Skip to main content


Hindu Holy Books Teachings - Yoga Vasishta

Hindu holy books teachings - This collection is from Yoga Vasistha. This immortal holy book in Hinduism is a discussion between Bhagavan Sri Rama and his Guru Sage Vasishta. 

This long-living ghost of a samsara, which is the creation of the deluded mind of man and the cause of his sufferings, disappears when one ponders over it.

Wonderful indeed is this maya, which deludes the entire world. It is because of it that the Self is not perceived even though it pervades all the limbs of the body.

Whatever is seen does not truly exist. It is like the mythical city of Gandharvas (fata morgana) or a mirage.

That which is not seen, though within us, is called the eternal and indestructible Self.

Like waves rising up from the ocean the unstable mind rises out of the vast and stable expanse of the Supreme Self.

This world, though unreal, appears to exist and is the cause of life-long suffering to an ignorant person, just as a (non-existent) ghost (is the cause of fear) to a boy.

 One who has no idea of gold sees only the bracelet. He does not at all have the idea that it is merely gold.

From the absolute point of view; this objective (world) is the subject (the Self) itself; it is not separate (from the Self).

The bliss of a man of discrimination, who has rejected samsara and discarded all mental concepts, constantly increases.

Like clouds which suddenly appear in a clear sky and as suddenly dissolve, the entire universe (appears) in the Self and (dissolves in it).

He who reckons the rays as non-different from the sun and realizes that they are the sun itself is stated to be nirvikalpa (the undifferentiating man).

Pure consciousness can be known by experience only.

The method of crossing the ocean of samsara is learnt by associating with great souls.

The great remedy for the long-lasting disease of samsara is the enquiry, ‘Who am I? To whom does this samsara belong?, which entirely cures it?

The Supreme Truth cannot be seen with the help of the sacred texts or the Guru. The self is seen by the Self alone with the pure intellect.

Even the slightest thought immerses a man in sorrow; when devoid of all thoughts he enjoys imperishable bliss.

Just as the cloth, when investigated, is seen to be nothing but thread, so also this world, when enquired into, is (seen to be) merely the Self.

Just as fire born out of wind (fanned into a flame) is extinguished by the same wind, so also that which is born of imagination is destroyed by imagination itself.

The mind has come into existence through this (imagination) on account of forgetfulness. Like the experience of one’s own death in a dream it ceases to exist when scrutinized.

The idea of Self in what is not the Self is due to incorrect understanding.

The idea of reality in what is unreal, O Rama, know that to be the mind (chittam).

‘This is he’, ‘I am this’, ‘That is mine’, such (ideas) constitute the mind; it disappears when one ponders over these false ideas.

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

Absence of self knowledge is known as ignorance or delusion.

When the self is known one reaches the shores of limitless intelligence.

The individual is nothing more than the personalized mind.

Individuality ceases when that mind ceases; it remains as long as the notion of personality remains.

So long as there is a pot there is also the notion of a space enclosed within or confined to that pot; when it is broken, the infinite space alone is, even where the pot space was imagined before.

Liberation is attained when one arrives at the state of supreme peace after intelligent enquiry into the nature of the self and after this has brought about an inner awakening.

Let this be mine, let that be mine, this is mine…such notion arising out ignorance and the sense of difference prevents manifestation of the Self.

The wise soul considers the three worlds as mere bit of grass and all fluctuations in fortune avoid him as deer avoid the dry grass.

One reaps only pain through identification with worldly possessions.

Even a good action having wrong or hidden motive has adverse and harmful effects like Rahu who had to suffer in spite of drinking Amrita or elixir of immortality.

One who gave away fame for virtue will never face any danger and his prosperity never declines.

Impatience should be avoided by one who is looking to gain true knowledge. When the efforts take a long time to mature, the fruits attained are ripe.

The accumulated wealth brings in disasters; the sense pleasures are harbingers of diseases; all riches lead to dangers. By remaining unattached one attains bliss.

The one whose mind has ceased to be interested in earthly pleasures or fame stands verily liberated.

The entire worldly life is evanescent and fleeting like a flash of lightning in the sky.

A true life is that which attains what is worthy of attainment, so that there will be no cause for sorrow and a state of supreme tranquility is reached.

Riches and prosperity do not lead to happiness but result in miseries and sufferings due to various anxieties, worries and fear.

Fortune never remains steady.

The worldly life fosters our ego which leads us to sufferings and difficulties. As a result of Ego, one easily loses peace and equanimity of mind. It is the ego which is the cause of expansion of our desires.

It is indeed nobler to wander begging on the streets with an earthen bowl in hand than to live a life steeped in ignorance.

Just as the great ocean of milk became still when the Mandara Mountain became still, even so the illusion of samsara comes to an end when the mind is stilled.

Samsara rises when the mind becomes active and ceases when it is still.

This worthless samsara is born of one’s imagination and vanishes in the absence of imagination.

Even though bondage does not really exist, it becomes strong through desire for worldly enjoyments; when this desire subsides bondage becomes weak.

Like waves rising up from the ocean the unstable mind rises out of the vast and stable expanse of the Supreme Self.

