HOW TO GET VAIRAGYA
A DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY PUBLICATION
Third Edition: 1983
World Wide Web (WWW) Edition : 1998
This WWW reprint is for free distribution
© The Divine Life Trust Society
THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY
P.O. Shivanandanagar249 192
Distt. Tehri-Garhwal, Uttar Pradesh,
r:ðg:B:y:ö kÙl:ð cy:Øet:B:y:ö ev:¶:ð n:àp:al:a»y:ö .
m:an:ð dòny:B:y:ö b:l:ð erp:ØB:y:ö -p:ð j:ray:a B:y:m:Î ..
S:as*:ð v:aedB:y:ö g:ØN:ð K:l:B:y:ö kay:ð kát:ant:a»y:ö .
s:v:üö v:st:Ø B:y:aenv:t:ö B:Øev: n:àN:aö v:òragy:m:ðv:aB:y:m:Î ..
rogabhayaü kule cyutibhayaü vitte nçpàlàdbhayaü |
màne dainyabhayaü bale ripubhayaü råpe jaràyà bhayam ||
÷àstre vàdibhayaü guõe khalabhayaü kàye kçtàntàdbhayaü |
sarvaü vastu bhayànvitaü bhuvi nçõàü vairàgyamevàbhayam ||
In enjoyment there is fear of disease; in social position, the fear of
falling off; in wealth, the fear of (hostile) kings; in honour, the fear of
humiliation; in power, the fear of foe men; in beauty, the fear of old age;
in scriptural erudition, the fear of opponents; in virtue, the fear of
traducers; in body, the fear of death. All the things of this world
pertaining to human beings are attended with fear; renunciation alone stands
Sakatam of Bhartrihari.
b:ÒÉaedsT:av:rant:ð\:Ø v:òragy:ö ev:\:y:ð\v:n:Ø .
y:T:òv: kakev:Åay:aö v:òragy:ö t:e¹ en:m:ül:m:Î ..
brahmàdisthàvarànteùu vairàgyaü viùayeùvanu |
yathaiva kàkaviùñhàyàü vairàgyaü taddhi nirmalam ||
Spotless freedom from desires means such a dissatisfaction in respect of
all objects from Brahma down to inanimate things as is felt in respect of
the excrement of a crow.
(A Proclamation of
l::ðB:Á: dðhð et:Åent: t:skrH .
jW:an:rtn:ap:haray: t:sm:ajj:ag:Òt: j:ag:Òt: ..
lobha÷ca dehe tiùñhanti taskaraþ |
j¤ànaratnàpahàràya tasmàjjàgrata jàgrata ||
There lurk thieves in the frame viz., lust, anger and greed to steal the
jewel of thy wisdom. Therefore awake! awake!!
j:ra dÙHK:ö j:ay:a dÙHK:ö p:Øn:H .
s:ös:arm:ag:rö dÙHK:ö t:sm:ajj:ag:Òt: j:ag:Òt: ..
jarà duþkhaü jàyà duþkhaü punaþ |
saüsàramàgaraü duþkhaü tasmàjjàgrata jàgrata ||
Birth is full of pains : old age is full of miseries: woman is again and
again the source of all miseries and pains. This ocean of Samsara is full of
grief. Therefore wake up! wake up!!
ep:t:a n:aest: n:aest: b:nD:ØH s:h:ðdrH .
AT:üö n:aest: g:àhö n:aest: t:sm:ajj:ag:Òt: j:ag:Òt: ..
màtà nàsti pità
nàsti nàsti bandhuþ sahodaraþ |
arthaü nàsti gçhaü nàsti tasmàjjàgrata jàgrata ||
You have no mother, no father, no relatives, no brothers, no wealth, no
house, (nothing will remain for ever, nothing will follow you after death).
Therefore wake up! wake up!!
l::ðkñ km:üN:a b:hÚec:nt:y:a .
A:y:ØH x:iN:ö n: j:an:aet: t:sm:ajj:ag:Òt: j:ag:Òt: ..
loke karmaõà bahucintayà |
àyuþ kùãõaü na jànàti tasmàjjàgrata jàgrata ||
You are bound in this world by desires, actions and manifold anxieties.
Therefore you dont know that life is slowly decaying and is wasted away.
Therefore wake up! wake up!!
y:ad h] krn:a
kran:a hò P]t: s:aD:Øka kam: .
K:l:k k:ð rst:a edK:an:a hò P]t: s:D:Ø ka kam: ..
karanà karànà hai phaqata sàdhukà kàma |
khalaka ko rastà dikhànà hai phaqata sadhu kà kàma ||
It is the only duty of the Sadhus to remember and make others remember
the Right (Absolute) and it is the only duty of the Sadhus, to be the
guide of the whole world.
b:it:ð j:at:ð hò .
dina nãke bãte
jàte hai |
The days are passing away speedily.
s:Øem:rn: kr Â:i
ram: n:am: t:j: ev:\:y: B::ðg: A:òr s:v:ü kam: .
t:ðrð s:¤ c:l:ð n:eh Ok dam: j::ð hðt:ð hò s::ð p:at:ð hò ..
edn: n:ikñ b:it:ð j:at:ð hò .. 1 ..
sumirana kara ÷rã
ràma nàma taja viùaya bhoga aura sarva kàma |
tere saïga cale nahi eka dàma jo hete hai so pàte hai ||
dina nãke bãte jàte hai || 1 ||
Remember the (holy) Name of Sri Rama, i. e., remember God. Give up all
the worldly and the sexual enjoyments, and all other deeds, too. Not a dama
(1/20th part of an anna) will go with you. Only they get (something) who
give (something). The days are passing away speedily.
B:aI b:nD:Ø A:òr
kÙXÙm: p:erv:ara s:b: j:it:ð j:i kñ n:t:ð hòö .
eks:kñ h:ð t:Øm: kón: t:Ømhara eks:kñ b:l: hern:am: ev:s:ara ..
edn: n:ikñ b:it:ð j:at:ð hò .. 2 ..
aura kuñuma parivàrà saba jãte jã ke nate haiü |
kisake ho tuma kaina tumhàrà kisake bala harinàma visàrà ||
dina nãke bãte jàte hai || 2 ||
Brothers, friends, relatives and family membersAll these are related to
you as long as you live. Otherwise who is yours? (Dear Ones!) On whose
strength have forgotten the (holy) Name of Hari! (the Almighty)? The days
are passing away speedily.
B:rm: kñ A:y:ð b:_ð B:ag: m:an:Ø\: t:n: p:at:ð .
et:s: p:r B:in:aüöh kri km:aI ekr p:aCð p:Ct:at:ð hòö ..
edn: n:ikñ b:it:ð j:at:ð hò .. 3 ..
bharama ke àye ba.De bhàga mànuùa tana pàte |
tisa para bhãrnàüha karã kamàã kira pàche pachatàte haiü ||
dina nãke bãte jàte hai || 3 ||
You have already travelled over the 84 lakhs of Yonis (wombs) of the
animal world. It is very fortunate of you that you have got this human body.
Still you have not done anything (for the next birth). And therefore, you
will have to repent for it. The days are passing away speedily.
j::ð t:Ü l:ag:ð
ev:\:y: ev:l:as:a m:ÜrK: kús:ð m:àty:Ø ki p:aS:a .
sVy:a dðK:ð Ã:as: ki A:s:a g:y:ð kñr n:hiö A:t:ð hòö ..
edn: n:ikñ b:it:ð j:at:ð hò .. 4 ..
jo tå làge
viùaya vilàsà mårakha ka.Nse mçtyu kã pà÷à |
kyà dekhe ÷vàsa kã àsà gaye kera nahãü àte haiü ||
dina nãke bãte jàte hai || 4 ||
If you entangle yourselves in worldly enjoyments after the objects, Oh
foolish people! You entangle yourselves in the clutches of the so-called
death. And why! Are you hoping for breaths (after breaths)? (Remember) what
is gone is gone for ever. They, those that have passed away will never
return. The days are passing away speedily.
Once in Persia reigned a king,
Who upon a signet ring,
Carved a maxim strange and wise,
When held before his eyes,
Gave him counsel at a glance,
Fit for every change and chance:
Solemn words, and these were they:
EVEN THIS WILL PASS AWAY.
Trains of camel through the sand
Brought him gems from Samarcand;
Fleets of galleys over the seas
Brought him pearls to rival these,
But he counted little gain,
Treasures of the mine or main;
What is wealth? the king would say,
EVEN THIS WILL PASS AWAY.
Mid the pleasures of his court
At the zenith of their sport,
When the palms of all his guests
Burned with clapping at his jests,
Seated midst the figs and wine,
Said the king, Ah, friends of mine.
Pleasure comes but not to stay,
EVEN THIS WILL PASS AWAY.
Woman, fairest ever seen
Was the bride he crowned as queen,
Pillowed on the marriage-bed
Whispering to his soul, he said,
Though no monarch ever pressed
Fairer bosom to his breast,
Mortal flesh is only clay!
EVEN THIS WILL PASS AWAY.
Fighting on the furious field,
Once a javelin pierced his shield,
Soldiers with a loud lament
Bore him bleeding to his tortured side,
Pain is hard to bear; he cried.
But with patience, day by day,
EVEN THIS WILL PASS AWAY.
Towering in a public square
Forty cubits in this air,
And the king disguised, unknown,
Gazed upon his sculptured name.
And he pondered, What is fame?
Fame is but a slow decay!
EVEN THIS WILL PASS AWAY.
Struck with palsy, sore and old,
Waiting at the gates of gold,
Said he with his dying breath
Life is done, but what is Death?
Then as answer to the king
Fell a sunbeam on his ring;
Showing by a heavenly ray.
EVEN THIS WILL PASS AWAY.
Rama Rama Rama Rama Rama
Rama Rama Rama Rama Rama:
Why do you search in vain
For pleasure outside?
Go to the fountain source
In the subjective Atma:
Awake, arise, stop not
Till the goal is reached.
How long you want to remain
Slave of passion, tell me please?
Try to seek peace within
By dispassion; practice (Vairagya and Abhyasa)
Are you not really fed up
With illusory objects?
Enjoy the Atmic Bliss
By Manana, Nididhyasana,
Sunaja Sunaja Sunaja Krishna
Tu Gitawala Jnana Sunaja Krishna.
At first there is a tender emotion and warm affection,
Then it gross into glowing love, burning passion.
Through Sravana and Satsang comes admiration,
Then attraction, attachment, supreme love.
I want my dear beloved Krishna alone;
I want neither Mukti nor temporal blessings.
The world is unreal, full of miseries,
God alone is real, full of Ananda.
You are running after the unreal shadow,
You have forgotten the real substance.
You came alone (weeping), will go alone (weeping), no one will follow,
Do Bhajan, do Kirtan, this will follow,
Why do you fight in vain with your brothers? Fight with the mind and the
Why do you weep in vain for the death of relatives? Weep for the separation
of the Lord.
The love between husband and wife is selfish love,
Brothers, sisters are united for selfish ends.
Death is ever waiting to devour you all,
That tomorrow will never come, open your eyes now (wake up now).
Life is short, time is fleeting, (many obstacles to Japa and kirtan),
Apply yourself diligently to Yogic Sadhan.
This world is a mela for two days,
This life is a play for two seconds, (This body is a bubble for two
When one is in union with God, it is Samadhi,
The Yogi gets infinite bliss and knowledge.
Bhakti-Yoga is crossing river by boat,
Jnana-Yoga is crossing river by swimming.
A Jnani gets knowledge by self-reliance,
A Bhakta gets Darshan by self-surrender.
When there is one Vritti it is Savikalpa,
When there is Triputi-Laya, it is Nirvikalpa.
When one is in fourth Bhumika, it is Jivanmukti,
When there is no body-consciousness, it is Videhamukti.
When you are in a state of Turiya, it is Jivanmukti,
When you are in Turiyatita, it is Videhamukti.
When there is Svarupanas, it is Jivanmukti.
When there is Arupanas, it is Videhamukti.
When Jagrat appears as Svapna, it is Jivanmukti,
When Jagrat appears as Sushupti, it is Videhamukti.
1. Remember the pains of Samsara
2. Remember Death
3. Remember the Saints
4. Remember God
1 and 2 will produce Vairagya. 3 will bring inspiration. 4 will cause
attainment of God-Consciousness.
(Remember these seven vital points)
- Hari Om, Sensual pleasure is momentary, deceptive, illusory and
- A mustard of pleasure is mixed with a mountain of pain.
- Enjoyment cannot bring about satisfaction of a desire. On the
contrary it makes the mind more restless after enjoyment through intense
craving (Trishnas and Vasanas).
- Sensual pleasure is an enemy of Brahma-Jnana
- Sensual pleasure is the cause for birth and death.
- This body is nothing but a mass of flesh, bone, and all sorts of
- Place before the mind the fruits of Self-realization or life in the
soul or Brahman or the Eternal, such as Immortality, Eternal bliss,
Supreme peace and Infinite knowledge. If you remember the seven points
always, the mind will be weaned from the cravings for sensual pleasures.
Vairagya, Viveka and Mumukshutva (dispassion, discrimination from the
real and the unreal, and keen longing for liberation from birth and
death) will dawn. You should seriously look into the defects of sensual
life (Dosha-Drishti) and into the unreal nature of worldly life (Mithya-Drishti).
Read this once daily as soon as you get up from the bed.
To The First Edition
While it will be accepted on all hands that the first and foremost
requisite or qualification for an aspirant treading the path of Ancient
Wisdom or Yoga is Vairagya born of pure discrimination, it is strange that
nowadays when numberless books on Yoga, Vedanta and other allied subjects
are displayed at the sales window, none of these learned treatises has ever
thought or taken into head to supply this dire and long felt need of
spiritual aspirants. At such a time a book on HOW TO GET VAIRAGYA by no
less an eminent sage, Yogi and philosopher than His Holiness Sri Swami
Sivananda should be quite welcome to one and all.
True, the subject of Vairagya has been dealt with in the sacred books of
India by ancient sages like Vasishtha, Vyasa, Yajnavalkya, Bhartrihari and
others, but nowhere will the reader get a clear, concise and compact
knowledge of the subject, at the same time suited to modern-conditions,
tastes and requirements. While emphasis was laid on ruthless renunciation,
mental as well as, physical, by the ancients as a precondition to
Self-Realization, it is quite refreshing and heartening to hear from the
Himalayan Yogi that Vairagya is purely an internal mental state, it is
not a mere external show, and a man may remain in the busy world amidst
various luxuries, and yet he may possess perfect Vairagya, while a Sadhu who
lives in a cave in the far-off regions of the Himalayas may be keenly
attached to his Kamandalu, walking stick or piece of cloth.
It is earnestly hoped that the object with which this publication has
been undertaken will be realized in the fullest measure.
1st October, 1938.
Happiness is within, What is Vairagya? Miseries of mundane
existence, Body, Woman, World, Essence of Vairagya-Satakam and
In Happiness is within, I have emphasized that happiness which is the
driving motive of all human endeavours is not in the perishable objects of
the world, but is within ones own self and that even the very little
momentary pleasure you get from sensual enjoyments is but a reflection of
the Atman Bliss only. Real and lasting happiness can be had only from God,
or the Atman, which shines in the chambers of your heart.
In the chapter entitled What is Vairagya, I have pointblank stated that
Vairagya does not consist in running away in home, shirking the duties and
responsibilities of life but that it is purely an internal state and that a
man while living in the world amidst various luxuries may be a perfectly
dispassionate soul. The chapter is for the sake of convenience and ease
divided into thirteen headings, all useful and interesting. The need for
renunciation of desire as a means to liberation from bondage, varieties of
Vairagya, its various stages, how to develop it, the path of renunciation,
what Vairagya is and what it is not¾these
and many other allied topics have been nicely handled.
Miseries of mundane existence is the inspiring title of the third
chapter. It should be borne in mind that ignorance is the real cause of all
misery and hence it should by all means be done away with and Self-Knowledge
attained, if these miseries of mundane life are to come to an end. One may
easily renounce wife, son and property, but to renounce name and fame is an
extraordinary feat of the highest spirituality. To attain knowledge of Self
such a degree of renunciation is indispensably necessary. I have condemned
building of Ashrams and making disciples with a reservation clause because
this to me seems to be the prime cause of failure to attain the goal of Yoga
practice in the case of many a good aspirant nowadays.
Chapter four deals with Body. Attachment to body is the cause of misery
and bondage and this attachment is of course due to ignorance of the
Reality. When attachment for ones own body comes, then desire for sensual
enjoyments, lust, anger, greed, worry, anxiety and innumerable other
miseries also come in its train. If this is cut at the root by negating the
body and identifying ones self with the supreme Self, then all miseries and
sorrows will come to an end. Hence the condemnation of attachment to the
body.is purely carnal; it is not pure, unselfish love. Hence condemnation of
such love is justified.
World is the title of the sixth chapter. Due to ignorance man believes
that the world in which he lives is a solid reality and that there is
nothing beyond it. He therefore wants to indulge in all sorts of sensual
pleasures with a view to get happiness from them. Had he known that the
world in which he lives is unreal and that there is something else which is
an embodiment of Happiness, realizing which one enjoys highest bliss, he
would not do so. With a view to get happiness from objects, he undergoes
severe pain, tortures and tribulations and yet he does not get the least
satisfaction from them. I have tried to convince the reader that this world
of names and forms is unreal, transitory and fleeting, that God, or the
Atman alone is real and full of bliss and that he should try to realize the
Atman and get the happiness he wants from it.
In the next chapter entitled Essence of Vairagya-Satakam I have given
in a nutshell the sum and substance of Bhartriharis century of verses which
will be found very useful to those who cannot afford to obtain each and
every book pertaining to Yoga or Vedanta.
In chapter eight, entitled Inspiring Stories, the reader gets half a
dozen thrilling and inspiring stories of great saints and Yogis of ancient
India, which are calculated to produce deep Vairagya in him, and it is my
firm belief that a book on Vairagya like the present one has never been
presented to the public as yet.
Prasnottari of Sri Sankaracharya is appended at the end, which will be a
source of strong inducement to lead a life of dispassion in the world.
