Yoga Vashishta     254 posts


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“O Rama, you have reached that state of satva and your mind has been burnt in the fire of wisdom. What is that wisdom? It is that the infinite Brahman is indeed the infinite Brahman, the world appearance is but an appearance whose reality is Brahman. The appearance (for instance, your body as ’Rama’) is insentient, is unreal; its reality is the reality of its substratum which is consciousness. Why then do you grieve? However, if you feel that all this is consciousness, there need not arise in you the notions of diversity. Recollect your essential nature as the infinite consciousness. Abandon the notions of diversity. You are what you are: nay, not even that as a concept, but beyond it you are the self-luminous being. Salutations to you, O cosmic being that is infinite consciousness.
That which is known as Rama is in truth the magnificent and infinite ocean of consciousness in which numerous universes appear and disappear like ripples and waves. Remain in a state of total equanimity. You are like infinite space. Fire is inseparable from heat, fragrance from lotus, blackness from collyrium, whiteness from snow, sweetness from sugarcane and light from a luminary. Even so, experiencing is inseparable from consciousness. Even as waves are inseparable from the ocean, the universes are inseparable from consciousness.
Experiencing is not different from consciousness, the ego-sense is not different from experiencing, the jiva is not different from ego-sense and the mind is not different from the jiva (not different or inseparable). The senses are not different from the mind, the body is not different from the senses, the world is not different from the body, and there is nothing but this world. This catalogue of dependent categories has existed for a very long time; yet this has neither been set in motion by anyone, nor can we say whether it has existed for a very long or very short time. The truth is, O Rama, that all this is nothing else but the self-experiencing of the infinite.
There is emptiness in the empty, Brahman pervades Brahman, the truth shines in the truth and fullness fills fullness. The wise man, though functioning in this world, does nothing, for he seeks nothing. Even so, O Rama, remain pure at heart like space, but outwardly engage yourself in appropriate action; in situations which could provoke exultation or depression, remain unaffected by them like a log of wood. He who is friendly even to one who is about to murder him, is a seer of truth. Adoration of one who has not thus risen above likes and dislikes (raga and dvesa) is futile effort. Only he who is free from egoistic or volitional activity and who is utterly non-attached to anything here, is liberated: even if he should destroy the world, he does nothing.
He in whom all concepts and habitual tendencies have ceased has overcome all mental conditioning and bondage. He is like a lamp which is not fed with oil.
You have listened intently to my words, and on account of that the veil of ignorance has been lifted in you. Even ordinary human beings are profoundly influenced by the words of their family preceptor: how then can it be different in one who possesses an expanded vision, as you do?”

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RAMA: By your grace, O Lord, I am free from the dirt of duality. I have realized that all this is indeed Brahman.

VASISTHA: That is not considered action, O Rama, which with an unattached mind you perform merely with the organs of action. The delight derived from sensual experience is fleeting. A repetition of that experience does not afford a repetition of the same delight. Who but a fool will entertain desire for such a momentary joy? Moreover, an object gives you pleasure only when it is desired. So the pleasure belongs to the desire—hence, give up desire.
If in the course of time you attain to the experience of that (the self), do not store it in your mind as a memory or ego-sense to be revived as desire once again. For when you rest on the pinnacle of self-knowledge it is unwise to fall into the pit of ego-sense again. Let hopes cease and let notions vanish; let the mind reach the state of no-mind, while you live unattached. You are bound only when you are ignorant. You will not be bound if you have self-knowledge. Hence, strive by every means to remain vigilant in self-knowledge.
When you do not engage yourself in sense-experiences and also when you experience whatever comes to you unsought, you are in a state of equanimity and purity, free from latent tendencies or memories. In such a state, like the sky, you will not be tainted even by a thousand distractions. When knower, known and knowledge merge in the one self, the pure experiencer does not once again generate division within.
With the slightest movement in the mind (when the mind blinks), the samsara (world-appearance) arises and ceases. Make the mind unwinking (free from movement of thought) by the restraint of the prana and also the latent tendencies (vasana). By the movement (blinking) of prana, the samsara arises and ceases; by diligent practice make the prana free from such movement. By the rise and cessation of foolishness (ignorance), self-binding action arises and ceases; retrain it by means of self-discipline and the instructions of the preceptor and the scriptures.
This world-illusion has arisen because of the movement of thought in the mind; when that ceases the illusion will cease, too, and the mind becomes no-mind. This can also be achieved by the restraint of prana. That is the supreme state. The bliss that is experienced in a state of no-mind, that bliss which is uncaused, is not found even in the highest heaven. In fact, that bliss is inexpressible and indescribable and should not even be called happiness! The mind of the knower of truth is no-mind: it is pure satva. After living with such no-mind for some time, there arises the state known as turiya-atita (the state beyond the transcendental, or the turiya, state).

