From the ancient wisdom of India, Tripura Rahasya (The Mystery beyond the Trinity) is a literary work in Sanskrit. ‘The Love Story of Soul’ is a poem in which Dattatray imparts wisdom to Parashurama. Like all the great sages, Dattatray had the direct realisation of the eternal, indestructible source of all manifestation.
This scripture is also called, ‟The Secret of the Supreme Goddess Tripura‟, this authentic Advait Vedant text answers the profound questions: What is reality, what is truth and what are illusions?
This allegorical poem is narrated by the immutable soul, who befriends the first wave of manifestation– Intelligence. “Intelligence, with her innate purity, held me in her grip. I could not forsake her.” This phrase, which appears as a refrain throughout the poem, turns the attention of the reader‟s mind to identify with the soul (rather than with the intellect that is influenced by forgetfulness) and thereby discovers the great and enduring love of Self.
This story illustrates that the perception of bondage and liberation is only the perspective of the relative mind, not for the soul. The soul is forever free from identification with forgetfulness and thereby never suffers in the relative dramas that come to pass over the course of the natural life-cycle of the body.
The Love Story of Soul – a Vedic allegory
I am Soul, and this is my love story.
Before creation, my Mother, Pure Consciousness, gave me a companion named Intelligence. I loved my new companion. Her nature was kind and her mind bright. All day we played together in the garden of freedom, innocently enjoying the adventures, wherever they led us.
Intelligence, with her innate purity, held me in her grip. I vowed to never forsake her.
One day, Forgetfulness strolled into our garden and asked if she could join our games. Soon Intelligence and Forgetfulness became best friends. Intelligence was so enamoured with Forgetfulness’ sense of adventure that she slowly wandered away from me and became absorbed with all kinds of experiences.
Intelligence would bring her new friend to play in our home, but as she was a subtle intruder she remained unnoticed by Mother who remained ever established in pure consciousness. I, on the other hand, was made uneasy by her presence even though I knew that Intelligence could not elude me at any time, for she shone only due to my light of consciousness.
Intelligence, with her innate purity, held me in her grip. On account of my love for her, I too almost became influenced by her new friend.
Forgetfulness had impressive powers of persuasion, and my beloved friend, Intelligence, became more and more influenced by her, seeking pleasures, celestial and sensual, which led to a love affair with Forgetfulness’ brother, Deception. In the course of time, she married Deception and bore a son named Restlessness, who took after his father in every respect. Born of Intelligence and Deception, Restlessness developed extraordinary abilities; he was unrestrained in his flights of fancy.
Intelligence, with her innate purity, held me in her grip. I too became restless.
Due to her association with her new relations, Intelligence was dragged by these persuasive forces until she herself became clouded in a mist of obscurity. She gradually completely lost interest in me. I however, kept loving her. Because of my ceaseless company with my beloved Intelligence, Deception became jealous and tried to overpower me. But I have an exceptional power, in that I remain forever the same and can never be destroyed.
Intelligence, with her innate purity, held me in her grip. I could not forsake her.
Ignoring me, Intelligence allowed her son Restlessness to grow up under the influence of his aunt Forgetfulness and his father, Deception. When Restlessness grew up he married Doubtful, his perfect match. They gave birth to five children, Sight, Smell, Taste, Touch and Hearing.
Intelligence, with her innate purity, held me in her grip. Although I was now forgotten by her and unseen by her relations, they all flourished on account of my presence and love.
Deception became increasingly dissatisfied with his wife Intelligence and annoyed by the demands of their five children. As was his capricious nature, he fell in love with Passion and they bore another two sons, Anger and Greed. Passion loved her two sons, but Deception became tormented by them and he started to suffer. Deception’s misery was reflected in Intelligence and so she too began to suffer.
Intelligence, with her innate purity, held me in her grip. I could not forsake her.
They all lived in the city of Ten Gates (the physical body) facing endless adversities. By now Intelligence was older. Her original light that had shone so brightly was now dulled, while Forgetfulness, Deception, Doubtful, Passion and all the children flourished in the city.
Although Intelligence had lost sight of me, I remained loving her and watching over them all. Had I not stayed protecting them, none of them could have lived in that city. On account of my love for my friend, at times I also appeared to become forgetful, deceptive, restless, doubtful, angry and greedy. Ordinary people placed me in the same category as the inhabitants of the city of Ten Gates, but the sages knew that, at heart, I have remained ever the same.
Mother remains pure, more expansive than space and subtler than the subtlest. Being omniscient, she is transcendental. Being the prop of all, she has no prop. Being of all shapes, she has no shape. Being inclusive, she owns nothing. Being omnipresent, she is unrecognisable. She is like a mirror, reflecting all. She has no lineage extending beyond herself. The collectively of souls are her sons and daughters, therefore, my brothers and sisters, likes waves on the ocean, are infinite in number. All of them, like me, are involved in their companions’ daily affairs. Although enmeshed in Intelligence, our nature is still equal to that of our mother, because we possess the unique power to preserve the knowledge of our original state of Being.
Living in the city of Ten Gates, when Intelligence slept, she would lie with her head in my lap and I loved her purely and unconditionally. When she slept, her relations could not remain awake. As they all slept in my lap the city was guarded by my friend, Pran (vital force). Due to Pran’s power, the inhabitants remained blissful, replenished in the river of indestructible vitality. As soon as they awoke, I was obliged to retreat and remain hidden as they got involved in their activities, driven by the qualities of their various natures.
My friend Pran pervaded the whole city and protected them all. She was the link between me and them. When that city fell into ruin, she would collect all the inhabitants and transfer them to another city, and thus they lived in many cities, repeating the same troubles again and again.
Intelligence, with her innate purity, held me in her grip through the passage of many incarnations. I could never forsake her.
Although born of purity, befriended by love, and protected by Pran, Intelligence could find no rest due to her association with her misguided relations. Yet one night, when all in the city were asleep, Intelligence wandered into the dark forest to sit alone. Soon she was drawn to close her eyes. In the gap between troubled thoughts, she saw me!
United again with my love, I held her in my embrace. Memories of free and innocent days flooded her mind. Tears of joy drenched her in bliss. From that time, she returned to the forest every night to meet me while all were asleep, resting in the innocence and simplicity of her original Being.
Intelligence, with her innate purity, held me in her grip. She recognised that I had never forsaken her.
One night, while sitting together in the forest, Intelligence sought my counsel. I advised her to meditate on her true nature, rather than being involved with her relations’ unrelenting desires for activity and drama. While she remained awake, I directed her to cultivate the power of unprejudiced observation.
With resolve and pure heart she regained her body’s strength and the bright light returned to her mind. After some time, she married again, this time to a wise and compassionate husband, Discernment, who gave her courage to be uninfluenced by anyone, anything, or any activity exploiting her good nature.
Thereafter, Intelligence has never lost union with me. Before Pran dissolved the city of Ten Gates, Intelligence reached my mother’s home where we played in the garden of eternity.