Yoga Vasishta Sara – Chapter One
[Yoga Vasishta is a dialogue between Sage Vasishta and Lord Sri Rama.]
1. Salutations to that calm effulgence which is endless and unlimited by space, time etc., the pure consciousness which can be known by experience only.
2. Neither one who is totally ignorant nor one who knows the Truth is eligible to study this book. Only he who thinks ‘I am bound ; I must become free’ is entitled to study it.
3. Until one is definitely blessed by the Supreme Lord, he will not find either a proper Guru or the right Scripture.
4. Just as a steady boat, Oh Rama, is obtained from a boatman, so also the method of crossing the ocean of samsara is learnt by associating with great souls.
5. 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.
6. Not a day should be spent in a place which does not possess the tree of a wise knower of Truth with its good fruit and cool shade.
7. The sages are to be approached even if they do not teach. Even their talks in a light vein contain wisdom.
8. The company of sages converts emptiness into fullness, death into immortality and adversity into prosperity.
9. If sages were concerned solely with their own happiness with whom could those tormented by the sorrows of samsara seek refuge?
10. That which is imparted, Oh good soul, to a worthy disciple who has become dispassionate, is the real wisdom; it is the real purport of the sacred texts and is also the comprehensive wisdom.
11. Following the customary method of teaching is only for preserving the tradition. Pure awareness results solely from the clarity of the disciple’s understanding.
12. The Self cannot be seen just by the help of the sacred texts or the Guru. The Self is seen by the Self alone with the pure intellect.
13. All the arts acquired by men are lost by lack of practice, but this art of wisdom grows steadily once it rises.
14. Just as an ornament worn round the neck is considered lost through forgetfulness and is gained when the mistake is realized, so also the Self is attained, when the delusion is removed by the words of the Guru.
15. He is indeed an unfortunate person who, not knowing his own Self, takes pleasure in sense-objects, like one who realizes too late that the food eaten by him was poisonous.
16. That perverted man who, even after knowing that worldly objects are deceptive, still thinks of them, is an ass, not a man.
17. Even the slightest thought immerses a man in sorrow; when devoid of all thoughts he enjoys imperishable bliss.
18. Just as we experience the delusion of hundreds of year in a dream lasting an hour, so also we experience the sport of maya in our waking state.
19. He is a happy man whose mind is inwardly cool and free from attachment and hatred and who looks upon this (world) like a mere spectator.
20. He who has understood well how to abandon all ideas of acceptance and rejection and who has realized the consciousness which is within the innermost heart – his life is illustrious.
21. On the dissolution of the body, only the individual consciousness limited by the Heart ceases to exist. People lament needlessly that the Self is dead.
22. When pots, etc. are broken, the space within them becomes unlimited. So also when bodies cease to exist the Self remains eternal and unattached.
23. Nothing whatever is born or dies anywhere at any time. It is Brahman (Self) alone appearing illusorily in the form of the world.
24. The Self is more extensive than space; it is pure, subtle, undecaying and auspicious. As such how could it be born and how can it die ?
25. All this is the tranquil, One without beginning, middle or end, which cannot be said to be existent or non-existent. Know this and be happy.
26. Oh Rama, it is indeed nobler to wander begging about the streets of the outcasts, an earthen bowl in hand, than to live a life steeped in ignorance.
27. Neither disease nor poison nor adversity, nor any other thing in the world, causes more suffering to men than such stupidity engendered in their bodies.