May the students of Yoga and Vedanta in the East and West be all inspired
to unstinted action by a perusal of this volume is the earnest prayer of :
15th September, 1938.
O Adorable Lord! Thou art the subtle. Hence it is very difficult to
understand and realize Thee. Thou art the past, present and future. There is
nothing but Thee. Thou art the Infinite ocean of Grace and Mercy. Thou art
known to Thy devotee alone. Thou art without attributes and without forms
and yet Thou possess attributes and forms. It is very difficult to
comprehend Thy glory and greatness. Thou art my father, mother, Guru and
sole refuge. Salutations unto Thee! Protect me. Guide me. Lift me up from
this terrible round of births and deaths.
O Lord! Thou art the indweller of all Thou art the soul in all! Thou art
the womb of all! Thou art the protector of all: Thou art the bestower of
fruits of Karma to all: Thou art all; Thou dwellest in all; Thou art the
source of all; Thou art the giver of Moksha to all. Prostrations unto Thee!
O Lord! If Thou art the sun, then I am the ray; if Thou art the ocean, I
am the wave: if Thou art the Himalayas, I am the tree; if Thou art the
Ganga, I am the drop; if Thou art the garden, I am the flower; if Thou art
the electric light, I am the bulb; If Thou art the landscape, I am the
grass. By loving Thee, I have become Immortal. The noose of Yama is cut
asunder. Salutations unto Thee!
O Self-effulgent Lord! Thou art the Supporter, the Saviour, the Creator,
the Inner Ruler, the Governor, the Master, the Protector and the Deliverer.
Thou art the Dispeller of the darkness of ignorance. Thou art the Remover of
the miseries and sufferings of Thy devotees. Thou art the Destrayor of the
three kinds of sufferings (Tapas) or fevers of human beings. O Venerable
Lord! Salutations unto Thee! In Thee I take refuge. Give me purity and
devotion. Let my wandering, mischievous mind always rest in Thy blessed
O Sovereign Lord of all creations! I do not want any wealth, or Moksha or
power or dominion. But I do want that sufferings and troubles of all beings
should come to an end for ever. Thou art ocean of mercy. Thou art
omnipotent. Thou can do this.
In Memory of
Lord Buddha, Raja Bhartrihari and Raja Gopichand,
who were embodiments of Vairagya,
who renounced their kingdom,
throne and their all for the
attainment of the Infinite
the final beatitude of life
the Supreme Abode of Immortality
Man wants happiness. He shuns pain. He moves heaven and earth to get the
happiness he wants from sensual objects and, lo, gets himself entangled in
the inextricable meshes of Maya. Poor man! He does not know that these
objects are perishable and evanescent, finite and conditioned in time, space
and causation. And what is more, he fails to get the desired happiness from
This world is imperfect (Apurna) and there is uncertainty of life.
A barrister-at-law talks at the telephone, ascends the staircase to take his
meals and, alas, while ascending he dies on the staircase. Such instances
are not uncommon to you all.
There is not an iota of happiness in objects, because they are insentient
(Jada). Even the sensual pleasure is a reflection of Atmic Bliss
only. Just as a dog that sucks a dry bone in the street imagines foolishly
that blood is oozing out of the dry bone, whereas blood is really oozing
from its own palate, so also worldly-minded people foolishly imagine that
the happiness they enjoy in everyday life comes from objects only.
You can find eternal, infinite, supreme peace and bliss only in your Atma
which shines in all its splendour and glory in the chambers of your heart.
It is an embodiment of Bliss (Ananda Swarupa).
There is mental uneasiness, dissatisfaction, discontentment and
restlessness even in multimillionaires and kings. Some kind of sorrow,
misery or pain is invariably present even when they are in the height of
enjoyment of worldly pleasures. Show me a man who is perfectly happy? When
the marriage of his second son is being celebrated, the remembrance of the
death of his first son who passed away only sometime ago torments his mind.
Mind is so constituted that the rhythm of pleasure and pain is kept up
like the rhythm of systole and diastole of the heart. You entertain the fear
that the happiness will pass away soon, when you are in happy surroundings.
This adds pain, when you are in the enjoyment of sensual pleasures. Even if
you remove the pain by some means or other, it again manifests in some form
or other such as loss of property, disease, death, hostility and
There is no hope of immortality by means of riches. Such indeed is the
emphatic and irrefutable declaration of the Upanishads. "Na karmana na
prajayana dhanena tyagenaike amritatvamanasuh. Neither by rituals, nor
by progeny, nor by riches but by renunciation alone one can attain
Mere giving up of objects will not constitute real renunciation. Dear
friends, remember this point well. True Tyaga or renunciation consists in
renouncing egoism, "I-ness," "mine-ness," selfishness, desires and cravings
of all sorts.
For all beings a human birth is verily difficult to attain, more so with
a male body. It is said that there are three things which are rare indeed
and are due to the grace of God viz., a human birth, the longing for
liberation and the protecting care of a perfected sage. The man who having
by some virtuous actions done in previous births obtained a human birth with
a male body and a good intellect to boot is foolish enough not to exert for
Self-Realization verily commits suicide, for he kills himself by clinging to
You will now ask me the pertinent question : "Why should I realize the
Atman?" I say because Self-Realization gives you freedom from the Samsaric
wheel of births and deaths with its concomitant evils. Hear the emphatic
declaration of the Upanishads: "This Atman (Self) which is free from sin,
undecaying, undying, free from sorrow, hunger and thirst, with true desires
and true resolves-that is what is to be sought after, and which one must
wish to understand; one who has sought after his Self and understand It,
obtains all worlds and all desires." (Chhandogya Upanishad).
Hear again the forcible utterances of the same Chhandogya Upanishad:
"Yo vai Bhuma tat sukham na alpe sukham asti, bhumaiva sukham bhuma tveva
vijijnasitavyah. The infinite (the Great) is bliss. There is no bliss in
what is small (finite). The Infinite alone is Bliss. But one should wish to
understand the Infinite."
Every man in this world is restless, discontented and dissatisfied. He
feels that he is in want of something, the nature of which he does not
really understand. He seeks, in the accomplishment of ambitious projects,
the rest and peace that he feels he is in need of. But he finds to his great
sorrow and disappointment that worldly greatness when secured is a delusion
and a snare. He does not find any happiness in it. He gets coveted degrees,
diplomas, titles, honours, power, position, name and fame; he marries; he
begets beautiful babies; in short, he gets all that he supposes would give
him happiness. But yet he finds no real rest and peace.
Pious men, saints, sages, Acharyas and prophets are never tired of saying
that this restlessness of every man, this state of discontentment,
dissatisfaction and uncomfortableness of being ill at ease with himself and
his environments is solely due to the loss of the companionship of the
partner of his soul, who is ever eternally shining in the chambers of your
heart, who is ready to embrace you with outstretched hands, if you really
care to see Him and if you are really spiritually thirsty and hungry.
One anna of pleasure is mixed with fifteen annas of pain. Pleasure that
is mixed with pain, fear and worry is no pleasure at all. If you carefully
begin to analyze this one anna of pleasure also, it will dwindle into an
airy nothing. You will find that it is a mere play of the mind. O man! Wake
up. Open your eyes. Develop Viveka. You cannot get the real happiness from
Nitya, Nirupadhika, Niratisaya Ananda (eternal, infinite Bliss)
that is independent of objects can be had only in the Immortal Spirit or
Atma or Soul or Brahman, the Indweller of your heart. Therefore shun all
external things ruthlessly and run to the Feet of the Lord. Develop
Vairagya. Vairagya is the rock-bottom foundation for the spiritual path.
Why do men run after the sensual pleasures? What is their concept of
happiness? Do Samskaras force them to repeat the same sensual acts again and
again? Is man a mere creature of environment or circumstance? Can he not
obliterate his Samskaras by effective and suitable means?
On account of ignorance man runs hither and thither to seek happiness in
objects. A little ginger bread and some sweetmeats, a son and a young wife,
some position and power and a little money in the bank to boot will fill his
heart with joy and calm down his nerves. That is all he wants. Bliss of
Atma, supersensuous Ananda and Peace, spiritual ecstasy and knowledge are
unknown to him. He does not want them. Nay, he dislikes them. He hates
people who talk about higher and sublime things. Believe me, man can
obliterate his Samskaras by Purushartha or right exertion. He is
not a creature of environment or circumstance. He is the master of his
Amidst the din and boisterous bustle of worldly activities, there do come
moments of tranquillity and peace, when the mind for the time being, however
short it may be, soars above the filthy worldly things and reflects on the
higher problems of life viz., the why and wherefore of life and the
riddle of the universe. Man begins to enquire: "Who am I?" The sincere
enquirer becomes serious and gets absorbed in his reflections. He begins to
search and understand the Truth. Discrimination dawns on him. He seeks
Vairagya, concentration, meditation, and purification of the body and mind
and eventually attains the highest Knowledge of Self. But the man whose mind
is saturated with worldly Vasanas and materialistic poison is quite
heedless and is irresistibly carried away by the two currents of Raga
and Dwesha and tossed about helplessly hither and thither in the
tumultous Samsaric stream of worldly concerns.
Ah! How uncertain is sensual life in this world! If you constantly think
of the transitory nature of sensual pleasure and its concomitant evils viz.,
miseries, worries, troubles, tribulations, anxieties and premature death,
then you will slowly develop Vairagya. The Vairagya that comes momentarily
is due to the loss of either wife, relation, friend, son or property; this
will not help you much in the spiritual path. What is really wanted is
Vairagya born of discrimination or Viveka.
In the presence of sensual pleasure, spiritual bliss cannot exist, just
as darkness cannot exist in the presence of light. Therefore show extreme
contempt for worldly objects. Destroy all desires. Turn the mind away from
the sensual objects. You will develop Vairagya.
You yourself have made your life complex and intricate. You have
entangled yourself in this quagmire of Samsara. You have multiplied your
wants and desires. Everyday you are forging an additional link to the chain
of bondage. Simplicity has vanished. Luxurious habits and ways of living are
embraced. No wonder there is unemployment everywhere. People are dying of
starvation. There is depression in trade. There is unrest everywhere. There
is wholesale devastation by earthquake. Divorce courts are also multiplying.
One nation is afraid of another nation. One nation suspects that other
nations are preparing for a big war. Life has thus become a matter of
uncertainty. It has become a mass of confusion, chaos and bewilderment. It
has become stormy and boisterous. It is full of under-currents,
cross-currents, subterranean currents and mixed currents. Is there no way of
escape from these troubles and difficulties? There is only one way. Lead a
life of dispassion, self-control, purity, selfless service, cosmic love.
Develop the habit of taking the right point of view, right thinking, right
feeling, right acting, with right mental attitude or Bhav. Practice
devotion and meditation.
O Mohan! You have no real sustained Vairagya. Your present mental state
is due to pecuniary embarrassments. This will not help you in the spiritual
path. The mind will be waiting to get back the object renounced, when it
gets the first opportunity. No doubt you are a man of spiritual Samskaras.
But your Vairagya must be of that type that is born of pure Viveka, (Nityanitya-vastu-Viveka),
discrimination between the real and the unreal. This is a rare commodity, a
rare virtue, though many people feign to be in possession of the same.
Thousands of young graduates and young doctors come to me with earthen
pots in their hands and attired in orange coloured robes in quest of caves
in Uttarakasi and Gangottri for deep meditation and practice of Pranayama.
And some young research students in science and some Rajkumars go to the
Punjab and Kashmir in silk suits with stiff collars and ties in search of
girls for marriage. Is there pleasure or pain in this world? If there is
pleasure, why do young educated men retire into forests? If there is pain,
why do young men run after wealth, women and position? Mysterious is Maya!
Mysterious is Moha!
Try to understand the riddle of life and the riddle of the universe.
Acquire Viveka. Take recourse to Satsang. Enquire into the nature of the
Atman. Study the Yoga-Vasishtha and the Upanishads. Then you will
have a comprehensive understanding of the innumerable problems of life.
There is not an iota of happiness in this world. Seek the happiness within.
Is not a kingdom valuable to be owned? Is not a summer palace in Kashmir
or a pleasant garden with sweet-smelling flowers of various colours nice to
live in? Is not the company of young Mabaranis with tender waists and
lotus-like eyes dear as life itself, very pleasing? Yet wise, dispassionate
men like Bhartrihari, Buddha, Gopichand and others retired into forests
kicking all these things as worthless as straw, to realize the Self which
alone can confer infinite Bliss, Immortality, and eternal Peace.
The spirit comes and goes. Therefore you will have to be careful always
in nourishing and protecting your spiritual Samskaras with burning Vairagya,
intense and constant Sadhana and burning longing for liberation (Mumukshutva).
You will have to increase your good Samskaras. You will have to develop
them. You will have to multiply them.
Vairagya is purely an internal mental state. A man may remain in the busy
world amidst various luxuries, women and wealth, and yet he may possess
perfect Vairagya, while a Sadhu who lives in a cave in the far off regions
of the Himalayas may be greatly attached to his Kamandalu, walking stick or
piece of cloth.
Raja Janaka, though he ruled a kingdom, was a perfectly dispassionate
man. So was Raja Bhagiratha, too. Queen Chudala possessed perfect Vairagya,
though she ruled a dominion, while her saintly husband, Raja Sikhidhvaja,
who retired into the forest to practice penance and Yoga, was intensely
attached to his body and Kamandalu (waterpot).
You cannot form a correct opinion of any Sadhu or Sannyasin or even
householder as to his mental state of Vairagya or mental condition by just
having a casual talk with him for a few hours or staying with him for a few
days. You will have to live with him for a very long time to study his
internal mental state.
Generally most people commit serious blunders in these matters. They are
deluded by mere external appearances. They mistake a physically nude Sadhu
for a great Mahatma in the beginning. Later on they feel obliged to change
their impression after closer contact. Physical nudity alone will not
constitute real Vairagya. The mind of the physically nude Sadhu may be full
of fantastic desires, cravings and appetites. Who knows! What is wanted,
therefore, is mental nudity, i. e., complete eradication of
Vasanas, egoism, etc. Do not be deceived by external appearances.
Beware! Beware!! Beware!!!
If you do not possess Viveka, if you do not try your extreme level best
for the attainment of salvation, if you spend your whole life-time in
eating, drinking, sleeping, marrying and propagating race, you are no better
than a horizontal being. You will have to sit at the feet of these animals
and learn several lessons from them. Even animals possess self-restraint to
an astonishing degree. O man, where has your self-restraint gone
Sensual enjoyment is attended with various defects. It is attended with
various sorts of sins, pains, weaknesses, attachments, slave-mentality, weak
will, severe exertion and struggle, bad habits, cravings, aggravation of
desires and mental restlessness. Therefore shun all sorts of sensual
enjoyments and rest in peace.
The Narayana Upanishad says: "In the beginning these two roads
were laid-the road, through Karma and Sannyasa. The latter consists of the
renunciation of the threefold desire (son, wealth, and fame). Of these the
road through Sannyasa is preferable." The Taittiriya Upanishad also
says: "Renunciation (Tyaga) certainly is to be preferred."
Mere outward giving up of thing is nothing. It is not real renunciation.
Real Tyaga or Sannyasa is absolute renunciation of all Vasanas and
destruction of the heart knot (ignorance), the Chit-jada-Granthi.
What should be renounced is that Bhedabuddhi which says: "I am
superior to that man. I have done that. I have done this. I am the body" and
the Kartritwa abhimana which thinks: "I am the doer." There is no use of
renouncing your home, wife and children, if you cannot renounce these also.
He cannot be truly regarded as having renounced the world altogether who
has merely withdrawn himself from worldly possessions. But he, who living in
actual contact with the world, finds out its faults (Doshas), who is
free from every passion and whose soul depends on nothing, may well be said
to have truly renounced the world. Read the story of Raja Sikhidhvaja in the
Yoga-Vasishtha. You will clearly understand this point.
Renounce this world. Renounce the desire for Moksha. Renounce
renunciation itself. Then you will become That. You will become itself.
Dear brother! If you have no real sustained Vairagya, you will find no
improvement or progress in spirituality. Vows, austerities, energy and
meditation will leak out like water from a cracked pot. Be careful.
There is verily no sword more powerful than Vairagya to cut off all sorts
of attachment to this world. Hold this sword in your hand and march along in
the spiritual path. You will safely reach the goal.
The shadow of clouds, the friendship with a fool, the beauty of youth,
wealth, all these last only for a very short time. They are impermanent.
Shun them all ruthlessly.
Only a thirsty man drinks water. Only a hungry man eats food. Even so, a
man who is spiritually hungry and thirsty will only drink the Nectar of
The life of Vemanna is worthy to be read. He was a Jnani of Andhra
Desa. He was leading a voluptuous life, most abominable indeed. The moment
Vairagya dawned in him, he became an entirely different man. He made no
Sadhana as he was a Yoga Bhrashta , or one who had fallen from Yogic
practices in his previous birth, and became a Jnani . He was, and is
very much revered by devotees.
This search after God and God-Realization is a question of supply and
demand. If you really want God, if there is a real demand from your heart
for God, then the supply would come.
He is really a Sannyasin who is free from passion, egoism and who
possesses Sattvic qualities.
Atma-Vichara (enquiry into the nature of the Atman, or Self) and Yogic
practices done without intense Vairagya becomes fruitless.
To get Vairagya one should seriously ponder over the various
entanglements and bondage of married life.
If you get Vairagya, rest assured that is a sign of purification of mind
The things that used to afford you delight before give you displeasure
now. That is a sign of Vairagya.
Vairagya that comes momentarily after such accidents as the loss of some
dearly loved relative or wealth is known as Karana Vairagya. It will not
help you much in your spiritual advancement. The mind will be simply waiting
for an opportunity to catch hold of the sensual objects, when an opportunity
Therefore, Vairagya born of discrimination or Viveka is the premonitory
symptom of spiritual development. That will help the aspirant. That will
give him a good spiritual uplift.
Vairagya is of two kinds viz., Karanavairagya (on account of some
miseries) and Viveka-purvaka-Vairagya (on account of discrimination between
the real and the unreal).
The mind of a man who has got the former type of Vairagya is simply
waiting for a chance to get back the things that have been given up or lost.
