24 March 2010

Chapter Two

You may be young, unlearned, and addicted to pleasures;
You may be a servant or a householder; it doesn’t matter.
Does a jewel require a Guru in order to be valuable?
Or is it worthless simply because it’s covered with mud?

You may lack learning or literary skill;
You don’t require such qualities as these.
Hold fast to the Truth, and let go of all else;
Even an unpainted boat will take you across.

The Self appears as both
The animate and the inanimate world;
Yet It always remains in Its own peaceful state;
It is always pure Consciousness, as calm as the sky.

Though appearing as the animate and inanimate world,
The Self remains forever One.
Where, then, is the division?
There is no duality, it is clear to me.

Indeed, I am the highest Truth! I’m Shiva!
I contain the world, both subtle and gross.
I do not come, nor do I go.
I have no movement; I have no form.

I’m unaffected by my component parts;
Therefore, though the gods may worship me,
In my perfect wholeness,
I recognize no distinctions such as gods.

Neither doubt nor ignorance
Can cause the slightest ripple in me.
Let the modifications of the mind continue to occur;
They’re merely bubbles rising to the surface of a pond.

The ephemeral elements that form all things
Manifest in many different ways:
Some things appear soft, others hard;
Some things appear sweet, and others sour.

The qualities of clearness, coldness, and softness
Are but qualities of water.
Likewise, matter and spirit (prakriti and purusha)
Are but qualities of the one Existence.

Beyond all speech, beyond all names,
Beyond the subtlest of all subtle things;
Beyond mind, intellect, and the five senses,
The stainless Lord of the universe remains ever One.

If the universal Self becomes known,
How could “I” continue to be?
How could “you”
Or the sentient and insentient world still be?

The Self is said to be like the sky.
Indeed, It is like the sky;
It’s pure Consciousness, without any stain.
It is truly the all-embracing Whole.

It remains unaffected,
Though It takes the form of earth, air, water and fire.
Though It takes all these forms,
It remains always the same.

All infinite space is pervaded by the Self,
But nothing else pervades the Self.
It is simultaneously within and without;
It cannot be limited or divided in parts.

It’s extremely subtle and cannot be seen;
It’s primary to all qualities, the yogis say.
It is the state that underlies
All other temporary states of the mind.

By practicing yoga unceasingly,
Without attachment to anything,
Little by little, a yogi is freed
From all effects of the qualities (gunas).

Against the dreadful poison of worldly lust,
Which deludes men’s minds,
There is only one antidote:
The nectarean awareness of the independent Self.

The subtle images are seen within,
And the manifold forms are seen without;
But the independent Experiencer of both
Is known by all seers as the inner Self.

Experienced without, It’s the universe;
Experienced within, It’s the power of life.
And deep within that inner life
The real milk-of-the-coconut resides.

The outer knowledge is of the coconut’s husk;
The subtler knowledge is of the meat within.
And concealed within that subtle core
Is the coconut-milk of Consciousness—the Self.

On a full-moon night, the moon is seen
By unhazed eyes as one, alone.
The Reality should also be seen this way;
Where two are seen, that sight’s impaired.

Because there is one, and only one,
The mind which perceives two is false.
He who teaches this is truly great;
He deserves a thousand accolades.

A Guru gives the gift of wisdom
To both the wise and the foolish man;
But only he crosses over this ocean (of life)
Who attains the knowledge of Truth for himself.

He who is free from attachment, free from hate—
Engaged in securing the good of all,
Firm in knowledge and steady of mind—
Will reach at last to the highest state.

The space inside a jar merges in the space outside
When the jar is destroyed;
The yogi, when the body’s destroyed,
Merges into the universal Consciousness—his own true Self.

The destiny of those devoted to action
Is the result of their thought at the end of their life;
But the destiny of a yogi established in Unity
Is not determined by his thought at the end.

One may express in speech
The destiny of those devoted to actions,
But the destiny of those established in yoga
Cannot be told; they go beyond speech.

A yogi has no particular path;
He simply renounces imagining things.
His mind then ceases of its own accord,
And the perfect state just naturally occurs.

Wherever a yogi may meet his end—
Whether beside a holy river or in an outcaste’s hut—
His births are through;
He merges in Brahman.

He who has realized the innate, unborn, incomprehensible Self
Never becomes stained while enjoying the fruits of his desires;
He remains always free of stain, free of karma.
The ascetic, concentrated on the Self, is never bound.

He goes beyond illusion, beyond comparison, beyond form,
Beyond any support, beyond the body and its nourishment;
Beyond duality, fear, desire, and powers,
It’s the Lord, the Self, the Eternal, he attains.

His attainment is not the Vedas, nor initiation, nor a clean-shaven head;
It is not a Guru, or disciples, or bountiful treasures,
Or the practice of postures, or wearing of ashes;
It’s the Lord, the Self, the Eternal, he attains.

He does not envision the form of the great Shiva, or Shakti, or any other gods;
He does not see kundalini, or light-forms, or the feet of God;
Nor does he perceive his own soul, like a jar with its contents;
It’s the Lord, the Self, the Eternal, he attains.

That is the Essence from which the sentient and insentient universe is born;
It is like the ocean which gives birth to the foam on its surface.
It is That by which everything is maintained and dissolved;
It’s the Lord, the Self, the Eternal, he attains.

His attainment is not breath-control, or fixed-stares, or yogic-postures;
Nothing becomes learned or unlearned at all.
His attainment is not the purification of the nerves;
It’s the Lord, the Self, the Eternal, he attains.

He does not attain a “many” or a “One” that is separate from himself;
It is not something other, like an object with length and breadth.
It cannot be objectively proven, or compared with anything;
It’s the Lord, the Self, the Eternal, he attains.

He may or may not attain concentration;
He may or may not attain freedom from the senses;
He may or may not abandon all actions;
It’s the Lord, the Self, the Eternal, he attains.

Beyond mind, intellect, body, and sense-organs;
Beyond the subtle elements, and the five gross elements;
Beyond the sense of ego, and even the ethereal body;
It’s the Lord, the Self, the Eternal, he attains.

Transcending all dictates, he abides in the Self;
His mind becomes free of the thought of duality.
Neither purity, nor impurity, nor distinctions of sex,
Nor fortune, nor misfortune, has any meaning for him.

If the mind and speech can’t reveal the Self,
How could the Guru’s teachings reveal the Self?
How could a Guru reveal with words
That Essence of existence which is self-illuminating?