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Essential Yoga Vasistha

VI. Dealing with Liberation, Part II (...continued)

Action is better than inaction

The wise see nothing to gain from action
Nothing to gain from refraining
They do what is natural wisely
Without worrying about results
This universe which is a cosmic circle
Illumined by the sun and stars
What is it that is 'above'
And what is 'below' in all this?
Why waste energy investigating
The nature of the world and things
All is an effect of a long dream
The wise do not waste time or effort in these
On one hand are time, place and habit
On the other mental conditioning itself
Circumstances and conditioning act on each other
Whichever is the stronger wins instantly
You have to know truth directly
Just as you know you have hands
That you ever exist in Brahman
And Brahman is your own self
The way out of this misfortune
Is that which was its original cause
Any other path is not the right one
It will not be productive of happiness
The reality or substance of the notion
Is the supreme Brahman as well
They are both divisionless consciousness
Just as between space and emptiness
Realizing what's real and what's not
After intense inquiry
Still the feeling 'this is' persists
So abide in your realization
From Brahma to a blade of grass
All are subject to two forms of birth
The first is Brahma's creation
The other is illusory creation
Waking state itself is twofold
The dream of the waking state
The waking state of the dream
Both non-different from each other
When one's slumber has been weakened
The world, its suns and moons are seen
Within— just here, right where one is
As if arising suddenly within the heart
A shift in the balance of things
In adversity, strength and intelligence
Adversely affects all somehow, sometime
The wise get shaken-up as well

Awakened realizations

Though surrounded by adversity
One would not be unhappy at all
To know while dreaming it is dream
You are freed from even raging fire
Just as persons seen in a dream
Have no past karma at all
Those that arose in creation's beginning
Are karmaless—pure consciousness
The awareness in the beginning of creation
And at the end of one's life-span
Continues to exist till liberation is attained
And that is known as creation
The dead one is not born again
But he experiences the notion
'I am here in this manner' and the like
Due to conditioning in his consciousness
The one pure consciousness
Appears as diverse dream-objects
All objects appearing in dream
Become one again in deep sleep
The impressions that arise in dream
Were created in the waking state
Those that rise in the waking state
Were created anew, is the feeling
But those who know the truth
Declare: this is not the case
They were created in a state
That appeared to be awake, but wasn't
The ignorant think that Brahman shines
Appearing as creation without a cause
They are caught up in cause-and-effect
Deluded notions that causality is very real
When the senses are engaged
In the experience of the external world
Then the field of internal notions
Is vague and unclear
To those who know the supreme state
The states of waking, dream and sleep
Do not exist at all
Whatever is—is as it is
One who has realized that everything
Is pure infinite consciousness
Is not affected by the apparent duality
He remains free, alone and unaffected
In the eyes of the ignorant
Dreams appear to be true at times
But in the eyes of the enlightened
They are neither real nor unreal
Consciousness bestows reward on one
When actions arise from personal notion
When freed from such a notion
Action is freed of its fruits
Let this illusion or ignorance remain
It is a vain appearance only
What can it possibly do?
Once you have given up delusion
One's dream becomes fulfilled
In the waking state reality
All and everything that one sees
Are one's own dream objects finally
One does not desire death
Or cling on to life either
When one knows what one is
And is free from mental agitation
The wisdom that I imparted to you
Has remained weak in your heart
Like a dormant fire in an old tree-trunk
Not able to burn and destroy ignorance
Do not avoid the inevitable
It cannot be averted by anyone at any time
It is not altered by any amount of effort
It is foolishness and desperation to try

Earnest prayers are answered

Whatever is earnestly prayed for
Is bestowed at once on all
For God is the self of all
One experiences fruition of one's prayers
Yesterday's evil action is transformed
Into good action by today's noble deed
Therefore strive to be good
And do as much good as you can now
The flesh of that corpse
Became the earth-element
In course of time the world
Acquired its present nature

