Yoga Vashishta     265 posts


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External objects like space,
etc. and psychological factors
like 'I' etc. exist only in name.

In reality, neither the
objective universe, nor
the perceiving self, nor
perception as such, nor
void, nor inertness exists;
only one is - cosmic
consciousness (cit).

In this it is the mind that
conjures up the diversity,
diverse actions and
experiences, the notion of
bondage and the desire
for liberation.

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RAMA: O Lord, the mind is so unsteady. How can one reach the state of perfect equanimity?

VASISTHA: O Rama, a dialogue which is relevant to this problem took place between that very king Suraghu and the sage Parigha. Listen to it.

There was a king in Persia named Parigha who was a close friend of the king Suraghu. Once there was a great famine in the kingdom of Parigha. Sore distressed at heart at the very sight of his people’s suffering, and seeing that all his attempts at bringing relief to them proved fruitless, Parigha, unbeknown to his people, went away to the forest to perform austerities. He lived on dried leaves, and earned the name Parnada. After a thousand years of penance and contemplation he attained self-knowledge. Thereafter he roamed the three worlds freely.

One day he met the king Suraghu, whom he had known before. The two enlightened kings duly worshipped each other. After that, Parigha asked Suraghu: "Even as you attained self-knowledge through the instructions of the sage Mandavya, I reached it through the grace of the Lord earned by penance. Pray tell me: is your mind at perfect rest now? Are your subjects living in peace and prosperity? Are you firmly established in dispassion?"

SURAGHU: Who can truly understand the course of the divine will? You and I had been separated by a great distance so far; but now we have been brought together. What is impossible for the divine? We have been truly blessed by your holy visit. By your very presence in our midst we have all been rid of all sins and defects and I feel all prosperity stands in front of us in your form. Company of good and holy men is indeed equal to the supreme state of liberation.

PARIGHA: O king, all actions that are performed by one who is firmly established in equanimity are productive of joy, not those done by others. Are you established in that state of supreme peace in which. no thoughts or notions arise in your mind, and which is known as samadhi?

SURAGHU: Holy sir, please tell me why only that state of mind which is free from thoughts and notions is called samadhi? If one is a knower of truth, whether he be engaged in constant action or in contemplation, does his mind ever lose the state of samadhi? No. The enlightened ones are forever in samadhi, even though they engage themselves in the affairs of the world. On the other hand, one whose mind is not at peace does not enjoy samadhi by merely sitting in the lotus posture.

Knowledge of truth, Lord, is the fire that burns up all hopes and desires as if they are dried blades of grass. That is what is known by the word samadhi—not simply remaining silent! That is known as the state of samadhi in which there is eternal satisfaction, clear perception of what is, egolessness, not being subject to the pairs of opposites, freedom from anxiety and from the wish to acquire or to reject. From the very moment of the dawn of self-knowledge, the state of samadhi becomes permanent in the sage. He neither loses it nor is it interrupted, even for a moment. Even as time does not forget to move on, the man of self-knowledge does not forget the self. Even as a material object is forever material, the sage of self-knowledge is forever a sage of self-knowledge.

Hence, I am always awakened, pure, at peace within myself and in a state of samadhi. How can it be otherwise? How can there be anything other than the self? When at all times and in all ways the self alone is all in all, how can there be a state other than samadhi? And what can be termed samadhi?

PARIGHA: Surely, O king, you have attained total enlightenment. You shine, radiant with bliss, with peace, with sweetness and with purity. In you there is no ego-sense, desire or aversion.

SURAGHU: O sage, there is indeed nothing which is worth desiring or renouncing. For as long as these things are seen as objects, they are nothing but concepts, percepts and notions. When nothing is worth acquiring, it follows that nothing is worth renouncing. Good and evil, great and small, worthy or unworthy, are all based on the notion of desirability. When desirability has no meaning, the others do not arise at all. There is truly no essence in all that is seen in this world — the mountains, the oceans, the forests, the men and women and all the objects—hence there is no desire for them. When there is no desire, there is supreme peace at heart.

VASISTHA: After thus considering the illusory nature of the world-appearance and after mutually worshipping each other, Suraghu and Parigha continued to engage themselves in their respective duties. O Rama, be firmly established in this wisdom and discard the impure notion of ego-sense from your heart. Thereafter, even if you engage yourself in activity you are unattached to it and therefore not tainted by it, even as the eyes of fish are not affected by sea-water. They alone are friends, scriptures and conversations that generate in one’s heart true dispassion and also self-knowledge.

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RAMA: Holy sir, there are some who rest in self-knowledge, who are enlightened and yet engage themselves in activities, and there are others who isolate themselves and practice contemplation (samadhi). Of these, who is the better?

VASISTHA: O Rama, that is samadhi (contemplation or meditation) in which one realizes the objects of the senses as not-self and thus enjoys inner calmness and tranquility at all times. Having realized that the objects are related only to the mind, and therefore constantly resting in inner peace, some are engaged in activity, while others live in isolation. Both of them enjoy the bliss of contemplation. If the mind is free from all notions and distraction, he is enlightened and he is in unbroken samadhi. Whether he is engaged in activity or he lives in isolation in a forest, in enlightenment there is no distinction. The mind which is free from conditioning is not tainted even while it is engaged in activity. The non-action of the mind is known as quiescence (samadhana). It is total freedom, it is blessedness.

