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| SECTION IV | CHAPTER 33

The world-appearance is a juggler's trick ; all subject-object relationship between it and me is foolish — when this understanding takes root , " I-ness " is uprooted .

When it is seen that it is the " I " that gives rise to the notion of a " world " , both of them cease in peace .

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So long as the cloud of ego hides the moon of jnana, the lily of the Self will not bloom.

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VASISTHA'S YOGA | DAILY READING | SECT V | CHAP 31

avisnuh pujayan visnum na pujaphalabhagbhavet
vlsnurbhutva yajed visnumayam visnuraham sthitah ( 40 )

Prahlada continued to muse :

Even as the snowclad peaks of the Himalayas are never subjected to the scorching heat of the sun, the gods who live in the shade of the protection of Visnu are not subjected to oppression.

Even as a little monkey seated on the branch of a tree annoys a powerful dog standing on the ground, these gods enjoying the security of the protection of Visnu haruss the demons.

It is Visnu that protects the whole universe and upholds it.

Even if Visnu abandons the use of weapons, no one can face him ( Narasimha did not use conventional weapons ).

He alone is the refuge of all beings in this world, therefore by all means one should take refuge in him — there is no other way.

No one is superior to him and he alone is the cause of the creation, preservation and dissolution of the universe.

From this very moment I shall also be devoted to Visnu and live as if filled with his presence.

The holy mantra " Namo Narayanaya " dedicated to him is capable of bestowing every blessing on the devotee : may it never leave my heart.

However, one who is not Visnu does not derive any benefit by worshipping Visnu.

One should worship Visnu by being Visnu.

Hence I am Visnu.

He who is known as Prahlada is none other than Visnu: there is no duality.

Visnu's vehicle Garuda now bears me.

His insignia adorn my limbs.

Laksmi, his consort, is standing next to me.

All the divine splendour of Visnu has become mine.

The conch, the discus, the mace and sword which are the symbols that are invariably associated with Visnu are with me now.

The lotus that bears on it the creator Brahma springs from my navel.

The entire universe which repeatedly appears and disappears is in my abdomen.

My colour is now the colour of Visnu, which is blue.

I am dressed in the yellow garment of Visnu.

I am Visnu.

Who can be my enemy and who can challenge me now?

Since I am Visnu, he who is hostile to me has surely reached the end-of his life-span.

These demons who stand in front of me find it difficult or impossible to endure the dazzling brilliance that radiates from me. And those gods are really singing my own praise, as I am Visnu.

I have transcended all sense of duality and therefore I have myself become Visnu.

He in whose abdomen ever abides the three worlds, he who subdues all evil forces in the universe and he who dispels the anxieties and fears of all — he am I and I salute him.

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| SECTION: III | CHAPTER: 111

The feelings " This is I " and " This is mine " are the mind ; when they are removed , the mind ceases to be .

Then one becomes fearless .

Weapons like sword generate fear ; the weapon ( wisdom ) that destroys egotism generates fearlessness .

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| SECTION: III | CHAPTER: 111

By self-effort and self-knowledge make the mind no-mind .

Let the infinite consciousness swallow , as it were , the finite mind and then go beyond everything .

With your intelligence united with the supreme , hold on to the self which is imperishable .

When the mind is thus conquered by remaining completely unagitated , you will consider even the conquest of the three worlds worthless .

This does not involve studying the scriptures, or rising or falling — nothing but self-knowledge .

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| SECTION: III | CHAPTER: 111

Why do you consider it difficult ?

If this is found difficult by someone , how does he even live in this world without self-knowledge ?

One who knows the deathless nature of the self is not afraid of death .

Nor is he affected by separation from friends and relations .

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| SECTION: III | CHAPTER: 111

Only when one severs the very root of the mind with the weapon of non-conceptualisation , can one reach the absolute Brahman which is omnipresent , supreme peace .

Conceptualisation or imagination is productive of error and sorrow ; and it can be so easily got rid of by self-knowledge — and when it is got rid of there is great peace .

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| SECTION: III | CHAPTER: 111

There is no other path to one's salvation except control over one's mind , which means resolute effort to abandon cravings in the mind .

Make a firm resolve to kill the mind as it were , which is easily achieved without the least doubt .

