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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 Yoga and Meditation (...continued)

Meditation (with attributes)

Such is the Lord—worthy of adoration
Constantly worshipped by holy ones
The same lord is approached in different ways
Hear now some ways for his worship
First you must abandon the body-idea
The notion that you are 'this body'
Meditation alone is the truest worship
Hence meditate constantly without break
He is pure intelligence, most radiant
More effulgent than a thousand suns
The light that illumines all lights
The inner light of all and everything
Limitless space is his throat
Firmament his feet, directions his arms
The worlds his weapons held in his hands
The entire universe is hidden in his heart
The gods and deities are his body hairs
Cosmic potencies are his energy
Time stands watch as his gatekeeper
Thousands of heads and limbs has he
Eyes and ears everywhere he has
Touching, tasting and hearing all
Thinker of all thoughts he is
Bestower of all thoughts is he
He dwells in all as the indweller
The unseen innermost self of all is he
All beings and things—he is the all
Thus meditate ceaselessly and realize
External materials are not required
Worship Him by your own consciousness
Thus he is attained by the least effort
Worship by self-realization alone
This is supreme meditation and worship
Continuous unbroken awareness
Of the indwelling presence, consciousness
Realize oneness and attain liberation
Meditation is the highest offering
You yourself are water, flower and fruit
The self is not realized by other means
Meditation is the pathway to liberation
Even a few seconds of real meditation
Bestows more than rites or rituals
'Tis the supreme yoga—highest action
Meditation unfolds divinity from within

Meditation (without attributes)

