Yoga Vashishta     255 posts


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As fragrance resides in flowers and whiteness in frost, so is motion inherent in the mind. Mind and motion are one and the same.

The vibration of this vital breath (prana), excites the perception of certain desires and feelings in the heart; and the cognitive principle of these perceptions is called the mind (citta).

The vibration of 'prana' gives pulsation to the heart strings, causing their cognition in the 'citta'; in the same manner as the motion of waters, gives rise to the waves rolling and beating on the shore.

The 'citta' is the movement of the 'prana', and this 'prana' being controlled, quietens the 'citta'.

The action of the mind being stopped, the perception of the existence of the world becomes extinct.

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Owing to its perishable nature and its situation in time and space, and its limitation by them, this material world cannot be a part of or identical with that immaterial Spirit, which has no attribute or likeness.

The high minded man who depends on that boundless Spirit, and rests secure in its bosom, is verily called the wise and is liberated in his lifetime.

He is the best of men, whose mind is free from all desires and cravings; and who has found his rest from the thoughts of his fancied good and evil; and remains without any inclination amidst all the cares and concerns of this life.

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' Spiritual Knowledge: All is Subjective '


He who remains in the close embrace of his Soul, with inward understanding, is never tempted to fall prey to the trap of worldly enjoyments.

The ignorant men, guided only by their desires, are preyed upon by continued misery, like fishes in a dried pond are devoured mercilessly by cranes.

Knowing the world to be full of the Spirit, and without the matter of 'avidya', close your eyes against its visible phenomena, and remain firm with your spiritual Essence.

Plurality of things is the creation of imagination, without their existence in Reality. It is like the many forms of waves in the sea, which in reality are only its water. Therefore, the man who relies on his firm faith in the Unity is said to be truly liberated and perfect in his Knowledge.

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' Description of Living Liberated '


The living liberated (jivanmukta) does all his works with his external body; but he does nothing with his inner mind.

In his mind he has relinquished the thoughts of all things, and his care for anything. He does his outward actions, and remains as even as if he is doing nothing.

He does all that is required and expected of him with a willing mind, and without the error of believing himself as their actor.

He remains insouciant, of all that he does by rote and habit, and neither longs for, nor loathes nor rejoices nor grieves at anything.

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' Examples of the Living Liberated '


It is possible to obtain liberation by means of diligent inquiry and reasoning.

Know, that the soul should not be cast into misery by your neglect of it, or by subjecting it through ignorance to its affection for others. (be master of yourself, and not bound to others).

He who relies on his patience, and employs his mind, and meditates upon the Supreme Soul in his own soul, to attain his consummation, finds the deep abyss of the world, like a small chink in his vast comprehension.

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The hearts of all animals in this world are of two kinds: the superior and the inferior.

That which has certain dimensions, and is placed as a piece of flesh inside the breast, and forms part of the body, is called the inferior heart.

The other is of the nature of consciousness, and is called the superior-mind; because it is both inside and outside the body, and yet it is situated in no part of it.

That is the superior, wherein all this world is situated. It is the great reflector of all things, and the receptacle of all good.

The consciousness of all living creatures, is also called their heart, though it is not any part of the animal body.

When this consciousness is purified of its internal desires, and joined with the mind (citta), it causes the vibration of all 'prana' to cease.

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The unreal (material existence) seems as real, and the sober reality (of spiritual essence) appears as a non-entity in nature. Therefore give up your reliance upon this deceitful world, and preserve the equanimity of your mind under all circumstances.

You gain a certain good by getting rid of this world; and that is your riddance from the manifold evils and misfortunes, which are the unavoidable accompaniments in this life.

You obtain a certain gain of your salvation, by your resignation of the world, which you can never earn by your attachment to it. Therefore strive for your liberation by purging your mind from its attachments to the world.

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' Qualities of One Who Abides in the Truth '


It is a pleasure looking at the outer world, and difficult to turn the sight to the Inner Soul.

It is by fascination of these delightful objects, that we become subjected to all our errors and blunders.

It is this intoxication, that drives the knowledge of sober truth from our minds, and introduces the delirium of the phenomenal world in its stead.

It is then that the deep ocean of the Soul, boils in its various aspects of the mind, understanding, egoism, sensation and volition; just like the sea, when moved by hot winds, bursts into the forms of foaming froths, waves and surges.

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' Qualities of One Who Abides in the Truth '


Avoid both your desire of liberation, as also your eagerness for worldly bondage; but strive to enfeeble your mind by lessening its egoism, by the two means of your detachments and discrimination of worldly objects.

The thought of getting liberation, growing big in the mind, disturbs its peace and rest, and it also injuries the body (by observance of austerities).

Whether we visualize the Soul as apart from all things or intimately connected with all, it can neither have its liberation nor its bondage.


