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13893Scriptural explanation of parabdha, gnanis stages, etc.

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  • jasonjamesmorgan
    Apr 14 5:54 PM

      I thought I would share some of my scriptural library. You can find
      the whole text online. Ignore the commentary.

      Om Namah Shivaya
      Jason James Morgan

      Tripura Rahasya

      Chapter XXI
      9-17. "This method does not require other aids to reinforce its
      efficiency, as other methods do for accomplishing the end. There is a
      reason for it. Pure Intelligence illumining all has cast a veil of
      ignorance of Her own over all. Her true nature is evident only after
      removing this veil by discrimination. This is hard for those whose
      minds are directed outward; and it is easy, sure and quick for
      devotees engrossed in the Goddess of the Self to the exclusion of all
      "An intense devotee, though endowed with only a little discipline of
      other kinds (e.g., dispassion), can readily understand the truth
      though only theoretically, and expound it to others. Such exposition
      helps him to imbue those ideas and so he absorbs the truth. This
      ultimately leads him to identify all individuals with Siva and he is
      no longer affected by pleasure or pain. All-round identification with
      Siva makes him the best of jnanis and a jivanmukta . Therefore bhakti
      yoga is the best of all and excels all else.

      18-24. "The characteristics of a Jnani are hard to understand,
      because they are inscrutable and inexpressible. For instance, a
      pandit cannot be adequately described except by his appearance, gait
      and dress because his feelings, depth of knowledge, etc., are known
      to himself alone; while the flavour of a particular dish cannot be
      exactly conveyed by word to one who has not tasted it; but a pandit
      can be understood only by another pandit by his method of expression.
      A bird alone can follow the track of another bird.
      "There are of course some traits which are obvious, and others which
      are subtle and inscrutable. Those which are obvious are their speech,
      language, postures of meditation, signs of worship, dispassion, etc.,
      which can however be imitated by non-sages.

      25. "What are accomplishments to others to the accompaniment of
      dispassion, meditation, prayer, etc. remain natural to the sage whose
      mind is pure and unsophisticated.

      26. "He whom honour and insult, loss or gain, cannot affect, is a
      sage of the best class.

      27. "The best among sages can, without hesitation give complete
      answers on matters relating to Realisation and the sublimest truths.

      28. "He seems to be spontaneously animated when discussing matters
      pertaining to jnana (realisation) and is never tired of their

      29. "His nature is to remain without efforts. Contentment and purity
      abide in him. Even the most critical situations do not disturb his
      peace of mind.

      30. "These are qualities which must be tried for oneself and
      verified; they are of no value as tests applied to others, for they
      may be genuine or spurious.

      31. "An aspirant must first apply the tests to himself and always
      prove his own worth; he can then judge others.

      32-33. "How can the repeated testing of oneself fail to improve one?
      Let one not spend one's time judging others; but let one judge
      oneself. Thus one becomes perfect.

      34-38. "What have here been called the traits of a Jnani are meant
      for one's own use and not for testing others, because they admit of
      many modifications according to circumstances. For instance, a Jnani
      who has realised the Self with the least effort may continue in his
      old ways although his mind is unassailable. He looks like a man of
      the world for all practical purposes. How then can he be judged by
      others? Nevertheless, one Jnani will know another at sight just as an
      expert can appraise precious stones at a glance.
      "The Jnanis of the lowest order behave like ignorant men in their
      care for their bodies.

