Yoga Vashishta     253 posts


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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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' ON LIBERATION '


How can a body measured by a form or having a definite measure, be the immeasurable deity? It is the real and unlimited Consciousness that is known as the Shiva or the blissful one.

That is the meaning of the word 'deva', and that is the object of adoration. That is the only existent being, out of which all other beings have proceeded, and in which they have their existence, and wherein they exist with their forms.

Brahman is truly the god of whom I have spoken, who is the Supreme in its transcendental sense; who is all and unbounded, and includes me, you and the endless world in Himself.

The bodies of all created beings, whether yours, mine, or others, and of all in this world are all full with the consciousness of the Supreme Soul and no other.

- Chapter 29

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' On Liberation '

The parting soul is accompanied by its elementary principles, which are the desires of its mind and which are closely united with breath, and nothing besides.

As the vital breath quits one body to enter into another, so it carries with it the desires of the heart, just as the winds of the air bear the fragrance of flowers. These reproduce in the future body to cause it only misery.

As a water pot thrown into the sea does not lose its water, so the vital breath mixing with the ethereal air does not lose the desires of the mind which it bears with it. They are as closely united as sunbeams with the sun.

The mind cannot be separated from the vital breath without the aid of the knowledge.

Knowledge removes desires. Disappearance of desires destroys the mind. This produces the suppression of breath, and from that proceeds the tranquility of the soul.

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The body is full of consciousness, both in its inner and outer parts, but the cave of the heart is where our desires and egoism are deeply seated.

The living soul is made up of only its desires. Desires soon come out from within the heart and appear on the outside in a person's outer conduct.

The error of egoism can never be suppressed by any means other than one being inattentive to himself and his awareness of the fullness of divine presence in his calm and quiet soul.

Though dwelling on your present thoughts, yet you must rely upon your reflection of the empty Brahman by the speedy suppression of your egoism by degrees and your self-control.

They who know the soul manage themselves here without fostering their earthly thoughts. They remain like silent images of wood, without looking at or thinking of anything at all. He who has fewer earthly thoughts is said to be liberated in the world. Though living in it, he is as clear and free in his mind as the open air.

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RAMA: How does the delusion of the notions of ’I’ and ’the world’ arise in the first place, without any cause?

VASISTHA: As all things are equally indwelt by intelligence, so at all times in every way the uncreated is all, the self of all. We use the expression ’all things': it is only a figure of speech, for only infinite conscious ness or Brahman exists. Just as there is no division between a bracelet and gold, there is no division between the universe and infinite consciousness. The latter alone is the universe: the universe as such is not infinite consciousness, just as the bracelet is made of gold but gold is not made of bracelet.

In that infinite consciousness there is an inherent non—recognition of its infinite nature that appears to manifest as ’I' and ’the world’. Just as there is an image in a marble slab even if it has not been carved, even so this notion of ’I and the world’ exists in infinite consciousness. That is known as its creation. The word ’creation’ has no other connotation. No creation takes place in the supreme being or infinite consciousness; and infinite consciousness is not involved in the creation. They do not stand in a divided relationship to each other.

Infinite consciousness regards its own intelligence in its own heart, as it were, though it is not different from it, even as wind is not different from its own movement. At that very moment, when there is an unreal division, there arises in that consciousness the notion of space, which, on account of the power of consciousness, appears as the element known as space. That itself later believes itself to be air and then fire. From this notion there arises the appearance of fire and light. That itself further entertains the notion of water with its inherent faculty of taste, and that itself believes itself to be the earth with its inherent faculty of smell and also its characteristic of solidity. Thus do the water and the earth elements appear to have manifested themselves.

At the same time, the same infinite consciousness held in itself the notion of a unit of time equal to one-millionth of the twinkling of an eye: and from this evolved the time-scale right up to an epoch consisting of several revolutions of the four ages, which is the life-span of one cosmic creation. Infinite consciousness itself is uninvolved in these, for it is devoid of rising and setting (which are essential to all time-scales), and it is devoid of a beginning, middle and end.

Infinite consciousness alone is the reality, ever awake and enlightened, and with creation also it is the same. That infinite consciousness alone is the unenlightened appearance of this creation, and even after this creation it is the same always. It is ever the same. When one realizes in the self by the self that consciousness is the absolute Brahman, then he experiences it as all—even as the one energy dwelling in all his limbs.

One can say that this world-appearance is real only so far as it is the manifestation of consciousness and because of direct experience; it is unreal when it is grasped with the mind and the sense-organs. Wind is perceived as real in its motion, and it appears to be non existent when there is no motion: even so this world-appearance can be regarded both as real and unreal. The mirage-like appearance of the three worlds exists as not different from the absolute Brahman.

The creation exists in Brahman just as the sprout exists in the seed, liquidity in water, sweetness in milk and pungency in capsicum; but in ignorance it appears to be different from and independent of Brahman. There is no cause for the world’s existence as a pure reflection in the absolute Brahman. When there is a notion of is an understanding of non-creation, there is no world.

Nothing has ever been created anywhere at any time; nothing comes to an end either. The absolute Brahman is all, the supreme peace, unborn, pure consciousness and permanent. Worlds within worlds appear in every atom. What can be the cause and how do these arise?

As and when one turns away from the notions of ’I' and the 'world', one is liberated: the notion of 'I am this' is the sole bondage here. They who know the infinite consciousness as the nameless, formless substratum of the universe, gain victory over sarhsara (repetitive history).

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How can a senseless and beastly man attain the highest state of divine perfection if he is unable to overcome his natural tendency towards egoism?

He who by his good understanding has been able to subjugate the six-fold beastly desires of his nature is capable of receiving knowledge of great truths, and not any other foolish man in human shape.

He who has weakened and overcome the inborn feelings of his mind becomes the receptacle of all virtue and knowledge. Such a person is called man in its proper sense of the word.

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' ON LIBERATION '

An ignorant man who has never attained any of the states of Yoga in his whole life is carried by the current of his reincarnation to wander in a hundred births until he happens, by some chance or other, to get some glimpse of spiritual light in any of his births.

Or it may be that he happens to associate with holy men and becomes dissatisfied with the world. The renunciation which springs thereby becomes the ground for one of the stages of his Yoga.

By this means, the man is saved from this miserable world, because it is the united voice of all the scriptures that an embodied being is released from death as soon as he has passed through any one stage of Yoga.

- Chapter 126

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' ON LIBERATION '

Know, that the conclusion which is arrived at in all works on spiritual philosophy is the negation of everything except the entity of the Supreme Soul.

There is no principle of ignorance or delusion which is a secondary agent under one quiescent Brahman, who is ever without a second.

- Chapter 125

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' ON LIBERATION '

The essence of the mind is only for one's misery, as the absence of mind is highest joy.

Remain as cold as a stone at the sight of anything that is delightful or disgusting to you. Like this, learn to subdue everything in the world under your control.

The objective is neither for our pleasure or pain, nor is it the intermediate state of the two. Therefore it is by diligent attention to the subjective that we can attain the end of all our misery.

- Chapter 125

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' ON LIBERATION '

Whether a man leaves his body in a holy place or in the house of a low savage, or whether one dies at this moment or many years afterwards, he is released from his bondage to life as soon as he knows the soul and gets rid of his desires.

The error of egoism is the cause of his bondage and its eradication through knowledge is the means of his liberation.

- Chapter 122

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