***“Empty Chabmber”.,,,,,, being destitute of knowledge’ (Mahabaratha)
Sulabha saintly, was adept in Yoga. She heard that King Janka was devoted to the ‘religion of Emancipation’ and was immensely desirous of ascertaining whether it was genuine.
Without abandoning the domestic mode of life, O royal sage of Kuru’s race, who attained to Emancipation which is the annihilation of the Understanding ? How may the gross and the subtle form be cast off?
* Tell me, what the supreme excellence of Emancipation is?
….Bhishma cited the old narrative…
… the discourse between Janaka and Sulabha.
O Bharata! In days of yore there was a king of Mithila, Janaka. He was devoted to the practices of the religion of Renunciation, well conversant with the Vedas, scriptures on Emancipation, and with the scriptures bearing on his own duty as a king. Subjugating his senses, he ruled his kingdom. Men, desired to imitate him. In the same Satya Yuga, a woman. Sulabha, a mendicant desired to test King Janaka. Abandoning, by her Yoga powers, her former form and features, Sulabha assumed the most faultless features and unrivalled beauty and arrived at the chief city of Mithila .
The monarch, beholding her delicate form, became filled with wonder and enquired who she was, whose she was, and when she came. He Welcomed her, assigned her an excellent seat, honoured her by offering water to wash her feet, and gratified her with excellent refreshments. Refreshed duly and gratified with hospitality offered, Sulabha wanted the King to declare himself in respect of his adherence to the religion of Emancipation. Doubting Janaka’s attainment of the religion of Nivritti (renunciation), Sulabha, with Yoga-power, entered the understanding (intellect) of the king by her own understanding and bound up Janaka with Yogic bonds.(sanchodayishyanti’ questioning internally or by Yogic power)
*** The Dialogue…
Janaka : O holy lady, to what course of conduct art thou devoted? Whose art thou? Whence hast thou come? No one can without questioning, ascertain another’s acquaintance with the scriptures, or age, or order of birth. Therefore, answer these questions. Know that I am truly freed from all vanity. I wish to know you thoroughly. You are deserving and I respect you and none else can discourse on that topic. I will tell you from whom I acquired this distinguishing knowledge. I am the beloved disciple of the high-souled and venerable Panchasikha, belonging to the mendicant order, of Parsara’s race. My doubts have been dispelled and am fully conversant with the Sankhya and the Yoga systems constituting the well-known paths of Emancipation.
That foremost of Sankhyas discoursed to me were on the several kinds of means for attaining to Emancipation. He did not, however, command me to give up my kingdom. Freed from attachments, and fixing my soul on Supreme Brahman, and unmoved by companionship, I lived, practising Emancipation. Renunciation is the highest means prescribed for Emancipation leading to freedom. Through knowledge of Self one transcends joy and grief. That enables one to transcend death and attain to high success. That high intelligence has been acquired by me, and accordingly I have transcended all pairs of opposites….transcended all attachments. By the instruction of the holy Panchasikha no fruit in the form of attachment to the object of the senses is formed. I never experience love for any spouse or hate for my foes. Indeed, I keep aloof from both, beholding the fruitlessness of attachment and wrath…freed from attachments though ruling a kingdom.
Emancipation is through knowledge alone, whether one is indigent or affluent.
For these reasons, know that I am living in a condition of freedom, though ostensibly engaged in the enjoyments of religion, wealth and pleasure, in the form of kingdom and spouses.
O lady! what transgression? thy having entered into my gross body with the aid of thy understanding. Evil thou hast done, for it produces an unnatural union of two opposite modes of life. By endeavouring to display thy superiority, the indication of a wicked woman is seen in thee. Desirous of asserting thy victory upon me thou desirest to humiliate.
….Bhishma continued telling Yudhishtra: Though rebuked by the king in these unpleasant, improper, and ill-applied words, Sulabha was not at all disturbed. Beautiful Sulabha spoke Sulabha: O king, speech ought always to be free from the nine verbal and judgemental faults. It should set forth the meaning and possess well-known merits.
…Science of Speech
When knowledge rests on distinction in consequence of the object to be known being different from one another, the combination of words is said to be vitiated by ambiguity. By ascertainment is meant the establishment, by elimination, of faults or merits is by adopting tentative meanings. The conduct, O king, that one pursues in matters is called Prayojanam. These characteristics of Ambiguity occurring together, constitute complete and intelligible sentence…Pratijna, Hetu, Udaharana, Upanaya, and Nigamana. The words I shall utter will be fraught with sense, free ambiguity, logical, free from tautology, smooth, certain, free from bombast, agreeable or sweet, truthful, inconsistent with the aggregate of the three…Righteousness, Wealth, and Pleasure, refined not imperfect, destitute of harsh or difficulty of comprehension, characterized by due order, not far fetched corrected with one another as cause and effect and each having a specific object. It shall not be prompted by desire,wrath,fear,abjectness,deceit, shame,compassion or pride. When the speaker, hearer, and words said, thoroughly agree in course of a speech,the meaning becomes clear.
