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Yoga Vasistha Teachings on Desire

A collection of teaching from Yoga Vasistha on desire.

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.

The desire that arises in the course of one’s natural functions devoid of craving is that of a liberated stage. But that desire which is bound up with craving for external objects is conducive to bondage.


Wise men do not desire to do anything; wise men do not desire to abandon action either.

When there is no desire, there is supreme peace at heart.

They in whom the ego-sense and its counterpart (vasanas or tendencies) do not exist, know neither desire nor anger.

He who has realized his oneness with the entire universe and who has thus risen above both desire for and desire against is never deluded.

Samsara rises when the mind becomes active and ceases when it is still. Still the mind, therefore, by controlling the breath and the latent desires (vasanas).

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

The knowledge of the Self is the fire that burns up the dry grass of desire. This indeed is what is called samadhi, not mere abstention from speech.

To one who is desireless, the earth, O Rama, is (as insignificant as) the hoof-print of a cow, Mount Meru, a mound, space as much as contained in a casket and the three worlds a blade of grass.

He who is free from the knots (of desires) and whose doubts have been set at rest is liberated even when he is in the body (jivan mukta). Although he may seem to be bound, he is free. He remains like a lamp in a picture.

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 practise meditation or perform action.

Just as a streak of cloud stains (i.e. 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 Raghava, abandon all desires inwardly, be free from attachments and latent impressions, do everything outwardly and thus play your part in the world.

The conviction of the falsity and non-existence of worldly objects will efface all the impressions of the mind and lead to the extinction of all desires which, in turn, will result in dissolution of the mind.




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