Internal worship of the self
Is the greatest of all purifiers
It destroys darkness immediately
It is perpetual unbroken meditation
Whether walking, standing or asleep
Through all actions, thoughts and speech
Contemplate without break in activity
The indwelling divine omnipresence
First discover and establish in inner self
The manifest consciousness or self-awareness
This is what comes, goes through the body
Engaging in diverse external activities
This inner intelligence is a divine ray
Light illumined by pure intelligence
Eternally hidden in all substances
As extroverted awareness it stays unseen
As prana he moves the vital airs
Sense contact is rendered to experience
Dwelling within as the innermost self
He alone is knower and experiencer
Though without parts he is the all
Dwelling within he is omnipresent
He is the intelligence in every limb
The thinking faculty of the mind is he
Between inhalation and exhalation
Between the eye-brows is he as well
In the throat, palate and in the heart
The prompter of all thoughts is he
He is the reality in the imagined
And in the unimagined as well
Dwelling in all as oil in the seed
He indwells throughout the body
He alone shines as pure consciousness
Immediately everywhere is his presence
Pure experiencing in all experiences
He alone appears as every object
Indweller of the body as pure intelligence
Thus should one contemplate the Lord
The body's functions and faculties
Serve that intelligence as his companions
The mind is the Lord's messenger
Energy of knowing and action his consorts
Diverse aspects of knowledge his ornaments
The organs of action are his gateways of travel
Feel that you are the indivisible self
Unchanging, ever full and infinite
The indwelling intelligence in the body
Thus contemplate and reach goodness
Thus you will thoroughly purify self
Of all conditioning and limitation
Hence worship the Lord indwelling all
As intelligence pervading the entire body
This worship is performed perpetually
Without special materials to be obtained
Offer all that is obtained without effort
Offer all that is attained quite naturally
Your every action should be worship
Eating, drinking and every experience
Including life, death, joys and sorrows
Poverty, prosperity and noble qualities
Everything that comes to you naturally
Are articles for worship and adoration
Never think about what is lost or has gone
Worship the Lord with all that has come
Worship is unbroken abidance in truth
Being established in supreme equanimity
Regarding everything as good and auspicious
Realizing everything is the one self only
To pleasant and unpleasant be equal-minded
Recognizing the same beauty animates both
Abandon notions of 'this I am' and 'this I am not'
All is one indivisible pure consciousness
In all forms and their modifications
The same self indwells and animates
Inner distinctions are walls that separate
Worship the self in all appearing forms
Without clinging and without rejecting
Enjoy what comes naturally to you
When things change, do not interfere
Enjoy the change as—'this has now come'
Soar beyond mind's insistence on division
See that all walls are in the mind only
See that they do not exist in what is seen
Act in accordance with the unity of things
Whatever comes naturally—unsought
Are the best articles for worship
The goodness in you is the best of sweets
It is the very best offering in worship
Worship is not just in the prayer area
Just like breathing—it stays unbroken
The mind must thus always be balanced
Quiescent, in equal vision—free of division
Established in this inner equanimity
Sincerely seek the inner intelligence
This inner intelligence is the master key
Flowing from and into infinite consciousness
Those who worship the inner intelligence
Are free from perversion and conceit
As the same inner intelligence is in all
Verily masquerading in different forms
Those who worship the inner intelligence
Are free from desires, craving and rejecting
How can you desire or reject anything
When the same self is known as the self of all
All that you do from morning ’til night
Offer all as worship unto the Lord
Pure consciousness, indwelling presence
Second to Him—none can exist
Likes, dislikes, pleasure and pain
All these are seen as concepts only
When worshiping the indwelling light
The best worship of the cosmic being
This cosmic consciousness is what is seen
As the world outside of people and things
What a wonder it is—such forgetfulness
Appearances masking the unchanging reality
Words cannot describe the grand mystery
It is not possible to teach another of it
Those who consider God to be someplace
Worship a creation of thought only
Beginningless and endless is the supreme Lord
Only existence and indwelling presence
The mind and senses can never experience
Rise beyond all limitations and faculties
The sincere seeker striving to attain
Freedom from bondage of ignorance
Is equipped with subtle ignorance
With this as soap he cleanses the rest
Soap too is an composite of substances
But it can wash the dirt as it washes out
So too with this catalytic subtle ignorance
It washes the coarse and itself out too
The goodness within must make all good
Rise above conditioning by aspiration and effort
You must raise the self by the self alone
And discover your true self-luminous nature
Handling charcoal turns the hands black
Washing the hands renders them clean
But playing again will blacken them again
So best not to play with charcoal at all
The world appears diverse in perception
Our ignorant reactions confirm it as real
The flame of self-inquiry says it is not
So best to live a life of unbroken inquiry
Reject appearance and inner conditioning
Life is an opportunity for unbroken inquiry
The self is roused by the self this way
Gradually the self becomes aware of itself
Self-knowledge is not the result of anything
Not the guru, not even the instruction
It is attained when you abandon ignorance
By the fire of self-effort based on guidance
The guru, teaching and sacred scriptures
Are all means to realize the self
But you have to do what has to be done
And realize the truth for your own self
The self is not revealed by guru or scriptures
