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The Ship Of Wisdom

THE SHIP OF WISDOM


 Rama rejoined: Tell me, O chief of Sages, who is this Parameshvara, and how is He propitiated by our prayers and faith in Him? Explain this mystery to me, for you are acquainted with all truth.

 Vasishtha replied: Know, O highly intelligent Rama, that the Lord God is neither at a distance nor unattainable by us. The Lord is the all-knowingatman, and theatmanis the Great God. In Him are all things, and all this has come from Him. He is all and with all everywhere. He is immanent and identical in all. He is everlasting, and I bow down to Him.

 From Him comes out this creation, as well as all its change and dissolution. He is the uncaused cause of all, which rises as the winds in the hollow vault of heaven. Him do all these creatures, moving and unmoving, ever worship as best they can, presenting the finest offerings they can find.

 Thus men, by adoring Him throughout their repeated births, with all their heart and mind in the best way they know how, propitiate at last the supreme object of their adoration. The Parameshvara andparamatmanbeing thus propitiated by their unwavering faith sends His messenger to them as a blessing for the sake of their enlightenment.


 Rama asked: Tell me, great Sage, how does the Lord God and Supreme Soul send His messenger to man, and who is this messenger and how does he illumine the mind?

 Vasishtha replied: The messenger sent by theatmanisviveka, discrimination, which shines as coolly in the cave of the heart as the moon in the clear sky. It awakens and instructs the brutish and cupidinous soul in wisdom, thus saving the unwise from the turbulent ocean of the world.

 This enlightening and intelligent spirit residing in the human heart is known in the Veda and theshastrasas thepranava- the adorable. This holy spirit is worshipped daily by men andnagas, bydevasanddevatas, through prayers and oblations, by austerities and alms-giving, as also by sacrificial rites and recitation of scriptures.

 This Lord has the highest heaven for His crown and the earth and infernal regions for His footstool. Stars glisten as the hairs on His person. His heart is the open space of the sky, and all material forms are the bones of His body. As the intellectual soul of all, He spreads undivided everywhere. Ever wakeful, He sees and moves all things, as if by hands and feet, eyes and ears, and other organs of His body.

 The sentient soul, awakened to wisdom by destroying the demon of the sensual mind, takes upon itself a bright spiritual form and becomes a spiritual being. Therefore, shun the varied vagaries of your heart, ever changeful and fraught with evils, and exert your manliness to exalt your soul to the level of communion with divine grace.

 The rambling mind resembles a demon buffeted by the waves of the furious ocean of the world. The enlightened soul alone shines like a luminary over the dark and dreary dismal wastes of the world. See thy mind blasted away by the gale of its greed into the vast billowy ocean of the world. See it hurled into the deep cavity of its whirlpools, from whose depths no man can arise again.

 The strong ship of Divine Wisdom alone can carry you across the sea of your ignorance, bearing you safely above the waves of your carnal appetites and passions. Thus it is that the Lord, being propitiated by worship, sends His holy spirit as His messenger for the sanctification of the human soul. And thus it leads the living being to his best and most blessed state by the gradual steps of holy society and sacred learning, together with right understanding of their secret and spiritual sense.

Yoga Vasishtha Maharamayana
Nirvana Prakarana Uttaradha XLVIII

Valmiki

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