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Yoga Vasistha Lessons

A collection of valuable lessons from Yoga Vasistha.

The world is transitory, having not a grain of happiness in it. I do not desire death nor do I covet life; I have no eagerness for kingdom, wealth, enjoyments and desires, for I have relinquished egoism which is the root of all these.

Neither should you find fault with anyone. Control your mind, speech and body, and never be perturbed. Daily do service to your guru with devotion after purifying your body and mind. Do not be slack in doing good actions even for a single day.

Do not be overjoyed if you get a fortune, neither should you be dejected if you lose it. Your mind should be well balanced. I, Rama, am the life of all souls. Your mind should be fixed on me alone.

What I have advised you is the knowledge that can be obtained only by the study of Vedanta. He who studies this with great faith and devotion to me and my words, will surely attain union with me.

In this effort, man will have to face many enemies like Kama or desire, krodha or anger, lobha or greed, and moha or delusion. Of these, anger is the most fearful for who will try to put all sorts of obstacles in one's struggle to attain moksha (liberation).

The knowers of truth are happy and smiling all the time.

Action is nothing but the movement of energy in consciousness, and it inevitably bears its own fruit.

The characteristic of the ignorant man is that he strives to be other than what he is.

All suffering surely revolves around egotism and egotism is the sole cause of mental distress.

The mind flows along the course of wisdom or of ignorance in whatever direction you make it flow.

It is the actions of the mind that are truly termed Karmas.

True liberation results from the disenthrallment of the mind.

Those who have freed themselves from the fluctuation of their mind come into possession of the supreme Nishta.

Should the mind be purged of all its impurities, then it will become as still as the milky ocean undisturbed by the churning of Mandara hills; and all our samsaric delusion attendant with its birth and deaths will be destroyed.

Those who without longing for objects avoid them can be termed as subjugators of their mind.

Like the straight thin filament of a lotus stalk which does not part asunder, even though the stalk is broken, all the Vasanas which have been clinging to us from a long time are not and will not be destroyed except through a long continued practice of meditation and introspection.

The wise say that the best thing for a man to do in this world is to give up, without the least longing, vasanas – all affinities for objects – which cause the mind to fluctuate and take men away from  moksha (liberation) and the stainless path.

Immense wealth, friends, relatives, Benares and other sacred places, bathing in the Ganges and other waters, the hermitage of Munis, religious austerities afflicting the body and other like things are not the sure means of ever reaching the higher state; but it is through the mind’s efforts that the immaculate and supreme Seat can be attained.

So long as the cloud of ego hides the moon of jnana, the lily of the Self will not bloom.

I prostrate to myself who am within all beings, the ever free self abiding as inner consciousness.

Destiny (fate) is nothing but what inevitably happens as good or bad result of our own efforts already put forth.

One gets only what one has striven for, nothing is ever achieved by sitting idle.

The sages are to be approached even if they do not teach. Even their talks in a light vein contain wisdom.

What could be done to overcome three states of the mind? O Rama, the mind goes into the state of bondage through desires alone and attains liberation as soon as it becomes free from desires. Therefore, quickly dispose of all desires of the mind with the help of discernment.

The mind becomes firmly bound by thinking that, ‘I am not Brahman and I am an individual soul’.

‘Everything is Brahman’ alone — by contemplating thus only, the mind definitely gets liberated.

The knower of Truth states that the enquiry into Self-knowledge is ‘knowledge’ itself. Like the sweetness in milk, the Brahman-to-be-known exists in that knowledge only.

Yoga Vasishta on how to play your part in the world 

Be outwardly active but inwardly inactive, outwardly a doer but inwardly a non-doer, 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 world.

Adopt a comprehensive view, characterized by the abandonment of all objects of contemplation, live in your innate Self, liberated even while alive 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.

Yoga Vasishta Philosophy on Mind

It is the nature of the mind to accept certain things and to reject others; this is bondage, nothing else.

The mind is the creator of the world, the mind is the individual; only that which is done by the mind is regarded as done, not that which is done by the body. The arm with which one embraces the wife is the very arm with which one embraces the daughter.

The mind is the cause of the objects of perception. The three worlds depend upon it. When it is dissolved the world is also dissolved. It is to be purified with effort.

The mind is bound by the latent impressions. When there are no impressions it is free. Therefore, O Rama, bring about quickly, through discrimination, the state in which there are no impressions.