As soon as the first opportunity occurs, the man gets a downfall and goes
back to his former state. Vishaya (sensual object) does havoc in him with a
vengeance and redoubled force from reaction. But the other man who has given
up objects on account of deep enquiry and Viveka, on account of the illusory
nature of objects, will have spiritual advancement. He will not have any
"Drishta-anursravika vishaya-vitrishnasya vasikarasamjna vairagyam-That
particular state of mind which manifests itself in one who does not hanker
after objects seen or heard and in which one is conscious of having
controlled or mastered those objects is non-attachment." (Patanjali's
It is only when the mind is absolutely free from attachment of all sorts
that true knowledge begins to dawn and Samadhi supervenes. Secret powers,
attainment of heaven, states of Videha and Prakritilaya, etc., are all
temptations. One should be perfectly free from all sorts of temptations.
Samadhi comes by itself when the Yogic student is fully established in
perfect Vairagya. Para-Vairagya is the means to Asampra-jnata Samadhi.
There are four stages in Vairagya:
(1) Yatamana:- This is an attempt not to allow the mind to run
into sensual grooves;
(2) Vyatireka :-In this stage some objects are attracting you and
you are endeavouring to cut off the attachment and attraction. Slowly
Vairagya develops for these objects also. Then the Vairagya matures. When
some objects tempt and delude you, you should ruthlessly avoid them. You
will have to develop Vairagya for these tempting objects and it must also
mature. In this stage you are conscious of your degree of Vairagya towards
(3) Ekendriya:-The senses stand still and subdued, but the mind
has either Raga or Dvesha for objects. Mind is, in
other words, the only sense that functions independently;
(4) Vasirara :-In this highest stage of Vairagya, the objects no
longer tempt you. They cause no attraction. The senses are perfectly quiet.
The mind also is free from likes and dislikes (Raga and Dvesha).
Then you get supremacy or independence. Now you are conscious of your
supremacy. Without Vairagya no spiritual progress is possible.
Vairagya is of three kinds viz., dull (Manda),
intense (Tivra) and very intense (Tivratara).
Dull Vairagya cannot help you much in the attainment of your goal.
Vairagya is the opposite of Raga, or desire. It is dispassion or
non-attachment. It is indifference to sensual objects herein and hereafter.
Vairagya thins out the fatty sensual mind. It turns the mind inward (Antarmukh
Vritti). This is the most important qualification for an
aspirant. It is the one and the only means to enter into Nirvikalpa Samadhi.
Vairagya that is born of discrimination is lasting and steady. If you
seriously think of the various kinds of pain in this Samsara such as birth,
death, worries, depression, suffering, disease, loss, hostility,
disappointment, fear, etc., if you understand intelligently the defects of
sensual life (Dosha Drishti), and the transitory and
perishable nature of all objects of the world, Vairagya will immediately
Study of Vairagya-Satakam of Bhartrihari, and the company of
dispassionate Sadhus and Sannyasins will also help one in developing
Vairagya. The temporary Vairagya which one gets when he is attending the
funeral of a dead person and the Vairagya which a pregnant lady in pangs
gets cannot help one to attain spiritual exaltation. The mind will pounce
upon the objects when it gets opportunities.
Aspirants generally complain to me "Swamiji Maharaj, we are meditating
for the last 12 years. But we do not know the reason why we have not made
any substantial spiritual progress." This is due to lack of intense Vairagya
only. The mind will be ever thinking of objects even during meditation.
Intense Vairagya only can help the aspirant in attaining Self-Realization.
"Tarparampurushakyateh gunavaitrisnyam: Para-Vairagya or supreme
non-attachment is that state wherein even the attachment to the qualities
(Sattva, Rajas and Tamas) drops, owing to the knowledge of the Purusha."
(Patanjali's Yoga Sutras : 1-16).
The Vairagya described earlier is Apara-Vairagya (lower one). Now comes
supreme Vairagya. In the former state, there is preponderance or Sattva.
Sattva is mixed with Rajas and Tamas. The Yogi gets Siddhis and becomes a
Videha or Prakritilaya. But the Yogi with Para-Vairagya rejects
the Siddhis also and gets Sakshatkara, or Darsan, of the Purusha.
In ordinary Vairagya there is a trace of Vasanas and desires. But in
Para-Vairagya all Vasanas, Samskaras and desires are fried in toto. In
Para-Vairagya there will be no desire at all. Perfect desirelessness is
Para-Vairagya. In the Bhagavad Gita you will find: "Objects fall away from
the abstinent man, leaving the longing behind. But his longing also ceases,
who sees the Supreme." (11-59).
Note how Vairagya arises in the mind. The transitory, evanescent and
perishable nature of all things creates a sort of disgust in all minds and
in proportion to the depth and subtlety of nature, this reaction from the
world works more or less powerfully in the mind of every individual. An
irresistible feeling arises in our mind viz., that the finite can never
satisfy the Infinite within us, that the changing and perishable cannot
satisfy the change-less and deathless nature that is ours.
When you are not impressed with rich living, rich style of living cannot
attract you. When you are impressed with the idea that meat and wine are not
at all pleasurable, meat and wine cannot tempt you. When you are impressed
that a woman is nothing but a leather-bag of pus, blood, urine, bones and
flesh, woman cannot tempt you. In that case, if you fail to get meat or wine
or woman, or to have a rich living, you will not be agonized at all in your
Why are you attracted towards a young, beautiful lady? Have you ever
seriously thought over this life-and-death problem? The answer is: because
owing to your ignorance you vainly think you will get pleasure from her. If
you have Vairagya and Viveka, it will at once tell you that you will get
immense pain from her rather than pleasure. Then your mind will recede or
withdraw from the object, viz., woman.
It is only when the mind, being divested of all its desires is
indifferent to pleasure and pain and is not attracted by any object that it
will be rendered pure, free from the grip of the great delusion like a bird
freed from the cage and roaming about freely in the Akasa.
As soon as Vairagya arises in the mind, it opens the gate of Divine
Wisdom. No true and lasting satisfaction comes from the enjoyment of worldly
pleasures. Yet, people rush headlong towards objects, even when they know
full well that the objects they are trying to seize are unreal and that the
world in which they live is fraught with miseries of all sorts. This is
Maya. When the mind rests in Atma then the only Nitya-Tripti, or
eternal satisfaction comes. Because the Atman is Paripurna (All-Full). All
desires are gratified by realization of Atma or Self.
Sometimes the mind gets disgusted with one kind of Sadhana. It wants some
other kind of Sadhana. It rebels against monotony. The aspirant should know
how to coax the mind on such occasions and to extract work from it by a
little relaxation of mind. The cessation of Sadhana is a grave blunder.
Spiritual practices should never be given up under any circumstances. Evil
thoughts will be waiting to enter the gates of the mental factory. If the
student of Yoga stops his Sadhana, his mind will become the devil's
workshop. Do not expect anything. Be sincere and regular in your daily
meditation, routine and Tapas. Do not deviate from the path you have chosen.
The fruit will come by itself. Your efforts will be surely crowned with
roaring success. It takes a long time to purify the mind and get
one-pointedness. Be cool and patient my child.
Attachment is the first child of Maya. The whole Lila of the Lord is
being kept up by the force of attachment only. A sober man just tastes a
small peg of Champagne, when he is caught up in an evil company and becomes
ultimately an inveterate drunkard through attachment to spirit. A teetotaler
just takes a whiff of Gold-Flake Cigarette and becomes in due time a
terrible smoker through attachment. There is in the mind a gummy substance
which is like a mixture of castor-oil, glue, gum-arabic, mucilage of
tragacanth, gluten paste, honey, glycerin, jack-fruit's juice and all other
pasty substances of this world. The mind is glued, as it were, to the
objects of the world with this mixture. Therefore attachment is very strong.
Therefore O man, never say "My body, my son, my wife, my house, my
property, my garden, etc." Attachment is the root cause of the innumerable
miseries and troubles of this world. Discipline your mind little by little.
The old evil habits will creep in. Destroy them to the very root. Lead a
life of perfect non-attachment. This is the master key to open the realms of
But work incessantly without attachment, without any identification. Then
alone you can feel that you are a different being. Karma Yoga elevates a man
to sublime, magnanimous heights, when done in the right spirit, with the
right mental attitude or Bhav. One should patiently work. That is all. No
meditation or Samadhi is ever possible without a preliminary training in
Nishkamya Karma-Yoga. To work without attachment is doubtless a difficult
task. It is an uphill work. But it becomes a very easy job and pleasant too
to a man of patience and determination. You will have to do it at any cost,
if you want final beatitude and immortality. Everyone of you will have to do
it, though not now, at least after taking five hundred births. There is no
other alternative but to do so. But the question is: Why not now? Why not in
this very birth itself? Why not cut short the cycle of births and deaths and
enjoy the Bliss of the Self right now, this very second? Therein lies real
Work cannot bring misery, but it is attachment and identification with
work that brings in all sorts of unhappiness and bondage. Understand the
secret of work, the technique of Karma Yoga and attain God-Consciousness.
This Jnanagni or fire of wisdom will consume all fruits of actions in
Have a strong determination and a strong will. Never think of returning
home after taking up to the Nivritti-Marga. Look before you leap. Have
courage, fixity of mind and a definite purpose in life. Be not wavering. Are
you ready to give up all possessions, including body and life? Then alone
come to me. Then alone take to Nivritti-Marga and embrace Sannyasa. Think
twice before you come to definite conclusions. This is not a rosy path as
you may imagine. It is full of thorns. It is beset with countless
difficulties and hardships. Be humble, patient and persevering. Never care
for Siddhis or quick awakening of the Kundalini. I shall serve you. I shall
help you. I shall take care of you. Be not troubled. Be not anxious. I am
your servant always. Be noble-minded. Mere emotional bubbling will not help
you much. Some young men have returned to their homes. Difficulties are many
in this path. But it can make you a King of kings, an Emperor of emperors.
Those who want to take to seclusion and Nivritti-Marga should observe
Mouna, non-mixing and disciplining the Indriyas, mind and body while living
in the world. They should train themselves to a laborious hard life, coarse
food, sleeping on the ground or a hard mattress without pillows, walking
barefooted without umbrellas. Then alone they can bear the rigorous
austerities of an ascetic's life. They should give up timidity and shyness
in getting alms.
Aspirants who take to the Nivritti-Marga generally become lazy after some
time, as they do not know how to utilize their mental energy, as they do not
keep any daily routine, as they do not follow the instructions of their
masters. They get Vairagya in the beginning, but they have no experience in
the spiritual line. They do not make any progress in the end. Intense and
constant meditation is necessary for entering into Samadhi.
Have you fully determined with an iron will to stick to this line at any
cost? Are you really prepared to sacrifice this body and life in the cause
of Truth? Have you understood the glory of Sannyasa and the importance of
seclusion? If your daughter, brother, mother or son comes here and weeps,
have you got the requisite strength to resist Moha? After coming here can
you cut off all sorts of connections with your relatives? Can you stop all
correspondences? Do not hide anything. Be absolutely candid. Be frank and
guileless. Speak to me the truth now. Open out your heart to me.
Sleepless vigilance is necessary, if you wish to have rapid spiritual
advancement. Never rest content with a little achievement or success in the
path a little serenity of mind, a little one-pointedness of mind, some
visions of angles, or Siddhis, a little faculty of thought-reading, etc.
There are still higher summits to ascend, higher regions to climb up.
The attraction for objects and ties of various sorts make a man bound to
this world. Renunciation of all attractions and breaking up of all ties
constitute real renunciation. That Sannyasin or Yogi who is free from
attraction and ties enjoys infinite bliss and supreme joy and peace.
Fluctuation and imagination are the two seeds of the mind. Fluctuation is
the fuel. Imagination is the fire. The unceasing fire of imagination is kept
up by the fuel of fluctuation. If the fuel of fluctuation is with drawn, the
fire of imagination gets extinguished by itself. The mind becomes tranquil.
It is withdrawn into its source, the Atma.
You came alone. You came naked. You came weeping. You will go alone. You
go naked. You will go weeping. Wily then are you proud of your titles, false
wealth and false knowledge? Become humble and meek. You will conquer the
whole world through humility. Become pure in thought, word and deed. This is
the secret of spiritual life. The Upanishads and the Gita harp again and
again upon this one note.
To a passionate man there is much pleasure in this world. He runs after
money and women. His mind is intoxicated, perverted and clouded. Poor man,
he does not know what he is really doing. But to a Yogi or a man of
discrimination this world is a ball of fire. It is a huge furnace in which
all beings are roasted. The three kinds of heat viz., Adhyatmika (internal),
Adhidaivika (heavenly) and Adhibhautika (external)
are burning him.
Friend! Is there any limit to the number of fathers and mothers and wives
you had in the crores and crores of previous incarnations? Yet this clinging
and false relationship have not gone. Discrimination has not dawned.
Are you not ashamed to repeat the same old process of eating, drinking
and sleeping day in and day out? You are proud of your titles and knowledge.
Have you improved your life even a bit? What have you learnt from the recent
Bihar and Quetta earthquakes? Are you attempting to reach that imperishable
seat, wherein all desires and Trishnas are completely eradicated? Are you
endeavouring, in however small a measure it may be, to attain the highest
goal of life, Atmic realization, which gives immortality, bliss and peace?
You are not crawling now. You have learnt to stand up and walk. You can
think, reason out, judge, infer and ratiocinate. Will you not utilize this
precious life and all your various faculties in meditation and Self
Realization? Can you give me a definite word of promise to the effect? Speak
to me the truth now. Climb up the ladder of Yoga. Drink the Nectar of
Vairagya born of Viveka is enduring and everlasting. It will not fail the
aspirant at any time unlike the Vairagya that comes temporarily to a lady
who gives birth to a child or to a man attending a funeral in the
crematorium. The view that everything in the world is unreal causes Vairagya
or indifference to the enjoyments of this world and the other heaven worlds
also. One has to come down to this Mrityu-loka from heaven when the fruits
of good works are exhausted.
The same five kinds of enjoyment of sensual pleasures prevail in the
heaven worlds also. But they are more intense and subtle. This cannot give
real and lasting happiness to a Viveki. He shuns all enjoyments of the
heaven world also. He kicks them mercilessly. He is keenly aware of the
pleasures of the three worlds and is convinced that they are only a mere
drop in the ocean of Brahmic bliss.
Meditation on the following Slokas of the Bhagavad-Gita will induce true
Vairagya: "The delights that are contact-born are, verily, wombs of pain,
for they have a beginning and an ending, O Kaunteya, not in them would
rejoice the wise." ( Ch. V-22 ). "Indifference to the objects
of the senses, and also absence of egoism, insight into the pain and evil of
birth and death, old age and sickness." ( Ch. XIII-8 ). "That
which from the union of the senses with their objects is at first as nectar,
but in the end is like venom." ( Ch. XVIII-38 ). "Having
obtained this transient, joyless world, worship Me."
Vairagya does not mean abandoning social duties and responsibilities of
life. It does not mean detachment from the world. It does not mean a life in
the solitary caves of the Himalayas or in the crematorium. It does not mean
living on Nim-leaves, cow's urine and dung. It does not mean wearing of
matted-hair and a Kamandal made of fence-gourd or coconut shell in the band.
It does not mean shaving of head and throwing of clothes.
Vairagya is mental detachment from all connections with the world. That
is all. A man may live in the world and discharge all the duties of his
order and stage of life with perfect detachment. He may be a householder.
What if? He may live with family and children. But at the same time he may
have perfect mental detachment. He can do his spiritual Sadhana. That man
who has perfect mental detachment while remaining in the world is a hero
indeed. He is much better than a Sadhu living in the Himalayan caves because
the former has to face the innumerable temptations of life every moment.
Wherever a man may go, he carries with him his fickle, restless mind, his
Vasanas and Samskaras. Even if he lives in solitude, still he is the same
worldly man, if he is engaged in building castles in the air, and thinking
of the objects of the world. In such case even the cave becomes a big city
to him. If the mind remains quiet, if it is free from attachments, one can
be a perfect Vairagi even while living in a mansion in the busiest
part of a city like Calcutta or Bombay. Such a mansion will be converted in
a dense jungle by him.
A dispassionate man has a different mind altogether. He has a different
experience altogether. He is a past master in the art or science of
separating himself from the impermanent, perishable objects of the world. He
has absolutely no attraction for them. He constantly dwells on the Eternal
or the Absolute. He identifies himself every moment of his life with the
witnessing consciousness that is present in pleasure and in pain, in joy and
in sorrow, in censure and in praise, in honour and in dishonour, in all
states of life. He stands adamantine as a peak amid a turbulent storm, as a
spectator of this wonderful world show. He is not a bit affected by these
pleasant and painful experiences. He learns several valuable lessons from
them. He has, in other words, no attraction for pleasant objects and
repulsion for painful ones. Nor is he afraid of pain. He knows quite well
that pain helps a lot in his spiritual progress and evolution, in his long
journey towards the Goal. He stands convinced that pain is the best teacher
in the world.
Let me sound a note of warning here. Dear aspirants! Vairagya also may
come and go, if you are careless and mix promiscuously with all sorts of
worldly-minded people. You should develop Vairagya, therefore, to a maximum
degree. The mind will be waiting for golden opportunities to get back the
things once renounced. Whenever and wherever the mind hisses or raises its
hood (for the mind is verily like a serpent), you should take refuge in
Viveka and in the imperishable fortress of wise, dispassionate Mahatmas.
There are different degrees in Vairagya. Supreme dispassion comes when one
gets himself established in Brahman. Now the Vairagya becomes perfectly
A man can develop inner mental detachment from pleasure and pain while
living in the world. He should see that he is not carried away by the
pleasant experiences of the world. He should not cling to them. He should
simply remain as a silent spectator. If he thus practices for some years,
every experience will be a positive step in his ascent in spiritual ladder.
Eventually he will be crowned with sanguine success. He will then have an
unruffled mind. He will have a poised mind also. A dispassionate man is the
happiest and the richest man in all the three worlds. He is also the most
powerful man. How can Maya tempt him now?
