On April 9, 1995, at 8:20 p.m. Kash went to see Shri Adi Shakti in
the Templum Spiritus Sanctus within. Kash emerged through the clouds
and floated down into his spiritual body. The Everlasting Light shone
ever so brilliantly over the Golden Throne as Shri Pranada Shri
Nirmala Devi sat in Bliss and Joy. He stood up, folded his hands in
respect, and bowed to the Great Primordial Spirit. Greetings were
exchanged. Kash then told Her that he wished to see Shri Rama.
The Great Celestial Mother agreed and levitated him. As they picked up speed the clouds below his feet became a blur of black. Even the stars and planets around them disappeared as they traveled at super- warp speed.
After some time they slowed down and Kash could see the familiar white and blue color of the clouds again. They came to a standstill and started walking towards Shri Sita and Shri Rama who were a short distance away, sitting out in the open universe. The entire canopy of the universe was littered with the glitter of countless stars and orbiting planets — a spectacular spangled heaven of a summer night.
He bowed down to them in Namaskar and told that on behalf of all the Sahaja Yogis he wished Shri Rama a Happy Birthday. Shri Nirmala Devi translated these greetings into Sanskrit, felicitations accepted and Kash thanked. Both Shri Rama and Sita, for some reason, were invisible. However, he knew they were there through vibrations and conversation with Shri Mataji. (Sri Sita and Rama were visible to Kash only twice, that is, when Shri Hanumanna opened his chest to show them in His heart, and again when he was shown the positions occupied by these Divine Beings within all beings.)
It was time for meditation. They raised their Kundalinis, did their bandhans, and went into Sahaj Samadhi. After finishing Kash wished Shri Rama and Sita again. He then returned with the Great Regina Prophetarum (Queen of the Prophets) back to the Land of Primordial Light, bowed to Her in homage, and descended from the sanctuary of the Great Lotus Forest to this fearful world of child molesters and sexual predators.
Note: On May 13, 1997, at 5:20 p.m. Kash's father was editing this particular page. He just wondered how did his son step down from levitation: did he step down as soon as they stopped? did he sort of glide slowly onto firm ground as they slowed to a standstill? He called Kash to explain how levitation ended. It was simple. All he had to do was to take away his palms from above Shri Mataji's palms and immediately he would be lowered the few inches onto the soft cloud cover. All levitation ended by this process.
"Shaktism consists of doctrines and practices that assume the existence of one or more shaktis. These are "creative energies" that are inherent in and proceed from God and are also capable of being imagined as female deities. Shakti is the deciding factor in the salvation of the individual and in the processes of the universe because God acts through his energy, which, personified as a goddess, is his spouse. Her role is very different in the various systems: she may be considered the central figure in a philosophically established doctrine, the dynamic aspect of brahman, producing the universe through her maya, or mysterious power of illusion; a capricious demoniac ruler of nature in its destructive aspects; a benign mother goddess; or the queen of a celestial court. There is a comprehensive Shaktism that identifies the goddess (usually Durga) with brahman and worships her as the ruler of the universe by virtue of whom even Siva exists. As Mahayogini ("Great Mistress of Yoga"), she produces, maintains, and reabsorbs the world. As the eternal Mother, she is exalted in the Devimahatmyam ("Glorification of the Goddess") section of the Markandaya-Purana (an important medieval Sakta encyclopaedic text.)"
The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, (1992.)
"To recite the name of Rama, hero of Ramayana and seventh avatar of the supreme Lord Vishnu, is one way for Hindus to partake of the experience of the divine and to acquire great spiritual merit.
The Ramayana presents Rama as the ideal man and his wife, Sita, as the paragon of womanhood. Hindus long for the return of the Golden Age in which Rama reigned, when righteousness (dharma) flourished. The perfect man, Rama is an obedient son, a conscientious ruler and a loving husband; being of the kshatriya class, he is also a heroic warrior, who defeats the demon Ravana, abductor of his wife. Sita, the model woman, is devoted to her husband: she accompanies him in his exile and later undergoes a fire ordeal to prove her innocence and loyalty.
Together, Rama and Sita portray the ideal conjugal love, representing the totality of the godhead as beneficent champions of universal harmony. When Hindus call out “Ram, Ram”, or chant “Ram-Sita-Ram” as they bathe in the Ganges River, they are invoking the forces of goodness, righteousness and morality — embodied in Rama — to guide and inspire their lives, leading them on the path of perfection."
Professor Mary McGee, Eastern Wisdom (Hinduism)
Duncan Baird Publishers, England, 1996 p. 37.
"They think they are enjoying themselves but HH Mataji Nirmala Devi very much questions this: “If there is satisfaction, why should the mind shift from one person to another?” They believe in 'fun.' They might call themselves 'gay' but the truth is that sex without privacy and sanctity loses all its joy-giving quality; when it is made public, vulgar or cheap it becomes repulsive to the finer and subtler dimensions of human awareness. (This is not a matter of opinion but an absolute fact; it can be verified by vibrations.)
In the process, psychic balance is completely lost; everything might be 'sexualised' by the subject's sickened mind: nature, situations, travelling encounters, holidays are perceived as the framework of sexual expectations and this obsession kills the spontaneity of sex and the joy of life ...
People who are not yet identified with this perversion of the psyche know that something is wrong with them but they do not know how to regain innocence, spontaneity and joy: they suffer quite a bit. Human relationships can become a kind of hell: where joy is absent, physical pleasure cannot stay very long. The impact of unbalanced sexual behaviour is felt at the physical level also: doctors are very worried by the increase of male impotency; eroticism, in all its forms, destroys potency because it disconnects the physical sexual arousal from its natural emotional environment (i.e. being in privacy with your wife.) After a few years of artificial excitement, sexual activity no longer responds to natural stimuli . . . Further steps to complete the destruction which many have crossed include sexual perversions, violence, etc., all topics largely propagated by books, movies, and sometimes, television programs.
The subtle damage to society is much worse ...
“You have heard that it was said, you shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that everyone who looks at woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” — Matthew 5.27."
Grégoire de Kalbermatten, The Advent
The Life Eternal Trust Publishers, 1979, p. 113-19.
Pranada (783rd): The Giver of Life or the five life-breaths — prana, apana, etc.
Rama (319th): Woman. She is one with all women and an embodiment of womanhood. That is why a devotee of Sri-Vidya must treat every woman as his own mother.
"WASHINGTON, March 16 — Adding an emotional sting to her written account of an alleged sexual advance by President Bill Clinton, former White House volunteer Kathleen Willey haltingly told a national television audience Sunday that the president groped her and placed her hand on his genitals when she went to the Oval Office to seek a full-time job.
“I just remember thinking, `What in the world is he doing?'” Willey told CBS News' "60 Minutes" in her first public comment on the alleged encounter. “He had his arms tight around me... He touched my breast with his hand and he said in my ear, `I've wanted to do this ever since I laid eyes on you.'” "
MSNBC, March 16, 1998
"Clinton was a 'diligent lover' in the Oval Office, grand jury told
By Hugh Davies in Washington
PRESIDENT Clinton is lying if he still maintains that their trysts in the Oval Office were not “sexual relations” in the strict legal sense, Monica Lewinsky has told a grand jury.
Leaks yesterday from five extra hours of her testimony on Thursday indicated that she offered graphic details of the oral sex that they performed, saying that the President was diligent in trying to arouse her. He caressed her breasts and touched her genitals during several prolonged encounters.