(5:74)

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' Qualities of One Who Abides in the Truth '


Renunciation of desire is the source of complete self-sufficiency to which the riches of the three worlds can make no addition.

A man decorated with a lack of desire has all in himself though possessed of nothing.

With what shall we compare a man whose mind is never employed in the thoughts of craving something and avoiding another, and who is ever master of himself?

O you wise and intelligent man! rely on the lack of cravings on your heart, which is your greatest good fortune, by setting yourself in the bliss of safety and security, beyond the reach of the dangers and difficulties of the world.

( 5:74 )

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VERSE 59 | CAUSE OF THE PRODUCTION OF THE WORLD

The mind gradually moulds itself into the form which it constantly thinks upon in itself ; and it derives from within itself the power to be what it wishes to become.

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The sight of the Spirit eliminates desires, and the absence of desires shows the Light of Spirit to sight.

Maharṣi Vasiṣṭha
in Yogavāsiṣṭha Mahāramāyaṇa

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There is no pleasure to be had from anything, without its concomitant pain (either preceding or following it).

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The repeated desire of enjoying what has been enjoyed and of seeing what has often been seen, is not the way to get rid of worldly-bondage; but is the cause of repeated birth, for the same enjoyments.

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Shun your sense that “It is I” and “These are mine.” Without these feelings, the mind is cast down.

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The mind is so changing by the influence of time, place, power and nature of acts and things that it continually shuffles from one feeling to another.

The mind takes the truth for untruth and its reverse for certainty, so it takes one thing for another and its joy and grief are all of its own making.

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The body being hurt, the soul is supposed to be hurt likewise, but no pain or hurt or sickness of any kind can affect the unchanging soul. The body being hurt or weakened or destroyed, there is no injury done to the soul.

Whether the body lasts or falls is of no matter, like a flower being destroyed deposits its fragrance in the air.

Let the body rise or fall or fly in smoke and mix with the air. These changing forms can have no effect whatsoever on the soul.

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When dream ends, deep sleep ensues; when seeds of thought perish, you are liberated. In liberation the seeds of thought do not exist: if a liberated sage appears to live and think, he only appears to do so, like a burnt cloth lying on the floor

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True knowledge consists in seeing phenomena as void and knowing the one emptiness to the sole unity and real entity. The appearance of the world is only a perspective of the environment that is Divine Consciousness. It is contained in the small space of human consciousness within the soul.

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This world-appearance is a confusion, even as the blueness of the sky is an optical illusion. Neither freedom from sorrow nor realization of one's real nature is possible, as long as the conviction does not arise in one that the world-appearance is unreal.

And this conviction arises when one studies this scripture with diligence. It is then that one arrives at the firm conviction that the objective world is a confusion of the real with the unreal. If one does not thus study this scripture, true knowledge does not arise in him, even in millions of years.

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The knowledge of the reality of all things in the minds of the unenlightened is dispersed in the minds of Enlightened upon conviction of their unreality.
It requires a habit of constant meditation in order to know your spiritual state and subdue your sense of materiality. As you abstain from your sense of materiality, so you attain the Spiritual state.
The view of the phenomenal world as distinct from the Unity is as false as seeing a delusion.

~ MahaRamayana III:57

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When one approaches darkness with light in hand, wishing to behold it, the darkness vanishes; when the light of enquiry is turned on ignorance, ignorance disappears. When one begins to enquire "What is 'I' in this body composed of blood, flesh, bone, etc.?" at once ignorance ceases to be.

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The Secret of Self-Knowledge .

RAMA: Lord, pray tell me: What is the nature of the self-knowledge in which all these great ones are established?

VASISTHA: Rama, you know this already, yet in order to make it abundantly clear you are asking about it again.

Whatever there is and whatever appears to be the world-jugglery, is but the pure Brahman or the absolute consciousness and nothing else. Consciousness is Brahman, the world is Brahman, all the elements are Brahman, I am Brahman, my enemy is Brahman, my friends and relatives are Brahman, Brahman is the three periods of time for all these are rooted in Brahman. Even as the ocean appears to be expanded on account of its waves, Brahman seems to be expanded on account of the infinite variety of substances. Brahman apprehends Brahman, Brahman experiences or enjoys Brahman, Brahman is made manifest in Brahman by the power of Brahman himself. Brahman is the form of my enemy who displeases me who am Brahman: when such is the case, who does what to another?

The modes of the mind, like attraction and repulsion and likes and dislikes, have been conjured up in imagination. They have been destroyed by the absence of thoughts. How then can they be magnified? When Brahman alone moves in all which is Brahman, and Brahman alone unfolds as Brahman in all, what is joy and what is sorrow? Brahman is satisfied with Brahman, Brahman is established in Brahman. There is neither 'I' or another!

