Book 4: Chapter 22
Srimad Bhagvata Mahapurana: Book 4: Chapter 22: Verses 17-28
Maitreya went on : Hearing these graceful and righteous words of Prthu, which were pregnant with serious import, brief and delightful, the sage Sanatkumara cheerfully replied as though smiling. Sanatkumara said : A very good enquiry has been made by you, even though you know the answer, O great monarch, your heart being given to the good of all living beings, (for) such is the bent of mind of the virtuous. The meeting of pious souls is thought highly of both by themselves and by those who meet them; for worthy questions put to and the noble answers given by them enhance the happiness of all. Certainly, O king, are you gifted with that rare and abiding love for hearing the praises -elicited by suitable questions-of the lotus-feet of Sri Hari (the Slayer of Madhu), which shakes off the impurity of the mind in the shape of latent desires, so difficult to remove. In the scriptures, which have made a thorough enquiry (into the truth), (only) absence of attachment to things other than the Self and intense love for one's real Self, the attributeless Brahma, have been finally concluded to be the only way to salvation for men. That love for the attributeless Brahma as well as the absence of attachment to the world of matter, both as cause and effect, is easily developed through (intense) faith, through the discharge of duties consecrated to the Lord, through a desire to know the higher truths and by being firmly established in the Yoga of Knowledge, through worship of the Lord of Yoga and by ever listening to the hallowed stories of the Lord of sacred renown, through a distaste for the company of those delighting in lucre and sense-enjoyments and by eschewing wealth and sense-gratification esteemed by such people, through love for seclusion when finding delight in the Self, but not such occasions when a potion of the nectarine drink of Sri Hari's glories is had, through harmlessness and by living the life of an ascetic, through an enquiry into that which is conducive to one's spiritual welfare and by drinking the peerless nectar of Lord Mukunda's glories, by practising the twelve forms of self-discipline, (viz., non-violence, truthfulness, non-thieving, absence of attachment, modesty, non-accumulation of wealth and luxuries except in the interests of others, belief in God, continence, habit of meditation on God, firmness, forgiveness and fearlessness) and observing the twelve religious vows (of internal and external purity, muttering the divine names and sacred texts, austerity, offering oblations into the sacred fire, reverence, worship of the Lord, pilgrimage to holy places, endeavour for the good of others, contentment and waiting upon the preceptor ) by refraining from calumny and abandoning all activity (for the acquisition and preservation of worldly goods), by enduring pairs of opposites (like heat and cold etc.), and by devotion to Sri Hari, growing through the utterance of His praises, which (ever) adorn the ears of His devotees. When this love for Brahma gets firmly rooted, man resorts to a (worthy) preceptor and, like the fire consuming the very source whence it originates, he dissolves his subtle body, mainly consisting of the five subtle elements and enveloping his pure self (in the form of the ego), when the same has been freed from its latent desires by the force of wisdom and dispassion. When the envelope (in the shape of the subtle body) that wraps the pure Self and which stood heretofore between the soul and the Oversoul has (thus) been dissolved, the embodied soul sheds all the attributes of that envelope and no longer perceives that which is external to the self nor his subjective states, just as a dreaming man no longer sees the things of his dream when it has been broken. Only so long as this conditioning mind-substance (the principal constituent of the subtle body) persists (i.e., in the waking and dream states) man perceives his own self, the objects of sense and that which connects the self with these latter (viz., the ego), and not at any other time (e. g., in the state of deep sleep).
- * Vide SSrimad Bhegavata XI. xix. 33-35.