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of sense, ceases to cross the path of our eyes or to enter into the way of our ears; for we have subdued the objects of sense which produce desire in us, and hold them bound by devotion, as an elephant attracted by his mate is kept from her by being tied to a post.
47. My days once seemed long when I used to suffer pain through asking favours from rich men, and they seemed too short for me to carry out all my aims, filled as they were with the desire for earthly objects. Now I sit on a stone in a mountain cave, and in the intervals of my meditation I am filled with laughter at the recollection of my former life.
48. Wisdom has not been gained free from spot; wealth has not been acquired; reverence towards our elders has not been practised by us; we have not even dreamt of love. If this has been our existence, then have we lived a life even like the life of a crow, which hungers for the food of others.
49. When all our wealth is gone, then with hearts full of tenderness, recollecting how the path of action in the world leads to evil, we in a sacred grove, with the rays of the autumn moon shining on us, will pass our nights occupied alone in meditation, at the feet of Siva.
50. I am satisfied with bark clothing; thou takest pleasure in thy magnificence: there is no difference between the contentment of both of us. The man whose desires are unlimited is poor indeed; who that is satisfied with what he has can be either rich or poor?
51. Relaxation from toil at one's own will, food gained without degradation, friendship with noble-minded men, a mind not agitated by contact with external thingsthis is the result of the highest vow of tranquillity. I know not, though I have carefully thought thereupon, by what strict penance this perfect state may be gained.
52. The hand serves for a cup; food is gained by begging; the sky with its pure expanse serves for a garment; the earth is a couch. Those whose freedom from attraction to objects of sense has been brought to such perfection as this are fortunate, contented in their own minds, and they uproot action, casting away all the many forms of pain which attend upon it.
53. Masters are difficult to please; kings change from one thing to another in their minds with the swiftness of horses; our desires are great, and our minds aim at high things. Old age consumes our bodies; death puts an end to our lives. O my friends! there is no glory in this world for a wise man but that which he gains by penance. · 54. Pleasure is like the lightning that flashes in the canopy of cloud; life is like the fleeting clouds that are torn asunder by the storm; the ardent desires of the young are transitory. O wise men ! you who know the uncertainty of human affairs, gain wisdom by meditation on the Supreme Spirit; for perfection is easily gained by means of constant contemplation.
55. A man who is wise and understanding, being pained by hunger, will go from door to door throughout the huts of a sacred village, and will beg alms where he sees the door-post blackened by the smoke of the sacrifices offered by the learned priests who dwell within; and he will bear before him his pot covered with a white cloth: he will not live in misery from day to day among families as wretched as himself.
56. “Are you a Chandâla? are you a Brâhman? are you a Śûdra, or an ascetic, or a lord of devotion whose mind is skilled in meditating on the truth?” Ascetics, when men ask them such questions as these with loud voices, feel neither pleasure nor anger, but pursue their course in quietness.
57. O my friend! fortunate are those who have cast off the many bonds of this world, and from within whose minds desire for earthly objects, like the poison of a serpent, has departed. They spend the night, bright with the clear shining of the autumn moon, in the border of the forest, thinking on nothing but the greatness of their good fortune. 58. Cease to wander wearily in the thicket of sense. Seek that better way which, in a moment, brings freedom from trouble. Unite thyself to the Supreme Spirit, and abandon thy own state as unsteady as the waves. Take no more pleasure in things perishable. Be calm, 0 my heart !
59. O my friend ! live on fruits and nuts, lie on the bare ground; let us rise up and go into the forest clothed in new soft bark garments. In that retreat we shall not hear the voices of those rich men whose minds are blind through ignorance, and whose voices are troubled through the confusion of their minds.
60. O my mind ! let the delusion which envelops thee be cleared away, pay devotion to the god of the mooncrest, who takes delusion away from man. Fix your thought on the stream of the heavenly river. For what certainty is there [in earthly things], in waves and bubbles, or in flashes of lightning, or in women, or in the tongues of flame, or in serpents, or in the rushing of a stream ?
