Chapter 4: Indifference and Dispassion


1-3. "On hearing the sweet words of her infatuated lover, who was all the time pressing her to his bosom, that stainless girl, wishing to teach him, smiled gently and spoke with good sense as follows; 'Listen to me, O Prince. It is not that I do not love you, only that I am trying to find what the greatest joy in life is which will never become distasteful. I am always searching for it, but have not attained it as yet.

4. 'Though always looking for it, I have not reached any definite decision, as is a woman's way. Will you not kindly tell me what exactly it is and so help me ?'

5. "Being thus coaxed, Hemachuda laughed derisively and told his beloved; 'Women are indeed silly.'

6-8. "For do not even the birds and beasts, nay the crawling insects know what is good and what is bad? Otherwise, how are they guided in the pursuit of good, and how do they escape from bad? That which is pleasing is clearly good and that which is not so, is bad. What is there in it, my dear, that you are always given to thinking about it? Is it not silly?' Hearing her lover speak thus, Hemalekha continued:

9. "True that women are silly and cannot judge rightly. Therefore should I be taught by you, the right discerner.

10. "On being rightly taught by you, I shall stop thinking like that. Also, I shall then be able to share in your pleasures to your entire satisfaction.

11. "O King, subtle judge that you are, you have found happiness and misery to be the results of what is pleasing or otherwise.

12. "The same object yields pleasure or pain according to circumstances. Where is then the finality in your statement?

13. "Take fire for example. Its results vary according to seasons, the places and its own size or intensity.

14. "It is agreeable in cold seasons and disagreeable in hot seasons. Pleasure and pain are, therefore, functions of seasons; similarly of latitudes and altitudes.

15. "Again, fire is good for people of certain constitutions only and not for others. Still again, pleasure and pain depend on circumstances.

16-17. "The same reasoning applies to cold, to riches, to sons, to wife, to kingdom and so on. See how your father, the Maharaja, is daily worried even though he is surrounded by wife, children and wealth. Why do not others grieve like this? What has happened to enjoyments in his case? He is certainly on the look-out for happiness; are not his resources all directed to that end?

18. "No one seems to possess everything that is sufficient for happiness. The question arises: Cannot a man be happy, even with such limited means? I shall give you the answer.

19. "That cannot be happiness, my Lord, which is tinged with misery. Misery is of two kinds, external and internal.

20. "The former pertain to the body and is caused by the nerves, etc., the latter pertains to the mind and is caused by desire.

21. "Mental distraction is worse than physical pain and the whole world has fallen a victim to it. Desire is the seed of the tree of misery and never fails in its fruits.

22. "Overpowered by it, Indra and the Devas, though living in celestial regions of enjoyment and fed by nectar, are still slaves to it and work day and night according to its dictates.

23. "Respite gained by the fulfilment of one desire before another takes its place, is not happiness because the seeds of pain are still latent. Such respite is enjoyed by the insects also (which certainly do not typify perfect happiness).

24. "Yet is their enjoyment distinctly better than that of men because their desires are less complex.

25. "If it is happiness to have one desire among many fulfilled who will not be thus happy in this world?

26. "If a man, scalded all over, can find happiness by smearing unguents on himself, then everyone must be happy.

27. "A man is happy when embraced by his beloved; he is unhappy in the same act under other circumstances.

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30. "..... Or do you mean to say that the enjoyment of man is enhanced by his sense of beauty?

31. "Beauty is only a mental concept, as is evident from the similar feeling in similar enjoyments of lovers in dreams. (I shall tell you a story to illustrate the point.) There was once a most handsome scion of a king - fairer than Cupid himself.

32. "He was wedded to an equally beautiful damsel and was very devoted to her.

33. "But she fell in love with a servant of the royal household who deceived the young prince very skilfully.

34. "This servant used to serve liquor in excess so that the prince got drunk and lost his senses, on retiring, a willy harlot was sent to keep him company.

35-38. "The unchaste princess and the servant were then able to carry on; and the foolish prince was embracing the other woman in his intoxication. Yet he thought within himself that he was the happiest of men to have such an angel for his wife who was so devoted to him. After a long time, it happened that the servant in the pressure of work left the liquor on the prince's table and occupied himself otherwise. The prince did not drink as much as usual.

39-42. "Becoming voluptuous, he hastily retired to his bed-room, which was sumptuously furnished, and enjoyed himself with the strumpet, without recognising her in the heat of passion. After some time, he noticed that she was not his wife and on this confusion asked her 'where is my beloved wife?'

43-48. "She trembled in fear and remained silent. The prince, who suspected foul play, flew into a rage and holding her by her hair drew his sword and thus threat-ended her, 'Speak the truth or your life will not be worth a moment's purchase.' Afraid of being killed, she confessed

the whole truth, taking him to the trysting-place of the princess. There he found her with her lovely and delicate body in close and loving embrace of the dark, ugly, loathsome savage who was his servant.....

51. "The prince was shocked at the sight.

52. "Shortly afterwards he pulled himself together and began to reflect as follows: 'Shame on me who am so addicted to drink!

53. "Shame on the fools infatuated with love for women. Women are like nothing but birds flitting above the tree tops.

54. "Ass that I was, all the time loving her even more than life.