      39-54. "They have not attained Sahaja Samadhi (samadhi unbroken even
      while engaged in work, etc.). They are in the state of Perfection
      only when they are calm or composed. They have as much of the body-
      sense and enjoy pleasure and pain with as much zest as any animal
      when they are not engaged in the investigation of the Self.
      "Though they are not always inquiring into the Self, yet there are
      periods of the perfect state owing to their previous practice and
      experience. All the same, they are emancipated because the animal-
      sense is only an aberration during interludes of imperfection and
      does not always leave any mark of them. Their aberration is similar
      to the ashy skeleton of a piece of burnt cloth which, though
      retaining the old shape, is useless. Again, the intervals of
      Realisation have an abiding effect on their lives, so that the world
      does not continue to enthral them as heretofore. A dye applied to the
      border of a cloth 'creeps' and shades the body of the cloth also.
      "The middle class of jnanis are never deluded by their bodies.
      Delusion is the false identification of 'I' with the body; this never
      arises with the more advanced jnanis, namely the middle class among
      them. Identification of the Self with the body is attachment to the
      body. The middle class of jnanis are never attached to the body.
      Their minds are mostly dead because of their long practice and
      continued austerities. They are not engaged in work because they are
      entirely self-possessed. Just as a man moves or speaks in sleep
      without being aware of his actions, so also this class of yogi does
      enough work for his minimum requirements without being aware of it.
      Having transcended the world, he behaves like a drunken man. But he
      is aware of his actions. His body continues on account of his vasanas
      (predispositions) and destiny. Jnanis of the highest class do not
      identify the Self with the body but remain completely detached from
      their bodies. Their work is like that of a charioteer driving the
      chariot, who never identifies himself with the chariot. Similarly the
      jnani is not the body nor the actor; he is pure intelligence. Though
      entirely detached from action within, to the spectator he seems to be
      active. Her performs his part like an actor in a drama; and plays
      with the world as a parent does with a child.

      55-56. "Of the two higher orders of jnanis, the one remains steadfast
      through his sustained practice and control of mind, whereas the other
      is so on account of the force of his discrimination and
      investigation. The difference lies in the merits of their intellect,
      I shall now relate to you a story in this connection.

      Chapter XXII

      1-4. After Sri Dattatreya had finished, Parasurama asked again
      respectfully: "Lord, what further did that Brahmin ask Hemangada and
      how did the latter enlighten him? The account is very interesting and
      I desire to hear it in full." Then Sri Datta, the Lord of Mercy,
      continued the story: Vasuman asked Hemangada as follows:

      5-8. "Prince! I shall ask you a question. Please answer me. I learnt
      about the Supreme Truth from Ashtaka and later from you. You are a
      sage; but still, how is it that you go out hunting? How can a sage be
      engaged in work? Work implies duality; wisdom is non-duality; the two
      are thus opposed to each other. Please clear this doubt of mine."
      Thus requested, Hemangada told the Brahmin as follows:

      9-14. "O Brahmin! Your confusion owing to ignorance has not yet been
      cleared up. Wisdom is eternal and natural. How can it be contradicted
      by work? Should work make wisdom ineffective, how can wisdom be
      useful any more than a dream? No eternal good is possible in that
      case. All this work is dependent on Self-awareness (i.e., wisdom).
      Being so, can work destroy wisdom and yet remain in its absence?
      Wisdom is that consciousness in which this world with all its
      phenomena and activities is known to be as an image or series of
      images; duality essential for work is also a phenomenon in that non-
      dual awareness.
      "There is no doubt that a man realises the Self only after purging
      himself of all thoughts, and that he is then released from bondage,
      once for all. Your question has thus no basis and cannot be expected
      of the wise."

      Then the Brahmin continued further:

      15-16. "True, O Prince! I have also concluded that the Self is pure,
      unblemished Intelligence. But how can it remain unblemished when will
      arises in it ? Will is modification of the Self, giving rise to
      confusion similar to that of a snake in a coil of rope."