So far, Mr. Clinton has angrily refused to elaborate on what happened, beyond saying that he recalled about half-a-dozen encounters with her in the Oval Office. He contended that prosecutors had no right to pry into such private acts. His obvious fear is that if Americans became aware of what exactly he was up to in so revered a room, there would be immense shock."
London Daily Telegraph, August 22, 1998
QUOTES OF SHRI MATAJI
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi
"I should say in our own country we had great kings, very great, because
our heritage is great and we had saints who really ruled the kings - like
Shivaji had a guru who was a great saint, everybody. Janaka had a guru,
everybody had a guru. Even Shri Rama had a guru. But they were real guru’
s. They were the people who really lived the life of saints, they were
real saints, inside and outside. And the people also accepted the kings
who had spiritual background, those who respected spiritual people. So,
the whole trend in this country was very very different till sometime."
New Delhi, India, December 4, 1994
"Now when I say it is fantastic the way it acts, fantastic the way it acts,
I mean its easy to sort of say that Mother is saying something which is
something miraculous. But what do you think of Moses crossing the sea?
You mean it was miraculous, or it was a false story, what do you think of
it? It was absolutely true, that he did cross the sea, with the help of
God, he could do it. What about Christ walking on the water? He did,
because by His nature he did it. What about all the miracles that were
done by these incarnations. It's absolutely true. I am here to prove all
of them. But you must get your Realisation. Not before that, I can't
prove it. You must enter into that realm of awareness, otherwise I cannot
prove it. It's true. The other day somebody was saying that Rama is a
fiction. I said, "How do you say?" He said "Because he looks like a
fiction". I said, to human mind they cannot understand God, who has
millions and millions of hands and eyes to workout his plan. So naturally
Rama is a fiction Krishna is a fiction, everybody is a fiction. Because
we ourselves are fictitious I think. It's not that it is a fiction but we
are 'incapable' of grasping that is miraculous, which is divine, and
that's why he just call it, 0h!... No. Everything, is true. Believe
me, everything is true.
Now Rama's case let us take. Simple thing like Ramas. Alright? Rama is a fiction. Many of our Indians are very anglicised now very westernised. So they want to say "we don't want to believe in all this fiction", so they become English you see. For them to become English is the last epitome, you see, the last word. So we don't believe in Rama nothing, you see, it's all our old style of thinking. But He exists, and He is within us. Can be proved with your Kundalini awakening."
Understanding the Love of God
Public Programme Caxton Hall, London. 11.5.83
"So this kind of a challenge, only a person who is a realised soul can put
it and all realised souls will stand by with that person, they'll have the
same voice about it. Whether you go to the antiquities or you go in the
future any time a realised soul will come he will say the same thing. That’
s why there is so much similarity, I should say the unity, in all these
people whether it is Lao Tse, or whether it is Mohammed Sahib or whether
it is Raja Janaka Or Nanakaa they say the same thing.
Now where is the difference that comes in? Also we see very clearly when the truth is your own. The difference comes that these incarnations came for a different type of a job. Like Moses came to establish the void, as we say here, in the centre. All these Primordial masters came to do that. So their job was, like we can say like Guru Nanak, or all these people who were Primordial masters came on this Earth to establish the balance and that’s why whatever they have said, all have said the same thing. Then came Rama. Supposing Rama came on this earth, he came here to establish the benevolent king. What is a benevolent king, the idea of a benevolent king, so he talks differently, then came say Krishna. Krishna came to establish the truth that you have to ascend first and secondly he came to show that the world is just a play of God. Then came Christ, now Christ came on this earth to create a full awareness within us that we are the spirit. So the accent of their preaching has been for the purpose they have come.
For example I have to give realisation to people, I have to raise the Kundalini and I have to explain all of them and integrate them so I have to talk about all of them. But my task is easier because there are sensible people in these days, but when Christ lived, what sort of people lived there, absolutely cruel, violent, nonsensical. Mohammed sahib had a very bad time, Guru Nanak had a very bad time, none of them have such a nice time that I am having. None of you are going to crucify me."
The Experience of Truth
Public Programme, Chiswick Town Hall, 10th July 1984
"Today specially I'm talking about the Vedas and these havanas we do. When
we do the havana it is a Yagnya . Yagnya means "by which you know".
Yagnya. And this is done where you use 'Svaha' as the word. That means
you use the principle of fire to burn off all that is wrong in you
'Svaha'. And you awaken it by taking the different names of the God. It
was very much invoked when Rama lived and they used to do Yagnyas at that
time. Today is Ramas birthday. The reason was that the people had just
started realising that there is something higher and you have to worship
that higher Self, and they thought that the best thing is to do Yagnyas.
On the left side, of course, the people started the worship of God and the
dedication to God and all those things, that is Bhakti, (devotion) but
mainly what they did before Rama was the Yagnyas, the Vedas, with which
they prayed to different elements. Elements have made our chakras, and
they tried to evoke the deities of the Elements. But actually it amounts
to the same thing.
So as a child Rama was studying with a very great saint, Vishwamitra and he had an ashram where Rama and his brothers studied and they used to come for holidays to their father's place. Then he had the capacity to kill a demon with only one arrow. One arrow of Sri Ramas was sufficient. And he was a small little child, say about seven-eight years of age and people were surprised how he could do it.
Now these Yagnyas were created to evoke the deities within the spinal column actually. And for these Yagnyas they used to sit down and do all these havanas the way we do it. But at that lime the Rakshasas would come and try to spoil the Yagnya. Because Yagnyas are to be done with a pure heart and with cleanliness and with purity. It should not be insulted. There is a protocol about it. While they thought that if we insult the deities there then the deities will disappear and their Yagnyas will be spoiled. At the time of Rama also there were some Rakshasas who took a special pleasure in spoiling these Yagnyas and Rime as a child would go and protect the rishis from the demons. And the demons would take on some sort of a funny form and come like miserable creatures and put some bones of animals and things like that in the Yagnya and that would spoil the effects of the Yagnya. And Rama would protect that, as a child. Imagine, as a child he used to do that. They would be doing the Yagnya and he would be sitting outside with all his small brothers around him and they would kill the demons who would try to destroy the Yagnya. This is the early life of Rama in which you see how as a child also he showed an amount of expertise in arrow and bow. So any time you see a statue, how to make out if it's a Rama statue is to see if there's an arrow and a bow, then its a Ramas statue.
Now his coming on this earth gave us the development of the right side and so the Yagnyas were also on the right side. Because first of all when human beings came on this earth they were frightened of all the animals who would invade them and all kinds of horrible Rakshasas and all those people, and negative forces would trouble them. In that state they needed to create a king, a ruler, who was an ideal king and who would rule according to the laws of dharma. So lie was the one in charge of that. He was here in Treta Yuga and Krishna came at the lime of Dwapar Yuga. When I came it was Kali Yuga but now today the time is of Krita Yuga. The Yuga where work will be done-Krita Yuga. This is the time where work will be done."
Chelsham Road, London, 2nd April 1982.
"Only through Shri Rama can we change our thoughts and habits because He is an ideal for us. Only after you reach His ideal can you reach other ideals because He is the ideal for human beings. It is such a great thing that God came as a human on this earth, that He became an ideal for us, bore all pain and suffering just to show us that whatever calamity or suffering comes we should not leave our dharma."