But without them, realization cannot be had
You must exert for yourself to really know
These factors melt together into realization
That which IS after senses cease functioning
After like, dislike and such notions vanish
That is the Self—indicated by truth and reality
Existing even when ignorance is center stage
Gods, sages, saints and enlightened ones
Have appeared to awaken the ignorant
Scriptures are written out of compassion
So teachings and words may be of help
But these gods, sages and enlightened ones
Different scriptures and different religions
Are not different—there is no diversity
Though it appears so even in this somehow
There is no difference in true religion
The journey to be traveled is the same
Words and languages are what differs
But these are not the truth they point to
Pure consciousness alone appears as all
It is this we call Brahman the absolute
Appearing as this subject-object tangle
Giving rise to delusion though not deluded
The knower, the known and knowing
All occur within pure consciousness
The innermost self stays unknown
As it can never be an object of knowledge
Time and space are self creations
Put together by the ego-sense only
Vital energy assembles the individual
To experience what is felt to be experienced
The individual follows the inner urges
Responding as he does and results follow
Giving in to ignorance he feels delusion
Facing the light he realizes the self
If ignorance remains at the time of death
One reincarnates again to work it out
And realize the truth for one's own self
For this one comes, for this one lives
The elements and substances seem so real
They are modifications of pure consciousness
Just as people and things appear in dream
Does all of this appear as solid reality
The dream is real to the dreamer
This world is real to the ignorant
He will continue from dream to dream
Till he awakens and realizes the self
The Lord alone shines as all you see
There is naught else, never has been
'Tis your notions that suggest otherwise
Abandon these ruthlessly and be free
Why do you defend these vile notions
They bring untold suffering and pain
Conditioning itself is great sorrow
It is based on ignorance—abandon it!
The mind goes where the heart wishes
The heart is wedded to habit and hope
Both are like waters in a desert mirage
Both bring suffering and never cool water
Conditioning itself does not really exist
But it still continues to wreak great havoc
Like a ghost it dances on the mind’s stage
Slay this by the sword of self-inquiry
Without conditioning the illusion vanishes
One beholds the self everywhere as all
Preceptors instruct only the awakened
'Tis foolish to teach those who wish to sleep
Those wishing to sleep must be left alone
Life will teach them lessons quite sternly
They will be made to abandon foolishness
And will have to exert as others have done
Mountains seen in a dream appear to exist
Without really occupying any space at all
Even so this world only appears to exist
Thought-forms perceiving each other
The unreal perceives the unreal
The unreal experiences the unreal
Due to the unreal influence of unreality
Mere imagination imagining within itself
As liquidity exists in liquids
As motion exists in the wind
As emptiness exists in space
So does omnipresence exist in the self
Early on when I was first instructed
By the Lord himself—on these truths
I have constantly engaged myself in this worship
Of the undivided self with natural means
Common it is to all embodied beings
To come into and stay in relationship
But the yogi is eternally vigilant
This vigilance is itself worship of self
Adopt the yogic inner attitude
Be devoid of any and all attachment
Roam free in this forest of samsara
You will not suffer in the least bit
When any great sorrow befalls you
Such as death of relatives or loss of wealth
Inquire as described into the nature of truth
You will never be affected by joy or sorrow
Circumstances change and change they must
People and things come and go
They do not belong to you at all
And you do not belong to them either
You are pure unaffected consciousness
Illusory perception cannot touch you
Find out how these notions exist within
Abandon them and realize the true self
Unattached mentally do what needs be done
The organs of action will act naturally
Delight from sensual pleasure is deceptive
A fleeting promise which leads one to great peril
Abandon desires, hopes and expectations
These are the seeds of great sorrow
They blossom into thorny entanglements
Destroying peace and joy that come naturally
In time you will attain experience of self
Do not store it in the mind as a memory
Avoid making it an object of desire
Live in the light of self's omnipresence
Do not make self an object of hope
Do not make it an expectation of sorts
Strive instead to be eternally vigilant
Inquiring relentlessly into the self
When you stop pursuing sensual pleasures
Experiencing only what comes unsought
You are in a state of perfect equanimity
Free from latent tendencies and memory
Like the sky you will remain untainted
Let clouds come and go as they may
Knower, known and knowledge merge
In the one self—the divisionless experiencer
With the slightest movement in the mind
This world-appearance is roused into action
Make the mind unwinking by prana's restraint
Destroy latent tendencies by inquiry's flame
Be diligent in pranayama practice
Observe the mind without remission
Relentlessly inquire into the self
Ignorance and delusion will cease to be
Ignorance and its effects are self-binding
Be self-disciplined—do not cooperate
Follow the instruction of the preceptor
And the teachings contained in scriptures
Movement of thought in the mind
Is the root cause of world-illusion
Without the cause there is no effect
Still the mind—realize pure consciousness
The mind has to be made 'no-mind'
It has to be drained of all its energy
Pranayama is vitally important in this
Inquiry restores the natural state
Reach that state of supreme bliss
Indescribable—the heavens do not compare
You have wandered and suffered for so long
Come now and lay claim to your heritage

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