The difference between contemplation and its absence is indicated by whether or not there is movement of thought in the mind. Hence make the mind unconditioned. The unconditioned mind is firm, and that in itself is meditation, freedom and peace eternal. The conditioned mind is the source of sorrow. The unconditioned mind is a non-actor and attains to the supreme state of enlightenment. Hence one should work to remove all mental conditioning. That is known as contemplation or samadhi in which all the desires and hopes concerning the world have ceased, which is free from sorrow, fear and desire, and by which the self rests in itself.

Mentally renounce all false identification of the self with objects here and then live where you like, either at home or in a mountain cave. To the householder whose mind has attained utter quiescence, his house itself is the forest. If the mind is at peace and if there is no ego-sense, even cities are as void. On the other hand, forests are like cities to him whose heart is full of desires and other evils. The distractions of the mind subside in deep sleep; enlightenment attains enlightenment. Do as you please.

O Rama, infinite consciousness becomes aware of the pungency of the chilli; this gives rise to ego-sense, with all its differentiation in time and space. Infinite consciousness becomes aware of the savor in salt, and that gives rise to the ego-sense with all the differentiation which seems to exist in time and space. Infinite consciousness becomes aware of the sweetness in sugarcane, and thereby arises the awareness of its particular characteristic. Similarly, infinite consciousness, being the indwelling omnipresence, becomes aware of the nature of rock, a mountain, a tree, water and space, and thus self-consciousness of individuality arises.

Thus the natural combination of atomic particles and molecules (which is indwelt by consciousness) apparently acts as a dividing wall, giving rise to the divisions of 'I’, ’you’, etc., and these then appear to be outside of consciousness as its object. In fact, all these are but reflections in the consciousness which, becoming aware of them within itself, bestows upon them their apparent individuality. Consciousness tastes itself, the awareness being not different from consciousness, and that appears to give rise to the ego-sense, nothing else. The crystal of this infinite consciousness reflects its own light of consciousness which is present in all these combinations of atomic particles, and they then gain an apparent self-consciousness and think ’I am’ etc.

In reality, because the inner awareness in all these combinations is not different from infinite consciousness, there is no subject—object relationship between them: hence one does not experience the other, gain the other, or change or modify the other. O Rama, all that I have said above is but a play of words to help your comprehension: there is no such thing as ’I’ or ’the world’ (the combination of atomic particles, etc.). There is neither mind, nor an object of knowledge, nor the world-illusion. Just as water acquires the appearance of a whirlpool with a personality of its own, consciousness seems to give the appearance of ’I’ etc., within itself. But consciousness is consciousness only, whether it thinks of itself as lord Siva or as a little jiva! All this diversity of ’I’, ’you’, etc., and of the material substances, arises for the satisfaction of the ignorant. Whatever the ignorant person imagines in infinite consciousness, that alone he sees. In the light of awareness, life is seen as consciousness; when it is regarded as life, life appears to be no more than life! There is in reality no essential distinction between life and consciousness. In the same way, there is no real and essential distinction between the individual (jiva) and the cosmic being (Siva). Know all this to be undivided and indivisible infinite consciousness.

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KING JANAKA: When he rose in the morning, king Janaka thus reflected in his own mind: O unsteady mind! This worldly life is not conducive to your true happiness. Hence, reach the state of equanimity. It is in such equanimity that you will experience peace, bliss and the truth. Whenever you create perverse thinking in yourself, out of your wantonness, it is then that this world illusion begins to expand and spread out. It is when you entertain desire for pleasures that this world illusion sprouts countless branches. It is thought that gives rise to this network of world-appearance. Hence, abandon this whim and fancy and attain equanimity. Weigh in the balance of your wisdom the sense-pleasures on one side and the bliss of peace on the other.

Whatever you determine to be the truth, seek that. Give up all hopes and expectations, and freed from the wish to seek or to abandon, roam about freely. Let this world-appearance be real or unreal, let it arise or set; but, do not let its merits and demerits disturb your equanimity. For at no time do you have a real relationship with this world-appearance: it is only because of your ignorance that such a relationship has appeared in you. O mind, you are false, and this world-appearance is also false; hence there is a mysterious relation ship between you two—like the relationship between the barren woman and her son. If you think that you are real and that the world is unreal, how can a valid relationship exist between the two? On the other hand, if both are real, where then is the justification for exultation and sorrow? Hence, abandon sorrow and resort to deep contemplation. There is nothing here in this world which can lead you to the state of fullness. Hence, resolutely take refuge in courage and endurance, and overcome your own waywardness.

VASISHTA: Having reached the understanding already described, Janaka functioned as the king and did all that was necessary, without getting befuddled and with a great strength of mind and spirit. In fact, he moved about as if he were continually in a state of deep sleep.

