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Yoga Vasistha in Poem

Chapter VI: Dealing with Liberation

The Way of Yoga and Meditation from Yoga Vasistha in Poem

4. The Way of Wisdom and Meditation

Appearance and Reality

If one seriously seeks the sources
Of notions—sources of world-appearance
Its insubstantiability will be known
Like discovering a mirage's illusion
When one knows this world seemingly so real
Is an appearance of one's own self
By relentless inquiry of mind made pure
Fear and delusion vanish permanently
Realizing death is inevitable to all
Why grieve over the death of kith and kin
Or even one's own approaching death
Beings appear and disappear continually
What is true is always true
What is unreal is always unreal
What exists always exists
Where is cause for sorrow in this
Do not put hope or faith in the unreal
It is willing subscription to bondage
Live in this world free of all hope
Doing what needs to be done naturally
Avoid what seems to be inappropriate
Be free of the desirable and undesirable
These chords bind you and bring sorrow
You can live happily without these notions
Infinite consciousness alone exists
What appears is but an appearance
Know that either experiences are not yours
Or that you are the all and be free
Attraction and aversion are the chords
Twin forces with which one ties oneself
Whatever is attained in any realm
Is attained by abandoning both of them
Ignorant fools live prompted by these forces
They think it is choice but it is not so
Being learned does not mean much at all
The strength to abandon these is what counts
Again and again I declare the truth
World-appearance is but a long dream
Wake up, wake up now, dear one
Behold the self and shine like the sun
Awaken thoroughly by self-knowledge
Live in this world fully enlightened
Without getting trapped in world-appearance
Without being subjected to suffering
The ignorant suffer unnecessarily in life
Always subject to the effects of change
Breaking up as things in their life break up
Being shattered as things shatter naturally
In changing appearance there is no loss
Changeless is what animates all change
That changelessness is the substance of all
Everything exists in and from changelessness
Infinite consciousness cannot be destroyed
It does not undergo any change at all
Illusion is like the experience in a Ferris Wheel
Feeling things are moving in the opposite way
The spiritual hero boldly rejects appearance
Knowing it to be a product of thought
Ignorant notions that exist in the mind
Eternally vigilant he avoids ignorance's grasp
The inert body does not entertain desires
It does not have any motivation to act
Self is all, what motivation can it have
It is the inner witnessing intelligence
The mind is itself ignorance and delusion
It is all bark, it has not bite at all
Fools are frightened by it unnecessarily
They run this way and that way for help
Gird up your loins for the real task on hand
Withdraw the senses and gather the rays
Plunge yourself now in deep meditation
Slay this ghost—the noise-making machine
Strip the ego-sense of all coverings
It hides behind what does not belong to it
Strip it bare and ruthlessly and abandon it
Make it incapable of doing any further harm
Whatever is done through the body usually
Is done by the ego-sense with energy's help
Rein in energy by pranayama and inquiry
An oilless lamp must give up its flame
It is the self that acts indirectly in all
Allowing experience for one's evolution
The price tag for heedlessness is yourself
Hence avoid all impulsive experiments
What have you to do with the mind
You are the self, not the fickle mind
It has foolishly assumed itself as self
Riding the waves of silence's consent
This foolishness is the cause of all
Birth, suffering and death its effects
Ruthlessly abandon this inner imposter
None can protect one who does not do this
Neither scriptures, guru or relatives
Can help one enslaved by the mind
Aid does come to one taking up the task
Of slaying the mind beyond resurrection
They are 'good people' who exert hard
To slay the mind... to have succeeded
Freely, they render real service to all
By remaining free and guiding others
Uplift yourself by the real self
All have access to immeasurable help
People wallow and wail waiting for help
While all help that can be resides in them
Do not wander in samsara aimlessly
Caught up in family, friends and career
These will be soon wiped out completely
It does not matter what you feel about it
Impermanence must go by its very nature
Why do you foolishly feel it should stay
People enter the world stage at one point
And leave the stage without any approval
As long as ego-sense protects the body
It will invite a host of pain and suffering
It is ignorant—what else can it do
Arise now and complete your real task

Asking Lord Siva

Once while living in the abode of Lord Siva
I asked him the best way of worshipping
How by worship does one destroy all sins
And thereby promote auspiciousness

