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Yoga Vasistha in Poem

Chapter VI: Dealing with Liberation

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20. The Hunter and the Deer

The State of Turiya

That pure and equanimous state
Devoid of ego and non-ego too
Beyond real and unreal as well
Is a free fourth state called turiya
'Tis the state of liberated sages
Unbroken witness consciousness
Different from waking and dream
Both characterized by thought movement
'Tis different from deep sleep too
Characterized by inertia and ignorance
When the ego-sense is fully abandoned
Turiya manifests in that equilibrium
Hear now a story in this regard
It will bring out subtle points very well
If you hear it with rapt attention
You will certainly become enlightened

The Hunter and the Deer

In a certain forest there lived a sage
He shone with extraordinary radiance
A hunter once approached to ask
If he had seen a wounded deer recently
The sage replied to the hunter thus:
"Only holy men dwell in this forest
Our nature is peace, free from ego-sense
Ego-sense being the cause of restlessness
This ego-sense and its activating mind
Have come to a rest in us forest sages
We do not know what you're alluding to
In us, objects as such just do not exist"

Vasistha's Insight

The hunter could not understand at all
What the radiant sage was referring to
He went his way nodding his head
The sage was firmly established in turiya
There is naught but this glorious state
Turiya, unmodified consciousness alone exists
Waking, dream and sleep are in the mind
When they cease—the mind too ceases to be
The pure state that is—continues to be
This glorious state the yogis try to reach
This is the conclusion of all scriptures
Brahman alone exists—there is naught else
Some call it void, some consciousness
Others still call it the supreme Lord
Arguing foolishly among themselves
Abandon all these notions completely
Rest in nirvana without thought movement
With mind greatly weakened and at peace
The inner intelligence now fully awakened
Abide in the self, the eternal and infinite
Inwardly abandon, relinquish everything
Externally engage yourself in right action
The mind is happiness and unhappiness
Not objects, people or any conditions
Remain eternally aware of the mind
Unaffected by attraction and repulsion
By just this much self-effort you'll achieve
Freedom from samsara's grip completely
Be unaware of pleasure and pain too
And even that which lies in between
You'll rise beyond sorrow and limitation
This self-effort will take you to the infinite

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