Doctors have a wide field for developing Vairagya. Everyday they come
across patients with incurable disease. Everyday they see dead bodies in the
mortuary. Thus they have innumerable chances of seeing Maya in
all her naked state. They can be convinced beyond a ray of doubt of the
impermanence of life here in this world of man.
The superintendent of jail and all the officers there also have wonderful
chances of developing Vairagya, if they are lovers of Truth and
Emancipation. The sight of hanging a condemned prisoner will open their
Hey Saumya! Your mental state is laudable indeed. The life of a Sannyasin
is the best kind of life in the world. A true Sannyasin is the monarch of
the three worlds. Even an aspirant is an emperor of the whole world. Lord
Krishna also says : "Only wishing to know Yoga, even the seeker after Yoga
goes beyond the Brahmin world."
I am extremely glad to note that you have got exceptionally good
spiritual Samskara which want to burst out in this birth. They need
protection and tender nurturing for your further growth and evolution. Do
not be carried away by the temptations of the world. Be careful. Be wise.
The beginner in the spiritual path should not remain in the company of
worldly-minded people. He should resort to Satsang. The company of
worldly-minded people is a deadly poison. You will not become a prey to lust
if you shun their company. Remain in seclusion under the direct guidance of
a Guru who is fully established in Brahman till you get perfect Vairagya and
till you are established in the path of Sannyasa.
Many aspirants come to me with great Vairagya and enthusiasm in the
beginning. But they do not keep up the same spirit for a long time or till
the end of their Sadhana. When they begin to encounter some difficulties,
they retrace their steps. It is indeed a great pity. Look before you leap.
Have a firm determination. Stick to the path of Sannyasa till you reach the
goal and realize the fruits of Sadhana.
If you lack any of these qualifications, wait for three more years. Do
spiritual Sadhana, Asanas, Pranayama, concentration and meditation at home.
Plunge deep into silent meditation. Plunge your-self in selfless service
also. This is very necessary for purification of mind. Keep up your
Brahmacharya. Destroy all evil habits, if you have any of these, such as
smoking, tea, coffee, etc. Develop all virtuous qualities. Mark the change
in your mental attitude. Then come to me. Come here and be prepared to lead
a hard, active life.
Some aspirants come in a hurry. Due to lack of Vairagya they go back.
This is not good. Hence the warning.
Many aspirants want to do some nice work such as writing, collection of
flowers for Puja, arranging books in the library, some kind of supervision
and management. They dislike works such as drawing of water, cleansing
utensils, washing clothes of sick persons, sweeping, nursing, cooking,
cleansing bedpans, etc. They consider these works as menial. They have not
understood the real spirit of Nishkamya Karma Yoga. They are yet Babus.
Dear Prabhu! There is a dull spiritual awakening in you and a dull type
of Vairagya. You will have to develop both. Dull Vairagya are mere bubbling,
emotions will not help you much to stick to the path of renunciation. For
some time leave the house and remain in a secluded place for a week or two.
Enquire. Cogitate. Investigate. Do self-analysis and find out if you have
any Moha, attachment to your family members. Find out if your mind runs
after sensual pleasures. Be sure whether you will be able to leave the
sensual objects, relatives and all sorts of comforts and conveniences. If
you can completely disconnect yourself from the world, then alone come to
me. I will make you a yogi of Yogis in a very short time. There are many who
have advanced in the spiritual path considerably in course of one or two
years. You can also do that. Implicit obedience and faithful carrying out of
instructions of the spiritual preceptor to the very letter is what is
expected of you; that is the secret of success in the spiritual path.
You are but repeating the same action of yesterday yielding but momentary
pleasure and enjoyed things do recur again. Things seen yesterday are again
present today. Ornaments worn with exultation yesterday are, again, donned
by you. And yet, even intelligent persons do not get disgusted with them and
are not ashamed of enjoying them again and again.
Like ignorant children that do taste again and again sweetmeats which
impart sweetness for the time being, you are also afflicted, ignorant of the
true path. Days, nights, weeks, fortnights, months, years and Yugas do cycle
again and again, and nothing new crops up. Wealth which only makes a host of
thoughts whirl in the brain will not confer Bliss on you. This wealth which
the mind so much covets and which is so very ephemeral in its nature is
utterly worthless like a flower-bud in a creeper growing in a well encircled
by a serpent.
The Prana! Life which is like a drop of rain water dripping from the end
of a leaf turned overhead flits out of the body at unseasonable times. This
life is ephemeral like the autumnal clouds or a gheeless lamp or ocean
waves. Life and death are but two acts in the drama. Really nobody comes and
The lives of those who have freed themselves from rebirth are the
noblest. There is nothing so baneful as the life which is perishable in its
nature and fleeting in the bestowal of pleasure.
The fire of desires has scalded you quite. In the present state even a
full bath in a pool of ambrosia will not cool you down. It is these
ever-waxing desires that bring on pains of rebirths, the heaviest and the
most excruciating of all pains. This body which is composed of muscles,
intestines, urine and fecal matter and is subject to various changes, being
at one time fat and at another time lean, shines in this mundane existence
simply to undergo pains. What beauty is then to be enjoyed in this body
which is composed of flesh, bone and blood, which has the tendency to rot,
which is of the same nature in the rich and in the poor, and which is
subject to growth and decay?
There are scorpion stings on one side. Serpents are on the other side.
Flies, fleas, bugs, mosquitoes, thorns and other insects trouble you from
one corner. The sun scorches you in summer. Cold stings you in winter.
Influenza, plague, fashionable appendicitis, pyorrhea, smallpox are all
ready to devour you. Then there are the three fevers, Adhyatmika,
Adhidaivika and Adhibhautika. Fear, delusion, grief, sorrow and misery
kill you every moment.
Desire, anger, hatred, jealousy, worry, anxieties and cares torment you
every second. Deaths of persons whom you loved so dearly give you severe
shocks. Yet you will never renounce the momentary pleasures of the senses of
this unreal mundane existence. Such is the depth of sensual enjoyments. You
will speak through egoism, "O, I am a powerful man. I am very intelligent. I
can do any thing. There is no God." You will twist your glued moustache and
when the scorpion stings you sharp, you will cry out bitterly: "O Narayana,
Narayana, Narayana, help me. Relieve me of this horrible pain."
If the hair becomes gray, you invent various dyes to blacken it. You
invent monkey gland grafting for rejuvenation. If the teeth are fallen, you
put on a new artificial dental set. You will never leave the "will-to-live
and enjoy." Miserable wreck that you are! Hopeless specimen!
Think deeply. Cogitate. Reflect. Have constant Satsang. Do selfless
service of country and humanity. Develop the four means of salvation. Study
the Bhagavad Gita, Yoga-Vasishtha and Viveka-Chudamani of Sri Sankara. Clear
your doubts by approaching learned Sannyasins. Have recourse to Sravana,
Manana and Nididhyasana. Remove the veil of ignorance and rest in
your own Svarupa-the Satchitananda state. "Atma va are drasktavyah
srotavyo, mantavyo, nididhyasitavyah-The Self must be seen,
heard, thought upon and deeply pondered." (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad:
Shun honour, respect, degrees, name, fame, power, position and titles.
They are absolutely worthless. They will not give you eternal satisfaction.
They will only intensify your vanity. They are all intoxicants of the mind.
They will bring misery and mental disturbance. That is the reason why Raja
Bhartrihari, Raja Gopichand and Lord Buddha deserted their kingdoms, riches,
honour, etc. They treated them as trifles.
Only your actions, good and bad, will follow you after death. And God
will judge you according to your deeds.
The attraction for external objects ceases, but there yet remains the
internal craving or sense-hankering or thirsting which is called Trishna.
That is why the Gita says: "The objects of sense, but not the relish for
them, turn away from an abstemious dweller in the body, and even the relish
turns away from him after the Supreme is seen."
Friend! Is there any limit to the number of fathers, mothers, wives,
sons, daughters, uncles and aunts you had in the countless incarnations in
the past? And yet the clinging and false relationship has not gone.
Discrimination has not dawned. What a great pity it is!
Are you not ashamed to repeat the same acts of eating, drinking and
sleeping day by day? You are proud of your titles and honours. Have you
improved your life even a bit? What lessons have you learnt from the recent
Bihar and Quetta earthquakes? Are you attempting to reach the Imperishable
Seat wherein all desires and Trishnas will be utterly annihilated? Are you
endeavouring to attain the highest end of life, Divine realization which
confers immortality, bliss and peace?
In the recent Bihar earthquake (this was written years ago, when the
earthquake took place there) a rich banker had to beg for nine rupees just
to protect himself and his family from death by starvation. A Pundit earned
slowly twenty-five thousand rupees by selling his books. But he had to spend
that money in a short time in the treatment of his chronic chest complaint.
He tried all sorts of medicines, but all in vain. He had to leave the house
to lead a life of a hermit.
Life is quite uncertain here. Diseases of various sorts attack the body.
Yet man clings blindly to this ephemeral life! He forgets the truth. O man,
seek everlasting peace and bliss in the Atma or Soul within you by purifying
your mind and practicing intense meditation. This is the right royal road to
extricate yourself from the pains of Samsara. Be quick in taking to
spiritual practices. Hairs are becoming gray. Teeth are failing. Indriyas
are getting cold. Practice meditation and Japa while you are young. You can
do nothing in old age, when you retire from service.
It is extremely difficult to have a pure and calm mind. But you must have
such a mind, if you want to have progress in meditation and Yoga.
Lord Buddha had Viveka from his very boyhood. He was one who had
been profoundly impressed from his early youth by the transient and
impermanent nature of all conditions of worldly existence and by the
sufferings and wretchedness in which he saw all beings immersed. Will you
not become another Lord Buddha?
You have spent eight hours in sleep, and the rest of the day in idle
gossiping, telling lies, deceiving others, in selfish activities, in
amassing wealth. How can you expect spiritual good, how can you expect
immortality and peace, if you do not spend even half an hour in the service
of the Lord, in singing His Names and in divine contemplation?
Lord Buddha says: "On the whole, life is sorrow." You will find an echo
of this statement in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras "Sarvam duhkham vivekinah-All
indeed, is pain to a person of discrimination." This is not the philosophy
of the pessimists. This is wonderful optimism, as it induces deep Vairagya,
weans the mind from sensual pleasures and directs it towards God, the Atman,
to realize eternal and infinite Bliss.
"Mamsa-lubdho yatha matsyo lohasamkum na pasyati, Sukha-lubdhastatha debi
yama-bandham na pasyati."
Just as a fish in its desire to eat flesh does not see the hook that lies
beneath, so also man in his passionate desire to get sensual pleasure does
not see the noose of death.
Trishna means an intense craving or sense-hankering. Through
constant repetition of enjoyment of an object, the longing for the object
becomes very keen and acute. This is Trishna.
It is all easy to become a big research scholar in the Oxford or
Cambridge University and to get an M.A., Ph.D., degree. But it is extremely
difficult to eradicate these Trishnas. That is the reason why Sri
Vasishtha says to Sri Rama : "You can even uproot the Himalayas. You can
even drink the waters of the whole ocean. You can even swallow balls of
fire. But it is difficult to destroy the Trishnas. Cravings cause
incessant trouble in many different ways. These cravings are the seeds of
this Samsara" (Yoga-Vasishtha).
A worldly man is always drowned in sorrow. He is ever struggling to get
something, some money, some power, some position and so on. He is always
anxious as to whether or not he would get it. Even when he is in actual
possession of the things he so passionately longed for, he is very anxious
lest he should lose it. There is pain in earning money. There is more pain
in taking care of it. There is still more pain if the money gets decreased.
And when it is lost, just imagine for a moment the magnitude of the climax
and the intensity of pain it gives a man! Therefore renounce money and rest
in peace in the blissful Self.
In the presence of light, you cannot have darkness. In the presence of
sensual pleasures, Atmic Bliss cannot exist. Worldlings want both sensual
pleasures and Atma Ananda in one and the same cup and one and the
same time. This is an absolute impossibility. They do not want to renounce
sensual pleasures. They do not want to develop real Vairagya in their hearts
of hearts. They simply talk a lot.
Though a man knows he might die at any moment, still he thinks he would
live for ever. To get oneself entangled in the meshes of Maya till death is
simply foolish. He who is attached to wife, wealth and children will not
derive even an iota of benefit in the spiritual path.
A bachelor who is full of passion from head to foot imagines that he is
miserable because he has no wife! A householder who is tired and exhausted
of worldly life thinks wife and children are a mighty hindrance in his
One can renounce wife, son, property and all else, but it is very
difficult and rare to renounce name and fame. Pratishta is established name
and fame. This is a great obstacle in God-Realization. This brings downfall
in the end. This does not allow the aspirant to march forward in the
spiritual path. He becomes a slave of respect and honour. As soon as he gets
some purity and ethical progress, ignorant people rock to him and begin to
pay homage and salutation. He gets puffed up with pride.
He thinks he is a great Mahatma. He becomes eventually a slave of his
admirers. He cannot notice his slow downfall. The moment he mixes up freely
with householders. He loses what little he had gained during the eight or
ten years of his intense Sadhana. He cannot influence the public now. His
admirers also leave him because they do not find any real solace or
spiritual influence in his company.
People imagine that the Mahatma has got Siddhis and that they can get
children through his grace, plenty of wealth and Himalayan herbs for the
rooting out of diseases and the building up of radiant and healthy bodies.
They always approach a Sadhu with some selfish, ulterior motive or other.
The aspirant through bad association loses his Vairagya and Viveka.
Attachment and desire crop up in his mind. Therefore you should hide
yourself always. Nobody should know what sort of Sadhana you are doing. You
should never attempt to exhibit your psychic powers of Siddhis. You should
be very humble. You should pass for quite an ordinary man. You should not
accept rich presents from householders. You will be affected by the bad
thoughts of those who offer presents. You should never think that you are
superior to this man or that man. You should not treat others with contempt.
You should always treat others with great respect and profound
consideration. Then only respect will come by itself. You should treat
respect, honour, name and fame as dung and poison and wear disrespect and
dishonour as gold necklace. Then only you will reach the goal in safety.
Building of Ashrams and making disciples bring about the downfall of
aspirants. Then, are all stumbling blocks in the path of God-Realization.
The aspirant becomes another sort of householder. He develops institutional
egoism. He gets attached to his Ashram and disciples. He has now the same
cares, worries and anxieties for running the Ashram and the monthly magazine
and feeding his disciples. He develops slave-mentality. Thoughts of Ashram
revolve in his mind, when he is in a dying condition.
Some Ashrams are nicely managed by the spiritual heads of the respective
institutions while they are alive. When they pass away, the disciples who
are petty-minded fight amongst themselves in open courts. You can see so
many cases going on. The Ashram becomes a fighting centre. Ashram owners
have to flatter the donors and appeal for funds very often. How can thought
of God remain in his mind, when one has his mind fixed on accumulation of
wealth and development of his Ashram? Those who have started Ashrams already
may now say: "We are doing good to the people in various ways. We are having
religious classes daily. We feed poor people. We are training religious
It is quite true that an Ashram run by a selfless dynamic Yogi or a
realized soul or a Jivanmukta is a dynamic centre of spirituality. It
is spiritual uplift of so many thousands of people. Such centres are needed
in all parts of the world. Such Ashrams can do immense spiritual good to the
country. But such ideal Ashrams with ideal spiritual heads to run them are
very, very rare nowadays. Money is collected in a variety of ways. Some
portion is spent for useful purposes. The rest goes to the comforts and
conveniences of the founders of the Ashram and their beloved disciples.
The founders of the Ashram in course of time become unconsciously slave
of worship and Puja. Maya works in a variety of ways. They are quite eager
that people should drink their Charanamrita. How can a man who has
the Bhav that he should be worshipped as an Avatara serve the public?
Workers are petty-minded. They fight amongst themselves even for trifling
things and disturb the peaceful atmosphere of the Ashram. Where then is
peace in the Ashram? How can outsiders who visit the Ashram to get Santi,
enjoy Santi there?
The founders of the Ashram should live on daily Bhiksha from outside.
They should lead an ideal life of absolute self-sacrifice, a life of ideal
simplicity like the late Baba Kalikambliwala of Rishikesh, who carried
water-pot on his head for the Ashram and himself lived on Bhiksha from
outside. Such people alone can do real good to the people. Founders of
Ashrams should never appeal for funds. It brings great discredit to the
order of Sannyasa itself. It is another way of respectable begging. The
habit of begging destroys the subtle, sensitive nature of the intellect and
those who appeal for funds frequently do not know what they are doing.
It is very difficult to get good workers for the Ashram. Then why do you
bother about building Ashrams when you have neither money nor workers nor
dynamic spiritual force? Keep quiet. Do meditation and evolve yourself
quietly. Mind your own business. Reform yourself first. How can you help
others when you are yourself groping in darkness, when you are yourself
blind? How can a blind man lead a blind man? Both will fall into a deep
abyss and break their legs.
Generally an aspirant is very enthusiastic about his Sadhana in the
beginning. He is full of zeal. He takes a great deal of interest. He expects
to get some good results soon. When he does not get these results within the
expected time be gets discouraged. He loses his interest and slackens his
efforts. He gives up his Sadhana entirely. He loses faith in the efficacy of
Man always thirsts for possession of objects, wife and cattle. This
surely makes him selfish. Selfishness causes attachment. Wherever there is
attachment, there are "Ahamta" and "Mamata." The whole misery starts
here. The whole Maya Chakra begins to revolve from now. Man
becomes a slave now. Strong iron chains are fastened to his hands, legs and
knees. He is entangled like the spider or the silk-worm. This is his own
self-created web for his own destruction.
Sit for a moment alone in a quiet room. Enquire. Cogitate. Investigate.
Happiness is a mental state. It does not depend upon money or possessions.
You actually see very rich people are very miserable, while a poor clerk is
very happy, and a Sadhu with a loin-cloth only dancing in divine ecstasy.
Enjoyment cannot bring satisfaction of desire. On the contrary, it
aggravates and intensifies desires and makes the mind more restless through
sense hankering or Trishna just as the pouring of ghee or oil
aggravates fire. The fewer the wants, the greater the happiness. Milk gives
pleasure to some and pain to some others. The fourth cup of milk brings
retching or nausea. It does not give pleasure during fever. Therefore
pleasure is not in the objects but it is in the imagination or inclination
of the mind.