The light of self-knowledge (cid-atma) arose in his heart, free from the least taint of impurity and sorrow, even as the sun rises on the horizon. He beheld everything in the universe as existing in cosmic power (cid-sakti). Endowed with self-knowledge, he saw all things in the self which is infinite. Knowing that all that happens happens naturally, he neither experienced elation nor suffered depression, and remained in unbroken equanimity. Janaka had become a liberated one while still living (jivanmukta). Remaining forever in the consciousness of the infinite, he experienced the state of non-action, even though he appeared to others to be ever busy in diverse actions.

Janaka attained whatever he did by dint of his own inquiry. Similarly, one should pursue the inquiry into the nature of truth till one reaches the very limits of such inquiry.

Self-knowledge or knowledge of truth is not had by resorting to a guru (preceptor) nor by the study of scripture, nor by good works: it is attained only by means of inquiry inspired by the company of wise and holy men. One’s inner light alone is the means, naught else. When this inner light is kept alive, it is not affected by the darkness of inertia.

Whatever sorrows there may be that seem to be difficult to overcome are easily crossed over with the help of the boat of wisdom (the inner light). He who is devoid of this wisdom is bothered even by minor difficulties. The effort and the energy that are directed by the people in worldly activities should first be directed to the gaining of this wisdom. One should first destroy the dullness of wit which is the source of all sorrow and calamities and which is the seed for this huge tree of world-appearance.

Wisdom or the inner light is like the legendary precious stone, O Rama, which bestows on its owner whatever he wishes to have. When one's intelligence and understanding are properly guided by this inner light, one reaches the other shore; if not, one is overcome by obstacles.

Defects, desires and evils do not even approach that man of wisdom whose mind is undeluded. Through wisdom (in the inner light) the entire world is clearly seen as it is; neither good fortune nor misfortune even approach one who has such clear vision. The darkness of ego-sense which veils the self is dispelled by wisdom (inner light). He who seeks to be established in the highest state of consciousness should first purify his mind by the cultivation of wisdom or by the kindling of the inner light.

O Rama, thus do inquire into the nature of the self, even as Janaka did. Neither god, nor rites and rituals (or any action) nor wealth nor relatives are of any use in this; to those who are afraid of the world-illusion only self-effort as self-inquiry is capable of bringing about self-knowledge. This ocean of world-appearance can be crossed only when you are firmly established in supreme wisdom, when you see the self with the self alone and when your intelligence is not diverted or colored by sense-perceptions.

Thus have I narrated to you how king Janaka attained self knowledge as if by an act of grace which caused the knowledge to drop from heaven, as it were. When the limited and conditioned feeling 'I am so-and-so' ceases, there arises consciousness of the all-pervading infinite. Hence, O Rama, like Janaka, you too abandon in your heart the false and fanciful notion of the ego-sense. When this ego-sense is dispelled, the supreme light of self-knowledge will surely shine in your heart. He who knows ’I am not', "Nor does the other exist’, ’Nor is there non-existence’, and whose mental activity has thus come to a standstill, is not engrossed in acquisitiveness. O Rama, there is no bondage here other than craving for acquisition and the anxiety to avoid what one considers undesirable.

They in whom the twin-urges of acquisition and rejection have come to an end do not desire anything nor do they renounce anything. The mind does not reach the state of utter tranquility till these two impulses (of acquisition and rejection) have been eliminated. Even so, as long as one feels ’this is real’ and ’this is unreal’, his mind does not experience peace and equilibrium. How can equanimity, purity or dispassion arise in the mind of one who is swayed by thoughts of ’this is right’, ’this wrong’, ’this is gain’, ’this is loss’? When there is only one Brahman (which is forever one and the many) what can be said to be right and what wrong?

Desirelessness (absence of all expectations), fearlessness, unchanging steadiness, equanimity, wisdom, non-attachment, non-action, goodness, total absence of perversion, courage, endurance, friendliness, intelligence, contentment, gentleness, pleasant speech — all these qualities are natural to one who is free from the instincts of acquisition and rejection: and even those qualities are non intentional and spontaneous.

One should restrain the mind from flowing downward, even as the flow of a river is blocked by the construction of a dam. Cut down the mind with the mind itself. Having reached the state of purity, remain established in it right now. Rooted in equanimity, doing whatever happens to be appropriate in all situations and not even thinking about what has thus befallen you unsought, live a non-volitional life here. Such is the nature of the Lord, who may therefore be said to he both the doer and the non-doer of all actions here.

You are the knower of all— the self. You are the unborn being, you are the supreme Lord; you are non-different from the self which pervades everything. He who has abandoned the idea that there is an object of perception which is other than the self is not subjected to the defects born of joy and grief. He is known as a yogi. He who is confirmed in his conviction that the infinite consciousness alone exists, is instantly freed from the thoughts of pleasure and is therefore tranquil and self-controlled.

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Jai Sri Ram! ૐ

RAMA: Lord, infinite consciousness is transcendental; pray, tell me how this universe exists in it.