Ram Naumi Puja, Calcutta, March 25, 1991
Shri Brahma: "O sage, your story of Rama shall be the raft with which men will cross the ocean of samsara"
Sutiksna, the sage, asked the sage Agastya: O sage, kindly enlighten me on this problem of liberation—which is more conducive to liberation, work or knowledge?
AGASTYA: Birds are able to fly with their two wings: even so both work and knowledge together lead to the supreme goal of liberation. Neither alone can lead to liberation; but, both of them together form the means. Listen: There once lived a holy man named Karunya who was the son of Agnivesya. Having mastered the holy scriptures, the young man became apathetic to life. Seeing this, Agnivesya demanded why Karunya had abandoned the due performance of his daily duties. Karunya replied: "Do not the scriptures declare on the one hand that one should fulfil scriptural injunctions till the end of one's life and on the other that immortality can be realised only by the abandonment of all action? Caught between these two doctrines, what shall I do, O my guru and father?"
Having said this, the young man remained silent.
AGNIVESYA: My son, listen: I shall narrate to you an ancient legend. Duly consider its moral and then do as you please. Once upon a time, a celestial nymph named Suruci was seated on a peak in the Himalayas when she saw a messenger of Indra, the king of gods, fly past. Questioned by her, he informed her of his mission: "A royal sage by name Aristanemi entrusted his kingdom to his son and was engaged in breath-taking austerities in Gandhamadana hill. Seeing this, Indra asked me to approach him with a bevy of nymphs and escort the royal sage to heaven. Hovere, the royal sage wanted to know the merits and the demerits of heaven. I replied that in heaven, the best, the middling and the least among pious mortals receive appropriate rewards, and once the fruits of their respective merits have been exhausted they return to the world of mortals. The royal sage refused to accept Indra's invitation to heaven. Indra once again sent me to the royal sage with the request that he should seek the counsel of the sage Valmiki before turning the offer down.
The royal sage was then introduced to the sage Valmiki. He asked Valmiki, "What is the best way to rid oneself of birth and death?" In reply, Valmiki narrated to him the dialogue between Rama and Vasistha.
VALMIKI: He is qualified to study this scripture (the dialogue between Rama and Vasistha) who feels "I am bound, I should be liberated", who is neither totally ignorant nor enlightened. He who deliberates on the means of liberation in these stories attains liberation from the repetitive history (of birth and death).
I had composed the story of Rama earlier, and I had imparted it to my beloved disciple Bharadvaja. Once when he went to the Mount Meru, Bharadvaja narrated it to Brahma, the creator. Highly pleased with this, the latter granted a boon to Bharadvaja. Bharadvaja sought a boon that "all human beings may be freed from unhappiness", and begged of Brahma to find the best way to achieve this.
Brahma said to Bharadvaja: "Go to the sage Valmiki and pray to him to continue to narrate the noble story of Rama in such a way that the listener may be freed from the darkness of nescience." Not content with that, Brahma and the sage Bharadvaja arrived at my hermitage.
After receiving due worship at my hands Brahma said to me: "O sage, your story of Rama shall be the raft with which men will cross the ocean of samsara (repetitive history). Continue its narration and bring it to a successful completion." Having said this, the Creator instantly disappeared from the scene.
As if puzzled by the abrupt command of Brahma, I requested the sage Bharadvaja to explain to me what Brahma had just said. Bharadvaja repeated Brahma's words, "Brahma would like you to reveal the story of Rama in such a manner that it would enable all to go beyond sorrow. I, too, pray to you, O sage: kindly tell me in detail, how Rama, Laksmana and the other brothers freed themselves from sorrow."
I then revealed to Bharadvaja the secret of the liberation of Rama, Laksmana and the other brothers, as also their parents and the members of the royal court. I said to Bharadvaja: "My son, if you, too, live like them, you will also be freed from sorrow here and now."
This world-appearance is a confusion, even as the blueness of the sky is an optical illusion. I think it is better not to let the mind dwell on it, but to ignore it. Neither freedom from sorrow nor realisation of one's real nature is possible as long as the conviction does not arise in one that the world-appearance is unreal. This conviction arises when one studies this scripture with diligence. It is then that one arrives at the firm conviction that the objective world is a confusion of the real with the unreal. If one does not thus study this scripture, true knowledge does not arise in him, even in millions of years.
Moksa or liberation is the total abandonment of all vasana or mental conditioning, without the least reserve. Mental conditioning is of two types—the pure and the impure. The impure is the cause of birth; the pure liberates one from birth. The impure is of the nature of nescience and ego-sense; these are the seeds, as it were, for the tree of re-birth. On the other hand, when these seeds are abandoned, the mental conditioning that merely sustains the body is of a pure nature. Such mental conditioning exists even in those who have been liberated while living: it does not lead to rebirth, as it is sustained only by past momentum, and not by present motivation.
I shall now narrate to you how Rama lived an enlightened life of a liberated sage: knowing this you will be freed from all misunderstanding concerning old age and death.
Upon his return from the hermitage of his preceptor, Rama dwelt in his father's palace, sporting in various ways. Wanting to tour the whole country and visit the holy places of pilgrimage, Rama sought the presence of his father and asked to be permitted to undertake such a pilgrimage. The king chose an auspicious day for the commencement of this pilgrimage; and on that day, after receiving the affectionate blessings of the elders of the family, Rama departed.
Rama and his brothers toured the whole country, from the Himalayas downwards. He then returned to the capital to the delight of the people of the country.
Rama entered the palace and devoutly bowed to his father, the sage Vasistha and other elders and holy men. The whole city of Ayodhya put on a festive appearance for eight days to celebrate the return of Rama from the pilgrimage.
For some time Rama lived in the palace duly performing his daily duties. However, very soon a profound change came over him. He grew thin and emaciated, pale and weak. King Dasaratha was worried over this sudden and unaccountable change in his beloved son's appearance and behaviour. Whenever Dasaratha asked Rama, "Beloved son, what is worrying you?" Rama politely replied, "Nothing, father" and remained silent.
Inevitably Dasaratha turned to the sage Vasistha for the answer. The sage enigmatically answered: "Surely, there is some reason why Rama behaves in this manner. Even as in this world no great changes take place before the coming into being of their cause, i.e., the cosmic elements, changes like anger, despondency and joy do not manifest in the behaviour of noble ones without proper cause." Dasaratha did not wish to probe further.
Soon after this, world-renowned sage Visvamitra arrived at the palace. The king rushed forward to greet him.
DASARATHA: "Welcome, welcome, O holy sage! Your arrival at my humble abode makes me happy. It is as welcome to me as vision to a blind man, rain to parched earth, son to a barren woman, resurrection of a dead man, recovery of lost wealth. O sage, what may I do for you? Whatever be the wish with which you have come to me, consider that wish already fulfilled. You are the deity I worship. I shall do thy bidding."
Visvamitra was delighted to hear Dasaratha's words and proceeded to reveal his mission: "O king, I need your assistance. Whenever I undertake a religious rite, the demons who are the followers of Khara and Dusana invade the holy place and desecrate it. Under the vows of the religious rite, I am unable to curse them.
You can help me. Your son Rama can easily deal with these demons. And, in return for this help, I shall confer manifold blessings upon him, which will bring you unexcelled glory. Do not let your attachment to your son overpower your devotion to duty. In this world the noble ones do not consider any gift beyond their means.
