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Yoga Vasistha in Poem

Chapter VI: Dealing with Liberation

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16. The World Within the Rock

Background

A woman celestial once said to me
When questioned about her identity
"You live in a corner of the universe
Beyond which are many diverse universes
On the slopes of a far-off mountain range
Is a solid rock within which I dwell
The world there is much like yours
Different inhabitants and the rest
One desire remains for me now
To be instructed by you in the truth
And to attain self-knowledge
Pray, do visit the world I dwell in"

Vasistha's Comments

At her request I did visit
Her world within the rock
I saw the rock but not her world
She insisted it was within her only
Then by repeated affirmation
Her world I began to experience
And realized that for salvation too
One has to be totally devoted
Instruction in right effort is necessary
As the path and means are not known
Then one has to exert by one's self
Engaging in right action continually

Back to the story

What appeared to be a rock
Shone as pure consciousness
On account of the power of illusion
The unreal becomes obvious somehow
The subtle body is the first obvious truth
The gross body follows as do all forms
But what seems obvious is most unreal
While reality stays hidden and unobvious
As the world within the rock was unseen
Within and of consciousness only
So also all this is pure consciousness
Ignorant people cling to this as reality
I followed the celestial into her world
And met her husband, a holy man
He was the creator of that world
I inquired about this world of theirs

The Creator in the Rock

I'm but a vibration in consciousness
Uncreated, I do not see any other
You, I and all of which is seen
Are all mere vibrations or notions
This lady you see here as my wife
Is also an uncreated vibration
Now I wish to merge in consciousness
Rising dispassion signals dissolution
This lady, my wife, feels the same
All notions have ceased in us both
At the very same time that notions' end
There is yearning for the unconditioned
Time, space, matter and motion
Are all parts of consciousness only
Consciousness exists as this immobile rock
All worlds exist in consciousness only

Dissolution and Creation

The creator entered into deep meditation
So did the lady—his wife—and myself
Withdrawing consciousness from notions
The earth in his world started to disintegrate
Water then deluged all that existed
Flames arose high in the skies
The creator withdrew his life-force
Unrighteousness precedes natural calamities
Nothing lives without life-force
Stars, heavens and gods cannot survive
All these began to disintegrate as well
All being notions of the creator only
What survives is only the eternal
Beyond description, most minute
A particle compared to mountains here
From that everything seems to exist
Though of the nature of pure space
Matter within it appears solid
Consciousness alone appears as all
Gods and worms too are all in that particle
All worlds are contained in the minute
Pure consciousness is the only reality
The substance stays unchanged throughout
The world appears, so to say, as its body
All actions taking place originate in him
On account of him all appears so real
He exists as the cosmic body of creation
Just as you exist in your heart in meditation
As we continued to meditate deeply
I saw suns rising in each direction
Three looked like the eyes of Rudra
Their light destroyed the universe
Only two objects remained unaffected
Space because it was all-pervading
And gold because it was absolutely pure
Total darkness blanketed all directions
After the colossal destruction
Devoid of the veil of creation
Fullness that seemed hidden during creation
Was experienced as the only existence
This fullness has been there all the time
Veiled only by one's own conditioning
When conditioning is fully abandoned
Fullness alone overflows in all directions
Limitless consciousness being everywhere
I saw the creator in meditation
Not as material solid forms
But as empty dream-objects in a void
Instantly all vanished from view
A fearful and radiant form appeared
Rudra, the cosmic ego-sense it was
The one who disturbs the equilibrium
Pure space or void is his form
The five senses are his faces
Organs of actions and their fields
Are the great Rudra's ten arms
Though grand and colossal in size is Rudra
He's but a small particle in consciousness
Existing as movement in consciousness
As air, space and life-force that sustains all
In time, all his movements cease
He attains supreme equilibrium
For he is attended by goodness for all
He is known as Siva or auspiciousness
Attaining the state of supreme peace
He comes to be known as Krishna
He then starts creation's cycle
And attains to supreme peace again
Rudra began to dance in space
Casting a shadow without a sun
That danced with him emitting fire
The worlds reflected in her body
Like mirrors in one's body were worlds
Seen in Rudra's shadow which appeared
Coming into view and disappearing
From moment to moment as she danced
There was neither male, female nor any dance
Siva alone existed—pure consciousness
His own dynamic energy appeared variously
Non-different and inseparable from him
Just as gold cannot be without some form
Consciousness has all forms inherent within
Never without some movement within
Birth, death and the rest are but consciousness

Vasistha's Insight

The enlightened see not diversity
I myself saw that space of supreme peace
Experiencing the forms described earlier
As motion in that pure consciousness
All that appears and whatever there is
Is real to the self—you must realize this
Multiple reflections in consciousness
Appearing real because of the substratum
Rudra then became atomic and invisible
Becoming one with Brahman the absolute
I saw all this in the rock I entered into
With the divine eye or awakened intelligence
This cannot be seen with physical eyes
You'll just see a rock somewhere outside
But when you behold all with inner vision
Every particle of sand is pure consciousness
I saw universes past, present and future
Realizing that all this was within myself
Just as the tree exists within the seed
I myself was experiencing all these forms
I had become sub-atomic, a ray of light
Then gross with potential for sense experience
When consciousness opens its eyes, as it were
It becomes aware of its own potentialities
Pure elements and senses come into being
Though arising from and within consciousness
Seeming substantial but still most illusory
Known individually as I-ness or ego-sense
Experiencing space, I understood earth
Experiencing earth all universes were known
I myself became all that I experienced
Apart from mind, nothing is experienced
What is seen as the world does not exist
You have to observe this very carefully
With the inner eye of awakened intelligence
To know just how it seems to come into being
Pure consciousness appears as all this
False notions we hold insist otherwise
Direct self-realization must be had
To know that you are indeed the all
I experience all as Brahman only
Even elemental experiences are all him
Non-different and inseparable from him
This you have to know by direct experience

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