Yoga Vashishta     254 posts


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The tree of meditation casts a cool shade in which all desires and cravings come to an end. Meditation expands the shade of self-control, which promotes steadiness of the mind

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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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Rest in your heart in the unchanging and indivisible consciousness. Live an active life, free from the false notion that 'I am the doer'.

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The mind which is tied to the ego-sense and notions of pleasure and pain, is the seed for this samsara or world-illusion.

The mind of a jivanmukta is not swayed in the least from its utter equanimity by any kind of pleasure or pain, anymore than a mountain is blown away by someone blowing it with his breath. Such a mind is totally unaffected in great honor and festivity and in great calamity.

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Abandon the identification of the self with the body and behold the consciousness that knits together all the beings that exist in the universe.

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Ignorance and mental activity are perpetuated by each other. When the inner intelligence is awakened, the craving for pleasure ceases. For the wise, cessation of craving for pleasure is therefore natural and effortless.

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The total abandonment of desire alone is nirvana; clinging to desires is sorrow. By the abandonment of desire, Brahman is realized in a twinkling of an eye.

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Though the infinite consciousness is indivisible, it experiences within itself the two states of bondage and liberation.

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|| SEC IV | VERSE 34-35 | NATURE OF BONDAGE ||

On rising from this state of deep meditation , one finds oneself as roused from one's sound sleep , in order to view the world full of all its woes and imperfections opening wide before one .

What then , is the good of this transient bliss which one attains by one's temporary abstraction ( dhyana ) , when one has to fall again to one's sense of the sufferings to which the world is subject as a vale of tears .


| MITRA | VOL 1 | BOOK III | CHAP I

|| SEC IV | VERSE 36 | NATURE OF BONDAGE ||

But if one can attain to a state of unalterable abstraction of one's thoughts from all worldly objects , as one has in one's state of sound sleep ( susupti ) , one is then said to have reached the highest pitch of one's holiness

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| MITRA | VOL 1 | BOOK III | CHAP I

|| SEC IV | VERSE 26 | NATURE OF BONDAGE ||

It is difficult to avoid the sight of the phenomenal world , and to repress one's ardour for the same .

But it is certain that , the visibles can not lead us to the Reality , nor the Real mislead us to unreality .

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VASISTHA'S YOGA DAILY READING | SECTION V | CHAPTER 75

tiryagyonisvapi sada vidyante krtabuddhayah
devayonisvapi prajna vidyante murkhabuddhayah ( 32 )

sarvam sarvena sarvatra sarvatha sarvadaiva hi
sambhavatyeva sarvatmanyatmanyatatarupini ( 33 )

Vasistha continued :

Very many such liberated beings exist in the universe , O Rama .

I shall give you a few instances .

Janaka the sovereign , your own ancestor the sovereign Dilipa , the first ruler of the world Manu , sovereign Mandhata that engaged in wars , the demon-kings Bali , Namuci , Vrtra ( that even fought with the sovereign of gods Indra ) , Prahlada and Sambara , the preceptors of the gods and demons , as also the trinity ( that are involved in the creation , preservation and dissolution of the universe ) , sages like Visvamitra and Narada , as well as the deities presiding over natural elements like fire and air .

There are thousands of others , O Rama , that exist in the universe and that are liberated .

Some of them are sages , others are sovereigns , others shine its stars and planets , others are divinities and others are demons .

O Rama , there are liberated beings even among worms and insects ; and there are stupid fools among the gods .

The self is in all — it exists as the all everywhere at all times and in all ways .

The self alone is the Lord and all the divinities .

There is void ( space ) in substances and substantiality in the void or space .

What is inappropriate appears to be appropriate on enquiry .

People are righteous because they are afraid of the consequences of sin .

Even what is not leads to what is ! — the contemplation of the space or void leads to the attainment of the supreme truth !

What is not comes into being , guided by time and space .

On the other hand , what appears to be strong and powerful reaches its own destruction .

Thus perceiving the truth , O Rama , abandon joy and sorrow , grief and attachment .

The unreal appears to be real and the real appears to be unreal : hence give up hope and hopelessness and attain equanimity .

In this world , O Rama , liberation is at hand at all times everywhere .

By their own self-effort millions of beings have attained liberation .

Liberation is either easy or difficult depending upon one's wisdom or unwisdom ; hence , O Rama , kindle the lamp of wisdom in yourself .

By the vision of the self is sorrow beheaded .

There have been countless beings in this world that have attained self-knowledge and liberation while yet living : like the sovereign Janaka .

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 .

One that is freed from all attachment is liberated .

One should wisely and intelligently exert oneself to attain this liberation ; one that does not exert cannot even jump over the footprint of a rule .

Hence , O Rama , resort to spiritual heroism , to right exertion , and by the right self-enquiry strive to reach the perfection of self-knowledge .

For one that thus strives , the entire universe is like the footprint of a calf .

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The Yoga-Vasistha is the greatest help to the spiritual awakening , and the direct experience of the Truth . This is certain . If this is what you want , you are welcome to Yoga-Vasistha .

~ Swami Venkatesananda

It is the crest-jewel of all the works on Vedanta . It is a masterpiece . A study of the book raises one to the lofty heights of divine splendour and bliss .

It is really a vast store of wisdom . Those who practise Atma Chintana or Brahma Abhyasa or Vedantic meditation will find a priceless treasure in this marvellous book .

