# Yoga Vasistha

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A friend of mine was highly recommending I have read of this book called Yoga Vasistha. Anyone read it?

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Maybe post key passages, or passages you found relevant in this thread. Gunahgar did that with Kama Sutra. I think it gives people a taste of the book without having to invest a lot of time into it.

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Whatever comes, let it come; whatever goes, let it go. Let notions of diverse experiences either arise or set in the body: I am neither in them nor they in me.

1. `Who are you? Whose child are you? Where are you bound? What is your name? When have you come? Oh Child! I should like to hear your reply to these questions.' Thus spoke Sri Shankaracharya to the boy, and Hastamalaka replied as follows.

2. I am neither man, God, yaksha, brahmin, kshatriya, vaisya, sudra, brahmachari, householder, forestdweller, nor sannyasi; but I am pure awareness alone.
3. Just as the sun causes all worldly movements, so do I -- the ever-present, conscious Self -- cause the mind to be active and the senses to function. Again, just as the ether is all-pervading, yet devoid of any specific qualities, so am I free from all qualities.
4. I am the conscious Self, ever-present and associated with everything in the same manner as heat is always associated with fire. I am that eternal, undifferentiated, unshaken Consciousness, on account of which the insentient mind and senses function, each in its own manner.
5. I am that conscious Self of whom the ego is not independent as the image in a mirror is not independent of the object reflected.
6. I am the unqualified, conscious Self, existing even after the extinction of Intellect, just as the object remains ever the same even after the removal of the reflecting mirror.

7. I am eternal Consciousness, dissociated from the mind and senses. I am the mind of the mind, the eye of the eye, ear of the ear and so on. I am not cognizable by the mind and senses.
8. I am the eternal, single, conscious Self, reflected in various intellects, just as the sun is reflected on the surface of various sheets of water.
9. I am the single, conscious Self, illumining all intellects, just as the sun simultaneously illumines all eyes so that they perceive objects.
10. Only those eyes that are helped by the sun are capable of seeing objects, not others. The source from which the sun derives its power is myself.
11. Just as the reflection of the sun on agitated waters seems to break up, but remains perfect on a calm surface, so also am I, the conscious Self, unrecognizable in agitated intellects though I clearly shine in those which are calm.
12. Just as a fool thinks that the sun is entirely lost when it is hidden by dense clouds, so do people think that the ever-free Self is bound.
13. Just as the ether is all-pervading and unaffected by contact, so also does the ever-conscious Self pervade everything without being affected in anyway. I am that Self.
14. Just as a transparent crystal takes on the lines of its background, but is in no way changed thereby, and just as the unchanging moon on being reflected on undulating surfaces appears agitated, so is it with you, the all-pervading God.

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"To become a slave of desire is bondage; to master it, is liberation. Master your desires and become indifferent to worldly enjoyments; become a Jivanmukta (emancipated embodiment), without the assistance of austerities of religions; follow the path of wisdom and you will realize the reality. O Ram, there is but one person who can remove the doubt from your mind, and that is the Omniscient Vasistha, who knows the past, present, and the future. He is the Guru (spiritual teacher) of all mankind."

Persons qualified to read this work called Vasishta (the work of Vasistha) should not be Ajnanis (the ignorant or the worldly wise), but only those who, conscious of being under bondage, long after freedom from it, and are in that vacillating position, from which they contemplate attaining Moksha.

When the notion of (empirical) self is destroyed by the withdrawal of the fuel of ideas from the mind, that which is, is the infinite. (III:10)
The world exists because consciousness is: and the world is the body of consciousness. There is no division, no difference, no distinction. Hence the universe can be said to be both real and unreal: real because of the reality of consciousness which is its own reality, and unreal because the universe does not exist as universe, independent of consciousness. (III:14)

Death is but waking from a dream. (III:19)

Direct inquiry into the movements of thought in one’s own consciousness is the supreme guru, the greatest teacher. (III:75)

Eternal Brahman, pure existence, is known when the three-fold modifications known as waking, dreaming and deep sleep cease and when the mind-stuff is rid of all movement of thought. It is expressed in silence when the known comes to an end.

This Self can be attained by a hundred ways and means; yet when it is attained, nothing has been attained! It is the supreme Self; yet it is nothing [no-thing]. One roams in this forest of samsara, or repetitive history, till there is the dawn of that wisdom which is able to dispel the root-ignorance in which the world appears to be real. But the truth is that it is the infinite consciousness that perceives the universe within itself, through its own power known as Maya. That which is seen within also appears outside.