The world is full of misery to an ignorant man and full of bliss to a wise man.

The bliss of a man of discrimination, who has rejected samsara and discarded all mental concepts, constantly increases.

That which is not seen, though within us, is called the eternal and indestructible Self.

Just as the trees on the bank of a lake are reflected in the water, so also all these varied objects are reflected in the vast mirror of our consciousness.

This creation, which is a mere play of consciousness, rises up, like the delusion of a snake in a rope (when there is ignorance) and comes to an end when there is right knowledge.

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 which one embraces is the wife is the very arm 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 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.

Just as a streak of cloud appears to stain the moon or a blotch of ink a lime-plastered wall, so also the evil spirit of desire stains the inner man.

O Rama, he who, with in-turned mind, offers all the three worlds, like dried-grass, as an oblation in the fire of knowledge, becomes free from the illusions of the mind.

Liberation is not on the other side of the sky, nor is it in the nether world, nor on the earth; the extinction of the mind resulting from the eradication of all desires is regarded as liberation.

O Rama, there is no intellect, no nescience, no mind and no individual soul (jiva). They are all imagined in Brahman.

To one who is established in what is infinite, pure consciousness, bliss and unqualified non-duality, where is the question of bondage or liberation, seeing that there is no second entity?

O Rama, the mind has, by its own activity, bound itself; when it is calm it is free.

The noble-hearted man whose desires of the heart have come to an end is a liberated man; it does not matter whether he does or does not practice meditation or perform action.

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 (i.e. true) nature beyond the states of waking, dream and deep sleep.

Do not be that which is understood, nor the one who understands. Abandon all concepts and remain what you are.

O Rama, this enquiry into the Self of the nature or ‘Who am I?’ is the fire which burns up the seeds of the evil tree which is the mind.

Just as the wind does not affect the creepers in a picture, so also afflictions do not affect one whose understanding is fortified by firmness and (always) reflected in the mirror of enquiry.

The knowers of truth declare that enquiry into the truth of the Self is knowledge. What is to be known is contained in it like sweetness in milk.

To one who is fond of enquiring (constantly), ‘What is this vast universe?’ and ‘Who am I?’ this world becomes quite unreal.

Just as in a mirage the idea of water does not occur to one who knows (that it is a mirage), even so latent impressions do not rise in one whose ignorance has been destroyed by realizing that everything is Brahman.

The mind is terrible (ghoram) in the waking state, gentle (santam) in the dream state, dull (mudham) in deep sleep and dead when not in any of these three states.

Just as the powder of the kataka seed, after precipitating the dirt in water, becomes merged in the water, so also the mind (after removing all impressions) itself becomes merged (in the Self ).

The mind is samsara; the mind is also said to be bondage; the body is activated by the mind just as a tree is shaken by the wind.

The only god to be conquered is the mind. Its conquest leads to the attainment of everything. Without its conquest all other efforts are fruitless.

To be unperturbed is the foundation of blessedness (Sri). One attains liberation by it. To human beings even the conquest of the three worlds, without the conquest of the mind, is as insignificant as a blade of grass.

Immutable, unchanging, consciousness is the reality and nothing else exists. One becomes bound by one’s own false thought and one is freed when the false thought becomes extinct.

You have attained with all your mind that which is to be attained. O seer! You crave not for any objective matter. You are liberated. Abandon the delusion.

That all these sense pleasures cannot entice the mind is the distinguishing characteristic of the enlightened persons.

The contemplation of objects intensifies the bondage though it is unreal; with the desire for objects decreasing, the bondage in the world is weakened.

The consciousness which is undivided imagines to itself desirable objects and runs after them. It is then known as the mind.

From this omnipresent and omnipotent Supreme Lord arose, like ripples in water, the power of imagining separate objects.

Just as fire born out of the wind (fanned into a flame) is extinguished by the same wind, so also that which is born of imagination is destroyed by imagination itself.

The idea of Self in what is not the Self is due to incorrect understanding. The idea of reality in what is unreal, O Rama, know that to be the mind (chittam).

‘This is he’, ‘I am this’, ‘That is mine’, such (ideas) constitute the mind; it disappears when one ponders over these false ideas.

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

Yoga Vasishta Teachings on Pure and Impure Vasanas

Vasanas are of two kinds.

The impure Vasanas are those which, generating rebirths, are terrific in their results while the pure ones are those which liberate one from such rebirths.

The great Ones say that generation of the ever-recurrent cycle of rebirths when excessive egoism is developed in the body which is nothing but a transformation of Anjana is termed the impure Vasanas.

The Pure Vasanas which free one from rebirth may be likened to a seed that will not sprout after fried in red hot fire.

Those who having developed the pure Vasanas support a body simply to wear out their Prarabdha Karmas – past actions, the result of which are being enjoyed by one during present birth, is known Prarabdha Karamas.

Those having Prarabdha Karmas do not again subject themselves to the pangs of rebirth and may be said to have attained the Jivanmukti state, which enables one to perceive all spiritual things through subtle jnana experience, and to enjoy conscious bliss state.



Read More From Hindu Blog