Mango is not sweet but the imagination is sweet. Woman is not beautiful
but the imagination is beautiful. An ugly woman appears very beautiful to
her husband because his imagination is beautiful. There is a grain of
pleasure in objects, but the pain that mixed with it is of the size of a
Sensual pleasure is tantalizing. There is enchantment so long as man does
not possess the objects. He exerts hard. His mind is filled with anxieties.
He is under despondency because he doubts if he would get the desired
object. The moment he is in possession of the object, the charm vanishes. He
finds that he is in entanglement. The bachelor thinks of his marriage day
and night. He thinks he is in imprisonment after the marriage is over. He is
not able to satisfy the extravagant wants of his wife. He wants to run away
from the house to forests. The rich but the childless man thinks he will be
more happy by getting a son: he worries himself day and night to get a son,
goes on pilgrimage to Ramashvaram and Kasi and performs various religious
But when he gets a child, he feels miserable. The child suffers from
epileptic fits and his money is given away to doctors. Even then there is no
cure. This is Mayaic jugglery. The whole world is fraught with
When you cannot get the objects, you feel miserable. The man who is
addicted to taking tea, who is in the habit of taking fruits and milk after
meals, feels very miserable when he cannot get tea or fruits and milk in a
certain place. He scolds his wife and servants without rhyme or reason out
of sheer irritability. When the wife dies, the husband is drowned in sorrow,
not because of the loss of his loving partner in life, but because he cannot
get sexual pleasure now. The cause of pain is pleasure. The cause of death
is love for sensual life. Give up all sensual pleasures, if you do not want
pain. Give up sensual life, if you do not want death.
To wear spectacles at the age of ten, to wear ring-watch, to buy a car by
borrowing money, to wear fashionable dinner-uniform and Ellwood hat, health
boots, to have a French crop or bobbed hair, to smoke Three-Castles
cigarettes or Navy-cut or Manila cigars, to constrict the neck with stiff
collars, to walk along the beach with their wives in clasped hands, to have
newspaper in their pocket, to have a trimmed or Kaiser-moustache at the
middle of the upper lip, to take meat and drink brandy, to play bridge, to
gamble, to dance in ball-rooms, to borrow money to go to talkies and, in
short, to lead a life of dissipation-this is modern civilisation! Fashion
and style have made you a beggar of beggars!
The two currents of the mind viz., Raga and Dvesha (attraction and
repulsion) really constitute world or Samsara. The mind gets intensely
attached to pleasant objects through attraction because it derives pleasure.
Wherever there is sensation of pleasure, the mind gets glued, as it were, to
the object that gives pleasure. This is what is called attachment. This only
brings bondage and pain. When either object is withdrawn or perishes, the
mind gets unspeakable pain. Attraction is the root cause of human
sufferings. The mind runs from those objects which give pain. Hatred arises
in the mind. For instance, nobody likes a cobra, a tiger or even a scorpion.
Attraction and pleasure, repulsion and pain coexist. A worldly man is a
slave of these two mighty and devastating currents. He is tossed about
hither and thither like a piece of straw. He smiles when he gets pleasures,
he weeps when he gets pain. He clings to pleasant objects, he runs away from
objects that cause pain.
The desire for sensual enjoyment is deep rooted or ingrained in the minds
of all. The Rajasic mind is so framed that it cannot remain even for a
single moment without thoughts of enjoyment of some kind or another. People
invent various sorts of subtle enjoyments. Modern science has made
marvellous contribution towards bringing forth refined ways of enjoyment.
Modern civilisation is only another name for sensual enjoyment. Hotels,
cinemas, aeroplanes, radios intensify sensual enjoyments. Man invents new
dishes, new syrups, new drinks, to satisfy his palate. Fashion in dress is
making vast strides year by year. So is the case with hair-dressing. Even
the man treading the path of Truth wishes to find out lasting and intense
sensual enjoyment by means of his Yogic practices. He wants to move about in
celestial cars. He wants to taste the nectar of immortality underneath the
Kalpa-Vriksha side by side with Indra and other Gods. He wants to hear
celestial nymphs and Gandharvas singing and dancing. These are all
subtle temptations. The sincere aspirant will resolutely turn his back to
all these sorts of refined, subtle, intense enjoyment herein and
hereafter. He will treat them all as vomited matter, as offal or as the
urine of a donkey or as poison.
This world is full of difficulties and troubles. No one save a Yogi or a
Bhakta or a Jnani is free from these worldly miseries and anxieties. Go
wherever you like. It is all the same.
Kamala and Krishna had no children. They were building castles in the air
one night, when they were sleeping on a raised bedstead. Kamala asked
Krishna : "How will you manage for the sleeping place of our son, if I get a
child?" Krishna replied: "I will make room in this very wooden cot itself."
So saying he moved some inches away from his wife. She again asked: "What
will you do, if I beget a second son?" Krishna answered: "I will again make
room in this very cot itself." So saying he actually moved a few inches
further to the edge of the cot. Kamala again asked: "My dear husband, what
will you do if I beget a third son?" The husband said : "I will give him
room in this very cot." While moving to the extreme end of cot, he tumbled
down and fractured his left leg. Krishna's neighbour came and asked him :
"What is the matter with your legs?" Krishna said: "I broke my leg on
account of my false sons." Such is the case with the people of the world
also. They suffer on account of Mithya Abhimana (false egoism) and
Mithya Sambandha (false relationship).
Woman is the source of constant vexation and greatest bondage. The figure
or form of woman is nothing but a network of bones coated with fat and
flesh. This observation also applies to man.
Woman is the source of all misery. She is an embodiment of passion. She
sucks your vitality. You do many vicious actions just to please her. You
have to reap the fruits of these actions and suffer. What happiness is there
to be derived from the string-tossed puppets of female bodies? Where is the
beauty in a female? Do Vichara and analyze. Will any Viveki think of this
illusory figure? The beauty you see in the form of a woman is the emanation
from the Atman within. Look at the condition of the eyes, face and body of a
woman after an attack of seven days' illness! Where has the beauty gone?
Look at the wrinkled face of an old woman? Analyze the parts of a woman,
realize their illusory nature and abandon these totally. If you begin
to analyze this body into flesh, blood, bone, sweat, etc., the attraction
towards woman will perish in a short time. Love and attachment to a woman
destroy Buddhi, Mukti and virtuous deeds and cause contraction of heart.
If lust for woman which is the source of all enjoyments ceases, then all
worldly bondage which has its root or substratum in the mind will
automatically cease. Even the most virulent poison is no poison at all when
compared to sensual objects. The former defiles one body only whereas the
latter adulterates many bodies in successive births.
This body is certainly not meant for the satisfaction of petty ends. It
is for rigorous penance here and infinite happiness hereafter. It is an
instrument for achieving the goal of human life i. e., the attainment of
Brahma Jnana. It serves the purpose of a boat to cross this ocean of Samsara
to the other side.
This body is the source of infinite miseries. It is full of impurities.
It brings disrespect, censure, pain, etc. It passes away without a moment's
notice. It is subject to disease, decay and old age. Therefore think of Atma
which is eternal, pure and all-pervading.
The physical body appears only in the present. A thing that has neither
past nor future must be considered as non-existent in the present also. If
you think over this matter more deeply with Suddha-Buddhi, you will find
Atyanta-abhav (complete nonexistence) of the world.
This body which is full of impurities, urine, fecal matter, pus, etc., is
perishable. It is like froth or bubble or mirage. It is despised by your
enemies. It remains like a useless log of wood on the ground when the
Prana departs from the body. It is the cause of the pain and suffering.
It is your real enemy. You should treat this body with extreme contempt as
dung. Why should you cling to it (Abhinivesa) and worship it
with scents, powders, and flowers? Do not be foolish and silly in adorning
it with fine silks and ornaments. It is dire Ajnana only.
Nothing on this earth belongs to me. This body even is not mine. This is
true wisdom. "He is my son. She is my daughter. She is my wife. That
bungalow is mine. I am rich. I am a kshatriya. I am a' Brahmin. I am lean. I
am fat." This is foolishness of a superior order. This physical body is the
rightful property of fishes, jackals and vultures. How can you call this as
Application of soap to the body, oil to the hair, powder to the face,
looking into the mirror thousand and one times a day, wearing rings on the
fingers, these and many as these will intensify your attachment to the body.
Therefore give up all these things ruthlessly.
A big boil is washed with lotion. Then boric ointment is applied. Then
bandage is put on. Even so this nasty body is a very big boil. It is washed
daily. Food is thrust into it. This is the ointment. Cloth is worn. This is
the bandage. Sadhus treat this body as a very big boil or wound with an
oozing discharge. But the body is worshipped by worldly-minded persons on
account of delusion and infatuation.
Wearing cloth is not for enhancing the beauty of the body. This body is a
dirty leather-bag filled with various sorts of impurities. Cloth is meant to
cover up this impure body. Wear simple clothing. Have sublime thinking.
Virtuous life in God or Atman can give you real beauty.
The "beauty" of this body is only superficial (apata-ramaniya).
The beauty of the skin is also superficial. You can have undecaying,
infinite beauty in God alone.
O man! Are you not ashamed to call this filthy body as "I" and to say
"this is mine," "'he is my son," when everything is perishable? Even
jackals, vultures and fishes say : "These bodies of human beings are ours."
This world or Samsara is Asara or Virasa (essenceless). Give up
identification with this feeble, perishable and impure body of five elements
whereof the bones are the pillars, which is strung by the nerves, coated
over with flesh and blood, covered up by the skin, is of bad odour, full of
urine and feces, is ever haunted by dotage and miseries and is the seat of
all ills. This identification with the body is the seat of Raurava hell.
What is the difference between the worms and men that rejoice in this
Maya, the great juggler, prepares a skeleton, covers it with
flesh, and hides the various impurities with a shining skin. O deluded man!
How long are you going to call this body as yours? How long are you going to
cling to this perishable body? Give up this identification with the body and
identify yourself with your real nature the Satchitananda Swaroop.
When this body is free from disease and decrepitude, when old age is
still far off, when the powers of the senses are not affected and life is
not decaying, the man of discrimination should exert for God-Realization? It
is useless to dig a well when the house is on fire.
Marriage is a curse and a life-long imprisonment. It is the greatest
bondage. A bachelor, who is full of passion, imagines that he is miserable
because he has no wife. The bachelor who was once free is now tied to the
yoke of family and his hands and feet are chained. This is the experience of
all married people. They weep after marriage. More beggars are brought forth
into this world through lust. He who has understood the magnitude of human
sufferings will not dare to bring forth a child.
Woman (wherever woman is represented from the view-point of man, with a
view to induce Vairagya in him, the reader will do well to remember that a
similar representation of man from the view-point of woman is implied
therein) is the source of constant vexation and sorrow and is the greatest
bondage. One cannot sacrifice a noble and sublime ideal, Self-Realization,
for the sake of pleasing a bewitching woman.
Wife is only a luxury. It is not an absolute necessity. Every householder
weeps after marriage. He says : "My son is ailing from typhoid. My second
daughter is to be married. I have debts to clear. My wife is worrying me to
purchase for her a gold necklace. My eldest son-in-law died recently."
Indeed such miseries are not uncommon to all.
Wife is a sharp knife to cut the life of the husband, and vice versa.
Anasuya and Savitri are very, very rare. If the gold necklace and
Benares silk saries are not supplied, at the proper time, the wife frowns at
the husband. The husband cannot get his food at the proper time. The wife
lies down in the bed under pretext of acute abdominal colic. You can see for
yourself this pitious spectacle in your own house or in the house of your
friend and in daily experience. Indeed I need not tell you much. Therefore
be wedded to Santi and have Vairagya, the worthy son and Viveka the
magnanimous daughter. Eat the delicious fruit of Atma Jnana which can make
When your wife is young and beautiful, you admire her curly hair, rosy
cheeks, fine nose, shining skin and silvery teeth. When she loses her beauty
on account of some chronic incurable malady, you have no attraction for her.
You marry a second wife. Had you loved your first wife with Atma Bhav, had
you a comprehensive understanding that the Self in you and in your wife is
the same, your love for her would have been pure, unselfish, lasting,
undecaying and unchanging. Just as you love old sugar candy or old rice the
more, so also you would love your wife more and more, even when she becomes
old, as you have Atma-Bhav through Jnana. Jnana will only intensify Prem and
make it lasting.
He who is attached to his wife, children and wealth., will not derive
even an iota of benefit in the spiritual path. By indiscriminate clinging to
wife, children, house, wealth and objects, you have forgotten your essential
divine nature. Even the old needles without eyes will not follow you, when
you die. Only your actions, good and bad, will follow you. And God will
judge you according to your motives and deeds.
A passionate bachelor is ever thinking "When can I live with my young
wife?" A dispassionate householder in whom Viveka has dawned is ever
thinking: "When can I disentangle myself from the clutches of my wife
and retire into the forests for contemplation on Atma?" The mind alone is
the cause of bondage and freedom. Kill this mind and rest in the Atman.
You have become the sporting lap-dog of the caprice of woman. You have
become a slave of countless desires, emotions and passions. When are you
going to rise up from this miserable state? In the Yoga Vasishtha you will
find: "Those persons, in spite of the knowledge of the non-existence of
happiness both in the past and the present in the baneful objects of the
world, do yet entangle themselves in them with their thoughts clinging to
them, deserve the appellation of an ass, if not a worse one."
Human love is all hollow. It is mere animal attraction. It is passion
only. It is carnal love. It is selfish love. It is ever-changing. It is all
hypocrisy and sheer show. The wife does not care for her husband, if he
happens to be on the roll of- unemployment. The husband dislikes his wife,
when she loses her beauty on account of some chronic disease. Dear man, you
can find real, lasting love in God and God alone. His Love knows no change.
Remembrance or image of a woman disturbs the mind. Lust is very powerful.
It carries a flowery bow equipped with five soft arrows, viz., mohana,
stambhana, unmadana, soshana and tapana(fascination,
stupefaction, maddening, emaciation and inflaming). Viveka, Vichara,
devotion and contemplation will eradicate this dire malady. If lust is
conquered, anger, greed, etc., which are all auxiliary weapons, will become
ineffective. Love's principal weapon is woman. If this is destroyed, its
followers or retinue can be quite easily conquered. If the commander is
killed, then it becomes easy to conquer the soldiers. Conquer passion first.
It will then be easy to subdue anger, who is only one of his followers.
When a tiger has once tasted human blood, it always runs after human
beings. It becomes a man-eater. Even so, when the mind has once tasted the
sexual pleasure, it always runs after that pleasure. It is through constant
Vichara and Brahma-Bhavana that the mind has to be weaned out from lustful
thoughts and tendencies. Make the mind understand by repeated
auto-suggestions and hammering that sexual pleasure is false, worthless,
illusory and full of pains. Place before the mind the advantages of a life
in the Atman-bliss, power, and knowledge. Make it understand fully that the
exalted, eternal life is in the immortal Atma, not certainly in sensual
pleasures. When it hears constantly these suggestions, it will slowly leave
off its old habits.
In the Bhagavad Gita you will find "Humility, unpretentiousness,
harmlessness, forgiveness, rectitude, service of the teacher, purity,
steadfastness, self-control, dispassion towards the objects of the senses,
and also absence of egoism, insight into the pain and evil of birth, death,
old age and sickness, unattachment, absence of self-identification with son,
wife, or home, and constant balance of mind in wished-for and unwished-for
events, unflinching devotion to Me by Yoga, without other objects, resort to
sequestered places, absence of enjoyment in the company of men, constancy in
the wisdom of the Self, understanding of the object of essential wisdom;
that is declared to be the Wisdom; all against it is ignorance (Ch.
"Demoniacal men know neither right energy, nor right abstinence; nor
purity, nor even propriety, nor truth is in them." "The whole universe is
without truth, without basis," they say, "without a God; brought about by
mutual union, and caused by lust and nothing else." Holding this view these
ruined selves of small understanding, of fierce deeds, come forth as enemies
for the destruction of the world surrendering themselves to insatiable
desires, possessed with vanity, conceit and arrogance, holding evil ideas
through delusion, they engage in action with impure resolves. Giving
themselves over to unmeasured thought whose end is death, regarding the
gratification of desires as the highest, feeling sure that this is all, held
in bondage by a hundred ties of expectation, given over to lust and anger,
they strive to obtain by unlawful means hoards of wealth for sensual
In the Vishnupurana, it is said: "If the deluded fool loves the body, a
mere collection of flesh, blood, pus, feces, urine, muscles, fat and bones,
he will verily love hell itself! To him who is not disgusted with the nasty
smell from his own body, what other argument need be adduced for
Sage Vasishtha says to Sri Rama "What is there of an auspicious nature in
the cage like automation of a woman-a veritable doll of flesh, joined with
knots made of muscles and bones? Scrutinize her eyes closely and see, after
an analysis, if there is, after all, anything charmingly beautiful about the
membraneous sheaths muscles, blood and tears composing them. Why, then, are
you enamoured of them in vain? Her breast, whereon the movements, hither and
thither, of the pearl necklace, are comparable, in point of elegance, to the
swift waters of the Ganga rolling down the summits of mount Meru, the
self-same breast, of a damsel is, however, voraciously devoured, when
occasion arises, by dogs, on the cremation ground situated in some
out-of-the-way spots, even like a small ball of rice. Wearing the soot-like
locks of hair and therefore best left untouched, though attractive to the
eye, women, who are the veriest flame of the fire of sin, consume men like
so much straw. It is women who, though appearing all juicy and green, are
verily devoid of grace and who, by their attractive looks, allure men to
their destruction and feed the fires of hell raging on a far off region.
They are verily traps laid by the bird catcher Cupid, to catch his bevy of
birds, viz., unsophisticated men. Woman is the treacherous bait, attached to
the line of impure latent desires, to catch men, who are, so to say, so many
fish in the pond of birth and death, wallowing in the mire of the mind.