Lord Siva's Reply

God is not all these deities people worship
Nor the sun, moon or so-called holy people
God is formless, indivisible and eternal
This infinite consciousness is called Siva
That is the all—fit to be worshipped
However all are not able to do so
Feeling the necessity for a concrete form
Which naturally bestow finite results
Ignoring the infinite for the sake of the finite
One discards a garden for a bush
Sages do worship forms sometimes
But just for the sheer joy of worship
Wisdom, self-control and recognition
Of the divine omnipresence or God
Flowers of wisdom and dedication
These are the articles for worship
Infinite consciousness alone exists
Even now, utterly devoid of objectivity
The mountains and everything you see
All are naught but pure consciousness
The words and terms we use to discuss
Theories about creation and dissolution
Are only to show the interconnectedness of all
Through the limitations of verbal expression
The duality we seem to experience in life
Is like the experience of the dream state
Subject, object and witness seem distinct
But all happen in the field of the mind
Waking and dream state are similar
Both are similar in characteristics
Consciousness is the substance of both
Nothing really happens in either of them
Pure consciousness is the only substance
That is the Lord—the supreme truth
That I am, that you are—that is the all
There is naught else—realize this directly
Worship of that Lord is true worship
In it all desires come to an end
He is undivided, indivisible and non-dual
His adoration is the fountain-source of joy
Some find external worship necessary
Finding unbroken inner worship difficult
As it requires tremendous self-control
And inner purity to be fixed in non-duality
But those seeking release from samsara
The vicious circle of birth and death
Worship the divine omnipresence
Undivided, indivisible—He alone is God
Hidden in all beings—the indweller
He veils the truth though omnipresent
In the middle between being and non-being
Is God—the supreme truth indicated by OM
Existing everywhere—the essence of life
In plants, in you, me and everything
Existing in gods and goddesses too
All forms indicate its presence only
This entire universe is pervaded by Him
Holy One—not distant from anyone
Not difficult to attain if one is sincere
As he indwells all bodies including yours
He does everything, knows everything
He is the light by which all things function
Diverse activities take place in him only
The omnipresent indweller—the only God
Transcending the intellect, mind and senses
He cannot be known by these finite means
Seemingly doing everything—he does nothing
As spring does in the flowering of trees
Functioning differently he appears different
Like different oceans of one water's mass
The experiencer in the lotus-like body
Gathering honey with the bee of the mind
Everything flows from infinite consciousness
As rivers and rivulets from the ocean
The wheel of ignorance sustains life
Through the energy inherent in consciousness
Like a mirror reflecting within itself
Without undergoing any change at all
Appearing as different beings and things
All and everything is infinite consciousness
Like a creeper it grows within itself
Sprinkled with latent tendencies
Desiring its buds, all beings its parts
Appearing as many while remaining one
Consciousness alone shines like the sun
By this is all thought of, expressed and done
Appearing as many, remaining one
Casting shadows in itself as it were
Actions generated by thoughts and notions
Are possible because of its omnipresence
The body can do nothing without its light
Consciousness alone arises in itself
Unseen in itself, it makes all appear
Immovable, it moves great distances
Indivisible, it appears as this world
Consciousness alone exists—naught else
Any distinctions that seem to appear
Are verbal, just for communication
Quickly disappearing when inquired into
Consciousness alone steadily remains
It cannot be modified or made impure
Eternal, ever-present and devoid of mind
The reality in all forms and experiences
All rise, appear and subside in it only
Mind is conditioned consciousness
But consciousness remains unconditioned
The individual is a vehicle of consciousness
Consciousness's inherent energy sustains it
Life-force or prana is mind's vehicle
When the mind merges into the spiritual heart
Prana does not move, it stands ever still
The mind attains a quiescent state
All things appear in consciousness
As multiple reflections within itself
Ignorance sustains apparent individuality
Quelling ignorance quiescence is regained
As long as mind's conditioning functions
One continues revolving in samsara's cycle
Impure tendencies are itself conditioning
Obstructing peace, happiness and liberation
When the heart fills with pure tendencies
Based on indivisibility as the truth of things
All conflicts cease and there is harmony
Improved health, longevity and liberation
If one continues to nourish division within
One writes his own order for experience
Necessitating rebirth one or more rounds
In situations over which one has no sway
Belief in diversity must be abandoned
It is in one's own very best interests
It brings supreme blessedness and peace
Beyond all experiences imaginable
Invocations to worship the supreme being
Are unnecessary as it is omnipresent
Closer than one's breath or heartbeat
Realization of its omnipresence is its worship
Subtler than sub-atomic particles
Yet pervading the universe and beyond
Time and space are contained in it
Yet it is beyond eternity and infinity
It does nothing, remaining ever unchanged
Yet the universe has been fashioned by it
Staying the same non-dual substance
Yet all this diversity appears so very real

Formless but with Five Aspects

Though formless, five are its aspects
Will, space, time, order and manifest nature
Countless powers and potencies too
Like knowledge, action and non-action
But these are pure consciousness only
They're called potencies for communication’s sake
All of creation is consciousness's stage
In which these potencies manifest creation
Natural order of things is foremost of all
It ordains that all should have a characteristic
From a blade of grass to the creator Brahma
Each has their inherent unique characteristic
Free from excitement but not limitation
As impurities are what really limit one
It is this that keeps up the world-appearance
The drama of life in this grand creation
It is this that produces and removes
Rearranging all on the world stage
The sun, moon, stars and galaxies too
Are all controlled by its sheer presence
Infinite consciousness is the only God
Ever alert—the eternal silent witness
Non-different from the dance is the dancer
The happenings and the cosmic order


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