The Epic of Consciousness
by Swami Krishnananda

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Part IV

The forms of things are charged with intentions,
No form by itself isolated stands
Since intentions are subtle prehensions
By which, like eddies splashing in the sea,
The farthest with remotest lives as one.
A tender rose in garden gently touched
Disturbs the stars at utmost distance placed.
On space-time ground when all perceptions fall,
As light the shadow makes to move on screen,
The forms of substance get projected out
With thickness seen, though thickness there is none.
The life and soul of things is intention,
Thus, forming network’s web as creation.
As spider spits the threads from its essence,
The Central Will spreads all panorama.
The deed is then intention concretised,
Intention is the deed, which judges deed.
God sees not deed but intention hidden,
One’s thoughts and feelings deeds evaluate.

Since actions find their roots in life’s purpose,
‘Tis incumbent on man to regulate
His programmes well fitted with world’s design,
Which not performed the house against it sets,--
The house of self and house of social needs.
The people, oneself, Nature, God are four
With whom a conflict every moment breaks.

Alignment lost with people tension breeds,
With one’s own layers psychic distress stirs,
With Nature fear from elemental wrath
With God, Almighty, births and deaths result.
With social norms and person’s lawful needs,
With contemplation on all Nature’s ways,
Union of self with all-pervading Self,
Do sorrows cease, and blessedness is reaped.
The body’s food and love’s insistent claims
By law restrained in light of world’s welfare
Are building bricks to freedom ultimate.
Spirit, management, wealth and labour force
In en rapport do society sustain, 
For none is all, and none commands the all.
The person, then, is kept nourished and strong
Through early training learning’s lodge provides,
And works and joys that go with household forms
To rise above them, feeding clay with clay,
For taste of distaste things enshrine at heart,
Which rockets up the soul to deathless life.

While pains of life reveal the stuff of things,
The joys are no less blinding dampened smoke.
Since joys and pains attach to mental soul,
Their significance soul in dark accepts.
Whatever’s there, be it the right or wrong,
Or joy or grief, when ensouled live awakes,
Assumes a life and stands valid as soul.
It, thus, becomes a need to strip the soul
Of its own forms,--a hard adventure soul’s,
For who could peel the soul of its own self,
And all experience soul-filled shines as world.

The thing it knows by sight or touch or sense
The soul enlarges as its realm of love,
The love which’s soul’s demand for non-self’s taste.
How, then, can soul from its own bondage rise
When bondage its created joy remains?
The Yoga way the most subtle they deem,
For Self conquers the Self for Self’s release
From bondage Self’s, which Self enjoyed as joy;
Bondage binds and for bondage no one seeks;
Delight it is that binds to doom the soul.
Ocean to drink or swallow fire’s safe,
The restraint mind’s a harder task proclaim.
The gall of life bites not as honey sweet,
The nectar earth’s can kill beyond redeem.

Who nothing has can renounce also none,
The king it is that hermit can become;
Who tastes not sting the objects strike on sense
Can scarce be free from unknown impulses
By whose revenge the mind is robbed of sense,
Of memory and clarity and peace
And fickle made to roam as grasshopper,
Destroying health of body and psyche;
Some dream and scream, some haughty proud behave,
Some see defects in everything on earth,
And evil dark, in faces save their own,
Or parade person with authority.
These are the symptoms repressed impulse shows
When holy life is tortured Nature made.
Who tastes renown shall taste it not again
Though sweet it seem in early training days.

Who seeks to know what truth do things enshrine
Would know that Self is dearest all things hold.
All is for Self, and concern for others
Is just the mask of Self’s love for itself
In widened fields where itself is others.
The All-Self includes worlds and all others:--
So Master Krishna once revealed Himself
In Kurus’ court stunning the eyes of kings.
For peace to make he envoy went alone
To speak in person with Duryodhana.
Yudhishthira, apprehending danger
In single person going unguarded
Did dissuade the Master’s bold errand.
“Fear not my life,” said Krishna smiling kind,
“Not all the royal hosts can face me roused,
As lives in wild from single lion flee.
If act unlawful they intend to deal
In my own person, thinking me alone,
I wait not war to render justice’s claim,
But burn them all relieving earth’s burden.”

The glorious Lord then marched with retinue 
To pompous palace dressed up gay and fine  
Which host, the king, Duryodhana, arranged,
In pride of wealth and power haughty crown’s,
Which Lord all-seeing saw as vanity
And boast ego’s, vainglorious, undivine,
Arrayed to buy the will ambassador’s;
And knowing this chose humble hut of poor
Vidura’s for his night’s rest on the way.

In morn to chagrin king’s he rode to hall
And addressed all assembled royal seats
For justice, goodness, commonsense and love
Which ego king’s rejected in disdain,
And threat of war discharged to mighty Lord;
Sought, then, to catch and bind, in prison hold,
Undaunted Krishna who majestic stood.