Enough with woman-the treasure chest, wherein the serene gems of the
deadliest sins are kept and the endless chain of torturing misery. Made up
of flesh here, blood there and bones in a third place, this female form, O
Brahman! After all disintegrates in a few days. He feels the desire for
intercourse, who has a woman about him. Where is the scope for such
enjoyment to the womanless? Abandon her and you abandon the whole world; by
abandoning the whole world, you find Supreme Bliss." *
* Lust is a potent force, very difficult to get rid of. Hence I
have to place such a mental picture before the minds of the vast majority of
persons. Really, women should be adored, as Mother-Shakti. She is the
creatress, generatrix and nourisher of the universe. She must be revered. In
India, religion is being preserved and maintained only through the
devotional element of women. Devotion is a fundamental characteristic of
Hindu ladies. Hate lust, but not women.
"Yatra naryastu pujvante ramante tatra devatah, Yatraitastu ne
puiyante sarvastraphalah kriyah."
"Where women are honoured, there the gods are pleased; but where
they are not honoured, no sacred rite is fruitful" (Manusmiriti)
This is a strange world indeed. This is a very big museum or a wonderful
show. The flowers and the Himalayan landscape, the Niagara waterfalls and
the blue seas, the sky and the Taj Mahal are all very beautiful and
charming. But the earthquakes, Volcanic eruptions, lightnings, cyclones and
epidemics of influenza and plague are frightfully awful and threatening.
A beautiful wife is very charming. She is very sweet, when she is young,
when she smiles, when she puts on beautiful dress, when she sings and plays
on the piano or violin, when she dances in the ballroom. But she is horrible
to look at when she loses her temper, when she quarrels with her husband for
not getting silk saries and gold necklace, when she is suffering from acute
abdominal colic or some such disease and when she becomes old.
The spring is very lovely. The trees arc adorned with flowers and fruits.
The cool gentle breeze is really exhilarating but the summer is scorching.
The winter is bitingly cold.
Man laughs when he gets a son, when he gets married, when he gets some
sudden fortune or increase in salary, but he weeps when his wife dies, when
he loses his money, when he is thrown out of employment, or when he suffers
from some acute disease.
Now, tell me, friend! what do you really find in this illusory
world-happiness or pain, joy or sorrow? Have you now understood the illusory
nature of Mayaic creation? This world is a mere appearance. Mind and the
senses are deceiving you every moment. You have mistaken pain for pleasure.
There is not even an iota of happiness in this sense universe. Abandon these
selfish struggles and schemes for amassing wealth. March directly to that
wire-puller who is moving these toys of fleshy human bodies, who is keeping
up this big show, who is behind this show. In Him only you will find lasting
happiness and perennial joy. Merge in Him by practicing daily meditation and
This world is as unreal as the shadow, bubble or froth. Why then do you
run after the toys of name and fame?
How uncertain is sensual life in this world! How transitory and fleeting
is sensual pleasure! Mark how many thousands of people were carried away in
the recent Bihar and Quetta earthquakes! (refers to incidents occurred long
ago before this book was written) How many big palatial mansions were
destroyed! This is Adhidaivika Tapa. Yet people want to build
bungalows in Simla and Mussoorie and attain immortality there! How foolish
these people are! Poor self-deluded souls! Pitiable is their lot! They are
earth-worms only as they revel in filth. I pray for them. May God bestow on
them Viveka, Vairagya and Bhakti!
Go wherever you may, to Gulmarg or Pahalgaon in Kashmir, to Darjeeling or
Simla, to Vienna or Alps. It is all the same.
You will not find any real rest. The charming scenery may soothe the
retina for a second. Raga, Dvesha, jealousy, passion and greed are
everywhere. You will find the same earth, the same sky, the same air, and
the same water. And you carry with you the same mind. Imagination and change
of places have deceived not a few. O man! Be contented. Live where
you may. But discipline the mind and the senses. Meditate on the inner Self
(Antar-Atma) ceaselessly. Here you will find the everlasting peace. Mind
will stop deceiving you now.
To me the whole world appears as a ball of fire. To me the whole world
appears as a huge furnace wherein all living creatures are being roasted.
Will your son or daughter or friend or relative help you, when you are
about to die? Have you got one sincere, unselfish friend in all this world?
All are selfish. There is no pure love. But that Lord, your real Friend of
friends, Father of fathers, who dwells in your heart, will never forsake
you, though you may forget Him. Adore Him in silence, that God of gods, that
Divinity of divinities, Highest of the highest. May He bless you with His
Love, Wisdom, Power and peace.
As everything is unreal in this world, treat love and respect as poison.
Be indifferent. Be reserved and reticent. Give up mixing with others. Live
alone and enjoy the Atmic Bliss in your heart. You don't want any company,
when you can live in the Soul.
You must show extreme contempt towards worldly objects. Treat all earthly
possessions and sensuous enjoyments as dung, poison, dust, and straw. Turn
the mind away from them. Then only you will get Jnana.
Give up clinging to this illusory life. Be fearless. Take refuge in
Vairagya. All fears will melt away. Cling to the Feet of the Lord. Cling to
the indivisible, unseen, unknown, unknowable Atman or Brahman of the
By indiscriminate clinging to wife, children, house, wealth, and objects,
you have forgotten all about your essential divine nature. You have become
an atheist. Wife, children and money have become your gods, whereas in
reality they are your enemies.
If you develop keen Vairagya, if you subdue your senses, and shun all
enjoyments and pleasures of this worthless world, mixed as they are with
pain, sin, fear, craving, miseries, disease, old age and death then nothing
can really tempt you in this world. You will become proof against all
temptations. You will have eternal peace, and infinite joy. You will have no
attraction for women and other worldly objects. Lust cannot possess you
If you really want God and God alone, kick this world mercilessly.
Enough, enough of your tea and coffee, enough of soda and lemonade, enough
of father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister and relations. You have
had countless fathers and mothers, wives and children in the past. You came
alone. You will go alone. None will follow you save your own actions.
Realize God. All miseries will come to an end.
He who indiscriminately clings to wife, son and daughter and the objects
of the world has no other alternative but to forget all about his divine
The company of worldly-minded people is as dangerous, if not more, as the
company of a woman to an aspirant.
Worldly men think they are quite happy because they get a few ginger
biscuits, some money and a woman. O, if they would just taste the nectar of
immortality, what should be the intensity of happiness they should feel!
Dear friend! The past now appears to you as a dream. Then why do you not
believe that the present also will appear as a dream in the near future?
All worldly pleasures appear as nectar in the beginning, but become
virulent poison in the end. This world is a Mela (a congregational
performance as a diversion or sport) for two days, and this body is a mere
appearance for two seconds. Even if you become the sole monarch of the whole
world, you can hardly be in the enjoyment of real Bliss and Peace.
Life of man on earth is nothing but a life of temptations and
tribulations. Those who have real and intense Vairagya and strong Viveka can
hardly be tempted by worldly objects, by Mara and Satan.
Being much hemmed in on all sides and whirling in, different conditions
in this ever fluctuating world, you are ever whirling with delusion and
afflicted with pains like dusts of sand floating on a large stone. Now,
reflecting upon Time which is eternal in its true nature, you cannot but
term as a moment the 100 years of your life. While so, how is that you
estimate your life so greatly and fall into all sorts of despondencies
through the insatiable desires? Who is there so debased in life as you who
are spoiled through the gross-mind? Fie on-your uneven life, which cannot be
considered as of any moment.
Comparing this life to the countless universes, you cannot but consider
it as an atom. It is really surprising that you should rate high this
universe full of pains.
Even the greatest of persons will in course of time become the lowest of
the low. All enjoyments, great men, and their kindred have appeared in
former times. Where then is the certitude of existence of all objects now?
The innumerable earths with their countless rulers and wealth have all
perished like fine sands; the Devalokas (celestial realms) with their
Indras and wealth have all disappeared: no limit can be imposed
upon the number of universes, Brahmas and Jivas that have come
and gone. Where then are all the objects that have vanished out of sight?
Where then is the permanency of earthly life? It is only by bestowing your
desires on the illusion of the long dream of bodily delusion in the sable
night of the unreal Maya that you have debased yourself to this ignorant
Enough, enough with all the deaths you had in previous times. Not one
beneficent object exists on this earth either in the beginning, middle or
end. Are not all created objects coated over with the varnish of
destruction? You enact in your daily life with your body dire sinful acts,
painful deeds and illimitable vices.
In youth you are enveloped in ignorance, in adult age you are entangled
in the meshes of women; in old age you groan under the burden of Samsara
and debility. You eventually die. Being thus always occupied, when will you
find time to devote yourself to the commission of virtuous deeds? How came
this Maya to play and dance in this world? This ghost of your mind
dances in the theatre of this universe to the music of the organs. If in the
opening and closing of the eyelids many Brahmas are created and destroyed,
what are you, a puny self, before them?
You cannot please the world, your wife and children. Remember the story
of the old man, his son and the donkey. In the Sastras it is said
"The pure man is looked upon as a devil, the clever man as presumptuous, the
man of forbearance as weak, the strong man as cruel, the absent-minded man
as a thief, and the handsome man as lewd. Who can then please the world?
There is no means within knowledge wherewith one can satisfy all people.
One's own good should, by all possible means, be looked to. What can the
myriad-tongued world do?"
The Blessed Lord says : "He, O Pandava, who hates not radiance, nor
outgoing energy, nor even delusion, when present; nor longs after them,
absent; he, who, seated as a neutral, is unshaken by the properties; who,
saying: 'The properties revolve,' stands apart immovable, balanced in
pleasure and pain: self-reliant; to whom a lump of earth, a rock and gold
are alike; the same to loved and unloved; the same in censure and in praise
the same in honour and in ignominy; the same to friend and foe, abandoning
all undertakings, he is said to have crossed over the properties. And he who
serves Me exclusively by the Yoga of Devotion, he, crossing beyond the
properties, is fit to become the Eternal" (Gita : Ch. XIV-22-26).
To attain to this exalted state of spirituality, you should, in the first
instance, fully realize the glory of life in the Spirit, or the Soul. Then
only you will have the requisite strength to kick and spurn this world
mercilessly and take to a life of meditation on the Atman and the path of
renunciation. Constant remembrance, and meditation on the following verses
of the Bhagavad-Gita will help you not a little in the attainment of your
"He, whose self is unattached to external contacts, and finds joy in the
Self, having the self harmonised with the Eternal by Yoga, enjoys happiness
exempt from decay." (Ch. V-21)
"That in which he finds the supreme delight which the Reason can grasp
beyond the senses, wherein established, he moves not from the Reality;
which, having obtained, he thinks there is no greater gain beyond it;
wherein established, he is not shaken even by heavy sorrow." (Ch. VI-21,
"The Yogi who thus, ever harmonizing the self, has put away sin, he
easily enjoys the infinite bliss of contact with the Eternal." (Ch. VI-28).
"I shall declare that which ought to be known, that which being known
immortality is enjoyed; the beginningless supreme Eternal, is called neither
being nor non-being." (Ch. VIII-12)
"When the dweller in the body has crossed over these three qualities,
whence all bodies have been produced, liberated from birth, death, old age
and sorrow, he drinks the nectar of immortality." (Ch. XIV-20).
Dear friends! Do not relax your efforts. Keep the Divine Flame burning
steadily. You are nearing the goal now. Thy Light has come. There is Brahmic
aura in your face. You have crossed many peaks and insurmountable summits in
the spiritual path by dint of untiring and patient Sadhana. It is highly
creditable indeed. You have indeed made remarkable progress. I am highly
pleased with you, O Yogindra! But you will have still to ascend one more
peak and go through one more narrow pass. This demands still more patient
efforts and strength. You will have to melt your Sattwic egoism also. The
Brahmakara-Vritti also should die. Then alone you will attain the Bhuma, the
highest goal of life. You can do this. I am quite confident.
The Vairagya-Satakam, or the Hundred Verses on Renunciation, of
Bhartrihari (for particulars about Bhartrihari's life see Chapter 8), are
generally grouped into ten divisions, viz., condemnation of desire, futile
attempts to abandon sense-objects, condemnation of poverty of a supplicant
attitude, delineation of the evanescence of enjoyments, description of the
working of Time, comparison of a king to an ascetic, control of mind by
stimulating wisdom in it, discrimination of the immutable reality from the
mutable, worship of Lord Siva and the ways of a Self-realized ascetic.
Even though you may roam about heaven and earth with a view to obtain
riches at the sacrifice of dignity of birth, rank in life and self-respect,
your efforts will not be attended with success; and even if perchance you do
succeed, your desires will never be satiated. O ignoble man! What horrible
sins and crimes have you not committed just to fill the cavity of your
stomach and cover this body with a piece of cloth?
Hope is a flowing river. Desires are its water. Longings are its waves.
Attachments for objects are the animals of prey living therein. One cannot
cross this river because of the countless whirlpools of ignorance in the
waters and the precipitous nature of the river banks. Only Yogis of pure
mind can cross this river and enjoy the highest Bliss.
When you know fully well that all objects of enjoyments in this world are
perishable and would leave you some day, why should you not voluntarily
renounce them right now and enjoy eternal Bliss?
There is no miracle more wonderful to accomplish than that of a man of
discrimination arising from knowledge of Brahman to wholly discard the
wealth which has been giving him enjoyment!
The lives of ascetics living in mountain caves and meditating upon the
Supreme Light are indeed blessed, not of those who live in mansions and
indulge in sensual pleasures and vain imagination. The lives of ascetics
living on alms, sleeping on the bare ground, self-reliant, and having but a
worn-out blanket made up of a hundred patches is indeed the most exalted and
blessed, not of those eating rich dishes, sleeping on royal beds and wearing
excellent costly attire.
While the insects jump into the blazing fire and the fish sizes the bait
attached to the hook through sheer ignorance, man who is supposed to have
discrimination, and a knowledge of right and wrong does not abandon sensual
pleasures that are attended with various defects! How inscrutable is the
power of delusion!
Ignorant are those that think that possessing tall buildings, learned
sons, tons of gold, a young beautiful lady as wife, and vigorous health
constitute real blessedness, for they are deluded to run into the prison
house of worldliness, whereas the truly blessed are those that renounce the
world with all its joys and pleasures on account of its transitoriness.
Is it that those Himalayan valleys and the celestial Ganga banks are all
engulfed in ruin that shameless men hanker after wealth, women and wine? Ts
it that roots and herbs are no more available in those mountain-caves or
that fruit-bearing trees are all destroyed that these men always want to
revel in filth of worldliness?
Arise, O ignorant man, come with me. Let us go to solitary caves where
even the name of that ignoble rich man is not heard. Let us live on roots
and herbs and forest fruits; drink the cool, refreshing water of the holy
Ganga and lie on soft beds of tender twigs and creepers. Let us repose on
stone-beds in mountain-caves, meditate deeply day and night upon the
All-merciful Siva, and lead a contented and peaceful life. Let us be happy,
let the greedy and the avaricious be miserable. Even if gold equal to the
Maha-Meru in weight were conferred upon me, I will not accept it.
Worldly life is always attended with fear, whereas renunciation alone
makes man absolutely fearless.
Birth is eaten by death, blooming youth by old age, contentment by greed,
happiness of self-control by the dangerous wiles of young women, virtues by
jealous men, kings by the wicked ministers and power itself by
transitoriness. Tell me what on earth is not eaten away by something else?
Health of men is subjected to various physical and mental ailments,
wealth to peril of robbers, and whatever is born is carried away by death
again and again. Enjoyments are fleeting, life is short and youthful
happiness too little to quench one's thirst. Oh, this world is unreal. God
alone is real. Renounce desires for worldly enjoyments and attain knowledge
of the Self.
How dare you say there is happiness in this world, when you have come
forth from within an impure womb, when in youth you are polluted by sensual
pleasures and mental distraction, and in old age you become the laughing
stock of lustful women?
How wonderful that man goes on doing sinful and vicious acts as usual
regardless of everything when he knows that old age is waiting like a
vulture to devour him, when diseases afflict his body and mind in various
ways, and when days are wasted in useless pursuits!
O little man of little faith! Believe me, this world with all its
enjoyments and sensual pleasures, is evanescent and fleeting. Why do
you vainly search for happiness in these worldly objects and break your
legs? If you really want happiness, do as I tell you. Concentrate. Meditate.
Realize. Then you will enjoy the highest happiness.
Where are those lovely cities, powerful kings, their feudatory kings or
vassals, their cabinet of shrewd ministers, those beautiful women with
moon-like faces, those princes and lords of illimitable wealth and fame,
those ministrels and their songs of praise and flattery that once
How strange again that man wants to enjoy the same pleasures of the
senses, eat the same delicious foods, drink the same wine, enjoy the same
women, pass the same day and night again, and that disgust for these have
not yet arisen!
The span of man's life is very short-only a hundred years. Half of it is
spent in sleep, and out of the rest, half is passed away in childhood and
old age. Then there are periods of illnesses, bereavements and troubles, and
serving others. What happiness can there be for a man in this world?
Who is great-a king or an ascetic? If you are a king of wealth and lands,
I too am the king of the highest wisdom. If you are a king of great repute,
my reputation resounds in all the four quarters of the globe and is envied
greatly by all learned men. If you are cold and indifferent towards me, I
too am perfectly indifferent towards you and your riches. If you exercise
your kingly powers over riches I do the same over words. If you are a great
warrior in the battlefield, I have the skill and the faculty to humble down
the proudest of disputants.
O king, if you are rich in royal garment, I am perfectly contented with
the bark of trees. He is verily poor whose desires are boundless, while he
is truly rich who is contented with his lot.
O let us eat begged food, let the sky be our clothing, let the earth be
our bed. We have absolutely nothing to do with the riches.
What a great fool you are to set thyself to winning good graces, so
difficult to secure? O mind, wander not hither and thither. Rest in peace.
Let things happen, if happen they must. Brood not over the past, nor plan
about your future.
O mind, be calm and never desire for sensual enjoyments. Expel delusion
and cultivate devotion unto Lord Siva, the Lord of lords, the God of gods,
the Yogi of Yogis. Choose to live on the banks of the Ganga, the celestial
O mind, never again think of the frail Goddess of Fortune. Plunge thyself
into deep and profound meditation on the Atma.
When there is devotion to Lord Siva, and fear of birth and death, when
there is not the least attachment for family and excitement for sexual
passions, when there is the solitude of the forests where the air breathed
by worldly men does not exist, what better life is to be wished for?
