Continuing the amazing story of Pṛthu’s conversation with the four child-sages…
Delighted to hear the sage speak so clearly and definitely, but with such depth and breadth, the King eagerly asked, “What happens when a person falls in love with that transcendental consciousness?”
Sanāt smiled out of satisfaction with the King’s eagerness to hear more on the subject. “When we fall firmly into love with that transcendent being,” the boy said, “then, if we also have an experienced guide, that love will produce very powerful knowledge and disinterest in all other things. These weaken the power of the five things that obscure our soul, burning them away like fire destroying its own source.”
The boy did not list the five things obscuring the soul, because he knew the King was learned, and already knew them: ignorance, self-ambition, attachment, aversion, and fear.
It’s significant that an “experienced guide” (ācārya) is also required. Without that guide the love is not as likely to “burn” properly and produce the effects of knowledge and detatchment (jñāna-virāga).
Transcendent love (ratiḥ brahmaṇi) manifests within the mental and emotional coverings of the soul – just as fire (an energy) can manifest from wood (a solid), despite the fact that energy and wood are two different elements (bhūta). However, fire is a superior element to wood, therefore the fire consumes the wood. Similarly transcendent love consumes the material mind that hosts it.
“What happens,” the king asked, “when that transcendent love arises in the soul’s mental and emotional coverings and then burns them away?”
“When these things are burnt away, we become emancipated from all our external attractions. When we cease to look at external things, we instead see our inner selves with perfect clarity. The previous obstructions which prevented us from seeing the Supersoul within us are now gone, just as things in a dream disappear.”
Currently we don’t see the superself. We only see the self as the ultimate “bottom line” of importance. This is because all our attention is focused outward, creating an obstruction to seeing the Paramātma at our inner root. This will be explained more fully…
“Please explain this a little further!” the king requested.
“Our desires for sensual pleasure place a veil on our perceptions, causing us to see ourselves as the entity of primary importance. This blocks us from seeing our intimate and absolute dependence on the entity of truly ultimate importance, the Super-self. However, when desires are burned away by love for the transcendent, that veil disappears and we no longer see ourselves as being independent from the Supersoul. When the veil is in place, we see ourselves through the qualities in the veil – and therefore imagine the qualities of the veil to be integral parts of who and what we are. This gives the false impression that we are independent entities, separated from one another and from our root, the Superself.”
When transcendent love causes us to lose attraction to external pleasures, the veil obscuring the supersoul dissolves, and we see ourself as we truly are – inseparably integrated with the supersoul.
– Excerpt from an early draft of Part 4 of
Beautiful Tales of the All-Attractive
A translation of Śrīmad Bhāgavatam’s fourth canto
By Vraja Kishor
[With additional explanatory notes]
Parts 1, 2, and 3 of Beautiful Tales of the All Attractive
are available at VrajaKishor.com