VASISTHA: O Rama, this universe exists in the infinite consciousness, just as future waves exist in a calm sea, not different in truth but with the potentiality of an apparent difference. Infinite consciousness is unmanifest, though omnipresent, even as space, though existing everywhere, is manifest. just as the reflection of an object in crystal can be said to be neither real nor entirely unreal, one cannot say that this universe which is reflected in the infinite consciousness is real or unreal. Again, just as space is unaffected by the clouds that float in it, this infinite consciousness is unaffected and untouched by the universe that appears in it. Just as light is not seen except through the refracting agent, even so the infinite consciousness is revealed through these various bodies. It is essentially nameless and formless, but names and forms are ascribed to its reflections. Consciousness reflecting in consciousness shines as consciousness and exists as consciousness; yet to one who is ignorant (though considering oneself as wise and rational), there arises the notion that there has come into being and there exists something other than this consciousness.

This consciousness is not created, nor does it perish; it is eternal, and the world-appearance is superimposed on it, even as waves in relation to the ocean. In that consciousness, when it is reflected within itself, there arises the ’I am' notion which gives rise to diversity. As space, the same consciousness enables the seed to sprout; as air, it draws the sprout, as it were; as water, it nourishes it; as earth, it stabilizes it; and as light, the consciousness itself reveals the new life. It is the consciousness in the seed that in due course manifests as the fruit.

Thus, this world-appearance comes and goes as the very nature of infinite consciousness. Being non-different from infinite conscious ness this world-appearance has a mutual causal relationship with it — arises in it, exists in it and is absorbed in it. Though like the deep ocean it is not agitated, yet it is agitated like the waves appearing on the surface. Even as one who is intoxicated sees himself as another person, this consciousness, becoming conscious of itself, considers itself as another.

This self, the supreme Brahman, which permeates everything, is that which enables you to experience sound, taste, form and fragrance, O Rama. It is transcendental and omnipresent; it is non—dual and pure. In it there is not even a notion of another. All these diversities like existence and non-existence, good and evil, are vainly imagined by ignorant people. It matters not whether this imagination is said to be based on the not-self or the self itself.

O Rama, the sense of doership (the notion ’I do this') which gives rise to both happiness and unhappiness, or which gives rise to the state of yoga, is fictitious in the eyes of the wise; to the ignorant, however, it is real. This notion arises when the mind, spurred by the predisposition, endeavors to gain something; the resultant action is then attributed to oneself. When the same action leads to the experience of its fruition, the notion 'I enjoy this' arises. The two notions are in truth the two faces (phases) of the same notion. The wise man, even while acting in this world, is not interested in the fruits of those actions. He lets actions happen in his life, without attachment to those actions, and whatever be the results of those actions, he regards them as not different from his own self. But such is not the attitude of one who is immersed in mental states.

Whatever the mind does, that alone is action; hence, the mind alone is the doer of actions, not the body. The mind alone is this world-appearance; this world-appearance has arisen in it and it rests in the mind. When objects as well as the experiencing mind have become tranquil, consciousness alone remains.

The wise declare that the mind of the enlightened is neither in a state of bliss nor devoid of bliss, neither in motion nor static, neither real nor unreal, but between these two propositions. His unconditioned consciousness blissfully plays its role in this world-appearance as if in a play. He does not even entertain the notion of liberation, nor that of bondage. He sees the self and self alone.

O Rama, the absolute Brahman being omnipotent, his infinite potencies appear as this visible universe. All the diverse categories like reality, unreality, unity, diversity, beginning and end, exist in that Brahman.

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To renounce all craving
for what is not obtained
(and unsought) and to
be satisfied with what
comes unsought, without
being elated or depressed
even by them - this is
contentment.

With the rise
of contentment, the
purity of one's heart
blooms. The contented
man who possesses
nothing owns the
world.

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RAMA: Lord, how does the mind ever get tainted?

VASISTHA: It is a beautiful question, Rama, but this is not the proper time to ask: when you have listened to what I have to say, you will surely find the answer to this question with the utmost clarity. That the mind is impure is the experience of everyone who strives for liberation. Depending upon one’s particular point of view, everyone describes it differently.

Just as air coming into contact with different flowers takes on their scent, so mind entertaining different notions takes on those moods, creates bodies suitable to them and, as the energy activating the senses, enjoys the fruition of is own notions. It is the mind, again, that provides the fuel for the functioning of the organs of action. Mind is action and action is mind— the two are like the flower and its scent. The conviction of the mind determines the action and the action strengthens the conviction.

Mind is everywhere devoted to dharma, wealth, pleasure and freedom; but everyone has a different definition of these and is convinced that that definition is the truth.

Rama, bondage is none other than the notion of an object. This notion is Maya, ignorance, etc. It is the cataract that blinds one to the sun of truth. Ignorance raises a doubt; doubt perceives —- that perception is perverted. In darkness when one approaches even a lion’s empty cage, he is afraid. Even so, one ignorantly believes he is imprisoned in this empty body. The notions of ’I’ and ’the world’ are but shadows, not truth. Such notions alone create ’objects’: these objects are neither true nor false. Therefore Rama, abandon the notions of ’I’ and ’this’ and remain established in the truth.

