To remind myself of what is Real I read some scripture this morning. This comes from the Yoga-Vasishtha, a series of discourses between the sage Visishtha and Rama.
Bhringi said to Shiva:
‘Lord, I am overwhelmed with sorrow at the sight of the boisterous waves of this deep and dark world we have been buffeted so long, without finding the calm and quiet harbor of Truth. Tell me, Lord, what is the certain truth and inward assurance whereon we may rest and repose in this shattered mansion of the world?’
The Lord Shiva replied:
‘Always place your reliance in unshaken patience and neither care nor fear for anything else: strive to be foremost in your renunciation of all passion and activity.
He is said to be the greatest actor who performs deeds as they occur to him, whether joygiving or otherwise, without any fear or desire for fruition.
He is said to play his part well who performs his duties without fuss or anxiety, and maintains his reserve and purity of heart without taint of egoism or envy.
He is said to perform his part well who is not affected by any person or thing, but regards all objects as a mere witness.
He is the greatest actor who looks at his own birth, life and death, and upon his rise and fall, in the same light, and who does not lose equanimity of mind under any circumstance whatever.
He is said to enjoy himself best who observes the conduct and behavior of mankind as an unconcerned and indifferent spectator, and looks on, without choosing anything for himself.
He is called the most satisfied man who sustains all the ups and downs of fortune with equal fortitude, as the deep sea contains the boisterous waves in its fathomless depths.
He to whom salt and sugar are alike and who remains unaltered both in happy and adverse circumstances – he is the best of enjoyers.
He is the best of renunciates who has given up thoughts of his life and death, of his pleasure and pain, and has firmly dismissed his merits and faults from his mind.
His said to have made the greatest sacrifice who has sacrificed his own mind and endeavors at the shrine of self-abgenation.
Meditate always on the everlasting and immaculate Spirit that is without beginning and end. By thinking in this way, you yourself become immaculate and are absorbed in the self-same Brahman, where there is all peace and tranquility.
Know the one undying Brahman as the soul and seed of the various productions that emanate from Him. It is His immensity which spreads throughout the whole of existence, as it is the endless sky which comprehends and manifests all things within itself.
It is not possible for anything at all, whether of positive or potential existence, to subsist without and apart from the universal Essence. Rest secure with this firm belief in your mind, and be free from all fears in this world.’
O most righteous Rama, look to the inner soul within yourself, and perform all your outer actions with the members of your body. By forsaking your sense egoism and personality, and being thereby freed from all care and sorrow, you will attain supreme felicity.