Atma Vidya Vilasa

Atma Vidya Vilasa
By Swami Sadasiva Brahmendra
Translation by S. N. Sastri

1. I bow down to the indescribable primordial Guru (Dakshinamurti) who resides by the side of a fig tree, whose lotus hand displays brilliantly the jnana-mudra's (in which the tips of the thumb and the index finger of the right hand are joined), who is the sprout of the bliss that is liberation.

2. I salute the holy sandals of the noble Paramasivendra which are the effulgent boat that rescues the people who have fallen into this limitless ocean of transmigratory existence, and which are adept at refuting the wrong views of others.
Note. Paramasivendra was the Guru of Sadasiva Brahmendra.

3. I in whom the divine glory has been awakened by the instruction of my Guru Paramasivendra lovingly present these few passages for the purpose of abiding in my own self.

4. The supreme Self shines as incomparable, eternal, actionless, impartite, beyond the control of Maya, free from the three gunas (sattva, rajas and tamas), formless, beyond all wrong conceptions, pure, and consciousness itself.

5. Bound by his own ignorance alone, performing various actions, the individual remains deluded. By good fortune he is freed from bondage by the knowledge of the self as a result of contemplation and emerges victorious.

6. Sleeping because of Maya, the individual sees thousands of dreams. An exceptional individual is awakened from this sleep by the instruction of his Guru and shines in the ocean of bliss.
Note. In the waking state also every one is under the influence of Maya. He sees the world which is not real and so the waking state is also like dream. It is only when he attains self-knowledge that he is awakened from the sleep of Maya and realizes his identity with Brahman which is supreme bliss. Only some exceptional individuals who have acquired the necessary qualifications such as total detachment, etc., can attain to self-knowledge.

7. Giving up the state of ignorance and attaining one's own nature which is existence-consciousness-bliss by the compassionate glance of the great Guru, and thus attaining a high state, the enlightened person enjoys bliss.

8. The contemplative person whose mind is immersed in his own nature which is existence-consciousness-bliss by the grace of his Guru, is enlightened and revels, free from the notion of “I-ness's, his mind brimming with happiness.

9. The great ascetic whose mind is cooled by the waves of the Guru's compassion revels alone and at will in incomparable bliss.

10. The noble ascetic whose inner darkness (ignorance) has been removed by the rays of the sun in the form of the compassion of the great Guru remains in the ocean of unlimited bliss.

11. The calm contemplative who has merged the five elements mentally in the order opposite to that of creation realizes the Self which is what is left.
Note. The Taittiriya upanishad says that the five subtle elements were born in the following order: Ether was first born from the Self (Brahman). From ether air was born, from air fire, from fire water and from water earth. The present verse says that the effect should be merged in the cause, mentally. The element earth should be merged in its cause, water, i.e., earth does not have any existence apart from its cause, water. Then water should be merged in its cause, fire; fire should be merged in its cause, air, and air in its cause ether. Ultimately, ether should be merged in its cause, the Self or Brahman. Thus one realizes that Brahman is the only reality and it is one's own real nature.

12. Having mentally decided that this whole world is insubstantial, being only the product of Maya, he (the enlightened person) moves about without any expectation, free from pride, conceit and envy.

13. In the pure Self there is no Maya or its effects at all. The yogi who has come to this definite conclusion is full of supreme bliss within.

14. Devoid of conceits (or distinctions) in the form I's and you's, happily accepting the varied behaviour of people, he sports alone, like a child, immersed in the ocean of pure bliss.

15. The great ascetic, who has been cleansed of all accumulated karma, roams about in the interiors of forests ever reveling in the Self, appearing outwardly like an idiot, or a deaf or blind man.

16. The knower of Brahman enjoys on the beautiful cot of his own bliss, alone, totally concealed (unknown to the world) because of his quiet nature, free from desire for all other knowledge.

17. The great ascetic, having uprooted the enemy in the form of (desire for) sense-objects, and acquired the great wealth that is detachment, reigns supreme in his own kingdom that is in the form of the glorious bliss that is his own nature.

