritual disease (Self‑delusion and ignorance) is deadlier and with its destruction the anxiety of the body will be totally gone.
If you hope for Soul‑Reality,
True self‑effort you must begin,
Depending on fate, destiny,
Destroy not self‑searching, I mean. 130
If at all you sincerely aspire for Self‑realization you start the right Self‑effort for it. But do not block your spiritual progress by excuses such as Fate, Destiny, Time, etc.
Many people lightly talk of Liberation in terms of worldly prosperity or bodily happiness. They know nothing about it. The nature of Liberation can be explained only by an enlightened living Guru and then only such an explanation brings about the desired change in the disciple.
Those, who talk of the miracle of fate, etc. and set aside personal effort for Liberation as unnecessary, work contrary to their Self and entangle themselves in further delusions and deep ignorance.
Getting the invaluable human birth and not thinking of Liberation of the Soul is to waste it away. Those who talk of Liberation but do not strive for it should know that the sincere aspiration for Liberation has not yet dawned in them, and in order to get it they should constantly seek the company of an enlightened living Guru, and in his absence that of the teachings of the spiritual Saviors.
A firm determination to be liberated is going half‑way on the path of Liberation. After it, one will try to close up his shop of worldly life and concentrate all his energies towards obtaining revelation of the Self in him.
One must make conscious and determined effort not to initiate new actions and to suffer away the fruits of the old ones without any interest in them. Interest in body and the world cannot stay side by side with the interest in the Self.
By hearing words of view absolute,
Let not one give up formal means,
Attending to the view absolute,
One should perform all freedom‑means. 131
A disciple aspiring for Liberation should continue to follow the means for it as enjoined by his spiritual Savior and should not stop or leave them simply on hearing the doctrinal truths from the pure metaphysical view‑points that the Self is ever free, unattached and perfect.
Many intellectual theorists misguide themselves and indulge in committing sins with an understanding that since the Self is ever free, unattached and perfect their sins will not defile their souls. Such men not only leave religion but become positively irreligious, and immoral.
The only way to save such souls is to impress upon them the need of an enlightened Guru for a right understanding of doctrinal truths described in the scriptural texts, and this book is meant for it.
Right understanding of the nature of the Self and appropriate conduct both together can yield Liberation. One without the other can increase Self‑delusion and ignorance and is unavailing for Liberation.
Neither absolute view one‑sided,
Nor stand‑point practical alone,
In this Gospel is emphasized,
But both together are due shown. 132
Here in this book the harmony of the metaphysical and practical standpoints is everywhere kept in view ‑ where one is emphasized the other is subordinate.
From the pure metaphysical point of view it is true that the Self is free, unattached, pure and perfect, but from the point of view of the worldly soul as embodying the Self, it is regarded as acting and suffering the fruits of actions. Therefore, the reader is advised to understand the teachings of this book from the relativity point of view (Syadvad) advocated by Jainism.
Sectarian views, self‑guiding whims,
Are not right stand‑point practical,
Nor right absolute view, it seems,
Without self experience, it's oral. 133
The sectarian views and imaginary opinions of the religious orders do not count for right conduct (Sad vyavahara) of the spiritual aspirant. Right conduct for him consists in developing spiritual qualities ‑characteristics of the true seeker of the Self ‑ as described in this book.
One who has no clear understanding of his Self does not experience his Self as clearly and unmistakably as his body. He lives under the effect of bodily attachment. Without developing the spirit of non‑attachment and renunciation, the means of Self‑realization he repeats parrotlike the metaphysical truths about the Self (Nishchaya vani). Such a theoretical understanding of the metaphysical truths about the Self is simply barren.
The mechanical forms of worship and devotion stereotyped by various religions should be left to themselves, and the disciple should develop in him qualities required by spiritual aspirant of the Self. The experience of the Self should be as definite and indubitable as the experience of a living body.