The seer is the sight only, and when latent psychic impressions have ceased, the seer regains its pure being; when the external object is imagined, a seer has been created. If there is no subject, there is no object either. Because the subject (seer) is pure consciousness, he is able to conjure up the object.

This cannot be the other way round; the object does not give birth to the subject. Therefore the seer alone is real, the object being only name and form. As long as the notions of the object persists, the division between the seer and the seen also persists. When self-knowledge arises and the name and form of objects ceases to be, the seer (subject) is realized as the sole reality.

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11 minutes ago, Sat1176 said:

This Self can be attained by a hundred ways and means; yet when it is attained, nothing has been attained!

Relevant video -

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When the truth is known, all descriptions cease, and silence alone remains. (III:84)

Only when one severs the very root of the mind with the weapon of non-conceptualization, can one reach the Absolute Brahman which is omnipresent, supreme peace.

First destroy the mental conditioning by renouncing cravings; and then remove from your mind even the concept of bondage and liberation. Be totally free of conditioning.

Ideas and thoughts are bondage; and their coming to an end is liberation. Therefore, be free of them and do whatever has to be done spontaneously. (III:111)

That mind is pure in which all cravings are in a state of quiescence. Whatever that pure mind wishes, that materializes.

The mind is purified by persistent contemplation of truth. Only when the mind is totally purified of all conditioning does it regain its utter purity; that pure mind experiences liberation. (IV:17)

Bondage is none other than the notion of an object. The notions of I and the world are but shadows, not truth. Such notions alone create objects; these objects are neither true nor false.

Therefore abandon the notions of I and this and remain established in the truth. (IV:21)

It is only when the mind has become devoid of all attachment, when it is not swayed by the pairs of opposites, when it is not attracted by objects and when it is totally independent of all supports, that it is freed from the cage of delusion.

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The mind itself is the Individual Self; the mind experiences what it itself has projected out of itself. By that it is bound. It is the state of the mind that determines the nature of the reincarnation of the Individual Self.

When in a pure mind there arise concepts and notions, the world appearance comes into being. But, when the mind gives up the subject-object relationship it has with the world, it is instantly absorbed in the infinite.

When you are free from all concerns about the objects of the world, you will be established in non-dual consciousness, and that is final liberation. Live without being swayed by likes and dislikes, attraction and aversion, without any desires or cravings. Constantly seek to discover the supreme peace.

One should enjoy the delight that flows from peace. The man whose mind is well-controlled is firmly established in peace. When the heart is thus established in peace, there arises the pure bliss of the Self without delay.

Consciousness free from the limitations of the mind is known as the inner intelligence: it is the essential nature of no-mind. That is the reality, that is supreme consciousness, that is the state known as the supreme self, that is omniscience.

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2 hours ago, Sat1176 said:

When the truth is known, all descriptions cease, and silence alone remains.

So true.

Nam Dev ji says -
ਕੋਈ ਬੋਲੈ ਨਿਰਵਾ ਕੋਈ ਬੋਲੈ ਦੂਰਿ ॥
Some say that he is near, and others say that he is far away.
ਜਲ ਕੀ ਮਾਛੁਲੀ ਚਰੈ ਖਜੂਰਿ ॥੧॥
Saying this is like saying that a fish climbed up a tree.

When I came across this verse, I started laughing. All descriptions of God are akin to nonsense such as "a fish climbed up a tree". However descriptions are very much necessary because without those you have no chance of seeing God.

When you see God then there is understanding and one sees that descriptions are not all that accurate. Then only the name remains and maybe not even that because a name too is a description. Then there may only be silence.

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It is the mind alone that is the root-cause of experiencing the world as if it were real; but it cannot be truly considered such a cause since there can be no mind other than pure consciousness. Thus, if it is realized that the perceiving mind itself is unreal, then it is clear that the perceived world is unreal too.

Consciousness does not truly undergo any modification nor does it become impure. The impurity itself is imaginary; imagination is the impurity. When this is realized, the imagination is abandoned and impurity ceases. However, even in those who have realized this, the impurity arises unless the imagination is firmly rejected. By self-effort this imagination can be easily rejected: if one can drop a piece of straw, one can with equal ease also drop the three worlds! What is it that cannot be achieved by one’s self-effort? This infinite consciousness, which is devoid of concepts and extremely subtle, knows itself. In selfforgetfulness this consciousness entertains thoughts and experiences perception, though all this is possible because of the very nature of infinite consciousness: even as one who is asleep is also inwardly awake!