…The Thirty Principles
Thou hast asked me who I am, whose I am, whence I am coming etc. Listen to me, O king, with undivided mind, as I answer these questions. As Lac and wood, as grains of dust and drops of water, exist commingled when brought together, so are the existences of all creatures.
Sound, touch, taste, form and scent, these and the senses, though diverse in respect of their essences, exist yet in a state of co-mingling like Lac and wood. It is again well known that nobody asks any of these, saying, who are You? Each of them also has no knowledge either of itself or of the others. The eye cannot see itself. The ear cannot hear itself. The mind is an entity other than the senses and is regarded to have an action of its own. With the five senses of knowledge and five senses of action, and the mind makes a total of eleven. The twelfth is the understanding. When doubt arises in respect of what is to be known, the Understanding comes forward and settles all doubts. Satttwa, the thirteenth help, creatures to distinguish. Next, the Consciousness (of self). Desire is the fifteenth principle, O king. Unto it is inherent the whole universe. The sixteenth principle is Avidya (ignorance). Seventeenth and the eighteenth principles are called Prakriti and Vyakti (i.e., Maya and Prakasa). Happiness and sorrow, decrepitude and death, acquisition and loss, the agreeable and the disagreeable- these constitute the nineteenth principle and are called couples of opposites. Beyond these, is Time, the twentieth. Know that the births and death of all creatures are due to the action of this twentieth principle. These twenty exist together. That in which these ten and twenty principles occur is said to be body. That Prakriti which is Unmanifest, becomes manifest in the form of these principles. Myself, thyself, O monarch, and all others that are endued with body are the result of that Prakriti.
…As thou seest not an identity with thyself and others, why then did thou ask me who I am and whose? If it is true, that O king! You have been freed from the knowledge of duality that erroneously says-this is mine and this other is not mine- then what use is there with such questions as Who art thou, whose art thou and whence dost thou come? What indications of Emancipation can be said to occur in You. You are Unworthy on your pretence of Emancipation, as you have so many faults.
Listen to the minutest sources of attachment pertaining to the four well known acts-sleeping, enjoyment, eating, and dressing. That man who has to rule the whole world must indeed, be a single king, obliged to live in a single palace, having one sleeping chamber with one bed on which at night he is to lie down. Half that bed again he is obliged to give to his Queen consort….How little the king’s share is of all he is said to own! Same is the case with his objects of enjoyment, with the food he eats, and with the robes he wears,administration of his kingdom with dependence, fear and anxiety of maintaining peace as a ruler etc… . He is thus attached to a very limited share of all things. His Sovereignty, is blessed with an exceedingly small share of happiness and the misery is very great. I think that thou hast not listened to the scriptures, or, thou hast listened to them without any advantage, or, perhaps, thou hast listened to some other treatises looking like the scriptures. It seems that thou art possessed only of worldly knowledge, and that like an ordinary man of the world thou art bound by the bonds of touch and spouses and mansions and the like. If it be true that thou hast been emancipated from all bonds, what harm have I done thee by entering thy person with only an intellect?
…O king of Mithila, I am staying in thee without touching thee at all even like a drop of water on a lotus leaf that stays on it without drenching it in the least. thy knowledge has been abstracted from the sensual objects to which it relates? Thou hast, it is plain, fallen off from the domestic mode of life but thou hast not yet attained to Emancipation that is so difficult to arrive at.
The contact of one that is emancipated with another that has been so, or Purusha with Prakriti, cannot lead to an intermingling. Soul is identical with the body. My body is different from thine. But my soul is not different from thy soul that I am able to realize…
A pot is borne in the hand. In the pot is milk. On the milk is a fly. Though the hand and pot, the pot and milk, and the milk and the fly exist together, yet are they all distinct from each other. The pot does not partake the nature of the milk. Nor does the milk partake the nature of the fly. The condition of each is dependent on itself, and can never be altered by the condition of that other with which it may temporarily exist. After this manner, colour and practices, though they may exist together with and in a person that is emancipated, do not really attach to him. How then can an intermingling of orders be possible..unnatural union ?
…I am an observant of the practices of asceticism. I practise no hypocrisy in the matter of the life of renunciation. I am not a confuser of the practices belonging to the different orders. I am firm in the practices that belong to that mode of life to which I properly belong. I am firm and steady in my vows. I never utter any word without reflecting on its propriety. O monarch! Having heard that thy understanding has been purified by the religion of Emancipation, I came here from desire of some benefit. Impelled by sincerity, the emancipated never indulges in that intellectual gladiatorship which is implied by a dialectical disputation for the sake of victory but devotes himself to Brahma, that sole seat of tranquillity. As mendicant resides for only one night in an empty house and leaves, in the same manner I shall reside for this one night in thy person which, as I have already said, is like an empty chamber, being destitute of knowledge. Thou hast honoured me with both speech and other offers that are due from a host to a guest. Having slept this one night in thy person, O ruler of Mithila, which is as it were my own chamber now, tomorrow I shall depart.
Bhishma continued: Hearing these words fraught with excellent sense and reason, King Janaka failed to return any answer to the learned mendicant.
…..? ? ?
?Namo Bhagavate vasudevaaya _()_