It is only when the mind has become devoid of all attachment, when it is not swayed by the pairs of opposites, when it is not attracted by objects and when it is totally independent of all supports, that it is freed from the cage of delusion. When all doubt comes to rest and when there is neither elation nor depression, then the mind shines like the full moon.

When the impurities of the mind have ceased to be, there arise in the heart all the auspicious qualities, and there is equal vision everywhere. Even as darkness is dispelled by the rising sun, the world-illusion is dispelled when the sun of infinite consciousness arises in the heart. Such wisdom as is capable of gladdening the hearts of all beings in the universe, manifests and expands. In short, he who has known that which alone is worth knowing transcends all coming and going, birth and death. When there is absence of egoism there is no confusion in the mind, and that mind functions naturally. just as waves rise and fall in the ocean, the worlds arise and vanish: this deludes the ignorant but not the wise.

O Rama, he sees the truth who sees the body as a product of deluded understanding and as the fountain source of misfortune, and who knows that the body is not the self.

He sees the truth who sees that in this body pleasure and pain are experienced on account of the passage of time and the circumstances in which one is placed, and that they do not pertain to him.

He sees the truth who sees that he is the omnipresent infinite consciousness which encompasses within itself all that takes place everywhere at all times.

He sees the truth who knows that the self, which is as subtle as the millionth part of the tip of a hair divided a million times, pervades everything.

He sees the truth who sees that there is no division at all between the self and the other, and that the one infinite light of consciousness exists as the sole reality.

He sees the truth who sees that the non-dual consciousness which indwells all beings is omnipotent and omnipresent. He sees the truth who is not deluded into thinking that he is the body which is subject to illness, fear, agitation, old age and death.

He sees the truth who sees all things are strung in the self as beads are strung on a thread, and who knows 'I am not the mind’.

He sees the truth who sees all this is Brahman, neither 'I' nor ’the other".

He sees the truth who sees all beings in the three worlds as his own family, deserving of his sympathy and protection.

He sees the truth who knows that the self alone exists and that there is no substance in objectivity.

He is unaffected who knows that pleasure, pain, birth, death, etc., are all the self only.

He is firmly established in the truth who feels: "What should I acquire, what should I renounce, when all this is the one self?”

Salutations to the abode of auspiciousness who is filled with the supreme realization that the entire universe is truly Brahman alone, which remains unchanged during all the apparent creation, existence and dissolution of the universe.

Rama, he who treads the superior path, though he dwells in this body which functions as the potter's wheel does by past momentum, is untainted by the actions that might be performed. In his case, the body exists for his pleasure and for the liberation of his soul; he does not experience unhappiness in it.

To the ignorant, this body is the source of suffering, but to the enlightened man, this body is the source of infinite delight, and when its life-span comes to an end, he does not regard it as a loss at all. Since it transports him in this world in which he roams freely and delightfully, the body is regarded as a vehicle of wisdom. The body does not subject the wise man to the temptations of lust and greed, nor does it allow ignorance or fear to invade him. The embodied being comes lightly into contact with the body while it lasts but is untouched by .it once it is gone, even as air touches a pot which exists, but not one that does not exist.

The wise man who is rid of all doubts, in whom there is no image of self, reigns supreme in the body. Therefore one should abandon all cravings for pleasure and attain wisdom. Only the mind that has been well disciplined really experiences happiness. The captive king, when freed, is delighted with a piece of bread; the king who has not been subjected to captivity does not enjoy as much, even should it be the annexation of another kingdom. Hence, the wise man grinds his teeth and strives to conquer his mind and senses: such conquest is far greater than conquest of external foes.

O Rama, in the great empire known as dreadful hell, evil actions roam like mighty elephants in rut. The senses which are responsible for these actions are equipped with a formidable magazine of cravings. Hence, these senses are hard to conquer. These ungrateful senses destroy the body — their abode and support.

However, one who is equipped with wisdom is able to restrain craving without injuring the being, even as a noose restrains the elephant without harming its being. The bliss enjoyed by the wise man who has his senses under control is incomparably superior to the enjoyment of a king who rules over a city built with brick and mortar. The former's intelligence grows in clarity as his craving for sense-pleasure is worn out. However, the craving disappears completely only after the supreme truth has been seen.

To the wise, the mind is an obedient servant, good counselor, able commander of the senses, pleasing wife, protecting father and trustworthy friend. It impels him in good actions.

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VASISTHA: A long time ago the sage Bhrgu was performing intense penance on the peak of a mountain. His son Sukra was a young man at that time. While the father sat motionless in meditation, the young son attended to the father's needs. One day this young man beheld in the sky a beautiful flying nymph. His mind was disturbed with desire for her; so was her mind disturbed when she saw the radiant young Sukra.

Intensely overcome by desire for the nymph, Sukra closed his eyes and (mentally) pursued her. He reached heaven. There he saw the radiant celestial beings, gods and their consorts, the celestial elephants and horses. He saw the creator Brahma himself, and the other deities who govern this universe. He saw the siddha (perfected beings). He listened to celestial music. He visited the celestial gardens in heaven. Finally, he saw the king of heaven, Indra himself, seated in all his majesty, waited upon by incomparably beautiful nymphs. He saluted Indra. Indra got up from his throne and greeted the young sage Sukra and begged him to stay in heaven for a long time.

