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Yoga Vasistha in Poem

Chapter VI: Dealing with Liberation

How to Rest in the Self from Yoga Vasistha in Poem by Swami Suryadevananda

13. The Story of the Deluded Man


There is a man fashioned by delusion
Born and brought up in a desert
In him arose a deluded notion
"I'm born of space, this space is mine"

What Followed the Deluded Notion

Instantly he felt a need to protect space
And built a house for this very purpose
Seeing space safely enclosed within
He felt happy and most contended
In course of time, the house tumbled
And weeping aloud, feeling all was lost
He then dug a well for the same purpose—
Of protecting space which he thought was his
The well too was lost in course of time
Again he was consumed by sorrow
He kept fashioning different containers
But each perished after a short time

Vasistha's Insight

The man who was fashioned by delusion
Is the ego-sense—a notion in the mind
Brahman in reality, but not knowing this
It foolishly wanders trying to possess things
Identification with the body starts delusion
Other bodies are then seen as distinct
The urge to possess surges within
The mind works furiously to protect it
All things change and perish in time
Nothing is yours to be possessed
What will you protect and just how
When you yourself are journeying here
But even though bodies perish in time
The self that animates them doesn't
You are that imperishable consciousness
Indestructible and even finer than space
Brahman alone is all this you see
Be happy knowing this deeply within
The whole universe is pure consciousness
Objects are appearances within itself
Everything, everyone including you and I
Though seeming alive is not really alive
Abandon faith in appearance as reality
Do what needs to be done appropriately

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