Yoga Vashishta     262 posts


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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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' ON LIBERATION '

Without the existence of God, there is no entity called the world or our egoism. Having no cause, these things are identical with the one self-existent God.

The world does not appear of itself. It rests like a carving in the spirit of God. It shows itself as separate to us only by illusion.

These existences composed of the five elements produce many other beings, just as males and females mate and produce their offspring in infinity. So Divine Consciousness, being joined with the illusory intelligence, presents endless forms to our view.

- Chapter 96

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' ON LIBERATION '

What is this world and what are these individual egos that seem to be infinite in number and appear as distinct creations of God?

The essence of God is without beginning or end and extends to infinite space and time. The same is also true of this transparent cosmos, and that is the body of this world which is simply a form of Divine Consciousness and not any void or any separate thing.

The essential property of God is his consciousness, therefore he is said to be of essence of consciousness. Just as fluidity is the property of water, so consciousness is the essential property of everything.

We cannot attribute the creation of the impure world to the pure essence of the Divine Spirit. The purity of the Divine Soul cannot admit the impurity of creation, which would amount to a duality of purity and impurity in the Supreme Soul.

Therefore there is no gross creation whatsoever, only the form of the intellect itself. All that is visible to us is nothing other than the solid intellect itself.

- Chapter 97

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' ON LIBERATION '

The living soul becomes united with an outer object when one perceives and the other is the object of perception. Both, namely the inner soul and the outer object, being pervaded by the all pervasive Intellect of God, become one and the same with God, the common receptacle of all.

Hence the belief in separate perceiver, perception, and the object of perception is as false as water in a mirage. There is nothing we can shun or grasp as desirable or disgusting when they are all the same in the sight of God.

All things internal or external manifest as parts of the one universal and intellectual Soul. All worlds are only the manifestation of Divine Consciousness. It is vain to attribute any difference to them. All of us are displayed in Consciousness which forever contains the inner and outer worlds.

As the ocean is a calm expanse of water after its waves subside, reflecting the sky clearly, so it is that after we lose sight of the diversities presented to our superficial view, the entire universe appears as the reflection of one glorious and everlasting God.

- Chapter 51

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' ON LIBERATION '

Many thinking and learned men have used the words Brahma, Indra, Rudra, and the names of the regents of worlds for God, in order to justify the doctrines of the Puranas, Vedas and SIddhantas.

Others have applied titles like consciousness or intellect (cit), Brahma, Shiva, the Soul or spirit (atma), the Lord (isa), the Supreme Spirit and God (isvara) to the nameless God that is apart and aloof from all.

Such is the truth of nature and of yourself also, which is styled as Shiva, which always confers all felicity to the world and to yourself also.

The words Shiva, Soul, supreme Brahman and others, have been coined by the ancients to express the Supreme Being; and though they differ in sound, there is no difference in sense and signification.

- Chapter 41

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' VISHNU'S DUAL INCARNATIONS AS KRISHNA AND ARJUNA '

Now it will come to pass that Yama, the son of the sun god Surya and the lord of regions of the dead, will again perform his penance after the expiration of many ages to come.

He will again resume his penance for a dozen years to atone for his sin of destroying the living. Then he will abstain from his habitual conduct of destroying the lives of human beings.

At that time, the earth will be filled with deathless mortals. This wretched earth will be covered and over burdened with people like trees in a dense forest.

The earth, groanring under her burden and oppressed by tyranny and lawlessness, will have recourse to Hari for her redress.

For this reason, Hari will be incarnate in two bodies joined with the powers of all the gods. He will appear on earth in two persons of Nara and Narayana, the one a man and the other Lord Hari Himself.

With one body Hair will become the son of Vasudeva and therefore will be called Vasudeva(Krishna). With the other he will be the son of Pandu, and therefore will be named Pandava Arjuna, Arjuna the Pandava.

- Chapter 52

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' ON LIBERATION '

Continue to meditate on the existence of all things in one form and ever existent entity alone, until by your constant habit of thinking so, you find all outward existence disappear into nonexistence.

When the mind is of one even course and habituated to it by constant practice, then there is an end to the thoughts of endless varieties and particulars. They naturally disappear of themselves.

There is an end of our ignorance and delusion as we gain wisdom and reason. We gain our best knowledge by learning, but only by practice can we have the object of our knowledge.

Whether you attain tranquility through 'samhkya' or 'vedanta' yoga, it is the same if you can reduce yourself to the Supreme Soul. By doing so even for a moment, you are to be reborn in this lower world no more.

- Chapter 69

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' ON LIBERATION '

You well know the precarious state of worldly possessions and their pernicious effects. They come and go of their own accord, but overpower a man in both states (of prosperity and adversity).

So uncertain are the favors of friends and fortune, and so unforeseen is their loss also, that it is impossible for anybody to account for them.

Such is the course of the world, that you have no command over it, nor is it ever subject to you. If the world is so insubordinate to you, then why should you be sorry for something so unmanageable?