If one has not abandoned the cravings of the mind , then all the instructions of a preceptor , study of scriptures , recitation of mantras and so on are as valuable as straw !

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SECTION: III | CHAPTER: 111

By intense self-effort it is possible to gain victory over the mind ; and then without the least effort the individualised consciousness is absorbed in the infinite consciousness when its individuality is broken through .

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| SECTION: III | CHAPTER: 111

Victory over this goblin known as mind is gained when , with the aid of one's own self-effort , one attains self-knowledge and abandons the craving for what the mind desires as pleasure .

This can easily be achieved without any effort at all ( even as a child's attention can be easily diverted ) by the cultivation of the proper attitude .

Woe unto him who is unable to give up cravings , for this is the sole means to one's ultimate good .

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| SECTION: III | CHAPTER: 112

Wise men remove from their mind the manifestations of the latent tendencies or conditioning ( which alone is the mind ) as and when they rise : thus is nescience removed .

First destroy the mental conditioning by renouncing cravings ; and then remove from your mind even the concepts of bondage and liberation .

Be totally free of conditioning

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When the same mind is devoted to enquiry and wisdom , it shakes off all conditioning and returns to its original nature as pure consciousness .

Mind takes the very form of that which one contemplates , whether it is natural or cultivated .

Therefore , resolutely but intelligently contemplate the state beyond sorrow , free from all doubts .

The mind is capable of restraining itself ; there is indeed no other way .

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| SECTION: III | CHAPTER: 112

The restlessness of the mind itself is known as ignorance or nescience ; it is the seat of tendencies , predispositions or conditioning — destroy this through enquiry , as also by the firm abandonment of contemplation of the objects of sense-pleasure .

Mind constantly swings like a pendulum between the reality and the appearance , between consciousnesss and inertness .

When the mind contemplates the inert objects for a considerable time , it assumes the characteristic of such inertness .

Be totally free of conditioning .

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| SECTION: III | CHAPTER: 112

Of course , there is no mind without restlessness ; restlessness is the very nature of the mind .

It is the work of this restlessness of the mind based on the infinite consciousness that appears as this world : that indeed is the power of the mind .

But , when the mind is deprived of its restlessness , it is referred to as the dead mind ; and that itself is penance ( tapas ) as also the verification of the scriptures and liberation .

When the mind is thus absorbed in the infinite consciousness there is supreme peace ; but when the mind is involved in thoughts there is great sorrow .

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| SECTION: III | CHAPTER: 112

Towards whichever object the mind flows with intensity , in that it sees the fulfilment of its cravings .

The cause of this movement in a particular direction is not obvious ; like ripples on the surface of the ocean , such intense movement appears now here and now there , comes into being and dies .

However , just as coolness is inseparable from ice , this restless movement is inseparable from mind .

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| DAILY READING | SECT V | CHAP 32 33

gunavannirguno jata ityanarthakramam viduh
nirguno gunavan jata ityahu siddhidam kramarn (33/4)

Vasistha continued :

Having thus transfigured himself into the very image of Visnu, Prahlada thought of worshipping Visnu.

He thought :

" Here stands another Visnu who is also seated on his vehicle Garuda, who is endowed with all the divine qualities and powers, who bears all the insignias relative to the status of Visnu.

I shall now worship him according to the tradition relating to such worship, but mentally. "

Having thus resolved, Prahlada mentally worshipped Visnu, with all the materials ordained by tradition and scriptural injunctions.

After this he also worshipped Visnu with external rites and rituals.

Upon completion of this worship, Prahlada rejoiced.

From that time, Prahlada worshipped Visnu in that manner every day.

Seeing him and following his example, all the demons in the kingdom also became staunch devotees of Visnu.

And, the rumour spread like wild fire in heaven that the demons who had till lately been enemies of Visnu, had suddenly become his devotees!

The gods in heaven were bewildered : how could demons become devotees!

They quickly approached Visnu and asked him.

The gods said :

Lord, what is this mystery?

The demons are your traditional enemies.

That they should turn into your devotees appears to be unreal and a trick.

Where is the diabolical nature of the demons; and where is devotion to you which arises only during the last incarnation of a jiva?

