Yoga Vashishta     261 posts


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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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' ON LIBERATION '

When the silent soul forms an effort in itself, then there arises the power of its versatile desires, like the force of the fluctuating winds rising from the bosom of quiet air. Then from the silent soul arises the willful mind as a distinct and independent thing of itself. It thinks in itself as the undivided and Universal Mind of the mundane world. Whatever the mind wills to do in this world, the same comes to take place immediately, agreeably to the type formed in its will.

This mind passes under various names such as the living principle, understanding, egoism, and the heart.

It forms and sustains the world at its own will. It extends itself to infinity and shows itself in the endless diversity of objects which fill its ample space.

The whole scenery of the universe is nothing other than a display of the Eternal and Infinite Mind. it is neither a positive reality nor a negative unreality of itself, but appears to our view like the visionary appearance in a dream.

- Chapter 114

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' ON LIBERATION '

All possible and impossible renunciation depends upon renunciation of the mind.

The man who is subject to his mind is always subject to cares, both when he is attentive to his duties or negligent of them, or whether he rules his kingdom or flies from it to a forest. But the man of a well governed mind is quite content in every condition of life.

O you who wants to know what renunciation is, you must know that renunciation of the mind is renunciation of all. If you succeed renouncing your mind, you come to know the truth and feel the true joy of your soul.

To rid your mind, you get rid of the unity and duality of creeds and come to perceive all diversities and pluralities blend in one universal whole which is transcendental tranquility, transparent purity, and undiminished joy.

- Chapter 93

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' ON LIBERATION '

Do not delay depending upon your enlightened and elevated soul extending over and filling the whole space of the sky and comprehending all the worlds in it.

When the human mind is thus elevated and expanded beyond all limits, then it approaches the Divine Mind and is assimilated to it.

Anyone who has arrived at this state may well think he is able to effect whatever was done by the gods Brahma, Vishnu, Indra, Varuna, and others who were of such elevated souls and minds.

Whatever acts are attributed to any of the gods or other persons are no more than the display of Divine pleasure in that form.

Whoever is assimilated into Divine Consciousness and has become deathless and unmindful of his mortal state has a share of incomparable supreme joy for his enjoyment.

- Chapter 121

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' ON LIBERATION '

Do not do your works in expectation of their rewards, or engage yourself to do anything that is not your duty or improper for you. Do your duties as your yoga of fixed meditation, and not in connection with others or their rewards.\

Do not be addicted to active duties or decline your inactivity either. Never remain ignorant or negligent of your duties in life, but continue in your work with an even temper at all times.

Though employed in business, a man is said to be doing nothing at all who does not foster the hope of a reward for his acts, and who is ever content in himself, even without a patron or refuge.

The addiction of one's mind to anything makes it his action, and not the action itself. Ignorance causes this tendency to believe actions are one's own. Therefore ignorance is to be avoided by all means.

- Chapter 54

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' ON LIBERATION '

The man who is bound by his desire is delighted to have the objects he seeks, but the very things that tend to his pleasure by their gain prove to be painful to his heart at their loss.

The presence or absence of something is the cause of the pleasure or pain of men in general. The wise practice the curtailment and absence of desires.

If we act with unconcern and little desire or expectation of reward, no act or its results leads either to our joy or grief.

Whatever act is done with ardent physical effort and the whole hearted application of mind and soul tends to bind a man. AN indifferent action, like a fried grain, does not germinate into any effect.

- Chapter 120

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' ON LIBERATION '

Think yourself as something and you become a slave to your desires, but believe yourself as nothing and you are as free and liberated as free air itself.

Your personality, whether you are subject either to bondage or freedom, is the certain knowledge or conviction of yourself as a reality.

The deprivation of your knowledge of yourself or your egoistic personality leads to your ultimate end. Your knowledge of your personality exposes you to danger. Therefore think yourself as Himself and not yourself, and you are safe from all calamity.

No sooner do you get rid of the conviction of yourself than your soul is enlightened by the light of true knowledge. You lose the sense of your personality and become complete in your knowledge of yourself as one with the Supreme Spirit.

- Chapter 99

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Anything to which the senses are addicted serves to bind the soul the more it takes pleasure in it, and also to unbind and release the mind in proportion to the distaste which it bears to it.

If there is anything which is pleasing to your soul, know that is your binding string to the earth. if, on the contrary, you find nothing to your liking here, then you are free from the traps of all the valueless things of earth.

Therefore let nothing whatever tempt or deceive your mind to anything that exists whether living or inanimate. Regard everything from a mean bit of straw to a great idol as unworthy of your regard.

- Chapter 124

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' ON LIBERATION '

Whether engaged in business or retired from it, whether living with family or leading a single life, the man who thinks himself as nothing but consciousness and who has nothing to fear or care or to be sorry for in this world, is reckoned as liberated in this life.

The man who thinks himself to be unconnected with anyone, free from disease, desire and affections, who believes himself to be a pure areal substance of Divine Consciousness, has no cause to be sorry for anything.

He who knows himself to be without beginning or end, decay or death, and to be of the nature of pure intelligence, remains always quiet and composed in himself and has no cause for sorrow at all.

He who considers himself to belong to that intellect which dwells alike in the minute blade of grass and the infinite sky, in the luminous sun, moon and stars, and in the various races of beings such as men, naagas and immortals, such a man has no cause whatever for his sorrow.

- Chapter 120

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There are two kinds of living beings that come into existence in the beginning of the repeated creations. One comes into existence without any causality and therefore is called the causeless or uncaused.

Then the soul emanating from the Divine is subject to various reincarnations and becomes many kinds of beings according to its previous acts and propensities.

All beings originally emanate without any cause from the source of the Divine Essence. Then their actions become the secondary cause of continuous reincarnations.

