From Bhâgavata Purâna
SKANDHA XI. CHAP. 13.
Uddhava asked: —
“Generally people know that the objects of the senses lead them to misery. How is it, O Krishna, they still follow them, like dogs, donkeys and goats?”
Sri Krishna replied: —
“When in the heart of the undiscriminating man, the false perception of ‘I’ arises (with regard to body &c.), the terrible Rajas takes possession of the Manas, which by its origin is Sâtvic. Doubts and desires arise in the mind. The mind then dwells upon attributes (oh! how beautiful, what a nice thing!) and acquires a strong liking for it. Guided by the passions, with the senses uncontrolled, deluded by the strong current of Rajas, the helpless man knowingly does things that bear evil fruits. The mind of the wise man is also distracted by Rajas and Tamas. But he sleeplessly controls his mind and he finds fault (with his own actions). He is not attached to them. Gradually and steadfastly offer up your mind to Me, being wide awake, at all times, controlling your breath and regulating your seat and you will then be able to control your mind.
“This is the Yoga, as taught by My disciples Sanaka and others.”
Uddhava asked: —
“When and in what form did you teach Sanaka and others?”
Sri Krishna replied: —
“Sanaka and other Manas-born sons of Brahmâ asked their father as follows: — The mind enters the Gunas (objects i.e. the mind naturally becomes attached to objects) and the Gunas (i.e. the objects when experienced) enter the mind (as desires). How can those that want to cross over (the objects) and to become liberated cause a separation between the two?
“Brahmâ could not gauge the question in his own mind. So he meditated on me. I appeared before him as a Hansa. (The Swan can discriminate between milk and water. So the bird symbolises a discriminating sage.) The Brâhmanas and Brahmâ asked: ‘Who art thou?’ I said as follows: —
“O Brâhmanas does your question relate to Âtmâ — If so, Âtmâ is not many. So the question does not arise. And who will reply to whom?
“If your question relates to the body, then also the elements composing the body being the same in all beings, and Atmâ being the same in all, your question is meaningless.
“Whatever is perceived by the senses and the mind, I am that — There is nothing besides Me. Rightly know this to be so.
“True the mind enters the Gunas and the Gunas enter the mind. The Gunas and mind thus mutually blended are but the body of the Jiva, its reality being My own self. (If mind wedded to objects, be the essence of Jiva, then their separation is not possible. But the essence of Jiva is Brahmâ. Mind is only attributed to Jiva. And Jiva’s connection with the objects is through the properties of the mind. Therefore Jiva by realising that it is Brahmâ will find out that the objects have no existence as far as its own self is concerned. Therefore by devotion to Bhagavat, Jiva completely rests in its own self. Śridhara. This is not a separation of Manas and objects, but the withdrawal of self from both.)
“By constant pursuit of the Gunas, the mind enters the Gunas. The Gunas also (being turned into desires) take a firm hold of the mind. Knowing Me to be thy own self give up both (the objects and the mind wedded to them.)
“Wakefulness (Jâgrat), Dream (Svapna) and Dreamless sleep (Sushupti) are states of mind, caused by the Gunas, Jiva is beyond all these states. For it is the witness of all these states. The bondage caused by mind imparts the actions of the Gunas to Âtmâ. Therefore being fixed in Me, the Fourth (i.e. beyond the three states of consciousness), get over the bondage of mind. That will be the (mutual) giving up of the mind and the Gunas. This bondage of Âtmâ is caused by Ahankâra (the sense of ‘I-ness’) Know this to be the cause of all evils. Knowing this, be fixed in the Fourth, and give up all thoughts of Sansâra (i.e. of mind and of the connections caused by mind.)
“So long as the idea of manifoldness is not destroyed by reasoning, man dreams in ignorance even in the wakeful state, just as in dream, the ignorant man thinks he is wakeful.
“All things, other than Âtmâ are unreal. The differences made amongst them (such as, this is Brâhmana, this is Sudra, this is Grihasthâ, this is Sanyâsîn), the different destinations (Svarga and other Kârmic fruits) and even Karma (action) itself are unreal, so far as Âtmâ is concerned.
“He who throughout the constantly following stages of life (childhood, youth, age etc.) perceives the objects in the wakeful state, with the help of all the senses, he who perceives the likes of those objects in dream in the heart, and he who brings those perceptions to an end in dreamless sleep are all one and the same. For the same memory runs through all these states. The Lord of the senses is one and the same. (The outward senses perceive the wakeful state. Mind, perceives the dream. Buddhi perceives dreamless sleep. Âtmâ, is the Lord of all these senses).
“Ponder well over this that the three states of mind are caused in Me by the Gunas, through My Mâyâ. Knowing this definitely, cut asunder the source of all doubts (Ahankâra) by the sword of wisdom sharpened by reasoning, the teachings of Sâdhus, and the Srutis. And worship Me, that dwell in the heart.
“Look upon this Universe as a delusion, a play of the mind. Now seen, now destroyed. So rapid is the succession, that it is like a whirling fire brand that looks circular (on account of the rapid motion, though it is not circular). One consciousness appears as many. The phenomenal existence (Vikalpa) caused by the threefold Guna transformations is but Mâyâ, a dream.
“Turn away your sight from this object world. Give up all desires. Be calm and find bliss in the perception of self. At times you will have experience of the objects in your daily life (for getting the necessaries of life). But what you have once thrown aside as unreal shall not be able to cause delusion in you. Till the fall of your body, the objects will haunt you like things of the past, stored as it were in memory alone. This frail body, through which he has known his real self, may rise or sit, may move away from its place or come back, just as chance will have it, but the Siddha sees it not, even as an inebriate person does not see the cloth he puts on.
“The body waits with the Prânas and Indriyas till the Commenced Karma exhausts itself. But being fixed in Samâdhi, the knower of the truth does not care for the body and the object world, which are all visionary to him.
“I said all this to the Brâhmanas and came back to my own abode.” (Excerpts from “A study of Bhagavata Purana or Esoteric Hinduism”)