VASISTHA*, A SPIRITUALLY SEMINAL TEXT?

 

From the Introduction to the ancient Sanskrit text, YOGA VASISTHA:

“There is but one consciousness which is pure, invisible, the subtlest of the subtle, tranquil, which is neither the world nor its activities. It is aware of itself: hence this Individual Self-hood arises.

“This Individual Self perceives this unreal body as real. But when the Individual Self perceives it in the light of self-knowledge, this delusion vanishes, and the body also becomes utterly tranquil. Then the Individual Self does not perceive the body.

“The confusion of the body with the self is the greatest delusion, which the light of the sun cannot dispel.

“When the body is considered real, it becomes a real body. When it is perceived with the knowledge that it is unreal, it is merged in space. Whatever notion is firmly held concerning the body, that it becomes.”

* The full Vasistha text consists of six books:

  • The first book presents frustrations with the nature of life, human suffering and disdain for the world;
  • The second describes … desire for liberation and the nature of those who seek such liberation;
  • The third and fourth books assert that liberation comes through a spiritual life, one that requires self-effort, and present cosmology and metaphysical theories of existence embedded in stories. These two books are known for emphasizing free will and human creative power;
  • The fifth book discusses meditation and its powers in liberating the individual, while;
  • The last book describes the state of enlightenment and bliss. (Wikipedia).

Mystic Experiences’ Comments on Vasistha:

The complete text of the Vasistha doesn’t mention the transformative experience as being spontaneous. It claims human effort can gain the experience. That’s not my experience.

My experiences came to me unbidden, spontaneously, every year from the age of about 15 to late thirties. I have no knowledge of anything about me then or now that could possibly qualify me for such non human experiences.Accordingly, I am prejudiced to the acceptance of the Mystic Experience of Reality (MER) being caught, not taught.

Since the Vasistha’s probable arrival in the 6th century it has become generally accepted that these experiences of absolute Reality and its gifts are consistently spontaneous and beyond any human experience or ability to create or imagine and are not accessible even by learning, religious or intellectual effort, practices or physical invocations. The experiences are now generally accepted and studied scientifically and academically around the world.

However, where the experiences come from or their purpose is unknown, or at best only through scientific speculation.

The Vasistha also seems to assert that this state of ultimate knowing (“cosmic consciousness”), is all about human development. Nowadays we’d say, “all about evolution”.

Even if that is so, I have the strongest doubts such a fundamental, primal process of cosmic existence would be left to the stewardship of humans at this stage in human development.

However, in my view, the insights of Vasistha make it a seminal read for the spiritually called and is available as an eBook. Check Wikipedia’s comprehensive entry first for a fuller introduction.

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