Download: pdf for print / eBook for readers

Essential Yoga Vasistha

I. Dealing with Dispassion

Life, a field to evolve

Life, work and activity
Are not different from practice
Life is practice and practice is life
Together seamlessly they lead to the goal
All things are ever changing
They are not the problem at all
Our reactions to change or 'what is'
Is what must be seen and abandoned
Though awake, we are mostly asleep
Seeing, the mind assigns its own values
These have nothing to do with 'what is'
These springs of sorrow must be abandoned

The seeker

When one sees the problem lies within
And tries to go beyond habit's grip
Wishing to be free but not seeing the way
One becomes a seeker—worthy of wisdom
There must be this inner change of heart
Outer change is struggle—cosmetic at best
Inner change reorganizes the outer naturally
It's not even change, just what's natural to it
The outer is the visible face of the inner
Just like water beginning to boil
Heat meeting water is not seen
What is seen is water bubbling away
All beings have different natures
Assigning good and bad doesn't matter
Linking present with past doesn't matter
Why not deal with each in the moment?

Signs of awakening

Hopes and desires arise from our values
So do desires, attachments and dependency
Seeing this—be ready to go beyond
And stay on the path that is freedom itself

Awakened observations

Happiness cannot be had from things
People too are in the realm of change
When they change, joy turns to sorrow
The cycle of blind pursuit is samsara
Learning is a burden to the unwise
Wisdom a burden to one with desires
Mind is a burden to the restless
Life is a burden without self-knowledge
Mind is the cause of all objects
They are not seen when the mind is absent
Or when the mind is distracted elsewhere
Though objects be right in front of it
Craving increases fear, weakens courage
Increases misery and lack of clarity
Never allowing one to see 'what is'
Insisting on seeing what it wants to see
Preoccupation with the body is bondage
Bound to the body is bound to the world
The body is useful—it is not the problem
Self's identification with the body is
Childhood is a period of vulnerability
Helplessness—unable to be expressed
In this background of inner instability
Rises craving from latent tendencies
Youth is springtime for passion's harvest
Suppressing good qualities that do exist
Generating climate for wrong perception
And wrong action with its consequences
Even those who have left world activity
Are still subject to delusion's power
Leaving things may not be letting go
The inner grip is indeed hard to loosen
Staying hidden, time overpowers all
Reversing the powerful and the weak
Juggling wealth, fame and status
Letting us believe we do these things
Even fools rise to power and affluence
These are not accomplishments at all
To rise above the mind and senses
Is indeed a worthy accomplishment
Leading a fully awakened life is necessary
To see the inherent defect in things
Not that they are good or bad
Our values make them appear as such
The mind is not capable of handling life
It just cannot bring happiness and peace
Awaken that which observes the mind
Empower the inner intelligence
The mind is a powerful bundle of habits
Not easy to extricate oneself from its grip
Struggle is partly caught, partly freed
It is here a reliable guide is most helpful

Main Page / Introduction / Prayer / Ch I / Ch II / Ch III / Ch IV / Ch V / Ch VI-1 / Ch VI-2