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The entire universe appears in the one ocean of cosmic consciousness; in that universe dwell fourteen types of beings. This universe has already had Yama and others as its presiding deities. They have established the tenets of right conduct. However, when the people become predominantly sinful, Yama, the god of death, sometimes engages himself in meditation for some years, during which the population increases and explodes.
The gods, frightened by this population explosion, resort to various devices to reduce it. All this has happened again countless times. The present ruler (Yama) is Vaivasvata. He, too, will have to perform meditation for some time. When, on account of that, the population of the earth will multiply very fast, all the gods will appear to lord Visnu to come to their aid. He will incarnate as lord Krsna, along with his alter ego named Arjuna. His elder brother will be Yudhisthira or the son of Dharma, who will be the embodiment of righteousness. His cousin will fight a duel with Bhima, Arjuna's brother. In this battle between cousins eighteen divisions of armed forces will be killed; and thus will Visnu dispose of the burden on the earth.
Krsna and Arjuna will play the roles of simple human beings. When Arjuna sees that the armies on both sides are composed of his own kinsmen, he will become despondent and will refuse to fight. At that time, lord Krsna will instruct him in the highest wisdom and bring about a spiritual awakening in him. He will tell Arjuna: "This (self) is neither born nor does it die; it is eternal and is not killed when this body is killed. He who thinks that it kills or that it is killed, he is ignorant. How, why and by whom is this infinite being, which is one without a second and which is subtler than space, destroyed? Arjuna, behold the self which is infinite, unmanifest, eternal and which is of the nature of pure consciousness and untainted. You are unborn and eternal!”
When the lord will thus instruct Arjuna, the latter will say: "Lord, my delusion is gone. I have attained an awakening of intelligence through your grace.” Arjuna will then engage himself in the conduct of the war, as if in a play.
Equip yourself with such an attitude, O Rama, and remain unattached, endowed with the spirit of renunciation and with the realization that whatever you do or you experience is an offering to the omnipresent being, Brahman. Then you will realize the truth, and that is the end of all doubts.
That is the supreme state, it is the guru of all guru, it is the self, it is the light that illumines the world from within. It is the reality in all substances, that which endows the substances with their essential characteristic. The notion of ’world’ arises only when the spirit of inquiry is absent. But, ’I' am before the world was. How then do the notions of world, etc., bind me? He who has thus realized the truth is free from all beginnings and all endings. He who is thus equipped with the spirit of non-duality (as if he is in deep sleep, though awake) is not disturbed though actively engaged in life. Such a person is liberated here and now.
When the inner intelligence is awakened, the craving for pleasure ceases: this is the nature of the wise. In him this cessation of craving for pleasure is therefore natural and effortless. He knows that it is the energy of the self that experiences the experiences. He who, in order to please the public, refuses to experience what is to be experienced, he indeed beats the air with a stick! One attains self-knowledge by sometimes using appropriate means.
Desire for liberation interferes with the fullness of the self; absence of such desire promotes bondage! Hence, constant awareness is to be preferred. The sole cause for bondage and liberation is the movement in consciousness. Awareness of this ends this movement. The ego-sense ceases the very moment one observes it, for it has no support any longer. Then who is bound by whom, or who is liberated by whom?
Such is the nature of the supreme being, which is infinite consciousness. They who are endowed with macrocosmic forms like Brahma the creator, Visnu and Siva, are established in that supreme being; and they function here as the lords or the kings of the world. Established in it, the perfected ones roam the heavens. Having attained it, one does not die nor does one grieve. The sage who dwells even for the twinkling of an eye in that pure being, which is of the nature of illimitable and infinite consciousness and which is also known as the supreme self, is not again afflicted, even though he continues to engage himself in the activities of the world.

