VASISTHA: They who are fully awakened, who are constantly engaged in samadhi and who are thoroughly enlightened, are known as samkhya-yogi. They who have reached the state of bodiless consciousness through pranayama, etc. are known as yoga yogi. Indeed, the two are essentially the same. The cause of this world-appearance and bondage is indeed the mind. Both these paths lead to the cessation of the mind. Hence, by the devoted and dedicated practice of either the cessation of the movement of prana or the cessation of thought, liberation is attained. This is the essence of all scriptures dealing with liberation.
RAMA: O sage, if the cessation of the movement of prana is liberation, then death is liberation! And all people attain liberation at death!
VASISTHA: O Rama, when prana is about to leave the body, it already makes contact with those elements with which the next one is to be fashioned. These elements are indeed the crystallization of the vasana (psychological conditioning, memory-store, past impressions and predisposition) of the jiva, the reason why the jiva clings to those elements. When the prana leaves the body, it takes with it all the vasana of the jiva.
Not indeed until these vasana have been destroyed will the mind become no-mind. The mind does not abandon the life-force till self-knowledge arises. By self-knowledge the vasana are destroyed and thus the mind, too; it is then that the prana does not move. That indeed is supreme peace. It is by self-knowledge that the unreality of the concepts concerning worldly objects is realized. This puts an end to vasana and to the link between the mind and the life-force. Vasana constitute mind. Mind is the aggregate of the vasana and nothing else; if the latter cease, that itself is the supreme state. Knowledge is the knowledge of reality. Vicara or inquiry itself is knowledge.
Total dedication to one thing, restraint of prana and the cessation of the mind—if one of these three is perfected, one attains the supreme state. The life-force and the mind are closely related, like a flower and its fragrance or sesame seed and oil. Hence, if the movement of thought in the mind ceases, the movement of prana ceases, too. If the total mind is one-pointedly devoted to a single truth, the movement of mind and therefore of life-force ceases. The best method is to inquire into the nature of the self, which is infinite. Your mind will be completely absorbed —then both the mind and the inquiry will cease. Remain firmly established in what remains after that.
When the mind does not crave for pleasure, it is absorbed into the self, along with the life-force. Ignorance is non-existence; self knowledge is the supreme state! Mind alone is ignorance when it appears to be a reality; the realization of its non-existence is the supreme state. If the mind remains absorbed even for a quarter of an hour, it undergoes a complete change, for it tastes the supreme state of self-knowledge and will not abandon it. Nay, even if the mind has tasted it for a second, it does not return to this worldly state. The very seeds of samsara (world-appearance or cycle of birth and death) are fried. With them, ignorance is dispelled and the vasana are utterly pacified; one who has reached this is rooted in satva (truth). He beholds the inner light and rests in supreme bliss.