Chapter XXXI - 110 Home | Index | Previous | Next

"O King, what can one picture, grander than this? The great sages, the Mahatmas, all engaged themselves in Thapas and as a result gained continuous and rare spiritual splendour. Why, even the wicked demons, Ravana and Hiranyakasipu won mastery over the material world and acquired their tremendous powers of destruction through the arduous discipline of Thapas, directed along aggressive channels. If only their efforts were directed along Sathwic paths, instead of the Rajasic path they preferred, they could have attained the peace and joy of self-realisation. On the basis of the underlying urge, Thapas is classified into three groups: Thamasic, Rajasic and Sathwic. Of these, for the visualising of God, the Sathwic is the most effective."

"Vasishta, Viswamithra and other sages acquired amazing powers through their Sathwic Thapas, performed with pure, unselfish motives. They rose at last to the status of Brahma-Rishis too. Thapas is classified into another series of three: mental, physical and vocal. You may ask which is the most important of these three. I must tell you that all three are important. Yet, if the mental Thapas is attended to, the other two follow."

"The person bound by objective desire will strive in various ways to fulfil them. He is a slave to his senses and their pursuits. But, if he withdraws the senses from the world and gets control over their master, the mind, and engages that mind in Thapas, then, he can establish Swaarajya or Self-mastery or 'Independence' over himself. To allow the senses to attach themselves to objects - that is the bondage. When the mind that flows through the senses towards the outer world is turned inwards and is made to contemplate on the Atma, it attains liberation or Moksha."

"O king! All things that are seen are transient, unreal. God alone is eternal, real. Attachment to objects ends in grief. God is one's own reality. That reality, the God in you, has no relationship with the changing transitory objective world; He is pure consciousness only. Even if you posit some relationship for it, it can only be the type of relationship that exists between the dreamer and the objects seen and experienced in dreams".

At this, the King started questioning this wise: "Master! On this matter, a doubt is bothering me. In dreams, only those things that have been cognised directly while awake appear and so, there must be reality as the basis of the false appearances, isn't it? While experiencing the dream, all the objects are taken as real; on waking from sleep, it is realised that they are all unreal. But, this is the experience of us, men. Can God too be deluded? Again, if objects are one and of uniform type, then, it can be said that Maya deludes and this is the effect. But, they are manifold and of multifarious forms. They all appear real and true. How can these be compared to the dream-experiences?"