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“The self is not revealed either by the scriptures or by the instructions of a preceptor, and the self is not revealed without the instructions of a preceptor and without the help of the scripture. It is revealed only when all these come together. It is only when the scriptural knowledge, instructions of a preceptor and true discipleship come together that self-knowledge is attained.
That which is after all the senses have ceased to function and all notions of pleasure and pain have vanished, is the self or Siva, which is also indicated by expressions like 'that', 'truth' or ’reality'. However, that which is when all these cease to be, exists even when all these are present, like the limitless space. Out of their compassion for the ignorant deluded ones, in an effort to awaken them spiritually and to awaken in them a thirst for liberation, the redeemers of the universe (known as Brahma, Indra, Rudra and others) have composed scriptures like the veda and the purana (the legends). In these scriptures they have used words like 'consciousness’, 'Brahman’, 'Siva', 'self', ’Lord', 'supreme self', etc. These words may imply a diversity, but in truth there is no such diversity.
The truth indicated by words like 'Brahman', etc. is indeed pure consciousness. In relation to it even limitless space is as gross and substantial as a great mountain. That pure consciousness appears to be the knowable object and gives rise to the concept of intelligence or consciousness, though being the innermost self, it is not an object of knowledge. On account of a momentary conceptualization, this pure consciousness gives rise to the ego-sense ('I know’).
This ego-sense then gives rise to the notions of time and space. Endowed with the energy of the vital air, it then becomes jiva or the individual. The individual thence-forward follows the dictates of the notions and slips into dense ignorance. Thus is the mind born in conjunction with the ego-sense and the different forms of psychological energy. All these together are known as the 'ativahika' body, the subtle body which moves from one place to another.
After this, the substances (the objects of the world) corresponding to the subtle energies of the ativahika body were conceived of, and thus were the various senses (sight, touch, hearing, taste and smell), their corresponding objects and their connecting experiences brought into being. These together are known as the puryastaka, and in their subtle state they are also known as the ativahika body.
Thus were all these substances created; but nothing was created in fact. All these are but apparent modifications in the one infinite consciousness. Even as dream—objects are within oneself, all these are not different from infinite consciousness. Even as when one dreams those objects, they seem to become the objects of one’s perception, all these, too, appear to be objective realities.
When the truth concerning them is realized, all these shine as Lord. However, even that is untrue, for all these have never become material substances or objects. On account of one's own notions of their being substances which one experiences, they appear to have a substantiality. Thus conjuring up a substantiality, the consciousness sees the substantiality.
Conditioned by such notions, it seems to suffer. Conditioning is sorrow. But conditioning is based on thoughts and notions (or sensual and psychological experiences). However, the truth is beyond such experiences and the world is an appearance, like a mirage! In that case, what is psychological conditioning, who conditions what and who is conditioned by such conditioning? Who drinks the water of the mirage? Thus, when all these are rejected the reality alone remains in which there is no conditioning, nothing conditioned. It may be styled the being or the non-being, but it alone is.”

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“The mountain seen in a dream only appears to exist in time and space. It does not occupy any space nor does it take time to appear and disappear. Even so is the case with the world. In whatever manner the omnipotent deity comes into being, in exactly the same manner a worm also comes into being within the twinkling of an eye. The jiva thinks of itself as Creator, Preserver and so on, but all this is nothing more than thought-form. However, this thought-form conceives and perceives other thought-forms and experiences them.

O Rama, the unreal jiva perceives the unreal world on account of the unreal influence of the unreality. In all this what can be considered as real and what as unreal? An imaginary object is imaginatively described by someone; and one understands in one’s own imagination and imagines that he understands it. Just as liquidity is in liquids, motion in wind, emptiness in space, even so is omnipresence in the self.

