|The Beginning of the
41. As he said this, tormented by the forest fire
of samsara, the great Sage looked at him with a gaze full of compassion,
urging him to abandon fear, now that he had taken refuge in him.
42. Out of compassion the Sage undertakes his instruction since he
has come to him for help in his search for liberation, is willing to do
as he is told, is pacified of mind and calm.
43. Don't be afraid, master. Destruction is not for you. There is
indeed a means of crossing the sea of samsara, the way taken by which
those who have crossed over before, and I will now instruct you in it.
44. There is a certain great means which puts an end to the fear of
samsara. Crossing the sea of change by means of it, you will achieve the
45. Supreme understanding springs from meditating on the meaning of
Vedanta, and that is followed immediately by the elimination of the pain
46. The practice of faith, devotion and meditation are declared by
scripture to be the means to liberation for a seeker after liberation.
He who perseveres in these will achieve freedom from the bondage to the
body, created by ignorance.
47. Linked with ignorance, your supreme self has become involved in
the bonds of non self, and from that in samsara. The fire of the
knowledge born from discriminating between these two will burn out the
consequences of ignorance along with its very root.
48. The disciple said: Out of compassion hear this question I put to
you, so that when I have heard the reply from your lips I will be able
to put it into practice.
49. What exactly is bondage? How does it come about and remain? How
is one freed from it? What exactly is non self? What is the Supreme
Self? And how does one discriminate between them? Explain this to me.
50. The guru replied: You are indeed blessed, for you have achieved
the true purpose of life and sanctified your family, in that you seek
deification by liberation from the bonds of ignorance.
51. Sons and suchlike are able free their father from debts, but
no-one can free some-one else from bondage.
52. The pain of something like a weight on the head can be removed by
others, but the pain of things like hunger can be put an end to by
no-one but oneself.
53. A sick man is seen to get better by taking the appropriate
medicine - not through treatment undertaken by others.
54. Reality can be experienced only with the eye of understanding,
not just by a scholar. What the moon is like must be seen with one's own
eyes. How can others do it for you?
55. Who but yourself can free you from the bonds of the fetters of
things like ignorance, lust and the consequences of your actions - even
in hundreds of thousands of years?
56. Liberation is achieved not by observances or by analysis, nor by
deeds or learning, but only by the realisation of one's oneness with
God, and by no other means.
57. The beauty of a lute and skill in playing its cords can bring
some pleasure to people but can hardly make you a king.
58. In the same way, speech alone, even a deluge of words, with
scholarship and skill in commenting on the scriptures, may achieve some
personal satisfaction but not liberation.
59. When the supreme reality is not understood, the study of the
scriptures is useless, and study of the scriptures is useless when the
supreme reality has been understood.
60. The tangle of words is a great forest which leads the mind off
wandering about, so wise men should strive to get to know the truth
about their own nature.
61. Except for the medicine of the knowledge of God, what use are
Vedas, scriptures, mantras and such medicines when you have been bitten
by the snake of ignorance?
62. An illness is not cured just by pronouncing the name of the
medicine without drinking it, and you will not be liberated by just
pronouncing the word God without direct experience.
63. How can one reach liberation by just pronouncing the word God
without achieving the elimination of the visible universe and realising
the truth about one's own nature? It will just be a waste of speech.
64. One cannot become a king just by saying, "I am the king," without
defeating one's enemies and taking possession of the country.
65. A buried treasure will not come out just by calling it, but needs
a good map, digging, removal of obstructing stones and so on to get at
it. In the same way the pure reality, hidden by the effects of Maya,
cannot be achieved by just abusing it, but by instruction from a knower
of God, reflection, meditation and so on.
66. So the wise should strive with all their ability for liberation
from the bonds of change, as they would in the case of sickness and
things like that.
67. The question you have asked today is a good one in the opinion of
those learned in the scriptures, to the point and full of meaning. It
needs to be understood by those seeking liberation.
68. Listen careful to what I say, master. By hearing this you will be
freed from the bonds of change.
69. The primary basis of liberation is held to be total dispassion
for everything impermanent, and after that peacefulness, restraint,
patience, and the complete renunciation of scriptural observances.
70. After that the practicant finds there comes listening, reflection
on what one has heard, and long meditation on the truth. Then the wise
man will experience the supreme non-dual state and come here and now to
the bliss of Nirvana.
71. When you have heard me fully explain what you need to know about
the discrimination between self and non-self, then bear it in mind.