Many religions differ from one another on many technical points e.g. the modes of living and worship by the disciples, the establishment of religious orders, humanitarian work, etc. The bodily attachment of the Soul can be reduced and removed only by intensifying a spirit of non‑attachment, etc. Without them the talk of Liberation is meaningless.
Even in Jainism there are different sects. One should not get lost himself in any one of them. Only an enlightened living Guru can show the shortcomings of these sects. A spiritual aspirant should keep clear of them.
In religious practice one should develop renunciation and non‑attachment or dis‑interestedness as far and deep as possible.
He should know the doctrinal truths of established religions only from an enlightened living Guru and from none else. One who knows and experiences the Self can truly talk about it. Without the help of the enlightened Guru the Self cannot be known.
The nature of the Self can be understood only by the teachings of a Self‑realized Guru and only after such understanding can the Self be experienced exactly as the Guru describes it.
Till one knows and experiences the Self this way, he should constantly aspire for it, and his understanding becomes pure and clear when he follows the advice of an enlightened living Guru.
There were the seers long ago,
There are in present times alive,
In times to come they shall be so,
The path's the same that they revive. 134
All the enlightened Souls of all times past, present and future have attained, do attain and will attain enlightenment and Liberation in one and the same way as described here. Metaphysically there are no differences regarding the path of Salvation. It is definite and indisputable in all times.
All souls are like the perfect ones,
Self‑knowledge leads to perfection,
Auxiliary cause is obedience ‑
To Teacher's word, Jin‑condition. 135
All embodied Souls are potentially perfect like the liberated souls (Siddha). But one who knows and realizes the Self in him becomes liberated, while others follow the rut of the worldly life.
The instrumental causes of the Soul's enlightenment are mainly two : one, the scrupulous adherence to the advice of the enlightened living Guru, and the second, the thinking and meditation of the state of the Lord Victorious as explained by him.
Who put forward the subject ‑ cause,
And leave the auxiliary one,
In delusion they firmly pause,
And can't attain the perfection. 136
If a disciple leaves these instrumental causes for the Soul's enlightenment and liberation, thinking that the material cause (Upadana Karana) of enlightenment and liberation is there in him and it will manifest its nature to him at some time or other and that he should therefore neither think of the other enlightened Souls nor should he follow their advice, he will never attain Liberation and on the contrary he will entangle himself more and more in ignorance and Self‑delusion.
The scriptures do not describe the material cause (Upadana Karana) of Liberation in order to negate the intrumental causes and by not invoking the Self, the material cause, even the securing of the correct intrumental cause is unavailing for Liberation. Therefore on obtaining the correct intrumental causes of Liberation, the disciple should employ them in awakening the Self in him ‑ the material cause of Liberation and he should never give up Self‑effort for Liberation. The is the proper object of the scriptural description of the Material cause of Liberation.
Even in the presence of the intrumental causes one should be constantly open to the Substantial cause, the Self. The idea is that at no stage of the search for the Self one should be idle or careless. The seer strongly insists that the scrupulous adherence to the Guru's advice is absolutely useful at every stage of Self‑realization.
One who dispenses with his Guru and tries to attain Liberation purely by his own efforts never attains Liberation, because there is none to correct him in his mistakes. As a result he follows the wrong path and achieves something contrary to Liberation or the Self. Not only he misguides himself but one who follows him is also misguided.
Lip‑wise are some, pretending heart,
They have no love lost for the seer,
They aid senseless, play pitiable part,
Have seer's show, delusion‑dear. 137
Such a deluded Soul may talk of the knowledge of the Self but internally he keeps more attached to the body and worldly pleasures. He makes an outward show of being an enlightened Soul, though full of ignorance and infatuation. He is a confirmed hypocrite and he commits the sin of insulting and undervaluing the really enlightened Souls.
Because of these faults he is a sinning Soul. He envies the presence of an enlightened Guru and instead of respecting him he insults him, runs him down in public and rejoices at his exit. Inspite of such behavior of the confirmed hypocrite, the enlightened Guru only shows compassion towards him, since he is compassionate to the core, while the hypocrite not only spoils his game of obtaining Liberation but he is denounced by the public for his undignified behavior towards the enlightened Guru. Hypocrites are never the seekers of the Self.
