Yoga Vasishtha - A Treasure House of Philosophy

Method of Purification
O Raghava, be outwardly active but inwardly inactive, outwardly a doer but inwardly a nondoer, and thus play your part in the world. Abandon all desires inwardly, be free from attachments and latent impressions, do everything outwardly and thus play your part in the world.

O Raghava, adopt a comprehensive view, characterized by the abandonment of all objects of contemplation, live in your innate Self, liberated even while alive (jivan-mukta), and thus play your part in the world.

Burn the forest of duality with the fire of the conviction, ' I am the one Pure Consciousness' and remain happy. You are bound firmly on all sides by the idea, ‘I am the body'. Cut that bond by the sword of knowledge ' I am consciousness ' and be happy.
Discarding the attachment to non-Self, regarding the world as a partless (whole), concentrated and with attention turned inward, remain as pure Consciousness.

Remain always as pure Consciousness which is your constant and true nature beyond the states of waking, dream and deep sleep. O mighty-armed, be always free from mental concepts like the core of a rock though not insentient like it.

Do not be that which is understood nor the one who understands. Abandon all concepts and remain what you are. Eliminate one concept by another and the mind by the mind and abide in the Self. Is this so difficult, O Holy Rama? Sever the mind, which has, on account of its cares become red hot, with the mind which is like a sword sharpened by the study of scriptures. O Raghava, what have you to do with this inert and dumb body? Why do you feel helpless and miserable by joys and sorrows on account of it?

What a vast difference between the flesh, blood, etc. which constitute the body and you, the embodiment of consciousness! Even after knowing this why do you not abandon the idea of Self as this body?

The mere knowledge that this body is like a piece of wood or a clod of earth enables one to realize the Supreme Self. How strange that, while the real Brahman is forgotten by men, the unreal called avidya (nescience) appears very real to them.

It is again strange that while the Supreme Brahman is forgotten by men the idea 'this is mine' called avidya is firmly held by them. When you do your work do it without attachment even as a crystal which reflects the objects before it but is not affected by them.

The conviction that everything is Brahman leads one to Liberation. Therefore reject entirely the idea of duality which is ignorance. Reject it entirely.

I, the pure, stainless and infinite Consciousness beyond maya, look upon this body in action like the body of another. The mind, the intellect, the senses, etc. are all the play of Consciousness. They are unreal and seem to exist only due to lack of insight.
Unmoved by adversity, a friend of the entire world in prosperity, without ideas of existence and non-existence, I Live free from misery. Inactive am I, desire less, clear as the sky, free from hankering, tranquil, formless, everlasting and unmoving.

I have now clearly understood that the five elements, the three worlds and I myself are pure Consciousness. I am above everything; I am present everywhere; I am like space; I am that which (really) exists; I am unable to say anything beyond this.

Let imaginary waves of universe rise or fall in me who am the ocean of infinite Consciousness; there is no increase or decrease in me. How wonderful that in me, the infinite ocean of Consciousness, waves of jivas (individual souls) rise, sport for a while and disappear according to their nature.

The world which has come into existence on account of my ignorance has dissolved likewise in me. I now directly experience the world as supreme bliss of Consciousness. I prostrate to myself who am within all being, the ever free Self abiding as inner consciousness.

Exposition of the Self
When this assemblage of body, senses, etc. acts of its own accord there arises an idea ' I am this. ‘This is the jiva (ego) stained by the dirt of ignorance.  When the conviction that everything is the space-like (i.e. all pervasive) Consciousness becomes firm the jiva comes to an end like a lamp without oil.

Like a misguided Brahmin, who abandons his own nobility, and adopts the life of a Sudra, the Lord assumes the role of the jiva. Just as a child sees an apparition created by its own fancy, so also the stupid jiva creates, on account of delusion, this unreal body and sees it as separate from him.

A child superimposes a real elephant on a clay elephant and plays with it; even so, an ignorant man superimposes the body, etc., on the Self and carries on his activities. The picture of a snake does not cause fear of a snake when it is realized to be only a picture. Similarly when the jiva-snake is clearly understood there is neither misery nor the cause of misery.

The snake superimposed on a garland merges in it; so also the sense of separateness rising from the Self merges in the Self.   Although bracelets, etc. appear to be many, as gold they are one. Similarly although the adjuncts are many, the Self is really one.

Like the organs of the body and modifications of clay in the form of different vessels of clay, non-duality appears as duality i.e. multiplicity in the form of the moving and unmoving objects. Just as a single face is reflected as many in a crystal, in water, or in ghee or in .a mirror ; so also the one Self is reflected in the many intellects (or minds).

Just as the sky appears to be stained by dust, smoke and clouds, so also the pure Self in contact with the qualities of maya appears to be soiled by them. Just as metal in contact with fire acquires the quality of fire viz.heat, so also the senses, etc. in contact with the Self acquire the quality of the Self.

Just as the invisible Rahu becomes visible when it comes in contact with the moon, even so the Self is known by experiencing objects of perception. When water and fire come together they acquire the qualities of each other. Even so when the Self and the inert body come together the Self looks like the non-Self and the non-Self looks like the Self.

Just as fire thrown into a large sheet of water loses its quality, so also Consciousness in contact with the unreal and the inert seems to lose its real nature and becomes inert. The Self, is realized in the body only with effort, like sugar from the sugarcane, oil from sesame seeds, fire from wood, flutter from a cow and iron from ore.

Like the sky seen in an unbroken crystal, the Supreme Lord of the nature of consciousness exists in all objects.  Just as a big lamp kept inside a vessel made of precious stones illumines by its light both outside and inside, so also the one Self illumines everything. Just as the sun's reflection in a mirror illumines other things, so also the reflection of the Self in pure intellects illumines other things.

That in which this wonderful universe appears like a snake in a rope is the eternal luminous Self. The Self is without beginning or end. It is immutable Existence and Consciousness. It manifests space, it is the source of the jiva and higher than the highest. The Self is pure Consciousness, eternal, omnipresent, immutable and self-effulgent like the light of the sun. The omnipresent Self, the substratum of all, is non-different from the effulgent Consciousness like heat from fire. It can only be experienced but cannot be known.

Pure Consciousness, the Supreme Self, the illuminator of all, the indivisible, pervading everything within and without, is the firm support of all. The Self is absolute Consciousness. It is pure awareness, undecaying, free from all ideas of acceptance or rejection and not limited by space, time or genus.

Just as the air in the universe pervades everything, so also the Self, the Lord, abides bodiless in everything. The Consciousness which exists in the expanse of earth, in the ornaments, in the sky and in the sun, exists also inside the worms lying in their shells under the earth.

There is neither bondage nor liberation, neither duality nor non-duality. There is only Brahman always shining as Consciousness. Awareness is Brahman; the world is Brahman; the various elements are Brahman; I am Brahman; my enemy is Brahman; my friends and relatives are Brahman.

The idea of a consciousness and an object of consciousness is bondage; freedom from it is liberation. Consciousness, the object of consciousness and everything else is the Self; this is the gist of all systems of philosophy. There is only consciousness here; this universe is nothing but consciousness; you are consciousness; I am consciousness; the worlds are consciousness-that is the conclusion. That which exists and that which is known to exist are all the Self; anything else which seems to shine does not really exist. Consciousness alone shines by itself. Ideas of knower and known are idle postulates.

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