Strange and wonderful is this maya

Strange and wonderful is this maya
Which gives rise to delusion in the mind
In which thesis and antithesis coexist
Without conflict or contradiction
Every inch of space is filled
With the creations of departed ones
Countless worlds though unseen
Exist without contradiction or conflict
Holding on to awareness of ignorance
This ignorance seems to be real
On account of this delusion
The unreal appears to be real
Why bind one who is ever free?
'Another' just does not exist
Except the one pure and formless
Radiant infinite consciousness

The only means to redemption

If one cannot redeem oneself
There are no other means
For one is one's own friend
And one is one's own enemy
The mind is commander-in-chief
The senses are the armed forces
Control of the mind is control of senses
Sense victory is the worst slavery
To the enlightened one
The waking, dreaming and sleep states
Are turiya only—free of ignorance
Free of diversity and non-dual
The many abandons its diversity
When it attains enlightenment
When the many is described as the one
It has not become something else
Knowledge of self and of all things too
Are the play of infinite consciousness
They are the manifestations
Expansions of self-knowledge
'This is the self' and 'this is knowledge'
Both false notions that arise within
Abandon the words but remain established
In the experience of the truth indicated
Just as a tree brings forth diverse branches
Without mental activity or intention
Consciousness gives rise to diverse creation
It is like space giving rise to space
In the inert and insentient wood
The figure emerges when carved
Since consciousness is full of consciousness
The world-appearance shines within itself

Be established in truth

He is truly established in truth
Who does not see 'the world'
Even though his eyes are wide open
He enjoys the bliss of deep sleep
The wise man by his very nature
Enjoys the company of a bosom-friend
Along with the latter's consort
That friend is known as one's good action
This world is the indivisible Brahman
To those who are enlightened
Though we are highly intelligent
We do not know what ignorance is
Where shall I go for that which is not Brahman
The world is a strange place indeed
People regard objects of perception as real
Failing to know the omnipresent
Experiences arise in consciousness
Of their own accord
As the very limbs of consciousness
Without any causal connection
Just as the body identifies itself
With teeth and nails and hair
The omnipresent self identifies itself
With seeming materiality
Brahman is like the ocean
Creations are like the waves
Experiencing is the water
Though all are pure unconditioned bliss
At the end of the investigation
Utter silence alone remains
Though engaged in all activities
It remains unaffected like space
Ignorance thinks of all this
As ignorance and limitless creation
When it is realized as Brahman
It itself becomes the pure Brahman
All this is natural to nature
Even if a cause may be assumed
Even the word 'nature' used here
Is only a figure of speech
Just as the blacksmith makes the bellows
To expand and contract in this world
Consciousness makes all bodies function
Everyone lives and functions by it
There are no forms, birth or death
No reality or unreality either
The supreme perceives all this within itself
Why create a false notion of creation?
Rivers are many, ocean is one
Time is one and seasons are few
Years may be called by different names
The substance stays ever unchanged
The content of notions and thoughts
Is Brahman, the infinite consciousness
Itself—the content of world-appearance
Brahman exists in all and as all

Repeated affirmation makes memory

Everything is seen and experienced anew
As if not seen or experienced before
Even as one may dream of one's own death
Repeated affirmation makes it memory
It is only through delusion
That Brahman is seen as the world
But that delusion also is Brahman
Which is supreme and infinite peace
If the infinite consciousness
Is compared to the deep sleep state
What is comparable to a dream is known as mind
It is this mind that binds and liberates all
When one indulges in daydreaming
One sees images dance as if real
Even so this world-appearance
Appears in Brahman—thought to be real
A momentary movement in consciousness
Is understood by it as creation
Slight movement of energy within
It knows it as epoch or age
Just as in one who has limbs and organs
There is a constant renewal of cells
Even so there's no end to the universes
That exist in the supreme being
Though all these diverse entities
Seem to be—it is but an illusion
Nothing has really been created
All is omnipresent consciousness
When there is the notion of reality
In unreal phenomena—there is bondage
When many such notions arise
Then diversity is brought into being
Knowledge does not have an object to know
Knowledge is independent and eternal
Beyond description and definition
This direct realization is perfect knowledge
This being so, then all of creation
Is nothing but pure consciousness
If the body is of pure consciousness
There can be neither birth nor death

