PANCHADASI--- part 28

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E text source- 276. Absence of desires, knowledge of reality and withdrawal from action mutually assist one another. Generally all three of them are found together, but sometimes separately too, without the third.
277. The origin, the nature and the result of these virtues differ. The real distinctions between them will be clear to a keen student of scriptures.
278. The origin of detachment is an understanding that the joys derived from objects are impermanent; its nature is a distaste for the enjoyment of those objects; and its result is the feeling of being independent of them. These three are peculiar to detachment.
279. The origin of the knowledge of reality is hearing, reflecting and meditating on the reality; its nature is discrimination between the real and the unreal; and its result is the restraint of fresh doubts from arising. These three are peculiar to knowledge.
280. The origin of withdrawal from action is the cultivation of inner and outer control and so forth; its nature is the control of the mind; and its result is the cessation of worldly activities. Thus their differences are described.
281. Of all the three virtues the most essential is the knowledge of the Reality as it is the direct cause of liberation. The other two, detachment and withdrawal, are necessary auxiliaries to knowledge.
282. The existence of the three virtues highly developed in a man is the result of vast store of merit acquired in innumerable past lives. The absence of any one of them is the result of some demerit acquired in the past.
283. Without the knowledge of Reality even perfect detachment and complete withdrawal from worldly actions cannot lead to liberation. A man endowed with detachment and withdrawal, but failing to obtain illumination, is reborn in the superior worlds because of great merit.
284. On the other hand by the complete knowledge of the Reality a man is sure to have liberation, even though his detachment and withdrawal are wanting. But then his visible sufferings will not come to an end owing to his fructifying Karma.
285. The height of detachment is such a conviction of the futility of all desires that one considers like straw even the highest pleasures of the world of Brahma; and the height of spiritual knowledge is reached when one feels one’s identity with the supreme Self as firmly as an ordinary man instinctively feels his identity with the physical body.
286. The height of withdrawal from action is the complete forgetfulness of all worldly affairs in the waking state as in the state of deep sleep. There are several intermediate grades which can be known by actual observation.
287. Enlightened men may differ in their behaviour because of the nature of their fructifying Karma. This should not make the learned think otherwise about the truth of knowledge resulting in liberation.
288. Let the enlightened people behave in any way according to their fructifying Karma, but their knowledge is the same and their liberation is the same.
289. On the supreme consciousness the world is drawn like a picture on canvas; thus is Maya superimposed on consciousness. When we forget the adventitious distinctions, consciousness alone remains.
290. This chapter called the ‘Lamp of the Picture’, when regularly studied, gives an intelligent aspirant freedom from the delusion due to illusive appearances, even though he may see them as before.