All the objects in this world are Brahman. 'I' am Brahman. Such being the case, both passion and dispassion, craving and aversion are but notions. Body is Brahman, death is Brahman, too: when they come together, as the real rope and the unreal imaginary snake come together, where is the cause of rejoicing when body experiences pleasure? When, on the surface of the calm ocean, waves appear to be agitated, the waves do not cease to be water! Even when Brahman appears to be agitated (in the world-appearance), its essence is unchanged and there is neither 'I'-ness nor 'you'-ness. When the whirlpool dies in the water, nothing is dead! When the death-Brahman overtakes the body-Brahman, nothing is lost.

Water is capable of being calm and of being agitated: even so Brahman can be quiescent and restless. Such is its nature. It is ignorance or delusion that divides the one into 'This is sentient jiva'; and 'This is sentient matter'; the wise ones do not hold such erroneous views. Hence, to the ignorant the world is full of sorrow; to the wise the same world is full of bliss, even as to the blind man the world is dark and to the one who as good eyesight the world is full of light.

When the one Brahman alone pervades all, there is neither death nor a living person. The ripples play on the surface of the ocean; they are neither born nor do they die! Even so do the elements in this creation. 'This is' and 'This is not' – such deluded notions arise in the self. These notions are not really caused nor do they have a motivation, even as a crystal reflects different colored object without a motivation.

The self remains itself even when the energies of the world throw up endless diversities on the surface of the ocean of consciousness. There are no independent entities in this world known as 'body', etc. What is seen as the body and what are seen as notions, the objects of perception, the perishable and the imperishable, the thoughts and feelings are their meaning – all these are Brahman in Brahman, the infinite consciousness. There is duality only in the eyes of the deluded and ignorant. The mind, the intellect, the ego-sense, the cosmic root-elements, the senses and all such diverse phenomena are Brahman only; pleasure and pain are illusions (they are words without substance). Even as a single sound produced amongst hills echoes and re-echoes into diversity, the one cosmic consciousness experiences multiplicity within itself, with the notions 'This is I' and 'This is mine' etc. The one cosmic consciousness sees diversity within itself even as a dreamer of diverse objects within himself.

When gold is not recognized as such, it gets mixed up with the earth; when Brahman is not thus recognized the impurity of ignorance arises. The knower of Brahman declares that such a great one is himself the Lord and Brahman; in the case of the ignorant the non-recognition of the truth is known as ignorance. When gold is recognized as such it 'becomes' gold instantly; when Brahman is recognized as such it 'becomes' Brahman instantly.

Being omnipotent, Brahman becomes whatever it considers itself to be without any motivation for doing so. The knowers of Brahman declare that Brahman is the Lord, the great being which is devoid of action, the doer and the instrument, devoid of causal motivation of transformation or change.

When this truth is not realized, it arises as ignorance in the ignorant, but when it is realized, the ignorance is dispelled. When a relative is not recognized as such, he is known as a stranger; when the relative is recognized, the notion of stranger is instantly dispelled.

When one knows that duality is illusory appearance, there is realization of Brahman, the absolute. When one knows 'This is not I', the unreality of the ego-sense is realized. From this arises true dispassion. 'I am verily Brahman' – when this truth is realized the awareness of the truth arises in one, and all things are then merged in that awareness. When such notions as 'I' and 'you' are dispelled, the realization of the truth arises and one realizes that all this, whatever there is, is indeed Brahman.”

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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 predominately 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 Duryodhana 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 on 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.

What appears to be the world here is truly the magic (the work) of the infinite consciousness. There is no unity here, nor is there duality. My instructions, too, are of the same nature! The words, their meaning, the disciple, the wish (or the effort of the disciple) and the guru's ability in the use of the words – all these are also the play of energy of the infinite consciousness! In the peace of one's own inner being, consciousness vibrates and the world-vision arises. If that consciousness does not vibrate, there will be no world-vision.

The mind is but the movement in consciousness. The non-realization of this truth is world-vision! Non-realization of this truth intensifies and aggravates the movement of thought in consciousness. Thus a cycle is formed. Ignorance and mental activity are perpetuated by each other.

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 macrocomsic 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 one 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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Vasistha continued:
This cosmic illusion (Maya) creates great delusion and is of the nature of disequilibrium.

It is extremely difficult to understand it. What comparison is there between a hallucination which lasts for the brief duration of an hour's dream, and a whole life-time as a tribesman with all the varied experiences?

Again, how can we relate what is seen in that hallucination and what is seen 'in front of our eyes'? Or, what is truly unreal and what has really undergone a factual transformation?

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The pure mind is free from latent tendencies, and therefore it attains self-knowledge. Since the entire universe is within the mind, the notions of bondage and liberation are also within it.

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