From the time the Lord instructed me, I have been performing the worship of the infinite self. By the grace of such worship, though I am constantly engaged in various activities, I am free from sorrow. I perform the worship of the self, who is undivided though apparently divided, with the flowers of whatever comes to me naturally and whatever actions are natural to me.

To come into relationship (to possess and to be possessed) is common to all embodied beings, but the yogi is forever vigilant, and such vigilance is the worship of the self. Adopting this inner attitude and with a mind utterly devoid of any attachment, I roam in this dreadful forest of samsara (world-appeafance ). If you do so, you will not suffer.

When great sorrow (like the loss of wealth and relatives) befalls you, inquire into the nature of truth, in the manner described. You will not be affected by joy or sorrow. You now know how all these things arise and how they cease, and you also know the fate of the man who is deluded by them, who does not inquire into their real nature. They do not belong to you, you do not belong to them. Such is the unreal nature of the world. Do not grieve.

Dear Rama, you are pure consciousness which is not affected by the illusory perception of the diversity of creation. If you see this, how will notions of the desirable and the undesirable arise in you? Realizing thus, O Rama, remain established in the turiya (transcendental) state of consciousness.”

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“First of all, one should abandon the body-idea (the notion that ’I am this body’). Meditation alone is true worship. Hence one should constantly worship the Lord of the three worlds by means of meditation. How should one contemplate him? He is pure intelligence, he is as radiant as a hundred thousand suns risen together, he is the light that illumines all lights, he is the inner light. The limitless space is his throat, the firmament is his feet, the directions are his arms, the worlds are the weapons he bears in his hands, the entire universe is hidden in his heart, the gods are hairs on his body, the cosmic potencies are the energies in his body, time is his gatekeeper, and he has thousands of heads, eyes, ears and arms. He touches all, he tastes all, he hears all, he thinks through all, though he is beyond thinking. He does everything at all times, he bestows whatever one thinks of or desires, he dwells in all, he is the all, he alone is to be sought by all. Thus should one contemplate him. This Lord is to be worshipped by one’s own consciousness, not by material substances—by waving of lamps, lighting incense, offering flowers or even food or sandalpaste. He is attained without the least effort; he is worshipped by self-realization alone. This is the supreme meditation, this is the supreme worship: the continuous and unbroken awareness of the indwelling presence, inner light or consciousness.
While doing whatever one is doing—seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, moving, sleeping, breathing or talking —- one should realize one’s essential nature as pure consciousness. Thus does one attain liberation.
Meditation is the offering, meditation is the water offered to the deity to wash his hands and feet, self-knowledge gained through meditation is the flower—indeed all these are directed towards meditation. The self is not realized by any means other than meditation. If one is able to meditate even for thirteen seconds, even if one is ignorant one attains the merit of giving away a cow in charity. If one does so for one hundred and one seconds, the merit is that of performing a sacred rite. If the duration is twelve minutes, the merit is a thousandfold. If the duration is of a day, one dwells in the highest realm. This is the supreme yoga, this is the supreme kriya (action or service). One who practices this mode of worship is worshipped by the gods and the demons and all other beings.”

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“O Rama, by the following attitude you will also gain divine insight and remain firmly established in self-knowledge: 'I am space. I am the sun. I am the directions, above and below. I am the gods. I am the demons. I am all beings. I am darkness. I am the earth, the oceans, etc. I am the dust, the wind, the fire and all this world. I am omnipresent. How can there be anything other than me?’ By adopting this attitude you will rise beyond joy and sorrow.
Both the following attitudes are conducive to liberation: one is ’I am the extremely subtle and transcendent self’ and the other is 'I am all and everything'. There is another attitude with regard to the 'I', and that is the attitude of 'I am this body': this attitude is the source of endless sorrow. Abandon all these three attitudes, O Rama, and remain as pure consciousness.
Abandon these two false concepts of bondage and liberation, and live an enlightened life here. There is no liberation in the sky or on earth or in the nether world; liberation is but a synonym for pure mind, correct self-knowledge and a truly awakened state.”

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O Rama, there are liberated beings even among worms and insects; and there are stupid fools among the gods. The self is in all; it exists as the all everywhere at all times and in all ways.

