Author Topic: Important Couplets From Tripura Rahasya - Part2  (Read 2622 times)


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Important Couplets From Tripura Rahasya - Part2
« on: February 11, 2010, 07:33:39 PM »
The individual encompasses his own creation with his ego (as ‘I’); so does the Lord play with the universe. Just as the dreamer is not to be confounded with the dream so is the Lord not to be confounded with the creation. Just as a man survives his dream, so does the Lord survive the dissolution of His creation. Just as you remain ever as pure consciousness apart from the body, etc., so is the Lord, unbounded consciousness apart from the universe, etc. Is it not after all only a picture drawn by Him on His Self? How can this unique creation be apart from Him? There can indeed be nothing but consciousness. Tell me of any place where there is no consciousness; there is no place beyond consciousness. Or can anyone prove in any manner anything outside consciousness? Consciousness is inescapable.

Moreover, this consciousness is the only existence,covering the whole universe, and perfect all through.Just as there cannot be breakers apart from the ocean and light without the Sun, so also the universe cannot be conceived without consciousness. The Supreme God is thus the embodiment of pure Consciousness.

The universe has thus originated only as an image on the surface of the mirror of the Absolute. This conclusion is in harmony with all facts.

Creation is like a magician’s trick, and is a city born of divine imagination. O Parasurama, you are aware of the mental creations of daydreamers which are full of people, life and work, similar to this. There are also doubts,tests, discussions and conclusions — all imaginary arising in the mind and subsiding there. Just as castles in the air are mental figments of men so also is this creation a mental figment of Siva. Siva is absolute Awareness, without any form. Sri Tripura is Sakti (energy) and Witness of the whole.That Being is perfect all round and remains undivided.

The world cannot stand investigation because of its changing unreal nature. Just as the owl is dazzled and blinded by bright sunlight, so the world parades in glory before ignorance and disappears before right analysis.

[Note: The man sees by sunlight and is helpless in its absence. The owl sees in darkness and is blinded in sunlight. Whose sight is the better of the two? This cannot be determined satisfactorily so that investigation becomes lame.]

As long as the ignorance of the self lasts, so long will there be misery.

The Sun helps all to see, but blinds the owls; water is the abode of fishes, but drowns man; fire burns a man, but is food to tittiri (a species of bird); fire is ordinarily put out by water, but it flourishes in the middle of the ocean at the time of dissolution. Similar discrepancies are evident elsewhere.

Men and animals engage in activities with their limbs and senses, whereas spirits do so with the bodies of others. Instances like these are innumerable.

Sight is of the eye and cannot be without it.A jaundiced eye sees everything yellow and diplopia produces a double image of a single object.

Abnormal visions are thus the direct result of abnormal eyes. The Karandakas, in an Eastern island, are said to see everything red; so also the inhabitants of Ramanaka Isle see everything upside down.

One hears many more strange stories of the kind, all of which are based on abnormalities of vision. They can all be remedied by proper treatment. The same applies to other senses,including the mind.

The relation between space and objects and between time and events is according to your estimate of them; there is no intrinsic relationship between them.

Just as the mirror remains unaffected by the passage of different images and yet continues to reflect as clearly as before, so also the one consciousness illumines the waking and dream states which can be verified by proper meditation.

Therefore recognise the fact that the world is simply an image on the mirror of consciousness and cultivate the contemplation of ‘I am’, abide as pure being and thus give up this delusion of the reality of the world.

True experience of the Self is the unawareness of even ‘I am’. Can the world persist after such unawareness? Second-hand knowledge is no better than the recollection
of a dream.

Just as the accession of treasure in a dream is useless, so also is second-hand knowledge.

The whole world is manifested in it like a city in a mirror. Such is that transcendental state. On realising it, one becomes immortal; there is no place for doubts and uncertainties, as there is none at the sight of a reflection in a mirror; there is no more reason for ignorance as at the sight of innumerable reflected images; and there will be no more room for desire, because transcendence is then experienced.

Just as a prince labours under a misapprehension that the string of pearls still clinging to his neck has been stolen away by another and is not persuaded to the contrary by mere words but only believes when he finds it around his neck by his own effort, so also, O youth, however clever a man may be, he will never know his own self by the mere teaching of others unless he realises it for himself. Otherwise he can never realise the Self if his mind is turned outward.

Everybody fails in this investigation however learned and proficient he may be, because his mind is not bent inward but restlessly moves outward. As long as thoughts crop up, so long has the turning inward of the mind not been accomplished. As long as the mind is not inward, so long the Self cannot be realised. Turning inward means absence of desire. How can the mind be fixed within if desires are not given up?

You are not the body, nor the senses, nor the mind, because they are all transient. The body is composed of food, so how can you be the body?

Concentration on a particular item is necessary for the perception of external things. But since consciousness is the Self and not apart from the mind, concentration on it is not necessary for its realisation. It is enough that other perceptions (namely,thoughts) should be eliminated from the mind and then the Self will be realised.

Therefore it was also said that the sole necessity for Self-realisation is purity of mind. The only impurity of the mind is thought. To make it thought-free is to keep it pure.

The mind is truly abstracted in sleep. But then its light is screened by darkness, so how can it manifest its true nature? A mirror covered with tar does not reflect
images, but can it reflect space also? Is it enough, in that case, that images are eliminated in order to reveal the space reflected in the mirror? In the same manner, the mind is veiled by the darkness of sleep and rendered unfit for illumining thoughts. Would such eclipse of the mind reveal the glimmer of consciousness?

Moreover, pursue the analogy of a tarred mirror. The tar may prevent the images from being seen, but the quality of the mirror is not affected, for the outer coating of tar must be reflected in the interior of the mirror. So also the mind, though diverted from dreams and wakefulness, is still in the grip of dark sleep and not free from qualities.This is evident by the recollection of the dark ignorance of sleep when one wakes.

Sri Sankara has said in Soundarya Lahari: Siva owes his prowess to Sakti; He cannot even stir in Her absence.Siva should not therefore be considered to be a mere inexpressible entity depending for His movements upon Maya (like a man on his car). Sri Sankara continues: Siva is yoked by Thee, Oh Sakti, to His true being. Therefore a blessed few worship Thee as the endless series of waves of bliss, as the underlying basis of all that is, as the Supreme Force, maintaining the universe, and as the Consort of Transcendence. Thus the identity of Siva and Sakti with each other or with Transcendence is evident.

When the pictures on a wall are erased, the original wall remains. No other work is necessary to restore its original condition.

Similarly, the mind remains pure when thoughts are eliminated. Therefore the unqualified state is restored if the present disturbance is ended.

Therefore rule out creation as a mere thought or series of thoughts and realise the non-dual, residual, pure intelligence as the Self.

Second-hand knowledge of the Self gathered from books or Gurus can never emancipate a man until its truth is rightly investigated and applied to himself; direct Realisation alone will do that. Therefore, follow my advice and realise yourself, turning the mind inward.

To imagine that the Self is shackled by mental projections is to imagine that the fire reflected in a mirror can burn it. There is absolutely no bondage beyond the foolish certainty that you are bound and the difference of entity created by mind. Until these two blemishes are washed away by the holy waters of investigation into the Self, neither I, nor Brahma the Creator, nor Vishnu, nor Siva, nor even Sri Tripura, the Goddess of Wisdom, can help that person to be emancipated.


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.