Sukra also consented to do so. Sukra had completely forgotten his previous identity. After spending some time in the court of Indra, Sukra roamed the heaven and soon discovered the whereabouts of the nymph he had seen. When they looked at each other, they were overcome by desire for each other, for wish-fulfillment is the characteristic of heaven.

Sukra wished for the darkness of night to envelop the pleasure garden where he met the nymph. So it was dark. Sukra then entered the beautiful rest house in that garden: the nymph followed. She pleaded, "Great one, I am tormented by desire for you. Only the dull-witted deride love, not the wise ones. Even the lordship of the three worlds is nothing compared to the delight of the company of the loved one. Hence, pray, give me shelter in your heart." So saying, she collapsed on his chest.

Sukra spent a very long time with that nymph, roaming at will in heaven. He lived with that nymph for a period equal to eight world-cycles.

After this length of time, as if his merit had been exhausted, Sukra fell from heaven, along with that nymph. When their subtle bodies fell on earth, they became dew-drops which entered food-grains which were eaten by a holy brahmana, from whom his wife received their essence. Sukra became their son. He grew up there. The nymph had become a female deer, and Sukra begot through her a human child. He became greatly attached to this son. Worries and anxieties caused by this child soon aged Sukra, and he died longing for pleasures.

On account of this Sukra became the ruler of a kingdom in the next birth, and he died to that embodiment longing for a life of austerity and holiness. In the next birth he became a holy man. Thus, after passing from one embodiment to another and enduring all manner of destinies, Sukra practiced intense austerity, standing firm on the bank of a river.

Thus contemplating while seated in front of his father, Sukra spent a long time. His body had become extremely emaciated. In the meantime the restless mind created scene after scene of successive life-spans, birth and death, ascent to heaven and descent to earth and the peaceful life of a hermit. He was so immersed in these that he regarded them as the truth. The body had been reduced to skin and bone, for it had been assailed by the inclemency of every type of weather. It appeared terribly frightening even to look at. Yet, it was not consumed by carnivorous beasts, as it stood right in front of the sage Bhrgu who was engaged in deep meditation, and as Sukra himself had endowed it with psychic strength through the practice of yoga discipline.

After a hundred celestial years of contemplation the sage Bhrgu got up from his seat. He did not see his son, Sukra, in front of him, but saw the dried up body. The body appeared hideous, an abode of worms which, dwelling in the eye-sockets, had multiplied very fast indeed. Deeply concerned with what he saw and without really reflecting over the natural course of events, Bhrgu was filled with rage and resolved to curse Time for causing the untimely death of his son.

Time (or Death) instantly approached the sage in physical form. Time had a sword in one hand and a noose in the other. He had impenetrable armor. He had six arms and six faces. He was surrounded by a host of his servants and messengers. He was radiant with the flames of destruction that emanated from his body and from the weapons he held in his hands.

TIME: Calmly and in an unfaltering voice, Time thus addressed Bhrgu: O sage, how is it that such a wise sage as you are contemplates such unworthy conduct? Wise men are not upset even when they are offended, yet you have lost your balance of mind even though no one has offended you! You are indeed an adorable person, and I am one of those who strictly adhere to the appropriate mode of behavior; hence I salute you — not with any other motive.

Do not waste your merit in useless exhibition of your power to curse! Know that I am unaffected even by the fires of cosmic dissolution; how childish of you to hope to destroy me with your curse!

I am Time: I have destroyed countless beings, even the gods who preside over this universe. Holy one, I am the consumer and you are our food: this indeed is ordained by nature. This relationship is not based on mutual likes or dislikes. Fire by its very nature flames upward and water naturally flows down: food seeks the consumer and created objects seek their end. This is how it has been ordained by the Lord: in the self of all, the self dwells as itself. To the purified vision there is neither a deor nor an enjoyer; to the unpurified vision which sees division, such a division seems to exist.

You are indeed a knower of truth and you know that there is neither doership nor non-doership here. Creatures come and go like flowers on trees, their causation is nothing else than conjecture. All these are attributed to time. This can be considered real or unreal. For when the surface of the lake is agitated, the reflection of the moon seems to be agitated. This can be considered both true and false.

Do not give way to anger, O sage: that is surely the path to disaster. For what will be, will be. Realize this truth. We are not swayed by vanity; we are naturally inclined to the fulfillment of our natural functions. Such indeed is the nature of wise ones. What has to be done has to be done by wise men here, remaining egoless and unselfish as if in deep sleep: do not let this be violated.

Where is your wisdom, your greatness and your moral courage? O sage, though you know the path to blessedness, why do you act like a fool? Surely you know that the ripe fruit falls to the ground; ignoring this, why do you think of cursing me?