- Chapter 124

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The sight of the world and the perceptions of the mind which testify the existence of the world to us, are only the representations of Brahman, just as the false mirage represents water in the dessert sands.

Like a vast body of water exists without a wave to disturb its surface, so the spirit of God remains in its state of calmness when it is free from its operation of creation.

Creation is identical with Brahman. The Lord is the same with his creation. This is true from the statement of the Veda which says," All this is Brahman and Brahman is the all."

- Chapter 99

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There are many who by their complete knowledge of particular mantras, tantras, and the virtues of certain minerals have attained the power of areal flight and other powers, but what is extraordinary in these?

The powers of self-expansion and contraction and other powers have been acquired by others through their constant practice. These are disregarded by seers in spiritual knowledge.

This is the difference between knowing seers and the bulk of idle practitioners in yoga. The knowing seers are content with their dispassionate mind without placing any reliance on practice.

This is truly the sign of the inconspicuous seer in yoga, that he is always cool and calm in his mind and freed from all the errors of the world, and in whom the traces of the passions of love and anger, sorrow and illusion and the mishaps of life are scarcely visible.

- Chapter 123

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' ON LIBERATION '

The personal acts of men cause their happiness and misery. The will produced by the conscious knowledge of one's self becomes the cause of the action.

Will or desire of any action or its result is likewise the cause of one's bondage to this world. What they call liberation is no more than our release from the bonds of our desire.

Therefore be careful to choose what is right and proper from whatever is wrong and improper, and try to reduce your wishes as much as possible.

Do not let yourself possess or be possessed by anything or any person, but give up thinking on anything besides what remains after the thoughts of all other things.

- Chapter 124

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' ON LIBERATION '

The personal acts of men cause their happiness and misery. The will produced by the conscious knowledge of one's self becomes the cause of the action.

Will or desire of any action or its result is likewise the cause of one's bondage to this world. What they call liberation is no more than our release from the bonds of our desire.

Therefore be careful to choose what is right and proper from whatever is wrong and improper, and try to reduce your wishes as much as possible.

Do not let yourself possess or be possessed by anything or any person, but give up thinking on anything besides what remains after the thoughts of all other things.

- Chapter 124

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' ON LIBERATION '

The soul originally is full of bliss by its nature, but being subject to ignorance, it fosters its vain desire for temporal enjoyment, from which it has the name of living soul.

But when the desire of pleasure is lessened by 'viveka', he forsakes his nature of a living and mortal being and his soul becomes one with the Supreme Spirit.

Therefore do not allow your desire of earthly enjoyment to draw your soul up and down to heaven and hell, like a bucket whose handle is tied with a rope and cast down and pulled up from a well.

Selfish people who claim something as theirs from that of another are grossly mistaken and led into error. They are destined, like the bucket in a well, to descend lower and lower.

He who gets rid of his knowledge that "this is I" and "that is another" and "that this is mine" and "that is the others" gradually rises higher and higher according to his greater disinterest.

- Chapter 121

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' ON LIBERATION '

There is no such real entity as the mind at anytime and in any space whatever. That which appears as the mind is nothing other than a faculty of the only one everlasting Brahman.

There is no reality of the cosmos or any of its contents. All things that seem to be in existence are no more than various representations of the one self-existent Brahman himself.

it is said that there was no mind or its personification of Brahman, or any final dissolution of the world, and this proves their unreality. Again it is said that the mind took the form of Brahma and created the world in the beginning, which also proves the mind to be the Divine Mind, represented by the metaphor of Brahma.

There can be no material object without the prior existence of a material cause. So without a materiel cause, it is impossible to believe the existence of many material objects of the senses and of the mind that experiences sensations.

Hence there is no such thing as a dull and unconscious world. All that appears to exist as such is nothing other than a representation of the Divine Spirit, just as gold exhibits in shape of many ornaments.

- Chapter 98

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Divine Consciousness, through forever the same and serene, appears to shine forth in creation because of our knowledge of creation, which dissolves with our imperceptibility of it. So our egoism, being the same with the Divine Ego, appears to be different from it, just as our fluctuating minds depict it in various lights.

The Divine Self never becomes many and never forsakes its state without decay. It is of a luminous form and its essence has no beginning or end. It assumes as many forms as the ever changing mind imposes upon it.

At one time, the identical soul believes itself to be Viraj, lord of the world, and at another, to be a being. Sometimes it sees itself in its true form of divinity and at another time its thought makes it think it is some other thing.

- Chapter 96

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The soul forgets its intellectual nature, and thinks it is a mortal and material being, embodied in the form of a living creature or some inanimate being, and ever remains insensible of itself under the influence of its erroneous belief.

In this way the living soul wanders about the world, as if dragged back and forth by the rope of desire tied about its neck.

There are some who, being released from imprisonment in this world, come to know the Supreme Soul, and attain that state which has neither beginning nor end.

There are others also, who being weary of their many reincarnations, after the lapse of a long period, come to their knowledge of the soul, and thereby obtain their state of final bliss at last.

In this way, the living soul passes through many bodily forms.

- Chapter 50

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' ON LIBERATION '

Knowledge is the supreme good because it leads a man to understand the unity of God and the oneness of himself. But action has been inculcated in man from creation as his duty in life, both for pleasure and for passing his lifetimes.

Let those who have not acquired their intellectual light and the sight of the soul be employed in their duties to their offspring and fellow creatures. Who that lacks a silk robe will go about naked instead of wrapping himself with a blanket or course cloth?

The ignorant who are moved by their desires and live upon their hopes meet with their objects as the reward of their action. The knowing, having no desire in his mind or action of his body, meets with no reward of either.

- Chapter 87

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