"Even as the ocean is the substratum of all the waves, direct experience alone is the basis for all proofs—the direct experience of truth as it is.”

Swami Venkatesananda, The Concise Yoga Vasistha

“These four—contentment, satsanga (company of wise men), the spirit of inquiry, and self-control—are the four surest means by which they who are drowning in the ocean of samsara (repetitive history) can be saved. Contentment is the supreme gain. Satsanga is the best companion to the destination. The spirit of inquiry itself is the greatest wisdom. And, self-control is supreme happiness. If you are unable to resort to these four, then practise one: by diligent practice of one of these, the others will also be found in you. The highest wisdom will seek you of its own accord. Until you tame the wild elephant of your mind with the help of these noble qualities you cannot progress towards the supreme, even if you become a god, demi-god or a tree. Therefore, O Rama, strive by all means to cultivate these noble qualities. He who is endowed with the qualities that I have enumerated thus far is qualified to listen to what I am about to reveal. You are indeed such a qualified person, O Rama.

One who sows the seed of the knowledge of this scripture soon obtains the fruit of the realization of truth. Though human in origin, an exposition of truth is to be accepted: otherwise, even what is regarded as divine revelation is to be rejected. Even a young boy's words are to be accepted if they are words of wisdom: otherwise, reject it like straw even if uttered by Brahma the creator.

He who listens to and reflects upon the exposition of this scripture enjoys unfathomable wisdom, firm conviction and unperturbable coolness of spirit. Soon he becomes a liberated sage whose glory is indescribable.

One who studies this scripture and comprehends its teaching is no longer deluded by world-appearance. When one sees that the yonder deadly snake is a life-like painting, one is no longer afraid of it. When the world appearance is seen as an appearance it does not produce either elation or sorrow. It is indeed a great pity that even when such a scripture exists, people seek sense-pleasures which lead to great sorrow.

O Rama, when a truth that has not been personally experienced is expounded, one does not grasp it except with the help of an illustration. Such illustrations have been used in this scripture with a definite purpose and a limited intention. They are not to be taken literally, nor is their significance to be stretched beyond the intention. When the scripture is thus studied, the world appears to be a dream-vision. These indeed are the purpose and the purport of the illustrations. Let no one of perverted intellect misinterpret the illustrations given in this scripture.

Again, study of this scripture should continue till the truth is realized; one should not stop short of complete enlightenment. A little knowledge of the scripture results in confusion worse confounded. Non-recognition of the existence of supreme peace in the heart and assumption of the reality of imaginary factors are both born of imperfect knowledge and the consequent perverted logic.

Even as the ocean is the substratum of all the waves, direct experience alone is the basis for all proofs—the direct experience of truth as it is. That substratum is the experiencing intelligence which itself becomes the experiencer, the act of experiencing, and the experience.

Even as movement is inherent in air, manifestation (as the subtle perceiving mind and as the gross objects it perceives) is inherent in this experiencing intelligence. And the perceiving mind, on account of ignorance, thinks"I am such and such an object"And then becomes that. The object is experienced only in the subject, not elsewhere!"

Swami Venkatesananda, The Concise Yoga Vasistha
State University of New York Press (October 1984), pp. 35-36

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