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Yoga Vasistha in Poem

Chapter VI: Dealing with Liberation

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6. The Story of the Rock

(Nature of Consciousness)

The Great Rock

There is a great rock though most tender
Affectionate, omnipresent and eternal
Within it countless lotuses blossom
With countless petals seen and unseen
Sometimes the petals touch each other
Sometimes they face each other as well
Sometimes facing upwards or downwards
Some with roots entwined, some rootless
All things exist in it though they do not
This rock is indeed cosmic consciousness
It appears rock-like in its homogeneity
Harboring within universes of diversity
As one conceives different forms in a rock
So do galaxies and universes exist in it
Sculpting does not change the rock's substance
World-appearance does not change consciousness
The rock has infinite form potential
A sculptor sees all these in a rock
So does all appear in consciousness
Infinite expressions within consciousness
Carved or uncarved—rock remains rock
So also consciousness remains itself
World-appearance is an empty expression
The substance is pure consciousness only
All manifestations are Brahman only
Cosmic consciousness appears as all
Appearing modified though unmodified
How can it change when it alone is
The seed contains the seed only
Flowers are seed's blossoming
The seed expressing itself as flower
The cause expressing itself as effect
So with pure infinite consciousness
It gives rise to itself within itself
Duality ceases when this is realized
Consciousness always remains itself
What appears as a form—modification
Is consciousness itself, naught other
All this is Brahman the absolute
Second to Brahman none exists
Time, space and other such factors
These too are pure consciousness
Self is indivisible, infinite existence
Unity expressing diversity within itself
Numerous lotuses exist in one stone
But all in relation to the stone only
Many forms appear in mirages
But all in relation to water only
Brahman and world are synonyms
There is no essential difference
See all with the eye that is wisdom
Behold consciousness as all these forms
As water seen is hydrogen and oxygen
Even so the world is Brahman only
The apparently diverse is non-dual
The substratum of all is unity
Infinite consciousness pervades all
All exists in infinite consciousness
Diversity appears in non-duality
Without modifying existing unity
Appearance appears as reality
Though uncreated it appears real
When duality's illusion is abandoned
All this is seen as consciousness only

Must be Attained by Direct Experience

Sages are active but they are not fooled
They are firmly rooted in the unchanging
They work with minds that do not move
Having abandoned conceptualizing completely
By little movement of thought they function
Their consciousness is purified of all concepts
Existing here as pure consciousness only
This must be attained by direct experience
That alone exists, naught else
No body, senses, life-force or mind
Freed from all these—experience it
As the self in all that is ever seen
Without beginning, without end
Unaffected and free from change
It is mistaken for something else
Because it alone is everywhere
This self is everywhere, inside and out
In all and as all bodies it alone exists
Unaffected while individuals act different
Though the infinite stays ever the same
Be actively engaged in natural activities
Free from the sense of I-ness and 'mine'
Whatever is seen is Brahman only
Eternal, peaceful and utterly quiescent

Unmodified, Appearing Modified

True modification is real transformation
The substance itself must have changed
Such is not the case with Brahman
Which stays unchanged through dissolution
Before and after creation's appearance
It was and continues to be pure consciousness
The momentary disturbance seen in the middle
Is not modification as nothing really changes

The Difficulty in Instruction

What is said to be momentary disturbance
Is not really disturbance—just mere words
There is no other way to give instruction
Try to see what is intended through these
Earlier I urged you to make inquiry
Into the nature of this ignorance
Earlier, you were not fully awakened
That was necessary to bring awakening
If one declared 'All this is Brahman'
To one who has not awakened as yet
It is like asking a tree for relief
From suffering he is creating himself
Now that you are awakened I do declare
You, I and the universe is Brahman only
Whatever you do try to realize this
The truth is Brahman's omnipresence
Self alone is the reality in all beings
As clay is the reality in all pots seen
Inner movement of energy gives rise to
Apparent diversity in consciousness
What is to be known, what is to be seen
Brahman alone fills all and everything
Fullness is filled with fullness—its own self
This fullness is established in fullness only
Sense organs are present in all beings
But the dead do not experience sensations
While alive the same senses experience
What is not possible when death arrives

All is Infinite Consciousness Only

Birth, death, senses and the mind
We use these terms to communicate
All is infinite consciousness only
Appearing and functioning differently
The nature and senses in a person
The inner instrument and subtle body
The inner reflections of objects seen
All these are pure consciousness only
Though free from all modifications
The notion 'I am' arises in it
Localized it is known as the individual
Ego-sense, thoughts and mind arise
Intellect, senses and the body
All appear as the notion strengthens
By persistent pondering on these notions
Of 'I am' localized as an individual
This 'I am' sees other formations
They too feel the same 'I am'
Localized formations in consciousness
Thus 'you are' and 'they are' do arise
All forms asserting in delusion
Separateness based on initial errors
Of feeling 'I am' as a separate form
From other forms though notions only
Similar bodies and substance are all
Still because the 'I am' feels localized
They feel differences and separation
From each other though they are all one
Experience requires contact in some way
Contact requires separation similarly
Localized forms of the same substance
Separate and contact—called experience
But the individual or localized form
Is but a notion in its own mind
Persistent feelings of separateness
Make notions appear as reality
Whatever the individual conceives of
He strengthens by persistently pondering it
Nothing is actually created as such
One experiences one's own persistence
When you observe something very keenly
You will see that these notions try to interfere
Keep observing without being distracted
And see how these notions soon disappear
Seeing continues without notions
Only then you can try to discover
What it is that appears to be seen
Without interference of memory
Infinite consciousness alone assumes
All forms including the individual
But all these are notions within itself
Nothing is really created or assumed
Knowledge is inherent in consciousness
Consciousness mistakes its own knowledge
For an object limited by space and time
And experiences division in the indivisible

A Great Power

Great is the power of infinite consciousness
It cannot be challenged by anyone at all
When the individual surrenders individuality
Consciousness realizes itself as consciousness
As long as the individual feels separate
Distinct from others—protecting his own
He will continue to experience separation
And reap the harvest of his own sowing
All through this delusional experience
Consciousness stays unchanged, ever pure
Just as gold remains gold in any form
Be it a bracelet or ring—gold ever stays gold
Just as one dreams he has travelled far
And seen different sights in his own mind
So also does one travel in different births
To different conditions all within himself

It Can Be Overcome

But an error yesterday can be corrected
If we resolve rightly today, this moment
So also the habit of separative existence
Can be abolished by attaining liberation
'I am this body' is a notion in consciousness
This has taken seed deep within by repetition
Constantly dwelling and taking deep interest
In it and all associations that result therefrom
Confusion is the interference of conditioning
What appears with how you would like it to be
Delusion is feeling you are an individual
Separate from all that is seen and experienced
The same self has assumed all forms
The forms feel separate in delusion
They then act and strengthen ignorance
Experience adds confusion to delusion
All throughout this truth remains unchanged
Brahman alone exists—there is naught else
The bondage of illusion can be overcome
By abandoning conditioning—attaining freedom
All forms differ in levels of conditioning
But enough of perception of division
The whole universe is a manifestation
Of the energy of infinite consciousness

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