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Essential Yoga Vasistha

III. Dealing with Creation

Appearance and reality

Objective perception happens naturally
Just as fragrance exists in flowers
Let it be, it is not the problem
Why act on it and make it real?
The liberated one's actions
Wisdom's responses to situations
Never rising from conditioning
Are ever free of karma's grasp
All these forms you see
Are non-different from that which sees
The formless itself freezes into forms
Self-forgetfulness makes the unreal seem real

Consciousness and creation

Neither the objective universe
Nor self, perception or void
Nor inertness exists
Cosmic consciousness alone is
From him emerges all and everything
As countless rays emerge from the sun
As ripples arise from the ocean's surface
Rising, subsiding and existing in him as him
In it rise the seer, sight and seen
Perfectly synthesized as 'seeing' only
Nothing but pure consciousness
Knowing this directly is self-realization
The infinite emerges from the infinite
Existing in it as the infinite only
What emerges is the same as its source
Creation is just a term, nothing else
Causeless is this creation
Therefore it has no beginning
How can it exist even now?
How can it ever be destroyed?
Ever changing material appearances
Animated by an unchanging reality
Linked by infinite consciousness
Unchanged and unchangeable it is
The elements are creation's seed
Consciousness is the element's seed
As is the seed, so is the fruit
All is Brahman the absolute
When the real rests in the unreal
Which has the real as its substratum
It becomes confused so to say
The absolute believes it's an individual
But all this only appears to be
The one, believing itself to be many
All happening within its own bosom
The absolute is the only reality
When the knowable is apprehended
The knower arises as the individual
Instantly it is involved in samsara
Till it abandons standing apart completely
The false notion of the external knowable
Has to be removed, root and branch
These notions are the ignorance that binds
The infinite only acts as finite individuals

Resolving appearance and reality

Let the subject-object tangle
Be perfectly resolved in you
This universe and creation you see
Only appears to exist in truth
Free yourself of all conditioning
Free yourself of latent tendencies
Be awake, but not to this world
And ever abide in the eternal
Self-knowledge arises within naturally
When the self shines unhampered within
Let this world be—it's not the problem
Knowing 'world' is a word—self alone is
Spiritual practice and disciplined life
Can bestow what is possible in the world
Physical immortality cannot be attained
Strive for the immortal beyond this realm

Space

Three types of space there are
Psychological—when self is conscious of 'I'
Physical—when self sees the elements
Consciousness—when self rests in the self
A mountain is seen inside the mirror
The mountain is seen outside too
Creation too is seen within consciousness
And outside too in the same way
Memory of the past stays hidden
Death wakes you up to new conditions
Once again the world and wheel of time
Appear very real though imaginary
All thought-forms or experience
Are infinite consciousness alone
Cause and effect are but words
The absolute is the only reality

Practice

Thinking and speaking of that alone
Never forgetting 'that' in midst of all
Utter dedication to that one alone
This is called practice by the wise
Let things appear as they do
Oceans, mountains and skies above
Different appearances are not the truth
See no division, as none exists

Changing the flow of the mind

They who serve an unrighteous one
Whoever takes advantage of others
Comes to ruin sooner or later
Even if they did not exploit others themselves
Understanding is what responds to life
As is one's understanding so is one's mind
Understanding that is the mind itself
Great effort is needed to change its flow
He is my father, this is my wealth
Here I have done good, there I have sinned
I have become a small child, and now a youth
All these one sees within one's heart
One who has realized the truth
That Brahman, the self and everything
Is all one infinite consciousness
Distinguishes not between family, friend or foe

The nature of infinite consciousness

In every atom of infinite consciousness
Universes come and go endlessly
Like particles of dust in a beam of light
Shining through a hole in the roof
In a space the size of a thumb
We imagine worlds and galaxies
Stretching million of miles endlessly
All in a space the size of a thumb
Due to the nature of infinite consciousness
All these arise again and again
Then return to tranquility once more
Like the spontaneous play of a child
Though one sees all of this
One does not see anything at all
When infinite consciousness alone is
Being no other—who sees what?
This universe is but a long dream
The ego-sense and all we see
The fancy that there are others too
All as real as dream-objects
Death and life contradict each other
While living, death is not—in death, life is not
That which holds together either experience
Is absent in the other's condition
We consider fruits a reward for prayer or worship
But consciousness alone bestows everything
It may appear fruit falls from the sky
But, in reality, fruit falls from the tree
Just as cities exist within the dreamer
Three worlds exist in a small atom
There are atoms in those worlds too
Each atom also contains the three worlds
Infinite consciousness is the substratum
There is conviction in the order of creation
These two factors make things appear real
The underlying reality recognizes itself
All that was ever conceived
By consciousness during the first creation
Has remained there in the same manner
With the same characteristics even now
Who dies, when and in what way?
To whom does consciousness belong and how?
Even when millions of bodies die
Consciousness exists undiminished
That atomic ethereal particle
Possessed of memories and tendencies
Is what is known as the jiva
It remains where the dead body lies
The self of all exists in all bodies
With motion in moving bodies
Immovable as immovable bodies
The self alone exists as all
The sentient and the insentient
The inert and the intelligent
No difference between them at all
As the essence of all substance is one
Faith turns poison into nectar
Fancy or the unreal to real substance
The subject itself becomes the object
If there is intense faith in things
Just as one assumes different bodies in dream
One can assume different bodies awake
Moving from the ethereal in the other body
Without abandoning the previous one

The relative and the unchanging

When the intelligence is well established
In the conviction of its ethereal nature
The body is forgotten then and there
As in youth one forgets life as a fetus
A night is an epoch when suffering
A night is a moment in revelry
In the experience of the dream state
A moment and epoch are non-different
If one's intelligence is established
In the truth concerning consciousness
There is no doubt one reaches
The supreme state of liberation
All things are equally indwelt
By the infinite intelligence
At all times in every way
The uncreated is all, the self of all
Nothing's created, nothing ends
Anywhere, in any way or at any time
The absolute Brahman is all—supreme peace
Unborn, pure consciousness and permanent
There exists the power of consciousness
Which is in motion all of the time
The reality of all inevitable events
For it penetrates all epochs in time
The individual is just a little agitation
On the surface of the ocean of Brahman
Or just like the little movement of flame
Of a candle in a windless room
When one is firmly established
In the oneness of the infinite consciousness
Whether quiet or actively engaged in work
He is considered to be at peace with himself
Just as the creator was willed into being
A worm is brought into being the same way
Because the latter is caught up in impurity
Its action is trivial and has consequences
A selfish person's violent efforts
To gain selfish ends often leads to other results
Just as a person can't see his face
When his own breath mists the mirror
The mind that is heading towards calamity
First creates delusion and wickedness
These themselves later expand
Into misfortune and sorrow experienced
Only something that does exist
Can undergo experiences
How can a non-existent body
Ever experience satisfaction?

...continued here

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