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Yoga Vasistha in Poem

Chapter V: Dealing with Dissolution

11. The Story of Veetahavya

Background

In sage Veetahavya arose burning dispassion
He became disenchanted with worldliness
He saw perverse notions as illusion's seeds
And the suffering that resulted from delusion
Immediately he sat in deep meditation
Firm like a mountain peak—immovable
Withdrawing his senses into their source
Turning the mind on itself in inquiry

Veetahavya's Contemplation

Most unsteady and fickle is this mind
Agitated even when it is introverted
Bouncing back to the senses again and again
Like an unintelligent ball—most shamelessly
Nourished by the senses—it is loyal to them
It continues to grasp what brings great pain
Repelling all attempts to see simple truths
It vehemently opposes change in any way
The very things that cause suffering
Seem delightful to it again and again
Like a monkey does this mind jump
From branch to branch of sorrow's tree

Veetahavya's Inquiry

These five senses are the mind's channels
I see how easily they get totally distracted
Blindly and in vain passionate excitement
They pursue pleasures though they deliver pain
Though inert and insentient are sense channels
The mind rushes through them for experience
I see very clearly that you are inert, O senses
I am consciousness, the real doer—not the mind
The mind functions in consciousness's light
Even as you, O senses, do your functions
Do not entertain false notions of independence
You are neither intelligent nor self-existent
There is nothing at all but consciousness
Just what are you, O most wicked mind
How do you assume doership and experiencing
You are not only deluded but delusion itself
You are neither doer nor experiencer
You are unrelated to anything in any way
Even the notion you feel—'I am alive'
Is totally false as you just don’t exist
I am pure consciousness—you are the self
How then does sorrow arise in you
Realize that you are indeed the unlimited
You are pure unconditioned consciousness
Let me gently bring home this point again
Your intelligence is dependent on consciousness
Don't vainly assume doership or experiencing
Live in the realization—consciousness alone is
During harvesting the sickle seems to be doer
But the energy and intelligence is the farmer’s
So also with the sword that seems to cut
But the swordsman's energy and intelligence does
O mind, you too are inert in the same way
Energy and intelligence is not yours at all
All is derived from infinite consciousness
It is the doer and experiencer—self of all
Despite many attempts to enlighten you
That the self is the only existence there is
You insist on considering yourself separate
And suffer unnecessarily in your smallness
Realize the truth and be free at once
From the journey of suffering you endure
You not only suffer greatly your own self
But exert to make others suffer as well
O fool—you are infinite consciousness
Why do wallow in self-created filth
Realize the omnipresent is the only reality
Your existence is only an appearance in it
When you realize consciousness is the all
You become the all—immediately
Forget this delusion of identification
With the body-appearance and personality
If you are the self—self exists, not you
If you are inert—you have no existence
So abandon your self-imposed delusion
And realize that infinite self alone exists
You are neither the doer nor the experiencer
You've been used as a channel in instruction
The channel is not at all the reality
Like the sickle and sword earlier mentioned
Why do you grieve and suffer unnecessarily
The self is all-pervading and omnipotent
Self needs not your grief, care or worry
Self alone is—just what's to be feared at all
Just as fragrance is related to the flower
So also your relationship to the self
There is no relationship in any way
As relationship can only exist between two
You are ever agitated—self is ever at peace
There can thus never be any relationship at all
However, if you enter the state of equanimity
You'll be established in infinite consciousness
O senses, I feel your darkness has dispelled
By the light of all my admonitions
O mind, do you see the error of your ways
Or do you wish to continue loitering shamelessly
Why don't you see how desires and greed
Have reduced you to a state of beggary
All good qualities have been eroded
By your lust and appetite—death now awaits
O mind when you cease to be—goodness blossoms
There's no more doubt—peace and purity reign
Doubt, error, worry, fear and anxiety too
Are all abandoned when you cease to be
Light shines brightly when darkness is dispelled
Oceans are calm when winds stop agitating
Self-knowledge reveals itself without you
Infinite consciousness experiences itself only
As long as there are even roots of desires
There cannot be peace, happiness or calm
These roots sprout and suck all nourishment
For their own survival—most selfishly
Desires seek appeasement for themselves
They care not one bit for anyone or anything
Appeasement is fuel for more appeasement
Desires are vicious winds fanning delusion's fires
He who finds inner strength to resist this trap
Finds more strength as he sincerely persists
Soon he is disentangled from mind's tyranny
And experiences the bliss of self-realization
You are support for desires and hopes, O mind
When either ceases—the other perishes too
You can now choose to be one with reality
Or cease to be an independent entity
In choosing to be one with reality
You act in wisdom—choosing happiness
Or you will perish slowly by malnutrition
And realize you are indeed a non-entity
If you pick wisely that you are consciousness
Who will wish for your non-existence
But if you pick foolishly that you exist, O mind
Your delusion will wear you out painfully
You came into being in ignorance and delusion
By inquiry into your nature you now cease to be
You exist as long as one does not inquire
Into the truth of your non-existence
When the spirit of inquiry is aflame within
Wisdom rises and you, O mind, cease to be
Hence, I salute wisdom—goodbye, O mind
You have now lost all false limitation
You exist now as infinite consciousness
Now that you've lost all your conditioning
In spite of yourself—inquiry arose in you
This is itself the attainment of bliss
There is indeed no mind, O mind
Self alone exists—there is naught else
I am that self—infinite consciousness
My kinetic state appears as the universe

