In the third chapter, King Nimi enquires about the true nature of Maya, the deluding potency of Supreme Lord Vishnu. The answer is provided by the third of the yogis viz Anthariksha.
The process of creation out of the primordial prakriti, through the 24 categories, of Brahmanda and of the bodies, for the 3 types of living beings, for enabling them to learn about the Lord, are mentioned, also how the Lord enters His creation, the bodies, as the Inner Controller along with the jiva; how the embodied being performs work with the organs of action generating new tendencies and gets bound in transmigration; how the Lord though present along with the jiva has only blissful experience while the jiva who mistakenly identifies with the body experiences both joy and sorrow. Next is the description of process of pralaya or laya, which is dissolution back into primordial matter from which creation started in the first place. Thus is described Lord’s Maya, the ultimate cause of creation, sustenance and dissolution, through the instrumentality of the two fold prakriti viz chetana prakriti and jada prakriti working under the Lord’s control.
King Nimi next poses the question as to how men looking upon the gross body as their self and those with uncontrolled minds could easily get over Maya.
The answer is provided by the fourth of the yogis viz Prabuddha.
He points out the fleeting nature of worldly pleasures based on the painful process of acquiring wealth and the inevitability of death. It is pointed out that even heavenly felicities are transient and attended by intense rivalries, discord and hatred. Therefore, one desirous of knowing the highest good should resort to a preceptor who is well versed in the scriptures and who has realized the ultimate reality and who is free from attachment and hatred. He should completely surrender himself to the preceptor with devotion and learn from the preceptor the Bhagavatha Dharma. Detachment of the mind from all objects, attachments of Lord’s devotees, sincerity, compassion towards one’s inferiors, friendliness towards one’s equals, humility towards superiors, external and internal purity, devotion to religious duties, control over speech, study of scriptures, continence, non-violence, seeing presence of Shri Hari in all beings as their controller, living in solitude, firm faith in scripture, offerings in charity, austerities, constant remembrance of the Lord, etc all will develop intense devotion. When such devotion develops intoDevine love, the devotee easily crosses the unfathomable Maya.
King Nimi’s next question is about the real nature of Paramatma or Brahma, who is called by the name of Narayana. The answer is provided by the fifth yogi viz Pippalayana. The Supreme is He who constitutes the cause of creation, sustenance and dissolution of the universe and who is Himself causeless. He is the continuing entity through the state of waking, dream and deep sleep, as well as the only abiding reality in liberation and during dissolution. Just as sparks from a fire cannot comprehend the complete nature of the fire, but only to varying degrees depending on their proximity to the fire; so also the presiding deities of the mind, speech, sight etc cannot fully understand the true nature of Sri Hari, but to varying degrees ,depending on their deserts. Even Sri Lakshmi, the presiding deity of the Vedas (the revealed word) and who acknowledges Sri Hari as Her root cause, doesn’t fully grasp His blissful nature and only knows Him to be different and distinct from the created universe. Sri Hari is distinct from Pradhana or Prakriti.When the jiva after embodiment in various species (born of eggs, womb, seed and sweat) transmigrates to another body, he along with all presiding deities (of mind, speech, indriyas etc) enters into Mukhya Prana, who in turn enters along with Sri Hari in the new body. The same is the procedure in deep sleep. At all times, the jiva is under the control of Mukhya Prana who in turn is under the control of Sri Hari. The truth of the self is directly revealed to the pure heart of the man who is earnestly devoted to the Lord and intensely desires to obtain to His feet and has thus freed his mind from the impurities born of qualities and actions.
King Nimi’s next question is about yoga of action (karma yoga) through which man in his present life cleanses his karma and thus purified attains the Supreme Knowledge, which follows disassociation from all actions. The king further states that he has asked the same question of the Kumaras (sons of Brahma) which they did not reply.
Reply to this question of King Nimi is provided by the sixth yogi viz Avirhotra. Actions enjoined by the Vedas, abstinence from enjoined actions and actions prohibited by the Vedas are to be determined only through the Vedas and not mere secular affairs. One who performs actions enjoined by the Vedas and offers them to the Lord without expecting any fruit for himself, will before long attain Mukti. Worshipping Keshava in the image of one’s choice as per regulations laid in the Tantras, learnt from a bonafide guru, is the surest way of cutting assunder the bond of Ahankara (I and mine).
Thus concludes the third chapter.