Awakened seeker's heart contains,
Compassion, peace, forgiveness, truth,
An equal‑eye in loss or gains,
Unattachment, donation, truth. 138
The true seeker of the Self possesses the following seven cardinal virtues namely sympathy or compassion, peace, equanimity, forgiveness, truthfulness, renunciation and non‑attachment. These qualities in him keep him constantly vigilant.
1. SYMPATHY OR COMPASSION:
After clear vision of nature of the Self the disciple engages himself in appropriate thought and conduct to save his Soul. He is anxious about his own Self‑realization and that of other Souls. He tries to find out the method by which he can put an end to his subjection to the cycle of birth and death.
He pacifies all emotional upsurges of the Soul towards the worldly life. He quickens his pace of following the advice of the enlightened living Guru. He develops indifference to the pleasures and pains of the worldly life. He deepens his faith in the effectiveness and authority of his Guru's teachings. He subdues his anger in order that his Self may spread its illumination in his being. The compassion of the Self is manifest in the disciple's aspiration for Liberation. Led by this compassion he feels no interest in the worldly life and he feels agony in experiencing worldly miseries.
He believes, it is his duty to protect other souls and he considers that to protect other souls means to protect himself. He will not harm or kill other lives even for his own benefit. He wonders as to how much he tormented his Soul in the past births and in the present life simply due to his ignorance of the nature of the Self.
2. PEACE OR TRANQUILLITY:
Feeling compassion for one's Soul, the disciple retires from the worldly life and enters into the path of the Soul's Liberation.
In his life as a spiritual aspirant he enjoys peace so long as he follows his Guru's advice since it saves one from threefold world miseries. The Guru's advice and teachings have a wonderful healing effect on a tormented Soul.
Peace is the basis of every religion. Peace means feeling tired, trying for unqualified retirement from the worldly life. The enlightened Souls regard peace as the source of all goodness and benefactions. Peace summarises the teachings of all the scriptures. To be free from the worldly attachments and to live in the Self or to be Self‑composed is peace. The thought and meditation of the Self removes the Soul's infatuation and its products ‑ attachment and hatred. Those who have understood the Self have been one with it. To leave the worldly conflicts and to be open to the Self brings peace. One can purify and pacify his mind and conscience by the teachings of the Guru. This way the mind becomes stable and firmly fixed on the nature of the Self.
3. EQUANIMITY: Equanimity is the nature of the Self. To be fixed in one's Self is to be equanimous.
4. FORGIVENESS: Even after equanimity, some casual excitants might excite the Soul but on such occasions he pacifies excitants by forgiveness. He will not be angry though there may be a cause for it. He will find happiness.
One who knows the destructive effect of anger will never resort to it. Anger results from want of proper consideration. Have a balanced mind and it will not be angry and yet it will declare the truth boldly, correctly and fearlessly. One should control his mind as he controls his servants.
Forgiveness is normally maintained by one who sees his Self and that of other Souls.
5. TRUTHFULNESS: The Self is the ultimate and absolute truth. Without experiencing the Self, if one says that he knows the Self in him or that he has experienced it, he tells a lie. Truth is told by him only when he leaves the bodily consciousness and experiences the sentient Self.
6. and 7. RENUNCIATION AND NON‑ATTACHMENT: To know the Self, one should renounce the objects and desires contrary to it, one should have no interest or attachment in them.
The Lord Victorious (Jina) has defined renunciation as retirement of the Soul from all worldly objects and things other than the Self or as a relief from the feeling of the Soul's oneness with the worldly objects. Till one attains such renunciation he should develop an attitude of indifference or unconcernedness to and in the worldly objects.
Where renunciation is not possible one should develop non‑attachment by keeping one's mind close on the truth of the Self.