      17-26. "Listen, O Brahmin! You do not yet clearly distinguish
      confusion from clarity. The sky appears blue to all alike whether
      they know that space is colourless or not. Even the one who knows
      speaks of the 'blue sky' but is not himself confused. The ignorant
      man is confused whereas the man who knows is not. The latter's
      seeming confusion is harmless like a snake that is dead. His work is
      like images in a mirror. There lies the difference between a sage and
      an ignorant man. The former has accurate knowledge and unerring
      judgment, whereas the latter has a blurred conception and his
      judgment is warped. Knowledge of Truth never forsakes a sage although
      he is immersed in work. All his activities are like reflections in a
      mirror for, being Self-realised, ignorance can no longer touch him.
      "Wrong knowledge due to sheer ignorance can be corrected by true
      knowledge; but wrong knowledge due to fault cannot be so easily
      corrected. So long as there is myopia, the eyesight will be blurred
      and many images of a single object will be seen. Similarly, so long
      as there is the prarabdha (residual past karma) unaccounted for, the
      manifestation of the world will continue for the Jnani, though only
      as a phenomenon. This will also vanish as soon as the prarabdha has
      played itself out and then pure, unblemished Intelligence alone will
      remain. Therefore I tell you, there is no blemish attached to a Jnani
      though he appears active and engaged in worldly duties."
      Having heard this, the Brahmin continued to ask:

      27. "O Prince! How can there be any residue of past karma in a Jnani?
      Does not Jnana burn away all karma as fire does a heap of camphor?"

      28-29. Then Hemangada replied: "Listen Brahmin! The three kinds of
      karma (1) mature (prarabdha), (2) pending (agami) and (3) in store
      (sancita) are common to all - not excluding the Jnani. The first of
      these alone remains for the Jnani and the other two are burnt away.

      30. "Karma matures by the agency of time; such is divine law. When
      mature, it is bound to yield its fruits.

      31. "The karma of the one who is active after Self-realisation, is
      rendered ineffective by his wisdom.

      32. "Karma already mature and now yielding results is called
      prarabdha: it is like an arrow already shot from a bow which must run
      its course until its momentum is lost."

      33-35. "Environments are only a result of prarabdha: notwithstanding
      they seem the same for all, Jnanis react to them differently
      according to their own stages of realisation.
      "Pleasure and pain are apparent to the least among the sages, but do
      not leave any mark on them as they do on the ignorant; pleasure and
      pain operate on the middle class of sages in the same way; however,
      they react only indistinctly to their surroundings, as a man in sleep
      does to a gentle breeze or to an insect creeping over him; pleasure
      and pain are again apparent to the highest among the sages, who
      however look upon them as unreal like a hare growing horns.

      36. "The ignorant anticipate pleasure and pain before enjoyment,
      recapitulate them after enjoyment, and reflect over them, so that
      they leave a strong impression on their minds.

      37. "Jnanis of the lowest order also enjoy pleasure and pain like the
      ignorant, but their remembrance of such experiences is frequently
      broken up by intervals of realisation. Thus the worldly enjoyments do
      not leave an impression on their minds.

      38. "Jnanis of the middle class, accustomed to control their minds by
      long-continued austerities, keep their minds in check even while
      enjoying pleasure and pain, and thus their response to the world is
      as indistinct as that of a man in sleep to a gentle breeze playing on
      him or an ant creeping over his body.

      39-41. "Jnanis of the highest order are left untouched for they
      always remain as the burnt skeleton of a cloth (retaining its old
      shape but useless) after their realisation. Just as an actor is not
      really affected by the passions which he displays on the stage, so
      also this Jnani, always aware of his perfection, is not affected by
      the seeming pleasures and pains which he regards as a mere illusion
      like the horns of a hare.

      42. "The ignorant are not aware of the pure Self; they see it always
      blemished and hence they believe in the reality of objective
      knowledge and are therefore affected by the pleasures and pains of

      43-49. "As for the lowest order of Jnanis, these realise the Self off
      and on, and spells of ignorance overtake them whenever overcome by
      their predispositions, they look upon the body as the SELF and the
      world as real. They are often able to over-ride the old tendencies,
      and thus there is a struggle between wisdom and ignorance - each of
      them prevailing alternatively. The Jnani ranges himself on the side
      of wisdom and fights against ignorance until falsity is thoroughly
      blown out, and truth prevails. Therefore Jnana is indivisible.