The moment you say yes, that very moment I consider that the demons are dead. For, I know who Rama is; even so does the sage Vasistha and the other holy ones in this court do. Let there be no procrastination, O king: send Rama with me without delay."
Hearing this highly unwelcome request, the king remained stunned and silent for a while and then replied: "O sage, Rama is not even sixteen years old and is therefore not qualified to wage a war. He has not even seen a combat, except what goes on in the inner apartment of the palace. Command me to accompany you; command my vast army to accompany you to extermirnate the demons. But I cannot part with Rama. Is it not natural for all living beings to love their young; do not even wise men engage themselves in extraordinary activities for the love of their children; and do not people abandon their happiness, their wives and wealth rather than their children? No, I cannot part with Rama.
I have heard of the mighty demon Ravana. Is he the one that causes disturbance to your religious rite? In that case, nothing can be done to help you, for I know that even the gods are powerless against him. Time and pain, such powerful beings are born on this earth, and in time they leave the stage of this world."
Visvamitra was angry. Seeing this, the sage Vasistha intervened and persuaded the king not to back out on his promise, but to send Rama with Visvamitra. "O king, it is unworthy of you to go back on your promise. A king should be an exemplar of righteous conduct. Rama is safe in the care of Visvamitra, who is extremely powerful and who has numerous invincible missiles."
In obedience to the wishes of the preceptor Vasistha, the king Dasaratha ordered an attendant to fetch Rama. This attendant returned and announced that Rama would follow in a minute, and added "The prince seems to be dejected and he shuns company." Bewildered by this statement, Dasaratha turned to Rama's chamberlain and wished to know the facts concerning Rama's state of mind and health.
Swami Venkatesananda, The Concise Yoga Vasistha
State University of New York Press (October 1984), pp. 3-7
The Concise Yoga Vasistha
Truth of life from the ultimate Absolute perspective, September 25, 1998
By John Butler (firstname.lastname@example.org) (Boone, North Carolina, USA)
The Yoga Vasistha is the dialogue between Rama and the holy sage Vasistha. In the beginning of the book Rama has come to realize the endlessly changing nature of life from such a profound level that he sees no hope in anything and does not know how to proceed to live in a way that can lead him away from the inevitable sorrow that always follows all relative hopes and endeavors. The bulk of the text of the Yoga Vasistha is Vasistha's response to Rama's questions and state of dispassion. This book presents the truths of life as perceived and understood by those who have risen above all small self concerns, beyond all karma... from the perspective of one in Unity consciousness, the only real achievement in human life. I find more depth and meaning to this text than to any other spiritual text I have ever read. It it is more totally fulfilling in a lasting way than any other source of fulfillment, except for the DIRECT first-hand experience of the Absolute field of life which the Yoga Vasistha describes.
Truth revealed through stories, December 7, 2004
By S. Srinivasan (San Diego, CA USA)
This book is a dialogue between Sage Vasistha and Rama. Vasistha reveals the "Truth" to rama by narrating a series of stories. The book is divided into six major parts, each part consisting of several short stories.
1. On dispassion.
2. On the behaviour of the seeker.
3. On Creation.
4. On Existence.
5. On Dissolution.
6. On liberation.
The original scripture of 'yoga vasistha' is in the form of verses and has several repetitions. Some stories stories are within other stories. However in this book Venkatesananda does a good job of writing the stories in prose form which is very readable. Also, in the "concise" form of yoga vasistha, venkatesanda takes out very similar sounding stories and keeps the book within 500 pages without taking away any flavour from the original teachings. The book is worth reading several times, and each time it reveals something new. This book is not something that you can expect to read and gulp over night, It has to be chewed slowly and digested. Reading one story a day is immensely satisfying and reminds one of the truth every day.
Vasistha's Yoga and Modern Physics, February 2, 2010
By tepi "tepi"
I was led to the Yoga Vasistha after becoming interested in a very pure and early Advaita text called The Ashtavakra Gita, a beautiful short work of just 300 couplets (for details see my Listmania list). The particular school of Advaita Vedanta represented by the Ashtavakra Gita is called Ajatavada. It propounds the fascinating notion that the universe was never created.
The Yoga Vasistha is a later and much more extensive elaboration, in 35000 couplets, of the Ajatavada theory that nothing has ever emerged and that the world of names-and-forms is merely an illusion. The complete Sanskrit/English edition of the Yoga Vasistha, which may be thought of as the main 'Scripture' of the Ajatavada school, runs to over 2400 pages in 4 large volumes. It is from this massive 70000-line text that Swami Venkatesananda has distilled the brilliant summary he has presented us with here.
The words 'Scripture', 'Doctrine', 'Philosophy', have an ominous ring for most of us. They suggest something dull, heavy, dreary, tedious, and quite the opposite of fun! Also, most of us would probably tend to agree with old Greek saying - Mega biblion mega kakon - A big book is a big evil!
Given this, the Yoga Vasistha comes as a very pleasant surprise. It's certainly 'Scripture', and it's said to be the third biggest book ever composed, but despite what some would think of as its disadvantages it turns out - with its huge cast of Gods and Goddesses, Angels, Kings, Queens, Ministers, Priests, Sages, Warriors, Laymen, Students, Mendicants, Yogis, Demons and Goblins, etc., all of them, for our edification, pursuing their various fates on a universal stage - to be one of the most fascinating things ever written and those of us who are lucky enough to have discovered it should count ourselves very lucky indeed.
The traditional Indian view is that the ideas we find expounded in the sacred texts of Hinduism should not be considered mere 'theories' that have been arrived at through the use of reason. The knowledge these texts hold is the product of insights achieved by a spiritual elite whose whole lives and entire energies were devoted to the search for truth. After heroic efforts they succeeded in their search and texts such as the Yoga Vasistha hold as much of the truth as could be embodied in words. But besides the truths it holds, what I also find fascinating is its scientific content.
I get the feeling that its author - after taking us on an amazing voyage through a cosmos pulsing with vibratory energies and holding an infinity of universes strewn with galaxies with their suns and planets and black holes and clouds of cosmic dust and with space vehicles darting about and an incredible variety of both material and immaterial life-forms teeming and swarming and pullulating through uncountable alternate dimensions - would have enjoyed himself hugely if he had been able to sit down and have a good chat with some of our modern physicists since, as John Lowry Dobson makes clear in his Beyond Space and Time, they certainly seem to have a great deal in common.
As I've already mentioned, the particular school of Advaita Vedanta represented by the Yoga Vasistha is called Ajatavada. It propounds the theory that the universe was never created, that nothing has ever emerged, that the world of names-and-forms is merely an illusion.
As for John Lowry Dobson, he is a Western scientist who, basing his theory on a careful examination of Einstein's equations, has arrived at the same conclusion: Neither the universe, nor you, nor I were ever created. In fact, we do not exist. So science and traditional Indian thought have finally met up, as indeed they inevitably had to since there can only be One Truth.
Ultimate Truth, August 3, 2005
This is the epitome and crux of Hindu philosphy. A must read for a person looking for ultimate truth and liberation. After knowing the truth presented in this book, there remains nothing to be read further. The author has done a super job of putting this great ancient work together.
The greatest of Indian Scriptures, April 19, 2005
By S. D. Dand "OnLooker" (San Diego County)
Among the great scriptures of Indian spiritual thought, Yoga Vasistha is the the most beloved of mine. It is not a dry, wise and scholarly representation of Upanishadic thinking. It is a witty, surrealistic, out-of-mind story-telling to break the grip of one's logic-dominated mind. How to grasp with human mind what essentially is beyond it? Read it and either you will jump with joy or you will not understand anything beyond the stories. Are you ready? Or are you asleep with your eyes wide open?
