Thursday, July 24, 2014

Yoga Vasistha, The Supreme Yoga

(Yoga Vasistha is a Hindu spiritual text attributed to the sage Valmiki. It is believed by some Hindus to answer all the questions that arise in the human mind, and can help one to attain Moksha (liberation). It recounts a discourse of sage Vasistha to Prince Rama, during a period when the latter is in a dejected state. The following is a free transliteration of a salient portion of the much longer text, the Maharamayana.)

Simply by considering this Teaching with attention and devotion, everything that needs to be recognized is recognized – what could be easier?

However, if freedom from ignorance provokes no interest, then just walk on.

Those who seek lasting peace at heart will pay attention to these words, carefully inquiring into the root of both liberation and bondage, in order to discover their true nature.

Letting go of all clinging pacifies the mind, while fixation only disturbs it.
Still, we hold on tightly to our limiting beliefs and mental fabrications, grasping at this and avoiding that – how foolish!

We are relentlessly ruled by desire, so let’s at least want what’s best – the very freedom to which this Teaching points.

Nothing has any independent existence, there is only naturally occurring timeless awareness - utterly lucid awakened mind.

This expanse of spontaneous presence is the unborn ground of all that arises – a single state of evenness without interruption. 

Whatever appears is mind, but that mind itself in which dreamy phantasms arise and dissolve is empty of any self-essence.

There is nothing but unfathomable mind – neither creator nor creation -- only the limitless open spaciousness of pure awareness without center or circumference.
Regardless of how diverse or solid any dream phenomena may seem, their appearance itself is deceiving, since they are actually compounded from other dream phenomena, which are themselves dream compounds. 

No dream affects one’s true being, which is the light in which all dreams appear and disappear. Awareness alone is prior to consciousness, and awareness alone remains.
This awareness in which the play of consciousness rises and falls is none other than you – you are awareness.

The body is a vehicle in which spirit touches matter, and consciousness is born. You are not the body, or the consciousness which comes and goes. 

You are timeless awareness, the spontaneous presence from which is spawned the universe of appearances and possibilities.

What has no beginning can never end, what is forever unborn can never die.

Consciousness personified is the sense of self, but when the sense of self is recognized as empty of any inherent substance, pure awareness remains unchanged.

Consciousness is the dream – that which changes -- but whatever appears in the dream, you are not. You are before, during, and after the dream.

This pure spacious awareness is the same within all, and is not implicated by the dreaminess of whatever appears in consciousness.

There is no greater relief than to recognize one’s true nature, beyond the alternating cycle of birth and death, craving and aversion, pleasure and pain.

All suffering stems from ignorance of who and what we really are. Recognition is liberation.

Clinging to the belief “I am the body” is the true calamity, from which arise the poisons of greed, envy, delusion, and vanity.

The only real antidote is the direct recognition of our true nature, pure awareness, prior to and after the disappearance of the body vehicle.

It is only in consciousness that one indulges the dualistic notions of birth and death, knowledge and ignorance, nirvana and samsara, pleasure and pain, self and world, or even liberation and bondage. 

All that appears is consciousness, but consciousness itself is empty. 

Awareness of consciousness is emptiness, the source and basis of all, the ultimate principal. 

Beyond all intellectual comprehension, it cannot be attained, grasped, or manipulated.
It is not the dream, the dreaming, nor the dreamer.

It never arrives, and never departs.

It cannot be said to either exist or not-exist.

All appearances and experiences are transient and non-binding modifications of consciousness within the limitless sky of awareness. 

Awareness is the light behind consciousness which grants it the power to shine.

Awareness itself doesn’t change, nor is it modified by the happenings in the dream.
It is the motionless timeless background.

You are that.

See all else as a dream.