18. Even if the sun's rays become cold, or the moon becomes hot, or a flame goes downward, the Jivanmukta is not astonished, knowing that all this is only Maya.

19. The person who has acquired supreme self-control sports in the extremely beautiful abode of bliss, having conquered the enemy in the form of ignorance, and mounted on the elephant of knowledge.

20. A rare person who enjoys the state of existence-consciousness-bliss shines, free from the defect of ego, with mind well concentrated, cool like the full moon.

21. Immersed in the enjoyment of his own natural bliss, residing in some other abode (in the body which he does not look upon as his), he sometimes meditates, sometimes sings, sometimes dances, at will.

22. The enlightened one, untouched by the taint of sin, free from worldly resolutions and confusions, who has negated the assemblage of effects (i.e., realized that the products of Maya have no reality), remains established in the fullness (of Brahman).

23. Having trapped successfully the fickle deer that is the mind in the net of meditation, tired of roaming about in the forest of the Vedas, the wise one rests in his own nature. (He fixes his mind on the Self, withdrawing even from the study of the Vedas when he has acquired the knowledge that is contained in them).

24. An extraordinary person, having killed the cruel tiger that is the mind with the sharp blade of the sword that is the brave intellect, roams about at will in the forest that is fearlessness.

25. The sun in the form of a great ascetic free from blemish moves in the sky that is pure consciousness, spreading out his rays which make the lotuses in the form of the hearts of the good blossom.

26. The moon in the form of the great blemishless sage shines in the abode of Vishnu worshipped by the gods. It is the cause of the blossoming of the water-lily in the form of knowledge and destroys the darkness of ignorance with its light. (The water-lily blossoms when the moon rises).

27. The great yogi shines in the sky of pure consciousness, removing the sorrows in the minds (of others) by the sprinkling of the nectar in the form of his own natural bliss and with his own mind remaining firm without any other thoughts.

28. He sports in the garden of bliss-consciousness, with all fatigue removed by the spreading of the lovely fragrance of his pure mind and being himself the charming breeze of self-control.

29. The wonderful peacock that is the ascetic shines in the forest, which is free from fear, in which there is the delicious fruit of liberation, and which captivates the mind with its tender leaves in the form of pure knowledge.

30. The supreme swan sports at will in the pure consciousness that is a superb lake which is full of the water of bliss, having abandoned the insubstantial desert that is the world.

31. The swan in the form of a great ascetic warble with sweet, lovely words in the cool garden of the upanishads, where all the Vedas have sprouted.

32. The lordly lion in the form of the enlightened person sports in the vast forest of bliss, after having torn to pieces the elephant in the form of delusion and pride, and driven away the tiger in the form of all evils.

33. The powerful elephant in the form of the ascetic moves about resplendently, at the top of the peak of enlightenment from which the beast of ignorance has been expelled, with mind and body as cool as water.

34. The wonderful ascetic sits on the banks of rivers, meditating on the ultimate Reality, with his eyes fixed on the tip of his nose, and his mind withdrawn from names, etc (names and forms which constitute the whole world).

35. Victory to the sage who has for clothing only the directions, who is ever contemplative, who is adorned by freedom from desire, who is calm, who has only his hands as the vessel for receiving alms, and whose dwelling place is the foot of a tree.

36. The great ascetic lies down in a deserted place by the side of a river overgrown with creepers, or on a bed of lovely soft sand, ever awake to the Reality that is bliss-consciousness.

37. The king among ascetics shines with the soft earth for bed, fanned by the cool breeze, calm in mind, and with the full moon for lamp.

38. The great ascetic sleeps on a large floor of stone, surrounded by the pure water of a stream, where a gentle mountain breeze blows.

39. The great sage, always meditating on the indescribable One, roams about in the streets eating just a handful of rice received as alms, appearing outwardly like an inert thing.

40. After having merged the entire universe, surrendering himself to the part-less Reality which remains, he eats just a morsel of food got due to his praarabdha karma.

