VIDYA GITA – From Tripura Rahasya
Dattatreya teaches to Parasurama
1-20. “I shall now relate to you an ancient sacred story. On one occasion very long ago there was a very distinguished gathering of
holy saints collected in the abode of Brahma, the Creator, when a very subtle and sublime disputation took place. Among those
present were Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatkumara and Sanatsujata, Vasistha, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu, Bhrigu, Atri, Angiras,
Pracheta, Narada, Chyavana, Vamadeva, Visvamitra, Gautama, Suka, Parasara, Vyasa, Kanva, Kasyapa, Daksha, Sumanta,
Sanka, Likhita, Devala and other celestial and royal sages. Each one of them spoke of his own system with courage and conviction
and maintained that it was better than all the rest. But they could reach no conclusion and so asked Brahma: ‘Lord! We are sages
who know all about the world and beyond, but each one’s way of life differs from that of the others because the dispositions of our
minds differ. Some of us are always in Nirvikalpa Samadhi, some engaged in philosophical discussions, some sunk in devotion,
some have taken to work, and others seem exactly like men of the world. Which is the best among us? Please tell us. We cannot
decide ourselves because each thinks that his way is the best.’
“Thus requested, Brahma seeing their perplexity answered: ‘Best of saints! I also would like to know. There is Parameswara who is
the All-knower. Let us go and ask him.’ Collecting Vishnu on their way, they went to Siva. There the leader of the deputation,
Brahma, asked Siva about the matter. Having heard Brahma, Siva divined the mind of Brahma and understood that the rishis were
wanting in confidence and so that any words of his would be useless. He then said to them, ‘Hear me, Rishis! Neither do I clearly
see which is the method. Let us meditate on the Goddess – Her Majesty Unconditioned Knowledge – we shall then be able to
understand even the subtlest of truths by Her Grace.’ On hearing these words of Siva, all of them, including Siva, Vishnu and
Brahma, meditated on Her Divine Majesty, the Transcendental Consciousness pervading the three states of life (waking, dream and
sleep). Thus invoked, She manifested in Her glory as the Transcendental Voice in the expanse of pure consciousness.
“They heard the Voice speak like thunder from the skies, ‘Speak out your minds, O Rishis! Be quick, the desires of my devotees will
always be fulfilled immediately.’
21-28. “Hearing the Voice, the exalted rishis prostrated and Brahma and the others praised the Goddess – namely Absolute
Consciousness pervading the three states of life.
“Salutations to Thee! the Greatest! the Best! the Most Auspicious! the Absolute Knowledge! the Consciousness of the three states!
the Creatrix! the Protectress! the Dissolver in the Self! the Supreme One transcending all! Salutations again!
“There was no time when Thou wert not, because Thou art unborn! Thou art ever fresh and hence Thou never growest old. Thou art
all; the essence of all, the knower of all, the delighter of all. Thou art not all. Thou art nowhere, with no core in Thee, unaware of
anything, and delighting no one.
“O Supreme Being! Salutations to Thee, over and over again, before and behind, above and below, on all sides and everywhere.
“Kindly tell us of Thy relative form and Thy transcendental state, Thy prowess, and Thy identity with jnana. What is the proper and
perfect means for attaining Thee, the nature and the result of such attainment? What is the utmost finality of accomplishment,
beyond which there remains nothing to be accomplished? Who is the best among the accomplished sages? Salutations again to
29. “Thus besought, the Goddess of ultimate knowledge began with great kindness to explain it clearly to the sages:
30. “Listen, sages! I shall categorically explain to you all that you ask. I shall give you the nectar drawn out as the essence from the
unending accumulation of sacred literature.
31-40. “I am the abstract intelligence wherefrom the cosmos originates, whereon it flourishes, and wherein it resolves, like the
images in a mirror. The ignorant know me as the gross universe, whereas the wise feel me as their own pure being eternally glowing
as ‘I-I’ within. This realisation is possible only in the deep stillness of thought-free consciousness similar to that of the deep sea free
from waves. The most earnest of devotees worship me spontaneously and with the greatest sincerity which is due to their love of
me. Although they know that I am their own non-dual Self, yet the habit of loving devotion which is deep-rooted in them makes them
conceive their own Self as ME and worship ME as the life-current pervading their bodies, senses and mind without which nothing
could exist and which forms the sole purport of the holy scriptures. Such is my Transcendental State.
“My concrete form is the eternal couple – the Supreme Lord and Energy – always in undivided union and abiding as the eternal
consciousness pervading the three phenomenal states of waking, dream and sleep, and reclining on the cot whose four legs are
Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu (the Protector), Siva (the Destroyer) and Isvara (Disappearance) and whose surface is Sadasiva
(Grace) which is contained in the mansion known as ‘fulfilment of purpose’ enclosed by the garden of ‘Kadamba’ trees in the jewel
island situated in the wide ocean of nectar surrounding the cosmos and extending beyond.
‘Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, Isvara, Sadasiva, Ganesa, Skanda, the gods of the eight quarters, their energies of her gods, celestials,
serpents and other superhuman beings all manifestations of myself. However, people do not know ME because their intellect is
shrouded in ignorance.
41. “I grant boons to those who worship ME. There is no one besides ME worthy of worship or capable of fulfilling all desires.
Commentary. – All deities who receive worship and all conceptions of God are My manifestations, because I am pure intelligence
which cannot under any circumstances be transcended.
42. “The fruits of worship are put forth by Me according to the mode of worship and the nature of individual desires. I am indivisible
43. “Being non-dual and abstract intelligence I spontaneously manifest even as the smallest detail in the universe and as the
44. “Though I manifest in diverse ways, I still remain unblemished because absoluteness is My being. This is My chief power, which
is somewhat hard fully to understand.
45. “Therefore, O Rishis! consider this with the keenest of intellect. Though I am the abode of all and immanent in all I remain pure.
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