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Yoga Vasistha in Poem

Chapter VI: Dealing with Liberation

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17. The Sage from Outer Space

Background

After all this I entered my cottage in space
And looked around for my physical body
Only an old sage could be seen
Absorbed in the deepest meditation
I thought he must have felt like me
Wanting absorption in deep meditation
He may have discarded my old body
And occupied the cottage he found empty
When my desire for that cottage ceased
It disappeared, simply vanished from view
The cottage fell as did the sage meditating
We both descended to the earth plane
The sage landed in the same posture
Undisturbed, still deep in meditation
In thunderstorm's form I roused him
And greeted him as he came out of meditation

The Sage's Story

I've wandered in heaven's realm
In an effort to end samsara's wheel
All this is pure consciousness only
Just what is it that one calls pleasure
Pleasure is dreadful pain only
Prosperity is adversity disguised
Sensual enjoyment invites disease
Pursuit of pleasure is most demeaning
Why even with advancing age
Does craving not diminish in people
Faculties diminish, weakness ensues
But craving soars like unquenchable flames
After a long time I've attained egolessness
Uninterested in heavenly pleasures too
Like you, O sage, seeking seclusion
I found this cottage and occupied it

Vasistha's Insight

I asked that he continue to dwell
In the cottage he had occupied
I wandered high into heaven's realms
Soon I gained another material body
To me there was no difference at all
Between subtle and material bodies
Knowing all is pure consciousness alone
Free of any notion or conditioning
Even when engaged in diverse activities
The realization of Brahman is unbroken
I am seated here instructing you
Because of your need for instruction
In truth, all this you see is pure void
All notions in the mind of the creator
When truth is realized by direct experience
The true nature behind appearance is known
Liberation alone confers supreme peace
Bondage promotes psychological distress
Yet people don't strive for liberation
And suffer in vain—how foolish they are

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