Download: pdf for print / eBook for readers

Essential Yoga Vasistha

IV. Dealing With Existence

It can be said a tree exists in the seed
Because both have appropriate forms
But, infinite consciousness is formless
How can it be said the cosmic form exists?
In the eyes of the enlightened and ignorant
The vision does not vanish as such
The enlightened see Brahman at all times
The ignorant always see the world
The mind alone is all this, you see
Let it be there, it's not the problem
Heal the mind of its sickness
The world-appearance will also heal
Fire flames upward by its nature
Water naturally flows down
Food seeks the consumer
Created objects seek their end

'I' is the problem

What has to be done has to be done
This is the view of the wise
Remain egoless and unselfish as in sleep
Never let this be violated
Earthly events are not the problem
Our reactions to events surely are
We are moved to joy and sorrow by these
What we consider good fortune and misfortune
There is neither bondage nor liberation
Only that infinite being is seen
Yet the eternal is veiled by the transient
This is a great illusion indeed
All beings obtain only those actions
Which spring from their own potentialities
No one else is responsible for those actions
No superhuman being or divinity
The very presence of holy ones
Destroys delusion of the mind
Not destroyed by study or practice
By wisdom or even by knowledge
Whether one is wise or ignorant
The body's functions continue while it lasts
So do what is good in each condition
Neither attached or unattached
The feeling of filial affection
Rises even in those with wisdom
Natural when there is body-consciousness
But it does not have to eclipse wisdom
This world is in appearance or imagination
Material substances do not change a thing
It is like a long dream or juggler's trick
A post to which the mind-elephant is tied
Inquire into the uncaused cause of all
Which is yet beyond all such causation
This alone is worth enquiring into
Why inquire into the non-essential?
When the self is seen as an object
The seer is not seen or realized
Till the objective universe is perceived
One does not realize the self
Just as a painted flame is not fire
Mere wise words are ignorance, not wisdom
Unless they are substantiated
By the absence of desire and anger
Those devoted to the gods, reach the gods
Those who adore other forms, attain to them
Those who meditate on the absolute, become Brahman
Hence, strive to reach the unlimited, infinite
Approaching a lion's empty cage at dark
Prompts fear, even though it is empty
Even so, one ignorantly believes he is bound
Imprisoned in this empty body
He sees the truth who sees all things
Strung in the self as beads on a thread
And knows full well 'I am not the mind'
Demonstrating this naturally in his life
The ignorant see the body as suffering's source
They see it susceptible to a host of ills
The enlightened man see it as delight's source
As it is the perfect vehicle for liberation
In the great empire known as dreadful hell
Evil actions roam like mighty elephants in rut
The senses responsible are hard to conquer
Equipped with a formidable magazine of cravings
He who is bound by the ego-sense
And by the conditioning of the mind
Even if regarded as very learned
Can be defeated even by a child
As a mirror reflects objects held close
The ego-sense reflects in one's consciousness
Abandon this ego-sense with all strength within
Be established in: "'I' is nothing," and be happy
Pure consciousness entertains the impure notion
Of 'I am', playfully as it were
Without renouncing its essential nature
Experiencing the image of itself within itself
Noble qualities blossom and attain fruition
In one with good and pleasant conduct
Devoted to seclusion and free of craving
As craving leads to many ills and suffering
Every zealous effort meets success
And is always crowned with fruition
Hence, do not abandon right effort
Right effort itself blossoms to the goal
When it is not rightly understood
The 'I' appears to be an impure notion
But, when the 'I' is rightly understood
Its meaning is seen as infinite consciousness
The conditioning of the mind drops away
When the truth is clearly seen and realized
And when the conditioning has finally ceased
One's consciousness is made supremely peaceful

Lead an awakened life

Listen to the quintessence of all wisdom
Let it perfume your whole life
Bondage is the craving for pleasure
Its abandonment is liberation
Render the intelligence within pure
By the destruction of all inner impurities
Illumine the heart by the light of self
Through relentless self-inquiry
You must lead an awakened life
To see the worthlessness of birth and death
Dwells then without fear or anxiety
In the city which is the body
Consciousness reflecting in consciousness
Shines as consciousness existing in itself
The ignorant, considering themselves learned
Still see other and not infinite consciousness
This self, the supreme Brahman
Permeates all and everything
It enables you to experience
Sound, taste, form and fragrance
The mind of the enlightened is neither
In a state of bliss nor devoid of bliss
In motion, nor static, real nor unreal
But between these two propositions
Knowledge of Brahman—the absolute
Is never given to the ignorant
Or to those who are half-awakened
They must awaken and be qualified first
Consciousness is Brahman
The mind and intellect are Brahman
Brahman alone is the substance
Brahman is the substratum of all
Do not waste your time inquiring
'How has this ignorance arisen?'
Inquire instead relentlessly
'How shall I get rid of it?'
One not distressed by the impure state of mind
Caused by alternating good and evil thoughts
Still subjected to old age, death and despair
Has not even risen to the human level
These deluded ones roam this universe
Doing things they consider important
Sometimes uplifted, sometimes degraded
Death plays with them as with a ball
This world-appearance is natural
The individual conceives it at all times
This duality ceases completely
When the individual attains liberation
See all as unreal including me
And you will be free of sorrow
Or see all as real including me
And you will be free of sorrow too
Do not desire those experiences
Which do not come to you effortlessly
Experience those which have arrived
Such is the nature of the wise
All that has been described so far
Is only an illustration of the truth
However in this creation
There is no order or resemblance
Those busy with affairs of this world
In pursuit of pleasure and power
Do not desire to know the truth
Which they obviously do not see

Parents' Duty

It is the parents' foremost duty to insure
Children are instructed in self-knowledge
Else, though their children make it in the world
Their ignorance and bondage increases
Understanding is the start of action
And if this constantly misses the mark
Though affluence may be attained and lauded
The whole life would be lived in vain

Real and Unreal

The real, unreal and their mixture
Are all but notions, nothing else
Notions are neither real nor unreal
What is then real in this universe?
Do not entertain any ideas
Including the notion of your existence
It is only by holding on to notions
That the future comes into being
You may feel, 'I am not the doer, I do not exist'
Or 'I am the doer, and I am everything'
Or inquire into the nature of the self
And realize none of this is attributed to me
Rest established in the self
The highest state of consciousness
In which the best among the holy men
Who know of this state ever dwell
If you seek your self with the self
By the dint of your own self-effort
Then you will clearly find the answer
To the main point of living and existence

The Sage's Song

What to do, where to go?
What to hold, what to renounce?
This universe is permeated by the self
All is verily my own self
Unhappiness or sorrow is the self
Happiness is the self as well
All desires are but empty void
Knowing that all this is the self
I am freed from all travail
In this body, within and without
Above and below and everywhere
There is only the self and self alone
Nothing and no one is non-self
The self alone is everywhere
Everything exists as the self
All this is truly the self
I exist in the self as the self
I exist as all this, in all this, everywhere
I am the fullness and self-bliss
I fill the entire universe

Closing Thoughts

This unreal world seems so very real
Because of dwelling on it endlessly
Consciousness alone shines in the sun
And dwells as the little worm on the ground
Only a truly intelligent person
One with good nature and equal vision
Is entitled to the words of wisdom
That have been described here

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