      50-57. "Forgetfulness of the Self never overtakes a middle class
      Jnani and wrong knowledge never possesses him. However he of his own
      accord brings out some predispositions from his own depths in order
      to maintain his body according to prarabdha. This is the conduct of
      an accomplished Jnani.
      As for the aspirant, there is no forgetfulness of the Self so long as
      he is engaged in practising samadhi. But the accomplished Jnani is
      always unforgetful of the Self and picks out his own predispositions
      according to his own choice.
      "The highest Jnani makes no difference between samadhi and worldly
      transactions. He never finds anything apart from the Self and so
      there is no lapse for him.
      "The middle order Jnani is fond of samadhi and voluntarily abides in
      it. There is accordingly a lapse, however slight, when he is engaged
      in worldly affairs, or even in the maintenance of his body.
      "On the other hand, the Jnani of the highest order involuntarily and
      naturally abides in samadhi and any lapse is impossible for him under
      any circumstances.
      "But the Jnani of the middle order or of the highest order has no
      tinge of karma left in him because he is in perfection and does not
      perceive anything apart from the Self.
      How can there be anything of karma left when the wild fire of Jnana
      is raging consuming all in its way?

      58. "Such karma is only a trick believed to be true by the onlooker.
      I shall explain this point further.

      59-62. "The state of the Jnani is said to be identical with that of
      Siva. There is not the least difference between them. Therefore karma
      cannot besmear a Jnani."
      "Vasuman had all his doubts cleared by this discourse of Hemangada.
      He had a clear understanding of true realisation. Vasuman and the
      prince saluted each other and returned to their respective places."
      Having heard all this, Parasurama asked Sri Datta still further:

      63-65. "Master! I have heard your holy words regarding Realisation
      and Wisdom. My doubts are now cleared. I now understand the non-dual
      state of abstract consciousness pervading all and abiding in the
      Self. Nevertheless, kindly tell me the essence of the whole discourse
      in a few words so that I may always remember them."

      66-68. Thus requested, Sri Datta again resumed:
      "That which abides as the Self is Pure Intelligence Transcendental
      being comprised of the aggregate of all the egos in perfection. She
      is Self-contained, and fills the role of Maya by virtue of Her own
      prowess. Being one without a second. She makes even the impossible
      happen and thus displays the Universe as a series of images in a
      mirror. I shall now tell you how.

      69-71. "She who is transcendence, awareness perfection and total-
      summation of all egos, of Her own Will divides Herself into two.
      Imperfection is concomitant with such scission; there is bound to be
      an insentient phase which represents the aforesaid exterior or
      unmanifested void. The sentient phase is Sadashiva Tattva."

      72. "Now Sadashiva, also not being perfect, sees the unmanifest void
      (i.e., the sentient phase becomes aware of the insentient phase) but
      yet knows it to be of Himself - feeling 'I am this also'."

      73-90. "Later Sadashiva identifies the insentient phase with His body
      at the time of starting Creation. Then he goes by the name Ishvara.
      Now this contaminated Higher Ego, namely Ishvara, divides Himself
      into the three aspects - Rudra, Vishnu and Brahma (representing the
      modes of Ego associated with the three qualities darkness, brightness
      and activity) who in their turn manifest the cosmos consisting of
      many worlds. Brahmas are innumerable, all of whom are engaged in
      creating worlds; Vishnus are equally taken up in protecting the
      worlds; and the Rudras in destroying them. This is the way of
      creation. But all of them are only images in the grand mirror of
      Abstract Consciousness.
      "These are only manifest, but are not concrete, since they have never
      been created.
      "The Supreme Being is always the sum-total of all the egos. Just as
      you fill the body and identify yourself with different senses and
      organs without deviating from the Ego, so does the transcendental
      Pure Intelligence similarly identify itself with all beginning from
      Sadashiva and ending with the minutest protoplasm, and yet remains
      Again, just as you cannot taste anything without the aid of the
      tongue, nor apprehend other things without the aid of other senses or
      organs, so also the supreme Being (Sadashiva) acts and knows through
      the agency of Brahma, etc., and even of worms. Just as your conscious
      Self remains pure and unqualified although it forms the basis of all
      the activities of limbs, organs and senses, so also the Supreme
      Intelligence is unaffected though holding all the Egos within
      Herself. She is not aware of any distinctions in the vastness of the
      cosmos nor does She make difference among the Egos.
      "In this manner, the Cosmos shines in Her like images in a mirror.
      The shining of the Cosmos is due to Her reflection. In the same way,
      the individuals in the world, namely you, I, and other seers are all
      flashes of Her consciousness. Since all are only phases of Supreme
      Intelligence, that alone will shine in purity bereft of taints or
      impediments in the shape of objects.
      "Just as the shining mirror is clear when images no longer appear in
      it, and the same mirror remains untainted even when the images are
      reflected in it, so also Pure Intelligence subsists pure and
      untainted whether the world is seen or not.

