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Essential Yoga Vasistha

V. Dealing with Dissolution

The wise differentiate between
Enjoyment and pursuit of pleasure
Pursuit is sorrow that brings more sorrow
One can enjoy what comes unsought
Time spent in the company of sages
Is most fruitful and should be cherished
On other days resort to scriptural teachings
And your own diligent practice to ascend
Ignorance of the self
Is the cause of all sorrow
Knowledge of the self
Leads to delight and tranquility
Just as the sky is not affected
By dust-particles floating in it
The self is never affected
By the body it journeys in
Enjoy the delight that flows from peace
The self-controlled abide in it
When the heart is established in peace
Bliss of the self rises without delay
Those devoted to inaction
Those who've suppressed all action
Get caught up in themselves
And experience sorrow and fear
To feel bound without a chord
To feel tainted without impurity
To feel fallen though always on top
Is indeed a great mystery!
This world which appears created
Is accidental coincidence only
Sheer ignorance generates feelings
Of wanting and rejecting anything
Establish the mind in desirelessness
Avoid all seeking and rejecting
The body will perform its functions naturally
Action and inaction will have the same value
The unsteady mind has to see
Worldly ways do not bring happiness
A state of equanimity must be reached
To experience peace, bliss and the truth
When the light of self-knowledge
Arises and shines in the heart
It burns all impurity and sorrow
Just as the sun rises on the horizon
Through the inner light of wisdom
The entire world is clearly seen as it is
Neither good fortune nor misfortune
Approach one with such clear vision
When the limited, conditioned feeling
'I am so-and-so' ceases
There arises consciousness
Of the all-pervading infinite
One should restrain the mind
From its downward flow
As the flow of a river is blocked
By the construction of a dam

Consciousness and thought

Consciousness minus conceptualization
Is the eternal Brahman the absolute
Consciousness plus conceptualization
Is what is known as thought
Thought only appears to be intelligent
It is unable to comprehend anything really
Even as the granite figure of a dancer
Cannot dance when requested to do so
By the control of the life-force
The mind is also restrained
As the shadow ceases without the object
The mind ceases with life-force contained
This mind is inert and is not a real entity
It is lifeless—forever dead
Yet, beings are killed by this dead, deadly thing
How mysterious is this stupidity!
What foolish man will endeavor
To show a colorful forest
To one who refuses to see
Hiding foolishness behind curiosity
In the middle between the self
As the seer and the world as seen
You are the seeing—you are the sight
Always remain in this realization
Remaining unseen and subtle
Craving is yet able to consume
The very flesh, bone and blood
Of the body that houses it

The abandonment of conditioning

The abandonment of conditioning
Is said to be of two kinds
Based on knowledge or direct realization
The other is based on contemplation
Resort to non-duality
For the truth is non-dual
Action functions in apparent duality
Let your nature partake of both
Do not try to understand the way
Of fools with uncontrolled minds
Those who are immersed in the mire
Of sense-pleasure and gratification
Who is a relation to whom?
Who is an enemy to whom?
By the wish of the Lord of all beings
All are all to all at all times
Why bring sorrow upon yourself?
Ignorance is the only cause
Of all the sorrow in your life
That has plagued you for so long
The sages perceive the middle path
They see what is at the moment
They are at peace and contented
Established in witness consciousness


Craving is the root of all sorrow
The only intelligent way out
Is to renounce all cravings completely
And never to indulge them again
The same disgusting pleasures
Are experienced day after day
How is it that even a wise man
Is not ashamed of this?
Only one is there
And that is the supreme light
Omnipotent, omnipresent—he is all
Remaining silent, as if inactive
The very best intelligent means
By which the mind can be subdued
Is complete freedom from all desires
In regard to everything at all times

Living with purpose

When people speak of God
They imply what is the inevitable
What is beyond their control
And the events of natural order
Acquire a little wealth by honest means
Seek the company of saints and adore them
Dispassion should rise in their company
Then begin inquiry for self-knowledge
If you are humble and sincere
You will gain everything from what is said
If not, an attempt at further explanation
Will be like pouring oblations on ashes
Without notions and any division at all
Meditation, meditator and meditated upon
Enter the supreme state free of thought
Like a lamp in a windless place
Nothing needs to be done
By what is known as 'me'
Then why should I not do
Action which is natural to me?
Watch the mind's movement
See what it tends to sink into
Retrieve it by redirection
Guiding it towards the truth
A timid deer taken to a strange place
Is frightened at the sound of a falling leaf
Even so one feels anxiety in meditation
Persevere—this has to be gone beyond
You have to feel one
With the deity you adore
Or you will not derive any benefit
From even the most elaborate ritual
It is meaningless and painful to hear
A good person has turned bad
It is excellent and good to hear
One who's erred has turned to good

A Seeker's Prayer

I take refuge in the Lord
Who alone is worth seeking
Who is the supreme light
Which destroys all darkness
Destroyer of ignorance and impurity
Refuge of the helpless destitute
The unborn, the surest security
I take refuge in that Supreme Lord
May I be blessed by enquiry's spirit
Till I rest in thy infinite Self
So all delusions might come to end
On attaining to Thee—the highest blessing

A Seeker's Realization

I now recollect the truth
That I am the self of all
Omnipresent, omnipotent
Free of conceptualization
As butter exists in milk
Liquidity exists in water
Energy of consciousness
I exist in all that exists
I salute my own self
The indweller in all beings
Consciousness without objectivity
The intelligence in all beings
When the apparently transformed
Resorts to or rests on that being
Which has not undergone any modification
The former is freed from sorrow
When what is, is seen by what is not
Or by the mind free of thought's movement
That which is abandons its wickedness
And itself shines as the supreme
In this creation it exists as if
It is an individual entity
Appearing to enjoy pleasures
Itself expanding as the enjoyed
What relationship can exist
Between the self and cravings?
Cravings spring from notions and sense reports
The self is unbound and witness to these
The Lord who is the self
Has been seen by me
By sincere practice and prayer
And unwavering disciplined living
The distinction between self and me
Is like between the word and substance
The distinction is unreal and imaginary
Like wave and the water in the wave
The self destroys and protects
Gives, roars and functions here
Although completely free from ego-sense
All this is indeed a great wonder
Expressions as 'This is you' and 'this is I'
Are used when you adore yourself
Or describe yourself for your own delight
They have no corresponding reality
They appear in the light of awareness
Disappear when they are perceived
Non-different from that awareness
Who is the perceiver of all this mystery?
Though you find yourself in the body
You are essentially bodiless
You are the observer—pure intelligence
Unattached—free from spatial limitation
'This is pleasure', 'this is pain'
Or 'this is' and 'this is not'
The mind of the ignorant swings like this
But never the mind of the wise
By the attainment of self-knowledge
The deity you adore is also realized
By real adoration of the deity
Self-realization is also attained
Adore the self by the self
Worship the self by the self
Behold the self by the self
Be established by the self in the self
This fruition of worship mentioned
Is derived from the self alone
The worship of the deity
Is but an excuse for it

...continued here

Main Page / Introduction / Prayer / Ch I / Ch II / Ch III / Ch IV / Ch V / Ch VI-1 / Ch VI-2