Then the mind which is pure abandons conjuring up images of objects. It attains a state like deep sleep or the consciousness of homogeneity, thus going beyond the possibility of birth again. It rests in supreme peace. This is the first state.

Now listen to the second state. Consciousness devoid of mind is all-light, free from darkness and beautiful like space. The infinite consciousness frees itself totally from all modification or duality and remains as if in deep sleep or as a figure in uncut marble. It abandons even the factors of time and space and transcends both inertness and motion; it remains as pure being beyond expression. It transcends the three state of consciousness and remains as the fourth or the state of undivided infinite consciousness.

Now comes the third state. This is beyond even what is termed Brahman, the self, etc. It is sometimes referred to as turiya-atita (beyond the fourth or turiya state). It is supreme and ultimate. It defies description, for it is beyond the practices which are described by those who undertake them.

O sage, remain forever in that third state. That is the real worship of the Lord. Then you will be established in that which is beyond what is and what is not. Nothing has been created and there is nothing to vanish. It is beyond the one and the two. It is the eternal, beyond the eternal and the transient; it is pure mass of consciousness. In it there is no question of diversity. It is all, it is supreme blessedness and peace, it is beyond expression. It is purest OM. It is transcendent. It is supreme.

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According to Giani Gian Singh this granth was translated in the Anandpur Darbaar. The Sewa Panthis also translated it in the first half of the 18th century.

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I  shall  now  declare  to  you  the  internal  worship  of  the  self  which  is  the  greatest  among  all  purifiers and  which  destroys  all  darkness  completely.

This  is  of  the  nature  of  perpetual  meditation  —  whether  one  is  walking  or  standing,  whether  one  is awake  or  asleep,  in  and  through  all  of  one’s  actions.

One  should  contemplate  this  supreme  Lord  who  is  seated  in  the  heart  and  who  brings  about,  as  it were,  all  the  modifications  within  oneself.

This  world-illusion  has  arisen  because  of  the  movement  of  thought  in  the  mind;  when that  ceases  the  illusion  will  cease,  too,  and  the  mind  becomes  no-mind.  This  can  also  be  achieved by  the  restraint  of  prana.  That  is  the  supreme  state.  The  bliss  that  is  experienced  in  a  state  of  nomind,  the  bliss  which  is  uncaused,  is  not  found  even  in  the  highest  heaven.

In  fact,  that  bliss  is  inexpressible  and  indescribable  and  should  not  even  be  called  happiness!  The  mind   of  the  knower  of  the  truth  is  no-mind:  it  is  pure  satva.  After  living  with  such  no-mind  for  some  time,  there arises  the  state  known  as  turiya-atita  (the  state  beyond  the  transcendental,  or the  turiya  state).

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They  who  are  fully  awakened  and  who  are  constantly  engaged  in  samadhi  and  who  are thoroughly  enlightened  are  known  as  samkhya-yogis.  They  who  have  reached  the  state  of  bodiless consciousness  through  pranayama,  etc.,  are  known  as  yoga-yogis.  Indeed,  the  two  are  essentially  the same.  The  cause  of  this  world-appearance  and  bondage  is  indeed  the  mind.  Both  these  paths  lead  to  the End  to  the  mind.  Hence,  by  the  devoted  and  dedicated  practice  of  either  the  End  to  the  movement  of prana  or  the  End  to  thought,  liberation  is  attained.  This  is  the  essence  of  all  scriptures  dealing  with liberation.

Total  dedication  to  one  thing,  restraint  of  prana  and  the  End  to  the  mind  —  if  one  of  these  three  is perfected,  one  attains  the  supreme  state.

The  life-force  and  the  mind  are  closely  related  like  a  flower  and its  fragrance,  or  sesame  seed  and  oil.   Hence,  if  the  movement  of  thought  in  the  mind  ceases,  the  movement  of  prana  ceases,  too.  If  the  total mind  is  one-pointedly  devoted  to  a  single  truth,  the  movement  of  mind  and  therefore  of  life-force  ceases.

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If  the  mind  remains  absorbed  even  for  a  quarter  of  an  hour  it  undergoes  a  complete  change,  for  it  tastes the  supreme  state  of  self-knowledge  and  will  not  abandon  it.  The  very  seeds  of  samsara  (world appearance  or  cycle  of  birth  and  death)  are  fried.  With  them,  ignorance  is  dispelled  and  the  vasanas  are utterly  pacified;  one  who  has  reached  this  is  rooted  in  satva  (truth).  He  beholds  the  inner  light  and  rests  in supreme  peace.

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