KING JANAKA: When he rose in the morning, king Janaka thus reflected in his own mind: O unsteady mind! This worldly life is not conducive to your true happiness. Hence, reach the state of equanimity. It is in such equanimity that you will experience peace, bliss and the truth. Whenever you create perverse thinking in yourself, out of your wantonness, it is then that this world illusion begins to expand and spread out. It is when you entertain desire for pleasures that this world illusion sprouts countless branches. It is thought that gives rise to this network of world-appearance. Hence, abandon this whim and fancy and attain equanimity. Weigh in the balance of your wisdom the sense-pleasures on one side and the bliss of peace on the other.
Whatever you determine to be the truth, seek that. Give up all hopes and expectations, and freed from the wish to seek or to abandon, roam about freely. Let this world-appearance be real or unreal, let it arise or set; but, do not let its merits and demerits disturb your equanimity. For at no time do you have a real relationship with this world-appearance: it is only because of your ignorance that such a relationship has appeared in you. O mind, you are false, and this world-appearance is also false; hence there is a mysterious relation ship between you two—like the relationship between the barren woman and her son. If you think that you are real and that the world is unreal, how can a valid relationship exist between the two? On the other hand, if both are real, where then is the justification for exultation and sorrow? Hence, abandon sorrow and resort to deep contemplation. There is nothing here in this world which can lead you to the state of fullness. Hence, resolutely take refuge in courage and endurance, and overcome your own waywardness.
VASISHTA: Having reached the understanding already described, Janaka functioned as the king and did all that was necessary, without getting befuddled and with a great strength of mind and spirit. In fact, he moved about as if he were continually in a state of deep sleep.
The light of self-knowledge (cid-atma) arose in his heart, free from the least taint of impurity and sorrow, even as the sun rises on the horizon. He beheld everything in the universe as existing in cosmic power (cid-sakti). Endowed with self-knowledge, he saw all things in the self which is infinite. Knowing that all that happens happens naturally, he neither experienced elation nor suffered depression, and remained in unbroken equanimity. Janaka had become a liberated one while still living (jivanmukta). Remaining forever in the consciousness of the infinite, he experienced the state of non-action, even though he appeared to others to be ever busy in diverse actions.
Janaka attained whatever he did by dint of his own inquiry. Similarly, one should pursue the inquiry into the nature of truth till one reaches the very limits of such inquiry.
Self-knowledge or knowledge of truth is not had by resorting to a guru (preceptor) nor by the study of scripture, nor by good works: it is attained only by means of inquiry inspired by the company of wise and holy men. One’s inner light alone is the means, naught else. When this inner light is kept alive, it is not affected by the darkness of inertia.
Whatever sorrows there may be that seem to be difficult to overcome are easily crossed over with the help of the boat of wisdom (the inner light). He who is devoid of this wisdom is bothered even by minor difficulties. The effort and the energy that are directed by the people in worldly activities should first be directed to the gaining of this wisdom. One should first destroy the dullness of wit which is the source of all sorrow and calamities and which is the seed for this huge tree of world-appearance.
Wisdom or the inner light is like the legendary precious stone, O Rama, which bestows on its owner whatever he wishes to have. When one's intelligence and understanding are properly guided by this inner light, one reaches the other shore; if not, one is overcome by obstacles.
Defects, desires and evils do not even approach that man of wisdom whose mind is undeluded. Through wisdom (in the inner light) the entire world is clearly seen as it is; neither good fortune nor misfortune even approach one who has such clear vision. The darkness of ego-sense which veils the self is dispelled by wisdom (inner light). He who seeks to be established in the highest state of consciousness should first purify his mind by the cultivation of wisdom or by the kindling of the inner light.
O Rama, thus do inquire into the nature of the self, even as Janaka did. Neither god, nor rites and rituals (or any action) nor wealth nor relatives are of any use in this; to those who are afraid of the world-illusion only self-effort as self-inquiry is capable of bringing about self-knowledge. This ocean of world-appearance can be crossed only when you are firmly established in supreme wisdom, when you see the self with the self alone and when your intelligence is not diverted or colored by sense-perceptions.
Thus have I narrated to you how king Janaka attained self knowledge as if by an act of grace which caused the knowledge to drop from heaven, as it were. When the limited and conditioned feeling 'I am so-and-so' ceases, there arises consciousness of the all-pervading infinite. Hence, O Rama, like Janaka, you too abandon in your heart the false and fanciful notion of the ego-sense. When this ego-sense is dispelled, the supreme light of self-knowledge will surely shine in your heart. He who knows ’I am not', "Nor does the other exist’, ’Nor is there non-existence’, and whose mental activity has thus come to a standstill, is not engrossed in acquisitiveness. O Rama, there is no bondage here other than craving for acquisition and the anxiety to avoid what one considers undesirable.
They in whom the twin-urges of acquisition and rejection have come to an end do not desire anything nor do they renounce anything. The mind does not reach the state of utter tranquility till these two impulses (of acquisition and rejection) have been eliminated. Even so, as long as one feels ’this is real’ and ’this is unreal’, his mind does not experience peace and equilibrium. How can equanimity, purity or dispassion arise in the mind of one who is swayed by thoughts of ’this is right’, ’this wrong’, ’this is gain’, ’this is loss’? When there is only one Brahman (which is forever one and the many) what can be said to be right and what wrong?
Desirelessness (absence of all expectations), fearlessness, unchanging steadiness, equanimity, wisdom, non-attachment, non-action, goodness, total absence of perversion, courage, endurance, friendliness, intelligence, contentment, gentleness, pleasant speech — all these qualities are natural to one who is free from the instincts of acquisition and rejection: and even those qualities are non intentional and spontaneous.
One should restrain the mind from flowing downward, even as the flow of a river is blocked by the construction of a dam. Cut down the mind with the mind itself. Having reached the state of purity, remain established in it right now. Rooted in equanimity, doing whatever happens to be appropriate in all situations and not even thinking about what has thus befallen you unsought, live a non-volitional life here. Such is the nature of the Lord, who may therefore be said to he both the doer and the non-doer of all actions here.
You are the knower of all— the self. You are the unborn being, you are the supreme Lord; you are non-different from the self which pervades everything. He who has abandoned the idea that there is an object of perception which is other than the self is not subjected to the defects born of joy and grief. He is known as a yogi. He who is confirmed in his conviction that the infinite consciousness alone exists, is instantly freed from the thoughts of pleasure and is therefore tranquil and self-controlled.