Vasistha's Insight

Veetahavya remained in total quiescence
For three hundred years as if but a day
The body which was reflected in consciousness
Was perfected, protected by it as well
He became one with infinite consciousness
He experienced the experiences of all
Liberated sages exist in all purity and peace
As perfection—Brahman the infinite

Vasistha: Transcend the Unreal

Veetajavya's creations and this, here now
Are both pure infinite consciousness
Appearances are mind's delusions
Mind is itself a trick in consciousness
Realizing the infinite consciousness
The sage knew the play of appearances
He saw all rise and fall in his own self
His body and all other forms as well
He entered into his subtle body
And then into the sun's orbit
Descending then to his physical body
Reviving it though it had earlier withered
Again the sage sat in deep meditation
And negated all imagination from the mind
All notions were discarded and abandoned
He was fully established in total equanimity
His mind was most blissful and balanced
He addressed his mind and offered it praise
Encouraging it to remain just like that
All the time and in all conditions
To the senses he said with firm resolve
"The self does not belong to you at all
Nor do you belong to the self in any way
May you all perish—your cravings have ceased
The error of your existence arose in the self
In the light of wisdom they've ceased to be
Error remains error till knowledge dawns
Then reality alone shines ever radiantly
Established in wisdom he lived a long time
Free of ignorance and resulting errors
His heart free of attraction and aversion
Through all experiences that came unsought
To ensure embodiment would be again
He entered deep meditation once more
And sequentially separated all from self
As he intoned the sacred mantra Om
All mind's earlier desires were utterly still
Well-grounded in non-dual consciousness
Continuing to intone the sacred mantra Om
He pierced through the darkness of ignorance
He renounced all visions and experiences
Had along the way in inner journey
Transcending both darkness and light too
And remained in pure infinite consciousness
He then abandoned objectivity of consciousness
Then even the slightest movements within
Negating all by—'not-this, not-this'
He became that—beyond description
Becoming one with infinite consciousness
His body decomposed back to the elements
This story just narrated of sage Veetahavya
Was born of direct perception and experience
Meditate on what has been said ceaselessly
And attain to liberation by your own effort
Liberation is attained by self-knowledge alone
Only then will you go beyond all sorrow
What has been described as Veetahavya
Is notion in the mind—just like you or me
The senses and world too are but the mind
Just what else can the world be, O Rama

Vasistha: Real Sages

Sages are established in self-knowledge
They don't perform tricks or conjure things
Only those devoid of self-knowledge
Feel the need to deceive by impressing
The sage is utterly content in himself
He does not pursue or showcase powers
He does not lead a lavish, extravagant life
Those who do such are full of ignorance
Anyone can attain by some practices
Power to manifest things as if magic
These are gained by those full of desires
The sage of self-knowledge avoids them

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