Meditate on the supreme, infinite, ageless, effulgent Brahman, bereft of
all imperfections and attain supreme Knowledge and Bliss.
When this body is free from disease and old age, when the senses are yet
unaffected and life is still young, wise people should leave no stone
unturned for the sake of their own supreme good, for it is of little avail
to dig a well when the house is already on fire.
In our quest through the nook and corner of the three worlds ever since
the beginning of creation, none has come within sight or hearing of a means
to control the elephant of his mind, when maddened by the mysterious,
deep-rooted infatuation for the female elephant of sense-object.
Sitting in the meditative posture at nights, when all sounds are stilled
into silence, somewhere on the banks of the Ganga, and fearful of the
horrible miseries of birth and death, crying aloud, "Siva, Siva, Siva" when
shall we attain to that ecstatic state which is characterized by copious
tears of joy :
If there is a loin-cloth worn out and shredded a hundred times, if one is
free from all disquieting thoughts, if there is food, obtained from begging,
and sleep on the cremation ground or in the forest, if one is at perfect
liberty to wander about alone without any let or hindrance, and if one is
steadfast in the festive joy of Yoga, what then is worth the rulership of
the three worlds?
Once a young prince saw a beautiful princess on the banks of a river,
when he was on a hunting excursion. The princess had a philosophical bent of
mind. She had mastered several Vedantic books. She was practicing deep
meditation on the Atman. The prince approached and wanted her to marry him.
She flatly refused. The prince again and again entreated her in various
ways. She finally told him: "Please come and see me in my residence after
ten days. I shall marry you." The prince also was a student of
Vedanta but he had no real sustained Vairagya. He spent sleepless nights and
on the morning of the tenth day eagerly proceeded to the palace of the
The young princess had already devised a means to escape from the
clutches of marriage. She took a drastic purgative of crouton oil
continually for ten days and collected all the motions in ten separate
enamel commodes and arranged them all nicely with numbers I to X in a big
room covering all the commodes with beautiful silk clothes. She now looked
all skin and bones. Her eyes were sunken and she lay down on her bed.
The prince came to meet her with great joy. The maid-servant conducted
him to the room, where the princess lay. He could not recognize her. He
asked the maid-servant : "Where is the young, beautiful lady? She is not the
lady whom I met the other day!" To which the princess replied: "O dear
prince, I am the very same lady. I have carefully stored up my beauty in the
yonder room. Kindly go with me and see the accumulated beauty there. Come
along with me now. I shall show it to you." So saying she took the prince to
the room, removed the silk piece and asked the prince to look at her beauty:
She added "This is the beauty of my skin and flesh. "The prince was simply
stunned. He did not speak a word to the lady. He prostrated himself at her
feet and took her as his mother. He threw off his princely robes and retired
into the forests. Now his heart was filled with intense Vairagya. He sought
the protection of a sage, got instructions from him, practiced rigorous
meditation and attained Knowledge of Self.
Vemanna was born in the year 1820, in a small village, in the district of
Godavari (Andhradesa). He had a brother by name Ramanna. His parents died,
when he was quite a young boy. He was born in a rich family. He was a Reddy
Vemanna was sent to a primary school. He was not able to prosecute his
studies. He fell into evil company and became a rowdy boy. But he was very
handsome and active. Ramanna and his wife Jagadishvari liked Vemanna very
much. At the age of fifteen, Vemanna became debaucherous. He spent much
money for the sake of women. Yet his brother and sister-in-law liked him
Ramanna and his wife wanted to correct the ways of Vemanna. They stopped
giving him any money. So Vemanna stole at night the ornaments of his
sister-in-law and gave them to a prostitute. When his sister-in-law came to
know of the loss of jewels, she asked Vemanna: "Where are my jewels?"
Vemanna replied: "As you did not give me money, I took them and gave away to
my beloved." She did not speak a word. She did not even inform her husband
of the loss of jewels. She liked Vemanna very much. She locked up all her
ornaments in the safe.
The prostitute urged Vemanna to bring some more money or ornaments. So
again at the dead of night Vemanna woke up from his bed and tried to remove
some of the ornaments from the neck of his sister-in-law. She was wearing
only the sacred ornament that was tied round her neck at the time of her
marriage. Vemanna wanted to remove at least this ornament. When be was
attempting to remove it, she woke up and caught hold of his hand and asked
him why he came to her bedroom at mid-night. He replied in a daring manner:
"my beloved asked me to bring some ornaments: I came here to take them." She
asked Vemanna to get out of the room at once. Then he cried and fell at her
feet. Jagadishvari prayed to God to give Vemanna good Buddhi
(intellect) and make him a pure, virtuous soul. Then he promised to obey her
words. Vemanna fully assured her to do so.
Jagadishvari said : "Vemanna, ask the girl to stand naked in front of
you. Let her back be turned towards you. Then ask her to bend down and take
the jewels from your hands by passing her hands through her thighs." Vemanna
promised to do so and took the ornaments to the prostitute's house.
He asked her to do in the manner his sister-in-law had instructed. While
she was bending down, he saw very clearly her private parts. At once
Vairagya dawned in his mind. He retraced his steps to his house with the
ornaments in his hands and related to his sister-in-law all that had
happened. He said: "My dear sister-in-law, thank you so much for all your
kind acts. I am a changed man now. There is no real happiness in this world.
It is all jugglery of Maya. I am going now in quest of real
happiness." He left the house at once and went to a Kali temple near his
village and sat near the image of Kali.
Now it so happened that for some years a man named Abhiramayya was
praying to Kali for Her Darshan. One day she appeared in his dream
and said: "Come tomorrow at midnight. I will give you Darshan." But the
unfortunate devotee could not come the next day. When Kali came, Vemanna was
there. She asked Vemanna to ask a boon of her. Vemanna said : "O Mother!
Give me Brahma-Jnana." Mother Kali then initiated him into the mysteries of
Jnana. From that day onwards, Vemanna became a virtuous man with great
devotion, Yogic powers and Jnana.
In the course of his wanderings, Vemanna went to Cuddappah. He lived in a
forest near Cuddappah. He planted various fruit bearing trees, melons,
cucumbers, etc. The cucumbers were all filled with gold. Vemanna built a
golden temple in Sri-Sailam with this gold. Even today this golden temple of
Sri-Sailam contains the famous Jyotirlinga of Mallikarjuna. It
is a famous place of pilgrimage. One day some thieves came to rob the
cucumbers containing gold. They all became senseless due to the Yogic powers
Once, Vemanna entered the cottage of a poor Brahmin at mid-night and was
sleeping on his bed. He answered the calls of nature on the bed itself. That
portion of the bed that was soiled by the excreta became transmuted into
Vemanna cast off his physical sheath in 1865. He wrote several books in
Telugu on Yoga, chief among them being Vemanna-Tattva-Jnanam and
Narendra Singh Bahadur, the Raja of Indrapur, had a servant named Hira
Singh. Hira Singh resolved to break open the treasury of the Raja and steal
away the ornaments and gold. Accordingly one day at the dead of night, he
entered the bed-room of Narendra Singh on his way to the treasury, when he
overheard a conversation between the Raja Sahib and the Rani. Lalitakumari,
the Rani, asked the king: "When are you going to get our daughter
Suratkumari married? She is quite a grown-up girl now. We cannot postpone
the marriage any longer." The king replied : "I am trying my level best
during the last two years, but I am not able to get a suitable match." The
Rani would not accept such an answer, but again and again pressed the Raja
to yield to her wish. At last the Raja said : "Lalita, I shall offer Surat
in marriage to the first Yogi I would come across in the neighbouring forest
along with half of my estate tomorrow morning."
Hira Singh who was all the while keenly over-hearing this conversation
thought within himself: "Why this hazardous attempt then? If I am caught, I
will be severely punished. Let me go to the forest and sit like a Yogi. I
will get the girl and half the estate also quite easily." Immediately he
dressed himself as a Yogi, repaired to the forest and sat in Samadhi on
Padmasana with closed eyes. He did not shake the body even a bit. The Raja
went to the forest the next morning and at last came to the place where this
Yogi was sitting. He waited for a long time. The Yogi did not open his eyes.
He gave one the impression that he was immersed in Samadhi. After full one
hour he opened his eyes. The Raja fell prostrate at his feet and sincerely
begged him to visit palace. The Yogi finally condescended to do so.
The Raja took the Yogi to the Durbar hall, seated him on the gaddi,
and washed his feet. The Raja was fanning him. Then the Raja with folded
hands addressed the Yogi thus : "O mighty Yogi blessed Soul, we have a
beautiful girl. Kindly accept her in marriage together with half of my
estate." Now real discrimination dawned upon the Yogi. Hira Singh who was
wearing the false garb of a saint began to think very seriously and
feelingly : "I am now honoured by this Raja and Rani simply because I am
wearing the garb of a Yogi. If I were a Yogi and saint with divine virtues
and God-Consciousness, how much more should I be held in esteem and honour
by not merely this one petty chief but by countless kings, emperors and
queens, and how many such princesses and kingdoms should I acquire?" At once
he left the gaddi and the palace with a changed heart. God's grace
descended upon him now. His heart was burning with intense Vairagya born of
discrimination. Tears of joy flooded his eyes. Hair on the body stood on
ends. No sensual object of the world could tempt him now. He went back to
the dense forests with a heart filled with righteous disgust for the world,
did intense and constant meditation and attained Self-Realization.
Some 2500 years ago there lived in North India a Raja named Suddhodhana.
He had a son named Gautama, a fine and handsome youth. At the age of sixteen
he was married to a beautiful wife named Yasodhara and had a little son
named Rahula. He lived in fine palace enjoying all the splendours and
pleasures befitting a royal prince.
Beyond the bare fact that from the age of sixteen right up to the age of
twenty-nine he lived the life of a householder nothing can be said about the
early life of Gautama, who was destined in course of time to shine forth as
a brilliant pole-star in the spiritual firmament of the world.
Prince Gautama, also called Siddhartha, had always been a wise and
thoughtful lad. Gentle in his speech, kind hearted, and full of mercy to all
living beings, when one fine morning he accompanied his royal father for a
ride on horse-back, he felt quite pleased and happy. But the next moment he
saw a plough man beating a poor bullock that had a sore on its back till it
dropped down with intense pain and agony. As he rode along a little further
he saw a dove being eaten away by a hungry hawk. Then he saw another dove
eating some flies. Gautama went back home full of sorrow.
After a few days Gautama had a dream. He saw an old feeble man unable to
walk and hardly able to stand and groaning under the burden of old age. And
a voice addressed Gautama: "Thou wilt also get old and feeble like this old
man, O Gautama!"
He then saw a man suffering from some dire malady and crying aloud unable
to bear the torturing pain. And the voice said to Gautama: "Thou wilt also
get ill and full of pain like this, O Gautama." Then he saw another man
lying dead on the ground. And the voice again said to Gautama : "You must
also die one day, O Gautama."
Supreme Vairagya dawned upon Gautama now. He fully realized the utter
transitoriness of life and leaving his home, wife and child and all the
pleasures and joys of life, he retired into the forest and became an
ascetic. For full seven years he lived in the woods trying to find out some
means to put an end to pain, sin and sorrow in the world, to seek something
higher and nobler than the things of the sense conditioned in time.
Thus we learn that Siddhartha's reason for renunciation was his profound
conviction that all worldly pleasures and happiness were fleeting, and his
intense longing to attain to peace and calm which nothing could shake or
end. Of course he sought this first for himself only, but afterwards he
thought that what had given him peace and calm would be equally beneficial
to others as well.
One night as he sat meditating under a Bodhi Tree (the Tree of
Buddhahood), Truth dawned upon him. He realized that man's life is full of
pain, that desire is the cause of pain that pain can be ended by putting an
end to all desires, and that desire can be ended by right thought, word and
deed. From this memorable day onwards, he came to be known as Buddha or the
Buddha was one of the noblest and kindest men who ever lived. His
religion is called Buddhism. He taught the world to be good and kind to all
beings including animals and crawling creatures and that it was a sin to
hurt anyone. He had a large following. Even today Buddhism is considered to
be a great religion by all right-thinking men.
Once when Raja Bhartrihari was on his throne, a great Tapasvin or Rishi
came to his court. Bhartrihari at once got up from his seat, and prostrating
himself before the Tapasvin began to serve him in various ways. The sage
being extremely pleased with the Raja's demeanour, gave him a fruit that
could bestow upon the eater immortality and peace.
Now Raja Bhartrihari had a very beautiful queen of whom he was very
enamoured and whom he very dearly loved. He thought that the only person who
deserved this fruit was his young queen and none else, and so he took this
God-sent gift to her and offered her the same. This young queen, though for
all practical purposes the beloved of the Raja, had a paramour in the person
of the charioteer who used to take her for drives now and then. She
therefore took this fruit to him and gave him the same. Again this
charioteer had a prostitute whom also he loved, and, accordingly, he gave
the fruit to her.
Now, this prostitute thought that the only person who best deserved this
fruit was Raja Bhartrihari himself, and so she took this fruit in her hands
went to the Raja's palace and offered it to him. Raja Bhartrihari was simply
mystified. He was unable to solve the problem as to how it could be possible
for this prostitute to get the fruit that was the rightful possession of his
After deep thought and great deliberation, he was able to solve the
problem by himself. Just before this incident, Bhartrihari's brother who
came to know of the queen's love for the king's charioteer had told
Bhartrihari that the queen was an unchaste lady and that it was a great
shame on the fair name of the royal family to keep a woman as queen in the
palace when she secretly loved the king's charioteer. But the young queen
rose equal to the occasion and brought forth evidences to disprove the
validity of the charge against her and was able to prevail upon the king to
exile his brother from the kingdom. After due investigation into the whole
matter, with all the dexterity that he could command, Bhartrihari came to
the conclusion that, after all, the charge brought against his queen by his
brother was true and that he had been fooled by a woman to take the extreme
step of exiling his own brother who loved him so dearly and who held as high
the fair name of the royal family by zealously guarding it from insinuation
True Vairagya immediately dawned upon the king. He now thought that there
was none in the world who was really dear to another, no, not even one's own
wife or brother or friend. He became convinced that in fact these are one's
real enemies. He felt extreme disgust for the world and its pleasures and at
once left his kingdom, wife and children and retired into the forests to
lead a life of a Sannyasin. He did profound meditation for many years and
finally attained knowledge of Self. He wrote a book generally known as
'Bhartrihari's Vairagya Satakam, or the Hundred Verses of Renunciation' a
perusal of which will produce immediate disgust for things mundane and
induce one to renounce everything and lead the life of a recluse.
There once was a sagely king named Yayati, who lived for 1,000 years,
enjoying all the pleasures a king of his position could command. When old
age attacked him, and he had still great desire to enjoy all royal pleasures
for some more years, he asked his sons one by one to take upon himself this
old age and give him his youth in return, assuring him that after another
1,000 years he would return the youth and take back his decrepitude. Not one
of them was willing to accept the offer except his youngest son named, Puru.
Puru said with all humility that he was quite willing to do as his father
wished him and accordingly gave his youth to his father and got in return
old age and its consequent weakness. Yayati, being exceedingly delighted
with his new youth, began again to indulge in sensual pleasures. He enjoyed
himself to the full extent of his desires and to the full limit of his
powers and as much as he desired without violating the precepts of religion.
He was very happy, but only one thought troubled him and that was the
thought that the one thousand years would soon come to an end.
When the fixed time came to an end, he came to his son Puru and addressed
him thus: "O son, I have enjoyed with your youth to the full extent of my
desires and to the full limit of my powers and all according to their
seasons. But desires never die. They are never satiated by indulgence. By
indulgence they flame up like the sacrificial fire with ghee poured into it.
If one becomes the sole lord of all the earth with its paddy, oats, gems,
beasts and women, still it will not be considered by him enough. Therefore,
the thirst for enjoyment should be abandoned. The thirst for enjoyments
which is difficult to cast off by the wicked, which does not fail even with
failing life, is truly a fatal disease in man. To get rid of this thirst is
real happiness. My mind was attached to the pleasures of life for full one
thousand years. My thirst for them, however, without being abated, is
daily being increased. Therefore, I shall get rid of it.
I shall fix my mind on Brahma, and becoming peaceful and having no
attachment, I shall pass the rest of my days in the forest with the innocent
deers." So saying he installed Puru on the throne after giving him back his
youth and retired into the forest to lead the life of an ascetic.
There was a king named Muktachuda in olden times. He ruled the kingdom of
Dasarna. He had two sons, Hemachuda and Manichuda. They both were very
beutiful, and virtuous. They had good behaviour and conduct. They were also
very proficient in all arts. They both went to the mountain Sahya with
attendants and weapons for hunting. They shot many tigers and wild animals.
All of a sudden there was a terrible sand-storm. Immense darkness prevailed.
One could not see the other person.
Hemachuda, anyhow, managed to reach the hermitage of a sage which was
full of fruit trees. He saw in the ashram a handsome maiden. He was
quite astonished to see a fearless girl in that solitary forest. He asked
the maiden "Who are you? Who is your father? Why are you alone here? How did
you develop this courage?" She replied politely, "Welcome, O Prince. Take
your seat. Take a little rest. You seem to be much tired. Kindly take these
fruits, and nuts. I shall relate my story." The I Prince ate those fruits
and nuts and rested for a while.
The girl then began "O Prince, hearken to my story with rapt attention. I
am the God-child of sage Vyaghrapada who is adored by all, whom has
conquered the world by his severe austerities, and who has attained
liberation. My name is Hemalekha. Vidyutprabha, a celestial nymph of
matchless beauty and indescribable splendour one day came to the river Vena
for bathing. Sushena, king of the Vengas, also came there. Sushena was
captivated by the enchanting beauty of Vidyutprabha. The celestial nymph was
also infatuated by the handsome figure of the king. Sushena pleaded his love
towards Vidyutprabha. She responded. The king spent some time with her.
Afterwards he returned to his capital.
Vidyutprabha soon brought forth a child. She left the child there as she
was afraid of her husband, and went to her place. I was that child.
