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Yoga Vasistha in Poem

Chapter V: Dealing with Dissolution

4. The Story of Punya and Pavana

Background

Once lived a holy man with his family
Wife and two very dutiful sons
Punya, the first son reached enlightenment
Pavana the second only had semi-wisdom
In time the old man and his wife died
The unenlightened son was sunk in grief
While the enlightened remained unmoved
Performing last rites without bereavement

Punya's Advice to his Brother

Why do you bring sorrow upon yourself
Our parents have attained liberation
'Tis the high exalted state—difficult to attain
This is natural to holy ones like them
Your suffering is self-inflicted
Caused by notions of father and mother
You grieve for those who are liberated
Why do you suffer unnecessarily?
Inquire into the nature of self
See it as different from the body
There is nothing called 'you' or 'I'
These are but unexamined notions
Even if the notion of 'I' seems real
You have had many relatives in the past
You have had countless births before
You do not grieve for earlier ones
I too have had many embodiments
Being enlightened, I see them all clearly
I too have had countless relatives
Considering this—I do not grieve
Abandon all arising notions of 'I'
Realize you are the self—directly
You've no unhappiness, father or mother
You are the self and naught else
Sages know well this middle path
They've firmly established themselves in it
They're always at peace within and without
Established always in witness-consciousness

Vasistha's Insight

Thus instructed by his brother Punya
Pavana was awakened—enlightened
Both lived as enlightened beings
Endowed with wisdom of direct realization
Craving is the root of all sorrow
Renounce all cravings completely
Never sow these seeds of sorrow
Lead a pure life—free from all ills
Utter dispassion is the only way
For the mind to attain fulfillment
Never by appeasing its desires and hopes
Which are fuel for its wild raging fires
Now listen attentively to this story
About bringing about complete change
Complete transmutation of the mind
Just as King Bali of yore did

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