      91-92. "This untainted Supreme Intelligence is one without a second
      and filled with Bliss, because totally free from the least trace of
      unhappiness. The sum-total of all happiness of all the living beings
      has taken shape as the Supreme One because She is obviously desired
      by all; and she is no other than the Self, which consists of pure
      Bliss, because the Self is the most beloved of every being.

      93. "For the sake of the Self people discipline their bodies and
      subdue their desires; all sensual pleasures are mere sparks of Bliss
      inherent in the Self.

      94. "For sensual pleasures are similar to a sense of relief felt on
      unburdening oneself of a crushing load, or to the peace of sleep.
      Pure Intelligence is indeed Bliss because it is the only one sought

      95. "People do not recognise the Bliss inhering as their Self,
      because of their ignorance. They always associate pleasure with

      96-98. "Furthermore, just as images in a mirror are associated with
      objects, ignoring the presence of the reflecting surface, but after
      consideration are found to be dependent on the mirror and not apart
      from it, and the mirror is found to be untainted by the reflected
      images, so also the sages know the Self alone to be unique, real and
      untainted by its own projections, namely, the world, etc.

      99. "The relation of the Cosmos to Pure Intelligence, i.e., abstract
      Self, is like that of a pot to earth, or of an ornament to gold, or
      of sculpture to the granite rock.

      100. "O Parasurama! Denial of the existence of the world does not
      amount to perfection. Denial is absurd. For, it implies intelligence,
      and intelligence displays itself as the universe.

      101. "The intelligence denying or admitting the world is there
      shining over all! Can the world be erased out of existence by mere
      denial of it?"

      102. "Just as the images appear in a mirror and partake of its
      nature, so also the Cosmos is of and in the Self, and real inasmuch
      as it is the Self."

      103-105. "This wisdom in perfection is the realisation of all as the
      Self. Intelligence appears as objects by its own virtue, as a mirror
      appears as the images on it. This is the whole essence of the
      sastras. There is no bondage, no liberation, no aspirant, no process
      of attainment. The transcendental Conscious Principle alone subsists
      in the three states of being. She remains as the one uniform,
      absolute being. She is ignorance; She is wisdom; She is bondage; She
      is liberation and She is the process therefor.

      106. "This is all that need be known, understood and realised. There
      is nothing more. I have told you all in order."

      The Sage Harithayana concluded:

      107-111. "The man who knows it rightly will never be overtaken by
      misery. O Narada! Such is the section on Wisdom, recondite with
      reason, subtlety, and experience. Should any one not gain wisdom
      after hearing or reading it but continue to wallow in ignorance, he
      should be put down as nothing more than a stock or a stone. What hope
      is there for him?
      "Hearing it even once must make a man truly wise; he is sure to
      become wise. Sin or obstruction to wisdom is destroyed by reading it;
      wisdom dawns on hearing it. Writing, appreciating and discussing its
      contents respectively destroys the sense of duality, purifies the
      mind and reveals the abiding Truth.

      112. "She goes by the name of Emancipation when clearly and directly
      realised by investigation as the one undivided Self of all;
      otherwise, She goes by the name of Bondage. She is the one
      Consciousness threading the three states of being, but untainted and
      unbroken by them. She is the sound, word and the significance of

      Thus ends the concluding Chapter in the most Sacred Itihasa Tripura