Surely, you know that everyone has two bodies, the one physical and the other mental. The physical body is insentient and seeks its own destruction; the mind is finite but orderly—but that mind is disturbed in you! The mind makes the body dance to its tunes, bringing about successive changes in it, like the child playing with mud. Mental actions alone are actions; its thoughts cause bondage and its own pure state is liberation. It is the mind that creates the body with all its limbs. Mind itself is both the sentient and the insentient beings; all this endless diversity is nothing but mind. Mind itself in its function as determination is known as the intellect and in its function as identification is known as the ego-sense. The physical body is only physical matter, yet the mind deems it as its own. Yet if the mind turns towards the truth, it abandons its identification with the body and attains the supreme.

O sage, while you were engaged in contemplation your son went far, far away in his own fancy. He left here the body which was 'the son of Bhrgu' and rose up to heaven. There in heaven he enjoyed the celestial nymphs. In course of time, when his merit has been exhausted by such enjoyment, he fell down on the earth like a ripe fruit, along with the nymph. He had to leave his celestial body in heaven. He fell on earth to be born with a physical body. Here on earth he had to undergo a series of births. He was, successively, a brahmana boy, a king, a fisherman, a swan, again a king, a great yogi with psychic powers, a celestial demi-god, the son of a sage, a king again, and again the son of a sage. On account of evil deeds he became a hunter, a king, and then worms and plants, a donkey, a bamboo, a deer in China, a snake, a bird, and once again a demi-god. Now once again he has become the son of a brahmana known as Vasudeva. He is well read in the scriptures and is at present engaged in penance on the bank of the holy river Samar'tga.

VASISTHA: Encouraged by Time, the sage Bhrgu thereupon entered into the eye of wisdom in order to behold the life of his son. In an instant he saw in his own intelligence the entire story of his son's transmigration. Wonderstruck at what he saw, he reentered his own body. Completely devoid of all attachment to his son,

BHRGU: Bhrgu said: Lord, you are indeed the knower of the past, present and future, whereas we are of little understanding. This world-appearance which though unreal appears to be real, deludes even the heroic man of wisdom. Surely, all this is within you, and only you know the true form of this phantom created by the imaginations of the mind.

This son of mine is not dead: yet taking him to be dead, I became agitated. I thought that my son had been taken away from me before his time arrived. Lord, though we understand the course of earthly events, we are moved to joy and sorrow by what we consider as good fortune and misfortune.

In this world anger impels man to do what should not be done, but tranquility enables one to do what should be done. As long as there exists the delusion of world-existence, so long the distinction between appropriate and inappropriate action is valid. It is inappropriate that we should be agitated by your natural function, which is to cause the apparent death of beings here.

By your grace I have seen my son again, and I realize that mind alone is the body. It is the mind that conjures up this world-vision.

TIME: Well said, O sage, truly, mind is the body; it is the mind that 'creates’ the body by mere thoughts, just as the potter makes a pot. It creates new bodies and brings about the destruction of what exists, and all this by mere wish. It is surely obvious that within mind exist the faculties of delusion (or hallucination), dreaming and irrational thought, which create a pie in the sky. Even so it creates the appearance of the body within itself, but the ignorant man with a gross physical vision :sees the physical body as different from and independent of the mind.

The three worlds (of waking, dream and sleep) are nothing but the expression of the faculties of the mind: this expression can be considered neither real nor unreal. When the mind conditioned by the perception of diversity 'sees', it sees diversity. The mind itself gets involved in this world-appearance by entertaining countless notions (like ’I am weak, unhappy, foolish, etc.'). When the understanding arises that all this is but the false creation of the mind, I am what I am — then the peace of the supreme arises in one's consciousness.

The mind is like the vast ocean with infinite variety of creatures within it, on the surface of which ripples and waves of different sizes rise and fall. The small wave thinks it is small, the big one that it is big. The one that is broken by the wind thinks it has been destroyed. One thinks it is cold, another that it is warm. But all the waves are but the water of the ocean. It is indeed true to say that there are no waves in the ocean; the ocean alone exists. Yet it is also true that there are waves!

Even so, the absolute Brahman alone exists. Since it is omnipotent, the natural expression of its infinite faculties appears as the infinite diversity in this universe. Diversity has no real existence except in one's own imagination. 'All this is indeed the absolute Brahman'— remain established in this truth. Give up all other notions. Even as the waves are not different from the ocean, all these things are not different from Brahman. Even as in the seed is hidden the entire tree in potential, in Brahman there exists the entire universe forever. Even as the multicolored rainbow is produced by sunlight, all the diversity is seen in the one. Even as the inert web emanates from the living spider, this inert world-appearance has sprung from infinite consciousness.

Even as the silk-worm weaves its cocoon and thus binds itself, the infinite being fancies this universe and gets caught in it. Even as an elephant effortlessly breaks loose from the post to which it is tied, the self liberates itself from its bondage. For, the self is what it considers itself to be. In fact, there is neither bondage nor liberation for the Lord. I do not know how these notions of bondage and liberation have come into being! There is neither bondage nor liberation, only the infinite being is seen: yet the eternal is veiled by the transient, and this is indeed a great wonder (or a great illusion).

Though revolving thus in the wheel of ignorance and delusion, when one steps on to the wisdom concerning the supreme truth he is instantly redeemed.