Yoga Vasistha page 204

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I victoriously live in this Effulgent Consciousness as my own sole Essence.

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We don't know how to explain Saving-Truth of Spiritual Life to persons who are gross, with uncontrolled senses, or passions, who are drowned in lusty enjoyments. Let them learn it all from women who are dressed in their lack-of-intelligence !

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"Later..., having reached the Holy-of-holies, this Unborn State, his tranquil-mind established in It, he never grieves even amidst the greatest calamities."

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The joy that fillls a mind, which is thoughtless and undisturbed , such a perfect joy is not found in the pleasing moon, nor in the palace of the Creator, nor for the King-of-gods, Indra, himself.

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Even Lord Madhava cannot give wisdom to one who has not contemplated upon the Self, even though he may be one who has for long worshipped the Lord, and is one who has supreme devotion for the Lord.

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In his ignorance of the Supreme State, ever-exhausting himself in activities, tired with his constant anxiety for results, alas, man never contemplates upon the Reality... There is no greater State of Existence than the Silence of the Mind, wherein all Vasana's have been renounced.

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In the birght hot summer noon just as we see different colors in the sky, so too are the infinite powers divine, in Him who is both Existence and Non-existence.

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One who has unveiled the Truth in himself, sits ever contended in enjoying the nectar of his own Infinite Peace, his mind and intellect completely at rest, with no inner thought-disturbances - revelling in his own Real Nature.

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Thus to the Man of Wisdom there is no time when he is not aware of the Self-in-Him.

- Ch. 62-19

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O Saint! the term 'Samadhi' means the awareness of the Supreme Consciousness as one's own Self. A river, being a continuous flow of water, is never halted in its flow.

- Ch. 62-9

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“In this world, O Rama, liberation is at hand at all times every where. There have been countless beings in this world who have attained self-knowledge and liberation while yet living, like the emperor lanaka. Therefore, do thou become liberated here and now. The attainment of inner peace by utter non-attachment to anything here is known as liberation; this is possible whether the body exists or not. He who is freed from all attachment is liberated.
One should wisely and intelligently exert oneself to attain this liberation; one who does not exert cannot even jump over the footprint of a calf. Hence, O Rama, resort to spiritual heroism, to right exertion, and by the right self-inquiry strive to reach the perfection of self-knowledge. For one who thus strives, the entire universe is like the footprint of a calf.
All these worlds, O Rama, appear in Brahman the absolute but they are apprehended as an independent substantial reality on account of ignorance or non-wisdom. Such an erroneous notion ceases on the arising of wisdom. Erroneous perception makes all this appear as ’the world’; right perception brings about the cessation of this error. Rama, this error is not dispelled except by right exertion with the right attitude and wisdom. Fie on that person, O Rama, who, though such possibility of overcoming this error exists, remains sunk in the mire of world-illusion. Blessed are you, Rama, that the right spirit of inquiry has already manifested in your heart. When the truth is realized through such inquiry, strength, intelligence and radiance increase.”

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The messenger sent by the Divine Spirit is known by the name of wise discrimination (viveka,wisdom). It shines as coolly in the cave of the human heart as moonlight does in a clear sky.

Wise discrimination awakens and instructs the brutish and lustful soul to wisdom and saves the unwise soul from the turbulent ocean of this world.

The Vedas and Vedic scriptures call this enlightening and intellectual spirit residing in the human heart the adorable cosmic sound of Om.

This Holy Spirit is propitiated daily by men and the naaga trice, and by gods and demigods, by their prayers and oblations, by their austerities and alms-giving, and by their sacrificial rites and recitals of the scriptures.

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The whole universe being full with the glorious essence of God, it is the mind which revolves with the spheres of the worlds on itself, like ripples on the surface of waters.

As moving sands appear like water and as distant smoke seems like gathering clouds to the deluded, so this world appears to them as a gross object of creation, a third thing beside Divine Spirit and mind.

Common understanding is ready to attribute choice, the predicates "I" and "you" and so forth to the original and prime Intellect, but none of these is separate from the Supreme One, just as fluid is no other than water itself.