The Lord, then, laughed, which shook the stable earth,
And deep as thunder spoke before the king:
“Seekest thou, fool, to bind Me as a prey, 
Thinking alone I stand unbefriended?
Look! All the gods and armies worlds do wield
Are all here, now, in Me enfolded rise.”
Then wonderstruck the blessed ones beheld
That Glorious Form which Lord, the Master, showed,
Revealed in Himself as the All-in-All, 
The Soul and Self of all creation vast;
All worlds, all gods, and all creation glowed  
In that Majesty Krishna’s,--All in One.

So also we hear Devi’s glorious deeds
In forms of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva,
Indra, Skanda, Narisimha, Varaha,
Who wrought havoc in army Sumbha sent
In that celestial realm’s battle of yore.
But Devi, then, withdrew all forms and shone
As One alone, with none around her seen.
So did Siva as Rudra fearsome stand
Stretching His Form from earth to heaven high
When work nefarious Asvatthama thought
To wreak in camp of forces Pandavas’.
For Lord on high knew all the secrets’ core
And poured the worst of dreads on burglar’s face,
A Form terrific splitting even mounts
And rocks to splinters with its gruesome mien.
And Krishnas starlike shot up from his frame
And filled all space making non-space the sky.
Narayana and Nara, greatest gods,
Could stun the gorgeous beauty Indra forged
And stultify mightiest powers of war
With single reed or even single sound,
Or even just a thought which shook the earth.
What glory that which Sage Vasishtha wore,
When all the worlds in fear shook and awed
Seeing his rage that outdid all missiles.

To think a vase which all at once contains
Is human feat that mind cannot conceive,
For small is small and large is large extent,
And large and small at one point scarce abide.
But sages sing in Raikva these did meet
The large engulfed and filled the master’s frame.
Janasruti, the king, was famed afar
For deeds of gift and goodwill works for men,
And resort firm to world’s creative cause
By which he rose from earth’s benighted pull
To lofty living free from self-regard.

It chanced one day two hermit flamingoes
Were winging gay across the sky’s highway, 
Where king reclined on palace-top below,
One summer night for breeze’s balming touch
In pleasing moon full blossomed with its rays,
The birds rejoicing in their promenade;
“Look, hark,” one warned the one ahead that flew
“Beware, the force of king Janasruti
Here on ground whose glory all does burn,
Take care it scorch not, blinded thou, befooled.”
“Scorching the force of king Janasruti”
So back the other kicked a sharp reply.
“Who this on earth thou speakest as a great
As though he were a Raikva with the cart?
Raikva, the master, who does absorb all
The virtues, merits, whoever earned in world.’

Defaming words the king listened with shame,
“O, who this Raikva could be in my realm,
With whom contrasted glory mine does pale;
What good my deeds, what good my prayers here,
When Raikva lives, who all men’s virtues owns?”
So wailed the king throughout the night sans sleep
And distress pained his heart and mind and soul.

In morn the bards beat bands and blew trumpets
To wake the royal chief from slumber’s pose.
“Hail, monarch, lord, protector and saviour,
King of earth, wake, it’s morn the dew drop soothes.”
“Why dost thou sing my praise as lord and king
I’m none, for Raikva lives, the king of kings,
With cart as house, his sole belonging’s piece.
Go, then, and find where Raikva, Knower, stays,
And bring, beseech, the sage of wisdom’s peak,
To whom the host of virtues flow as streams,
Virtues and merits whoever has on earth.”

The sergeants rushed in all directions fast,
In towns, cities, they sought the whereabouts
Of Raikva, sage, but found none was so named,
And pleaded none of that name ever lived,
“Do you seek sage in towns, corporations?
Go there where sages may you likely see.”
So ordered king and servants went apast
To distant thicks, villages and corners,
To sight a one who with a cart abode.

In far off unknown distance did they find
A queer someone seated under cart
And careless looking mindless who there came.
“Art thou Raikva, couldst thou thy name relate,”
So servants king’s with folded hands him prayed.
“Lo, so they say,” thus Raikva unconcerned
Remarked at them and silence then maintained.
On hearing news the king with bounteous gifts
Of gold, silver and jewels ran post-haste,
And placing wealth before the mighty sage,
Begged him to teach what he knew and adored.
“Master, this wealth is meagre present brought
With grace accept and bless me with thy science.”
“Lo, low-born, quit this place with all thy gold;
Thinkest thou buy with wealth that, wisdom’s core ?”
So rude, abrupt, the master king repulsed,  
And grieved, the king returned with longing still,
With larger gifts the king with dearest born
In supplication went again humble
To mighty sage who scamplike looked visaged
With scorn on things which mundane wealth they call.

On sight of king with best of earth’s present
I The sage beheld the eager heart’s yearning,
And spoke Samvarga, Great Absorber Force,
By knowing which one Absorber becomes,
The Self of all, the Atman, Majesty.
Contemplate, then, on Atman’s truest form,
Which formless hails as all-pervading Self.
To think the Self is being of the Self
Which omniformed does inwardness absorb.
Absorbs outwardness and locality
Of everything, in every state of life.
To know the Self is non-objective gaze
Of mind’s vision in introverted sight,
Which sees not seeing, knows not-knowing things,
And being, is not, void-like plenitude.
The Great Absorber known bestows blessings,
And knower reigns as All-Absorbant God.