The Only book you will ever need!, March 15, 2004
By Ahimsa Swami (St Louis)
The Concise Yoga Vasistha by Venkatesananda Swami is the ONLY spiritual book you will ever need! The Concise Yoga Vasistha is a condensed version of the Yoga Vasistha Ramayana, a 29,000 verse scripture! It contains 100% of the essence of ALL the world's holy inspired works... the wisdom of the ages is in this one book. OM!!!!!
After twelve years... revisiting the CYV., November 14, 2009
By Tommy Schmitz
Twelve years ago I wrote one of the first Amazon reviews of the Concise Yoga Vasistha based upon my reading of the work seven times over a seven month period.
That was 1997 when Amazon reviews had a much smaller word limit. So I posted about half the story. And I see it's still here. Over the years many people emailed to request the rest of the story.
The earlier requesters received it. The later ones did not. I had lost the file about seven years ago and it remains lost.
The YV today is still my favorite of all scriptual texts ever produced by any culture in any time. I might also add that I am agnostic and do not believe in reincarnation nor life after death. Anyone can relate to this work.
The conversation between Vasistha and the teenage Rama is one that, in some form or another, seems to take place in every human being. The value of a "continual" reading of this wonderful translation, to me, makes clear the reality of this internal dialog already happening quite naturally inside; such value for me is deeply human, one that reflects the saying "we are spiritual beings searching for a human experience. But it's an astonishing experience... as these strange and ancient stories on paper unfold to become the daily experiences of one's own subjective reality. Soaking oneself in these words can do nothing but continually reveal oneself (whatever that means to you) for which there are impossibly good feelings, but alas no words to relate them.
And yet, as with any scriptural text, much can and should be updated, re-interpreted and understood for the times and cultures we live in now. And this raises the question: Who would best speak for Rama today? Who best for Vasistha?
That, of course, can only be you. And you will, no doubt, have your own stories to tell. And I hope somehow I am privileged to hear them.
Excellent translation, May 3, 2007
By Big Daddy
The Vedic texts are so full of wisdom and profundity that they take a real time commitment to appreciate them. The full text of the Yoga Vasista is no different. That is why I appreciate this condensed version so much. The meaning and nuances are all there, yet it is written in an accessible style. Make no mistake, this condensed form will take time to read also (perhaps one verse per night before sleep), but it is so sublime and so easy to use.
Get liberated !!, July 15, 2010
If you have a choice to buy only one book in your life then buy this which will answer all the mysteries in the creation, existence and liberation. It is a great step towards Self realization and make many other self realization book looks like a comic. This is written by a great enlighened sage thousands of years back so this is definetely the truth gifted to the mankind and not a myth or a story.
The Concise Yoga Vasistha, June 12, 2011
By B. Douthitt
Not easy if you have no previous experience of India's language or ancient discriptions of the spiritual realms. But the deep wisdom is present and validates the teaching of The Course in Miracles for me. I loved it and recieved many insights from slowly and thoughtfully reading it.
Brilliant piece of literature, April 5, 2007
By seeker (Atlanta, GA)
Glittered with stories, this book invokes a deep understanding of our universe. Can be read multiple times in different light. Profound exposition of many ideas floating about in the Samkhya philosophy and Vedic literature.
Shri Rama: "If you consider that I am neither fit nor capable of understanding this, I shall fast unto death."
King Dasaratha ordered an attendant to fetch prince Rama. This attendant returned and announced that Rama would follow in a minute, and added “The prince seems to be dejected and he shuns company.” Bewildered by this statement, Dasaratha turned to Rama’s chamberlain and wished to know the facts concerning Rama’s state of mind and health.
The chamberlain was visibly distressed and he said,
"Lord, since his return from the pilgrimage, a great change has come over the prince. He does not seem to be interested even in bathing and in the worship of the deity. He does not enjoy the company of the people in the inner apartments. He is not interested in jewels and precious stones. Even when offered charming and pleasing objects, he looks at them with sad eyes, uninterested. He spurns the palace dancers, regarding them as tormentors! He goes through the motions of eating, walking, resting, bathing and sitting like an automaton, like one who is deaf and dumb. Often he mutters to himself, ‘What is the use of wealth and prosperity or of a house? What is the use of adversity? All this is unreal.’ He relishes only solitude. He is all the time immersed in his own thought. We do not know what has come over our prince, what he contemplates in his mind, nor what he is after. Day by day he gets more emaciated.
Again and again he says to himself, ‘Alas, we are dissipating our life in various ways, instead of striving to reach the supreme! People wail aloud that they are suffering and that they are destitute, but no one sincerely turns away from the sources of their suffering and destitution!’ Seeing all this and hearing all this, we humble servants are extremely distressed. We do not know what to do. He is bereft of hope, he is bereft of desire, he is attached to nothing and he depends on nothing. He is not deluded or demented, and he is not enlightened either. At times, however, it looks as if he is overwhelmed by suicidal thoughts spurred by the feelings of despondency: ‘What is the use of wealth or of mothers and relations, what is the use of the kingdom, and what is the use of ambition in this world?’ Lord, only you can find the appropriate remedy for this condition of prince."
VISVAMITRA: "If that be the case, may Rama be requested to come here. His condition is not the result of delusion but is full of wisdom and dispassion, and it points to enlightenment. Bring him here and we shall dispel his despondency."
The king urged the chamberlain to invite Rama to the court. In the meantime Rama himself got ready to meet his father. Even from a distance he saw and saluted his father and the sages; and they saw that though young, his face shone with the peace of maturity. He bowed to the feet of the king, who embraced him, lifted him up and said, “What makes you so sad, my son? Dejection is an open invitation to a host of miseries.” The sages Vasistha and Visvamitra concurred with the king.
RAMA: "Holy sir, I shall duly answer you question. I grew up happily in my father’s adobe; I was instructed by worthy teachers. Recently I went on a pilgrimage. During this period a trend of thought has taken hold of me, robbing me all hopes in this world. My heart beings to question: what do people call happiness and can it be had in the ever-changing objects of this world? All beings in this world take birth but to die, and they die to be born! I do not perceive any meaning in all these transient phenomena which are the roots of suffering and sin. Unrelated beings come together; and the mind conjures up a relationship between them. Everything in this world is dependent upon the mind, upon one’s mental attitude. On examination, the mind itself appears to be unreal! But we are bewitched by it. We seem to be running after a mirage in the desert to shake our thirst!
Sir, surely we are not bond slaves sold to a master; yet we live a life of slavery, without any freedom whatsoever. Ignorant of truth, we have been aimlessly wandering in the dense forest called the world. What is this world? What comes into being, grows and dies? How does this suffering come to an end? My heart bleeds with sorrow, though I do not shed tears, in deference to the feelings of my friends.