Good and divine qualities just do not go with these demons: it sounds so incongruous.

Surely, the qualities of a being are always in accordance with the fundamental nature of that being.

To hear that these demons have become your devotees overnight is almost painful.

If it were said that they had gradually evolved into higher states of being, cultivated good qualities and then become your devotees, we could very well understand it.

But that someone who has been of wicked disposition has all at once become your devotee, is incredible.

The Lord replied :

O gods, do not suffer doubt and despair.

Prahlada has become my devotee.

This is indeed his last birth and he deserves to be liberated now.

The seeds of his ignorance have been burnt; he will not be born any more.

It is meaningless and painful to hear that a good man has become evil-minded.

It is appropriate and good to hear that one who has had no good qualities has become good.

Prahlada's change is for your good.

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| SECTION: III | CHAPTER: 113

The power which creates this world-appearance and keeps it revolving as the potter's wheel is kept revolving by a potter , is the psychological tendency ( or mental conditioning ) .

Like a bamboo , it is hollow and without substance .

Like the waves of a river , it does not die even when it is cut asunder .

It cannot be grasped .

It is subtle and soft , but it has the power of a sword .

Though it is perceived in its own reflection as its effects , it is not useful in one's quest of truth .

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| SECTION: III | CHAPTER: 113

Even while doing all the actions natural to you , if you are unattached to those actions , you are truly the non-doer ; if you are doing nothing and are attached to that non-doership ( then you are doing nothing ) you become the doer !

When all this world is like the juggler's trick , what is to be given up and what is to be sought ?

The seed of this world-appearance is ignorance ; without being seen as " this is it " , this ignorance has the quality of truth !

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| SECTION: III | CHAPTER: 113

You are not the doer of any action here ; so , why do you assume doership ?

When one alone exists , who does what and how ?

Do not become inactive , either ; for what is gained by doing nothing ?

What has to be done has to be done .

Therefore , rest in the self .

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VASISTHA'S YOGA | SECTION: III | CHAPTER: 113

The psychological tendency ( or mental disposition or mental conditioning ) is unreal , yet it does arise in the mind : hence it can be compared to the vision of two moons in a person suffering from diplopia .

Hence this tendency should be renounced as if it were sheer delusion .

The product of ignorance is real only to the ignorant person ; to the wise , it is just a verbal expression ( just as one speaks of the barren woman's son ) .

Do not remain ignorant , but strive to be wise , by renouncing mental conditioning as you would abandon the idea that there is a second moon .

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| DAILY READING | SECT V | CHAP 33

tribhuvanabhavanabhiramakosam sakalakalankaharam param prakasam
asaranasaranam saranyamisam harimajamacyutamisvaram prapadye ( 19 )

Vasistha continued :

After thus reassuring the gods, Visnu disappeared.
And, the gods returned to their respective abodes.

They became friendly towards Prahlada.

Every day Prahlada thus worshipped the lord Visnu by thought, word and deed.

As the immediate fruit of such worship, all the noble qualities like wisdom and dispassion grew in him.

He did not seek pleasure; even his mind did not contemplate pleasure.

Having abandoned craving for pleasure, his mind was dangling without support.

Lord Visnu came to know of the state of Prablada.

He travelled along the netherworld to where Prahlada was worshipping him.

Seeing that lord Visnu himself had come in the palace, Prahlada rejoiced even more and worshipped Visnu again.

Prahlada prayed:

I take refuge in the Lord in whom the three worlds rejoice, who is the supreme light which destroys the darkness of every kind of ignorance and impurity, who is the refuge of the helpless destitute, who alone is the Lord whose refuge is worth seeking, the unborn, the surest security.

You are radiant like the blue lotus or the blue jewel; your body is blue like the zenith of the clear winter sky; and you hold your divine insignia in your hands — I take refuge in you.

I take refuge in him whose voice is the truth ( the holy scriptures ), whose navel-lotus is the seat of Brahma the creator and who dwells in the hearts of all beings.

I take refuge in him the radiance of whose nails sparkles as the stars in the heaven, whose sweet smiling face is the moon, in whose heart there is a jewel from which rays emanate and flow as the holy river Ganga and who is clad in the pure autumnal sky.