What cause of joy or grief is there in the vicissitudes of things in the world, which are occasioned by the revolutions of the mind on the privot of conscious intellect.

- Chapter 43

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' ON LIBERATION '

The mind misled by its desires views the inner spirit (unchanging Universal Soul) as another (living individual soul).

As the same man seems to be changed to another person during his fit of anger, so Consciousness is transformed to a changeable spirit by one's mistake of its true nature.

Consciousness "loses" its state of purity when it is attributed with many variable qualities and desires. By thinking constantly of its gross nature, Consciousness is at last converted to the very gross object of thought.

The propensities of past lives and past actions, cause men to be born again.

The birds of the air, woodland animals with four feet, forest trees and plants, bushes on hills and orchids on trees, are all only reincarnations (resulting from one's mistake of the true nature of the Self).

- Chapter 30

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' ON LIBERATION '

The thought of duality of one identical soul, in its two aspects of Supreme Soul and individual souls; is driven away by the conviction that i do nothing, and the agency of all actions rests in the great God himself.

The unity is perceived as a duality, by the dualistic opinions of men. Belief in unity, destroys the sense of dualism and plurality from the minds of men.

There is no duality or secondary being in the soul, which may be regarded as the Supreme Soul, because there is but one Soul only, which is unchangeable and unperishable, at all times and everywhere.

- Chapter 33

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' ON LIBERATION '

The abandonment of every jot of desire, the control of 'prana', and the exercise of reasoning, will contract the actions of the heart and mind, thereby preventing the rise of passions, affections and illusions.

There is a pleasure in respect to the vision of the phenomena, which is common to all living being; but this being felt spiritually, amounts to holy pleasure (pramananda). The sight of God in one's consciousness, which is beyond the province of the mind, transcends mental pleasure, and affords a divine ecstasy, called 'brahmananda' (bliss of Brahman).

The true rapture of the soul is known when the mind is dormant and insensible, and such bliss cannot be found even in heaven.

- Chapter 44

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' ON LIBERATION '


If the fullness of one's desires and fancies, is fraught with the pains and troubles of life, it must be the lack of such wishes and views, that will serve to set him free from these pains forever.

If even a slight desire is enough to expose a man to many cares in life, then its utter privation must afford him complete rest and quiet, in his transient state of being.

Place your trust in the 'cit atma' (conscious soul) seated in the cavity of your heart, and look upon mankind driven to desires, like bits of straw flying randomly in the turbulent air.

Wash out the dirt of your desires from your mind, by the pure water of your spiritual knowledge; and after securing the perfect tranquility of your soul, continue to enjoy the highest bliss of a holy life.

- Chapter 33

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' ON LIBERATION '


It is the nature of everything in this extensive world to be born of its own kind.

All persons and things continue to exist because of their own desires and tendencies, whether it be in the direction of virtue or vice.

When the desires in a man's mind are either diminished or brought under his control, he is no longer subject to the acts of goodness or vice.

Utterly indifferent, he becomes exempt from both merit and demerit and from their consequences of reiterated births and deaths.

- Chapter 86

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' ON LIBERATION '

Not only the presence of things and pleasures stain the minds of the ignorant. Their absence and loss also cause great regret from the stain they leave in the memory, just as things are colored not only by new paint, but also various marks and signs.

Thus the minds of the ignorant are never cleansed from the stain of their favorite objects. They are never free from their bondage in this world, unlike the liberated sage who is free because of his lack of earthly attachment.

Reducing our desires contributes to our liberation. Increasing our wishes leads us to continued bondage in this world.

- Chapter 85

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' ON LIBERATION '

Know that the living soul is liberated in the same proportion as it manifests its peaceful tranquil state. Know also that the soul is in bondage to the same degree that there is sorrow on the face and breathing is choked.

Alternating feelings of pain and pleasure also indicate bondage of the soul. The absence of these alternations constitutes its liberation. These are the two states of the living soul.

When the soul comes to know that it has no relationship with any pain or pleasure, and that its living has no purpose at all, then it is said to be awakened in itself and to rest in its stillness of nirvana.

When the soul comes to believe that the visible world is nothing but the emptiness of Consciousness or Brahman himself, it gets its rest in its stillness and becomes as cool as a lamp that has gone out because it lacks oil.

- Chapter 85

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' ON LIBERATION '

All our riches, relatives, and friends, are as transitory as passing winds: why then should a wise man rejoice or repine at their gain or loss?

All our gains and wants and enjoyments in life, are 'maya' , which is spread like a net by Divine power, all over creation, entrapping all in it.

There is no wealth nor any person, that is real or lasting to anyone in this temporary world. It is all frail and fleeting, and stretched out to sight like a fake magic show.

What wise man will place his attachment on anything, which is unreality, but in its beginning and its end, and is quite unsteady in between?

- Chapter 28

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