All the seven cardinal virtues of the Soul mentioned above keep the Soul active and alert, always wakeful and ready for fight with its spiritual enemies. The aspirant for the Self must develop these seven virtues in order to lead him to the Self. In the absence of these virtues he will cease to be a vigilant aspirant for Liberation.
You find extinction or suppression,
Of infatuation as a rule,
In seer's heart, there's no delusion,
Elsewhere you find delusion full. 139
The experience of the Self in which the Soul's infatuation is totally destroyed or is reduced to the minimum is called the condition of spiritual enlightenment of the Soul.
In the absence of such experience one who believes himself as enlightened is in delusion and nothing else. Infatuation is binding the Soul and a disturbed mind is found in a deluded Soul. Knowledge of the Self removes all delusions of the Soul.
The seer's state is thus described,
The world to him is like a dream,
Or left‑off food when satisfied,
The rest are lipwise, not supreme. 140
That Soul is called enlightened who loses all interest in the whole world and regards it either as useless as a left off food or purely as a dream. All so‑called knowledge not backed by the spirit of non‑attachment is meaningless talk. Such enlightenment is very difficult to experience though easy to talk.
The human body is very impure and the enlightened Soul will have nothing to do with it. The interest in the body is due to ignorance and infatuation. The Soul is bound by physical interest and bodily attachment. By non‑attachment it is realized or liberated.
The only state worthy of our attachment is the state of an enlightened Soul, or one that can develop love and interest for an enlightened Soul.
Even the best dream is still a dream and it should be left in order to enjoy wakeful life. The enlightened Soul feels that things of the world though of long standing gradually or suddenly vanish or get destroyed. Naturally therefore, they are not the worthy objects of his interest and attachment.
The Self will never be destroyed. So the Soul's interest should be fixed in the Self and in nothing else. The enlightened Soul firmly knows that the aspirant for Liberation should determine that by taking interest in the world one has always to lose something and one day at death all belonging will be rooted out. Therefore one should gradually forget the worldly actions and reactions and feel that he has nothing to do with them.
Only when the mind is emptied of worldly thoughts then the thoughts of the Self can fill their place. The dreams in sleep are due to an intense bodily attachment developed by a person. In the absence of bodily attachment these dreams will not occur or arise.
Who thinks of first five doctrines well,
According to the sixth who acts,
Attains the fifth, great seer tell,
No doubts remain in these true facts. 141
After a definite understanding of the first five fundamental truths one should earnestly act according to the sixth truth namely of obtaining Liberation and he will undoubtedly secure Liberation. It is not the time but earnestness and quick action that matters in the effort at Liberation. There are instances of the Souls that were enlightened in a very short time and there are instances of the Souls who have not been enlightened for want of proper effort inspite of the number of births they have been in and through.
I often bow to him who lives,
Though in body, above it,
The seer's word always survives,
The North‑pole‑star resembles it. 142
Innumerable salutations to the lotus feet of the Lord of the enlightened souls who feels and acts as if he is free from the bodily life, even though he is bodily alive. He lives only to finish the enjoyment or suffering of his past actions without any interest in them.
The status and prowess of the Lord can partly be grasped only by direct experience of the enlightened Soul which is indescribable in speech. The Self of the Lord is incomparable beyond body and breath, beyond the grasp of the senses and the mind, the intelligence or any example. It is eternal sentience, knowledge and bliss.
Such a Lord is the only personality in whose feet we can unreservedly fall for guidance and our spiritual uplift, and our salutations to Him are ever unfailing. Let all what I am and what I can call mine be surrendered to you, my Lord.
Since the enlightened living Guru has known the Lord, the disciple bows down to him, praises him, acts according to his advice with complete harmony of his body, mind and speech and thereby he knows, believes and acts or abides in the Self.
Long live this Gospel and the lineage,
Of seers from True Teacher RAJ;
A boon this is for Real Knowledge,
Initiated by SHRI LAGHURAJ.
(A wonder as the Tomb of Taj)
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
Dedication to the feet of the Holy True Teacher.