Vyaghrapada went to the river for his daily ablutions. He saw me and took
pity on me. He brought me up like a mother. I regard him as my father. I
serve him with reverence. Through his grace I have become fearless here. My
father will return presently. Please wait a little. Pay your respects to him
and obtain his blessings." The intelligent girl understood the heart of the
Prince and said : "O Prince, do not get disheartened. You can gratify your
wish. My father will grant your wish."
Immediately the sage Vyaghrapada entered with flowers for worship. The
Prince got up and prostrated himself before the sage. The sage understood
that the Prince was in love with the girl. He gave Hemalekha in marriage to
the Prince. The Prince returned with her to his city. His father was very
much delighted. He celebrated their marriage with pomp and splendour.
The Prince loved Hemalekha immensely. He was very much attached to her.
But he noticed that she was rather indifferent to sensual pleasures. He
asked her one day "O dear Hemalekha: What is the matter with you? I am very
much attached to you. Why do you not reciprocate my love? Nothing seems to
have any effect on you. You are dispassionate. How can I enjoy when you have
such an attitude of mind? You always sit with closed eyes like a statue. You
do not laugh, play and joke with me. Kindly speak out your heart. Be frank."
Hemalekha replied respectfully: "O Prince; Hear me. What is love? What is
dislike? As this is not clear to my mind, I am always reflecting over it. I
have come to no definite conclusion. Please enlighten me on this point. I
Hemachuda replied with a smile "it is true that women possess an innocent
mind. Even animals understand what is like and dislike. We see that they
like pleasing things and dislike unpleasant objects. Beauty gives us
pleasure; ugliness gives us pain. Why do you waste your time daily on this?"
Hemalekha replied : "It is true that women have no independent power of
thinking. So is it not your duty to clear my doubts? If you throw light, I
will leave off thinking and be attached to you always. O Prince, you said
that like and dislike or love and hatred arise out of objects which give us
pleasure and pain. But the same object gives us pleasure and pain on account
of time, circumstances and environments. What is your decision then? Kindly
give me your definite answer. Fire is very pleasant in winter but in summer
it is very terrible. You cannot go near the fire. The same fire gives
pleasure in cold countries and pain in hot countries. The quantity of fire
gives us different results. Similar is the case with wealth, wife, son,
mother-country and so on. These induce positive sufferings and misery. Why
is it that your father Muktachuda, despite his possession of immense wealth,
sons and wife, is always sorrowful? Others are very happy even without
these. Worldly happiness is mixed with misery, pain, fear and anxiety. So it
cannot be called happiness at all. Misery is personal and impersonal or
internal and external. The external one is caused by the impact of the
elements on the body. The internal one is born out of desire. It has
connection with the mind. Of these, the internal one is more formidable. It
is the seed or cause for all sufferings. The whole world is drowned in such
internal misery. The tree called misery has desire as the strong and
never-failing seed. Even Indra and other gods are impelled by this desire.
They carry out its instructions day and night. If there is no desire, you
cannot experience any pleasure. Such mixture of happiness and misery is
enjoyed even by the insects, worms, dogs. Do you think that man's happiness
is greater than this? The happiness of the insects is superior to that of
man. Because desire is not mixed in their pleasures; it is unalloyed.
Whereas in man a little pleasure is found in the midst of thousands of
ungratified desires. This cannot be called happiness. Man feels happy by
embracing his wife, but by pressing her limbs too much she feels uneasy.
After sporting they are exhausted. What happiness have you in these sensual
perishable objects. Kindly explain. O Prince! This sort of happiness is
enjoyed even by dogs, donkeys and pigs. But if you say that you are happy by
looking at my physical beauty, this happiness is imaginary and illusory like
the embracing of a lady in dream."
A certain beautiful Prince had a very handsome wife. He was very much
attached to her. She on the contrary was in love with the Prince's servant.
She was cheating the Prince by foul means. The servant would give some
intoxicating drugs in the wine to the Prince. Then he would send an ugly
servant-maid to the Prince. He himself would sport with the Prince's wife.
The Prince under intoxication was thinking 'I am very fortunate. I have got
the most beautiful lady in the world.' Many days passed thus. One day the
servant forgot to mix the narcotic in the wine. The Prince also did not
drink much that day. He joined the ugly woman when he fell victim to
passion. He now found out that she was the servant-maid. He asked her where
his dear wife was?
She kept silent at first. Then Prince drew the sword and threatened to
kill her if she did not reveal the whole truth. She told him everything and
showed the place where his beautiful wife was with the servant. The Prince
said "What a fool am I? I have degraded myself by drinking. Whoever places
too much love on woman, becomes despicable. Just as a bird is not fixed to
any one tree, so also woman is not fixed to one man. She has a fickle,
unsteady mind. I have become a beast. I have lost my power of
discrimination. I regarded my wife more valuable than my very life itself. A
man who is attached to a woman and who yields to a woman is a veritable
donkey indeed. Woman's beauty is evanescent like the autumnal sky. I did not
know woman's nature till now. She goes to the dirty servant and she has left
me who am ever attached to her, and who is faithful to her. She pretended to
show love to me like a dramatic actress. I am cheated. The servant is ugly
in all his limbs. What beauty does she find in him? The Prince became
disgusted with everything. He left the kingdom and went to a forest."
Hemalekha continued: "Therefore O Prince: beauty is a mental creation
only. Beauty is mind born. Beauty is the result of mental conception. Just
as you behold beauty in me, others find even better charm in an ugly woman.
On seeing a woman her reflection is formed in the mirror of his mind if a
man thinks of this beauty constantly, desire is stimulated in that part of
the body which is subject to impulse. That man in whom the desire is thus
stimulated enjoys sensual pleasure, whereas he whose desire is not
stimulated does not care to see even the most handsome girl. The cause for
this is the constant meditation on beauty or woman. Children and ascetics do
not meditate or think this. Therefore they do not have any desire for
sensuous pleasures. Those who find pleasure in the company of a particular
woman create in their minds beauty according to their ideas, whether the
woman is ugly or most beautiful. They project their ideas of beauty in the
woman. If you ask how beauty is found in an ugly woman and how there can be
joy without beauty I can only say that passionate man in his infatuation is
blind. Cupid is painted blind. The passionate man finds the beauty of
Rambha in the ugliest woman. There can be no beauty without desire. If
beauty be natural like sourness, sweetness, bitterness in substances, then
why is it not found in children and small babies? Therefore beauty is
created by the mind only."
"People think beautiful this physical body which is composed of flesh;
filled with blood, built of nerves, covered with skin, a cage of bones,
over-grown with hair, full of bile, phlegm, a box of excreta and urine,
created out of blood and semen, born through the urinary passage! How can
those persons, who find pleasure in this, be superior to worms born in
filth? O Prince, you find my physical body to be handsome. Just analyze this
body part by part and think over each part. Think over every part of sweet
and delicious things. All things we eat are changed into abdominal dirt.
When such is the case what is lovable and delighting?"
Hemachuda heard the nectar-like instructions of Hemalekha with great
attention and interest. He developed strong Vairagya and Viveka, meditated
on the all pure, iimmortal Atman and became liberated. Manichuda also learnt
the truth from his brother; Muktachuda from his son and his wife from her
daughter-in-law. The ministers and citizens of that town became wise. Even
birds were uttering words of wisdom in that town. Sages Vamadeva and others
noticed that all in that town, including animals and birds were learned and
wise, and called the city as Vidyanagara, or the town of Wisdom.
Q. 1. Who is really enslaved?
A. One who is attached to the objects of the senses.
Q. 2. What is freedom (or liberation)?
A. Non-attachment to worldly objects.
Q. 3. What is the most horrible hell?
A. Your own body.
Q. 4. What is the path to heaven?
A. The total annihilation of all desires.
Q. 5. What is the gate to hell?
Q. 6. What leads to heaven?
A. Non-violence or harmlessness to all creatures.
Q.7. Who are the enemies?
A. Our own Indriyas. They are our friends when subjugated.
Q. 8. Who is really poor?
A. One who has many desires.
Q. 9. Who is rich?
A. He who has full contentment.
Q. 10. What is nectar?
A. Delightful desirelessness.
Q. 11. What is the real betters?
A. Egoistic sense of "mineness" and "thineness."
Q. 12. What is that which intoxicates as if it were wine?
A. A woman.
Q. 13. Who is the most blind?
A. One actuated by lust.
Q. 14. What is the deadliest of all poisons?
A. All sensual enjoyments.
Q. 15. Who is miserable for ever?
A. He who is attached to worldly enjoyments.
Q.16. What is beyond the reach of everybody's knowledge?
A. A woman's heart and her doings.
Q. 17. Who is a beast?
A. One without knowledge.
Q. 18. Whose company should we shun off?
A. The company of the fools, the mean minded, the wicked and the sinful.
Q. 19. What is at the root of degradation?
Q. 20. What is at the root of becoming great?
A. Never to beg.
Q. 21. Who is really born?
A. He who has no birth again.
Q. 22. Who is really dead?
A. One who is not to die again.
Q. 23. Who is the greatest of all enemies?
A. Kama (desire), anger, untruth, greed and craving.
Q. 24. Who is not gratified by (all) objects of (enjoyment)?
A. Desire (lust).
Q. 25. What is at the root of all miseries?
A. The sense of "mineness" or I-ness."
Q. 26. Who are the real dacoits?
A. Evil desires.
Q. 27. Who is the beast of all beasts?
A. One who does not fulfil his duties and has no knowledge of the Self.
Q. 28. What is fleeting like-lightning?
A. Wealth, youth and life.
Q. 29. What should be constantly thought of?
A. The illusory nature of the universe and the existence of Brahman.
Q. 30. What is real action?
A. That which is pleasing to Lord Krishna.
Lord Buddha describes the amount of suffering which men endure. "The
transmigration (Samsara) of beings, O mendicants", he says "has its
beginning in eternity. The opening cannot be found from which, having come
forth, being led astray through ignorance, bound by the thirst for
existence, stray and wander. What do ye think, O mendicants, which of the
two is more, the water which is in the tour great oceans, or the tears which
have poured from you and have been shed for you, while ye wandered and went
astray in this long transmigration, and sorrowed and wept, because that
which ye hated was your portion, and that which ye loved was not your
portion? A mother's death, a father's death, a brother's death, a sister's
death, a son's death, a daughter's ass death, the loss of relations, the
loss of property, all this ye have experienced through long ages. And while
ye experienced this through long ages, more tears have poured from you and
have been shed from you, while ye strayed and wandered on this long
pilgrimage, and sorrowed and wept because that which ye hated was your
portion and that which ye loved was not your portion, than all the water
which is in the Four Great Oceans".
"A wise man should avoid unchastity as if it were a burning pit of live
coals; one who is not able to live in a state of celibacy, should not commit
"Never associate with loved or with unloved objects;
Not to see the loved and to see the unloved is pain.
Therefore hold nothing dear, for the loss of the loved is evil;
No bonds have they to whom nothing is loved or unloved.
From what is loved is born grief, from the loved is born fear;
To the man freed from loving anything there is no grief, much less fear.
From affection is born grief, from affection is born fear;
To the man freed from affection there is no grief, much less fear.
From pleasure is born grief, from pleasure is born fear;
To the man freed from pleasure there is no grief, much less fear."
From desire is born grief, from desire is born fear;
To the man freed from desire there is no grief, much less fear.
"What laughter, what joy is there, since there is always the burning?
Enveloped in darkness, seek ye not a lamp?
Behold the varicoloured figure, the accumulated mass of wounds.
Afflicted full of wishes, to which there is no firmness, no stability.
This form (body) is decrepit, a nest of diseases, decaying:
The putrid body is breaking up, for life ends in death.
These grayish bones, which are cast away gourds in autumn,¾
Having seen them, what pleasure remains?
The preoccupied man while in the act of gathering flowers,
Does death seize and carry off, as a great flood the sleeping village.
The preoccupied man while in the act of gathering flowers,
Does the God of Death get into his power, when unstated with lusts".
1. The man who having with difficulties acquired a human births with a
male body and knowledge of the scriptures through delusion does not exert
for liberation commits suicide, for he destroys himself by clinging to
2. What greater fool is there than the man who having obtained a rare
human birth and a male body too, neglects to attain the goal of his life?
3. Vairagya is the desire to abandon all the transitory enjoyments from
the physical body up to Brahma, the creator, having already known their
defects and shortcomings from observation, hearing, etc.
4. Those fools who are tied to these sense objects by the thick cord of
attachment, so very difficult to be broken are forcibly carried along by the
messenger, their own Karma, to heaven, earth and hell.
5. The deer, elephant, moth, fish and black bee-these five meet with
their death, being bound to one or other of the five senses, viz., sound,
etc., through attachment. What then of man who is bound by all the senses
6. In point of virulence sense-objects are more fatal than the poison of
cobra even. Poison kills one who drinks it, but sensuous objects can kill
one who even looks at them through the eye's.
7. He who is free from the terrible bondage of the hankering of the sense
objects so very difficult to get rid of is alone fit for liberation; none
else even though he is well versed in the six systems of philosophy.
8. Those seekers after liberation who are endowed with only an apparent
dispassion (Vairagya) and are endeavouring to cross the ocean of Samsara or
conditioned existence are seized by the stark of hankering; being caught by
the neck and forcibly dragged into the middle and drowned.
9. He who has slain the stark of desire with the sword of supreme or
mature dispassion, crosses the ocean of Samsara without obstacles.
10. Know that death rapidly overtakes that stupid man who treads along
the dreadful path of sensual pleasure; but whoever treads the right path
under the instruction of a Guru who looks after his spiritual welfare, also
his own reasoning attains his end-know this to be true.
11. If thou hast really an yearning for liberation, abandon sense-objects
from a good distance as if they were poison and always develop carefully the
nectar-like virtues of contentment, compassion, forgiveness, sincerity,
tranquillity and self-control.
12. Whoever passionately attends to the feeding of his own body which is
an object for jackals, fishes and vultures, to enjoy, and ignores what
should always be attempted viz., liberation from the bondage of ignorance
without beginning commits suicide thereby.
13. Whoever tries to realize the Self by nourishing his body is like one
who crosses a river by catching hold of a crocodile, thinking it to be a log
14. For one desirous of liberation the infatuation over things like the
body is dire death. He who is free from such infatuation is alone fit for
15. Conquer the infatuation over the objects like the body, wife,
children, and so on. Having conquered it the sages attain that supreme state
16. This gross body is to be condemned for it is made up of skin, flesh,
blood, arteries, veins, fat, marrow and bones and is filled with filth.
17. The physical body has got various restrictions regarding caste and
order of life. It is subject to various diseases. It is worshipped and
honoured sometimes. It is censured and insulted at other times.
The mason builds a house out of stones, small bricks, lime and cement. He
keeps big pieces of stones in the construction of the main walls and puts
small bricks and pebbles to fill up the crevices in the wall, plasters the
wall with lime and eventually puts a layer of cement. He polishes the wall
with finishing touches and gives a colouring in the end to attract the eyes.
Even so, the Divine Architect, God, has constructed this human body with the
help of Prakriti. The bones represent the big stones; the muscles represent
the pebbles; the fat the bricks; dermis or white skin the lime; the skin or
epidermis the cement; the pigment of the skin the colouring matter. Look at
the marvellous skill of the Divine Engineer, Engineer of all engineers. The
muscles are fixed to the bones by means of tendons. The joints are kept
intact by ligaments. Deposition of fat gives good shape to the limbs, trunk
and abdomen and gives beauty. The pigment in the skin attracts the eyes of
the out lookers and people are deluded by false beauty of the perishable
body. They cling to this body and through this clinging they are caught up
in the round of births and deaths.
The body is a mysterious moving palace. His Divine Majesty Brahman dwells
here. Brahman is the Immortal soul or Atma. Buddhi or intellect is His Prime
Minister. Mind is the commander. The ten Indriyas are the soldiers or
servants. The eyes are the marvellous windows of the palace. Mouth is the
way out. Eyes and ears are the way in. The Devatas who preside over the
Indriyas, eyes ears, nose, etc., are the gatekeepers.
The nerves are the wires. Brain is the receivers It receives all
messages. It contains a wonderful switch-board also. Prana is the
electricity. The bones are the mountains. The veins are the rivers. The
bladder is the ocean. The bowels and urethra are the sewers. The heart is
the water-works. The arteries are the pipes. The astral heart is the garden
of Vrindavan, Susbuma is the Kunjgalli of Vrindavan. Jiva is sweet Radha who
wants to unite with Lord Krishna, or Brahman, through Yoga Samadhi.
Sahasrara, or the crown of the head, is thplace where Radha and Krishna, the
individual soul and Brahman, unite. The different Chakras are the resting
places with Kadamba tree.
The body is made up of five elements. Bone is nothing but earth or clay.
Blood or flesh is nothing but water. The shining in the skin and the eyes is
nothing but fire. The Prana that moves in the nostrils and lungs is nothing
but air. This air rests on ether. Ether is the support for all the other
four elements. Air, fire, water and earth have emanated from ether. When the
body is buried, the bones become one with the earth. They go back to their
source. Through the practice of Laya-Chintan if you reduce the earth into
water, water into fire, fire into air, and air into ether, the body does not
really exist. It dwindles into airy nothing. Through jugglery of Maya you
perceive this body. In reality the imperishable soul which is the support
for this body and mind really exists.
The body is inert and insentient. It remains as a log of wood as soon as
the Prana leaves the body. It appears to be sentient through contact with
Prana, mind and reflected intelligence, just as a ball of iron appears to be
a ball of fire through contact with fire. The reflected intelligence, or
Chaitanya, galvanizes the inert intellect first, as it is very subtle,
and as the intellect is in close contact with it, and through intellect this
inert body also is galvanized. So the body moves, feels and does various
sorts of actions. After all, mortal flesh is clay, bone is only a
modification of earth. O Man: Do not cling to this body of flesh and network
of bones. Give up infatuation for this body. Destroy ignorance. Realize the
Immortal Self and be free.
The Lord is hiding himself in the inner chambers of this mysterious
palace. He is playing the game of 'hide and seek' with you. Find Him out.
Search Him out. Search Him in the chambers of your heart by withdrawing the
mind and the Indriyas from the external objects and practicing concentration