Author Topic: Important Couplets From Tripura Rahasya - Part1  (Read 3896 times)


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Important Couplets From Tripura Rahasya - Part1
« on: February 11, 2010, 06:37:49 PM »
The feeling of a need to work in order to gain happiness (being the index of misery) is the misery of miseries. How can there be pleasure or removal of pain so long as it continues?

Only those who need not engage in action, are happy; they are perfectly content, and self-contained, and they experience a happiness which extends to all the pores of the body.

Wrongly do they ever engage in work, being deluded; such is the plight of humanity stupefied by the poison of the sense of obligation.

Confounding dispassion (vairagya) with misery,and the pleasures of the world with happiness (sukha), a man suffers in the cycle of births and deaths, while powerful ignorance prevails.

Association with the Sages is alone said to lead to the highest good. Your contact with Samvarta has led you to this stage of enlightenment, which is the forerunner of emancipation. On being approached, the Sages teach the greatest good.

Misery is of two kinds, external and internal.The former pertains to the body and is caused by the nerves, etc.; the latter pertains to the mind and is caused by desire.

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.

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

Fatigue is certainly produced for everybody after the flurry (or passion) of copulation, just as there is fatigue for an animal carrying a load

Beauty is only a mental concept, as is evident from the similar feeling in similar enjoyments of lovers in dreams.

The idea of beauty lies in one’s own desire innate in the mind.

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.Similarly also a man’s body is thought by women to be the highest source of enjoyment.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 ovum, and born from the opening from where urine is ejected — such is the body. Just think of it! Finding delight in such a thing, how are men any better than worms growing in offal?

What is known as the mind is, after all, always like a restless monkey. So the ordinary man is always afflicted with troubles. Everybody knows that a restless mind is the channel of endless troubles; whereas one is happy in sleep in the absence of such restlessness.Hearing with a distracted mind is as good as not hearing, for the words serve no useful purpose, resembling the fruit-laden tree seen in a painting.

Men earn their food, gods their nectar, pious ascetics the highest beatitude and others their desires, by individual exertion alone.

Whatever has the impress of misery on it cannot be good. Such are wealth, children, wife, kingdom, treasury, army, fame, learning, intellect, body, beauty and prosperity. For they are all transient and already in the jaws of death, otherwise called time.

Therefore worship the Primal Cause of the universe as the starting point; be devoted to Him; He will soon enable you to succeed in your attempts to destroy the illusion.

Among the methods of approach to God, there are (1) worship to overcome troubles, (2) worship to gain wealth, etc., and (3) loving dedication of oneself. The last one is the best and surest in its results.

A human master may take long to recognise unselfish work;but God, the Lord of the Universe, the Dweller in our hearts, knows everything and soon bestows appropriate fruits. In the case of other kinds of devotees, God has to await the course of destiny — that being His own ordainment; whereas for the selfless devotee, God, the
Lord and the sole refuge, is all in all and takes care of him without reference to the devotee’s predestiny or His own ordained laws. He compensates the devotee quickly, and that is because He is supreme and self-contained without depending on anything else.

Predestiny or divine will is powerless before Him. Everyone knows how He set aside predestiny and divine laws in the case of His famous devotee, Markandeya.

[Note: A Rishi, Mrikandu by name, who was childless,pleased Siva by his penance. When Siva appeared to him,he prayed that a son might be born to him. Siva asked him if he wished to have a dull boy long-lived, or a bright boy short-lived. Mrikandu preferred the latter. So Siva said ‘You will have a very brilliant son; but he will only live for sixteen years’. Accordingly a son was born who was very good and dutiful, and most intelligent and pious,charming all who saw him. The parents were delighted with him but grew sad as he grew up. He asked them the reason for their sadness and they told him of Siva’s boon.He said, ‘Never mind. I will see’, and took to penance.Siva was pleased with his intense devotion and ordained that he should remain sixteen years of age for all eternity.]

The current notion that one cannot escape one’s destiny is applicable only to weak-minded and senseless wastrels.

The Primal Being is Siva with five faces and three eyes, the Creator would in that case be like an ordinary potter making pots, endowed with a body and brain. True, there is no art found in the world, without a body and some intellect. In fact, the creative faculty in men belongs to something between the body and pure intelligence.

[Note: Body being insentient cannot act of its own accord; nor can intellect do so without a tool.]

Therefore the mind operates apart from the gross body,in dreams; being intelligent it creates an environment suitable to its latent desires. This clearly indicates that the body is only a tool for a purpose and the agent is intelligence.Instruments are necessary for human agents because their capacities are limited and they are not self-contained.Whereas the Creator of the universe is perfect in Himself and creates the whole universe without any external aid.This leads to the important conclusion that God has no body. Otherwise, He would be reduced to a glorified human being, requiring innumerable accessories for work and influenced by seasons and environments, in no way different from a creature, and not the Lord. Moreover, preexistence of accessories would quash His unique mastery and imply limits to His powers of creation. This is absurd, as being contrary to the original premises. Therefore, He has no body nor the other aids, yet He still creates the world, O Lord of my life! Fools are taken in by the notion of giving a body to the transcendental Being. Still, if devotees worship and contemplate Him with a body according to their own inclinations, He shows them grace, assuming such a body. For He is unique and fulfils the desires of His devotees.

Nevertheless, the conclusion must be reached that He is pure intelligence and His consciousness is absolute and transcendental. Such is the consciousness-intelligence in purity,Absolute Being, the One Queen, Parameswari (Transcendental Goddess), overwhelming the three states and hence called Tripura. Though She is the undivided whole, the universe manifests in all its variety in Her, being reflected as it were,in a self-luminous mirror. The reflection cannot be apart from the mirror and is therefore one with it. Such being the case, there cannot be difference in degrees (e.g., Siva, or Vishnu being superior to each other). Bodies are mere conceptions in the lower order of beings and they are not to the point in the case of God. Therefore, be wise,and worship the one pure, unblemished Transcendence.

As long as you are contaminated with notions of me or mine (e.g., my home, my body, my mind, my intellect),the Self will not be found, for it lies beyond cognition and cannot be realised as ‘my Self ’.

Retire into solitude, analyse and see what those things are which are cognised as mine; discard them all and transcending them, look for the Real Self.

Is there any moment when the Self is not the Self? Neither is control of mind used to gain it. I shall give you some examples:

Just as things unseen in darkness are found on its removal by means of a lamp, and are therefore said to be recovered from oblivion.

Just as a confused man forgets his purse, but remembers and locates it on keeping his mind unruffled and steady, yet still says that he has gained the lost purse,though the steadying of his mind did not produce it.

So also the control of your mind is not the cause of your Self-realisation; though the Self is always there, it is not recognised by you even with a controlled mind because you are not conversant with it.

Just as an infant tries to take hold of his own reflection being unaware of the mirror, so also common people are taken in by their mental reflections in the mirror of the pure, luminous Self and are not aware of the mirror, because they have no acquaintance with the Self.

The mind should be brought to the condition of a newborn baby. Then he feels as if he were separate from all gross materials and only the feeling ‘I am’ persists.


Tripura Rahasya is an ancient prime text on Advaita in Sanskrit and was highly commended by Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi for study by seekers. There was no English translation of this scripture until the present one was made by Munagala Venkataramiah (Swami Ramanananda Saraswathi) in 1938.