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Essential Yoga Vasistha

VI. Dealing With Liberation, Part I

Though engaged in diverse activities
Saturate your intelligence with this truth
You will find a way to live unbound
Or risk being caught in samsara's wheel
As long as one considers the body as 'I'
As long as the self is related to what is seen
As long as there is hope in objects and longing
There will be delusion concerning the mind
The state of mind of sages
Liberated while still living
Is known as transparency
They see truth and appearance
The real 'I' is infinite consciousness
In which universes rise and fall
Remaining in a state of total equanimity
You are like the infinite space
When you are established in the self
You will be saturated in bliss-absolute
Knowing worlds find refuge in you
You alone are all, in all and as all
Let's assume the existence of diversity
Your consciousness must expand
The truth that shall be expounded here
Will save even those not fully awakened
Infinite consciousness dwells in all
But, due to absence of self-knowledge
It appears to be ignorant of itself
And therefore is limited and finite
Birth and childhood lead to youth
Youth to old age and to death
All these are repeatedly experienced
By those who choose to stay ignorant
Time is the wheel on which these turn
Ignorance leads to death and rebirth
One's appetite consumes one's own self
Like hunger that feeds on itself
This world-appearance is like a little fish
Which comes into being in this finite space
Soon swallowed by the invincible old vulture
Known as the end or conclusion of action
Prosperity, adversity and youth
Old age, death and suffering
Immersion in happiness and unhappiness
Are the extensions of dense ignorance
Ignorance expands by ignorance
Yielding greater ignorance
When it sincerely seeks wisdom
Wisdom expands into the truth
Ignorance rises and falls in the mind
Just like ripples in the ocean
If awake, wisdom can absorb
Ignorance when it rises and falls in it
Kaivalya or total freedom
Is the attainment of pure being
After all conditioning is transcended
Consciously after thorough investigation
Where the seed of conditioning exists
Is like deep sleep—not perfection
When all conditioning's springs are destroyed
One reaches the fourth state of perfection

Exhortation to practice

I exhort you again and again
For the sake of your spiritual awakening
Realization of the self does not happen
Without unrelenting spiritual practice


The mind, intellect and phenomena
Are all Brahman only
Pleasure and pain are illusions
Words without any substance
Those who have realized the truth
Know that Brahman alone is
Their life is proof of their realization
Not knowing directly is ignorance
The truth which is omnipresent
Pure consciousness, devoid of objectivity
Is referred to by many terms
And also as pure knowledge
All this is 'I' and all this is 'mine'
But I am not and I am not 'other than I'
Realizing this—let the illusion be
Remain free from the fever of distress

The yoga way

Yoga is itself freedom
A way out of samsara's grip too
Utter transcendence of mind
Towards self-realization
A way of living without hurt or hurting
While still engaged in diverse activities
Not getting drowned in mental modifications
And never losing contact with reality
Returning to your original nature
Not changing things but changing within
A wide view with room for everything
That has no problem with things as they are
All and everything is subject to change
Why react when this happens?
Those established in peace in the heart
Are not moved by inner and outer change
Inner fatigue and tiredness
Come from inner conflict only
The ego's clash with change's dance
Happens when there is inner division

Pranayama and mind control

Whether standing, awake or asleep
The vital airs are naturally restless
These spike mental fluctuations
Restrain them by yogic kumbhaka practice
When the external darkness dims
One is able to see things as they are
Darkness of ignorance must drop away
For the natural rise of self-knowledge
Where the prana goes the mind follows
Just as the rider goes where the vehicle does
Follow the prana throughout its movement
Look where the same prana seems to change
See where inhalation is consumed
By exhalation as breathing changes course
And see where exhalation's course changes
By inhalation as breathing changes course yet again
When you turn prana or life-force
On its source within the heart
It makes the mind unimportant
Because naturally it is its own object
When the prana is busily engaged
In its own vigorous movement
It stays absorbed in its own movement
And is unable to exert in self-knowledge

Living without conditioning

Do not contemplate the past
Do not think of the future either
Constantly direct attention to the present
Abandon all unnecessary turmoil
We are our own replica, as it were
Moving through various experiences
You can awaken any time you resolve
And return into your essential self
This world, this life and this journey
Is a long dream, a longstanding hallucination
Just like daydreaming or wishful thinking
Step out of this illusion courageously
The twin forces of attraction and aversion
Are the bars of samsara's prison
Totally abandon and destroy them
By taking refuge in the immovable
The hub of the wheel so to say
Are thoughts and notions entertained
Abandon them ruthlessly by self-effort
And resort to wisdom and common sense
The inert body is desireless
The self is infinite and desireless too
So, just who is the doer of these actions?
There is only the witnessing intelligence
Neither friends nor relations
Nor scriptures or even preceptors
Can protect one utterly overpowered
By the ghost known as the mind
God is formless and undivided
Majestic splendor which is uncreated
Beginningless and endless too
Known as Siva—pure consciousness
That God is not distant from anyone
Nor is he difficult to attain
He is forever seated within
And everywhere too just like space
In the body, which is like a lotus
The same consciousness does both
Imbibe experience like honey gathered
By the restless mind buzzing like the bee
The omnipresent consciousness is all in all
It exists in this body as the changing
And as the unchanging and unmodified
None other exists save consciousness
As one not dead cries aloud, 'I am dead'
As one not lost cries aloud, 'I am lost'
On account of perverse understanding
Consciousness falsely imagines itself miserable
If only pure tendencies fill one's heart
Then all conflicts cease
You will experience harmony
Liberation and longevity
Feeding these thoughts and beliefs
Has brought about this sorrow
It ends by starving them to death
Where is the difficulty in this?
The natural order is free from excitement
But is not purified of its limitation
It is what dances a dance-drama
Known as the world-appearance

Supreme meditation

This is the supreme meditation
This is the supreme worship
Continuous and unbroken awareness
Of the indwelling presence of consciousness
It is all—supreme blessedness
Peace—beyond expression
Purest OM—transcendent
It is Siva—the supreme

Supreme worship

Consciousness alone is fit to be worshipped
It is all and needs no invitation
It is immediate—needing no intermediary
It is the omnipresent self of all
I shall now declare to you
The internal worship
Of self—greatest among purifiers
Which destroys darkness completely
Worship the Lord with everything
Obtained without effort
Without making the least effort
To attain what is not possessed
That alone is regarded as worship
Performed in a state of equanimity
When quiescent—free of thought
An effortless absence of perversity
Those who are still caught-up
In mundane ways of living
Are enmeshed in time and space
And not able to rise beyond
The instructions of a preceptor
And all forms of instruction
Are not really the means for self-knowledge
But have come to be regarded as such
Conditioning is itself sorrow
Based on thoughts and notions
Truth is beyond such experience
World is an appearance like a mirage
All that comes into being
Including deities and divinities
The worm too the very same way
All within the blink of an eye
To come into relationship
Is common to all embodied beings
But the yogis are forever vigilant
Such vigilance is the worship of the self
If in the course of time
One attains to self-experience
Do not store it as a memory
To be revived as desire once again

...continued here

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