Yoga Vashishtha: Part III

Nirvedh – Upadesh (Dejection and Teaching)

Moksha or liberation is the total abandonment of all vasanas or mental conditioning. Mental conditionings are of two types:

1) Pure – Liberates one from the cycle of birth.

2) Impure – Cause a birth.

The impure conditioning is of the nature of ego; it acts as a seed for the tree of rebirth. On the other hand when these seeds are abandoned the mental conditioning that merely sustains a body is of pure nature. Such mental conditioning even exists in those who are liberated while living and it does not lead to rebirth. The duration of life can be compared to water droplet on a leaf. Self-knowledge can alone make life fruitful. We can never repose our faith on lifespan. But man wants to prolong his life span thereby he earns more suffering and prolongs the period of misery and pain. Self-knowledge which puts an end to the cycle of birth and death is the only thing worth gaining in this world. People who live otherwise to gain other things are like donkeys. The rat called time is even biting into our lifespan and death is keeping a close watch on this life span without any respite. This world appearance is confusion; even the blueness of sky is optical illusion. It is better not to let mind dwell on it but to ignore it. Neither freedom from sorrow nor realization of one’s true nature is possible as long as conviction does not arise in one that world appearance is unreal. And this conviction arises when one studies scriptures with diligence. It is then that one arrives at firm conviction that objective world is confusion of real with the unreal. If one does not study scripture true knowledge does not arise even in millions of years. Without earning the grace of guru one cannot halt the restlessness of the mind. Mind is never satisfied with what it gets and becomes more and more unsteady by the day. Mind manifests itself through desires. In the mind filled with darkness of cravings, many wishes keep feeding desire; it is like mad horse which makes the mind run in different directions in a matter few moments. The dreadful ghost called desire is the main cause of man’s bondage and misfortune. This does not allow man to even enjoy pleasures which are within his immediate reach. Desires leads to all kinds of sorrows and pains. Desires can be removed by discarding the thoughts about objects and achieving them. The thought that objects can give some kind of pleasure is main reason for desiring it. Hence, by removing such thoughts one can remove desires all together. Enlighten masters shows the path to end cravings with the sword of self-knowledge. We are dissipating our lives in various ways instead of striving to reach the supreme. But no one sincerely turns away from the source of suffering. What is the use of wealth or relations or kingdom or ambitions in this world? Every attachment leads to sorrow. What is called as happiness cannot be achieved with the impermanent objects in this world. All beings are born but to die and they die to be born again. There is no meaning in these ever-changing phenomena which are the root cause of suffering. Living beings who are unconnected and unrelated to each other come together; the mind then makes these separate beings appear as related to each other. The mind itself is unreal. We are running after a mirage in desert to satisfy a thirst. Ignoring the truth, we are living a life of slavery without any freedom. Who am I? What is this world? Is this world real or unreal? Who takes birth, lives and die? How can sorrow come to an end? Ego is another enemy of wisdom. Egotism gives birth to never-ending sinful thoughts and tendencies. All sufferings revolve around egotism. Egotism is like a disease which destroys virtue and equanimity. One who is under an influence of egotism can never be happy. Egotism can lead to false cravings. Whatever hope one has towards developing dispassion and such qualities, craving ends that hope. The characteristic of this craving is that it has no direction. It runs in all the direction like a mad horse.

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