Author Topic: Important Couplets From Yoga Vasishta Sara  (Read 776 times)

prasanth_ramana_maharshi

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Important Couplets From Yoga Vasishta Sara
« on: March 19, 2010, 01:23:03 PM »
The Brihat (the great) Yoga Vasishta or Yoga Vasishta Maha Ramayana as it is also called, is a work of about 32,000 Sanskrit couplets, traditionally attributed to Valmiki, the author of Srimad Ramayana. It is a dialogue between Sage Vasishta and Sri Rama, during which Advaita (the doctrine of non-duality) in its pure form of ajatavada (theory of nonorigination) is expounded, with illustrative stories in between.

Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi used to refer to Yoga Vasishta frequently and has even incorporated six couplets from it in His Supplement to Forty Verses (verses 21 to 27).

A further condensation of this work was made long ago, by an unknown author, into about 230 couplets,divided into ten chapters, as Yoga Vasishta Sara (Essence of Yoga Vasishta), of which this translation is presented for the first time. By making this condensation the author has rendered a great service to all sadhaks. This is indeed a goldmine fit for repeated reading and meditation.

Important Couplets

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.

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.

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.

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.

That perverted man who, even after knowing that worldly objects are deceptive, still thinks of them, is an ass not a man.

Even the slightest thought immerses a man in sorrow; when devoid of all thoughts he enjoys imperishable bliss.


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.

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.

When pots, etc. are broken the space within them becomes unlimited. So also when bodies cease to exist the Self remains eternal and unattached.

Nothing whatever is born or dies anywhere at any time. It is Brahman alone appearing illusorily in the form of the world.

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.

Samsara rises when the mind becomes active and ceases when it is still. Still the mind, therefore, by controlling the breath and the latent desires (vasanas).


This worthless (lit. burnt out) samsara is born of one’s imagination and vanishes in the absence of imagination. It is certain that it is absolutely unsubstantial.

Just as the cloth, when investigated, is seen to be nothing but thread, so also this world, when enquired into, is (seen to be) merely the Self.

He who neither likes nor dislikes the objects seen by him and who acts (in the world) like one asleep,is said to be a liberated person.

He who does not, like one blind, recognise (lit.leaves far behind) his relatives, who dreads attachment as he would a serpent, who looks upon sense-enjoyments and diseases alike, who disregards the company of women as he would a blade of grass and who finds no distinction between a friend and a foe, experiences happiness in this world and the next.

O Rama, there is no intellect, no nescience, no mind and no individual soul (jiva). They are all imagined in Brahman.

Does not the fool feel ashamed to move about in the world as he pleases and talk about meditation when he is not able to conquer even the mind?

The only god to be conquered is the mind. Its conquest leads to the attainment of everything. Without its conquest all other efforts are fruitless.

To be unperturbed is the foundation of blessedness (Sri). One attains liberation by it. To human beings even the conquest of the three worlds, without the conquest of the mind, is as insignificant as a blade of grass.

Association with the wise, abandonment of latent impressions, self-enquiry, control of breathing — these are the means of conquering the mind.

Remain always as pure Consciousness which is your constant (i.e. true) nature beyond the states of waking, dream and deep sleep.

Awareness is Brahman; the world is Brahman; the various elements are Brahman; I am Brahman; my enemy is Brahman; my friends and relatives are Brahman.

The rock-like state in which all thoughts are still and which is different from the waking and dream states, is one’s supreme state.
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