55. "Women are only good for the enjoyment of lecherous fools. He who loves them is a wild ass.

56. "Women's good faith is more fleeting than streaks of autumnal clouds.

57-59. "I had not till now understood the woman who, unfaithful to me entirely devoted, was in illicit love with a savage, all the time feigning love to me, like a prostitute to a lecherous fool.

60. "I did not in my drunkenness suspect her in the least; on the other hand, I believed that she was as much with me as my own shadow.

61-64. "Fie! is there a fool worse than myself, who was deceived by this ugly harlort at my side and enthralled by her professions of love? Again, what has the other woman found in preference to me in a loathsome brute?

65. "The prince then left society in disgust and retired into a forest." (Hemalekha continued). "So you see, O Prince, how beauty is only a concept of the mind.

66. "What pleasure you have in your apprehension of beauty in me, is sometimes even exceeded by others in their love of their dear ones - be they fair or ugly. I will tell you what I think of it.

67. "The fair woman that appears as the object is only the reflection of the subtle concept already in the subjective mind.

68-69. "The mind draws an image of her beauty in conformity with its own repeated conceptions. The repeatedly drawn image becomes clearer and

clearer until it appears solidly as the object. An attraction springs up (and enslaves the mind) by constant mental associations.

70. "The mind, becoming restless, stirs up the senses and seeks the fulfilment of its desires in the object; a composed mind is not excited even at the sight of the fairest.

71. "The reason for the infatuation is the oftrepeated mental picture. Neither children nor self-controlled yogis are excited in the same way

(because their minds do not dwell on such things).

72. "So whoever finds pleasure in anything, the beauty therein is only mental imagery.

73. "Ugly and loathsome women too are looked upon as delightful angels by their husbands.

74. "If the mind conceives anything as loathsome and not delightful, there will be no pleasure in such.

75. "Fie on human beings who appraise the foulest part of the body as the most delightful.

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77. "Listen Prince! the idea of beauty lies in one's own desire innate in the mind.

78. "If, on the other hand, beauty is natural to the object of love, why is it not recognised by children too, as sweetness in edibles is recognised by them?

79-81. "The form, the stature and complexion of people differ in different countries and at different times; their ears may be long; their faces distorted; their teeth large; their nose prominent; bodies hirsute or smooth, their hair red, black, or golden, light or thick, smooth or curly; their complexion fair, dark, coppery, yellow or grey.

82. "All of them derive the same kind of pleasure as you, Prince!

83. "Even the most accomplished among men have fallen into the habit of seeking pleasure from woman, for all consider her the best hunting ground for delight.

84. "Similarly also a man's body is thought by woman to be the highest source of enjoyment. But consider the matter well, Prince!

85-86. "Shaped of fat and flesh, filled with blood, topped by the head, covered by skin, ribbed by bones, covered with hair, containing bile

and phlegm, a pitcher of faeces and urine, generated from semen and ova, and born from the womb, such is the body. Just think of it!

87. "Finding delight in such a thing, how are men any better than worms growing in offal?

88. "My King! Is not this body (pointing to herself) dear to you? Think well over each part thereof.

89. "Analyse well and carefully what it is that forms your food materials with their different flavours, kinds and consistencies?

90. "Every one knows how the consumed foods are finally ejected from the body.

91. "Such being the state of affairs in the world, tell me what is agreeable or otherwise."

"On hearing all this, Hemachuda developed disgust for earthly pleasures.

92. "He was amazed at the strange discourse he heard. He later pondered over all that Hemalekha had said.

93. "His disgust for earthly pleasures grew in volume and in force. He again and again discussed matters with his beloved so that he understood the ultimate truth.

94. "Then realising the pure consciousness inhering as the Self to be that self-same Tripura, he became aware of the One Self holding all, and was liberated.

95. "He was liberated while yet alive. His brother Manichuda and his father Muktachuda were both guided by him and were also liberated.

96. "The queen was guided by her daughter-in-law and was liberated; so also did the ministers, chieftains and citizens gain wisdom.

97. "There was no one born in that city who remained ignorant. The city was like that of Brahma, the abode of happy, peaceful and contented people.

98. "It was known as Visala and became the most renowned on Earth, where even the parrots in the cages used to repeat: 'Meditate, O Man, on the Self, the Absolute Consciousness devoid of objects! There is naught else to know besides pure consciousness; it is like a self-luminous mirror reflecting objects within.

100. "'That same consciousness is also the objects, that is the subject, and that is all - the mobile and the immobile; all else shine in its reflected light; it shines of itself.

101. "'Therefore, O Man, throw off delusion! Think of that consciousness which is alone, illuminating all and pervading all. Be of clear vision.

102-103. "Those holy saints Vamadeva and others having on one occasion heard these sacred words of the parrots, wondered at the wisdom of even the birds of that city and named it the City of Wisdom.

104. "The city is to-day still called by that name," Dattatreya continued. "Association with the sages, O Rama, is thus the root cause of all that is auspicious and good.

105. "By association with Hemalekha, all people gained jnana (wisdom). Know then, the satsanga (association with the wise) is alone the root cause of salvation'."

Thus ends the Fourth Chapter on the fruits of satsanga in the Section of Hemachuda in Tripura Rahasya.