Equally useless, O sage, is wealth, which deludes the ignorant. Unsteady and fleeting, this wealth gives birth to numerous worries and generates an insatiable craving for more. Wealth is no respecter of persons: both the good and the wicked can become wealthy. However, people are good, compassionate and friendly only till their hearts are hardened by the passionate pursuit of wealth. Wealth taints the heart even of the wise scholar, a hero, a man of gratitude and a dexterous and soft-spoken person. Wealth and happiness do not dwell together. Rare is that wealthy man who does not have rivals and enemies who scandalize him. To the lotus of right action, wealth is the night; to the white-lotus of sorrow, it is the moonlight; to the lamp of clear insight, it is the wind; to the wave of enmity, it is the flood; to the cloud of confusion, it is the favorable wind; to the poison of despondency, it is the aggravating agent. It is like the serpent of evil thoughts and it adds fear to one’s distress. It is destructive snow-fall to the creeper of dispassion; it is the night-fall to the owl of evil desires; it is the eclipse of the moon of wisdom. In its presence a person’s good nature shrivels. Indeed, wealth seeks him who has already been chosen by death.
Even so is the life-span, O sage. Its duration is like that of a water droplet on a leaf. The life-span is fruitful only to those who have self-knowledge. We may encompass the wind, we may break up space, we may string waves into a garland, but we cannot pin our faith on the life-span. Man vainly seeks to extend his life-span, and thereby he earns more sorrow and extends the period of suffering. Only he lives who strives to gain self-knowledge, which alone is worth gaining in this world, thereby putting an end to future births; others exist here like donkeys. To the unwise, knowledge of scriptures is a burden . To one who is full of desires, even wisdom is a burden. To one who is restless, his own mind is a burden; and to one who has no self-knowledge, the body (the life-span) is a burden.
The rat of time gnaws at the life-span without respite. The termite of disease eats (destroys) the very vitals of the living being. Just as a cat intent on catching a rat looks at it with great alertness and readiness, death is ever keeping a watch over this life-span.
Holy sir, I am bewildered and scared when I contemplate the coming into being of the dreadful enemy of wisdom known as egotism. It comes into being in the darkness of ignorance, and flourishes in ignorance. It generates endless sinful tendencies and sinful actions. All suffering surely revolves around egotism (it is the ‘I’ who suffers); and egotism is the sole cause of mental distress. I feel that egotism is my worst disease! Spreading the net of worldly objects of pleasure, it is this egotism that traps living beings. Indeed, all the terrible calamities in this world are born of egotism. Egotism eclipses self-control, destroys virtue and dissipates equanimity. Giving up the egotistic notion that “I am Rama” and giving up all desires, I wish to rest in the self. I realize that whatever I have done with an egotistic notion is vain: non-egotism alone is truth. When I am under the influence of egotism, I am unhappy; when I am free from egotism I am happy. Egotism promotes cravings; without it they perish. It is this egotism alone, without rhyme or reason, that has spread the net of family and social relationships, to catch the unwary soul. I think I am free from egotism; yet, I am miserable. Pray, enlighten me.
Bereft of the grace earned thought the service of the holy ones, the impure mind-stuff remains restless as the wind. It is dissatisfied with whatever it gets and grows more and more restless by the day. The sieve can never be filled with water; nor can the mind ever reach the state of fulfillment however many worldly objects one acquires. The mind flits in all directions all the time, but is unable to find happiness anywhere. Unmindful of the possibility of reaping great suffering in hell, the mind seeks pleasure here, but even that it does not get. Like the lion in a cage, the mind is ever restless, having lost its freedom, yet not happy with its present state.
Alas, O holy one, I am bound by the knots of craving to the net that has been spread by the mind. Even as the rushing waters of a river uproot a tree on its bank, the restless mind has uprooted my whole being. I am being wafted like a dry leaf in the wind by the mind. It does not let me rest anywhere. It is this mind alone which is the cause of all objects in the world; the three worlds exist because of the mind-stuff. When the mind vanishes, the worlds vanish, too.
It is really when the mind-stuff is enveloped by craving that innumerable errors arise in the darkness of ignorance thus caused. This craving dries up the good and noble qualities of the mind and heart, like sweetness and gentleness of disposition, and makes me hard and cruel. In that darkness, craving in its different forms dances like a goblin.
Thought I adopt various methods to restrain this craving, the latter overpowers me in a moment and helplessly drives me astray, even as a gale carries a straw away. Whatever hope I entertain of developing dispassion and such other qualities, craving cuts that hope away even as a rat snaps a thread. And I helplessly revolve, caught in the wheel of craving. Like birds caught in a net, we are unable, though we have the wings for it, to fly to our goal or adobe of self-knowledge. Nor can this craving be ever appeased, even I were to quaff nectar. The characteristic of this craving is that it has no direction: it drives me in one direction now, and the very next moment it takes me away in another direction, like a mad horse. It spreads in front of us a very wide net of son, friend, wife and other relations.
Though I am a hero, this craving makes me a frightened coward; though I have eyes to see, it makes me blind; though I am full of joy, it makes me miserable; it is like a dreadful goblin. It is this dreadful goblin craving that is responsible for bondage and misfortune; it breaks the heart of a man and creates delusion in him. Caught by this goblin, man is unable to enjoy even the pleasures that are within his reach. Though it appears as if the craving is for happiness, this craving leads neither to happiness nor to fruitfulness in this life; on the contrary, it involves vain effort and leads to every kind of inauspiciousness. Even when it occupies the stage called life on which several happy and unhappy situations play, this craving, like an aged actress, is incapable of performing anything good and noble and suffers defeat and discomfiture at every turn. Yet, it does not give up dancing on the stage!
Craving now ascends to the skies, now dives into the depths of the nether world; it is ever restless. For it is based on the emptiness of the mind. In the mind the light of wisdom momentarily shines, but there is delusion the next moment. It is a wonder that sages are able to cut this with the sword of self-knowledge.
This pitiable body composed of veins, arteries and nerves is also a source of pain. Inert, it appears to intelligent: one does not know if it sentient or insentient, and it engenders only delusion. Delighted with a little gratification and distressed by the least adversity, this body is indeed highly despicable.
I can only compare a tree to a body: with branches for arms, trunk for torso, holes for eyes, fruits for head, leaves for numerous illnesses – it is the resting place for living beings. Who can say that it is one’s own? Hope or despair in relation to it is futile. It is but a boat given to one for crossing this ocean of birth-and-death; but one should not regard it as one’s true self.
his tree which is the body is born in the forest known as samsara (repetitive existence). The restless monkey (mind) plays on it, it is the adobe of crickets (worries), it is constantly eaten by the insects (of endless suffering), it shelters the venomous serpent (of craving) and the wild crow (of anger) dwells on it. On it are the flowers (of laughter), its fruits are good and evil, it appears to be animated by wind (of life-force), it supports the birds (of senses). It is resorted to be the traveler (lust or desire), for it provides the shade of pleasure. The formidable vulture (egotism) is seated on it, and it is hollow and empty. It is certainly not meant to promote happiness. Whether it lives for long or falls in a short time, it is still useless. It is composed of flesh and blood, it is subject to old age and death. I am not enamored by it. It is completely filled with impure substances and afflicted with ignorance. How can it fulfill my hopes?
This body is the home of illness, the field of mental distress and changing emotions and mental states. I am not enamored by it. What is wealth, what is kingdom, what is the body? All these are mercilessly cut down by time (death). At death this ungrateful body abandons the soul that dwelt in it and protected it: what hope shall I repose in it? Shamelessly it indulges again and again in the same actions! Its only certain purpose seems to be to burn in the end. Unmindful of old age and death that are common to the rich and the poor, it seeks wealth and power. Shame, shame upon those who are bound to this body, deluded by the wine of ignorance! Shame on those who are bound to this world!