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“Truly, the cause for this world-appearance is ignorance or the non-investigation into the nature of reality. Even as a lamp instantly removes darkness, the light of self-knowledge dispels the darkness of ignorance instantly. Hence, one should inquire into what is known as jiva or mind or the inner psychological factor. The supreme self, which alone is the truth, is right in the middle between the inert and the intelligent: that alone creates diversity and is known by all these diverse names.
Just as a nanny takes the baby from one place to another in order to distract it, this mental conditioning (or the psychological habit or tendency) takes the jiva here and there. .Thus, tied to the rope of mental conditioning, the jiva goes through repeated births in various species, enduring interminable suffering.
The self, on account of its ignorant self-limitation as the mind, becomes as if tainted by the objects of the world; but the same self, when it is awakened to its true nature, abandons its ignorant delusion and regains its self-knowledge. Then the mind sees the body as if from a great height. Recognizing the body as an aggregate of the elements, it transcends body-consciousness and becomes enlightened...
O Rama, by the following attitude you will also gain divine insight and remain firmly established in self-knowledge: 'I am space. I am the sun. I am the directions, above and below. I am the gods. I am the demons. I am all beings. I am darkness. I am the earth, the oceans, etc. I am the dust, the wind, the fire and all this world. I am omnipresent. How can there be anything other than me?’
By adopting this attitude you will rise beyond joy and sorrow. Both the following attitudes are conducive to liberation: one is ’I am the extremely subtle and transcendent self’ and the other is 'I am all and everything'. There is another attitude with regard to the 'I', and that is the attitude of 'I am this body': this attitude is the source of endless sorrow. Abandon all these three attitudes, O Rama, and remain as pure consciousness.”

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Rama, this inquiry, 'Who am I?' is the quest of the self and is said to be the fire that burns up the seed of the poisonous weed of conceptual thought.

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' ON LIBERATION '

I exhort you repeatedly, to wake from your drowsiness, and by remaining ever wakeful to your spiritual concerns, see the undecaying and undeclining sun of your soul at all times.

Do not delay to enlighten your understanding, and attain your highest wisdom in the knowledge of the Supreme Being, and come to the light of truth and shun the errors of the delusive world.

You will no longer be subject to any more birth or pain, nor will you be exposed to any error or evil, if you will only remain steady in your soul by forsaking all your worldly desires.

Remain steadfast in your trust in the tranquil and all-encompassing soul of Brahman, in order to attain the purity and holiness of your own soul. Thereby you will be freed from the snare of your earthly desires, and get a clear sight of that true reality, wherein you will rest in perfect security, as if in profound sleep.

- Chapter 28

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' ON LIBERATION '

Knowledge removes desires. Disappearance of desires destroys the mind. This produces the suppression of breath, and from that proceeds the tranquility of the soul. Hence know that the extinction of desires brings on the destruction of both the mind and vital breath.

The mind without its desires, which form its soul and life, can no longer see the body in which it took so much delight. Then the tranquil soul attains its holiest state.

Mind is another name for desire. When desire is eradicated, the soul discriminates the truth which leads to knowledge of the supreme.

In this manner, we came to the end of our false knowledge of the world, just like we use reason to detect the error of seeing a snake instead of a rope.

Learn this one lesson: that restraining the mind and suppression of breath mean the one same thing. If you succeed in restraining one, you succeed in restraining the other.

- Chapter 69

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' ON LIBERATION '

The essence of divine omnipotence is not divisible into portions or fractions, like sea waves that are broken into foam and spray. As the leaves, stalks, branches and flowers of trees are nothing other than the same substance, so unity, duality, I, you, and the objectivity of the phenomenal world are not different from the essence of the subjective Consciousness which contains and puts forth itself in all these forms.

As the power of thinking, the thought and its object together compose the principle of the mind, so the whole universe and everything that bears a name area all included under the term Consciousness (cid), in the same way as water and its rise and fall are all included under the word "wave".

This Supreme Consciousness is known by the various names of the Lord, God, Truth, Shiva, Intellect and others, as it is by the various names of emptiness, unity and Supreme Spirit.

- Chapter 33

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