Focus of main effort

Be not concerned with causes
Be concerned instead with awakening
By awakening, awakening is attained
Attaining awakening dissolves doubts
Realizing all objects and substances
Exist in consciousness as notions
Brings to a close the hold on objects
Samsara's wheel stops by and by
Consciousness becoming aware of itself
As an object is what's known as mind
Inquire instead without objectivity
By this, does mental conditioning end
One consciousness shines as three
Subject, object and experience
In the beginning appearing as creation
Such is its very nature—it shines as it shines
Why inquire into the unreal
Futile it is—as it has no being
Inquire instead into the real
The truth that underlies all
Enlightenment is not had by the intellect
Nor is it attained by its suppression
Enlightenment is not aware of itself
For it is not an object of awareness
The hall-mark of enlightenment
Is cessation of all craving
When the latter is absent
It is just mental gymnastics
That state in which the enlightened one exists
As if he lives in the very bowels of a rock
Whether alone or engaged in activities
That is the state of purity and liberation
In very much the same way
This world exists in Brahman
It is Brahman alone and not world
Brahman undergoes no change
Going to the forest for firewood
Getting the philosopher's stone instead
Resorting to scriptures to fulfill desires
Often results in attaining the truth
Among those who study scriptures
Some attain pleasure, wealth and guidance
These three are expounded in the scriptures
Not the realization of Brahman

The greatness of freedom

Who can measure the greatness
Of one free from exultation and depression
Who does what has to be done perfectly
And who sees what is to be seen as it is
When you abandon all notions
Of what is desirable and what is not
Engaging in activity or refraining
Are both of the same value
From this epoch's very beginning
We have given and heard numerous talks
Those on the means to liberation
But never have any been quite like this

Yoga as life

As long as this body lasts
Do what needs to be done naturally
Endowed with pure vision
Freed from all doubts and delusion
What I have said to you
What you have studied in the scripture
Now bring into harmony
With your own direct experience
Teaching what has not been experienced
Neither seen nor heard of before
The teacher resorts to illustrations
The aid by which the truth is grasped
People base their understanding
On the experience of the moment
On account of their perverse understanding
They are deluded into materiality's lure
Injunctions and prohibitions
Preserve the social structure here
As these are established in consciousness
They are incapable of helping towards freedom
The three worlds are illusory products
Of delusion's shadow on consciousness
But in it there are no divisions or contradictions
What is impossible in an illusion?
Indivisible consciousness alone exists
All that is also this creation
All this is the ever peaceful Brahman
Consciousness also known as creation
Let it all be the way it appears
Or let it be quite different from this
Confusion cannot reach your heart
Once you no longer pursue action's fruit
When you are not enlightened
And experience awakening by these words
You experience apparent duality or diversity
In what is in fact non-dual Brahman
This does not perish
Hence it is said that 'It is not seen'
It is said that the unreal has no being
And the real has no non-being
In each of all these things
The Lord himself does and experiences
For, everything is verily Brahman
Beginningless, endless and the ordainer

The seeker's awakening

By your grace, O lord among sages
My delusion has gone
I have attained the supreme state
My intelligence is now perfectly clear
I am freed of doubts
I rest in my natural state as Brahman
Or in the knowledge of nirvana
I shall do as you have said
Even the ignorant ones
In whose hearts bondage exists
Caused by cravings strong and persistent
Can rise beyond the state of division

Vasistha's final comments

By a study of this scripture
Which deals with liberation
Even the young become mature
And rise to their true heritage
Except through this mighty scripture
One cannot ever gain what is good
For perfect realization of the supreme truth
Fervently investigate this scripture alone

- Om Tat Sat -

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