One who studies the book with great interest and one-pointedness of mind cannot go without attaining Self-realisation .

~ Swami Sivananda

One of the greatest books, the most wonderful according to me, ever written under the Sun, is Yoga-Vasistha, which nobody on the Earth can read without escaping God–Consciousness, and which nobody can read through without becoming one with The All.

~ Swami Rama Tirtha

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VASISTHA'S YOGA DAILY READING | SECTION V | CHAPTER 74

gospadam prthivi meruh sthanurasah samudgikah
trnamn tribhuvanam rama nairasyalankrtakrteh ( 47 )

Vasistha continued :

One that is endowed with desirelessness ( hope-lessness ) treats the whole world as if it were the footprint of a calf , the highest mountain as the stump of a felled tree , space as a small box and the three worlds as a blade of grass .

One laughs at the activities of the worldly-minded persons .

How can we compare such a person , and to what ?

How can anyone disturb one's equanimity when one is totally free from thoughts like " I wish this had happened to me " ?

O Rama , it is desire or hope that makes one revolve , bound to the wheel of world-illusion .

When you perceive the truth that the self alone is all this and that diversity is just a word without substance , you will become totally free from desire or hope .

Such a hero that is endowed with supreme dispassion drives away the goblin of illusion by the very presence .

One is not pleased by pleasure , one is not troubled by troubles .

Attractions do not distract one any more than wind can uproot a mountain .

The twin-forces of attraction and aversion do not even touch one .

One looks upon all with equal vision .

Free from the least attachment one enjoys whatever comes to one unsought , even as the eyes perceive their objects without desire or hate .

Such experiences do not therefore produce either joy or sorrow in one .

Even though one appears to be engaged in the performance of appropriate actions in this world , one's consciousness is not distracted in the least .

Whatever may befall one in accordance with the laws of time , space and causation , whether it is pleasant or unpleasant , one remains inwardly undisturbed .

Even as a rope which had been mistaken for a snake does not frighten one who has seen that it is a rope and not a snake ; illusion once dispelled does not return and self-knowledge once attained is never lost .

Can one restore to the tree the fruit that has fallen from it ?

The knower of truth regards even the most beautiful person as a painted image ; that is the truth , for both of them are made of the same substance ( earth , water , etc )

When thus the truth is seen , desire to possess does not arise in the heart .

Even as a person who has a lover goes about doing work with heart absorbed in contemplation of that lover , the enlightened sage functions in this world with consciousness firmly established in the truth .

In both these cases it is impossible for anyone to prevent such behavior , ie , make the person forget the lover , or make the sage forget the truth .

The enlightened sage knows that one's self is not cut when the body is cut , does not weep when the eyes shed tears , is not burnt when the body is burnt , and is not lost when everything is lost .

Whatever may befall one , whether one is destitute or affluent , whether one lives in a palace or in a forest — one is inwardly undisturbed

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| SECTION V | CHAPTER 91

When notions of the desirable and undesirable do not arise , then the mind does not arise and there is supreme peace .

These alone constitute the form of the mind — conception , imagination , thought and memory .

When these are absent , how does a mind exist ?

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| SECTION V | CHAPTER 91

When one , established in non-becoming , contemplates that which has not changed into becoming and when one thus perceives what is as it is , then the mind becomes no-mind .

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| SECTION V | CHAPTER 91

When , obstinately clinging to a fancy , and therefore abandoning a thorough enquiry into the nature of truth , one apprehends an object with that fancy — such apprehension is described as conditioning or limitation .

When such fancy is persistently and intensely indulged in , this world-appearance arises in consciousness .

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| SECTION V | CHAPTER 91

Caught up in one's own conditioning , whatever the person sees one thinks that to be real and gets deluded .

And on account of the intensity of the conditioning and the fancy , one discards one's own nature and perceives only the world-illusion .

All this happens only to the unwise .

That , whose perception is thus perverted , is known as mind .

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| SECTION V | CHAPTER 91

It is when homogeneity is disturbed and the consciousness experiences diversity that the mind arises , and the countless psychological conditions spring up into activity .

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| SECTION V | CHAPTER 91

Unpurified vision perceives the world ; purified vision perceives the infinite consciousness

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| SECTION V | CHAPTER 84

The Energy of the Infinite Consciousness is Omnipresent ;
and it manifests as whatever it likes wherever it likes

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| SECTION V | CHAPTER 82

O mind , you yourself do not exist ; how do you have relations ?

If you realize that " I am but pure consciousness " , then you are indeed the self .

Then how does sorrow arise in you when you are the unlimited and unconditioned consciousness ?

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| SECTION V | CHAPTER 78 79

To see that the supreme self is without beginning and without end , and that these countless objects are in fact the self and no other , is the right vision

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| SECTION V | CHAPTER 74

There arise other concepts like " I do this " , " I enjoy this " and " I know this " .

All these concepts are unreal like a mirage in the desert .

However , since their unreality is not realised , the illusion attracts the mind even as the mirage deludes and attracts an animal .

But , if it is realised as an illusion it does not attract the mind , even as a mirage does not delude one who knows it to be a mirage .

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| SECTION V | CHAPTER 67

The existence of the body does not diminish the omnipresence of the self anymore than waves diminish the fullness of the ocean .

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| SECTION V | CHAPTER 69 70

The mind should rest in pure consciousness as pure consciousness , with just a little externalised movement of thought , as if aware of the utter vanity of the objects of this world .

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