41. The yogi does not censure anybody, nor does he praise anyone. His heart is cool like sandal paste. The treasure of bliss sprouts in him.

42. The yogi remains like an un-flickering flame, having renounced (study of) all the scriptures, given up worldly activities of all kinds, and having attained the state of fullness.

43. The yogi moves about unnoticed in forests, his body smeared with the mud clinging to the grass, giving the world the same value as to a blade of grass, free from fatigue, having gone beyond old age and death.

44. The yogi remains like a log of wood in a steady posture, in an incomparable manner, not seeing any form whatever, and not speaking or hearing any word.

45. The great ascetic moves about unnoticed, free from any pride about his lineage, seeing the fullness (Brahman) in all creatures everywhere, appearing like an ignorant man though aware of the truth of all the Vedas.

46. With his shoulder for pillow, the earth for bed, and the sky for covering, he sleeps, overwhelmed by bliss, embracing the damsel of detachment.

47. The wonderful king of ascetics sports in the inner apartments of the upanishads with the lovely courtesans in the form of his own consciousness from which the notions of difference have departed.

48. Having ascended to the mansion of Realty through the broad path of detachment well illuminated by the powerful lamp of knowledge, the great ascetic enjoys with the damsel in the form of liberation.

49. The knower of the self wears a garland of lotuses in the form of places unfrequented by people, is adorned by the wish-yielding creeper in the form of detachment towards women, and consumes the pill of nectar in the form of dishonour (by the ignorant). (The idea is that he stays only in deserted places, is not at all attracted by sensual pleasures and welcomes dishonour rather than honour).

50. The sage does not reject anything on the ground that it is harmful, nor does he accept anything on the ground that it is favourable. Knowing that everything is the product of ignorance, he is indifferent. (He is completely free from notions of likes and dislikes, of what is favourable and what is not).

51. His mind does not dwell on anything that has happened in the past, nor does he think about the future. He does not see even the things in front of him, considering everything as the same (Brahman).

52. The great ascetic moves about, with all organs under control, devoid of desire for all sense-objects, and having attained the summit of supreme satisfaction.

53. The great sage stays alone, calm in mind, enjoying his internal bliss, not rejecting anything that comes, nor desiring anything that he has not got.

54. Having attained a pure indescribable state of bliss, consciousness and wakefulness, the ascetic moves about alone, at will, free from all bonds.

55. The king among those who have become free from all attachments shines, not dependent on any one, with his mind merged in the Reality in which all worldly activities have been sublated.

56. The ascetic of the highest order shines, having realized his identity with the infinite Consciousness by the side-glance of his Guru, and having become free from all notions of difference.

57. Going beyond the shackles of varna and ashrama, and beyond such limitations as fate, etc., the great ascetic remains as pure bliss and consciousness.

58. Having brought to an end all action, and having exhausted his praarabdha, freed from association with the body, the enlightened person becomes Brahman itself.

59. There is only the indescribable pure existence, calm, without beginning or end, ever a mass of bliss and consciousness, immutable, primordial, and non-dual.

60. There is the supreme Reality that is imperishable, un-decaying, unborn, extremely subtle, absolutely pure consciousness, free from all misery.

61. There is that indescribable Reality which is supremely blissful, immortal, not distant, the very essence, the shore of the ocean of transmigratory existence, homogeneous, free from fear, and infinite.

62. The indescribable Reality shines eternally. It has no taste, or smell or form. It is beyond the three gunas - sattva, rajas and tamas. It is incomparable (because there is no other to be compared with) and beyond all fear.

63. Thus, by the gracious compassionate side-glances of my Guru I have brought out the essence of the upanishads in sixty-two faultless verses in the Arya metre.

64. By meditating on this Atmavidyavilasa composed (by me) everyday the wise man acquires knowledge of the supreme Self and attains to the Reality.

65. This work, named Atmavidyavilasa, composed by Sadasivendra, the disciple of the Guru Paramasivendra is thus completed.

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