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VASISTHA: Since the absolute Brahman in its undifferentiated state pervades everything, everything is in an undifferentiated state. When that of its own accord condenses, the cosmic mind is born. In that mind there arises the intention of the existence of the different elements in their extremely subtle state. The totality of all this is the luminous cosmic person who is known as Brahma the creator. Hence, this Creator is none other than the cosmic mind.

O Rama, all objects and substances in this universe have emerged in Brahman the absolute, just as waves manifest in the ocean. In this uncreated universe the mind of Brahma the creator perceives itself as the egotism, and thus does Brahma the cosmic mind become Brahma the creator of the universe. The power of that cosmic mind alone appears to be the diverse forces in the universe. Infinite numbers of diverse creatures manifest themselves in this cosmic mind, and they are then known as diverse jiva.

When these diverse jiva arise in the infinite space of consciousness, seemingly composed of the elements, into each of the bodies consciousness enters through the aperture of life-force, and then forms the seed of all bodies, both moving and unmoving. Then birth as individuals takes place, each individual being accidentally (like a crow alighting and a coconut falling) brought into contact with different potentialities whose expression gives rise to the law of cause and effect, and then to rise and fall in evolution. Desire alone is thereafter the cause of all this.

O Rama, such is this forest known as world appearance: he who cuts its very root with the axe of investigation (inquiry) is freed from it. Some arrive at this understanding soon, others after a very long time.

O Rama, I shall now describe to you the divisions of beings into the best, the worst and the middling, as it happened in the beginning of this cycle of creation.

The first and foremost among the creatures are born of noble practices. They are naturally good and devoted to good deeds. They reach liberation in a few lifetimes. They are full of the quality of purity and light (satva).

The middling type are the ones who are full of the quality of dynamism and desire (rajas). When such people are close enough to liberation that on their departure from this world they reach it, they have a mixture of rajas and satva.

They who even after a thousand births are still in darkness, unawakened, are known as beings of darkness (tamas). They may take a long time to reach liberation. By the will of the infinite Brahman all these beings seem to arise and then dissolve in it.

When the cosmic mind manifested itself in the absolute Brahman, at that very instant the natural tendencies of diverse beings and their behavior were born, and the embodied beings came to be regarded as jiva. There is no division between mind and action. Before it is projected as action it arises in the mind, with the mind itself as its ’body'. Hence, action is nothing but the movement of energy in consciousness, and it inevitably bears its own fruit. When such action comes to an end, mind comes to an end, too: and when the mind ceases to be, there is no action. This applies only to the liberated sage, not to others.

Mind is the only perception, and perception is movement in consciousness. The expression of this movement is action, and fruition follows this. Whatever the mind thinks of, the organs of action strive to materialize hence, again, mind is action. However, mind, intellect, egotism, individualized consciousness, action, fancy, birth and death, latent tendencies, knowledge, effort, memory, the senses, nature, Maya or illusion, activity and such other words are but words without corresponding reality: the sole reality is the infinite consciousness in which these concepts are conceived to exist. All these concepts have arisen when, by accidental coincidence (the crow dislodging the coconut), infinite consciousness in a moment of self-forgetfulness viewed itself as the object of perception.

When thus veiled by nescience, the same consciousness views diversity in an agitated state and identifies objects as such, it is known as mind. When it is firmly established in the conviction of a certain perception it is known as intellect (or intelligence). When it ignorantly and foolishly identifies itself as an existent separate individual, it is known as egotism. When it abandons consistent inquiry, allowing itself to play with countless thoughts coming and going, it is known as individualized consciousness (or mind-stuff).

Whereas pure movement in consciousness is karma or action without an independent doer, when it pursues the fruition of such action it is known as karma (action). When it entertains the notion ’I have seen this before’ in relation to something either seen or unseen, it is known as memory. When the effects of past enjoyments continue to remain in the field of consciousness though the effects themselves are unseen, it is known as latent tendency (or potentiality). When it is conscious of the truth that the vision of division is the product of ignorance, it is known as knowledge. On the other hand, when it moves in the wrong direction towards greater self-forgetfulness and deeper involvement in false fancies, it is known as impurity. When it entertains the indweller with sensations, it is known as the senses (indriya). When it remains unmanifest in the cosmic being it is known as nature. When it creates confusion between reality and appearance, it is known as Maya (illusion). When it dissolves in the infinite, there is liberation. When it thinks ’I am bound’, there is bondage; when it thinks 'I am free’, there is freedom.

Rama, space is threefold—the infinite space of undivided consciousness, the finite space of divided consciousness and the physical space in which the material worlds exist.

The infinite space of undivided consciousness (cidakasa) is that which exists in all, inside and outside, as the pure witness of that which is real and of that which appears to be. The finite space of divided consciousness (cittaakasa) is that which creates the divisions of time, which pervades all beings, and which is interested in the welfare of all beings. The physical space is that in which the other elements (air, etc.) exist. The latter two are not independent of the first. In fact, the others do not exist.

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The self, being infinite, moves
not though moving, and yet is
forever established in every
atom of existence. The self
does not go nor does it ever
come: for space and time
derive their meaning from
consciousness alone.
Where can the self go
when all that is,
is within.

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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.

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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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