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Yoga Vasistha in Poem

Chapter VI: Dealing with Liberation

How to Rest in the Self from Yoga Vasistha in Poem

14. The Story of Vipaschit


There once lived a king called Vipaschit
Four ministers guarded his kingdom
A wise man visited him one day
After saluting, he spoke to the king

The Wise Man Said to the King

All four ministers have been killed
The city is surrounded by the enemy
Only you can fend off this assault
Only you can destroy this enemy

The King Acts

The king offered prayers and worship
He then summoned four powerful forces
Offering his head in return as sacrifice
Four powerful forces emerged right then
Most radiant were the king's four forms
They were blessed with seeing everything
They immediately proceeded to do battle
And vanquished the enemy's four forces

Vasistha's Comments

Though consciousness is one and non-dual
It seems to become diverse like in dream
Thus it is non-diverse—still appearing diverse
As the diverse forms are its own reflections
Similarly the yogi too acts everywhere
Experiencing all things in all of time
Though apparently remaining in one place
As he has overcome all self-limitation

Returning to the Story

The four radiant forms the king assumed
Were neither enlightened nor ignorant
All things are possible for those in such state
Of both awakening and non-awakening
In the case of partial awakening
Psychic powers come naturally to one
Yogis who practice just to attain powers
May get them but they are still ignorant
Liberated sages are quite different
They've attained insight into truth
Though they engage in normal activity
They are liberated from bondage's chains
They may weep, laugh and get angry
Within they are never elated or depressed
They are established firmly in the truth
Though they may seem to be quite ordinary
The king's four forms had different outcomes
One attained salvation by the Lord's grace
Another reached the realm of the moon
The third continued to rule his kingdom
The fourth attained to heaven's abode
As he was utterly free from any desires
Still not having attained enlightenment
He continued investigation into the truth
Though each had the same vasana initially
They were drawn in different directions
Repetitions of vasana impact its effects
Time, place and activity are other factors
Vipaschit the fourth form roamed very far
He realized the truth—then ignorance ceased
Ignorance too is infinite as is truth
All seen within infinite consciousness

Vasistha's Insight

When truth is not realized ignorance is
When truth is realized ignorance is not seen
The same consciousness is ignorance
The same consciousness is Brahman
Redemption is the original cause's reversal
That which gave rise to the initial fall
No other path is adequate or fruitful
Self effort and grace meet in redemption
Vipaschit had gone through many births
Gradually freeing himself of ignorance
Each step was a step into the light
Leaving behind some clouds of ignorance
Each moment is a precious opportunity
Towards the light or the fall into darkness
You must chose which path to tread
Resulting experiences are beyond your choice

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