Even childhood, the part of life which people ignorantly regard as enjoyable and happy, is full of sorrow, O sage. Helplessness, mishaps, carvings, inability to express oneself, utter foolishness, playfulness, instability, weakness – all these characterize childhood. The child is easily offended, easily roused to anger, easily bursts into tears. In fact, one may say boldly that the child’s anguish is more terrible than that of a dying person, a sick man or of any other adult. For in childhood one’s state is comparable truly to that of an animal living at the mercy of others.
The child is exposed to countless happenings around it; they puzzle the child, confuse the child, and arouse in it various fantasies and fears. The child is impressionable and is easily influenced by the wicked: in consequence, the child is subjected to control and punishment by its parents. Childhood seems to be a period of subjection and nothing else!
Though the child may appear to be innocent, the truth is that all sorts of defects, sinful tendencies, and neurotic behavior lie hidden and dormant in it, even as an owl lies hidden in a dark hole during daytime. O Sage, I pity those people who foolishly imagine that childhood is a happy period.
What can be worse suffering that a restless mind? And, the child’s mind is extremely restless. Unless the child gets something new everyday, it is unhappy. Crying and weeping seem to be the child’s foremost activity. When the child does not get what it wants, it looks as if its heart is broken.
When a child goes to school, it receives punishment at the hands of its teachers; and all this adds to its unhappiness.
When the child cries, its parents, in order to pacify it, promise to give it the world; and from then on the child begins to value the world, to desire the worldly objects. The parents say, “I shall give you the moon for a toy,” and the child, believing their words, thinks that it can hold the moon in its hands. Thus are the seeds of delusion sown in the little heart.
Thought the child feels heat and cold, it is unable to avoid it – how is it better than a tree, then? Like the animals and birds the child vainly reaches out to get what it wants; and it is fearful of every elder in the house.
Leaving this period of childhood behind, the human being goes on to the stage of youth, but he is unable to leave the unhappiness behind! There he is subjected to numerous mental modifications and progresses from misery to greater misery, for he abandons wisdom and embraces the terrible goblin known as lust, that resides in his heart. His life is full of desire and anxiety. They who have not been robbed of their wisdom in their youth can withstand any onslaught.
I am not enamored by this transient youth in which short lived pleasure is quickly followed by long-lasting suffering, and deluded by which man regards the changing to be the changeless. What is worse still, it is during youth that one indulges in such actions that bring unhappiness to many others.
Even as a tree is consumed by a forest fire, the youth’s heart is consumed by the fire of lust when his beloved leaves him. However much he may strive to develop purity of heart, the youth’s heart is stained with impurity. Even when his beloved is not present near him, he is distracted by the thoughts of her beauty. Such a person who is full of cravings is naturally not held in high esteem by good men.
Youth is the adobe of diseases and mental distress. It can be compared to a bird whose wings are good and evil acts. Youth is like a sandstorm that disperses and dissipates one’s good qualities. Youth arouses all sorts of evils in the heart and suppresses the good qualities that may exist there; it is thus the promoter of evil. It gives rise to delusion and attachment. Though youthfulness appears to be very desirable to the body, it is destructive to the mind. In youth, the man is tempted by the mirage of happiness and in its pursuit he falls into the well of sorrow. Hence I am not enamored by youth.
Alas, even when youth is about to leave the body, the passion that had been aroused by youth burn all the more fiercely and bring about one’s quick destruction. He who delights in this youth is surely not a man, but an animal in human garb.
They are adorable, they are great souls and they alone are men who are not overcome by the evils of youth and who survive that stage of life without succumbing to its temptations. For it is easy to cross a great ocean; but to reach the other shore of youth without being overcome by its likes and dislikes is indeed difficult.
In his youth, man is a slave of sexual attraction. In the body which is no more than the aggregate of flesh, blood, bone, hair and skin, he perceives beauty and charm. If this ‘beauty’ is permanent, there is some justification to the imagination; alas, it does not last very long. On the contrary, very soon the very flesh that contributed to the attractiveness, the charm and the beauty of the beloved is transformed first into the shrivelled ugliness of old age, and later consumed by fire, or by worms, or by vultures. Yet, while it lasts, this sexual attraction consumes the heart and the wisdom of the man. By this is the creation maintained; when this attraction ceases, this samsara (birth-death cycle) also ceases.
When the child is dissatisfied with its childhood, youth takes over; when youth is plagued by dissatisfaction and frustration, old age overpowers it – how cruel is life. Even as wind tosses a dew-drop from a leaf, old age destroys the body. Even as a drop of poison when it enters the system soon pervades it, senility soon pervades the entire body, breaks it down and makes it the laughing stock of other people.
Though the old man is unable to satisfy his desires physically, the desires themselves flourish and grow. He beings to ask himself, “Who am I? What should I do?” etc., when it is too late for him to change his life’s course, alter his life-style, or make his life more meaningful. With the onset of senility, all the distressing symptoms of a physical break-down, like cough, white hairs, hard breathing, dyspepsia and emaciation, manifest themselves.
Perhaps the deity presiding over death sees the white roofed head of the old man as salted melon and rushes to take it. As a flood cuts away the roots of trees standing on the river bank, senility vigorously cuts the roots of life. Death follows and carries it away. Senility is like the royal attendant who precedes the king, death.
Ah, how mysterious and how astounding it is! They who have not been overcome by enemies and who have taken their adobes in inaccessible mountain-peaks – even they have been afflicted by the demons known as senility and degeneracy.
All enjoyments in this world are delusion, like the lunatic’s enjoyment of the taste of fruits reflected in a mirror. All the hopes of man in this world are consistently destroyed by Time. Time alone, O sage, wears everything out in this world; there is nothing in creation which is beyond its reach. Time alone creates innumerable universes and in a very short time Time destroys everything.
Time allows a glimpse of itself through its partial manifestation as the year, the age, the epoch; but its essential nature is hidden. This Time overpowers everything. Time is merciless, inexorable, cruel, greedy, and insatiable. Time is the greatest magician, full of deceptive tricks. This Time cannot be analyzed; for however much it is divided it still survives indestructible. It has an insatiable appetite for everything – it consumes the smallest insects, the biggest mountains, and even the king of heaven! Even as a young boy plays with a ball for his pastime, Time uses the two balls know as the sun and moon for his pastime. It is indeed Time alone that appears as the destroyer of the universe (Rudra), the creator of the world (Brahma), the king of heaven (Indra), the lord of wealth (Kubera), and the nothingness of cosmic dissolution. It is indeed this Time that successively creates and dissolves the universe again and again. Just as even the great and mighty mountain is rooted in earth, the mighty Time is also established in the Absolute Being (Brahman).
Even though Time creates endless universes, it is not wearied, nor does it rejoice. It does not come, nor does it go; it does not rise, nor does it set.
Time, the gourmet, sees that the objects of this world have been ripened by the fire of the sun, and when he finds them fully ripe he consumes them! Each epoch of time is decked, as it were, by the lovely jewels of colorful beings for the pleasure of Time that wipes them out playfully.
To the lotus of youthfulness, Time is the nightfall; to the elephant of life-span, Time is the lion. In this world there is nothing, high or low, that Time does not destroy. Even when all these are destroyed, Time is not destroyed. Just as a man after a day’s activity rests in sleep, as if in ignorance, even so Time after the cosmic dissolution sleeps or rests with the creation-potential hidden in it. No one really knows what this Time is.”