I take refuge in him in whom this extensive universe rests without diminution, who is ever unborn and unchanging, whose body is composed of all the auspicious qualities and who rests on a banyan leaf.

I take refuge in him who has goddess Laksmi at his own side, the beauty of whose body is like the beauty of the setting sun.

I take refuge in the Lord who is like the sun unto the lotus of the three worlds, who is like a lamp unto the darkness of ignorance, who is of the nature of infinite consciousness, and who destroys the suffering and distress of all beings in the universe.

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| SECTION: III | CHAPTER: 113

This ignorance or mental conditioning has but a momentary existence : yet , since it flows on , it seems to be permanent like a river .

Because it is able to veil the reality , it seems to be real : but when you try to grasp it , you discover it is nothing .

Yet , again , it acquires strength and firmness on account of these qualities in the world-appearance , even as a flimsy fibre when rolled into a rope acquires great strength .

This conditioning seems to grow , but in fact it does not .

For when you try to grasp it , it vanishes like the tip of a flame

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| SECTION: III | CHAPTER: 113

This ignorance or mental conditioning is powerless to do anything , yet it seems to be very active , even as a mirror actively reflects the light of a lamp .

Even as a life-like painting of a woman is unable to perform the duties of a living woman , this ignorance or mental conditioning is incapable of functioning , though it appears to be potent .

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| SECTION: III | CHAPTER: 113

Because of its proximity to the infinite consciousness , it seems to be active ; and when that infinite consciousness is realised , it ( the conditioning ) comes to an end .

This mental conditioning dies when not fed by attachment to objects ; but even in the absence of such attachment , it continues to remain as a potentiality .

This ignorance or mental conditioning is acquired by man effortlessly and it seems to promote pleasure , but in truth it is the giver of grief .

It creates a delusion of pleasure only by the total veiling of self-knowledge .

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| SECTION: III | CHAPTER: 113

On account of this conditioning , differences are seen in the objects of this creation .

Though it cannot be said to abide in a particular place , it is seen everywhere .

This mental conditioning is not a manifestation of intelligence , yet being based on intelligence it has the appearance of intelligence .

Though it is ever changing , it creates in oneself an illusion of permanence .

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VASISTHA'S YOGA | DAILY READING | SECT V | CHAP 34

sarvasambhramasamsantyai paramaya phalaya ca
brahmavisrantiparyanto vicaro stu tava nagha ( 3 )

The Lord said :

O Prahlada, you are an ocean of good qualities and you are indeed the jewel among the demons.

Ask of me any boon of your choice which is conducive to the cessation of the sorrow of birth.

Prahlada said :

Lord, you are the indweller of all beings and you grant the fruition of all our wishes.

Pray, grant me that boon which you consider to be limitless and infinite.

The Lord said :

Prahlada, may you be endowed with the spirit of enquiry till you rest in the infinite Brahman so that all your delusions might come to an end and you may attain the highest fruit ( blessing ).

Vasistha continued:

Having said thus, the Lord disappeared.

Prahlada concluded his worship and after singing hymns in praise of the Lord, began to reflect in the following manner.

Prahlada contemplated :

The Lord had commanded " Be continually engaged in enquiry "; hence, I shall engage myself in enquiry into the self.

What am I who speaks, walks, stands and functions on this elaborate stage known as the world — I should find this out to begin with.

Surely, I am not this world which is outside and which is inert, composed of trees, shrubs and mountains.

Nor am I the body which was born on account of the movement of the life-breath, and which seems to live for a very brief moment.

I am not sound ( word or name or expression ) which is apprehended by the inert substance known as the ear, which is but a momentary movement of air and which is devoid of form and devoid of existence.

I am not the sense or experience of touch, which is also momentary and which is able to function only on account of the infinite consciousness.

Nor am I the sense of taste based on the ever changing and restless tongue ever devoted to its objects.

I am not the sense of sight ( or form ) which too is momentary and which is but a perversion of the understanding of the seer.

Nor am I the sense of smell, which is an imaginary creation of the nose and which has an indeterminate form.

Hence, I am devoid of all these imaginary qualities.

I have nothing whatsoever to do with the functions of these senses.

I am pure consciousness.

I am peace beyond thought.

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