61. If there are songs before thee, if there are elegant poets from the southern regions on one side of thee, if behind damsels bearing the fans with tinkling anklets, taste, my friend, the pleasures of sense which thou mayest gain from these things. If thou hast them not, then plunge, O my mind ! into devout contemplation, freeing thee from all thought.
62. Wise men! have nothing to do with women who are only pleasing from their beauty, in whose society is a transitory delight. Rather follow after women who are compassionate, amiable, and intelligent: the beautiful forms of women adorned with tinkling jewels will not avail thee in Naraka.
63. Abstinence from destroying life, keeping one's hands off another's wealth, speaking the truth, seasonable liberality according to one's power, not conversing with the wives of other men, checking the stream of covetousness, reverence towards spiritual fathers, compassion towards all creatures—this is the path of happiness, violating no ordinances, taught in all the Sastras.
64. O mother Lakshmî! grant me yet further that I may not be filled with desire. May I not be filled with the longing after pleasure ! Now, purifying myself with a vessel of leaves joined together, may I gain my livelihood by means of the barley grain which I have begged.
65. You were to me even as myself; I was as yourself to you. Such were our feelings to one another. How has. it come about that we have been changed, and that we no more feel the same sympathy one for another ?
66. O woman! why dost thou shoot forth at me those beautiful glances from thy half-opened eyes ? Cease! cease! Thy toil is in vain! I am as it were changed ! My youth has departed from me; my dwelling is in a forest; my infatuation has left me. I look on the favours of this world only as so much grass.
67. This woman, with eyes that have stolen the beauty of the lotus, unceasingly casts her glances towards me. What does she wish? My infatuation has departed; the arrows of cruel love, producing immoderate heat and fever, have left me.
68. Is not a palace delightful to dwell in ? are not songs charming to hear? is not the society of friends, whom we love as our own lives, alluring? Yet wise men retire away from all these things into the forest, considering them like the light of a lamp which burns unsteadily through the wind of the wings of a wandering moth.
69. Are there no more roots growing in the caves ; have the mountain torrents, ceased to flow; do the trees no longer bear fruit; has the bark with which you may gain your clothing withered on the trees, that you cast off your self-respect and fall down before haughty men, who have gained a little wealth with difficulty, and who regard you with supercilious contempt ?
70. Surely the retreats of the Himâlayas, the abode of
the Vidyâdharas, where the rocks are cooled by the spray of the Ganges, surely these places must have ceased to exist, since men enjoy food which they gain from others to their own disgrace.
71. When Meru the magnificent mountain falls from its place, destroyed at the end of the age; when the ocean, the abode of multitudes of great monsters, is dried up; when the earth resting on her mountains comes to an end, how can there be any abiding-place for the body, which is as unstable as the ear of a young elephant ?
72. When shall I, O Śiva! whose drinking-cup is my hand, who have no garment but the sky, who live solitary, peaceful, free from desire, able to uproot action—when shall I attain to union with the Supreme Soul ?
73. Thou mayest have gained glory and the accomplishment of all thy desires : what further? Thy foot may have been placed on the neck of thine enemies : what further? Thou mayest have bestowed thy riches on thy friends : what further ? Thou mayest live thousands of years : what further ?
74. One may have been clothed in rags : what then ? One may have worn a magnificent silk garment: what then? One may have had only one wife : what then? Or a retinue of horses and elephants and attendants : what then? One may have enjoyed good fare: what then? Or eaten poor food at the end of the day: what then? What matters either state if you know not the glory of the Supreme One who destroys all evils ?
75. Thou hast paid worship to Siva; thou hast lived in fear of death and birth in a future state; thou hast detached thyself from love for thy own family; thou hast not been blinded by love; thou hast dwelt in a forest apart from men ; thou hast been freed from the evil contact of the world. [If thou hast passed thy life thus], then thou hast vairâgya—freedom from attachment to outward things.
76. Meditate on the Supreme Being, who is eternal, who grows not old, above all things, expanding by his