Besides the Time I have just described, there is another Time which is responsible for birth and death; people refer to it as the deity presiding over death.
Yet again there is another aspect of Time, known as krtanta – the end of action, its inevitable result or fruition. This krtanta is like a dancer with niyati (the law of nature) for his wife: the two together bestow on all beings the inevitable fruit of their action. During the course of the existence of the universe, they are indefatigable in their labor, unwinking in their vigilance and unflagging in their zeal.
When Time thus dances in this universe, creating and destroying everything, what hope can we entertain? Krtanta holds sway even over those whose faith is firm, and makes them restless. On account of this krtanta everything in this world is constantly undergoing change; there is no permanency here.
All beings in this world are tainted with evil; all relationships are bondage; all enjoyments are great diseases; and desire for happiness is only a mirage. One’s own sense are one’s enemies; the reality has becomes unreal (unknown); one’s own mind has becomes one’s worst enemy. Egotism is the foremost cause of evil; wisdom is weak; all actions lead to unpleasantness; and pleasure is sexually oriented. One’s intelligence is governed by egotism, instead of being the other way around. Hence there is no peace nor happiness in one’s mind. Youth is fading. Company of holy ones is rare. There is no way out of this suffering. The realization of truth is not to be seen in anyone. No one is happy at the prosperity and happiness of others; compassion is not found in anyone’s heart. People are getting baser and baser by the day. Weakness has overcome strength, cowardice has overcome courage. Evil company is easily had, good company is hard to come by. I wonder where Time is driving humanity.
Holy one, this mysterious power that governs this creation destroys even powerful demons, robs whatever has been considered to be eternal of its permanency, kills even the immortals – is there then any hope for simple folk like me? This mysterious being seems to dwell in all, and its individualized aspect is regarded as egotism. There is nothing that is not destroyed by it. The entire universe is under its control; its will alone prevails here.
O sage, thus neither in childhood nor in youth nor in old age does one enjoy any happiness. None of the objects in this world is meant to give happiness to anyone. The mind vainly seeks to find such happiness in the objects of this world. Only he is happy who is free from egotism and who is not swayed by craving for sense-pleasure: but such a person is extremely rare in this world. Indeed, I do not regard him as a hero who is able to battle successfully against a mighty army; only him I consider a hero who is able to cross the ocean known as the mind and the senses.
I do not regard that as a “gain” which is soon lost: only that is a gain which is not lost – and there is no such gain available to man in this world, however hard he may struggle. On the other hand, both fleeting gains and temporary adversities come to a man even without his seeking. I am puzzled, holy sir, that a man roams here and there seemingly busy throughout the day, and is all the time engaged in selfish activity, and though he does not do one good turn during the day, he is still able to sleep at night!
Yet, even though the busy man overcomes all his earthly enemies and surrounds himself with wealth and luxury, and even when he boasts that he is happy, death creeps in upon him. How it finds him, only God knows.
In ignorance, man binds himself to wife, son and friends; he knows not that this world is like a large pilgrim center where countless people come together fortuitously – and they whom he calls his wife, son and friends are among them.
This world is like a potter’s wheel: the wheel looks as if it stands still though it revolves at a terrific speed – even so to the deluded person this world appears to be stable even though in fact it is constantly changing. This world is like a poison tree: one who comes into contact with it is knocked unconscious and stupefied. All points of view in this world are tainted; all countries in this world are territories of evil; all the people of the world are subject to death; all actions are deceitful.
Many eons have come and gone; they are but moments in time – for there is essentially no difference between an epoch and a moment, both being measures of time. From the viewpoint of the gods even an epoch is but a moment. Even so the whole earth is but a modification of the earth-element! How futile to pin our faith and our hope on it!
O holy one! Whatever appears to be permanent or transient in this world is all like a dream. What is a crater today was a mountain before, what is a mountain today becomes a hole in the earth in a short while. What is a dense forest today is soon transformed into a big city; what is fertile soil now becomes arid desert. Similar is the change in one’s body and in one’s life-style and fortune.
This life-and-death cycle appears to be a skilful dancer whose skirt is made up of living souls, and her dancing gestures consist of lifting the souls up to heaven, hurling them down into hell, or bringing them back to this earth. All the mighty deeds, even the great religious rites that people perform here, are soon consigned to one’s memory. Human beings are born as animals and vice versa. Gods lose their divinity – what is unchanging here? I see even the creator Brahma, the protector Vishnu, the redeemer Rudra and others inexorably going towards destruction. In this world sense-objects appear to be pleasant only till one remembers this inevitable destruction. Just as a child playing with earth makes different designs with a clod, the ordainer of the universe keeps creating new things and destroys them soon.
This perception of the defects of the world has destroyed the undesirable tendencies in my mind. Therefore, desire for sense-pleasure does not arise in my mind, even as a mirage does not appear on the surface of water. This world and its delights appear bitter to me. I am not fond of wandering in the pleasure-gardens, I don’t relish the company of girls. I do not value the acquisition of wealth. I wish to remain at peace within myself. I am constantly enquiring, “How can I wean my heart completely away from even thinking of this ever-changing phantasm called the world?” I do not long for death, nor do I long to live; I remain as I am, free from the fever of lust. What shall I do with the kingdom, pleasure or wealth, all of which are the playthings of egotism which is absent in me?
If I do not get established in true wisdom now, when shall another opportunity arise? For, indulgence in sense-pleasure poisons the mind in such a way that its effects last several life-times. Only the man of self-knowledge is free from this. Therefore, O sage, I pray to thee: instruct me in such a way that I may forever be free from anguish, fear and distress. With the light of your instruction, destroy the darkness of ignorance in my heart.
By reflecting on the pitiable fate of living beings thus fallen into the dreadful pit of sorrow, I am filled with grief. My mind is confused, I shudder, and at every step I am afraid. I have given up everything, but I have not yet established myself in wisdom; hence, I am partly caught and partly freed. I am like a tree that has been cut but not severed from its root. I wish to restrain my mind but do not have the wisdom to do so.
Hence, pray tell me: what is that condition or state in which one does not experience any grief? How can one who is involved in the world and its activities, as I am, and reach the supreme state of peace and bliss? What is that attitude that enables one not to be influenced by various kinds of activities and experiences? Pray tell me: how do you people who are enlightened live in this world? How can the mind be freed from lust and made to view the world both as one’s own self and also as no more valuable than a blade of grass? The biography of which great one shall we study in order to learn the path of wisdom? How should one live in this world? Holy sir, instruct me in that wisdom which will enable my otherwise restless mind to be steady like a mountain. You are an enlightened being: instruct me so that I may never again be sunk in grief.
Obviously this world is full of pain and death; how does it become a source of joy, without befuddling one’s heart? The mind is obviously full of impurities: how can it be cleansed and with what cleanser prescribed by what great sage? How should one live here so as not to fall a victim to the twin currents of love and hate? Obviously there is a secret that enables one to remain unaffected by the grief and suffering in this world, even as mercury is not affected when it is thrown into the fire. What is that secret? What is the secret that counteracts the habit of the mind that is spread out in the form of this universe?
Who are those heroes who have freed themselves from delusion? And what methods did they adopt to free themselves? If you consider that I am neither fit nor capable of understanding this, I shall fast unto death."
Having said so, Rama remained silent.
Swami Venkatesananda, The Concise Yoga Vasistha
State University of New York Press (October 1984), pp. 7-21
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