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Yoga Vasistha in Poem

Chapter V: Section Dealing with Dissolution

1. Section Dealing with Dissolution

Rama's Reflections

To the dialogue all listened most attentively
Retiring at the conclusion of yet another day
But Rama could not sleep at all though ’twas  late
He pondered deeply on conquest of mind
Seeing clearly the mind as the source of all sorrow
Impossible to abandon enjoyment of pleasure
Being unable to be rid of this sorrow
Seemed tied to enjoyment of pleasure
Mind however is the crucial factor
As pursuit of pleasure arises in it
Pursuit is sorrow itself, not enjoyment
Of pleasures that come along naturally
The mind has to once taste supreme peace
This alone can end mind's relentless pursuits
In perfect fulfillment the mind too is fulfilled
Then alone will the mind abandon all craving
Pondering thus Rama fell asleep late
But awoke early contemplating again
He prayed for inner spiritual strength
To cross the ocean of worldly existence

Rama Addresses Vasistha

Lord, deeply I have been meditating
On what your teachings may point to
Enshrining them within my heart
Pray, kindly do further enlighten me

Vasistha Continues

Listen attentively on universe's dissolution
Supreme peace you will surely attain
The seeming world-appearance is sustained
By desires or rajas and dullness or tamas
It is easily abandoned like a snake's slough
By those who possess a pure nature
As the spirit of inquiry threads through their life
Throwing light and clarity on all conditions
This spirit of inquiry must be cultivated
Study and wise company are indispensible
Light on the path is the lamp lit within
This light of clarity dispels all confusion
The truth must be directly perceived
Within oneself and by oneself too
Then alone will mind's turmoil end
You have a pure nature—be devoted to this

On Dissolution

What did not exist then cannot exist now
What appears to be will soon cease to be
That alone can be regarded as truth
Which has always been and will always be
Birth and growth are in the mind only
This has to be seen directly by oneself
The mind has to see it's ignorance as the cause
Of all sorrow and suffering it begs relief from
Hence, tread the path of righteousness always
Study and company of the wise are most vital
But you will have to exert by your very own self
To rid passion's flames and ignorance's weight
The perfected ones will point the way
Out of the prison that is self-sustained
Learn most diligently how to cultivate
The spirit of inquiry without remission
Absolute requisite is total purity
It alone becomes spirit of inquiry
Beset with dangers is life without this
Inner stillness gives vision wisdom
One cannot be rid of inner confusion
Without direct knowledge of truth
Ignorance of self is cause of all sorrow
Self-knowledge is itself tranquility
You will attain peace immediately
On resolving the conflict between body and self
The self is one thing—body is another
Unaffected and untainted by body is self
As long as the mind pursues pleasures
Darkness of world-illusion will continue
But on awakening and self-inquiry
Darkness is dispelled instantly
Dust particles do not affect the sky
The body too does not affect self
Pleasure and pain are not of body or self
They belong to ignorance—their loss is no loss
Neither identical nor apart are self and body
All these are but reflections of truth
Abandon these notions of differences
Rest in the truth—Brahman alone exists
The one self perceives itself within itself
Infinite consciousness alone exists
Not sorrow, delusion, anyone or anything
Abandon duality and be established in this
The steady mind is an abode of peace
Rest peacefully in this inner silence
Remain alone inwardly without self-willed thoughts
Doing what needs to be done—naturally
Be content with what comes unsought
This is the way to be desireless
Live without grabbing or pushing away
This is the way to effortless living
Be free from all mental conditioning
This is the way out of inner blindness
Rest always content in your true self
This is the way to be free of distress
Remain fully expanded within like the ocean
This is the way beyond all limitation
Rejoice in the self by the self
Nothing that happens will perturb you
Just as a crystal reflects things naturally
So also do activities reflect in consciousness
Do what needs to be done non-volitionally
Universal activity is entry into universality
Choosing not to act is utter foolishness
Those suppressing natural action do suffer
Acting volitionally is the other extreme
Self-centered action brings sorrow too
There is another way of pure action
Doing what needs to be done as a part of things
Big difference between being a part and apart
Pure action remedies self-centeredness
Those living life with the spirit of inquiry
Are blessed—they do conquer the mind
Going on to higher planes of consciousness
They attain liberation and end all suffering
Through constant effort one does evolve
Entering this birth with qualities conducive
To increasing their existing pure qualities
And attain to the utterly pure state
Each has to earn everything by themselves
Every step towards the light has to be tread
As one marches on—darkness is abandoned
One gradually reaches the goal of liberation
A master can help and point the way
One will have to tread each step on his own
Most rare when self-knowledge happens instantly
I shall narrate an ancient legend that illustrates this

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