Yoga Vashishta     251 posts


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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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' THE LATTER TREASURY '

To the learned and unerring, those who have gotten rid of the error of the world and rest in their everlasting tranquility, the world appears like a consumed and extinguished lamp.

To all common people, the world appears to be placed in the air by the will of God for the enjoyment of all.

- Chapter 22

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' THE LATTER TREASURY '

Know the words minds, egoism, understanding and such other words which signify the idea of knowledge proceed only from ignorance. They are soon removed by proper investigation.

Through conversation with the wise it is possible to remove one half of this ignorance. By investigating into the sastras, we can remove a quarter of it. Our belief in and reliance on the Supreme Spirit serves to put down the remaining quarter.

Having thus divided yourself into these fourfold duties, and by each destroying the four parts of ignorance, at last you will find a nameless something which is the true reality itself.

(Vashishta on the Four Quarters to Attain Liberation from Ignorance)

- Chapter 12

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' ON LIBERATION '

He who connects all the worlds within himself, like a thread connecting pearls in a necklace, is the man who possesses everything by renouncing all things from himself.

The soul is unattached to all things, yet it connects and passes through them all like the thread of the Divine Soul connects the worlds like a string of pearls.

The soul with no attachment to the world is like lamp without oil that soon burns out into darkness. But the spirit that is warm with its affections is like lamp with oil that burns with universal love and enlightens all objects around it.

The Lord who lives aloof from all resembles a lamp without oil in darkness, but the same Lord manifesting himself in all things resembles the lamp with oil that lights every object.

- Chapter 93

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