Created by Jijith Nadumuri at 24 Jul 2011 15:04 and updated at 24 Jul 2011 15:04


vp.2.15 Bharata relates the story of Ribhu and Nidagha. The latter, the pupil of the former, becomes a prince, and is visited by his preceptor, who explains to him the principles of unity, and departs.
vp.2.15 Parasara continued. Having terminated these remarks, the Brahman repeated to the silent and meditating prince a tale illustrative of the doctrines of unity. "Listen, prince," he proceeded, "to what was formerly uttered by Ribhu, imparting holy knowledge to the Brahman Nidagha. Ribhu was a son of the supreme Brahma, who, from his innate disposition, was of a holy character, and acquainted with true wisdom. Nidagha, the son of Pulastya, was his disciple; and to him Ribhu communicated willingly perfect knowledge, not doubting of his being fully confirmed in the doctrines of unity, when he had been thus instructed.
vp.2.15 "The residence of Pulastya was at Viranagara, a large handsome city on the banks of the Devika river. In a beautiful grove adjoining to the stream the pupil of Ribhu, Nidagha, conversant with devotional practices, abode. When a thousand divine years had elapsed, Ribhu went to the city of Pulastya, to visit his disciple. Standing at the doorway, at the end of a sacrifice to the Viswadevas, he was seen by his scholar, who hastened to present him the usual offering, or Arghya, and conducted him into the house; and when his hands and feet were washed, and he was seated, Nidagha invited him respectfully to eat (when the following dialogue ensued):
vp.2.15 Nidagha". There are cakes of meal, rice, barley, and pulse in the house; partake, venerable sir, of whichever best pleases you.
vp.2.15 Nidagha". Ho dame, be quick, and prepare whatever is most delicate and sweet in the house, to feed our guest.
vp.2.15 "Having thus spoken, the wife of Nidagha, in obedience to her husband s commands, prepared sweet and savoury food, and set it before the Brahman; and Nidagha, having stood before him until he had eaten of the meal which he had desired, thus reverentially addressed him:
vp.2.15 Nidagha". Have you eaten sufficiently, and with pleasure, great Brahman? and has your mind received contentment from your food? Where is your present residence? whither do you purpose going? and whence, holy sir, have you now come?
vp.2.15 "Having heard these words, conveying the substance of ultimate truth, Nidagha fell at the feet of his visitor, and said, Shew favour unto me, illustrious Brahman, and tell me who it is that for my good has come hither, and by whose words the infatuation of my mind is dissipated. To this, Ribhu answered, I am Ribhu, your preceptor, come hither to communicate to you true wisdom; and having declared to you what that is, I shall depart. Know this whole universe to be the one undivided nature of the supreme spirit, entitled Vasudeva. Thus having spoken, and receiving the prostrate homage of Nidagha, rendered with fervent faith, Ribhu went his way."
vp.2.16 "AFTER the expiration of another thousand years, Ribhu again repaired to the city where Nidagha dwelt, to instruct him farther in true wisdom. When he arrived near the town, he beheld a prince entering into it, with a splendid retinue; and his pupil Nidagha standing afar off, avoiding the crowd; his throat shrivelled with starvation, and bearing from the thicket fuel and holy grass. Ribhu approached him, and saluting him reverentially (as if he was a stranger) demanded why he was standing in such a retired spot. Nidagha replied, There is a great crowd of people attending the entrance of the king into the town, and I am staying here to avoid it. Tell me, excellent Brahman, said Ribhu, for I believe that thou art wise, which is here the king, and which is any other man. The king, answered Nidagha, is he who is seated on the fierce and stately elephant, vast as a mountain peak; the others are his attendants. You have shewn me, observed Ribhu, at one moment the elephant and the king, without noticing any peculiar characteristic by which they may be distinguished. Tell me, venerable sir, is there any difference between them? for I am desirous to know which is here the elephant, which is the king. The elephant, answered Nidagha, is underneath; the king is above him. Who is not aware, Brahman, of the relation between that which bears and that which is borne? To this Ribhu rejoined, Still explain to me, according to what I know of it, this matter: what is it that is
vp.2.16 meant by the word underneath, and what is it that is termed above? As soon as he had uttered this, Nidagha jumped upon Ribhu, and said, Here is my answer to the question you have asked: I am above, like the Raja.; you are underneath, like the elephant. This example, Brahman, is intended for your information. Very well, said Ribhu, you, it seems, are as it were the Raja, and I am like the elephant; but come now do you tell me which of us two is you; which is I.
vp.2.16 "When Nidagha heard these words, he immediately fell at the feet o the stranger, and said, Of a surety thou art my saintly preceptor Ribhu the mind of no other person is so fully imbued with the doctrines of unity as that of my teacher, and hence I know that thou art he. To this Ribhu replied, I am your preceptor, by name Ribhu, who, pleased with: the dutiful attention he has received, has come to Nidagha to give him instruction: for this purpose have I briefly intimated to you divine truth, the essence of which is the non duality of all. Having thus spoken to Nidagha, the Brahman Ribhu went away, leaving his disciple profoundly impressed, by his instructions, with belief in unity. He beheld all beings thenceforth as the same with himself, and, perfect in holy knowledge, obtained final liberation.

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