[Advaita-l] Yoga Vasishtha Sara - The Essence of the Yoga Vasishtha - CHAPTER I (DISPASSION)

S Jayanarayanan sjayana at yahoo.com
Tue Oct 4 11:39:33 EDT 2022

( Mountain Path Article Series 1969-71
https://www.sriramanamaharshi.org/resource_centre/publications/mountain-path/ )
In the January 1968 issue of The Mountain Path we published an article on
Yoga Vasishta and promised to serialise a condensed version of it at a future date.
We publish below the first chapter of one of the condensed versions known as the
Yoga Vasishta Sara (The Essence of Yoga Vasishta). The remaining chapters will
be published in the subsequent issues. The translation was made by SWAMI SURESANANDA
of Vijnana Ramaneeyam, Palghat, but has been considerably modified.

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 it (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, O 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 fruits and cool
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
10. That which is imparted, O 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 Lord 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.
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 years 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
21. On the dissolution of the body the
ether (consciousness) limited by the heart
(hrdayam) alone ceases to exist. People
lament needlessly that the Self is extinct.
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 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. O Rama, it is indeed nobler to wander
begging about the streets of the outcasts
(chandalas), 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.
(To be Continued)

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